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Archivos argentinos de pediatría

Print version ISSN 0325-0075


GODARD, Claude et al. Variability of physical activity in 4 to 10-year-old children: a study by accelerometry. Arch. argent. pediatr. [online]. 2012, vol.110, n.5, pp.388-393. ISSN 0325-0075.

Introduction. When compared to popular questionnaires, accelerometry provides more reliable information regarding physical activity. Thus, the objective has been to document the variability of physical activity in Chilean children in relation to age, gender, nutritional status and days of the week, and to determine how many of them meet the recommendation for moderate to vigorous physical activity for more than an hour a day. Population and methods. One hundred and nine (109) school children aged 4-10 (67 boys, 42 girls) wore an accelerometer for 2, 3 or 4 consecutive days. Of them, 30 were obese (BMI>95th percentile by age and gender). In each subject, levels of physical activity were expressed in counts per minute (cpm) and means (SD) of cpm/hour. Moderate to vigorous physical activity was defined by the daily sum of cpm>900. Results. Daytime physical activity had a mean of 21,697 (662) cpm/hour with considerable variation from one child to another, and from one time of the day to another in the same child. Individual cpm/hour was significantly associated to moderate to vigorous physical activity (R = 0.954). Differences were found between girls and boys (p < 0.01) and between obese and non-obese children (p < 0.01). There were no differences between children 9 years (p = 0.12). There was a slight difference between weekdays and weekends. Fifty-six (56) of 67 boys (83.6%) and 24 of 42 girls (57.1%) met the recommendation for moderate to vigorous physical activity for more than 60 minutes a day. Conclusion. There is a physical activity defcit in Chilean school children under 10 years, particularly in girls and obese kids.

Keywords : School children; Physical activity; Accelerometry; Obesity.

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