Research Study Abstract

Daily physical activity patterns and compliance with guidelines in preschoolers

  • Presented on May 21, 2014

Purpose: Regular physical activity (PA) in children is associated with improved health. The aims of this study were to describe the patterns of daily PA and to assess compliance with recommendations for total physical activity in preschool children.

Methods: This study sample comprised 856 preschool children, aged 3 to 6 years. Children wore an ActiGraph GT1M accelerometer for 7 consecutive days. Children were classified as meeting or not meeting PA recommendations based on at least 3 hrs per day of total PA (TPA). Daily TPA was defined as the sum of light, moderate, and vigorous PA and was estimated using a count cut-point of ≥ 800 cpm, which corresponded to the lowest count rate recorded for slow walking.

Results: The daily mean minutes of TPA were of 162min. Boys engaged significantly more than girls (boys – 170±35min vs girls – 153±34min, p≤0.001). In both sexes, sedentary behaviour accounted for the majority of daily time. The average proportions of time engaged in active activities were as follows: 13% non-locomotor activities, 8% in light locomotor activities, 7% in moderate intensity activities and 4% in vigorous intensity activities. Overall, 29% of the sample met the TPA recommendation. Boys were significantly more likely to achieve 3 or more hours of TPA than girls (boys – 36,4% vs girls – 21,7%, p≤0.001).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that only about 30% of children met current internationally recognized guidelines for physical activity in young ages. Therefore, early interventions are thus recommended.

Presented at

ISBNPA 2014 Annual Conference