Tracking of accelerometer-measured physical activity in early childhood

Nicholas M. Edwards, Philip R. Khoury, Heidi J. Kalkwarf, Jessica G. Woo, Randal P. Claytor, Stephen R. Daniels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Establishing and maintaining healthy physical activity (PA) levels is important throughout life. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of PA tracking between ages 3 and 7 y. Objective measures of PA (RT3, triaxial accelerometer) were collected every 4 mo from ages 3-7; data from 234 children with PA measures available during each year of age were analyzed. Mean PA (total, moderate/vigorous (MV), and inactivity [IA]) was calculated for each year of age and adjusted for wear time. Correlations with age 3 PA were moderate at age 4 (r =.42-.45) but declined by age 7 (r =.19-.25). After classification into sexspecific tertiles of PA at age 3, boys in the high age 3 MVPA tertile maintained significantly higher PA at all subsequent ages, while girls in the high age 3 MVPA tertile were not significantly higher at age 6 and 7. Boys and girls in the high age 3 IA tertile had significantly higher IA at multiple subsequent years of age (p <.05 at ages 5 and 6). In conclusion, boys who were relatively more active at age 3 remained more active for several subsequent years. These findings highlight early-childhood differences in physical activity patterns between boys and girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-501
Number of pages15
JournalPediatric exercise science
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

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