Physical activity patterns of 10-11 year olds during the school week
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractPhysical inactivity among children has both immediate and long term health consequences. Recommended guidelines state that children should engage in at least 60 minutes of at least moderate physical activity each day to promote and maintain health. The main purpose of this study was to determine the proportion of 10-11 year old children who were engaging in sufficient physical activity to meet the recommended levels throughout the school week. This study also aimed to determine differences by day, to examine the contexts in which children were achieving their activity and to investigate gender differences. Fifty three 10-11 year olds (18 boys, 35 girls) completed activity diaries each day for one week during the school term. Activities were recorded for the whole of the waking day and intensity assigned to one of four levels, very light, light, moderate or vigorous. The contexts in which the activities took place were categorised as, school based clubs, school based free play, home based clubs or home based free play. Paired t tests, independent t tests, cross tabulation and Chi square tests were conducted to determine differences by day, by activity category, and by gender. The proportions meeting recommended levels varied from 64.2% on Sunday to 83.0% on Thursday. Lower proportions met recommended levels per weekend day, 70.8% than per school day, 78.5%. Significantly (P < 0.05) more time was spent in free play than organised activities. The proportion of total daily moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) from free play was 74.2% on school days and 81.4% on weekends. Out of school activities were significantly (P < 0.05) greater than in school activities, accounting for 62.1% of total daily MVPA. The proportion of boys achieving recommended levels was greater than the proportion of girls on each day of the week, the differences between the genders being significant (P < 0.05) on Saturday and Sunday. Boys engaged in more free time activity than girls both on school days and weekend days, with in school free time and weekend day free time activity being significantly (P < 0.05) greater. Girls engaged in more organised activities than boys on school days and weekend days but not significantly (P < 0.05). On each day of the week a proportion of children did not meet recommended activity levels to benefit health. Activity levels differed by day, gender and context. Both boys and girls achieved more of their MVPA from free play than from organised activities both in and out of school. Initiatives which focus on improving the time and facilities available to children to enable them to participate in safe free play may be effective in increasing health enhancing physical activity.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
The following license files are associated with this item: