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J Phys Act Health. 2012 Jan;9(1):124-8.

Preliminary evidence for school-based physical activity policy needs in Washington, DC.

Author information

  • 1Dept of Exercise Science, The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, DC, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The school setting could be a primary venue for promoting physical activity among inner-city children due to the structured natured of the school day. We examined differences in step counts between structured school days (SSD) and weekend days (WED) among a sample of public school children in Washington, DC.

METHODS:

Subjects (N = 29) were third- to sixth-grade students enrolled in government-funded, extended-day enrichment programs. Step counts were measured using a pedometer (Bodytronics) over 2 SSD and 2 WED. Differences in mean step counts between SSD and WED were determined using multivariable linear regression, with adjustments for age, sex, and reported distance between house and school (miles).

RESULTS:

Recorded step counts were low on both SSD and WED (7735 ± 3540 and 8339 ± 5314 steps/day). Boys tended to record more steps on SSD compared with girls (8080 ± 3141 vs. 7491 ± 3872 steps/day, respectively), whereas girls recorded more steps on the WED compared with boys (9292 ± 6381 vs. 7194 ± 3669 steps/day). Parameter estimates from the regression modeling suggest distance from school (P < .01) to be the strongest predictor of daily step counts, independent of day (SSD/WED), sex, and age.

CONCLUSION:

Among inner-city school children, a safe walking route to and from school may provide an important opportunity for daily physical activity.

PMID:
22232498
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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