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Objective: To examine the relation of physical activity practices covering physical education (PE), recess, and classroom time in elementary schools to children's objectively measured physical activity during school. Methods: Participants were 172 children from 97 elementary schools in the San Diego, CA and Seattle, WA USA regions recruited in 2009–2010. Children's moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during school was assessed via accelerometry, and school practices were assessed via survey of school informants. Multivariate linear mixed models were adjusted for participant demographics and unstandardized regression coefficients are reported. The 5 practices with the strongest associations with physical activity were combined into an index to investigate additive effects of these practices on children's MVPA. Results: Providing ≥ 100 min/week of PE (B = 6.7 more min/day; p = .049), having ≤ 75 students/supervisor in recess (B = 6.4 fewer min/day; p = .031), and having a PE teacher (B = 5.8 more min/day; p = .089) were related to children's MVPA during school. Children at schools with 4 of the 5 practices in the index had 20 more min/day of MVPA during school than children at schools with 0 or 1 of the 5 practices (p < .001). Conclusions: The presence of multiple school physical activity practices doubled children's physical activity during school.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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