Daily physical activity in Swedish children aged 8–11 years

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Abstract

Introduction

Physical inactivity is hypothesized to be a contributing factor in the development of a variety of diseases. Recommendations for an adequate level of physical activity have been proposed. There are few studies in which the physical activity in children has been objectively assessed. The purpose of this study was to estimate objectively the level of physical activity in Swedish children.

Materials and methods

We studied 248 children (140 boys and 108 girls) aged 7.9–11.1 years from Malmö, Sweden. Physical activity was measured with accelerometers. Children were instructed to wear the accelerometers for 4 days. The mean daily activity was expressed as the mean counts per minute of recording. The time that the child spent performing moderate or vigorous activity was calculated by using previously established cutoff points.

Results

The mean daily activity was higher in boys than in girls, 751±243 vs 618±154 counts/min (P<0.001). All children fulfilled the recommendation for moderate physical activity for 60 min or more per day. Ninety-two percent of the boys and 86% of the girls performed vigorous activity, for 20 min or more per day.

Conclusion

All children, aged 8–11 years, who participated in this study reached the recommended level of physical activity, with boys being more active than girls.

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