Daily physical activity related to aerobic fitness and body fat in an urban sample of children

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2008 Dec;18(6):728-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2007.00741.x. Epub 2008 Feb 2.


This study evaluates associations between objectively measured daily physical activity vs aerobic fitness and body fat in children aged 8-11 years. A cross-sectional study of 225 children aged 7.9-11.1 years was performed. Abdominal fat mass (AFM) and total body fat (TBF) were quantified by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. TBF was calculated as percentage of total body mass (BF%). Body fat distribution was calculated as AFM/TBF. Aerobic fitness was measured by indirect calorimetry during a maximal cycle ergometer exercise test. Daily physical activity was assessed by accelerometers for 4 days and daily accumulation of moderate-to-vigorous and vigorous activity was calculated. Significant relationships (P<0.05) existed for vigorous activity vs ln BF% (r=-0.40), ln AFM (r=-0.35), TBF/AFM (r=-0.22) and aerobic fitness (r=0.38), whereas moderate-to-vigorous activity displayed weaker relationships (-0.22, -0.18, -0.12 NS, and 0.25). Multiple regression analyses with inclusion of possible confounders concluded that vigorous activity was independently related to aerobic fitness and ln BF% or ln AFM. Moderate-to-vigorous activity was only independently related to aerobic fitness. In this population, low daily accumulation of vigorous activity was, already in children aged 8-11 years, associated with more body fat and lower aerobic fitness. A similar relation was not found for daily accumulation of moderate-to-vigorous activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Motor Activity*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sweden
  • Urban Population*