Differences in School-Day Patterns of Daily Physical Activity in Girls According to Level of Physical Activity

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine whether there are differences in physical activity (PA) during specific periods of the day among active and less-active girls.

Methods:

The sample comprised 54 girls age 10 to 15 years. PA was assessed by accelerometry. Girls were grouped as less active, active, and highly active.

Results:

Total minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was significantly higher in more-active girls than in their less-active peers (113 and 72 min/d, respectively). The most-active groups were significantly more engaged in MVPA during the outside-of-school period than were less-active girls. Highly active girls spent a significantly higher amount of their MVPA time outside of school than did the less-active group, which spent a significantly higher proportion of MVPA time during late afternoon.

Conclusion:

Outside-of-school PA is a key point for MVPA engagement. Particularly for the less-active girls, however, schools might provide additional PA.

The authors are with the Research Center of Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Porto, 4200-450, Porto, Portugal.