Correlates of objectively measured physical activity in 5-6 year-old preschool children.

Olesen, L.G.
Kristensen, P.L.
Korsholm, L.
Koch, A.B.
Froberg, K.
Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 55(5), 513-526.


The overall purpose of this study is to identify correlations between gender and physical activity in preschool children. The study specifically seeks to identify potential correlations between children and their parents’ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) across demographic, biological, psychosocial, behavioural and environmental areas. The purpose of this study is also to test identified correlations between children's MVPA and type of day (i.e. preschool days versus days off).


The study concludes that the boys were generally more physically active than the girls. The study also identifies correlation between the children's level of activity and weather conditions. Rainy days negatively influenced the activity level of both girls and boys. However, rain during weekends seems to have a larger negative effect on the girls' level of activity compared with that of the boys. Additionally, the results indicate that the girls' activity level is more heavily influenced by the preschool they attend, which is not necessarily the case with the boys. There is no correlation between the child's activity level and the number/age of siblings, but the study did not consider the gender of siblings and points out that there might be a correlation between the gender of siblings and level of activity. Furthermore, the study finds no correlation between the psychosocial health of the child and level of activity.

The study finds no direct correlation between how much time children spend doing minimum-to-moderate vigorous physical activity and a number of selected factors that attempt to capture the importance of adult role models with regard to physical activity.


The data collection stems from extensive data from 174 boys and 177 girls, aged 5-6-years, and their parents, from 40 representatively selected preschools in a single Danish municipality. The parents of the participating 5-year-olds filled out a questionnaire on their child's health, well-being, housing conditions and interests, as well on the parents' level of physical activity, education, occupation, finances and health. Data from Statistics Denmark on the education level of the parents was also included in the study. Secondly, the physical activity level of the children during preschool days was measured by motion sensors, which registered the activity and the activity's intensity. Furthermore, motor coordination was tested using a Kiphard-Schilling-body-coordination-test (KTK).



Olesen, L.G., Kristensen, P.L., Korsholm, L., Koch, A.B. & Froberg, K., (2015). Correlates of objectively measured physical activity in 5-6 year-old preschool children. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 55(5), 513-526.

Financed by

TrygFonden and the Danish Union of Early Childhood and Youth Educators.