Pedometer-determined segmented physical activity patterns of fourth- and fifth-grade children

Timothy A. Brusseau, Pamela Kulinna, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Matthew Ferry, Hans Van Der Mars, Paul W. Darst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Background: The need to understand where and how much physical activity (PA) children accumulate has become important in assisting the development, implementation, and evaluation of PA interventions. The purpose of this study was to describe the daily PA patterns of children during the segmented school-week. Methods: 829 children participated by wearing pedometers (Yamax-Digiwalker SW-200) for 5 consecutive days. Students recorded their steps at arrival/departure from school, Physical Education (PE), recess, and lunchtime. Results: Boys took significantly more steps/day than girls during most PA opportunities; recess, t(440) = 8.80, P < .01; lunch, t(811) = 14.57, P < .01; outside of school, t(763) = 5.34, P < .01; school, t(811) = 10.61, P < .01; and total day, t(782) = 7.69, P < .01. Boys and girls accumulated a similar number of steps t(711) = 1.69, P = .09 during PE. For boys, lunchtime represented the largest single source of PA (13.4%) at school, followed by PE (12.7%) and recess (9.5%). For girls, PE was the largest (14.3%), followed by lunchtime (11.7%) and recess (8.3%). Conclusion: An understanding of the contributions of the in-school segments can serve as baseline measures for practitioners and researchers to use in school-based PA interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • BMI
  • Daily step counts
  • Physical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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