Special Issue "Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Michael J. Duncan
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Leading Guest Editor
Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Aberdeen, UK
Interests: physical activity; movement assessment; motor competence; interventions; children and adolescents
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Cain Clark
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Guest Editor
Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences, Coventry University, UK
Interests: data analytics; visualization and meta-analyses; physical activity; motor competence; sedentary behaviour
Dr. Clarice Maria De Lucena Martins
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Physical Eduction, Federal University of Paraiba, Brazil
Interests: physical activity; obesity; preschoolers; children; motor competence
Prof. Dr. Jorge Mota
Website
Guest Editor
Research Center for Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, University of Porto, 4200-450 Porto, Portuga
Interests: physical activity; exercise; pediatrics; obesity; physical fitness; cardiometabolic risk factors
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Physical activity and exercise remain key behaviours which, when instilled during childhood, promote health throughout the life course. Engaging in sufficient amounts of physical activity during childhood is associated with lower levels of unhealthy weight and obesity, enhanced cardiometabolic health, improved cognition and academic achievement, and a more positive sense of wellbeing. Despite these known benefits, data from across the world still suggest that children are not meeting the required levels of physical activity for health benefits. Additionally, although interventions to enhance physical activity have been had trials, there remain significant gaps in scientific understanding of the effectiveness and utility of physical activity interventions in children. This Special Issue invites contributions from across the spectrum of health, sport and exercise, social and life sciences examining the issue of physical activity, exercise and obesity in children.

This Special Issue is open to original research, review articles, short reports, brief commentaries, case reports, and meta-analyses, related to physical activity and exercise in children and their impact on obesity and other health-related variables. The keywords listed below suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Cross-sectional and longitudinal association of physical activity, fitness and health- related variables during childhood
  • Environmental, sociocultural, and biological correlates of physical activity and obesity during childhood
  • Interaction of physical activity, motor competence, obesity, and health markers during childhood through adolescence
  • Intervention strategies targeting physical activity and healthy weight during childhood
  • Process evaluation of interventions designed to enhance physical activity and reduce obesity during childhood
  • Association of motor competence and physical fitness in childhood with lifestyle habits later in life

Measurement issues related to physical activity, exercise and obesity during infancy and through adolescence

Prof. Dr. Michael J. Duncan
Prof. Dr. Jorge Mota
Dr. Cain Clark
Dr. Clarice Maria De Lucena Martins
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • physical activity
  • exercise
  • fitness
  • sedentary behaviour
  • obesity
  • body composition
  • measurement
  • intervention
  • process evaluation
  • implementation
  • public health
  • physical activity promotion
  • physical activity epidemiology

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Muscular Strength of Upper and Lower Limbs and Self-Esteem in Chilean SchoolChildren: Independent Associations with Body Composition Indicators
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020361 - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between muscular strength from upper and lower limbs with self-esteem among Chilean schoolchildren, drawing independent associations with body composition indicators. The sample consisted of 1078 schoolchildren. The muscular strength of the upper and [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between muscular strength from upper and lower limbs with self-esteem among Chilean schoolchildren, drawing independent associations with body composition indicators. The sample consisted of 1078 schoolchildren. The muscular strength of the upper and lower limbs was evaluated using a digital dynamometer and long jump performance. The general strength index was calculated based on Z-score values. Rosenberg’s test was used to determine the level of self-esteem of participants. Body fat and body mass index were employed as body composition indicators. Boys had significantly more upper and lower strength, and a general strength index higher than girls (11.7 vs. 10.6; 109.7 vs. 97.4; 0.19 vs. −0.24, respectively). For boys and girls combined, there were no significant associations between all muscular strength variables and self-esteem. In boys, upper and lower limb strength was positively associated with self-esteem. In girls, no association between muscular strength and self-esteem was found. In both sexes, the general strength index was not associated with self-esteem. Strategies and programs that promote mental health and muscular strength among schoolchildren, specifically in boys, are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
Open AccessArticle
Is Adiposity Associated with the Quality of Movement Patterns in the Mid-Adolescent Period?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9230; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249230 - 10 Dec 2020
Abstract
This study examined the association between functional movement (FM) and adiposity in adolescent population (16–17 years). This study was conducted in a representative sample of urban adolescents as the part of the CRO-PALS longitudinal study (n = 652). Body mass index (BMI), a [...] Read more.
