Publication Date


Document Type


Publication Title

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health








Background: Meeting daily guidelines for physical activity, screen time, and sleep duration is associated with a host of health indicators for youth. In this cross-sectional observational study, we investigated the associations between adherence to the movement guidelines and health-related outcomes among youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Methods: Parents of youth with ASD (10–17 years) from seven countries and regions were invited to provide online proxy-reports for child’s movement behaviors (i.e., physical activity, sleep and screen time), and health-related outcomes (i.e., body mass index [BMI], general health, and quality of life). A series of multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine the associations between meeting movement guidelines and health-related outcomes, adjusted for covariates. Results: The final sample consisted of 1165 youth with ASD. Compared with youth meeting all three guidelines, a higher BMI z-score was observed in those who met no guidelines (B = 0.62, P = 0.04), “sedentary time only” (B = 0.60, P = 0.047), and “physical activity plus sleep only” (B = 0.85, P = 0.04). Compared with meeting all three guidelines, meeting no guidelines was associated with poorer general health (B = − 0.46, P = 0.02). Further, compared with youth meeting all three guidelines, a lower quality of life score was observed in those who met no guidelines (B = − 0.47, P = 0.02) and “physical activity only” (B = − 0.62, P = 0.03). Lastly, there were dose–response associations between the number of guidelines met and all three health-related outcomes (all Ptrend < 0.05). Conclusions: In conclusion, meeting more 24-h movement guidelines was generally associated with more favorable health-related outcomes in youth with ASD. The low level of adherence to all three guidelines (2.0%) suggests the urgent need to promote the adoption of all the guidelines in this group.

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

U.S. Department of Education


Adolescent, Disability, Movement behavior, Physical activity, Screen time, Sleep

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.