A cross-sectional design was used to study the associations among sex, age, maximal aerobic speed (MAS), and running time to exhaustion at 100% of MAS (Tlim). The subjects were 1,448 schoolchildren (685 males and 763 females) ages 6 to 17 years. The MAS of males increased significantly (p < .001) from 6 (9.0 ± 0.8 km · h−1) to 17 years (14.1 ± 1.6 km · h−1). The MAS of females increased significantly (p < .001) from 6 (8.7 ± 0.6 km · h−1) to 12 years (10.7 ± 1.2 km · h−1), then remained relatively constant at approximately 11 km · h−1 between 12 and 17 years. Tlim increased significantly from 6 to 13 years for males and from 6 to 11 years for females, then remained relatively constant around 350 s for both males and females.
Serge Berthoin, Georges Baquet, Fabienne Mantéca, Ghislaine Lensel-Corbeil and Michel Gerbeaux
Michael J. Duncan, Lorayne Woodfield, Yahya Al-Nakeeb and Alan M. Nevill
The purpose of this study was to compare physical activity levels between white and South Asian children in the UK. The data were obtained from 606, 11–14 year old schoolchildren (397 white; 209 Asian). Physical activity was assessed using the ‘four by one day’ recall questionnaire from which the time spent in moderate and vigorous physical activity was calculated. Boys were significantly more active than girls (p = .0001), and white children reported significantly greater physical activity than south Asian children (p = .001). Mean ± SD of time spent in moderate and vigorous activity was 90.2 ± 65.4 mins and 68.2 ± 49.3 mins for white and south Asian children and 103.5 ± 63.4 mins and 65.6 ± 53.5 mins for boys and girls respectively. These findings indicate that south Asian children are significantly less active than their white peers and there may be a need for specific interventions to target South Asian children particularly.
Jim Dollman, Kevin Norton and Graeme Tucker
The aim of this study was to compare urban and rural South Australian primary schoolchildren on measures of anthropometry, fitness, and environmental mediators of physical activity. The sample was comprised of 445 urban and 205 rural boys and 423 urban and 158 rural girls, all age 10–11 yrs at the time of testing. After controlling for socioeconomic status and ethnicity, rural girls and boys were faster over 1.6 k than their urban counterparts while rural girls were also faster over 50 m. Rural residence independently predicted participation in organized activity, increasing involvement in club sport, and decreasing involvement in school sport. Rural children reported a greater likelihood of participating in two or more physical education classes per week. It is evident that urban and rural South Australia differ in ways which impact on fitness and physical activity patterns of upper primary age children.
Cheng-Hsiu Lai, Yin-Lan Tsai, Shih-Wei Chou, Fon-Chin Lin, Chung-Yu Chen, Shu-Man Chen, Wen-Chih Lee, Yi-Hung Liao and Chia-Hua Kuo
The majority of schoolchildren with asthma do not participate in regular physical activity due to a risk of exercise-induced asthma. The aim of the study was to determine the glycemic characteristic of Taiwanese children with persistent asthma. The current study found that children with asthma (age 10.4 ± 0.4 years) exhibited lower whole-body insulin sensitivity and poorer physical fitness compared to children without asthma (age 10.9 ± 0.6 years). Postprandial glucose and insulin, BMI, and waist circumference of the children with asthma were greater than those of the healthy children. Four patients with asthma regularly participating in a permissible amount of physical activity exhibited lower postprandial glucose and insulin levels compared to those of the rest of the children with asthma who were totally lacking physical activity. A permissible amount of physical activity appears to be beneficial for children with asthma in the prevention of the early onset of insulin resistance.
Nikos Ntoumanis, Anne-Marte Pensgaard, Chris Martin and Katie Pipe
The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth account of amotivation in compulsory school physical education by examining its major causes, the way it is displayed, and how it can be tackled. From an initial participant pool of 390 British schoolchildren ages 14 to 15 years, 21 of them (15 girls and 6 boys) were selected to participate in semi-structured interviews. They were categorized as being amotivated based on their responses to a questionnaire measuring motivation in physical education. Three main perceived causes of amotivation were identified in the interviews: learned helplessness beliefs, low need satisfaction, and contextual factors. Amotivation was mainly displayed by nonattendance, low involvement in the class, and low intention to be physically active after leaving school. Students’ suggestions for reducing amotivation focused on the enhancement of positive affect, need satisfaction, and structural/organizational changes. The findings are discussed in conjunction with contemporary motivation theories and models of amotivation.
