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Levels of Physical Activity on Children and Adolescents in Comparison With Existing Recommendations for Health
- Published on 05/2002
Purpose To examine the levels of PA in children and adolescents in relation to published recommendations.
Methods total of 439 nine-year-olds (202 boys and 237 girls) and 364 fifteen-year-olds (156 boys and 208 girls) agreed to participate. Amount of PA was measured during four consecutive days (two weekdays and two weekend days) with an activity monitor (CSA) attached on the right hip Time (mm) spent at moderate (3 METs) and high (6 METs) intensity was based upon published cut-off limits (Preedson et al, MSSE, 30: 777-817 1998), and number of consecutive 10-minute episodes of PA of at least moderate intensity was calculated.
Results Ninety-seven percent of the nine-year-olds were physically active daily of at least moderate intensity for 30 accumulated minutes and 75% had 60 minutes accumulated. Ninety percent of the fifteen-year-olds were physically active daily of at least moderate intensity for 30 accumulated minutes and 50% had 60 minutes accumulated Only 40% of the nine-year-olds and 49% of the fifteen-year-olds had at least one consecutive 10-minute episode of moderate PA of the total time accumulated per day. Twenty-one percent of the nine-year-olds and 28% of the fifteen-year-olds had at least 10 accumulated minutes per day of high intensity PA.
Conclusion The results show that the interpretation of children’s and adolescents’ activity levels may become equivocal since it is depending upon the recommendation chosen! The results also indicate an intermittent pattern in children’s and adolescents’ activity behavior, which may question the appropriateness of recommending activities of longer continuous duration.