This study examined the association between functional movement (FM) and adiposity in adolescent population (16–17 years). This study was conducted in a representative sample of urban adolescents as the part of the CRO-PALS longitudinal study (n = 652). Body mass index (BMI), a sum of four skinfolds (S4S), waist and hip circumference were measured, and FM was assessed via Functional Movement ScreenTM (FMSTM). Furthermore, total FMSTM screen was indicator of FM with the composite score ranged from 7 to 21, with higher score indicating better FM. Multilevel analysis was employed to determine the relationship between different predictors and total FMS score. In boys, after controlling for age, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and socioeconomic status, total FMS score was inversely associated only with BMI (β = −0.18, p < 0.0001), S4S (β = −0.04, p < 0.0001), waist circumference (β = −0.08, p < 0.0001), and hip circumference (β = −0.09, p < 0.0001). However, among girls, in adjusted models, total FMS score was inversely associated with S4S (β = −0.03, p < 0.0001), while BMI (β = −0.05, p = 0.23), waist circumference (β = −0.04, p = 0.06), and hip circumference: (β = −0.01, p = 0.70) failed to reach statistical significance. Results showed that the association between adiposity and FM in adolescence is sex-specific, suggesting that boys with overweight and obesity could be more prone to develop dysfunctional movement patterns. Therefore, exercise interventions directed toward correcting dysfunctional movement patterns should be sex-specific, targeting more boys with overweight and obesity rather than adolescent girls with excess weight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
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Open AccessArticle
Impaired Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Muscle Strength in Children with Normal-Weight Obesity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249198 - 09 Dec 2020
Abstract
Despite the health-related implications of normal-weight obesity in children, very little research has explored the fundamental associations between this status and important long-term health parameters. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate the physical fitness of children with normal-weight obesity, [...] Read more.
Despite the health-related implications of normal-weight obesity in children, very little research has explored the fundamental associations between this status and important long-term health parameters. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate the physical fitness of children with normal-weight obesity, in comparison to normal-weight non obese and overweight and obese counterparts. A total of 328 middle-school-aged children (9.8 ± 0.5 y) took part in this study (n = 44 normal-weight obese; n = 237; normal-weight non obese; n = 47 overweight and obese). Height, weight, and body-fatness were measured. Four physical fitness tests were conducted: (1) Multistage fitness test; (2) shuttle run 4 × 10 m; (3) sit-ups for 60 s; (4) the broad jump. Welch’s analysis of variance (ANOVA), stratified by sex, with post-hoc testing where necessary, was performed. Children with normal-weight obesity had significantly (p < 0.01) lower cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness than normal-weight non obese peers. In addition, normal-weight obese and overweight and obese boys had comparable deficits in strength and explosiveness of lower limbs, speed coordination, and endurance, compared to normal-weight non obese counterparts. Normal-weight obese children appear to have similar deficits in PF as their overweight and obese peers, compared to normal-weight non obese counterparts, whilst boys had larger deficits than girls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
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Open AccessArticle
Body Weight Dissatisfaction Is Associated with Cardiovascular Health-Risk Behaviors among Brazilian Adolescents: Findings from a National Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8929; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238929 - 01 Dec 2020
Abstract
Body weight dissatisfaction (BWD) among adolescents may be a predictor of adoption of health-risk behaviors. The study aimed to assess the gendered association between two forms of BWD (feeling underweight/overweight) and cardiovascular health-risk behaviors among Brazilian adolescents. This cross-sectional study used data from [...] Read more.
