Objectively measured activity in 8–10-year-old Turkish children: Relationship to health-related fitness

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Background:No objective data regarding the physical activity (PA) levels of young Turkish children currently exist. Furthermore, whether habitual PA is associated with the components of health-related fitness among children is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the patterns and levels of objectively measured PA in prepubertal Turkish children and its relationship with body fatness, aerobic and anaerobic fitness.Methods:Eighty-nine 8–10-year-old children (47 boys and 42 girls) participated in this study. The intensity, duration and frequency of PA were assessed from 4 days of heart rate monitoring with 15 s sampling intervals. Body fatness was determined by measuring skinfold thickness. Anaerobic fitness was evaluated using the Wingate test. All the children performed the shuttle run test to assess aerobic fitness.Results:The PA of boys was significantly higher than that of girls (P < 0.05). Gender difference is more marked for vigorous PA. Instead of sustained PA, short bouts of PA, lasting up to 1 min, were characteristic of PA patterns of children. The duration and frequency of PA were positively related to aerobic fitness and negatively related to fatness for both gender groups (P < 0.05). These relationships were more prominent for accumulated PA than for other measures of PA. No relationship was obtained between PA and anaerobic fitness in either gender group (P > 0.05).Conclusions:Intermittent, accumulated moderate intensity PA may be more important than sustained vigorous intensity PA in influencing children's fitness and fatness levels. Detailed studies are needed to clarify which dimension of PA is more beneficial for health-related fitness in children.

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