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Comparisons of pedometer‐determined weekday physical activity among Swedish school children and adolescents in 2000 and 2017 showed the highest reductions in adolescents

Journal article
Authors Anders Raustorp
Andreas Fröberg
Published in Acta Paediatrica
ISSN 0803-5253
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science
Language en
Subject categories Health Sciences, Physiotherapy, Sport and Fitness Sciences


This study compared differences in weekday physical activity among school children and adolescents in middle‐class communities in south eastern Sweden in 2000 and 2017. Methods Data were drawn from two independent cross‐sectional cohorts of children and adolescents aged eight, 11 and 14. The same six schools, protocols, procedures and instruments were used in both years, with 332 subjects in 2000 and 562 in 2017. Mean steps per day (SPD) were measured with a Yamax SW‐200 pedometer. Results The mean weekday SPD was similar among eight‐year‐old girls in both years, but 8% (p=0.040) higher among eight‐year‐old boys in 2017. However, among 11‐year‐old children, the mean SPDs were 12% lower among both girls (p=0.033) and boys (p=0.001). The SPDs among 14‐year‐old adolescents were 24% (p=0.012) and 30% (p<0.001) lower among girls and boys, respectively. Conclusion This school‐based study from south eastern Sweden showed that weekday physical activity differed between age groups in 2000 and 2017. The highest reductions were seen among older children and adolescents, particularly 14‐year‐old girls and boys. The only group that increased was eight‐year‐old boys, with no significant change in eight‐year‐old girls. A possible explanation might be the dramatically increased use of the Internet on phones and tablets.

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