Body weight dissatisfaction (BWD) among adolescents may be a predictor of adoption of health-risk behaviors. The study aimed to assess the gendered association between two forms of BWD (feeling underweight/overweight) and cardiovascular health-risk behaviors among Brazilian adolescents. This cross-sectional study used data from the National Study of Cardiovascular Risks in Adolescents (ERICA) in Brazil, including 71,740 adolescents aged 12–17 years. BWD was defined as satisfied, dissatisfied feeling underweight and dissatisfied feeling overweight. We considered four health-risk behaviors: tobacco use, alcohol use, physical inactivity and skipping breakfast. Assessment of the associations between BWD and these behaviors were undertaken using logistic regression models. All analyses were stratified by gender. Analyses revealed that 14.9% of male adolescents and 14.5% of female adolescents were dissatisfied feeling underweight and 21.5% of males and 39.9% of females were dissatisfied feeling overweight. Among male adolescents, dissatisfied feeling overweight was associated with greater odds of physical inactivity and skipping breakfast. Among female adolescents, dissatisfied feeling underweight and overweight were associated with higher odds of alcohol use and skipping breakfast. These results highlight the importance of BWD and the association with a range of adolescent health behaviors increasing cardiovascular risk over the life course, depending on gender. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
Open AccessArticle
60 Minutes Per Day in Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity as a Natural Health Protector in Young Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8918; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238918 - 30 Nov 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study was to check whether following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning physical activity protects children and adolescents against the occurrence of overweight and obesity. A total of 1002 children were included in the analysis. The [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to check whether following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning physical activity protects children and adolescents against the occurrence of overweight and obesity. A total of 1002 children were included in the analysis. The average age of the studied children was 9.36 years ± 3.52 years. Measurement of height and body mass was performed for every child, followed by physical activity assessment over seven days. In each group analyzed, the overweight and obese children had a shorter time in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) than the children with normal body mass. Among the children spending < 60 min per day in MVPA, the risk of occurrence of overweight and obesity was greater than among children with physical activity > 60 min per day. It was also shown that the greatest risk of occurrence of body mass disorder was a situation in which the mother’s gestational weight gain (GWG) is over 18 kg and the child does not spend a minimum of 60 min/day in MVPA. Not meeting the recommendation is connected with an increased chance of the occurrence of overweight and obesity. The level of physical activity influences the incidence of overweight and obesity. The children with overweight and obesity spent less time per day in MVPA. An increased body mass in mothers during pregnancy associated with a child’s low level of physical activity increases the risk of the occurrence of overweight and obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Obesity and Physical Activity of Children in the Spotlight of Their Parents’ Excessive Body Weight
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8737; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238737 - 24 Nov 2020
Abstract
Background: The study reveals the relationships between daily physical activity (PA) and the prevalence of obesity in family members separated according to the participation of their offspring in organized leisure-time physical activity (OLTPA), and answers the question of whether the participation of children [...] Read more.
Background: The study reveals the relationships between daily physical activity (PA) and the prevalence of obesity in family members separated according to the participation of their offspring in organized leisure-time physical activity (OLTPA), and answers the question of whether the participation of children in OLTPA is associated with a lower prevalence of obesity in offspring with respect to parental PA and body weight level. Methods: The cross-sectional study included 1493 parent-child dyads (915/578 mother/father-child aged 4–16 years) from Czechia selected by two-stage stratified random sampling with complete data on body weight status and weekly PA gathered over a regular school week between 2013 and 2019. Results: The children who participated in OLTPA ≥ three times a week had a significantly lower (p < 0.005) prevalence of obesity than the children without participation in OLTPA (5.0% vs. 11.1%). Even in the case of overweight/obese mothers/fathers, the children with OLTPA ≥ three times a week had a significantly lower (p < 0.002) prevalence of obesity than the children without OLTPA (6.7%/4.2% vs. 14.9%/10.7%). Conclusions: The cumulative effect of regular participation in OLTPA and a child’s own PA is a stronger alleviator of children’s obesity than their parents’ risk of overweight/obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Dietary Diversity Reduce the Risk of Obesity? Empirical Evidence from Rural School Children in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8122; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218122 - 03 Nov 2020
Abstract
Childhood and adolescence overweight and obesity have implications for both health consequences and economic burden. Although it has been an emerging public health problem for primary school children in rural China and the importance of the diet–health link has been stressed for many [...] Read more.
