Article Title



Riley Galloway1, Hunter Haynes1, Jacob Gdovin2, Junyoung Kim3. 1The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS. 2Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC. 3Missouri State University, Springfield, MO.

Background: As evidence continues to grow strengthening the associations between morbidity and childhood obesity, school-based physical activity (PA) policies remain ill-defined, underfunded, and difficult for most schools to implement along with no accountability metric in place. A dramatic decline in PA participation with progressing school years testifies to the urgency for schools to implement mandatory policies for the accumulation of age appropriate moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) for children. This study sought to quantify in-school PA levels among elementary students during recess, physical education (P.E.), and classroom movement integration. Methods: Third through sixth grade public school students (N=78: male=31, female=47) were asked to participate by donning an accelerometer (ActiGraph GT9X+, ActiGraph LLC, Pensacola, FL) on the right hip during school hours for 5 consecutive days. Tri-axial movement was recorded from 5-second ‘epochs’ and converted to minutes of PA according to previously established cut-points. PA logs were kept by teachers. All data was imported to ActiLife (v6.13.4) software and analyzed by one-way ANOVA using SPSS (version 24, Chicago, IL). Results: Results show students spent a concerning amount of time as sedentary during PA opportunities. During recess, 40.1% of offered time (336.9±23.1 min.) was completely sedentary. Combining sedentary and light categories accounted for 75.5% of recess. MVPA accounted for 24.8% of recess time (18.1±10.4 min./day). During P.E. opportunities (84.6±24.8 min.), 43.1% was considered completely sedentary while 75.6% of the time was accounted for when combining sedentary and light PA. Only 19.8% of P.E. was considered MVPA (3.9±4.1 min./day). Lastly, of classroom movement integration opportunities (10.9±12.6 min.), 38.1% was considered sedentary with 68.7% of the time accounted for by combining sedentary and light PA. A limited 3.1% was considered MVPA (0.6±1.2 min./day). Conclusions: Overall, students fell short of the mandate recommended 30 minutes of MVPA per day during school hours and the recommended amount of P.E. that should be at least moderate intensity. Due to a significant portion of childhood waking hours being spent in school, this information provides valuable insight to the PA levels and potential health status of children in school hours, which supports the need for enhanced attention to accountability of school-based PA.

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