Background: The rising prevalence of obesity in children may be due to a reduction in physical activity (PA).
Objective: Our aim was to study the associations of objectively measured PA volume and its subcomponents with indicators of body fatness.
Design: A cross-sectional study of 1292 children aged 9-10 y from 4 distinct regions in Europe (Odense, Denmark; the island of Madeira, Portugal; Oslo; and Tartu, Estonia) was conducted. PA was measured by accelerometry, and indicators of body fatness were the sum of 5 skinfold thicknesses and body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)). We examined the associations between PA and body fatness by using general linear models adjusted for potential confounding variables.
Results: After adjustment for sex, study location, sexual maturity, birth weight, and parental BMI, time (min/d) spent at moderate and vigorous PA (P = 0.032) and time (min/d) spent at vigorous PA were significantly (P = 0.015) and independently associated with body fatness. Sex, study location, sexual maturity, birth weight, and parental BMI explained 29% (adjusted R(2) = 0.29) of the variation in body fatness. Time spent at vigorous PA explained an additional 0.5%. Children who accumulated <1 h of moderate PA/d were significantly fatter than were those who accumulated >2 h/d.
Conclusions: The accumulated amount of time spent at moderate and vigorous PA is related to body fatness in children, but this relation is weak; the explained variance was <1%.