(HealthDay News) – Over a five-year period, adolescents in the highest tertile of physical activity have a higher health-related quality of life (QoL) compared with their less-active counterparts, while the converse is true for screen viewing time.

Bamini Gopinath, PhD, of the Westmead Millennium Institute in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues conducted surveys of teenagers to assess the correlation between physical activity and sedentary behaviors with health-related QoL. A total of 2,353 adolescents were initially surveyed and 1,216 were resurveyed five years later, together with an additional 475 new recruits. The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) was used to evaluate health-related QoL.

After multivariable adjustment, the researchers found that adolescents in the highest vs. lowest tertile of time spent in outdoor physical activity had a significantly higher total PedsQL score, while those in the highest vs.  the lowest tertile of television viewing had a significantly lower total PedsQL score. Teenagers who remained in the highest vs. the lowest tertile of physical activity over the five-year study period had significantly higher scores in the total, physical summary, and social domains. Significantly lower scores were seen in total, physical summary, psychosocial summary, emotional, and school domains for those in the highest vs. the lowest tertile of screen viewing time.

“These findings reiterate the need for public health policy and interventions that promote less time in recreational screen viewing and more time in physical activity, which could have a beneficial influence not only on weight and fitness but also on general well-being during adolescence and beyond,” the authors write.

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