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Acta Paediatr. 2005 Dec;94(12):1791-7.

The relationship between children's habitual activity level and psychological well-being.

Author information

  • 1Children's Health and Exercise Research Centre, School of Sport and Health Sciences, St. Luke's Campus, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom. c.g.parfitt@exeter.ac.uk

Abstract

AIM:

To explore the relationship between habitual physical activity and psychological well-being in children.

METHODS:

Seventy children (35 boys, 35 girls), age 10.4+/-0.4 y, wore hip pedometers over a period of 7 d. Well-being was conceptualized as the presence of global self-esteem and the absence of anxiety and depression and assessed with the use of three questionnaires.

RESULTS:

Correlation analyses revealed that habitual physical activity had a strong association with global self-esteem (r=0.66), depression (r=-0.60) and anxiety (r=-0.48). However, using partial correlations, the significant relationships were removed for anxiety and depression, but remained for self-esteem (r=0.36). When groups were created based upon activity level, children achieving >12,000 steps/day had more positive psychological profiles than children achieving <9,200 steps/day.

CONCLUSION:

The results support the findings from previous studies that have explored the relationship between physical activity and well-being, but represent the first to use a mechanical measure of physical activity over a 7-d period to assess the relationships. The actual step counts associated with more positive psychological well-being can be shown to be in line with the recommended guidelines that children accumulate a minimum of 60 min of moderate-intensity activity per day.

PMID:
16421041
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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