Physical Activity Levels and its Related Factors in Elementary School Children

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  • 小学校4年生の日常生活における身体活動量とその関連要因
  • ショウガッコウ 4ネンセイ ノ ニチジョウ セイカツ ニ オケル シンタイ カツドウリョウ ト ソノ カンレン ヨウイン

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<p> The physical activity levels of elementary school children are decreasing at an alarming rate. This has led to serious problems in these children's physical and mental development. These problems can be prevented by inculcating a healthy lifestyle in children from a young age. An effective intervention program that promotes physical activity is important for children to develop a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, we need to examine the physical activity levels of children and their related factors. This study investigated the actual lifestyles of children and determined the factors correlated with physical activity levels.</p><p> The participants consisted of142 fourth-graders (79 boys and 63 girls) from 2 similar schools. Their physical activity levels were assessed for 10 days (6 weekdays and 2 weekends) using accelerometers (Lifecorder EX; Suzuken). Two factors―the number of daily steps and the energy expenditure of physical exercise (EEPE) ―were taken into account to gauge the participants' physical activity levels. The participants then completed a questionnaire that assessed their health status, health behavior, lifestyle, attitude, and environment.</p><p> The proportion of overweight among the children (boys: 15%, girls: 11%) was higher than the national average. The number of daily walking steps throughout the study period (10 days: boys: 13,441 steps, girls: 10,293 steps) was2000―3000 steps lower than that recorded in previous studies. The number of daily walking steps and the EEPE for the boys were significantly higher than those of the girls, and both sexes were significantly more active on weekdays than on weekends. The “practice of physical activity out of school," “practice of physical activity during recesses," “practice of physical activity during holidays," “place of play during recesses," and “place of play during holidays" were significantly different between the boys and the girls. This finding indicated that boys exercise and play outdoors more frequently than girls do. Moreover, the non-physical activity time on weekends was significantly longer than that on weekdays. Relationship between EEPE and variables which showed a significant level of less than 10% in the association with dependent variable in primary analysis were tested by the analysis of covariance using body height as covariate for the adjustment of maturity. It showed that the children's physical activity levels were correlated with “the eagerness for physical activity or sport."</p><p> It is important to develop intervention programs that promote physical activity by incorporating “the eagerness for physical activity or sport."</p>


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