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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634

Abstract

JAUREGUI, Alejandra et al. The physical activity level of Mexican children decreases upon entry to elementary school. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2011, vol.53, n.3, pp. 228-236. ISSN 0036-3634.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342011000300007.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the physical activity patterns of a cohort of Mexican children in kindergarten (K), first (1ES) and second grade (2ES) of elementary school. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The physical activity of 217 children (123 girls and 94 boys) aged 5-6 years was measured (five full-day triaxial accelerometry) annually.Weekday and weekend moderate/ vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and school and off-school MVPA was calculated. Comparisons between surveys were made using longitudinal multilevel generalized linear models. RESULTS: Weekday MVPA was 22 and 37 min/d lower for 1ES (p=0.06) and 2ES (p<0.01), respectively, compared to K. School MVPA for 1ES and 2ES was 37 (-5.0 min/h) and 40% (-5.5 min/h) (p<0.001) lower, respectively, compared to K. No differences were found between weekend and off-school MVPA among school stages (p>0.5). CONCLUSION: MVPA was significantly reduced from K to ES,in part because of a decline in MVPA during school activities. Interventions targeted to school environment modifications should be promoted.

Keywords : preschool; children; physical activity; life style; Mexico.

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