Longitudinal trajectories of children's physical activity and sedentary behaviors on weekdays and weekends

Peng Zhang, Jung Eun Lee, David F. Stodden, Zan Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: The objective was to examine changes of children's time spent in sedentary, light physical activity, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and estimated energy expenditure (EE) rates during weekdays and weekends across 3 years. Methods: An initial sample of 261 children's (mean age = 7.81 y) 5-day physical activity and EE were assessed annually via accelerometry across 3 years using repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance. The outcome variables were time spent in sedentary, light physical activity, MVPA, and kilocalories per day for weekdays and weekends. Results: A significant decrease in MVPA and EE occurred during weekdays across the 3 years (P = .01). Only the second-year data demonstrated an increase (+2.49 min) in weekend MVPA (P = .04). Children's sedentary time during weekdays increased significantly in years 1 and 2 (P = .01), yet significantly decreased in the third year (-44.31 min). Children's sedentary time during weekends significantly decreased in the first year (-27.31 min), but increased in the following 2 years (P = .01). Children's light physical activity demonstrated a statistically significant increase in year 2 (+3.75 min) during weekdays (P = .05). Conclusions: Children's MVPA and EE generally declined during weekdays but were maintained during weekends across a 3-year time span. Children may benefit most from weekday intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1128
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number12
Early online dateOct 7 2019
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the graduate assistants and undergraduates who aided in the data collection process. This study was funded by a grant from the National Institute Child Health Development (1R15HD071514-01A1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Human Kinetics, Inc.


  • Accelerometer
  • Adolescents
  • Health behavior
  • Moderate to vigorous physical activity
  • Physical education


Dive into the research topics of 'Longitudinal trajectories of children's physical activity and sedentary behaviors on weekdays and weekends'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this