Duration, frequency, and types of children’s activities: potential of a classification procedure

Ruch, Nicole; Melzer, Katarina; Mäder, Urs (2013). Duration, frequency, and types of children’s activities: potential of a classification procedure Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, 11(2), pp. 85-94. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jesf.2013.10.002

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This study investigated the potential of a classification procedure to determine type, duration, and frequency of children's physical activity (PA) during 7 days based on accelerometer data. Hip and wrist accelerometer data (1-second epoch) were collected over a week in 41 children (age: 10.7 ± 0.9 years). The classification procedure was used to assign each second into one of the following four categories: stationary activities, walking, running, and jumping. A diary was used to assess the simultaneous activity setting. Children spent 75.5% of the time (600.9 ± 80.1 minutes/day) on stationary activities, 15.6% (124.6 ± 33.6 minutes/day) on walking, 2% (16.1 ± 8.6 minutes/day) on running, and 1% (4.7 ± 5.2 minutes/day) on jumping. The median duration of stationary activities, walking, running, and jumping was 4, 2, 1, and 1 seconds, respectively. The largest proportion of running and jumping occurred during outdoor sport training (10.7%), physical education classes (6.7%), and vigorous outdoor activity (6.1%). The classification procedure used in this study shows the potential for analyzing children's PA in free-living conditions. The study results revealed that children's PA is characterized by very short activity bouts and that providing the possibility for children to participate in structured or unstructured outdoor activities might increase their PA. Therefore, the classification procedure enhanced the analysis of the transitory nature of children's PA and the understanding of their PA behavior during different activity settings.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen SFISM > EHSM - Leistungssport


Ruch, Nicole;
Melzer, Katarina and
Mäder, Urs








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Date Deposited:

22 Feb 2021 15:37

Last Modified:

29 Sep 2021 02:17

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Accelerometer Activity Child Classification Physical





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