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Table 1 National Canadian surveys with questions on sedentary behaviour

From: Sedentary behaviour surveillance in Canada: trends, challenges and lessons learned

Survey nameYear(s)AgesMethod of administrationType(s) of sedentary behaviour# of questionsRecall period, temporal unitResponse option
Canada Health Survey1978–79All agesInterviewer-administered in-person without computer-assisted interviewingOccupational (usual work activity)1Usual day, single dayCategorical (including “I am usually sitting during the day and do not walk very much”)
Canada Fitness Survey1981≥ 10 years (questionnaire)Self-administration in-personDaily sitting1Usual day, single dayCategorical (including: “almost all of the time, bout ¾ of the time, about ½ of the time, about ¼ of the time, almost none of the time”)
Canadian Census – Long Form1996, 2001, 2006, 2016, ongoing≥ 15 yearsSelf-administration in-personPassive transit (usual transit mode to work)1Usual dayCategorical (including: car, truck or van - as driver; car, truck or van - as passenger; public transit; motorcycle, taxicab)
Canadian Community Health Survey2000–01, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008≥ 12 years (excludes residents of Indian Reserves, Crown Lands, institutions, certain remote regions, full-time members of Canadian Forces, and beginning in 2015 excludes youth living in foster homes)Interview-led, personal interviews that were computer-assisted and assessed by phone1. Leisure computer
2. Leisure video gamesa
3. Leisure television
4. Leisure reading (paper-based)
4Typical week, past 3-monthsCategorical (none, < 1 h/week, 1-2 h/week, 3-5 h/week, 6-10 h/week, 11-14 h/week, 15-20 h/week, > 20 h/week)
2009, 20101. Leisure computer
2. Leisure video gamesa
3. Leisure television
4. Leisure reading (paper-based)
Continuous
2011, 2012, 2013, 20141. Leisure computer
2. Leisure video gamesa
3. Leisure television
4. Leisure reading (paper + eBooks)
2015, 20161. Free time reading (including homework, paper-based and electronic formats)
2. Free time television, DVDs, movies or Internet videos
3. Free time video or computer gamesa
4. Free time computer, tablet or smart phone
Last 7 daysContinuous
2017, 2018, ongoing1. Free time screen (television, electronic device) on school/work day
2. Free time screen (television, electronic device) on non-school/non-workday
2Categorical (≤ 2 h/day, > 2 but < 4 h/day, 4 to < 6 h/day, 6 to < 8 h/day, ≥ 8 h/day)
Canadian Community Health Survey – Nutrition Focus Survey2004Children: 6–11 years
Youth: 12–17 years
Interview-led, personal interviews that were computer-assisted and assessed by phoneChildren:
1. Television, videos, video games
2. Computer (including playing games, e-mailing, chatting, surfing the Internet)
Children: 2Children: average dayChildren: categorical (none, <1 h/day, 1-2 h/day, 3-4 h/day, 5-6 h/day, ≥ 7 h/day)
Youth:
1. Leisure computer
2. Leisure video games
3. Leisure television/videos
4. Leisure reading
Youth: 4Youth: typical week, past 3-monthsYouth: categorical (none, < 1 h/week, 1-2 h/week, 3-5 h/week, 6-10 h/week, 11-14 h/week, 15-20 h/week, > 20 h/week)
20156–17 yearsTotal screen time (television, video games, computer, hand-held devices)1Average day, single dayContinuous (hours)
Canadian Community Health Survey – Aging2008–2009≥ 45 yearsInterview-led, personal interviews that were computer-assisted and assessed by phoneTotal sitting time (e.g., reading, watching television, computer activities or doing handicrafts) – based on Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly3Past 7 daysCategorical (including types of sitting and quantity)
Occupational1Usual day, single dayCategorical (including “usually sitting”)
Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS)2007–2009 (Cycle 1)Children: 3-11 years (proxy) - note: for 2007-2009 Cycle 1, children includes ages 6-11 years only.
Youth/adults: 12–79 years
The survey excludes residents of Indian Reserves, the territories, institutions, certain remote regions, and full-time members of the Canadian Forces.
