Do 9- to 12 yr-old children meet existing physical activity recommendations for health?

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Apr;33(4):591-6. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200104000-00013.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a sample of 9- to 12-yr-old children fulfilled existing U.S. and UK physical activity recommendations for health.

Methods: Habitual physical activity levels of 79 pre- and early pubertal children were assessed using continuous heart rate monitoring over a period of 4 d. Mean, daily, cumulative physical activity levels spent above heart rate thresholds were compared with U.S. and UK recommended values.

Results: In this study, when cumulative amounts of physical activity were considered, at intensities greater than 120 beats x min(-1) and 75% above resting heart rate, pre- and early pubertal British children appear to engage in sufficient physical activity to meet U.S. and UK minimum daily recommendations.

Conclusions: Interpretations of children's physical activity levels depend on thresholds set for intensity of physical activity and whether cumulative or continuous bouts of activity are included in the analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Child
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • United Kingdom