physical activity

Ambulatory physical activity, triglycerides and atheromatic index in preschool children


In the recent years it has been highlighted that health conditions associated with lack of physical activity (such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, etc.) can appear already from childhood. Therefore, health organizations worldwide have issued directives to organize physical activity (PA) at this age. The current study is focused in the relationship between the number of steps of pre-school children and their level of triglycerides and Atheromatic Index (AI) which is the ratio of total cholesterol over high-density cholesterol (HDL). The study sample was 30 children in the age of 4-6 years old without any diagnosed health issues. To evaluate the ambulatory activity of the children, pedometers Omron HJ-720IT-E2 were used. Morning blood samples were received, after the children were fasting for at least 12 hours. The statistical relationship between the number of steps per day, and the values of triglycerides concentration and AI was evaluated using Pearson correlation. The results showed a negative correlation between the number of steps and both triglycerides (p<.005) and AI (p<.001). It is therefore demonstrated that children without sufficient PA have a higher risk of serious health issues in their future life. In conclusion, the significance of PA from an early age needs to be emphasized and actions to organize the PA of preschool children should be taken.

Physical activity and screen time exposure in primary school aged children.


Children’s sedentary lifestyle and deficient physical activity, increase the dangers for many kinds of non-communicable diseases. Sedentary lifestyle is often related to the increasing tendency towards the use of new technology, mainly the on-screen games and applications. According to several surveys, the time of exposure to such on-screen activities is considered to be a significant risk factor for children. In the current survey, the relation between physical activity of school aged children and the time of exposure to screens was examined. Fifty children coming from Komotini, aged 7-9 years old, participated in this study. Their height and weight were measured with a stadiometer and a weight scale respectively, while their physical activity was estimated with the pedometer Omron HJ-720 ITE2. The time children spent on screen activities was recorded with a questionnaire which was completed by the children’s parents and was reexamined for the accuracy of the answers through interviewdiscussion with the parents during the completion process. For the data analysis a One Factor Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used and the significance level was defined at P<.001. The analysis showed that the children who spent more than 3 hours per day on screen activities, recorded less steps ( < 7500 steps per day ) than those who spent less than 2 hours per day ( P<.001 ). The results indicate a constantly increasing danger; children's game seem to be more and more limited to virtual gaming which takes place on a screen and this could lead to considerable limitation of active gaming. This could probably have dramatic health consequences on the later life of the kids and this should be carefully taken into consideration by the experts.

A review of the relationship between physical activity and motor proficiency in children


This review examined the associations of physical activity (PA) and motor proficiency (MP) in children. The 14 selected studies contained a variety of motor ability tests and the PA measured with the use of accelerometers, pedometers and questionnaires.  These studies provided various ways of estimation of PA and MP. Gender differences appeared in many studies for MP and PA but in general findings suggest that high time spent in sedentary behavior was a predictor of low motor coordination and MP is a significant predictor of PA in children. Finally are presented the limitations of the studies with the purpose to provide more valid and accurate measures of PA and MP in the future.

Relationship between rhythmic ability and type of motor activities in preschool children


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the rhythmic ability of pre-school children engaging in motor activities accompanied or not by music. A total of 180 children (90 boys and 90 girls) at the age of 5±0.5 were randomly selected from kindergartens of Magnesia area-Greece to participate in the study. The High/Scope Rhythmic Competence Αnalysis Τest (Weikart, 1989) was used for the evaluation of rhythmic ability using 2 testing tempos: 120 and 130 beats. The 3-way ANOVA revealed that all children performed significantly better in lower tempo (p< .05) and girls performed better than boys (p< .05). The test scores were significantly different among the three activity groups (p< .05) with the best performance shown on the group of motor activities accompanied by music and then the group of motor activities without music. Girls in the first group (activities accompanied by music) significantly surpassed boys of the same group in both testing tempos. In conclusion, motor abilities accompanied by music, play an important role to the development of rhythmic ability. More research is needed on the effects of music on the development of children’s rhythmic abilities taking into account gender and maybe former movement repertoire.