Interview-led, personal interviews that were computer-assisted and assessed by phoneChildren:
1. Total sedentary time (accelerometer)
2. Total television or videos or video games
3. Total computer use
Youth/adults:
1. Total sedentary time (accelerometer)
2. Leisure computer (incl. tablet)
3. Leisure video + console games
4. Leisure television (incl. DVDs, videos)
5. Leisure reading (paper-based)
Children: 2
Youth/adults: 4
Children: average day, single day
Youth/adults: typical week, past 3-months
Children: categorical (0 h/day, < 1 h/day, 1–2 h/day, 3–4 h/day, 5–6 h/day, ≥ 7 h/day)
Youth/adults:
categorical (none, < 1 h/week, 1-2 h/week, 3-5 h/week, 6-10 h/week, 11-14 h/week, 15-20 h/week, > 20 h/week)
2009–2011 (Cycle 2)Children:
1. Total sedentary time (accelerometer)
2. Total television or videos or video games
3. Total computer use
Youth/adults:
1. Total sedentary time (accelerometer)
2. Leisure computer (incl. tablet)
3. Leisure video + console games
4. Leisure television (incl. DVDs, videos)
5. Leisure reading (paper-based)
Children: categorical
(0 h/day, < 1 h/day, 1–2 h/day, 3–4 h/day, 5–6 h/day, ≥ 7 h/day)
Youth/adults:
continuous
2012–2013 (Cycle 3), 2014–2015 (Cycle 4)Children:
1. Total sedentary time (accelerometer)
2. Total television or videos or video games
3. Total computer use
Youth/adults:
1. Total sedentary time (accelerometer)
2. Total self-reported sitting time (IPAQ) in Cycle 3 only
3. Leisure computer (incl. tablet)
4. Leisure video + console games (Cycles 3 + 4 includes passive only)
5. Leisure television (incl. DVDs, videos)
6. Leisure reading (paper + eBooks, does not include reading on computer or Internet)
Children: categorical
(0 h/day, < 1 h/day, 1 to < 3 h/day, 3 to < 5 h/day, 5 to < 7 h/day, ≥ 7 h/day)
Youth/adults:
continuous
2016–2017 (Cycle 5),
ongoing
Children:
1. Total sedentary time (accelerometer)
2. Total screen time (television/game console/computer/hand-held devices)
Youth/adults:
1. Total sedentary time (accelerometer)
2. Free time computer (incl. tablet, smartphone)
3. Free time video + computer games
4. Free time television (incl. DVDs, movies, internet videos)
5. Free time reading (paper + electronic formats, excludes reading on a computer, tablet or Internet)
Children: 1
Youth/adults: 4
Children: average day, single day
Youth/adults: past 7 days
Children: continuous
Youth/adults: continuous
Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth (CHSCY)2016 (pilot), ongoing1–17 yearsSelf-administration on-line1. Homework (outside of class)
2. Reading
3. Social media use (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest)
4. Television (movies, videos, YouTube, television shows)
5. Video games
6. Any electronic device while sitting
7. Transportation mode (including passive)
20 (several multi-part questions)Past 7 days, daily average1–6: categorical, 7: continuous
Canadian Internet Use Survey (formerly Household Internet Use Survey)1999≥ 16 yearsElectronic questionnaire or computer-assisted telephone interviewInternet use (frequency & amount)2Typical monthCategorical
2000Internet use (frequency & amount)4
2001, 2002, 2003Internet use (frequency & amount)5
2005, 2007, 2009Internet use (frequency & amount)4Typical month & typical week
2010, 2012Internet use (frequency & amount)3
Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)2011 – ongoing≥ 45 yearsInterview-led, personal interviews that were computer-assisted and assessed by phoneSedentary activities including: games, computer activities, crossword/puzzles, crafts, listening to music, playing musical instruments, reading, visiting with others, watching television, other3Average day in past 7 daysCategorical
General Social Survey – Time Use Survey (GSS)1986, 1992, 1998, 2005, 2010, 2015, ongoing≥ 15 years
Living in private households in 10 provinces
Interview-led, personal interviews that were computer-assisted and assessed by phoneActivity recall over 24-h. Derived variables include:
1. Passive travel (car + bicycle + taxi + boat/ferry + airplane)
2. Watching television or videos
3. Reading (online or paper)
Note, the GSS also asks sedentary behaviour related questions on other years of the survey.
