Kentucky State University

Poster Title

Physical Activity Levels of Preschool Children in a Random Survey

Institution

Kentucky State University

Abstract

Among all preschool children, 10.1% are overweight and 10.7% are at risk of becoming overweight; low physical activity could be a major contributing factor. In this study, data were collected on physical activity of preschool-aged children, attending preschool and/or at home. Children aged three to five (five females and eight males, mean age 3.9 years) were recruited from public preschool programs and at various community events. The heights and weights of each participant were measured and Body Mass Index (BMI) was computed; physical activity was recorded with an Actical accelerometer worn on the hip over seven days by each child. Weight status was classified according to CDC guidelines; 85% of the children had “Normal weight”; one was “At risk of overweight” and one was “Overweight”. Physical activity levels during the hours of 7 AM to 9 PM were analyzed; sedentary activities at preschool were 27 minutes per hour compared to 33 minutes per out of school hour (P ≤ 0.001). More time was spent in light activity in preschool, 21.1 minutes per hour versus 16.9 minutes per hour outside school (P≤ 0.001). Time spent at the moderate activity level was similar in both situations and vigorous activity was minimal. These results suggest that physical activity in preschoolers is low and/or light, and detailed follow up surveys will be needed in a larger group of children to identify the risks of overweight.

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Physical Activity Levels of Preschool Children in a Random Survey

Among all preschool children, 10.1% are overweight and 10.7% are at risk of becoming overweight; low physical activity could be a major contributing factor. In this study, data were collected on physical activity of preschool-aged children, attending preschool and/or at home. Children aged three to five (five females and eight males, mean age 3.9 years) were recruited from public preschool programs and at various community events. The heights and weights of each participant were measured and Body Mass Index (BMI) was computed; physical activity was recorded with an Actical accelerometer worn on the hip over seven days by each child. Weight status was classified according to CDC guidelines; 85% of the children had “Normal weight”; one was “At risk of overweight” and one was “Overweight”. Physical activity levels during the hours of 7 AM to 9 PM were analyzed; sedentary activities at preschool were 27 minutes per hour compared to 33 minutes per out of school hour (P ≤ 0.001). More time was spent in light activity in preschool, 21.1 minutes per hour versus 16.9 minutes per hour outside school (P≤ 0.001). Time spent at the moderate activity level was similar in both situations and vigorous activity was minimal. These results suggest that physical activity in preschoolers is low and/or light, and detailed follow up surveys will be needed in a larger group of children to identify the risks of overweight.