Children's physical activity levels during organised sports practices

Kate Ridley, Sara Zabeen, Belinda K. Lunnay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study measured the physical activity levels of children during practice sessions of four popular organised sports in Australia. Design: Cross-sectional observational design. Methods: Participants comprised children from four local organised sports clubs in suburban Adelaide, South Australia. The sports examined were Australian Rules Football (AFL), girls’ netball, boys’ soccer and girls’ soccer. Each participant wore a waist-mounted GT3X or GT3X + Actigraph accelerometer in either one or two of the practice sessions. Results: Participants typically spent 40–50% of each sport practice session in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Participants in the boys’ soccer teams spent significantly greater time in MVPA (mean = 47% of practice time, 95% CI = 37%, 57%) than participants in the girls’ netball teams (mean = 40%, 95% CI = 30%, 50%), participants in the girls’ soccer teams (mean = 38%, 95% CI = 28%, 48%) and participants in the boys’ AFL teams (mean = 40%, 95% CI = 36%, 44%). The practice sessions contributed approximately half of the 60 min of MVPA per day recommended by physical activity guidelines for children and young people. Conclusions: The results suggested that organised sports provide a supportive environment for physical activity accrual; however, one practice session is insufficient for children to reach the amount of MVPA recommended in daily physical activity guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)930-934
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Accelerometry
  • Adolescent
  • Exercise
  • Objective monitoring
  • Youth sports


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