Low physical activity levels and high levels of sedentary behaviour are characteristic of rural Irish primary school children

John J Reilly, L.A. Kelly, J.Y. Paton, S. Grant

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There is increasing public health concern that levels of physical activity in children are extremely low. This study aimed to describe objectively levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviour during the waking hours in a sample of 4-5 year old (median 5.4 years range 4.3, 6.0) rural Irish children (n=41) and to test for gender differences in patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviour. There were significant gender differences in physical activity (Boys (median) 834 accelerometer counts per minute (cpm), girls (median) 628cpm; p = 0.0015), sedentary behaviour (Boys 74% of waking time, girls 81% of waking time, p=0.0011) and moderate-vigorous physical activity (Boys 4% of waking time, girls 2% of waking time; p=0.0175). This study that suggests young rural Irish children lead sedentary lifestyles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-141
Number of pages3
JournalIrish Medical Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • childhood obesity
  • physical activity
  • sedentary behavior

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