Daily physical activity patterns of children living in an American Indian community

Timothy A. Brusseau, Pamela Kulinna, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Matthew Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Embracing a physically active lifestyle is especially important for American Indian (AI) children who are at a greater risk for hypokinetic diseases, particularly Type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this study was to describe AI children's pedometer-determined physical activity (PA) segmented into prominent daily activity patterns. Methods: Participants included 5th- and 6th-grade children (N = 77) attending school from 1 Southwestern US AI community. Children wore a pedometer (Yamax Digiwalker SW-200) for 7 consecutive days. Results: Boys accumulated 12,621 (±5385) steps/weekday and girls accumulated 11,640 (±3695) steps/weekday of which 38% (4,779 ± 1271) and 35% (4,027 ± 1285) were accumulated at school for boys and girls, respectively. Physical education (PE) provided the single largest source of PA during school for both boys (25% or 3117 steps/day) and girls (23% or 2638 steps/day). Lunchtime recess provided 1612 (13%) and 1241 (11%) steps/day for boys and girls, respectively. Children were significantly less active on weekend days, accumulating 8066 ± 1959 (boys) and 6676 ± 1884 (girls). Conclusions: Although children accumulate a majority of their steps outside of school, this study highlights the important contribution of PE to the overall PA accumulation of children living in AI communities. Further, PA programming during the weekend appears to be important for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-53
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Daily step counts
  • Pedometry
  • Physical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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