Daily School Physical Activity Is Associated with Higher Level of Physical Activity Independently of Other Socioecological Factors

Amanda Lahti, Björn Rosengren, Jan-Åke Nilsson, Magnus Dencker, Magnus Karlsson
Sports 2020 July 29, 8 (8)
Only one fifth of children aged 11-17 years are physically active for 60 min (min)/day. As physical activity (PA) levels track from childhood to adulthood, it is important to establish healthy PA behavior early in life. This study aims to evaluate whether daily school PA is associated with objectively measured PA independently of other socioecological factors. This study includes 209 children (120 boys) aged 9.8 ± 0.6 (mean ± SD) years from four government-funded schools in Sweden. One school including 113 children (70 boys) had 40 min of daily school PA (intervention) and three schools including 96 children (50 boys) had 60 min of school PA/week (control). PA was measured during four serial days with accelerometers. General PA (GPA) was defined as mean counts per minute (cpm). Socioecological factors were collected by questionnaires, and anthropometric traits by measurements. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test whether sex, age, relative age, body height, fat mass, lean mass, screen time activity, parental educational level, parental attitude towards PA, parental PA, sibling(s)' PA, living in a house or apartment, and whether the child was allocated to 40 min daily school PA or 60 min school PA/week, was independently associated with GPA. Daily GPA was found to be 686.9 ± 211.9 cpm. Independently of the other included factors, daily school PA was associated with +81.8 (15.7, 147.8) cpm compared with 60 min PA/week. This study infers that daily school PA is an appropriate strategy to promote PA in 10-year-old children, independently of different socioecological factors.

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