Childhood and adolescence overweight and obesity have implications for both health consequences and economic burden. Although it has been an emerging public health problem for primary school children in rural China and the importance of the diet–health link has been stressed for many years, rigorous analysis of the dietary diversity and obesity among children is rare. To clarify this issue, this study provides a better understanding of the functional linkage between dietary diversity and obesity by analyzing data from nearly 8500 rural primary students (aged from 10 to 13 years old) covering three provinces in China. Our estimation results show that there is a significantly negative correlation between dietary diversity and the probability of being overweight among primary students. In particular, for subgroups with higher dietary diversity, the negative correlation between dietary diversity and the incidence of overweight or obesity is stronger, and the absolute value of the coefficient is greater. The results also suggest that the increase in the consumption frequency of all dietary categories can significantly lead to a lower proportion of overweight. Thus, we conclude that higher dietary diversity can help to lower the risk of overweight and obesity among primary school children, presumably through increasing the daily frequency of food intakes and developing a more diverse dietary pattern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
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Open AccessArticle
Overweight and Obesity in Children of Immigrant Versus Native Parents: Exploring a Local Setting in Portugal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7897; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217897 - 28 Oct 2020
Abstract
In Portugal, the majority of immigrants come from Portuguese-speaking countries. Among children, overweight and obesity are serious public health concerns, but a few studies include children with immigrant background. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity and risk of [...] Read more.
In Portugal, the majority of immigrants come from Portuguese-speaking countries. Among children, overweight and obesity are serious public health concerns, but a few studies include children with immigrant background. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity and risk of abdominal obesity in school-age children and to explore potential determinants, considering the origin of the children’s parents (both mother and father are non-Portuguese, only one Portuguese, and both are Portuguese). A cross-sectional study included a random sample of 789 children (5–11 years old, 49.2% of males and 50.8% female) attending public primary schools in Barreiro, district of Setubal, Portugal. Fieldwork occurred from 20th April to 3rd July 2009. Data concerning socioeconomic, eating habits, and sports outside school were obtained through a questionnaire applied to the children’s person in charge. Anthropometric measures were collected by certified technicians. One-third of the children presented overweight and obesity (33.7%, 95% CI [30.0; 37.7]) and risk of abdominal obesity (16.4%, 95% CI [13.6; 19.7]) without differences according to parents’ origin. Children with immigrant background presented higher consumption of low-priced, high-sugar, and high-fat foods, with a worse situation for girls. Females from both non-Portuguese parents also practiced less sports outside school than those where one or two parents are Portuguese. Thus, promoting and monitoring a healthy diet and physical activity in this group should be prioritized in this local setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
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Open AccessArticle
The Predictors of Obesity among Urban Girls and Boys Aged 8–10 Years—A Cross-Sectional Study in North-Western Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6611; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186611 - 11 Sep 2020
Abstract
Background: Children worldwide are increasingly becoming overweight and obese and developing related health problems, including hypertension, lipid disorders, abnormal glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes, and secondary psychological disorders. The aim of the study was to determine sociodemographic risk factors that predict an increase [...] Read more.
Background: Children worldwide are increasingly becoming overweight and obese and developing related health problems, including hypertension, lipid disorders, abnormal glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes, and secondary psychological disorders. The aim of the study was to determine sociodemographic risk factors that predict an increase in BMI in children at an early school age. Material and method: The study covered 4972 children aged 8–10 years, including boys (N = 2461) and girls (N = 2511). Measurements of basic anthropometric indicators were used, such as body height, body weight, body composition, and physical fitness. The criteria developed by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) were adopted. Sociodemographic features were analyzed based on a diagnostic survey. IBM SPSS Statistics v.25 (Mineral Midrange SA, Warsaw, Poland) and IBM SPSS Amos software (Mineral Midrange SA, Warsaw, Poland) were used to perform descriptive statistics, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Pearson′s chi-square test, Student’s t-test, and the Mann-Whitney U test. The statistical significance index was assumed