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, Molnar D, et al. Determinant factors of physical fitness in European children. Int J Public Health. 2016;61(5):573-82.
  • Buck C, Tkaczick T, Pitsiladis Y, De Bourdehaudhuij I, Reisch L, Ahrens W, et al. Objective measures of the built environment and physical activity in children: from walkability to moveability. J Urban Health. 2015;92(1):24-38.
  • Herrmann D, Buck C, Sioen I, Kouride Y, Marild S, Molnar D, et al. 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;12:112.
  • Herrmann D, Pohlabeln H, Gianfagna F, Konstabel K, Lissner L, Marild S, et al. 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;78:142-9.
  • De Miguel-Etayo P, Gracia-Marco L, Ortega FB, Intemann T, Foraita R, Lissner L, et al. Physical fitness reference standards in European children: the IDEFICS study. Int J Obes (Lond). 2014;38 Suppl 2:S57-66.
  • Konstabel K, Veidebaum T, Verbestel V, Moreno LA, Bammann K, Tornaritis M, et al. Objectively measured physical activity in European children: the IDEFICS study. IntJObes(Lond). 2014;38 Suppl 2:S135-S43.
  • Jiménez-Pavón D, Konstabel K, Bergman P, Ahrens W, Pohlabeln H, Hadjigeorgiou C, et al. Physical activity and clustered cardiovascular disease risk factors in young children: a cross-sectional study (the IDEFICS study). BMC Med. 2013;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, et al. Development and application of a moveability index to quantify possibilities for physical activity in the built environment of children. Health Place. 2011;17(6):1191-201.