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Anita Hurtig Wennlöf, Agneta Yngve and Michael Sjöström

Background:

Steadily declining physical activity, especially among children, and the possible adverse health outcomes such behavior could precede, is a general concern. We evaluated whether a presumed decrease in physical activity has been accompanied with a decrease in aerobic fitness of Swedish children.

Methods:

A maximum cycle ergometer test was performed in 935 children age 9 and 15 y, and the results were compared with previously reported data.

Results:

Estimated peak oxygen uptake (mL × min-1 × kg-1) in 9-y-old subjects was 37.3 in girls and 42.8 in boys; and in 15-y-olds, 40.4 in girls and 51.5 in boys. In the 9-y-olds, aerobic fitness remained lower in the current study compared to earlier data, but in the 15-y-olds the result did not differ from the 1952 data after adjustment for methodological differences.

Conclusion:

Our results suggest a change towards decreased aerobic fitness in 9-y-old, but not in 15-y-old, Swedish children during a 50-y time span.

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Andreas Nilsson, Ulf Ekelund, Agneta Yngve and Michael Söström

The aim was to investigate (a) the effect of five different time sampling intervals (epoch settings) on different intensity levels when assessing physical activity with an accelerometer (CSA, WAM 7164), and (b) whether the placement of the monitor (on the hip and back) would affect the outcome. Sixteen children (aged 7 yrs) were monitored for four consecutive days. A significant main epoch effect was found for time spent at very high (p < .01) and high (p < .01) intensity activities. No significant difference between the two placements regarding total amount of physical activity (cnts • min−1) or different intensity levels was observed. In conclusion, different time sampling intervals, but not placement, should be carefully considered when assessing physical activity.