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Assessment of intensity, prevalence and duration of everyday activities in Swiss school children: a cross-sectional analysis of accelerometer and diary data


Bringolf-Isler, B; Grize, L; Mäder, U; Ruch, N; Sennhauser, F H; Braun-Fahrländer, C (2009). Assessment of intensity, prevalence and duration of everyday activities in Swiss school children: a cross-sectional analysis of accelerometer and diary data. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 6:50.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Appropriately measuring habitual physical activity (PA) in children is a major challenge. Questionnaires and accelerometers are the most widely used instruments but both have well-known limitations. The aims of this study were to determine activity type/mode and to quantify intensity and duration of children's everyday PA by combining information of a time activity diary with accelerometer measurements and to assess differences by gender and age. METHODS: School children (n = 189) aged 6/7 years, 9/10 years and 13/14 years wore accelerometers during one week in winter 2004 and one in summer 2005. Simultaneously, they completed a newly developed time-activity diary during 4 days per week recording different activities performed during each 15 min interval. For each specific activity, the mean intensity (accelerometer counts/min), mean duration per day (min/d) and proportion of involved children were calculated using linear regression models. RESULTS: For the full range of activities, boys accumulated more mean counts/min than girls. Adolescents spent more time in high intensity sports activities than younger children (p < 0.001) but this increase was compensated by a reduction in time spent playing vigorously (p = 0.04). In addition, adolescents spent significantly more time in sedentary activities (p < 0.001) and accumulated less counts/min during these activities than younger children (p = 0.007). Among moderate to vigorous activities, children spent most time with vigorous play (43 min/day) and active transportation (56 min/day). CONCLUSION: The combination of accelerometers and time activity diaries provides insight into age and gender related differences in PA. This information is warranted to efficiently guide and evaluate PA promotion.

BACKGROUND: Appropriately measuring habitual physical activity (PA) in children is a major challenge. Questionnaires and accelerometers are the most widely used instruments but both have well-known limitations. The aims of this study were to determine activity type/mode and to quantify intensity and duration of children's everyday PA by combining information of a time activity diary with accelerometer measurements and to assess differences by gender and age. METHODS: School children (n = 189) aged 6/7 years, 9/10 years and 13/14 years wore accelerometers during one week in winter 2004 and one in summer 2005. Simultaneously, they completed a newly developed time-activity diary during 4 days per week recording different activities performed during each 15 min interval. For each specific activity, the mean intensity (accelerometer counts/min), mean duration per day (min/d) and proportion of involved children were calculated using linear regression models. RESULTS: For the full range of activities, boys accumulated more mean counts/min than girls. Adolescents spent more time in high intensity sports activities than younger children (p < 0.001) but this increase was compensated by a reduction in time spent playing vigorously (p = 0.04). In addition, adolescents spent significantly more time in sedentary activities (p < 0.001) and accumulated less counts/min during these activities than younger children (p = 0.007). Among moderate to vigorous activities, children spent most time with vigorous play (43 min/day) and active transportation (56 min/day). CONCLUSION: The combination of accelerometers and time activity diaries provides insight into age and gender related differences in PA. This information is warranted to efficiently guide and evaluate PA promotion.

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32 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:03 Feb 2010 08:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:49
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1479-5868
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-6-50
PubMed ID:19656362
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-28580

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