Quantifying and Characterizing Physical Activity among 5- to 6- and 10- to 12-Year-Old Children: The Children’s Leisure Activities Study (CLASS)

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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The aim of this study was to describe the type, frequency, duration, and intensity of children’s physical activity and to examine differences by sex, age, and SES. Participants consisted of 5- to 6-year-old (n = 291) and 10- to 12-year-old (n = 919) children and their parents taking part in the Children’s Leisure Activities Study (CLASS). Parents completed proxy questionnaires about their child’s activity, and all children wore an accelerometer for 8 days. Accelerometry data showed that younger children accumulated approximately 4 hrs of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) per day, and older children accumulated approximately 2 hrs per day. Fewer than three- quarters of 10- to 12-year-old boys and less than half of 10- to 12-year-old girls recorded 120 min of MVPA per day. Significant differences in the number of activities, as well as the type and frequency of activities performed, were observed by age and sex. The findings indicate that physical activities that appeal to older girls, such as lifestyle, noncompetitive activities, should be considered in the development of physical activity promotion strategies.

Telford is with the Division of Exercise Science, School of Medical Sciences, RMIT University, PO Box 71, Bundoora, 3083, Australia. Salmon, Timperio, and Crawford are with the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise Science & Nutrition, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood, 3125, Australia.

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