The aim of this study was to examine the energy expenditure (EE) measured using indirect calorimetry (IC) during playground games and to assess the validity of heart rate (HR) and accelerometry counts as indirect indicators of EE in children´s physical activity games. 32 primary school children (9.9 ± 0.6 years old, 19.8 ± 4.9 kg · m-2 BMI and 37.6 ± 7.2 ml · kg-1 · min-1 VO2max). Indirect calorimetry (IC), accelerometry and HR data were simultaneously collected for each child during a 90 min session of 30 playground games. Thirty-eight sessions were recorded in 32 different children. Each game was recorded at least in three occasions in other three children. The intersubject coefficient of variation within a game was 27% for IC, 37% for accelerometry and 13% for HR. The overall mean EE in the games was 4.2 ± 1.4 kcals · min-1 per game, totaling to 375 ± 122 kcals/per 90 min/session. The correlation coefficient between indirect calorimetry and accelerometer counts was 0.48 (p = .026) for endurance games and 0.21 (p = .574) for strength games. The correlation coefficient between indirect calorimetry and HR was 0.71 (p = .032) for endurance games and 0.48 (p = .026) for strength games. Our data indicate that both accelerometer and HR monitors are useful devices for estimating EE during endurance games, but only HR monitors estimates are accurate for endurance games.
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