Understanding Factors Associated With Children Achieving The Recommended Amount of Physical Activity on Weekdays and Weekend days

Low levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) are consistently reported for children from industrialized countries. While there is clear evidence that a child’s physical environment can impact their physical activity, most research has treated children living in urban, suburban, small town, and rural areas as the same. Previous research shows that there are differences in the environments and lives of children in these various locations. As a result, few studies have compared physical activity levels among children from geographically diverse places that include rural specific categories, and how they differ on weekdays versus weekends.

Using data from the Spatial Temporal Environmental and Activity Monitoring study, the research team identified that different factors influence whether children meet the MVPA guidelines during different timepoints. Specifically, children from rural Northern Ontario were more likely to meet the MVPA guidelines on the weekend compared to suburban, urban, small town, and rural children from Southern Ontario.

Finding different factors at different timepoints can help recreation programmers use this information to create more targeted programs. This information can help focus their efforts on smaller time points, specific groups, and specific regions which could lead to more efficient and cost-effective interventions for improving children’s PA levels.

Recent HEAL PhD graduate, Brenton Button, published this article in collaboration with Dr. Jason Gilliland and Dr. Andrew Clark in Preventative Medicine Reports.

Read the full-text article here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335520301054


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