Kaytlyn WellsƗ1, Riley Gallowayǂ1, Robert BookerƗ1 1Department of Kinesiology, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO

As the obesity epidemic has continued to rise in recent years, research shows that children are not incorporating physical activity (PA) into their daily regimen. Ridgers et al., (2006) demonstrated that children obtain 5-40% of the total recommended daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during structured physical education, while the rest is to come from recess or outside of school. Due to children being at school for a significant amount of their total waking hours, it is imperative for them to engage in PA during school hours. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to quantify the amount of time elementary children engaged in MVPA during PA opportunities such as recess and P.E. Of special interest is to determine any gender differences during the PA offered during school hours. METHODS: Fourth grade students from eight public schools wore accelerometers during school hours for one week while each classroom teacher logged information relative to the PA setting and duration of opportunity. RESULTS: PA data was collected using an accelerometer for fourth grade students (N=149) from various elementary schools. MVPA per school day was measured and gender comparison resulted in boys achieving significantly more minutes of MVPA as compared to girls (22.7 ± 9.5 and 17.1 ± 6.6 minutes, respectively) (p<0.001). Similar results were found for MVPA per week between boys and girls (101.0 ± 38.9 and 79.7 ± 31.9 minutes, respectively) (p<0.001). Girls spent a significantly higher portion of the week engaging in sedentary activities as compared to boys (1465.1 ± 204.1 and 1375.5 ± 236.9 minutes, respectively) (p=0.014). Of the average 29.5 minutes of recess per day, girls accumulated significantly more sedentary minutes (12.9 ± 9.4, p=0.009). Of the total weekly 133.1 ± 58.8 minutes of recess, only 28.6 ± 19.1 minutes were MVPA (21.5%). CONCLUSION: Regardless of gender differences, overall levels of MVPA did not meet the recommended 30 minutes per day. These results provide further evidence to the rise of obesity and further support the need of PA state mandates to promote healthier lifestyles with increased levels of PA. In addition to the failure of meeting the recommended levels, there were significant differences between genders. This furthers the need to provide structured PA during school hours.

This document is currently not available here.