Aim: This study assessed estimates of physical activity in primary
school children aged 6–10 years by means of a validated questionnaire
(Weston et al. 1999).
Methods: The Previous Day Physical Activity Recall questionnaire
(PDPAR; n = 9965) was administered to primary school students in
grades 1–5 from 154 sampled schools of northwest Italy to provide
measures of relative energy expenditure. The PDPAR questionnaire
required recall of the previous day’s activities for the after school
hours (3:00–11:00 pm), segmented into seventeen 30-min intervals
with relative intensities. Bouts of moderate to vigorous activity as
well as sedentariness were identified in terms of metabolic equivalent
and minutes per day, corresponding to each level of intensity
(sedentary, light, moderate, vigorous).
Results: More than half of the interviewed sample (61 %) reported
C5 h of sedentariness during the after school time, far beyond the
max 2 h warned by the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines
. However, on average, children reached C60 min of WHO-recommended
moderate-vigorous activity (60 %) while half of the
sample reached C20 min of sole vigorous activity (50 %) as
encouraged by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
(Corbin et al. 2004).
Conclusions: According to this one-day snapshot prevalence,
sedentariness accounts for a greater after-school time in primary
school children of northwest Italy. Physical activity-based educational
interventions are advocated for promoting healthy lifestyles.
- physical activity
- primary school