Differences in Body Fatness, Fat Patterning and Cardio-Respiratory Fitness Between Groups of Australian Children Formed on the Basis of Physical Activity and Television Viewing Guidelines

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Evidence suggests that a substantial proportion of children meet guidelines for sufficient physical activity, but also exceed TV guidelines. Health-related consequences of this combination are unknown.

Methods:

843 children, (age 10-11 y), were surveyed for health-related fitness [endurance performance (20 m MST), skinfolds, waist girth], daily TV and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Children were grouped using daily TV (≤ 120 min) and MVPA (≥ 60 min) guidelines: hiTV-hiMVPA/“technoactives”’; hiTV-loMVPA/“screenies”; and loTV-hiMVPA/“sporties.” Groups were compared on health-related fitness measures.

Results:

There was a trend (P = 0.07) towards higher girls’ skinfolds among “screenies” than “sporties.” Boys’ waist girths were higher among “technoactives” than “sporties” (P = 0.008). Male “technoactives” outperformed “screenies” on the 20 m MST (P = 0.03). Female “sporties” (P = 0.004) and “technoactives” (P = 0.0002) outperformed “screenies” on the 20 m MST.

Conclusions:

“Technoactives” were no different than “sporties” on endurance fitness but exhibited less favorable fat distribution among boys. Overall, “screenies” exhibited the least favorable health profiles.

Dollman is with the Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide SA 5001 Australia. Ridley is with the School of Education, Flinders University, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia.

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