The displacement hypothesis predicts that physical activity and media use compete in adolescents; however, findings are inconsistent. A more differentiated approach at determining the co-occurrence of physical activity and media use behaviors within subjects may be warranted. The aim of this study was to determine the co-occurrence of physical activity and media use by identifying clusters of adolescents with specific behavior patterns including physical activity in various settings (school, sports club, leisure time) and different types of media use (watching TV, playing console games, using PC / Internet).
Cross-sectional data of 2,083 adolescents (11–17 years) from all over Germany were collected between 2009 and 2012 in the Motorik-Modul Study. Physical activity and media use were self-reported. Cluster analyses (Ward’s method and K-means analysis) were used to identify behavior patterns of boys and girls separately.
Eight clusters were identified for boys and seven for girls. The clusters demonstrated that a high proportion of boys (33%) as well as girls (42%) show low engagement in both physical activity and media use, irrespective of setting or type of media. ... mehrOther adolescents are engaged in both behaviors, but either physical activity (35% of boys, 27% of girls) or media use (31% of boys and girls) predominates. These adolescents belong to different clusters, whereat in most clusters either one specific setting of physical activity or a specific combination of different types of media predominates.
The results of this study support to some extent the hypothesis that media use and physical activity compete: Very high media use occurred with low physical activity behavior, but very high activity levels co-occurred with considerable amounts of time using any media. There was no evidence that type of used media was related to physical activity levels, neither setting of physical activity was related to amount of media use in any pattern.