Terence Dwyer, James F. Sallis, Leigh Blizzard, Ross Lazarus and Kimberlie Dean
The objective of this study was to examine the association of scholastic performance with physical activity and fitness of children. To do so, school ratings of scholastic ability on a five-point scale for a nationally representative sample of 7,961 Australian schoolchildren aged 7–15 years were compared with physical activity and fitness measurements. Consistently across age and sex groups, the ratings were significantly correlated with questionnaire measures of physical activity and with performance on the 1.6-kilometer run, sit-ups and push-ups challenges, 50-meter sprint, and standing long jump. There were no significant associations for physical work capacity at a heart rate of 170 (PWC170). The results are concordant with the hypothesis that physical activity enhances academic performance, but the cross-sectional nature of the observations limits causal inference, and the disparity for PWC170 gives reason to question whether the associations were due to measurement bias or residual confounding.
The 1981 Education Act implies that, in England, provided certain conditions are satisfied, schoolchildren with special needs should be taught in an integrated setting (Advisory Centre for Education, 1981). In 1982 the English Sports Council set up national demonstration projects to promote mass participation in sport throughout all sections of the community. Every Body Active (E.B.A.) is such a project, based at Sunderland Polytechnic, and it focuses on the participation and integration of young people (11–24 years) with physical or sensory disabilities in community sport and recreation and school physical education. The project is divided into two phases. The research phase, initiated in January 1987, ran for a period of 15 months during which data were collected in order to establish needs. Subsequently several schemes were established to be undertaken in the implementation phase, initiated in April 1988. The focus of this paper is the physical education scheme and the research findings that preceded its formation. On the basis of the research phase, a physical education scheme has been implemented that focuses on a special school for pupils with physical disabilities, its physical education program, and links with mainstream schools and external community sport and recreation agencies.
Sigurbjörn Árni Arngrímsson, Torarinn Sveinsson and Erlingur Jóhannsson
The purpose of this study was to validate an equation that has been used to predict peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) and, if invalid, to develop a new equation predicting VO2peak from performance on a cycle ergometer test. Forty-five 9- and 15-year-old children underwent a VO2peak test and were randomized into developmental (DEV) and cross-validation (C-V) groups. The equation under validation, which requires knowledge of resting energy expenditure (REE), underestimated VO2peak (p < .05), but once adjusted with a new parameter calculated in DEV, it cross-validated well (r YY′ = .98, SE = .18 L · min−1). The accuracy of a new prediction equation built in DEV, not using REE, was confirmed in C-V (r YY′ = .98, SE = .17 L · min−1) and the slope and intercept were not different from the line of identity (p < .05). VO2peak in schoolchildren can be predicted with good accuracy from an equation based on the whole sample [VO2peak′ = −1.5986 + 0.0115 · (maximal power output) + 0.0109 · (mass) + 0.1313 · (gender) + 0.0085 · (maximal heart rate)].
Kelly R. Evenson, Brian Neelon, Sarah C. Ball, Amber Vaughn and Dianne S. Ward
Despite the growing interest in active (ie, nonmotorized) travel to and from school, few studies have explored the measurement properties to assess active travel. We evaluated the criterion validity and test–retest reliability of a questionnaire with a sample of young schoolchildren to assess travel to and from school, including mode, travel companion, and destination after school.
To assess test–retest reliability, 54 children age 8 to 11 years completed a travel survey on 2 consecutive school days. To assess criterion validity, 28 children age 8 to 10 years and their parents completed a travel survey on 5 consecutive weekdays.
test–retest reliability of all questions indicated substantial agreement. The questions on mode of transport, where you will go after school, and how you will get there also displayed substantial agreement between parental and child reports.
For this population, a questionnaire completed by school-age children to assess travel to and from school, including mode, travel companion, and destination after school, was reliably collected and indicated validity for most items when compared with parental reports.
Melody Oliver, Scott Duncan, Celia Kuch, Julia McPhee and Grant Schofield
Aims were to investigate sex, ethnicity, and age differences in achieving daily step count and television (TV) watching recommendations in schoolchildren.
Participants were 615 children (n = 325) and adolescents (n = 290) aged 5 to 16 years. Activity was assessed over 5 days using pedometers; TV time was collected via parental proxy-report and self-report. Ethnic, sex, and age differences in step counts, TV time, and odds of meeting TV and step count recommendations were examined for weekdays, weekend days, and overall using generalized estimation equation modeling.
Overall, boys were more active than girls (P < .001). Adolescents were more active than children (P = .044), watched more TV (P = .005), and were less likely to meet TV watching recommendations (P = .004). Non-European children watched significantly more TV (P = .008), and were significantly less likely to meet TV recommendations than non-European children (P = .001). Participants watched more TV and accumulated less steps on weekend days than weekdays.
Multifaceted interventions focusing on both increasing activity and decreasing TV time are needed, especially on weekends. Children and girls may benefit more from activity interventions, while ethnic-specific interventions focusing on TV habits may be most efficacious for adolescents.