Sex, Ethnic and Socio-Economic Differences in Children’s Physical Activity

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Lorayne Woodfield
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Michael Duncan
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Yahya Al-Nakeeb
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Alan Nevill
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Charles Jenkins
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The present study examines the relationship of sex, ethnicity, and socio-economic status to physical activity levels of young people. Participants were 301 males and females (12.9 – 0.81 years). Physical activity was measured using the four by one-day physical activity recall questionnaire. ANOVA revealed that high socio-economic status children reported greater average daily energy expenditure levels than low socio-economic status children (p < .01). The daily energy expenditure of white-Caucasian children was significantly higher than black or Asian children. White boys were significantly more active than white girls, but no such sex differences were observed among black and Asian children. Although activity was always greater at weekends, a decline in activity by school year was observed on Saturdays and Sundays but with no such decline observed on weekdays.

L. Woodfield, M. Duncan, and Y. Al-Nakeeb are with the Department of Physical Education and Sports Studies, Newman College of Higher Education, Bartley Green, Birmingham, England; A. Nevill is with the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall, England; and C. Jenkins is with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, England.

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