Fourth Graders' Objectively Measured Week Long Physical Activity
European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences
We explored 10-11 year-old children's moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) to describe how it is distributed within weekdays, weekend days, the segments of a schoolday and how it meets the global recommendation of ≥ 60 min daily MVPA. Participants were from two fourth classes (N = 33; 20 boys, 13 girls) in the city of Vantaa, capitol area of Finland. PA was measured using a Polar Active® (PAC) wrist-worn accelerometer. A diary supported the accelerometer data. Raw metabolic equivalent
... tabolic equivalent (MET) data from accelerometers were transmitted to computer, organized and uploaded to SPSS. We used MET-thresholds moderate PA (MPA) ≥ 3 < 6, vigorous (VPA) ≥ 6 and consequently moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) ≥ 3. Average daily MVPA was 92 minutes. Differences between weekdays and weekend days existed, but they were at least partly caused by the weather. Global recommendation was met by 21%, more often by girls than boys. However, almost everyone met the recommendation ≥ 4 a week. In segments of the schoolday (lessons, long recesses, short recesses and lunch breaks) the children were physically quite active at 5, 12, 4 and 8 minutes, respectively. Hypothetically summed up, a schoolday accumulated 50 minutes MVPA. Boys accumulated quite systematically slightly more MVPA during schooldays and leisure time. Schooldays play an important role in children's total MVPA and the current situation is decent. However, teacher educators, decision makers, school administration, principals, teachers and school staff should still aim at finding new ways of making schooldays even more physically active.