N/A – diary24-h periodCategorical selection of activity, continuous duration
Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study1990, 1994, 1998Grades 6 to 10 (8 & 10 in 1994)Self-administration in-person1. Daily television watching
2. Weekly VCR movies
3. Weekly computer games (including arcade, game consoles)
3Usual weekday and weekend day1990, 1994, 1998:
Television - categorical (none, < 0.5 h/day, 0.5-1 h/day, 2-3 h/day, 4 h/day, > 4 h/day) VCR movies and computer games - categorical (none, < 1 h/week, 1-3 h/week, 4-6 h/week, 7-9 h/week, ≥ 10 h/week)
2002, 2006, 2010, 2014:
Categorical (none, ~0.5 h/day, ~1 h/day, ~2 h/day, ~3 h/day, ~4 h/day, ~5 h/day, ~6 h/day, ~7 or more h/day)
2002Grades 6 to 101. Free time daily television (including videos)
2. Daily homework
3. Free time daily computer use (playing games, emailing, chatting, surfing Internet)
6 (3 x weekday, 3 x weekend day)
2006, 20101. Free time daily television (including videos & DVDs)
2. Free time video games on computer or games console
3. Free time computer (chatting on-line, Internet, emailing, homework)
6 (3 x weekday, 3 x weekend day)
2014, ongoing1. Free time daily television (including videos, DVDs, YouTube or other entertainment on screen)
2. Free time games on computer, games console, tablet, smartphone or other electronic device (not including active games)
3. Free time electronic device (computers, tablets, smartphones) use for other purposes (e.g., homework, emailing, tweeting, social media, chatting, surfing the internet)
6 (3 x weekday, 3 x weekend day)
Health Promotion Survey1985≥ 15 yearsInterview-led, personal interviews, computer-assisted and assessed by phone1. Passive travel passenger (distance travelled)
2. Passive travel driver
2AverageContinuous (distance travelled)
1990Daily activities1UsualCategorical with “You sit during the day and do not walk about very much”
Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health (JCUSH)2002–2003≥ 8 yearsInterview-led, personal interviews, computer-assisted and assessed by phoneDaily activities or work habits1Past 3 monthsCategorical with “Usually sit during the day and don’t walk around very much”
National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY)1994–1995, 1996–1997Proxy: 0–9 years
Self-reported: ≥ 10–11 year olds
Interviewer-administered in-person with computer-assisted interviewProxy
1. Leisure computer or video games
2. Leisure television or videos
3. Leisure reading (by adult and child)
4. Homework
Self-report
1. Leisure computer or video games
2. Leisure television
3. Leisure reading
Proxy: variable
Self-report: variable
VariableProxy: mix of categorical and continuous
Self-report: mix of categorical and continuous
1998–1999Proxy: 0–9 years
Self-reported: ≥ 10–11 year olds
Proxy
1. Leisure television or videos
2. Leisure reading (by adult and child)
3. Homework
4. Writing
Self-report
1. Leisure computer or video games
2. Leisure television
3. Leisure reading
2000–2001Proxy: 0–9 years
Self-reported: ≥ 10–11 year olds
Proxy
1. Leisure computer
2. Leisure reading (by adult and child)
Self-report youth (age dependent)
1. Homework
2. Transportation mode
3. Computer or video games
4. Leisure writing
5. Leisure reading
6. Television and videos
2002–2003, 2004–2005Proxy: 0–9 years
Self-reported: ≥ 10–11 year olds
Proxy
1. Leisure computer
2. Leisure reading (by adult and child)
3. Leisure television or videos
Self-report youth (age dependent)
1. Computer use
2. Internet use
3. Leisure writing
4. Leisure reading
television, videos or video games
2006–2007, 2008–2009Proxy: 0–9 years
Self-reported: ≥ 10–11 year olds
Proxy
1. Leisure computer
2. Leisure reading (by adult and child)
3. Leisure television, videos or video games
Self-report youth (age dependent)
1. Computer use
2. Internet use
3. Leisure writing
4. Leisure reading
5. Television, videos or video games
National Population Health Survey (NPHS)Cross-sectional & longitudinal: 1994–1995, 1996–1997, 1998–1999
Longitudinal only: 2000–2001, 2002–2003, 2004–2005, 2006–2007, 2008–2009, 2010–2011
All ages (only those ≥ 12 years asked sedentary questions)Cycle 1: Interviewer-administered in-person with computer-assisted interviewing1. Daily activities or work habits Usual day over past 3 monthsCategorical with “Usually sit during day and do not walk about very much” response option
Cycle 2+: Interview-led, personal interviews, computer-assisted and assessed by phone
National Household Survey (NHS)2014Children: 4–11 years
Youth: 12–17 years
Self-administration in-person or on-line1. Television, movies or videos (including YouTube)
2. Leisure computer, tablet, smartphone, video games
2Past 7 days, average single dayCategorical
Survey of Young Canadians – Child2010–20111–9 yearsInterview-led, personal interviews, computer-assisted and assessed by phone1. Leisure computer use
2. Television, videos or video games
3. Leisure reading
4On average, single dayCategorical
Youth Smoking Survey2002Grades 5–9Self-administration in-person1. Computer or video games
2. Television or videos
3. Leisure reading
3Computer and video games: last 12 months
Television and reading: average day
Categorical
  1. aTime spent playing video games was not consistently assessed in all age groups; from 2000 to 2001 to 2008 the questions were only asked to those under the age of 20, in 2009 and 2010 the questions were asked only to those under 25, whereas from 2011 to 2016 the questions were asked to all respondents