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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology

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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 May;55(5):513-26

language: English

Correlates of objectively measured physical activity in 5-6-year-old preschool children

Grønholt Olesen L. 1, Lund Kristensen P. 1, Korsholm L. 2, Boye Koch A. 3, Froberg K. 1

1 Centre of Research in Childhood Health (RICH), Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark;
2 Private consultant in statistics;
3 VIA University College, Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth Culture, Research Programme of Body and Learning, Risskov, Denmark


AIM: The aim of this study was to identify gender specific physical activity correlates in Danish preschool children, using a socioecological approach.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in Odense, Denmark. The gender specific models were based on data from 174 boys and 177 girls, 5-6 years of age and enrolled in 40 randomly selected preschools. Percentage of total daily time spent in moderate and vigorously physical activity (MVPA) was measured using ActiGraph accelerometers over 5 preschool days and 2 days off. Thirty-nine potential correlates of child MVPA across 5 domains were tested for
associations with gender specific MVPA.
RESULTS: The gender specific models consistently identified motor coordination and the parents’ perceptions of their child’s activity preferences during free play to be positively associated with MVPA. Days with rain or no preschool attendance were negatively associated with MVPA. For boys, rural area and the size of the preschool playground were positively associated with MVPA, whereas for girls, it was the age and the relative preschool indoor area.
CONCLUSION: Individual and overall environmental correlates of MVPA were identified. However, most correlates were not or only weakly related to MVPA. It is possible that the interaction with peers and surrounding adults might contribute the most to preschool child MVPA.

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