Physical activity

There is no doubt that the number of children spending more than 1 hour/day in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is very low on the European level: in Sweden this proportion is less than 30% and 20% among school and kindergarten children, respectively, while in Italy it is even lower (less than 5% in school children and 10% in kindergarten children). The negative association between physical activity and obesity is clearly demonstrated by the IDEFICS cross-sectional data.
Since MVPA is extremely low in European children and its association with obesity is known, the enhancement of MVPA should have an outstanding place and role in any health-related recommendation. The present results suggest that 1 hour/day MVPA may be an unrealistically high target for preschool children.
Following articles show further results on physical activity and fitness:

  • Zaqout M, Vyncke K, Moreno LA, De Miguel-Etayo P, Lauria F, Molnár D, Lissner L, Hunsberger M, Veidebaum T, Tornaritis M, Reisch LA, Bammann K, Sprengeler O, Ahrens W, Michels N. Determinant factors of physical fitness in European children. Int J Public Health. 2016 Jun;61(5):573-82. doi: 10.1007/s00038-016-0811-2. Epub 2016 Apr 4.
  • Buck C, Tkaczick T, Pitsiladis Y, De Bourdehaudhuij I, Reisch L, Ahrens W, Pigeot I. Objective measures of the built environment and physical activity in children: from walkability to moveability. J Urban Health. 2015 Feb;92(1):24-38. doi: 10.1007/s11524-014-9915-2.
  • Herrmann D, Buck C, Sioen I, Kouride Y, Marild S, Molnar D, Mouratidou T, Pitsiladis Y, Russo P, Veidebaum T, Ahrens W, IDEFICS consortium. Impact of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and muscle strength on bone stiffness in 2-10-year-old children-cross-sectional results from the IDEFICS study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2015 Sep 17;12:112. doi: 10.1186/s12966-015-0273-6./
  • Herrmann D, Pohlabeln H, Gianfagna F, Konstabel K, Lissner L, Marild S, Molnar D, Moreno LA, Siani A, Sioen I, Veidebaum T, Ahrens W; IDEFICS Consortium. Association between bone stiffness and nutritional biomarkers combined with weight-bearing exercise, physical activity, and sedentary time in preadolescent children. A case-control study. Bone. 2015 Sep;78:142-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2015.04.043. Epub 2015 May 4.
  • De Miguel-Etayo P, Gracia-Marco L, Ortega FB, Intemann T, Foraita R, Lissner L, Oja L, Barba G, Michels N, Tornaritis M, Molnár D, Pitsiladis Y, Ahrens W, Moreno LA; IDEFICS consortium. Physical fitness reference standards in European children: the IDEFICS study. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Sep;38 Suppl 2:S57-66. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.136.
  • Konstabel K, Veidebaum T, Verbestel V, Moreno LA, Bammann K, Tornaritis M, Eiben G, Molnár D, Siani A, Sprengeler O, Wirsik N, Ahrens W, Pitsiladis Y; IDEFICS consortium. Objectively measured physical activity in European children: the IDEFICS study. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Sep;38 Suppl 2:S135-43. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.144.
  • Jiménez-Pavón D, Konstabel K, Bergman P, Ahrens W, Pohlabeln H, Hadjigeorgiou C, Siani A, Iacoviello L, Molnár D, De Henauw S, Pitsiladis Y, Moreno LA; IDEFICS consortium. Physical activity and clustered cardiovascular disease risk factors in young children: a cross-sectional study (the IDEFICS study). BMC Med. 2013 Jul 30;11:172. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-11-172.  Note: This article won the BioMed Central Research Award 2013 in the category "Public Health and Health Services Research":
  • Buck C, Pohlabeln H, Huybrechts I, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Pitsiladis Y, Reisch L, Pigeot I. Development and application of a moveability index to quantify possibilities for physical activity in the built environment of children. Health Place. 2011 Nov;17(6):1191-201. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.08.011. Epub 2011 Sep 5.