Are pre-school children meeting current Australian physical activity recommendations? D. CTIff1,2*, A. Okely1,2, K. Mickle1,3, L. Smith 1,2, A. Crowshaw1,2 &J. Steele1,3 1Child Obesity Research Centre (CORe), University Of Wollongong 2Faculty of Education, University Of Wollongong 3Department of Biomedical Science, University Of Wollongong
In 2004 the Australian Government released the Australian Physical Activity Recommendations for Children and Youth, stating that children should participate in at least 60-minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) every day. This study aimed to determine the proportion of pre-school children meeting these recommendations. 139 children from 11 randomly selected preschools in the IIlawarra region of NSW participated in the Preschool Activity 'N' Dietary Adiposity Study (PANDA). Of those participants, 109 also had their physical activity assessed using MTI Actigraph accelerometers, which were worn for up to 7-days (mean =4.1 days). In total, 58 participants (32 boys, mean age =4.29 years) met the criteria of ~360-minutes (6 hrs) of accelerometer monitoring on ~3 days (Jackson et aI., 2003). Each child's mean minutes in moderate, vigorous and very vigorous physical activity were calculated for each monitoring day, and were then summed to give their total mean minutes in MVPA per day. The proportion of children who participated in at least 60-minutes of MVPA on every monitoring day was also analysed. The mean time spent in MVPA for the sample was 253 min/day, with 1000/0 of the sample averaging greater than 60-minutes of MVPA per day. Only two participants (3.5%) did not meet the recommendation of 60-minutes of MVPA on every monitoring day. The results suggest that a an overwhelming majority of pre-school children are meeting current Australian Physical Activity recommendations, although further monitoring studies using objective measures are required to determine if high rates of MVPA are common to Australian pre-school children of different geographic locations, and social and cultural backgrounds.