Physical Activity of 6-Year-Old Children: Validation of Two Proxy Reports

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Heart rate monitoring was used to evaluate the validity and reliability of 2 proxy report measures in assessing moderate to vigorous physical activity (MYPA) in 39 six-year-old children. Significant positive correlations were found between the proxy measures and corresponding heart rate data for school hours and leisure time, respectively (teacher reports, r = .58, p < .001; parent reports, r = .71 to .81, p < .001), but these decreased when each proxy measure was compared with heart rate data collated over a 3-day period (teacher reports, r = .40, p = .01; parent reports, r = .68, p < .001). Repeating the measurements gave a positive test-retest reliability coefficient of r = .84 (p < .001) and r = .64 (p < .001) for teacher and parent reports, respectively. The results indicate that both proxy reports can be useful tools in assessing MVPA in young children but that leisure-time activity reports provide a better basis for extrapolation in assessing weekly MVPA.

Y. Manios is with the Preventive Medicine and Nutrition Clinic in the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Crete, Iraklio, Crete, Greece. A. Kafatos is the Director of the Preventive Medicine and Nutrition Clinic in the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Crete. G. Markakis is with the Department of Biology at the University of Crete.

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