Correlates of compliance with recommended levels of physical activity in children

Authors : Gomes TN, Katzmarzyk PT, Hedeker D, Fogelholm M, Standage M, Onywera V, Lambert EV, Tremblay MS, Chaput JP, Tudor-Locke C, Sarmiento O, Matsudo V, Kurpad A, Kuriyan R, Zhao P, Hu G, Olds T, Maher C, Maia J

Publication Year : 2017

Abstract :

The purpose of this study was to describe children's daily compliance with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) recommendations across a week in different parts of the world, and to identify individual- and school-level correlates that may explain differences in daily MVPA compliance. The sample included 6553 children aged 9-11 years from 12 countries, and multilevel statistical analyses were used, including both child- and school-level variables. Most children did not comply with the MVPA guidelines on a daily basis: Chinese children complied the least, whereas Finnish, Australian, Colombian, UK, and Kenyan children complied the most. Boys (rate ratio [RR] = 1.47) and children with higher unhealthy diet scores (RR = 1.08) complied more, but overweight/obese children (RR = 0.81), earlier maturing children (RR = 0.93), and those who spent more time in screen activities (RR = 0.98) and sleeping (RR = 0.96) had the lowest compliance. At the school level, children with access to playground or sport equipment (RR = 0.88, for both) tended to comply less, whereas those with access to a gymnasium outside the school hours complied more with the MVPA guidelines (RR = 1.14). Significant between-country differences in children's daily MVPA compliance were observed, reflecting not only site characteristics, but also the importance of individual traits and local school contexts.