Non-overweight and overweight children's physical activity during school recess

Ridgers, Nicola D., Saint-Maurice, Pedro F., Welk, Gregory J., Siahpush, Mohammad and Huberty, Jennifer L. 2014, Non-overweight and overweight children's physical activity during school recess, Health education journal, vol. 73, no. 2, pp. 129-136, doi: 10.1177/0017896912471032.

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Title Non-overweight and overweight children's physical activity during school recess
Author(s) Ridgers, Nicola D.ORCID iD for Ridgers, Nicola D.
Saint-Maurice, Pedro F.
Welk, Gregory J.
Siahpush, Mohammad
Huberty, Jennifer L.
Journal name Health education journal
Volume number 73
Issue number 2
Start page 129
End page 136
Total pages 8
Publisher Sage Publications
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2014-03
ISSN 0017-8969
Keyword(s) accelerometers
play and playthings
Summary Objective
Little research has investigated children’s physical activity levels during school recess and the contribution of recess to school day physical activity levels by weight status. The aims of this study were to examine non-overweight and overweight children’s physical activity levels during school recess, and examine the contribution of recess to school day physical activity.


Four elementary schools located in Nebraska, United States of America (USA).

Two hundred and seventeen children (99 boys, 118 girls; 47.9% overweight) wore a uni-axial accelerometer for five consecutive school days during autumn 2009. The proportion of time spent engaged in sedentary (SED), light (LPA), moderate (MPA) and vigorous (VPA) intensity physical activity during recess was determined using age-specific accelerometer thresholds.

Overweight children engaged in more %MPA and less %VPA than non-overweight children, respectively. No differences were found between overweight and healthy weight children’s moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Recess contributed 16.9% and 16.3% towards non-overweight and overweight children’s school day %MVPA, respectively.

Examining %MVPA as an outcome variable may mask differences in recess physical activity levels between non-overweight and overweight children. Future research is needed to establish why healthy weight and overweight children engage in differing levels of %MPA and %VPA during recess.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/0017896912471032
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Sage Publications
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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