Changes in physical activity in pre-schoolers and first-grade children: longitudinal study in the Czech Republic

Sigmund, E, Sigmundová, D and El Ansari, Walid (2009) Changes in physical activity in pre-schoolers and first-grade children: longitudinal study in the Czech Republic. Child: Care, Health and Development, 35 (3). pp. 376-382. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2009.00945.x

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The transition from kindergarten to first year at school is associated with a variety of psychosocial changes in children. The aim of this longitudinal study was to identify the changes in children's physical activity (PA) upon entry to first year at school; and to identify the days of the school week that exhibit low PA. METHODS: We monitored the PA levels of 176 children twice: initially in kindergarten and again in first-year classes at school. The age (mean +/- standard deviation) of children at kindergarten was 5.7 +/- 0.5 years and 6.7 +/- 0.5 years at the first year of elementary school. We evaluated PA employing the activity energy expenditure (AEE - kcal/kg/day) from Caltrac accelerometer and daily amount of steps (STEPS) from Yamax pedometer. Participants were monitored over 7 days to include a weekend. RESULTS: The mean AEE was 11.5 in pre-school girls and 12.9 kcal/kg/day in boys; and STEPS were 9923 steps/day in girls and 11 864 in boys on weekdays. At weekends, it was 11.5 kcal/kg/day in girls and 12.7 kcal/kg/day in boys and 10 606 steps/day in girls and 11 182 steps/day in boys. The mean AEE and STEPS in first-grade girls and boys was 9.9 and 9.8 kcal/kg/day respectively, and 7911 and 8252 steps/day respectively on weekdays, and 8.8 and 9.0 kcal/kg/day and 6872 and 7194 steps/day respectively at weekends. First-grade school children had significantly lower PA than pre-school children on weekdays (P < 0.0001) and at weekends (P < 0.0001). Decline in PA on weekdays was during time spent at school (P < 0.0001) and not during after-school children's leisure time. CONCLUSION: The parts of the week when first-grade school children show low PA are the times spent in lessons and in after-school nursery and at weekends. PA needs to be promoted using intervention programmes mainly during the after-school nursery programmes and at weekends.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 Submission. childcare;physical activity;pre-school children;school
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 16:03
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:11

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