The validity of nursery teachers' report on the physical activity of young children

Xiaoli Chen, Michikazu Sekine, Shimako Hamanishi, Hongbing Wang, Yasuko Hayashikawa, Takashi Yamagami, Sadanobu Kagamimori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the validity of nursery teachers' report on the physical activity of young children. Subjects were twenty-one children aged 3 to 4 years (12 boys and 9 girls) at a nursery in Toyama Prefecture, Japan. Children were equipped with the Actiwatch (Mini-mitter Company Inc.) activity monitor and the Caloriecounter Select II (Kenz, Co, Ltd) for three consecutive weekdays to assess their daily physical activity levels. Nursery teachers completed a questionnaire containing questions on children's activity level during the measurement periods at the nursery. The results showed that subjects with a high frequency of physical activity were significantly associated with an increasing trend in total energy expenditure and activity counts per day. Children whose physical activity was rated as "very often" had a significantly higher activity level per day from the Actiwatch instrument, compared with peers whose physical activity was rated as "not often" (570.5±192.8 counts vs. 334.9±123.4 counts, p<0.05). Regarding energy expenditure originating from physical activity and steps per day from the Caloriecounter, a significant difference was found between "very active" children and "inactive" children as rated by the nursery teachers (140.7±17.5 kcal vs. 78.2±17.4 kcal, p<0.05; 16103±1896 steps vs. 10038±32 steps, p<0.05). This study indicates that children's physical activity level as reported by their teachers in nursery surroundings is in accordance with the objective data from the Actiwatch and the Caloriecounter. The results suggest that nursery teachers' respondent for children in physical activity may be used as a valid measure to evaluate young children's physical activity levels, especially in nursery setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Epidemiology
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2002

Keywords

  • Observational evaluation
  • Physical activity
  • Preschool children
  • Questionnaire
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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