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Ambulatory physical activity levels of white and South Asian children in Central England

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Aims:  To assess ambulatory physical activity in white and south Asian children from Central England and to examine variation in activity between weekdays and weekends.

Methods:  536 primary school children [255 boys and 281 girls, mean age (SD) = 9.6 (1.0) years] wore a sealed pedometer for 4 days (2 weekend and 2 weekdays). Repeated measures analysis of covariance was used to examine weekend versus weekday, gender, ethnic and socio‐economic status differences in steps/day controlling for age, hours of daylight and body mass index (BMI).

Results:  Children attained significantly higher mean steps/day during weekdays than weekends (p=0.001) with age being more strongly associated with weekend than weekday steps/day (p=0.014). The decline in steps/day from weekdays to weekends was greater in high compared to low socio‐economic status children (p= 0.002). White children attained higher mean steps/day than south Asian children (p=0.015). BMI was negatively associated with steps/day (p=0.004). 39.2 and 29.9% of white and south Asian children met the BMI‐referenced cut‐offs for health.

Conclusion:  Physical activity was greater during weekdays compared to weekends, was associated with BMI, age and socio‐economic status and white children were more active than south Asian children.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Biomolecular and Sports Studies, Coventry University, UK 2: Department of Physical Education and Sports Studies, Newman University College, UK 3: Department of Biomolecular and Sports Science, Performing Arts and Leisure, University of Wolverhampton, UK

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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