Comparison of two methods to assess physical activity prevalence in children: an observational study using a nationally representative sample of Scottish children aged 10–11 years

Mccrorie, P. , Mitchell, R. and Ellaway, A. (2018) Comparison of two methods to assess physical activity prevalence in children: an observational study using a nationally representative sample of Scottish children aged 10–11 years. BMJ Open, 8(1), e018369. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018369) (PMID:29371272) (PMCID:PMC5786112)

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Abstract

Objectives To describe the objectively measured levels of physical activity (PA) and sedentary time in a nationally representative sample of 10–11-year-old children, and compare adherence estimates to the UK PA guidelines using two approaches to assessing prevalence. Design Nationally representative longitudinal cohort study. Setting Scotland wide in partnership with the Growing up in Scotland (GUS) study. Data collection took place between May 2015 and May 2016. Participants The parents of 2402 GUS children were approached and 2162 consented to contact. Consenting children (n=1096) wore accelerometers for 8 consecutive days and 774 participants (427 girls, 357 boys) met inclusion criteria. Primary and secondary outcome measures Total PA (counts per minute, cpm); time spent sedentary and in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA); proportion of children with ≥60 min MVPA on each day of wear (daily approach); proportion of children with ≥60 min of MVPA on average across days of wear (average approach)—presented across boys and girls, index of multiple deprivation and season. Results: Mean PA level was 648 cpm (95% CI, 627 to 670). Children spent 7.5 hours (7.4–7.6) sedentary/day and 72.6 min (70.0–75.3) in MVPA/day. 11% (daily) and 68% (average) of children achieved the recommended levels of PA (P<0.05 for difference); a greater proportion of boys met the guidelines (12.5% vs 9.8%, NS; 75.9% vs 59.5%, P<0.001); guideline prevalence exhibited seasonal variation. No significant socioeconomic patterning existed across any outcome measure. Conclusions: PA estimates are significantly influenced by the analytical method used to assess prevalence. This could have a substantial impact on the evaluation of interventions, policy objectives and public health investment. Existing guidelines, which focus on daily PA only may not further our understandings about the underlying construct itself. Gender differences exist within this age-group, suggesting greater investment, with particular consideration of seasonality, is needed for targeted intervention work in younger children.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ellaway, Dr Anne and Mccrorie, Dr Paul and Mitchell, Professor Richard
Authors: Mccrorie, P., Mitchell, R., and Ellaway, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:BMJ Open
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:2044-6055
ISSN (Online):2044-6055
Published Online:24 January 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMJ Open 8(1):e018369
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727621SPHSU Core Renewal: Neighbourhoods and Communities Research ProgrammeAnne EllawayMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/10IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU