The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of leisure-based screen time on physical activity. Ninety-four families participated in this six-week study. Each family was randomly assigned to one of three screen time groups: (1) control group (2) 2-hour-limit group or (3) one-hour-limit group. Family members wore a Walk4Life LS 2505® pedometer to measure steps. Daily screen time logs were filled out each night and leisure-based screen time and steps were recorded. Analysis of variance (steps x group) was used to determine differences among the groups. Univariate tests showed there were no significant differences among any of the adult groups (F (2,101) = 1.02, p =.361). Similar to the adults, univariate tests in the 13 to 18-year-olds indicated there were no significant differences among any of the groups (F (2 ,62) = 368, p =.694). In the 5 to 12-year-olds, univariate tests determined significant group differences (F (2,164) = 3.35, p =.037). Estimated marginal mean differences indicated a significant difference between the control and 2-hour-limit groups (p =.011). In looking at all the children, males averaged more steps per day than females, and all groups in the 5 to 12-year-olds averaged more steps compared to the 13 to 18-year-olds (10,828 vs. 9,875 steps each day). The 5 to 12-year-olds in the 2-hour-limit and control groups viewed 72 minutes and 114 minutes of screen time each day, respectively. In conclusion, engaging in about 42 minutes less of screen time each day may increase physical activity by ~1,300 more steps each day.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences



Date Submitted


Document Type





Pedometer, Steps, BMI, Children, Families