to be p < 0.05, while p < 0.01 was taken as an indicator of a trend which was not completely statistically significant. Results: Both the children and their parents had mainly moderate BMI. A total of 78.7% of children were within the weight norm. Among girls, extreme obesity was two times more frequent than extreme underweight. The examined boys were significantly taller, heavier, and had a higher BMI than girls. There were significant differences between boys and girls in BMI; however, gender alone accounted for less than 1% variance. The influence of parents′ characteristics was much greater, increasing the explained variance to 10%. Body weight of mothers and fathers (p < 0.001), mother′s height (p < 0.01) and both parents′ level of education (p < 0.001) were detected as significant predictors of children’s BMI. Conclusions: The analysis of selected sociodemographic and health factors determining the BMI of the child population indicates the need for preventive action and health promotion both among children and their parents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Age-Related Association between Perceived Motor Competence and Actual Motor Competence in Adolescence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176361 - 01 Sep 2020
Abstract
Irish adolescents have been found to possess high perceptions of motor competence. However, there is an evidential value to investigating the strength of the relationship between adolescent perceptions of motor competence and their low levels of actual motor competence. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Irish adolescents have been found to possess high perceptions of motor competence. However, there is an evidential value to investigating the strength of the relationship between adolescent perceptions of motor competence and their low levels of actual motor competence. The purpose of this research was to gather data on the fundamental, functional, and perceived motor competence in adolescents, differentiated by year group, to discern if participants could assess their perceptions of ability. Data were collected on adolescents (N = 373; mean age: 14.38 ± 0.87 years; 47.7% female) across six second-level schools in Ireland, including measurements of fundamental movement skills, functional movement, and perceived motor competence. Poor levels of fundamental and functional movement were observed, with significant differences between year groups detected. Participants in 1st year scored the highest in overall fundamental movement skills; however, for overall functional movement, 3rd-year participants scored highest. High levels of perceived motor competence were reported across the entire sample. These scores did not align with actual motor competence, nor did any alignment between these measurements improve with aging, countering theorized age-related associations. Future research should target low levels of actual motor competence while emphasizing the cognitive aspects of movement to ensure greater accuracy between actual and perceived motor competence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Compliance with the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines and Fundamental Movement Skills in Preschoolers: A Network Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5443; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155443 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The present study aimed to analyze the compliance with the 24-h movement guidelines and its association with fundamental motor skills (FMS) in early childhood, considering sex and Body Mass Index (BMI) in a network perspective. Two hundred and twelve preschoolers (109 boys, 4.45 [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to analyze the compliance with the 24-h movement guidelines and its association with fundamental motor skills (FMS) in early childhood, considering sex and Body Mass Index (BMI) in a network perspective. Two hundred and twelve preschoolers (109 boys, 4.45 ± 0.78 years old) provided physical activity (PA), sleep duration, screen time, fundamental motor skills (FMS) and BMI data. Relationships between compliance with movement behaviors guidelines, FMS, sex and BMI were calculated using a network analysis. Only two percent of the entire sample complied with the overall 24-h movement behaviors recommendations; while the emerged network in the present study emphasized ball skills as the most critical centrality variable, according to age, reinforcing the importance of ball skills for the engagement and maintenance of PA in children. The present study presents a novel statistical and theoretical perspective that permits hitherto unseen insight into the associations between movement behavior, FMS and their correlates, that appropriately consider the inherent, multifaceted, complexity of these relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
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Open AccessArticle
Weight Status Is Related to Health-Related Physical Fitness and Physical Activity but Not to Sedentary Behaviour in Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4518; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124518 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Purpose: The aim of this research was to describe, examine, and compare the level of physical fitness, physical activity, and sedentary behaviour in pupils aged 6–13 in the Region of Murcia, Spain, in accordance with weight status. Methods: A total of 370 children [...] Read more.
