EjSBS - The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

Online ISSN: 2301-2218
European Publisher

Fourth Graders’ Objectively Measured Week Long Physical Activity


We explored 10–11 year-old children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) to describe how it is distributed within weekdays, weekend days, the segments of a schoolday and how it meets the global recommendation of ≥ 60 min daily MVPA. Participants were from two fourth classes (N = 33; 20 boys, 13 girls) in the city of Vantaa, capitol area of Finland. PA was measured using a Polar Active® (PAC) wrist-worn accelerometer. A diary supported the accelerometer data. Raw metabolic equivalent (MET) data from accelerometers were transmitted to computer, organized and uploaded to SPSS. We used MET-thresholds moderate PA (MPA) ≥ 3 6, vigorous (VPA) ≥ 6 and consequently moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) ≥ 3. Average daily MVPA was 92 minutes. Differences between weekdays and weekend days existed, but they were at least partly caused by the weather. Global recommendation was met by 21%, more often by girls than boys. However, almost everyone met the recommendation ≥ 4 a week. In segments of the schoolday (lessons, long recesses, short recesses and lunch breaks) the children were physically quite active at 5, 12, 4 and 8 minutes, respectively. Hypothetically summed up, a schoolday accumulated 50 minutes MVPA. Boys accumulated quite systematically slightly more MVPA during schooldays and leisure time. Schooldays play an important role in children’s total MVPA and the current situation is decent. However, teacher educators, decision makers, school administration, principals, teachers and school staff should still aim at finding new ways of making schooldays even more physically active.

Keywords: Physical activitychildrenobjective measurementschooldaysegments

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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

About this article

Published online: 01.01.2019
Pages: 2891-2908
Publisher: Future Academy
In: Volume 24, Issue 1
DOI: 10.15405/ejsbs.252
Online ISSN: 2301-2218
Article Type: Original Research
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