Physical activity levels in chinese one-year- old children and their parents, an early STOPP China study

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© 2016 Mei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background Physical activity (PA) is associated with health benefits, already in childhood. However, little is known about actual levels, patterns and gender differences in PA level in very young children. This study examines Chinese one-year-old children and their parents' PA levels and patterns, and assesses the correlations between children's PA level and gender, body mass index standard deviation score (BMI SDS), parental BMI and parental PA level. Methods Data from 123 families participating in the Early STOPP China study were used. Families were recruited based on parental BMI and were classified as either high-risk or low-risk of obesity. Parents and children wore an ActiGraph GT3X+ to assess the average PA levels. PA levels and hourly patterns during weekdays and weekends were examined as were correlations with gender, BMI SDS, parental BMI and parental PA levels. Results There were no significant differences in children's averaged PA between risk groups, genders, or between weekdays and weekends. Children's peak average activity level was at 7 pm and they were least active at 3 pm (p < 0.001). Both mothers and fathers demonstrated a similar PA pattern as their children, although paternal PA level was consistently lower than that of mothers and children. No significant association was found between children's PA and their gender, BMI SDS, parental BMI or paternal PA levels. Maternal PA was found positively associated with child PA (p < 0.05). Conclusion PA in one-year-old Chinese children vary over the day but weekdays and weekends are similar. At this age, children's PA is not related to gender, BMI SDS, parental BMI or paternal PA. Larger scale studies with more contextual information are needed to improve the understanding of our findings.




Mei, H., Johansson, E., Hagströmer, M., Xiong, Y., Zhang, L., Zhang, J., & Marcus, C. (2016). Physical activity levels in chinese one-year- old children and their parents, an early STOPP China study. PLoS ONE, 11(4).

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