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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 699; doi:10.3390/ijerph13070699

Compulsory School In- and Outdoors—Implications for School Children’s Physical Activity and Health during One Academic Year

1
Department of Sport Sciences, Linnaeus University, SE-391 82 Kalmar, Sweden
2
Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
3
Department of Food and Nutrition and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
4
Center for Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Stockholm County Council, Box 1497, 171 29 Solna, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 28 April 2016 / Revised: 15 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
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Abstract

Regulated school days entail less free-living physical activity (PA) and outdoor stay, which may jeopardize the opportunities for cohesive moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and, by extension, children’s health. The role of outdoor stay during school time for pupils’ free-living PA vs. physical education (PE) and indoor stay was studied during one academic year in 196 pupils aged 7–14 years at four schools in mid-southern Sweden during five consecutive days each in September, March, and May. Actigraph GT3X+ Activity monitors were used. Predictors for PA during school stay were expressed as mean daily accelerometer counts and were measured per season, day, grade, gender, weather, and time outdoors. Overall, free-living PA outdoors generated the highest mean accelerometer counts for moderate and vigorous PA. Outdoor PA and PE, representing 23.7% of the total school time contributed to 50.4% of total mean accelerometer counts, and were the greatest contributors to moderate and vigorous PA. Age and weather impacted PA, with less PA in inclement weather and among older pupils. More time outdoors, at all seasons, would favorably increase school children’s chances of reaching recommended levels of PA. View Full-Text
Keywords: health; children; school environment; physical activity; physical education health; children; school environment; physical activity; physical education
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pagels, P.; Raustorp, A.; Guban, P.; Fröberg, A.; Boldemann, C. Compulsory School In- and Outdoors—Implications for School Children’s Physical Activity and Health during One Academic Year. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 699.

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