Failure to launch: predictors of unfavourable physical activity and sedentary behaviour trajectories from childhood to adolescence: the Gateshead Millennium Study

Abdulaziz Farooq, Laura Basterfield, Ashley J. Adamson, Mark S. Pearce, Adrienne R. Hughes, Xanne Janssen, Mathew G. Wilson, John J. Reilly

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In a previous study based on this cohort, only 15% of the participants belonged to a favourable physical activity/sedentary behaviour trajectory group (characterised by relatively high moderate−vigorous intensity physical activity and relatively low sedentary behaviour across childhood and adolescence). Since this favourable trajectory is protective against obesity, we aimed to identify factors associated with membership of this group. In this longitudinal study, 671 participants were assessed at ages 7, 9, 12 and 15 years. Participants' demographics, socio-economic status (SES) and physical activity environment such as, sports club participation and commuting school were assessed at ages 7, 9 and 12 and analysed with favourable trajectory membership as an outcome using multinomial logistic regression. Sex (male) and SES (higher) were the non-modifiable factors associated with favourable trajectory group. Of the modifiable factors, commuting to school at age 7, a safe environment to play at age 7 and sports club participation at age 12 were all associated with more than 2.0 times increased probability of being in the most favourable trajectory. Future interventions to promote a favourable trajectory could focus on girls and participants with low SES. Promoting active commuting, safe local spaces to play and sports participation should also help lead to a favourable trajectory for physical activity and sedentary behaviour across childhood and adolescence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13283
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2021


  • children
  • adolescent
  • moderate–vigorous intensity physical activity
  • sedentary behaviour
  • group-based trajectories
  • risk factors

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