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Gerson Luis de Moraes Ferrari, Victor Matsudo, Tiago V. Barreira, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Peter T. Katzmarzyk and Mauro Fisberg

Background:

Few studies have used ecological models to study multiple levels of association with objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in young children from middle-income countries. The purpose of this study was to examine potential correlates of objectively measured MVPA in Brazilian children.

Methods:

The sample consisted of 328 children. An Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer was used to monitor MVPA over 7 days. Body mass index and body fat percentage were measured using a bioelectrical impedance scale. Questionnaires completed by the children, their parents, and school personnel queried individual, family and home, and school-level environmental correlates.

Results:

Children averaged 59.3 min/d in MVPA (44.5% met MVPA guidelines), and 51.8% were overweight/obese. For boys and girls combined, significant correlates (P < .05) of MVPA were waist circumference (β = –.007), travel mode to school (β = .140), maternal employment status (β = –.119) and TV in bedroom (β –.107). In boys, significant correlates of MVPA were waist circumference (β = –.011), travel mode to school (β = .133), and maternal employment status (β = –.195). In girls, the only significant correlate of MVPA was travel mode to school (β = .143).

Conclusions:

Several factors were identified as correlates of MVPA in Brazilian children; however, only travel mode to school was common for both boys and girls.

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Beverley McKiddie and Ian W. Maynard

The primary aim of this study was to examine developmental differences in children's evaluation of their physical competence within the physical education lesson. Participants (N = 160) from two groups in secondary school (Year 7 and Year 10) completed two questionnaires that measured their levels of perceived competence and the criteria used to assess competence. The actual level of a participant’s physical competence was ascertained through teacher evaluation. Univariate and multivariate analyses of data disclosed three main findings. First, children’s accuracy in evaluating their own competence increases with age. Second, the sources of information children use to judge their ability is also age-dependent. Gender differences also emerged, indicating that overall males exhibited a greater preference for game outcome/ease of learning new skills as criteria to judge their competence. Third, the information sources children use in competency judgments was directly linked to the accuracy of these judgments.

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Jorge R. Fernandez-Santos, Jonatan R. Ruiz, Jose Luis Gonzalez-Montesinos and Jose Castro-Piñero

The aim of this study was to analyze the reliability and the validity of the handgrip, basketball throw and pushups tests in children aged 6–12 years. One hundred and eighty healthy children (82 girls) agreed to participate in this study. All the upper body muscular fitness tests were performed twice (7 days apart) whereas the 1 repetition maximum (1RM) bench press test was performed 2 days after the first session of testing. All the tests showed a high reproducibility (ICC > 0.9) except the push-ups test (intertrial difference = 0.77 ± 2.38, p < .001 and the percentage error = 9%). The handgrip test showed the highest association with 1RM bench press test (r = .79, p < .01; R 2 = .621). In conclusion the handgrip and basketball throw tests are shown as reliable and valid tests to assess upper body muscular strength in children. More studies are needed to assess the validity and the reliability of the upper body muscular endurance tests in children.

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Sally A. McLure, John J. Reilly, Sean Crooks and Carolyn D. Summerbell

A novel computer tool (peas@tees), designed to assess habitual physical activity levels in children aged 9 and 10 years, was evaluated. Study 1 investigated agreement between peas@tees and accelerometry in 157 children. Bland-Altman limits of agreement (LOA) revealed peas@tees underestimated physical activity levels compared with accelerometry (bias −21 min; 95% LOA -146–105). Study 2 investigated stability of peas@tees in a separate sample of 42 children. Intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.75 (95% CI 0.62–0.84). Computer tools are promising as a cheap, feasible, and useful method to monitor children’s habitual levels of physical activity at the group level.

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Alison L. Innerd and Liane B. Azevedo

Background:

The aim of this study is to establish the energy expenditure (EE) of a range of child-relevant activities and to compare different methods of estimating activity MET.

Methods:

27 children (17 boys) aged 9 to 11 years participated. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 routines of 6 activities ranging from sedentary to vigorous intensity. Indirect calorimetry was used to estimate resting and physical activity EE. Activity metabolic equivalent (MET) was determined using individual resting metabolic rate (RMR), the Harrell-MET and the Schofield equation.

Results:

Activity EE ranges from 123.7± 35.7 J/min/Kg (playing cards) to 823.1 ± 177.8 J/min/kg (basketball). Individual RMR, the Harrell-MET and the Schofield equation MET prediction were relatively similar at light and moderate but not at vigorous intensity. Schofield equation provided a better comparison with the Compendium of Energy Expenditure for Youth.

