Pedometer-determined physical activity patterns in a segmented school day among Hong Kong primary school children

Yang GAO, Jing jing Wang, Patrick W C LAU*, Lynda Ransdell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Objective: This study aimed to characterize pedometer-determined physical activity (PA) patterns in segmented school days among Hong Kong primary school children. Methods: Participants were instructed to wear pedometers for 4 consecutive days. The overall step counts and counts at specific periods (e.g., after school, recess, and lunch) during the test days were recorded. Results: Of the 74 recruited participants, 68 (41.2% boys, aged 10 and 11 years old) provided valid data. The mean total daily steps over the 4 test days ranged from 9064 to 9714 (standard deviation=3140-3471 steps). The periods that contributed most toward total daily steps were after school (34.2%), recess (14.0%), and physical education (PE) classes (12.3%). Overall, Student t tests revealed that boys were more active than girls. More active children (daily step average above the sex-specific median value) accumulated significantly more steps during recess and after school than less active children (daily step average below the sex-specific median value) in both sexes (mean differences ranged from 507 steps to 1977 steps). A mixed model analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that students accumulated 914 steps more on days that included PE classes than on days without PE classes. A three-way ANOVA found no significant differences in body weight status (normal weight vs. overweight and obesity) and travel mode (active vs. passive modes). Conclusion: The findings provide a better understanding of PA patterns and the contribution of the distinct segments within a school day to children's PA. This information may assist in developing more effective, appropriate, and timely school-based PA interventions for children in Hong Kong.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-48
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Exercise Science and Fitness
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Child
  • Pedometer
  • Physical activity patterns
  • Segmented school day


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