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Am J Prev Med. 2013 Aug;45(2):150-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2013.03.011.

School-day and overall physical activity among youth.

Author information

  • 1Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. michael.long@mail.harvard.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increasing school-day physical activity through policy and programs is commonly suggested to prevent obesity and improve overall child health. However, strategies that focus on school-day physical activity may not increase total physical activity if youth compensate by reducing physical activity outside of school.

PURPOSE:

Objectively measured, nationally representative physical activity data were used to test the hypothesis that higher school-day physical activity is associated with higher overall daily physical activity in youth.

METHODS:

Accelerometer data from 2003-2004/2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys were analyzed in 2012 to estimate physical activity levels during the school day (8AM-3PM) among youth aged 6-19 years (n=2548). Fixed-effects regressions were used to estimate the impact of changes in school-day minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on changes in total daily MVPA.

RESULTS:

Each additional minute of school-day MVPA was associated with an additional 1.14 minutes (95% CI=1.04, 1.24; p<0.001) of total daily MVPA, or 0.14 additional minutes (95% CI=0.04, 0.24; p=0.008) outside the school day, controlling for total daily accelerometer wear time and age, gender, race/ethnicity, and other non-time varying covariates. There were no differences in the effect of school-day MVPA on total MVPA by age group, gender, race/ethnicity, poverty status, or degree of change in MVPA.

CONCLUSIONS:

Higher school-day MVPA was associated with higher daily MVPA among U.S. youth with no evidence for same-day "compensation." Increasing school-based physical activity is a promising approach that can improve total daily physical activity levels of youth.

Copyright © 2013 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
23867021
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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