It is speculated that rural Kenyan children are more physically active than those in developed countries. The purpose of this study was to examine pedometer-measured physical activity levels of western Kenyan youth.
Participants in this study were children in Levels 3 and 5 who attended a private primary school. The sample (n = 72) consisted of 43 girls and 29 boys (average age = 9.8 ± 1.1, range = 8−12 years). Age, gender, tribe, and height and weight measures were collected. Weight status category was determined according to CDC guidelines. Participants wore a sealed Yamax pedometer for 4 weekdays during the measurement period. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and 2-way ANOVA (age × gender).
The total sample averaged 14558 ± 3993 daily steps. There was no significant effect for age [F(4,68) = 1.682, P = .102] nor significant age × gender interaction [F(4,68)=1.956, P = .117]. There was a significant effect for gender [F(1,68) = 4.791, P = .033], with boys (16262 ± 4698) significantly more active than girls (13463 ± 3051).
The observed daily steps are higher than those observed in the U.S., similar to samples in other developed countries, but lower than Amish youth.
Croteau is with the Dept of Sports Medicine, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME. Schofield is with the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Towle is with the Dept of Athletics, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME. Suresh is with the Dept of Nursing, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME.