Objectively measured physical activity of young Canadian children using accelerometry
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The objective of the study was to describe objectively measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary time of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and determine the proportion meeting Canadian age-specific PA guidelines. Ninety children (47 girls, 43 boys; mean age 32 (range, 4-70) months) attending scheduled health supervision visits and in the TARGet Kids! (The Applied Research Group for Kids) cohort wore an Actical accelerometer for 7 days. Participants with 4 or more valid days were included in the analysis. Time, in mean minutes per day (min/day), spent sedentary and in light PA, moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA), and total PA was determined using published cut-points; age groups were compared using ANOVA. Twenty-three percent of children <18 months (n = 28) and 76% of children aged 18-59 months (n = 45) met the guideline of 180 min/day of total PA; 13% of children ≥60 months (n = 17) met the guideline of 60 min/day of MVPA. Children <18 months spent more of their waking time per day engaged in sedentary behaviours (79%; ∼7.3 h) compared with children aged 18-59 months (63%; ∼6.6 h) and children ≥60 months (58%; ∼6.6 h). In conclusion, most children aged 18-59 months met the Canadian PA guidelines for children aged 0-4 years, whereas few younger than 18 months met the same guidelines. Only 13% of children ≥5 years met their age-specific PA guidelines. Further research is needed to develop, test, and implement effective strategies to promote PA and reduce sedentary behaviour in very young children.
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