Step based physical activity guidelines for preschool-aged children

Vale, Susana, Trost, Stewart G., Duncan, Michael J., & Mota, Jorge (2015) Step based physical activity guidelines for preschool-aged children. Preventive Medicine, 70, pp. 78-82.

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Public health organizations recommend that preschool-aged children accumulate at least 3h of physical activity (PA) daily. Objective monitoring using pedometers offers an opportunity to measure preschooler's PA and assess compliance with this recommendation. The purpose of this study was to derive step-based recommendations consistent with the 3h PA recommendation for preschool-aged children.


The study sample comprised 916 preschool-aged children, aged 3 to 6years (mean age=5.0+/-0.8years). Children were recruited from kindergartens located in Portugal, between 2009 and 2013. Children wore an ActiGraph GT1M accelerometer that measured PA intensity and steps per day simultaneously over a 7-day monitoring period. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to identify the daily step count threshold associated with meeting the daily 3hour PA recommendation.


A significant correlation was observed between minutes of total PA and steps per day (r=0.76, p<0.001). The optimal step count for >/=3h of total PA was 9099 steps per day (sensitivity (90%) and specificity (66%)) with area under the ROC curve=0.86 (95% CI: 0.84 to 0.88).


Preschool-aged children who accumulate less than 9000 steps per day may be considered Insufficiently Active.

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ID Code: 92461
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Actigraphy/instrumentation/*methods, Body Mass Index, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data, *Guidelines as Topic, Humans, Male, Motor Activity/*physiology, Portugal, ROC Curve, Sex Distribution, Time Factors, Physical activity guidelines, Preschool children, Steps
DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.11.008
ISSN: 0091-7435
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Elsevier
Deposited On: 31 Jan 2016 23:38
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2016 22:19

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