Maja Vukelja1, Dragan Milanovic1, Sanja Salaj1

1University of Zagreb Faculty of Kinesiology, Zagreb, Croatia

Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour in