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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 134  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 174-180

Longitudinal trends in physical activity patterns in selected urban south Indian school children


St. John's Research Institute, St. John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Sumathi Swaminathan
St. John's Research Institute, St John's National Academy of Health Sciences, Koramangala, Bangalore 560 034
India
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PMID: 21911969

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Background & objectives : There are very few studies describing the pattern of physical activity of children in India. This study was carried out to document patterns of physical activity in south Indian school children aged 8 to 15 yr and examine changes over a one year period. Methods: Physical activity was assessed using interviewer-administered questionnaires at baseline (n=256) and at follow up (n=203) in 2006 and 2007. Frequency and duration of each activity was recorded and metabolic equivalents (MET) assigned. Sedentary activity included activities with MET < 1.5, and moderate-to- vigorous physical activity (MVPA) with >3.0. For each activity, daily duration, intensity (MET), and the product of the two (MET-minutes) were computed. Children were categorized by age group, gender and socio-economic status. Height and weight were measured. Results: At baseline, sedentary activity was higher in children aged >11 yr, while intensity of MVPA was higher in boys than girls. Over one year, physical activity at school significantly decreased (P<0.001). There was also a significant decrease in MVPA MET-min (P<0.001) with interaction effects of age group (P<0.001) and gender (P<0.001). Interpretation & conclusions : There was a significant decline in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity over a single year follow up, largely due to a decrease in physical activity at school. There appears to be a gap between State educational policies that promote physical well-being of school-going children and actual practice.


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