Sedentary behaviours are defined as sitting or lying down during waking hours.
Australian guidelines recommend sedentary behaviour should be limited in as many ways as possible, across all settings, including in school, at home, at work, in the community and when travelling.
Teenagers in particular are at increased risk of sedentary behaviours because of their use of electronic media (screen time) for entertainment. Australian guidelines recommend limiting screen time to less than two hours a day and also recommend that teenagers break up long periods of sitting down as often as possible, e.g. teens should get up and walk around every hour when studying or doing homework for prolonged periods of time.
Minimising sedentary behaviours can reduce the risk of negative health impacts (for example, on body composition, cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal fitness), as well as reduce negative impacts on aspects of mental health and wellbeing. Research has also found that limiting sedentary behaviours can enhance academic performance and social behaviours in teenagers.