A Movement for Movement: Screen time, physical activity and sleep: a new integrated approach for children
Increasingly, interrelationships are being identified between physical activity
(PA), free play, sedentary behaviour, discretionary screen time (DST), sleep, mental
illness, body fat and type 2 diabetes, with some being bidirectional (working both ways).
Yet these health issues are often presented as separate lifestyle factors, with
separate bodies of evidence and debates surrounding each one.
The evidence presented in this report points to an urgent need to reconceptualise
these behaviours not as separate components but as inextricably linked, joint 24-
hour movement behaviours. Parents and local and national policy-makers must now
work in tandem to ensure that all of the elements of children’s movement behaviours
are considered together, rather than being seen as the responsibility of separate
government departments and initiatives. This requires a far more muscular and
visible public health approach, which may entail telling the public not what they’re
interested in hearing but what is in their children’s best interests.