Correlates of Children’s Moderate and Vigorous Physical Activity During Weekdays and Weekends

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Vigorous-intensity physical activity (VPA) may confer superior health benefits for children compared to moderate-intensity physical activity (MPA), but the correlates of MPA and VPA may differ. The study purpose was to investigate associations between selected enabling, predisposing, and demographic physical activity correlates, and MPA and VPA during weekdays and at weekends.


Data were gathered from 175 children (aged 10 to 11 years). MPA and VPA were assessed using accelerometers. Correlates were measured at child and school levels. Multilevel analyses identified correlates that significantly predicted MPA and VPA.


Gender significantly predicted weekday MPA (P < .001), and weekend MPA (P = .022) and VPA (P = .035). Weekday VPA was predicted by gender (P < .001), indices of multiple deprivation score (P < .003), BMI (P = .018), and school playground area (P = .046).


Gender was the most significant correlate of MPA and VPA. Children most likely to engage in weekday VPA were boys with lower deprivation scores and BMI values, with access to larger playground areas.

Fairclough is with the REACH Group and Faculty of Education, Community, and Leisure, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom. Ridgers is with the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia. Welk is with the Dept of Health and Human Performance, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.