Concurrent Validity and Test-Retest Reliability of the Greek Version of the 3-Day Physical Activity Record in 13-15 yrs old Greek Adolescents


The purpose of this study was to examine the validity and the reliability of the Greek version of the self-report instrument “3day Physical Activity Record” (3dPAR-G, Pavlidou, Michalopoulou, Aggeloussis & Taxildaris, 2009). Participants were 57 high school students (Mean Age=14.02 y., SD=0.72 y.). Concurrent validity was assessed against the accelerometer (MTI/Actigraph) whereas reliability was assessed through two consecutive measurements that were performed two weeks apart. Participants wore the MTI/ Actigraph for five consecutive days and completed the 3dPAR-G for the last three of those days. Significant correlation was observed between MTI/Actigraph raw counts and 3dPAR-G average score (METs min. day-1, r = .41). Regarding reliability of the 3dPAR-G the intraclass correlation coefficient for total physical activity (MET/min. day-1), was significant (ICC = .57, p < .01). Finally, in terms of internal consistency, Cronbach’s alpha was estimated and was rather high (α = .81). Conclusively and within the limitations of the present study (small sample size, 5 days of objective physical activity monitoring), the results indicated that the 3dPAR-G is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing group-level reported physical activity in Greek adolescents aged 13-15 years.

A study on the accuracy of three pedometers


A study on the accuracy of three pedometers: Omron Walking style pro HJ-720IT-E2 (OHJ), Omron walking style II (OII) and Yamax SW-200 (YSW). This study examined the effects of walking speed on the accuracy of the above pedometers: Thirty two subjects (271.22 ± 28,4 months) walked on a treadmill at various speeds (54, 67, 80, 94, and 107 mmin-1) for five min stages. Two investigators determined steps simultaneously by a hand counter and a camera was recording all the trial. YSW and OHJ were measured on the right side and OII was measured on the left side. OHJ and OII did not differ a lot from actual steps at any speed (p>0.05), only YSW differed a lot at 54 m*min-1 (p<0.05). OHJ and OII appeared to be accurate at any speed and YSW provide accurate values at 64 m*min-1 and above.

Motor proficiency, physical activity and body mass index in preschool aged children


The purpose of this study was to compare the motor proficiency and the physical activity (PA) of preschool children with different body mass index (BMI). Fifty-three preschoolers (26 boys and 27 girls), aged 4-5 years, were divided, according to their BMI, to those with: a) normal BMI, b) overweight children and c) obese children. Their motor proficiency was determined by the ‘Motorik’ Module test battery and their PA was evaluated by using the interview ‘Interviewleitfaden zur Aktivität für Kinder von 4 bis 6 Jahren’. According to the IOTF standards, the 22.6% and 9.4% of the children were categorized, as overweight and obese, accordingly and they had no statistically significant difference in their motor performance, when compared with children with normal BMI. However, the weekly participation in at least 60 min daily accumulation of physical activity, was significant lower (MD=1.80, p<.05) in obese children than normal weight peers. The results of the present study are particularly useful, for those who are involved in pre-school education, as they suggest that physical inactivity is strongly related to obesity in preschool children and notify the necessity of Physical Education in the Greek nursery school.

Gender differences among prepubertal children on bone mineral content, bone mineral density, and physical activity


Purpose of this study was to investigate the gender effect on physical activity (PA) and bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) of total body less head (TBLH) and lumbar spine (L1-L4) in tanner stage I greek schoolchildren. PA was measured by ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer and Dual-energy X-ray Absoroptiometry (DXA) used to assess BMC and BMD of participants (52 boys, 58 girls, Tanner stage I, aged 7-9 years). Students t-test for independent samples was used to evaluate gender differences. Results showed that there was not any gender difference in BMC and BMD of TBLH and L1-L4, but boys counted significantly more steps/day than girls (11.636±2471.56 vs 9953.71±1638.8, respectively, p<0.001). Only 1/3 of boys and girls met MVPA’s recommendation. In conclusion, boys were more active than girls, but there was no difference in bone status of TBLH and L1-L4 in Tanner stage I of Greek schoolchildren.

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