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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Jessica Meendering


Native American, physical activity, sedentary time, benefits and barriers to physical activity, accelerometers, children


Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to investigate physical activity, sedentary time and barriers to recreational physical activity in Native American and Non-Native American children living within the same communities.
Methods: Physical activity and sedentary time was assessed for seven days via accelerometers (Actigraph, GT3X+, Pensacola, FL) in 261 6th-7th grade children from three South Dakota communities. Onehundred forty-six children (59=Native American; 87= non-Native) met physical activity compliance standards. Daily minutes of sedentary time, light physical activity, moderate physical activity, vigorous physical activity and moderate-vigorous physical activity were calculated for all subjects using Evenson cut points. Data was analyzed during the weekday waking hours, weekend waking hours and full week waking hours. Weekday waking hours were further broken down into before school during school and after school. Native American and non-Native data was compared using an ancova and independent t-tests. Statistical significance was set at p≤ 0.05. Results: No differences were found in physical activity and sedentary time between groups across the full day, during school, or after school. The non-Native group had greater light physical activity and sedentary time when compared to the Native-American group during the before school period. No differences were found in perceived benefits and barriers to physical activity between groups.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest there are no major differences in the amount of physical activity and sedentary time accumulated by Native American and non-Native children when living in the same environment. These findings suggest that differences in overweight and obesity rates between Native and non-Native children stem from factors other than physical activity participation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Exercise for children -- South Dakota.
Physical fitness for children -- South Dakota.
Indian children -- South Dakota.
School children -- South Dakota.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 44-45).



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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