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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Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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 (gaoz@umn.edu) is corresponding author.
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