Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2011) 10, 66 - 72

Research article
Seasonal Differences in Physical Activity and Sedentary Patterns: The Relevance of the PA Context
Pedro Silva1, , Rute Santos1, Gregory Welk2, Jorge Mota1
Author Information
1 CIAFEL (Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure), Faculty of Sports, University of Porto, Porto Portugal
2 Kinesiology Department, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA

Pedro Silva
✉ CIAFEL (Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure), Faculty of Sports, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, 91 - 4200.450 Porto, Portugal
Publish Date
Received: 06-07-2009
Accepted: 08-11-2010
Published (online): 01-03-2011
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The aim of this pilot study was to characterize seasonal variation in the moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior of Portuguese school youth, and understand the influence of activity choices and settings. The participants in this study were 24 students, aged 10-13 years. Accelerometers measured daily PA over 7 consecutive days, in different seasons May - June and January - February. In summer, boys accumulated more minutes in MVPA (928 minutes/week) than girls (793 minutes/week). In winter the pattern was reversed with girls accumulating more activity than boys (736 minutes/week vs. 598 minutes/week). The repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant effects for season (F = 5.98, p = 0.023) and in- school vs. out-of-school (F = 6.53, p = 0.018). Youth were more active in the summer and activity levels were higher after school than in school. Summer season provided relevant contexts for youth physical activity accumulation. Winter season may have been a significant barrier to boy’s preferred PA context. Differences in choices of outdoor or indoor PA, after school, explained the gender differences in seasonal activity patterns.

Key words: Season, accelerometer, physical activity context

           Key Points
  • Detailed temporal profiling of the accelerometer data.
  • Information provided about the context of PA.
  • Boys had different activity patterns with considerably less MVPA and more sedentary behavior during the winter time.
  • Girls had more consistent PA patterns across seasons.
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