SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.16 issue1Character strengths of adolescent survivors of childhood cancerThe competencies of the shift leader in the intensive care unit setting, in a private hospital group in South Africa author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848

Health SA Gesondheid (Online) vol.16 n.1 Cape Town  2011




Physical activity levels and energy expenditure of 9 -year-old - 12-year-old overweight and obese children



Chanelle Kemp; Anita Elizabeth Pienaar

School of Biokinetics, Recreation and Sport Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa





The high occurrence of overweight and obesity amongst children is a disturbing health problem worldwide. Possible causes of increasing childhood obesity are inactivity and energy imbalances. The aim of this study was to analyse the total energy expenditure (TEE) and physical activity levels in 9-year-old - 12-year-old overweight and obese children during a weekday and a weekend day, as well as during a weekday morning and afternoon. Twenty-four 9-year-old - 12-year-old children (seven boys and 17 girls), of whom nine were overweight and 15 were obese, were selected from seven public primary schools for this study. Body mass index (BMI) cut-off points were used to distinguish between overweight and obese. Each participant wore an ACTICAL monitor to determine their physical activity levels and TEE. It was found that the TEE of the children did not differ between a week day and a weekend day, although the TEE of the week day afternoon differed significantly from that of the weekday morning. Unlike the overweight children, none of the obese children met the requirements of 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day. Strategies should be found to increase the activity levels of overweight and, especially, obese children, specifically during the mornings and over weekends.


Die hoë voorkoms van oorgewig en obesiteit onder kinders is wêreldwyd 'n kommerwekkende gesondheidsprobleem. Fisieke onaktiwiteit en energiewanbalanse word as moontlike oorsake van die probleem beskou. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die totale energieverbruik (TEV) en fisieke-aktiwiteitsvlakke van 9-jarige - 12-jarige oorgewig- en obese kinders tydens 'n totale weeksdag en naweekdag te ontleed, asook tydens die oggend en middag van 'n weeksdag. Vier-en-twintig 9-jarige - 12-jarige kinders (sewe seuns en 17 dogters), waarvan nege oorgewig en 15 obees was, is uit sewe publieke laerskole vir die studie gekies. Afsnypunte volgens die liggaamsmassa-indeks (LMI) is gebruik om tussen oorgewig en obees te onderskei. Elke deelnemer het 'n ACTICAL monitor gedra om hul fisieke-aktiwiteitsvlakke en TEV te bepaal. Die studie het getoon dat die TEV van die kinders op 'n weeksdag en naweekdag nie verskil het nie, alhoewel TEV tydens die middag van die weeksdag betekenisvol verskil het van die oggend s'n. Anders as die oorgewig kinders, het geen van die obese kinders aan die voorgestelde riglyn van 60 minute se matig intensiewe fisieke aktiwiteit per dag voldoen nie. Strategieë moet gevind word om die vlakke van aktiwiteit van oorgewig en veral obese kinders te verhoog, spesifiek gedurende die oggende en oor naweke.



“Full text available only in PDF format”




Aires, L., Santos, R., Silva, P., Santos, P., Oliveira, J., Ribeiro, J.C. et al., 2007, 'Daily differences in patterns of physical activity among overweight/obese children engaged in a physical activity program', American Journal of Human Biology 19, 871-877. doi:10.1002/ajhb.20658, PMid:17724744        [ Links ]

Al-Nakeeb, Y., Duncan, M.J., Lyons, M. & Woodfield, L., 2007, 'Body fatness and physical activity levels of young children', Annals of Human Biology 34(1), 1-12. doi:10.1080/03014460601079886, PMid:17536750        [ Links ]

Armstrong, M.E.G., Lambert, M.I., Sharwood, K.A. & Lambert, E.V., 2006, 'Obesity and overweight in South African primary school children - The Health of the Nation study', South African Medical Journal 11(2), 52-63.         [ Links ]

Butte, N.F., Puyay, M.R., Adolph, A.L., Vohra, F.A. & Zakeri, I., 2007, 'Physical activity in nonoverweight and overweight Hispanic children and adolescents', Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise 39(8), 1257-1266. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e3180621fb6        [ Links ]

Cole, T.J., Bellizzi, M.C., Flegal, K.M. & Dietz, W.H., 2000, 'Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide:international survey', British Medical Journal 320, 1240-1243.         [ Links ]

Department Of Health And Human Services: the President's Coucil On Physical Fitness And Sport, 2008, Physical activity facts, viewed 21 August 2008, from        [ Links ]

Dowling, A.M., Steele, J.R. & Baur, L.A., 2001, 'Does obesity influence foot structure and plantar pressure patterns in prepubescent children?', International Journal of Obesity 25, 845-852. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0801598, PMid:17275899        [ Links ]

Duncan, M.J., Al-Nakeeb, Y., Woodfield, L. & Lyons, M., 2007, 'Pedometer determined physical activity levels in primary school children from central England', Preventive Medicine 44(5), 416-420. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2006.11.019        [ Links ]

Fairclough, S.J., Butcher, Z.H. & Stratton, G., 2007, 'Whole-day and segmented-day physical activity variability of Northwest England school children', Preventive Medicine 44(5), 421-425. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.01.002        [ Links ]

