Age and gender differences in objectively measured physical activity in youth

Trost, S.G., Pate, R.R., Sallis, J.F., Freedson, P.S., Taylor, W.C., Dowda, M., & Sirard, J. (2002) Age and gender differences in objectively measured physical activity in youth. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34(2), pp. 350-355.

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate age and gender differences in objectively measured physical activity (PA) in a population-based sample of students in grades 1–12.


Participants (185 male, 190 female) wore a CSA 7164 accelerometer for 7 consecutive days. To examine age-related trends, students were grouped as follows: grades 1–3 (N = 90), grades 4–6 (N = 91), grades 7–9 (N = 96), and grades 10–12 (N = 92). Bouts of PA and minutes spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and vigorous PA (VPA) were examined.


Daily MVPA and VPA exhibited a significant inverse relationship with grade level, with the largest differences occurring between grades 1–3 and 4–6. Boys were more active than girls; however, for overall PA, the magnitudes of the gender differences were modest. Participation in continuous 20-min bouts of PA was low to nonexistent.


Our results support the notion that PA declines rapidly during childhood and adolescence and that accelerometers are feasible alternatives to self-report methods in moderately sized population-level surveillance studies.

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ID Code: 71493
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: ISI Document Delivery No.: 519RK
Times Cited: 531
Cited Reference Count: 27
Trost, SG Pate, RR Sallis, JF Freedson, PS Taylor, WC Dowda, M Sirard, J
Lippincott williams & wilkins
Keywords: children, exercise, accelerometer, assessment, csa activity monitor, activity patterns, computer-science, heart-rate, children, adolescents, preschool, decline, sex
DOI: 10.1097/00005768-200202000-00025
ISSN: 0195-9131
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Deposited On: 13 May 2014 03:50
Last Modified: 13 May 2014 03:50

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