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Original articles  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2003 March;43(1):85-9

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Age and gender-related physical activity. A descriptive study in children using accelerometry

Santos P. 1, Guerra S. 1, Ribeiro J. C. 1, Duarte J. A. 2, Mota J. 1

1 Research Center in Physical Activity and Leisure University of Porto, Porto, Portugal 2 Laboratory of Experimental Morphology University of Porto, Porto, Portugal


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Aim. Pre­cise meas­ures of ­habitual phys­ical ­activity are nec­es­sary in ­studies ­designed to: 1) doc­u­ment the fre­quency and dis­tri­bu­tion of phys­ical ­activity in ­defined pop­u­la­tion ­groups; 2) deter­mine the ­amount or ­dose of phys­ical ­activity ­requires to influ­ence spe­cific ­health param­e­ters. The pur­pose of ­this ­study was to doc­u­ment the age and ­gender-­related phys­ical ­activity ­levels on a ­sample of ­school chil­dren.
­Methods. The ­sample for the ­present ­study com­prised 157 chil­dren (­boys n=64 and ­girls n=93), ­aged 8 to 15 ­years-old. The CSA ­activity mon­itor was ­used as an objec­tive ­measure of ­daily phys­ical ­activity. ­Each stu­dent in the ­present ­study was sched­uled to ­wear the CSA 3 ­times ­during the ­week of mon­i­toring.
­Results. ­Boys ­were ­involved (p≤0.05) in ­more ­time ­MVPA ­than ­girls. How­ever ­only in the 11-13 ­year old ­group ­were ­found sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences (p≤0.05). ­Within ­gender, sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences ­were ­found out ­among 11-13 ­years old (48.7 min) and 14-16 ­years (72.2 min). The ­time in ­MVPA ­increased ­across age ­group in ­both ­males and ­females. ­Boys par­tic­i­pated in ­more ­periods of con­tin­uous phys­ical ­activity, ­bouts of 10 and 20 min respec­tively, ­than ­girls. How­ever no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences ­were ­found out.
Con­clu­sion. Our ­data ­showed ­that chil­dren ­under obser­va­tion, ­excepted ­girls in the 11-13 ­year old ­group, ­appear to ­meet the min­imum phys­ical ­activity ­level rec­om­mended for ­health. The ­data ­also sug­gested ­that ­boys are ­more ­active ­than ­girls are and ­that ­they ­were sig­nif­i­cantly ­more ­engaged in ­more ­time ­MVPA ­than ­girls did. Sur­pris­ingly our ­data ­showed an ­increase in ­MVPA ­time as age ­increases. Fur­ther ­studies are ­needed to com­pare the dif­ferent cut off ­points ­assessed ­during ­daily ­activity.

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