Correlates of objectively measured physical activity in 5-6 year old preschool children

L G Olesen, P L Kristensen, L Korsholm, A B Koch, K Froberg

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Aim: The aim of this study was to identify gender specific physical activity correlates in Danish preschool children, using a socioecological approach. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in Odense, Denmark. The gender specific models were based on data from 174 boys and 177 girls, 5-6 years of age and enrolled in 40 randomly selected preschools. Percentage of total daily time spent in moderate and vigorously physical activity (MVPA) was measured using ActiGraph accelerometers over 5 preschool days and 2 days off. Thirty-nine potential correlates of child MVPA across 5 domains were tested for associations with gender specific MVPA. Results: The gender specific models consistently identified motor coordination and the parents' perceptions of their child's activity preferences during free play to be positively associated with MVPA. Days with rain or no preschool attendance were negatively associated with MVPA. For boys, rural area and the size of the preschool playground were positively associated with MVPA, whereas for girls, it was the age and the relative preschool indoor area. Conclusion: Individual and overall environmental correlates of MVPA were identified. However, most correlates were not or only weakly related to MVPA. It is possible that the interaction with peers and surrounding adults might contribute the most to preschool child MVPA.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)513-526
Publication statusPublished - 22. May 2015


  • Child
  • Ecology
  • Motor activity
  • Motor skills
  • Child Development/physiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Child, Preschool
  • Male
  • Motor Activity/physiology
  • Exercise Test/methods
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Schools


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