Understanding patterns of young children's physical activity after school-it's all about context: a cross-sectional study

Lina Engelen, Anita C. Bundy, Jamie Lau, Geraldine Naughton, Shirley Wyver, Adrian Bauman, Louise Baur

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: To promote healthy lifestyles, we need to understand more about the patterns of children's activities after school.

    METHODS: Twenty 5- to 7-year-old children and their parents participated in this study. Parents used 'real-time' diaries to report children's activities and contextual information at 3 randomly selected times per day, over 4 week days. Reporting was repeated after 13 weeks. Simultaneously children wore Actical accelerometers.

    RESULTS: Approximately 300 simultaneous accelerometer measurements and diary entries were compared. Mean physical activity levels were highest when children engaged in activities generally considered as "active" and lowest for doing "nothing." However, the range within activities was very large; some children who reported TV/screen time accumulated high accelerometry counts and conversely, some children were practically sedentary during organized sports. Children spent most (78%) of their after school time indoors, but the children were significantly more active outdoors than indoors [t(74.8) = 5.0, P < .001].

    CONCLUSIONS: Accelerometer data in conjunction with real-time diaries provide a more complete understanding of the value of outdoor play in increasing movement opportunities for children's after school activities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)335-339
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
    Volume12
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

    Keywords

    • Accelerometer
    • Context
    • Experience Sampling Method
    • Young children

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