Research Study Abstract

Comparison Of Physical Activity Between Children Living Within Vs. Outside City Limits In Rural Environments

  • Presented on May 31, 2013

Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare physical activity (PA) and sedentary time (ST) in children that reside within city limits (WCL) and those that live outside city limits (OCL) in a rural environment.

Methods Physical activity and ST were assessed for 7 days via accelerometers (ActiGraph GT3X+) in 154 fifth and sixth grade students from 5 rural (population ≤ 6,576) communities across South Dakota. Subject addresses were geocoded (Web USC GIS and Google Earth) to determine WCL or OCL classification. Sixty-seven students (39 WCL; 28 OCL) met PA compliance standards. Daily minutes of ST, light PA (LPA), moderate PA (MPA), vigorous PA (VPA) and moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) were calculated for OCL and WCL subjects using age appropriate cut points. Data were analyzed during waking hours for the full week, weekend, and weekdays. The weekday data were broken down into the following time periods: before school, during school, and after school. All data were presented as mean ± SD. Differences in ST and PA between WCL and OCL data were compared via ANCOVA, while controlling for BMI and community of origin. Statistical significance set at p ≤ 0.05.

Results There was no difference in age, height, weight, or BMI between WCL and OCL groups (p>0.05). Significant differences were found between WCL and OCL during the school day in minutes/day of ST (WCL: 302.4 ± 7.3, OCL: 291.8 ± 40.2; p = 0.003), LPA (WCL: 100.5 ± 24.3, OCL: 106.3 ± 31.6; p = 0.005), MPA (WCL: 13.7 ± 3.6, OCL: 16.0 ± 6.4; p = 0.010), and MVPA (WCL: 20.7 ± 6.2, OCL: 25.7 ± 10.6; p = 0.014), such that ST was higher and LPA, MPA, and MVPA were lower in the WCL compared to the OCL group during the school day. Significant differences were also observed between WCL and OCL after school in minutes/day of VPA (WCL: 6.6 ± 5.7, OCL: 8.7 ± 6.9; p = 0.037). No other significant differences were found in any other comparisons made (p>0.05).

Conclusion Findings of this study indicate that there are small differences in PA and ST between 5th-6th grade children residing WCL and OCL in rural environments with a trend towards lower PA and higher ST in children WCL when compared to children OCL.

Supported by National Research Initiative Grant no. 2011-67002-30202 from the Food and Agriculture Division of Nutrition.

Presented at

ACSM 2013 Annual Meeting


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