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Pre-school children’s compliance with the WHO 24-hour movement behaviour guidelines: A systematic review of Sub- Saharan African studies

Jackline Nusurupia
John J. Reilly
Xanne Janssen


This review aimed to quantify the extent to which levels of habitual physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep complied with WHO Guidelines in 3- to 4-year-olds in Sub-Saharan Africa. The systematic review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analyses (PRISMA). A literature search was conducted in August 2019 from PubMed, Web of Science, and Medline Ovid databases as well as grey literature. Eligible studies were assessed for quality using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) tool for prevalence studies. Only three studies were eligible: two from one South African sample and one from Ghana which did not contain useable data. The South African studies reported high compliance with physical activity guidelines (n=87), with a mean total physical activity volume of 446 min/day (SD=67) and a median level of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity of 109 min/day (SD=37). Results further reflected a lower compliance with the screen time guidelines (n=56; mean screen time 2 h/day, SD=1.3), with no studies reported on sleep. There are insufficient data to draw meaningful conclusions on pre-school children’s adherence to the 24-hour movement guidelines in Sub-Saharan Africa; thus warranting the need for future research in this region.