Conclusion:

This information might be advantageous to support the development of a new Compendium of Energy Expenditure for Youth.

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Elaine M. Murtagh and Marie H. Murphy

The purpose of this study was to (1) determine the physical activity levels of 9–11 year old children, and (2) compare the activity levels of children who commute to school by active and passive modes. 140 children aged 9–11 years (85 boys) were recruited from four urban Irish schools. Mode of commuting was assessed by questionnaire. Step counts were measured for 4 consecutive days. Mean daily step counts for the sample were 14386 ± 5634. Boys were significantly more active than girls (15857 ± 5482 vs. 12113 ± 5127 steps). Eighty-seven children (62.1%) traveled by car, 51 children (36.4%) walked to school, one child traveled by bus and one child cycled. Children who walked or cycled to school had higher daily step counts than those who traveled by passive modes (16118 ± 5757 vs. 13363 ± 5332 steps). Active commuting to school may therefore represent a worthwhile strategy for improving children’s physical activity levels.

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Kaori Ishii, Ai Shibata, Minoru Adachi, Yoshiyuki Mano and Koichiro Oka

Background:

Sedentary behaviors (SB) are associated with health indicators; however, there are currently very few studies that have examined these associations, especially in conjunction with psychological factors, in children. The current study examined the independent relationship between objectively assessed SB, and indicators of obesity and psychological well-being, among Japanese children.

Methods:

A total of 967 elementary-school children completed a cross-sectional survey. SB was measured with accelerometers for 7 consecutive days. Psychological well-being data (eg, anxiety and behavior problems) were collected via a self-report questionnaire. To determine the relationship of SB with degree of obesity and psychological well-being, linear regression analyses were conducted to relate the indicators of obesity and psychological well-being on SB, adjusted by gender, grade, percentage of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day, duration spent wearing the accelerometer, and degree of obesity.

Results:

SB was significantly related to behavioral/emotional problems (β = .280, P = .010, R 2 = .015). There was a statistically significant relationship between SB and anxiety (β = .206, P = .059, R 2 = .007). No significant association with degree of obesity was found.

Conclusions:

Excess SB relates higher levels of behavioral/emotional problems and anxiety. These results can inspire the development of interventions that promote well-being and enhance psychological health, by focusing on SB in Japanese children.

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Greet Cardon, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Dirk De Clercq, Renaat Philippaerts, Stefanie Verstraete and Elisatbeth Geldhof

The present study investigates whether physical fitness, physical activity, and determinants of physical activity are associated with reports of back and neck pain in children. A total of 749 children (mean age: 9.7 years ± 0.7) were evaluated, using a standardized physical fitness test (Eurofit), a physical activity questionnaire, and a pain prevalence questionnaire. Results indicate that physical fitness levels are not associated with back pain reports, but pain reports are lower in girls reporting higher frequencies of moderate physical activity and better estimates for attitude toward physical activity. Therefore, in girls, increased levels of physical activity might contribute to better back health.

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Greet Cardon and Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij

In this study pedometer counts were recorded for 6 consecutive days for 92 children (mean age = 9.6 years; range 6.5–12.7) and were compared with the number of minutes per day in which the participants engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Diaries filled out with the assistance of one of the children’s parents were used to determine minutes of MVPA. The average daily step count was significantly higher in boys than in girls, although the average daily MVPA engagement in minutes did not vary significantly between genders. Based on the regression equations, 60 min of MVPA was equivalent to 15,340 step counts in boys, 11,317 step counts in girls, and 13,130 step counts when results for both genders were combined. A moderate correlation (r = .39, p < .001) was found between pedometer step counts and reported minutes of MVPA. According to the present study findings, however, predictions and promotion of daily MVPA engagement in children based on pedometer counts per day should be made with caution.

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Collin Andrew Webster and Naoki Suzuki

The uptake of policies and recommendations to promote physical activity (PA) in American schools has been slow. It can be useful to investigate international contexts where school-based PA promotion has had more success and consider whether facilitative factors have transferability to American schools. This study employed a social ecological perspective to examine the school-based PA opportunities for Grade 2 students in Japan and the factors influencing these opportunities. Observations in five public schools, relevant documents, and interviews with teachers, principals, and district and ministry officials were analyzed using constant comparison. Findings showed multiple PA opportunities existed in daily routines and throughout the year. Government policy had a downstream influence on all lower levels of the education system. Many of the PA opportunities Japanese schools provided align with American recommendations, but different educational priorities between Japan and the United States might make implementing these opportunities more challenging in American schools.