International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity edition:7 location:Banff, Alberta, Canada date:21-24 May 2008
Purpose: To describe physical activity (PA) levels and sedentary behaviours in 4- and 5-year-old pre-school attending children (N= 157) on 2 weekdays and 2 weekend days. Methods: PA was quantified with accelerometers (MTI Actigraph model 7164 or GT1M), making use of 15 sec interval sampling. Additionally, a questionnaire was filled out by the parents and the preschool teachers. Results: Total PA was 701 mean accelerometer counts/minute. According to the cut points of Sirard et al., the children were daily sedentary for 9.6 hours (85%), while they engaged for 34 minutes (5%) in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA). Only 7% of the children engaged in MVPA for 60 minutes/day and the standard of 120 minutes of total activity was reached by 26%. The MVPA engagement did not significantly differ between weekend and weekdays. PA levels did not differ among genders. According to the reports of the preschool teachers, the children spent 87 minutes per day (± 33) outside during preschool attendance, the time spent on unstructured free play was 121 min/day (± 12). According to the parents children attended preschool for 34 hours/week (± 3), children viewed television or played on a computer for an average of 74 minutes (± 47) on weekdays and 140 minutes (± 78) on weekend days. At home children played outside for an average of 46 minutes (SD = 40) on a weekend day and 16 minutes on a weekday (± 28). Conclusion: Physical activity levels in this sample of preschoolers were far lower than recommended.