Correlates of children`s physical activity : a study of six-year olds
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Physical activity is a central component of a healthy lifestyle among young people, in addition to potentially playing a vital role in their social and mental adjustment. Lack of physical activity may contribute to the development of health problems in children, and these health problems often track into adulthood. Children’s surroundings are filled with technological advances which are meant to increase efficiency and productivity, but which at the same time may reduce physical activity. Many children also have access to multiple sedentary alternatives to active play, in the form of various screen activities. Identifying factors related to physical activity in children is important because such factors can be addressed to promote higher levels of physical activity. The aim of the present study was therefore to identify child, family, and environmental correlates of objectively measured PA in a large and representative community sample of Norwegian six-year olds. Based on available research on correlates of children's physical activity, 19 factors were selected for this study, and a stepwise analysis was performed to identify those associated with children's physical activity. The results of the final analysis identified the following eight factors to be significantly related to physical activity in children: percentage of bodyfat in the child (inversely), surgency, having parents who had lived together for the past six months, total number of hours spent outside alone and together with parents, number of hours per weekday spent watching TV (inversely), time to walk to a recreational area (the shorter the time the higher the level of physical activity), and having a garden.