Indexed on: 06 Feb '07Published on: 06 Feb '07Published in: Preventive Medicine
To assess ambulatory physical activity in school children from central England, to examine any variation in activity between weekdays and weekends and to determine the percentage of children meeting recently identified cut-off steps/day for health.208 British primary school children (101 boys and 107 girls, mean age 9.3+/-0.9 years) from central England wore a sealed pedometer for 4 consecutive days (2 weekend and 2 weekdays) during 2006 from which daily step counts were determined. Data were collected over winter, spring and summer terms. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to examine potential time (weekend versus weekday), gender and age differences in steps/day.Children attained significantly higher mean steps/day during weekdays than weekends (p<0.001), and boys attained significantly higher mean steps/day than girls (p<0.05). Mean steps/day values were 13,827 (38,201) and 10,334 (4436) for weekdays and weekends and 12,263 (3789) and 11,748 (3310) for boys and girls respectively. 28.7% of boys and 46.7% of girls met or exceeded the BMI referenced cut-offs for health.Physical activity was greater during weekdays compared to weekends and boys were more active than girls but the majority of children did not meet the health-related cut-off points.