Research Study Abstract

Predictors and grade level trends of school day physical activity achievement in low-income children from the U.S.

  • Published on Oct. 21, 2015

Abstract: The achievement of recommended levels (≥ 30 min/day) of school moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is paramount to decrease risk of chronic disease in children from low-income families. The purpose of this study was to examine the predictors and grade-level trends of school day MVPA achievement in low-income children. Data were collected during the Fall of 2014 on 1232 children (Mean age = 8.8 ± 1.6 years; 625 girls, 607 boys) recruited from three low-income schools from the state of Utah in the U.S. Children wore pedometers for one school week and a stratified random subsample (n = 533) also wore accelerometers to record sedentary time and MVPA. Generalized linear mixed models were employed to calculate odds ratios for achieving school MVPA standards (≥ 30 min/day) from various predictors and to determine odds of achievement across grade levels, accounting for school and classroom clustering. Odds of meeting MVPA standards were 3 times greater if a student achieved at least 6000 steps during the school day (p < 0.01), and were 55% lower for every 1% increase in sedentary time (p < 0.001). Older children had 26% lower odds of meeting the recommended levels of MVPA compared to children in an immediately younger grade level (p < 0.05). A significant proportion of MVPA variance was explained by classroom and school affiliation (Rho = 0.09 to 0.54, p < 0.001). Daily steps, sedentary times, grade level, and classroom and school affiliation associate with school MVPA achievement in low-income children.


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