On the 19th of September 2018 our colleague, Jaroslava Kopčáková, have been awarded a PhD degree at the University of Groningen during a defence and PhD ceremony held in the University of Groningen’s auditorium. The thesis entitled “Physical activity, screen-based activities and their potential determinants: Active living during adolescence” was defended in the presence of the College of Deans and the PhD Examining Committee. More information about defence ceremony might be found here.
Healthy active living during adolescence supports optimal health and growth of the individual. Physical activity and screen-based activities are important aspects of health behaviour of adolescents. We found that adolescents reported relatively little physical activity and rather many screen-based activities. However, both types of behaviour are not merely opposite to each other, i.e. at the same time adolescents can be physically active and still have a high rate of screen-based activities. Physical activity and screen-based activities in adolescence were associated with potential determinants on several levels based on the socio-ecological model. This started with the intrapersonal level (gender-specific role of body image and motives for physical activity), next the perceived environment (positive influence of the perception of the environment as activity-friendly) and finally the environmental setting of behaviour (degree of urbanization, some accessibility to sports facilities and active breaks). A better understanding of the potential determinants associated with physical activity and screen-based activities in adolescents are therefore essential for prevention and health promotion.
Our findings indicate that the ecological model of active living provides a useful theoretical framework for further research into the determinants of physical activity and screen-based activities. In addition, our findings suggest that adolescents can be physically active and still sedentary at the same time. Understanding why adolescents are active or inactive in their life could significantly contribute to improved health-promoting interventions. By adequately addressing these relatively new challenges, much can be gained for adolescent public health.