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About the Speaker


Prof Johan Eriksson

Programme Director, Human Development, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS)
Professor, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore

Professor Johan Eriksson is the Programme Director for Human Development at SICS, and a full professor at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. A specialist in internal medicine and general practice, Professor Eriksson was last full professor at the faculty of medicine, University of Helsinki, and chief physician at Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland. He holds clinical interests in diabetes and related metab

olic diseases. His research focuses on the early programming of health and disease, as well as on the prevention of type 2 diabetes and related metabolic outcomes by lifestyle interventions. Professor Eriksson received his medical degree and specialist qualifications from the University of Helsinki.

Presentation Abstract

Physical Activity in Singaporean Children – Findings from the GUSTO-study

The Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) study is an ongoing longitudinal birth cohort study in Singapore, which began in June 2009. In total 1247 pregnant women were recruited during their first ultrasound scan visit at two major public maternity units in Singapore. The children and their mothers have been followed-up regularly including assessment of screen viewing time and movement behaviours (sedentary behaviour, light physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and sleep).

Screen viewing is a sedentary behaviour reported to interfere with sleep and physical activity. We investigated the associations between total and device-specific screen viewing time at age 2-3 years and accelerometer-measured 24 h movement behaviours, including sleep, sedentary behaviour, light physical activity, and MVPA at age 5·5 years for 7 consecutive days. Longer screen viewing time in children aged 2-3 years was associated with more time spent engaged in sedentary behaviour and shorter time engaged in light physical activity and MVPA in later childhood. These findings indicate that screen viewing might displace physical activity during early childhood and suggest that reducing screen viewing time in early childhood might promote healthier behaviours and associated outcomes later in life. Integrated 24-Hour Movement Guidelines provide specific recommendations on screen viewing (SV), MVPA and sleep to improve health of children and youth. We evaluated adherence to integrated and individual guidelines and its predictors in 5.5-year-old Singaporean children from the GUSTO study. Movement behaviours (MBs) were measured using wrist-worn accelerometers over 7 consecutive days and nights. Adherence to integrated guidelines was defined as meeting all individual guidelines: ≥60 min of MVPA/day, ≤2 h of screen time/day, and 9-11 h of sleep/night. Few children met the integrated guidelines. The proportions of children who met none, SV, MVPA, sleep and integrated guidelines were 11.2, 70.2, 59.6, 13.7 and 5.5%, respectively. Beyond individual behaviours, consideration of the full spectrum of MBs may be important to improve children's health. However, few Singaporean children adhere to integrated 24-h movement guidelines. Maternal behaviours as early as during pregnancy could be important targets for future interventions aiming to promote these MBs in children.