Physical activity in the recess of childhood education: A pilot study using Garmin Vivofit Jr wristbands




Physical intensity, Children, School, School day


Physical inactivity and obesity have important implications for health. Achieve 60 minutes per day of moderate physical activity (MPA) or vigorous is a recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) for children aged between 5 and 17 years. The school environment can be a generator of physical activity (PA) since early childhood education. The purpose of this study is to analyse the minutes of PA and its intensity in schoolchildren of 5 years during recess and to what extent its favours is reaching the recommendations of daily PA promoted by WHO. By monitoring 18 children for 8 days using the Garmin Vivofit Jr. wristband, were obtained the minutes of MPA and the number of steps (NS), disaggregated by time. The daily average of MPA was 87 ± 16 minutes and 9100 ± 1807 NS. During recess, schoolchildren reached an average of 16 ± 4 minutes and 1666 ± 370 NS. Statistically significant differences were found, both in minutes of MPA and in NS in favour of children (p < .001) and 50% more in days without rain compared with rainy days (p < .001). There were no significant differences in MPA (p = .20) or NS (p = .16) depending on the semester of birth. In the recess in the infantile age it reached approximately 25% of the MPA recommended by the WHO.


Download data is not yet available.


Beighle, A., Morgan, C. F., Le Masurier, G., & Pangrazi, R. P. (2006). Children’s Physical Activity During Recess and Outside of School. J School Health, 76(10), 516–520.

Bell, J. F., & Daniels, S. (1990). Are Summer‐born Children Disadvantaged? The Birthdate Effect in Education. Oxford Rev Educ, 16(1), 67–80.

Berglind, D., Hansson, L., Tynelius, P., & Rasmussen, F. (2017). Levels and Patterns of Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in 4-Year-Old Swedish Children. J Phys Act Health, 14(2), 117–122.

Boldemann, C., Blennow, M., Dal, H., Mårtensson, F., Raustorp, A., Yuen, K., & Wester, U. (2006). Impact of preschool environment upon children’s physical activity and sun exposure. Prev Med, 42(4), 301–308.

Cardon, G. M., & De Bourdeaudhuij, I. M. M. (2008). Are Preschool Children Active Enough? Objectively Measured Physical Activity Levels. Res Q Exercise Sport, 79(3), 326–332.

De Onis, M., Blössner, M., & Borghi, E. (2010). Global prevalence and trends of overweight and obesity among preschool children. Am J Clin Nutr, 92(5), 1257–1264.

Dearden, L., Crawford, C., & Meghir, C. (2010). When you are born matters: the impact of date of birth on educational outcomes in England [Working Paper Series].

Finn, K., Johannsen, N., & Specker, B. (2002). Factors associated with physical activity in preschool children. J Pediatr, 140(1), 81–85.

Forthofer, M., Dowda, M., O’Neill, J. R., Addy, C. L., McDonald, S., Reid, L., & Pate, R. R. (2017). Effect of Child Gender and Psychosocial Factors on Physical Activity From Fifth to Sixth Grade. J Phys Act Health, 14(12), 953–958.

Grønholt Olesen, L., Lund Kristensen, P., Korsholm, L., Boye Koch, A., & Froberg, K. (2015). Correlates of objectively measured physical activity in 5-6-year-old preschool children. J Sport Med Phys Fit, 55(5), 513–526.

Harrison, F., Goodman, A., van Sluijs, E. M. F., Andersen, L. B., Cardon, G., Davey, R., … on behalf the ICAD collaborators. (2017). Weather and children’s physical activity; how and why do relationships vary between countries? Int J Behav Nutr Phy, 14(1), 74.

Harrison, F., Jones, A. P., Bentham, G., van Sluijs, E. M. F., Cassidy, A., & Griffin, S. J. (2011). The impact of rainfall and school break time policies on physical activity in 9-10 year old British children: a repeated measures study. Int J Behav Nutr Phy, 8(47),

Hesketh, K. R., McMinn, A. M., Ekelund, U., Sharp, S. J., Collings, P. J., Harvey, N. C., … van Sluijs, E. M. (2014). Objectively measured physical activity in four-year-old British children: a cross-sectional analysis of activity patterns segmented across the day. Int J Behav Nutr Phy, 11(1), 1.

Jago, R., Macdonald-Wallis, C., Solomon-Moore, E., Thompson, J., L., Lawlor, D., A., & Sebire, S., J. (2017). Associations between participation in organised physical activity in the school or community outside school hours and neighbourhood play with child physical activity and sedentary time: a cross-sectional analysis of primary school-aged children from the UK. BMJ Open, 7(9).

Leal, E., Aparicio, D., Luti, Y., Acosta, L., Finol, F., Rojas, E., … Velasco, M. (2009). Actividad física y enfermedad cardiovascular. 4, 17.

