Physical activity during school in urban minority kindergarten and first-grade students

Marina Reznik, Judith Wylie-Rosett, Mimi Kim, Philip O. Ozuah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To determine if physical activity (PA) during the school day varied by school, grade level, gender, weight status, and physical education (PE) and recess participation among urban kindergarten and first-grade students. METHODS: Cross-sectional study at 4 Bronx, NY, schools. Student PA was measured by a Yamax Digi-Walker pedometer, an objective and validated measure of PA in children. Each student wore a sealed pedometer during school for 5 consecutive days. Hierarchical models were fit to identify variables predictive of PA. RESULTS: A total of 916 had valid pedometer data (53% male, 70% Hispanic, mean age 5.98 years [SD 0.66], 45% overweight). PA varied by school (P < .0001). First-grade students took a significantly greater mean number of steps during school than kindergarten students. Overall, students took an average of 2479.7 (SD 961.8) steps/school day. PA did not differ by BMI status. Students took on average 724 more steps on PE days than on non-PE days and 490 more steps on days with outdoor recess than nonrecess days (P < .05 for both). Fewer than 1% of all students achieved lower cut points for previously published mean range of steps/school day for boys and girls. Multivariable analysis revealed higher grade level, participation in PE class, and outdoor recess as independent predictors of PA. CONCLUSIONS: PA levels were low in kindergarten and first-grade students. Future interventions incorporating classroom-based PA and outdoor recess may increase PA in resource-poor urban schools with limited PE facilities. Pediatrics 2013;131:e81-e87.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e81-e87
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Elementary school students
  • Pedometers
  • Physical activity
  • School day
  • Urban youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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