Physical Activity in Children Attending Preschools

Line Grønholt Olesen, Peter Lund Kristensen, Lars Korsholm, Karsten Froberg

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To identify correlates of objectively measured moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in children during preschool attendance.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study included data from 426 apparently healthy Danish children (49.5% boys), 5 to 6 years of age enrolled in 42 randomly selected preschools. The percentage of time spent in MVPA (≥ 574 counts/15 second) during preschool attendance was measured using ActiGraph accelerometers over 4.3 preschool days in May and June in 2009. Thirty-seven potential correlates across the child, preschool staff, and preschool environment domains were tested for associations with MVPA.

RESULTS: The final multivariate model identified 9 significant correlates of MVPA. Preterm birth, vegetation on the playground, and rainy days were negatively associated with MVPA, whereas child motor coordination, location of preschool building on the playground, gender (boys), percentage afternoon hours, and size of indoor area per child were positively associated with MVPA. The direction of the significant association with the parental mean education level was unclear.

CONCLUSIONS: We identified a number of new modifiable correlates of MVPA during preschool attendance. The positive association with size of indoor area per child and location of the preschool building on the playground seem important correlates to be targeted in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatrics Electronic Pages
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)e1310-e1318
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Environment design
  • Motor activity
  • Play
  • Playthings
  • Preschool child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Child Behavior/physiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Male
  • Motor Activity/physiology
  • Schools/statistics & numerical data
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Child


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