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Correlates of objectively assessed physical activity and sedentary time in children: a cross-sectional study (The European Youth Heart Study)
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences. (RISPA)
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2009 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 9, 322Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Identifying leisure time activities performed before and after school that influence time in physical activity (PA) and/or time spent sedentary can provide useful information when designing interventions aimed to promote an active lifestyle in young people. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between mode of transportation to school, outdoor play after school, participation in exercise in clubs, and TV viewing with objectively assessed PA and sedentary behaviour in children.

Methods

A total of 1327 nine- and 15-year-old children from three European countries (Norway, Estonia, Portugal) participated as part of the European Youth Heart Study. PA was measured during two weekdays and two weekend days using the MTI accelerometer, and average percent of time in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and time spent sedentary were derived. Potential correlates were assessed by self-report. Independent associations between self-reported correlates with percent time in MVPA and percent time sedentary were analysed by general linear models, adjusted by age, gender, country, measurement period, monitored days and parental socio-economic status.

Results

In 9-year-olds, playing outdoors after school was associated with higher percent time in MVPA (P < 0.01), while participation in sport clubs was associated with higher percent time in MVPA (P < 0.01) in 15-year-olds. No associations with percent time sedentary were observed in either age group.

Conclusion

Frequency of outdoor play after school is a significant correlate for daily time in MVPA in 9-year-olds, while this correlate is attenuated in favour of participation in sport and exercise in clubs in 15-year-olds. Targeting walking to school or reduced TV viewing time in order to increase time in daily MVPA in children is unlikely to be sufficient. Correlates related to time spent sedentary need further examination.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: BioMed Central, 2009. Vol. 9, 322
Keyword [en]
assessment, accelerometer, children, health behaviours
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Sport and Fitness Sciences Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Sports Science; Biomedicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2878DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-322ISI: 000270675100001PubMedID: 19735565Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-70349311819OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-2878DiVA: diva2:135396
Available from: 2009-06-03 Created: 2009-05-25 Last updated: 2017-02-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Physical activity assessed by accelerometry in children
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Physical activity assessed by accelerometry in children
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Physical activity (PA) is likely to constitute an important aspect of health-related behaviour in growing children. However, the knowledge on levels and patterns of PA in children is limited, due to the difficulty of precisely measuring this complex behaviour in normal daily living. Information on variables that significantly contributes to the variability in PA patterns is warranted as it may inform strategies for promoting physically active lifestyles in school-age youth. The overall purpose of the present studies was to increase the knowledge about the use of accelerometry when assessing PA in children, and examine sources of variability in objectively assessed PA behaviour in children. The study samples included 1954 nine- and 15-year-old children from four geographical locations in Europe (Norway, Denmark, Estonia and Portugal), and additionally 16 Swedish seven-year-old boys and girls. PA was assessed by the MTI accelerometer during free-living conditions, including both weekdays and weekend days. A part of the PA assessment was conducted using different time sampling intervals (epochs). Predictions of estimates of daily energy expenditure from accelerometer output were calculated using previously published equations. Potential correlates of PA behaviour were assessed by self-report. The main findings were; a) the epoch setting had a significant effect when interpreting time spent at higher intensities of PA in young children, b) predicted energy expenditure differed substantially between equations, c) between- and within-day differences in overall levels of PA, time spent at moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity and time spent sedentary differed between age, gender and geographical location, d) outdoor play and sports participation were differentially associated with objectively measured PA in 9- and 15-year-old children. It is concluded that the sporadic nature of children’s physical activity require very short epoch settings for detecting high intensity PA, and that different published equations for estimations of daily energy expenditure cannot be used interchangeably. The interpretations of average energy expenditure from available equations should be made with caution. Based on a large sample of children of different ages, weekend days and leisure time during weekdays seem appropriate targets when promoting PA in order to increase the proportion of children achieving current recommendations on health enhancing PA. Further, significant correlates of PA behaviour dependent on age group are presented, which should be considered when planning interventions for promoting PA in school-age youth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2008. 84 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Medicine, ISSN 1652-4063 ; 12
Keyword
activity patterns, adolescents, health promotion, activity monitor, sedentary
National Category
Clinical Science
Research subject
Biomedicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-1739 (URN)978-91-7668-570-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-02-07, Hörsal G, G-huset, Örebro universitet, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-01-17 Created: 2008-01-09 Last updated: 2015-01-24Bibliographically approved

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