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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


ESCALANTE, Yolanda et al. Relationship between daily physical activity, recess physical activity, age and sex in scholar of primary school, Spain. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.85, n.5, pp.481-489. ISSN 2173-9110.

Background. Sedentary behavior has negative effects on health. School recess playgrounds provide important settings and opportunities for children to engage in physical activity. The aim of this study was to describe the daily physical activity (PA) and physical activity during recess of Primary School children and the relationship with sex and age. Method. 783 children (379 boys and 359 girls; age=8.5±1.7 years; range 6 to 11) participated in the study. Daily PA of each child was measured using a validated questionnaire that was completed by the parents of each child, whilst playground recess PA was measured using accelerometry. An ANOVA was used to determine differences by sex in each age group with confidence intervals and effect sizes. Also MANOVA was used to analyse the main and interaction effects of age and sex on variables. The Scheffe post-hoc test was used for comparisons. Results. Boys reported higher daily PA levels than girls across all age groups. The differences was bigger in seven (47,6±6,5 vs 42,6±6,4 MET/day; p<0,001), eight (48,5±8,6 vs 41,9±4,6MET/day; p<0,001) and nine years old (49,8±8,3 vs 44,1±5,9 MET/day; p<0,001). Measured recess PA was higher for boys compared to girls at age nine (28,4±12,0 vs 23.7±11,8 motion counts; p<0,039), ten (28,5±10,8 vs 23,7±10,0 motion counts; p<0,014) and eleven years old (24,6±12,2 vs 20,7±9,3 motion counts; p<0,047). Conclusion. Daily PA is higher in boys compared to girls across all age groups (six to eleven years old). On the other hand, recess PA was higher only in boys between nine and eleven years.

Keywords : Chilhood; Physical activity; Exercise; Health; Sedentary lifestyle; Spain.

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