Children who become active

Health Rep. 2003;14 Suppl:17-28.


Objectives: This article examines factors associated with children aged 4 to 11 becoming and remaining active, and how this differed according to their weight.

Data source: The data are from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth: cycle 1 (1994/95) for the cross-sectional analysis, and cycles 1, 2 and 3 (1994/95 to 1998/99) for the longitudinal analysis.

Analytical techniques: Estimates of physical activity levels in 1994/95 among acceptable-weight and overweight/obese children are presented by age, sex and selected activities (TV viewing, playing computer/video games, and hours of physical education at school). Logistic regression models were constructed for children who were inactive in 1994/95, focusing on the selected activities as predictors of adopting and maintaining an active lifestyle.

Main results: Factors associated with children adopting and maintaining an active lifestyle differed, depending on their weight. For overweight/obese children, but not for acceptable-weight children, a relatively high number of physical education hours was predictive of becoming physically active, while frequent TV viewing lowered the odds.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / classification*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Exercise*
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Physical Education and Training / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Television / statistics & numerical data