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.
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.
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.
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.