Faculty Mentor

Jessica R. Meendering


Current physical activity recommendations suggest that children should have 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the ability of three different physical activity measurement tools to assess whether children were meeting physical activity recommendations. Methods: Physical activity was assessed for one week via accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X), pedometer (New Lifestyles NL-1000), and for one day using a self report questionnaire (Self-Administered Physical Activity Checklist, or [SAPAC]) in thirty 5th-grade students. A total of 15 students, (11 ± 1 yrs; 11 female, 4 male) met compliance standards and were used for data comparisons. Minutes spent in MVPA per day were calculated from the SAPAC and accelerometer data using Sallis specifications and Freedson cut-points, respectively. Data from the SAPAC and accelerometers were compared with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention physical activity guidelines. Steps per day from the pedometers were compared with BMI referenced steps per day cut-point guidelines. All data are presented as mean ± SD. Results: SAPAC indicated MVPA of 460 ± 473 minutes per day. Accelerometer assessment indicated MVPA of 40 ± 15 minutes per day. Pedometer assessment indicated 8994 ± 3047 steps per day. Conclusions: Within this sample, 6% of subjects met minimum physical activity recommendations based on accelerometer data, whereas 20% met minimum physical activity recommendations using the pedometer. However, 100% of subjects met recommendations using the subjective self-report recall questionnaire. This pilot study indicates 5th-grade students dramatically over report estimated MVPA via self-report questionnaire. Therefore, objective physical activity assessment tools, such as accelerometers and pedometers may be better suited than self-report questionnaires to assess compliance with physical activity guidelines in 5th-grade students.



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