Children's segment specific light physical activity across two years of schoolbased program
Grasten, A, Children's segment specific light physical activity across two years of schoolbased program, Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 15, (1) Article 15. ISSN 2247-8051 (2015) [Refereed Article]
Making sure that children do not sit down for long periods of time can help them perform better in school and to improve their health. The aim of the study was to examine the patterns of children's light physical activity patterns and gender differences through the Physical Activity as Civil Skill Program 2012-2014. The program was designed to create a new physically active school culture, which required changes in psychological and physical school environment. The sample comprised 76 elementary school children at age of 10 to 13-year-old in Northeast-Finland. The data was collected through three measurement phases from October 2012 to April 2014. Accelerometers were used for the objective assessments of light-intensity physical activity. To improve the reliability of the measures, a hundred and thirty-seven children including the current sample were asked how many days per week and minutes per day they spent in light-intensity activities. The findings highlighted that
children's total light physical activity sustained stable through two years of program. However, the segments of before-school, after-school, short break, and girls' class time showed declining patterns across the period. Both girls and boys accumulated the majority of their weekly light physical activity during the weekdays and out-of-school periods compared to weekends and in-school time. The results provided important insights into the
development of elementary children's light physical activity across different activity segments. The program seemed to be effective to prohibit declining levels of children's light physical activity. The attention should also be paid on out-of-school, especially after-school and weekend activities, because children spend only limited time of their waking hours at the school on the weekdays.
elementary school, light physical activity, physical education, accelerometer, longitudinal, program