Students in Cyprus have ‘concerning levels’ of sedentary behaviour, where almost 30 per cent of 15-year-olds are found to sit for a long time, a study revealed on Monday.

Carried out by HBSC for the World Health Organisation, the research was carried out between 2021 – 2022, with some 4,800 students participating, from primary, secondary and upper secondary schools.

The findings showed the older the student is, the longer their sedentary lifestyle is, accompanied by a reduction in their physical activity.

Data showed that for 15-year-old children, 28.6 per cent spend a long part of their day sitting. For children that are aged 11, the figure is at 20.4 per cent and for 13-year-olds, this amounts to 23.2 per cent.

The study highlighted that almost half of the children spend at least two hours a day playing games on a computer, game console, tablet, smartphone or on the TV, or using a computer and other electronic devices to access social networks, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

More than one in three children (39.9 per cent) spend about two hours or more every day watching TV, DVDs or videos, including online videos on sites such as Youtube, while almost one in five children look for information online.

Results showed that more boys prefer computer games, while more girls express a preference for using a computer to access social networks.

At the same time, the results of the survey show that about two thirds of the children meet the WHO criteria for participating in vigorous physical activity (at least three times a week). On average, 64.8 per cent of children carry out exercise that can leave them short of breath or sweating at least three times a week.

However, the average number of days of physical activity spent by 15-year-olds is lower compared to those reported by younger children.

Those aged 15 mark 3.5 days, aged 13 amounts to 4 days, while children aged 11 have 3.9 days.