Physical activity levels and obesity status of Oregon Rural Elementary School children

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To evaluate the relationship between physical activity (PA, min/school-day) at school and body mass index (BMI, kg/m<sup>2</sup>) among rural elementary-aged children. Methods: Height (cm), weight (kg), and PA were measured for 1767 children (5-12. years) enrolled in six rural Oregon elementary schools in fall, 2013. PA at school was measured over four days using Walk4Life pedometers. Children with ®. 3 valid monitoring days (n. =. 1482) were included in analyses. Means (min/d) were calculated for wear time, total PA (TPA: combined light, moderate, vigorous PA), and moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA: step count. >. 120/min). BMI z-scores were calculated and regression models were run to examine the relationship between PA and BMI z-scores, adjusting for wear time, sex, and grade. Results: Overweight (38.1%: BMI®85<sup>th</sup> percentile for age and sex) and obesity (19.4%: BMI®95<sup>th</sup> percentile) prevalence was similar for boys (n=782) and girls (n=700). More MVPA was associated with lower BMI (P<0.001), independent of sex, wear time or grade. Mean MVPA was 18.9+/-8min/d, versus 15.2+/-6.7min/d for healthy-weight and obese children, respectively. Conclusions: Children are not meeting minimum MVPA recommendations (60. min/d) during school hours. Efforts to promote PA for obesity prevention in rural elementary schools should focus on increasing opportunities for MVPA.




Gunter, K. B., Nader, P. A., & John, D. H. (2015). Physical activity levels and obesity status of Oregon Rural Elementary School children. Preventive Medicine Reports, 2, 473–477.

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