Maximum oxygen uptake and objectively measured physical activity in Danish children 6–7 years of age: the Copenhagen School Child Intervention Study

Institute for Exercise and Sport sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
British Journal of Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.03). 10/2005; 39(10):725-30. DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2004.015230
Source: PubMed


To provide normative data on maximum oxygen uptake (Vo(2)max) and physical activity in children 6-7 years of age and analyse the association between these variables.
Vo(2)max was measured in 366 boys (mean (SD) 6.8 (0.4) years of age) and 332 girls (6.7 (0.4) years of age) from preschool classes in two suburban communities in Copenhagen, during a progressive treadmill exercise. Habitual physical activity was measured with accelerometers.
Boys had higher Vo(2)max both in absolute values (1.19 (0.18) v 1.06 (0.16) litres/min (+11%), p<0.001) and relative to body weight (48.5 (6.0) v 44.8 (5.6) ml/kg/min (+8%); p<0.001) than girls. The difference in Vo(2)max between boys and girls decreased to +2% when expressed relative to lean body mass (LBM). Absolute Vo(2)max was related to LBM, body mass, and stature (all p<0.001). Boys were more physically active than girls (mean counts +9.4%, p<0.001), and even when boys and girls with the same Vo(2)max were compared, boys were more active. The difference in physical activity between the sexes was higher when sustained activity of higher intensity was compared.
Vo(2)max is higher in boys than girls (+11%), even when related to body mass (+8%) and LBM (+2%). Most of the difference in Vo(2)max relative to body mass was explained by the larger percentage body fat in girls. When boys and girls with the same Vo(2)max were compared, boys engaged in more minutes of exercise of at least moderate intensity.

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    • "By using a qualitative approach and gender concepts as theoretical framework, this study contributes to the growing literature on gender differences in children's PA levels during recess (Currie et al., 2012; Dencker and Andersen, 2008; Eiberg et al., 2005; Hallal et al., 2012; Nielsen et al., 2011; Riddoch et al., 2004; Sallis et al., 2000) by exploring children's own experiences of and justification for gendered play by drawing on observations and go-along interviews. In order to improve understanding of the influences on girls' as well as boys' PA level, the aim of the study is to explore how the construction of gendered activity patterns and social positions in the schoolyard lead to gender reinforcing practices in selforganized play during recess. "
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    ABSTRACT: Boys are more physically active than girls and the greatest gender difference in children’s physical activity is found in institutional settings such as school recess. However, research on gender relations, performances and practices that maintain gendered differences in physical activity during recess is still limited. Drawing on a qualitative dataset and a social constructivist gender view, the aim of this study was to investigate how construction of gendered activity patterns and social positions in the schoolyard lead to gendered practices in self-organized play during recess. At 17 Danish schools a total of 460 minutes of recess were observed and 17 go-along group interviews (one at each school), including in total 111 fourth graders (58 girls), were conducted. We found six gender typologies with varying behaviours, needs and power relations. The majority of children were prejudiced in their play, reinforcing gender binarism with boys being more physically active than girls. However, we also found groups such as soccer-playing girls and sedentary computer gaming boys who defied the gender stereotypes. These groups felt limited in their activities because of a hierarchy where not being skilled and sporty implied a lesser status in the hegemonic masculinity and even exclusion from play. More detailed research into what is required for particularly the least active groups is needed to successfully increase both the girls’ and overall physical activity levels.
    European Physical Education Review 12/2014; 21(3). DOI:10.1177/1356336x14561533 · 0.50 Impact Factor
    • "In spite of this, there are only a few population studies on normative data concerning maximal exercise test parameters in healthy children from different age groups (Eiberg et al. 2005; Dencker et al. 2008; Ten Harkel et al. 2011; Lintu et al. 2014). We, therefore, aimed to provide comprehensive data on and reference values for cardiorespiratory fitness, respiratory function and hemodynamic responses during and after maximal cycle ergometer exercise test in girls and boys 9–11 years of age. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: We aimed to provide comprehensive data on and reference values for cardiorespiratory fitness, respiratory function and hemodynamic responses during and after maximal cycle ergometer test in children. Methods: The participants were a population sample of 140 children (69 girls) aged 9-11 years. Heart rate (HR) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) were measured from pre-exercise rest to the end of recovery. Respiratory gases were measured directly by the breath-by-breath method. Peak workload, HR changes, peak oxygen uptake (VO2), peak oxygen pulse (O2 pulse), peak respiratory exchange ratio (RER) and the lowest ratio of ventilation and carbon dioxide output (VE/VCO2) during the exercise test in girls and boys were presented according to their distributions in 5 categories. Results: HR decreased more during 4-min recovery in boys than in girls (76 vs. 67 beats/min, p < 0.001), whereas SBP decrease was similar in boys and girls (30 vs. 22 mmHg, p = 0.66). Boys had a higher peak VO2 per weight [51.9 vs. 47.6 ml/kg/min, p < 0.001] and per lean mass [67.3 vs. 63.0 ml/kg/min, p < 0.001] than girls. Peak O2 pulse per lean mass was higher in boys than in girls (0.34 vs. 0.31 ml/kg/beat, p < 0.001). There was no difference in the lowest VE/VCO2 during the test between boys and girls (28 vs. 29, p = 0.18). Conclusions: The indicators of cardiorespiratory fitness were better in boys than in girls. These data enable the evaluation of cardiorespiratory function during and after maximal exercise test and the detection of children with abnormal values.
    Arbeitsphysiologie 10/2014; 115(2). DOI:10.1007/s00421-014-3013-8 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    • "One of the most interesting possibilities for the management of obesity is the engagement in a regular physical activity (PA).[67] The latter contributes to an increase in both energy expenditure and maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max), with a significant impact on the QoL.[8910] "
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of children obesity is rising alarmingly in both developed and developing countries. Developing effective exercise programs is a strategy for decreasing this prevalence and limiting obesity-associated long-term comorbidities. To determine whether a 16-week training program; in addition to the school physical education and without dietary intervention; could have beneficial effects on body composition and aerobic capacity of obese children. Twenty-eight obese children (16 boys, 12 girls; aged 12-14 years) were enrolled and were divided into either the exercise group (EG, n = 14) or the control group (CG, n = 14). EG participated in a 16-week aerobic exercises (four 60-min sessions per week at 70-85% of HRmax (maximum heart rate)), in addition to the school physical education. Fat-Free Mass (FFM) and Fat Mass (FM) were assessed with bioelectrical impedance equipment. To assess aerobic capacity, maximal metabolic equivalent of task (METmax) and maximal workload (Wmax) were estimated with an electronically braked cycle ergometer (type Ergoline 500(®)). At baseline, there were no differences between the two groups. After the training program, only the EG showed significant reduction in BMI (body mass index) and waist circumference compared with the baseline values (P < 0.001). Exercise training significantly decreased FM only in the EG. A significant increase in FFM was seen in both groups; more marked in the EG. There was a significant increase in METmax (P < 0.05) and Wmax (P = 0.02) in the EG, and no significant changes in these parameters were seen in the CG. HRmax significantly decreased only in the EG (P < 0.05). This training program has beneficial effects on body composition and aerobic capacity parameters in obese children. Our intervention has the advantage of providing a sustainable and reproducible school and community approach for the management of children obesity.
    11/2013; 17(6):1040-5. DOI:10.4103/2230-8210.122619
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