This study sought to ascertain the energy expenditure (EE) associated with different sedentary and physically active free-play activities in primary school-aged children.
Twenty-eight children (13 boys; 11.4 ± 0.3 years; 1.45 ± 0.09 m; 20.0 ± 4.7 kg·m-2) from 1 primary school in Northwest England engaged in 6 activities representative of children’s play for 10 minutes (drawing, watching a DVD, playground games and free-choice) and 5 minutes (self-paced walking and jogging), with 5 minutes rest between each activity. Gas exchange variables were measured throughout. Resting energy expenditure was measured during 15 minutes of supine rest.
Child (Schofield-predicted) MET values for watching a DVD, self-paced jogging and playing reaction ball were significantly higher for girls (P < .05).
Utilizing a field-based protocol to examine children’s free-living behaviors, these data contribute to the scarcity of information concerning children’s EE during play to update the Compendium of Energy Expenditures for Youth.