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Kelly A. Mackintosh, Kate Ridley, Gareth Stratton and Nicola D. Ridgers

Objective:

This study sought to ascertain the energy expenditure (EE) associated with different sedentary and physically active free-play activities in primary school-aged children.

Methods:

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.

Results:

Child (Schofield-predicted) MET values for watching a DVD, self-paced jogging and playing reaction ball were significantly higher for girls (P < .05).

Conclusions:

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.

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Mirko Brandes, Berit Steenbock and Norman Wirsik

; 109 ( 1–2 ): 1 – 9 . PubMed doi:10.1113/jphysiol.1949.sp004363 10.1113/jphysiol.1949.sp004363 15394301 13. Mackintosh KA , Ridley K , Stratton G , Ridgers ND . Energy cost of free-play activities in 10- to 11-year-old children . J Phys Act Health . 2016 ; 13 ( 6 suppl 1 ): S71 – S74

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Maura Coulter and Catherine B. Woods

Background:

The promotion of physical activity among young children has become a universal challenge. Children spend large amounts of time in school, making it an attractive setting in which to promote positive health behaviors. The purpose of this study was to investigate school-based physical activity behavior and its determinants in young Irish children.

Methods:

Participants self-reported school-based free-play activity, commuting to school behavior, and levels of enjoyment of physical education and physical activity.

Results:

Data were collected from 605 children, mean age was 8.8 years (±2.2; range 5−14 years), 44% were female. Thirty-nine percent of children actively commuted to school, with 40% of males compared with 34.8% of females walking to school. Boys reported more physically active free-play activity (88.6% at break and 90.9% at lunch time) compared with girls (70.8% and 83.7% respectively). Physical education was a top 3 favorite subject for 78% of children and 50.7% reported they would prefer to take part in more active pastimes directly after school.

Conclusions:

Strategies for increasing active commuting are required. Boys and girls are more alike than unlike in their behaviors and attitudes. Teachers should capitalize on the fact that children’s favorite subject is physical education to promote physical activity.

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John Cairney, John Hay, Brent Faught, James Mandigo and Andreas Flouris

This study investigated the effect of gender on the relationship between Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and self-reported participation in organized and recreational free-play activities. A participation-activity questionnaire and the short form Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency was administered to a large sample of children ages 9 to 14 (N = 590). A total of 44 children (19 boys, 25 girls) were identified as having probable DCD. Regardless of gender, children with DCD had lower self-efficacy toward physical activity and participated in fewer organized and recreational play activities than did children without the disorder. While there were no gender by DCD interactions with self-efficacy and play, girls with DCD had the lowest mean scores of all children. These findings are discussed in terms of the social norms that influence boys and girls’ participation in physical activity.

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Alise E. Ott, Russell R. Pate, Stewart G. Trost, Dianne S. Ward and Ruth Saunders

In order to effectively measure the physical activity of children, objective monitoring devices must be able to quantify the intermittent and nonlinear movement of free play. The purpose of this study was to investigate the validity of the Computer Science and Applications (CSA) uniaxial accelerometer and the TriTrac-R3D triaxial accelerometer with respect to their ability to measure 8 “free-play” activities of different intensity. The activities ranged from light to very vigorous in intensity and included activities such as throwing and catching, hopscotch, and basketball. Twenty-eight children, ages 9 to 11, wore a CSA and a heart rate monitor while performing the activities. Sixteen children also wore a Tritrac. Counts from the CSA, Tritrac, and heart rates corresponding to the last 3 min of the 5 min spent at each activity were averaged and used in correlation analyses. Across all 8 activities, Tritrac counts were significantly correlated with predicted MET level (r = 0.69) and heart rate (r = 0.73). Correlations between CSA output, predicted MET level (0.43), and heart rate (0.64) were also significant but were lower than those observed for the Tritrac. These data indicate that accelerometers are an appropriate methodology for measuring children’s free-play physical activities.

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Duncan Macfarlane and Wong Tung Kwong

Levels of activity and enjoyment were measured in 73 Hong Kong primary school children (39 girls and 34 boys), during regularly scheduled physical education (PE) classes. Classroom activities were classified into one of 4 types (ball games, athletics, gymnastics and free play). Activity levels were monitored by heart rate telemetry and by direct observation (CARS), whilst enjoyment was scored using a 5-point Likert scale. Results showed that the average PE class used 22 minutes of the scheduled 35 class time, whilst the students spent 3.7 min in moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) activity (60-90%HRR), and nearly 50% of the children spent less than 2 minutes with their heart rate above 159 beats · min−1. There were no significant differences in activity levels between genders. Ball games and free play generally produced statistically higher heart rates and CARS values than gymnastics. The levels of enjoyment were low (3.7 − 1.0), but did not vary significantly between gender or activity type. A variety of social and environmental factors may contribute to these low activity and enjoyment levels.

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Sarah A. Amin, Paula J. Duquesnay, Catherine M. Wright, Kenneth Chui, Christina D. Economos and Jennifer M. Sacheck

,” and “3 sports.” Free play only consisted of unstructured activities including but not limited to playing on a playground, playing tag, jump rope, and skipping. Sports took precedence in the coding if listed with a free play activity. Therefore, if a child indicated a free play activity and one

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Jessica L. Chandler, Keith Brazendale, Clemens Drenowatz, Justin B. Moore, Xuemei Sui, Robert G. Weaver and Michael W. Beets

contribution of both free play and organized activities to time spent in MVPA. 5 , 14 First, Rosenkranz et al 14 found that children engage in MVPA for 35.4% and 42.6% of organized and free play activity sessions, respectively. Although this is in agreement with the findings from the current study

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Kimberly A. Clevenger, Karin A. Pfeiffer and Cheryl A. Howe

measuring the energy expenditure of a variety of tasks in a variety of settings ( 1 ). PMUs can capture youths’ free-play activity as measurements can be conducted outside, on the playground, or on a sports field, and they do not require the participant to be connected to a stationary metabolic cart ( 1

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Verity Booth, Alex Rowlands and James Dollman

Australia . J Paediatr Child Health . 2010 ; 46 ( 4 ): 197 – 203 . PubMed ID: 20105247 doi:10.1111/j.1440-1754.2009.01661.x 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2009.01661.x 20105247 24. Harten N , Olds T , Dollman J . The effects of gender, motor skills and play area on the free play activities of 8–11 year old