Introduction: Several studies (Cardon & De Bourdeaudhuij, 2007, Biddle et al, 2004) reveal that the majority of the population is not enough physical active. This inactive lifestyle can increase risk factors on several disorders, such as cardio-respiratory diseases, cancer, obesity and diabetes. Moreover, research results (Department of Health, 2004) show us that for example children who are highly engaged in physical activities, have more developmental potential of physical, psychological, social and health-related advantages. In view of national economic and social prosperity on the long-term, it is needed to set up physical interventions to increase the physical activity of those children. Recent studies suggest (Loucaides et al, 2003, Michaud-Tomson et al, 2003, Vincent & Pangranzi, 2002) that focusing on the out-of-school-environment to increase their physical activity level, is effective.
Objectives: This study aims to look at the profile of out-of-school physical activities of preschool children between 4 and 6 years old.
Methods: Two rural and two urban preschools participated in the study. The study was conducted in Flanders, the Northern part of Belgium. 81 (53,3%) out of 152 parents provided informed consent for participation in the study. 32 preschool children in rural area preschools (16 boys and 16 girls) and 48 preschool children in urban area preschools (23 boys and 25 girls) participated in the study. Data is collected in autumn, winter and spring. Each period consists of four full days of follow up: two schooldays and two weekend days. Registering starts at waking up, step counts are recorded at the beginning and end of each school day and at bedtime. The Yamax Digiwalker pedometer type SW-200 was used to register step counts. Data are analyzed using SPSS for Windows.
Results and conclusions: Preliminary results on the first test period (autumn 2007) show that preschool children have comparable average step counts during week- (11 301 +/- 4016) and weekend days (10 563 +/- 3167). On weekdays average out-of-school physical activity step counts are 6312 +/- 2572. These results show that half of the physical activity among preschool children happens out of school. Recommended daily step counts of 12000 for girls and 15000 for boys (Tudor-Locke et al, 2004) are not met by most of the children.

Biddle S.J.H., Gorely T. & Stensel D.J. JSS 2004, 22, 679-701.
Cardon G., De Bourdeaudhuij I. Pediatr Exerc Sci 2007 May, 19(2), 205-214.
Department of Health, London, 2004.
Loucaides C., Chedzoy S., Bennett N. Eur Phys Educ Rev 2003, 9(1), 43-55.
Michaud-Tomson L., Davidson M., Cuddihy T. Achper 2003, 50(3-4), 16-24.
Tudor-Locke C., et al. Preventive Medicine 38 2004, 857-864.
Vincent S. & Pangrazi R. Pediatr Exerc Sci 2002, 72(1), 1-12.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication13th annual congress of the European College of Sport Science
EditorsJ. Cabri, F. Alves, D. Araujo, J. Diniz, A. Veloso
PublisherEuropean College of Sport Science
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2008
EventUnknown -
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009



    Research areas

  • step counts, Yamax Digiwalker, Weekdays, Weekend days

ID: 1683726