Lobstein, T., Baur, L., & Uauy, R. (2004). Obesity in children and young people: a crisis in public health. Obes Rev, 5(s1), 4–85.

Martin, K., Bremner, A., Salmon, J., Rosenberg, M., & Giles‐Corti, B. (2012). School and individual-level characteristics are associated with children’s moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity during school recess. Aust Nz J Publ Heal 36(5), 469–477.

Massey, W. V., Stellino, M. B., & Fraser, M. (2018). Individual and environmental correlates of school-based recess engagement. Prev Med, 11, 247–253.

Mckenzie, T. L., Sallis, J. F., Nader, P. R., Broyles, S. L., & Nelson, J. A. (1992). Anglo- and Mexican-American Preschoolers at Home and at Recess: Activity Patterns and Environmental Influences. J Dev Behav Pediatr, 13(3), 173-180.

Müller, J., Hoch, A.-M., Zoller, V., & Oberhoffer, R. (2018). Feasibility of Physical Activity Assessment with Wearable Devices in Children Aged 4-10 Years-A Pilot Study. Front Pediatr, 6, 5.

Nettlefold, L., McKay, H. A., Warburton, D. E. R., McGuire, K. A., Bredin, S. S. D., & Naylor, P. J. (2011). The challenge of low physical activity during the school day: at recess, lunch and in physical education. Brit J Sport Med, 45(10), 813–819.

Obesity and overweight WHO. (2015). Retrieved 16 February 2019, from

Ortega-Anta, R. M., López-Sobaler, A. M., Aparicio Vizuete, A., González Rodríguez, L. G., & Navia Lombán, B. (2016). Estudio ALADINO 2015: Estudio de vigilancia del crecimiento, alimentación, actividad física, desarrollo infantil y obesidad en España. 2015.

Pate, R. R., Davis, M. G., Robinson, T. N., Stone, E. J., McKenzie, T. L., & Young, J. C. (2006). Promoting Physical Activity in Children and Youth: A Leadership Role for Schools: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism (Physical Activity Committee) in Collaboration With the Councils on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young and Cardiovascular Nursing. Circulation, 114(11), 1214–1224.

Ploeg, K. A. V., Wu, B., McGavock, J., & Veugelers, P. J. (2012). Physical Activity among Canadian Children on School Days and Nonschool Days. J Phys Act Health, 9(8), 1138–1145.

Ramstetter, C. L., Murray, R., & Garner, A. S. (2010). The Crucial Role of Recess in Schools. J School Health, 80(11), 517–526.

Ridgers, N. D., Salmon, J., Parrish, A.-M., Stanley, R. M., & Okely, A. D. (2012). Physical activity during school recess: a systematic review. Am J Prev Med, 43(3), 320–328.

Saint-Maurice, P. F., Bai, Y., Vazou, S., & Welk, G. (2018). Youth Physical Activity Patterns During School and Out-of-School Time. Children, 5(9).

Simunek, A., Dygryn, J., Gaba, A., Jakubec, L., Stelzer, J., & Chmelik, F. (2016). Validity of Garmin Vivofit and Polar Loop for measuring daily step counts in free-living conditions in adults. Acta Gymnica, 46(3), 129–135.

Vale, S., Silva, P., Santos, R., Soares-Miranda, L., & Mota, J. (2010). Compliance with physical activity guidelines in preschool children. J Sport Sci, 28(6), 603–608.

Van Sluijs, E. M. F., Jones, N. R., Jones, A. P., Sharp, S. J., Harrison, F., & Griffin, S. J. (2011). School-level correlates of physical activity intensity in 10-year-old children. Int J Pediatr Obes, 6(2–2), e574–e581.

Van Stralen, M. M., Yıldırım, M., Wulp, A., te Velde, S. J., Verloigne, M., Doessegger, A., … Chinapaw, M. J. M. (2014). Measured sedentary time and physical activity during the school day of European 10- to 12-year-old children: The ENERGY project. J Sci Med Sport, 17(2), 201–206.

World Health Organization. (2010). Recomendaciones mundiales sobre actividad física para la salud. Retrieved from

World Health Organization. (2014). Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014: attaining the nine global noncommunicable diseases targets; a shared responsibility. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Zimmo, L., Farooq, A., Almudahka, F., Ibrahim, I., & Al-Kuwari, M. G. (2017). School-time physical activity among Arab elementary school children in Qatar. BMC Pediatrics, 17.


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Pérez-Trabazo, L., Barcala-Furelos, R. J., Peixoto-Pino, L., & Rico-Díaz, J. (2021). Physical activity in the recess of childhood education: A pilot study using Garmin Vivofit Jr wristbands. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 16(1), 1–10.



Physical Education / Children & Exercise

Most read articles by the same author(s)