Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UK Children's Physical Activity Levels Hugely Overestimated

Date:
September 11, 2008
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
UK children's physical activity levels have been greatly overestimated, with true levels likely to be around six times lower than national data suggest, finds new research.

UK children's physical activity levels have been greatly overestimated, with true levels likely to be around six times lower than national data suggest, finds research published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Annual health survey data are used to inform UK public health policy and practice, and the figures indicate that the UK population takes a lot of exercise, and that children have been increasingly physically active over the past few years.

But data collected on children's physical activity levels rely on information supplied by parents.

In a bid to assess the accuracy and reliability of this data source, the research team monitored actual levels of physical activity in 130 children aged between 6 and 7 years over one week, using a portable recording device (accelerometer) carried on a waist belt.

They compared the readings with the information supplied by their parents, using the Health Survey for England annual questionnaire.

To maintain good health and stave off obesity and other serious illness in later life, it is recommended that children engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, such as brisk walking, running, and sports.

Parents said their children were moderately to vigorously physically active for an average of 146 minutes a day.

But the accelerometer readings showed that this figure was actually 24 minutes a day, with boys managing 26 minutes and girls 22.

According to the survey data, 83% of boys and 56% of girls complied with the recommended daily amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity.

But the accelerometer showed that only 3% of boys and 2% of girls actually did so.

The authors say that these findings back up national figures, showing an increase in car journeys children take, as well as their expanding girth.

"Marked improvements in surveillance of physical activity will be necessary in order to meet the major public health challenges of the 21 st century, particularly where physical activity has been implicated in the aetiology of diseases, such as obesity and related disorders," they comment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Basterfield et al. Surveillance of physical activity in the UK is flawed: validation of the Health Survey for England physical activity questionnaire. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2008; DOI: 10.1136/adc.2007.135905

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "UK Children's Physical Activity Levels Hugely Overestimated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908215935.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2008, September 11). UK Children's Physical Activity Levels Hugely Overestimated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908215935.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "UK Children's Physical Activity Levels Hugely Overestimated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908215935.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins