The need to understand where and how much physical activity (PA) children accumulate has become important in assisting the development, implementation, and evaluation of PA interventions. The purpose of this study was to describe the daily PA patterns of children during the segmented school-week.
829 children participated by wearing pedometers (Yamax-Digiwalker SW-200) for 5 consecutive days. Students recorded their steps at arrival/departure from school, Physical Education (PE), recess, and lunchtime.
Boys took significantly more steps/day than girls during most PA opportunities; recess, t(440) = 8.80, P < .01; lunch, t(811) = 14.57, P < .01; outside of school, t(763) = 5.34, P < .01; school, t(811) = 10.61, P < .01; and total day, t(782) = 7.69, P < .01. Boys and girls accumulated a similar number of steps t(711) = 1.69, P = .09 during PE. For boys, lunchtime represented the largest single source of PA (13.4%) at school, followed by PE (12.7%) and recess (9.5%). For girls, PE was the largest (14.3%), followed by lunchtime (11.7%) and recess (8.3%).
An understanding of the contributions of the in-school segments can serve as baseline measures for practitioners and researchers to use in school-based PA interventions.
Brusseau is with the Dept of Kinesiology, Sport Studies, and Physical Education, College of Brockport, Brockport, NY. Kulinna, van der Mars, and Darst are with the Dept of Physical Education, Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ. Tudor-Locke is with the Walking Behavior Laboratory, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA. Ferry is with the Dept of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.