Purpose: The aim of this research was to describe, examine, and compare the level of physical fitness, physical activity, and sedentary behaviour in pupils aged 6–13 in the Region of Murcia, Spain, in accordance with weight status. Methods: A total of 370 children (166 girls and 204 boys) aged 6–13 (M = 8.7; DT = 1.8) from the Region of Murcia participated in this descriptive and cross-sectional study. Some anthropometric parameters such as body mass index, waist circumference, as well as skinfold measurements were determined. ALPHA-FIT Test Battery was used to evaluate physical fitness. Krece Plus Short Test was used to measure physical activity level and sedentary behaviour. Results: 52.4% of the children presented excess weight (according to the World Health Organization growth references). Regarding boys, statistically significant differences were found for cardiorespiratory fitness (p < 0.001), relative handgrip strength (p < 0.001), lower muscular strength (p < 0.001), speed-agility (p < 0.001), as well as sport activities hours (p = 0.001) among the three weight status groups (normal weight, overweight, and obesity). As for girls, statistically significant differences were found for cardiorespiratory fitness (p = 0.004), relative handgrip strength (p < 0.001), lower muscular strength (p < 0.001), sport activities hours (p = 0.005), as well as physical activity level (assessed by Krece Plus Test) (p = 0.017). A negative statistically significant correlation was found between body mass index and cardiorespiratory fitness (rho = −0.389), lower muscular strength, (rho = −0.340), and relative handgrip strength (rho = −0.547). At the same time, a positive statistically significant relationship between body mass index and the time spent in speed-agility (rho = 0.263) was shown. Regarding waist circumference and body fat percentage, similar relationships were identified. Moreover, a greater probability of having higher cardiorespiratory fitness (OR = 1.58; CI95% = 1.38–1.82), relative handgrip strength (OR = 1.25; CI95% = 1.19–1.31), more hours of sport activities (OR = 1.40; CI95% = 1.19–1.66), and physical activity level (assessed by Krece Plus Test) (OR = 1.23; CI95% = 1.07–1.42) was noted in the normal weight group. Conclusions: Children that presented normal weight achieved higher results for health-related physical fitness and physical activity than those with excess weight; this was, however, not found to be the case for sedentary behaviour. The authors emphasise the need for changes in public policies and school-based intervention programmes to develop higher levels of both PF and PA in overweight and obese children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Physical Activity, Exercise and Obesity)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Body composition related with health-related physical fitness and physical activity but not with sedentary behaviour in pupils
Authors: José Francisco López-Gil; Javier Brazo-Sayavera; Juan Luis Yuste-Lucas; Fernando Renato Cavichiolli
Affiliation: Departamento de Actividad Física y Deporte, Facultad de Ciencias del Deporte, Universidad de Murcia (UM), 30720 San Javier, Region of Murcia, Spain.
Abstract: Purpose: The aim of this research is to describe, examine and compare the level of physical fitness, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in pupils aged 6-13 in the Region of Murcia, in accordance with body composition classification. Methods: A total of 370 children (44.9% girls) aged 6–13 (8.7±1.8) from six primary schools in the Region of Murcia (Spain). Body mass index, waist circumference as well as skinfold measurements were determinate to assess body composition. ALPHA-FIT Test Battery was used to evaluate physical fitness. Krece Plus Short Test was used to measure physical activity level and sedentary behaviour. Results: 52.4% of the children presented excess of weight (according to the World Health Organization growth references). Regarding boys, statistically significant differences were found for cardiorespiratory fitness (p<0.001), relative handgrip strength (p<0.001), lower muscular strength (p<0.001), speed-agility (p<0.001), as well as sport activities hours (p=0.001) among the three weight status groups (normal weight, overweight and obesity). As for girls, statistically significant differences were found for CRF (p=0.004), relative handgrip strength (p<0.001), lower muscular strength (p<0.001), sport activities hours (p=0.005), as well as physical activity level (assessed by Krece Plus Test) (p=0.017). A negative statistically significant correlation was found between the body mass index and cardiorespiratory fitness (rho=-0.389), lower muscular strength, (rho=-0.340) and relative handgrip strength (ρ=-0.547). At the same time, a positive statistically significant relationship between body mass index and the time spent in speed-agility (rho=0.263) was shown. Regarding waist circumference and body fat percentage, similar relationships were identified. Moreover, it was noted a greater probability of having higher cardiorespiratory fitness (OR=1.58; CI95%=1.38–1.82), relative handgrip strength (OR=1.25; CI95%=1.19–1.31), more hours of sport activities (OR=1.40; CI95%=1.19–1.66) and physical activity level (assessed by Krece Plus Test) (OR=1.23; CI95%=1.07–1.42) in the normal weight group. Conclusions: Children that presented normal weight achieved higher results for health-related physical fitness and physical activity than children with excess of weight; not being so for sedentary behaviour.

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