Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting

Segmented patterns of physical activity and sedentary behavior among a sample of Victorian primary school children (#276)

Claudia Strugnell 1 , Kyle Turner 2 , Mary Malakellis 3 , Josh Hayward 3 , Lynne Millar 3 4 , Boyd Swinburn 3 5 , Steve Allender 3 4
  1. Deakin University, Geeelong, VIC, Australia
  2. British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  3. WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Population Health Strategic Research Centre, Deakin University, Geeelong, VIC, Australia
  4. School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  5. School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand


To identify correlates of children’s physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) patterns across the school-day and identify possible intervention opportunities for health promoting activity.


A strategic random sample of 156 primary schools across 26 local government areas during September to December 2013.  Thirty-nine primary schools agreed to participate (RR = 25%) with all Grade 4 and Grade 6 students invited (RR = 35.6%).  Participants completed a behavioural PA, SB, dietary and wellbeing questionnaire and their height, weight and waist were measured.  A random sub-sample (approximately 50% of all participants) were also invited to wear a GT3X+ ActiGraph accelerometer for the proceeding 7-days. Duration spent in daily light-intensity PA (LPA), moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and sedentary time (ST) were calculated across specified time periods (before-school = 8-9am; during-school = 9am-3:30pm; and after-school = 3:30pm-6pm). 


Among 298 participant children (mean age: 11.2 ± 1.1; 44% male) during-school time represented the greatest accumulation of LPA and MVPA with boys engaging 102 mins.d-1 of LPA (95% CI: 98.5, 104.9) and 61 mins.d-1of MVPA (95% CI: 58.9, 64.7) and girls engaging in 103 mins.d-1 of LPA (95% CI: 99.7, 106.5) and 45 mins.d-1 of MVPA (95% CI 42.9, 47.4).  Linear regression models indicated that girls with overweight or obesity engaged in significantly less LPA (β = -12.0; 95% CI: -19.40; -4.61 mins.d-1), MVPA (β = -5.7; 95% CI: -11.04; -0.44 mins.d-1) and more time in ST during-school (β = 20.2; 95% CI: 9.79; 30.64 mins.d-1) than girls with normal weight, no significant weight status differences were observed for boys.


School time provided the greatest accumulation of MVPA and LPA for both boys and girls reflecting the importance of in-school physical activity; especially among the largely socioeconomically disadvantaged study population, whom may have fewer resources to participate in after-school PA.