Goldfield, G.S., Mallory, R., Prud'homme, D. & Adamo, K.B., 2008, 'Gender differences in response to a physical activity intervention in overweight and obese children', Journal of Physical Activity and Health 5, 592-606.         [ Links ]

Grund, A., Volbrecht, H., Frandsen, W., Krause, H., Siewer, M., Rieckert, H. et al., 2000, 'No effect of gender on different components of daily energy expenditure in free living prepubertal children', International Journal of Obesity 24, 299-305. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0801127, PMid:17503878        [ Links ]

Hills, A.P., King, N.A. & Armstrong, T.P., 2007, 'The contribution of physical activity and sedentary behaviours to the growth and development of children and adolescents', Sports Medicine 37(6), 533-545. doi:10.2165/00007256-200737060-00006        [ Links ]

Marfell-Jones, M., Olds, T., Stewart, A. & Carter, J.E.L., 2006, International Standards for Anthropometric Assessment, ISAK, Potchefstroom.         [ Links ]

Medical Research Council, 2002, Umthente uhlaha usamila: The 1st South African National Youth Risk Behaviour Survey, viewed 11 May 2010, from        [ Links ]

Mini Mitter Company Inc., 2003, ACTICAL Physical activity monitoring system. Instruction manual. Software version 2.0, Mini Mitter Company Inc, Bend, Oregon.         [ Links ]

Ogden, C.L., Carroll, M.D., Curtin, L.R., McDowell, M.A., Tabak, C.J. & Flegal, K.M., 2006, 'Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States, 1999-2004', The Journal of the American Medical Association 295(3), 1549-1555.         [ Links ]

Page, A., Cooper, A.R., Stamatakis, E., Foster, L.J., Crowne, E.C., Sabin, M. et al., 2005, 'Physical activity patterns in nonobese and obese children assessed using minute-by-minute accelerometry', International Journal of Obesity 29, 1070-1076. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0802993, PMid:11886937        [ Links ]

Pate, R.R., O'Neill, J.R. & Mitchell, J., 2010, 'Measurement of physical activity in preschool children', Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise 42(3), 508-512. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181cea116        [ Links ]

PCPFS. See Department Of Health And Human Services.

Puyau, M.R., Adolph, A.L., Vohra, F.A. & Butte, N.F., 2002, 'Validation and calibration of physical activity monitors in children', Obesity Research 10, 150-157. doi:10.1038/oby.2002.24        [ Links ]

Rajput, D.I. & Van Deventer, K., 2010, 'An epoch of controversy within physical education and sport in post-apartheid South Africa: A review', African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance 16(1), 140-158.         [ Links ]

Reilly, J.J. & Dorosty, A.R., 1999, 'Epidemic of obesity in UK children', Lancet 354, 1874-1875. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(99)04555-9, PMid:18162187        [ Links ]

Rowland, T.W., 1990, Exercise and children's health, Human Kinetics, Atlanta.         [ Links ]

Rowlands, A.C., Pilgrim, E.L. & Eston, R.G., 2007, 'Patterns of habitual activity across weekdays and weekend days in 9-11-year-old children', Preventive Medicine 46(4), 317-332. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.11.004        [ Links ]

Statsoft, 2009, Statistica for Windows. Release 8.0: General conventions and statistics, Statsoft, Tilsa, Okla.         [ Links ]

Steinbeck, K., 2001, 'Obesity in children: The importance of physical activity', Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, 58(1), S28-S32.         [ Links ]

Trost, S.G., Pate, R.R., Freedom, P.S., Sallis, J.F. & Taylor, W.C., 2000, 'Using objective physical activity measures with youth: How many days of monitoring are needed?', Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 32, 426-B1. doi:10.1097/00005768200002000-00025        [ Links ]

Trost, S.G., Sirard, J.R., Dowda, M., Pfeiffer, K.A. & Pate, R.R., 2003, 'Physical activity in overweight and nonoverweight preschool children', International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders 27(7), 834-839.         [ Links ]

Trost, S.G., McIver, K. & Pate, R.R., 2005, 'Conducting accelerometer-based activity assessments in field-based research', Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 37, S531-S543. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000185657.86065.98, PMid:17902211        [ Links ]

Vasquez, F., Salazar, G., Andrade, M., Vasquez, L. & Diaz, E., 2006, 'Energy balance and physical activity in obese children attending day-care centres', European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 60, 1115-1121. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602426, PMid:3493862, PMCid:2490974        [ Links ]

Wang, Y. & Lobstein, T., 2006, 'Worldwide trends in childhood overweight and obesity', International Journal of Pediatric Obesity 1, 11-25. doi:10.1080/17477160600586747, PMid:10797032, PMCid:27365        [ Links ]

World Health Organization, 1986, 'Use and interpretation of anthropometric indicators of nutritional status', Bulletin of the World Health Organization 64, 929-941.         [ Links ]

World Health Organization, 2009, Obesity statistics, viewed 01 April 2009, from        [ Links ]



Chanelle Kemp
Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa

Received: 08 Apr. 2010
Accepted: 23 Sept. 2010
Published: 07 Mar. 2011

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License