Young Children’s Energy Expenditure and Moderate-to-vigorous Physical Activity on Weekdays and Weekends

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Few studies have examined young children’s leisure- and school-based energy expenditure (EE) and moderateto-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The purpose of this study was to explore children’s estimated EE rates and time spent in MVPA in 3 time segments: at-school, after-school, and weekends.


A total of 187 second and third grade children from 2 elementary schools participated in the study. Accelerometers were used to assess children’s 5-day EE and MVPA. Multiple 2 (Grade) × 2 (Gender) ANOVAs with repeated measures (Time) were conducted to examine the differences in the outcome variables.


Significant time effects on EE and MVPA were revealed. Children’s EE rate and minutes in MVPA per day were higher during after school and weekends than at school.


Although children were more active outside of school, their MVPA during weekdays and weekends still fell far short of the recommended level of 60 minutes/day.

Lee and Gao are with the School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota. Stodden is with the Dept of Physical Education and Athletic Training, The University of South Carolina.

Gao ( is corresponding author.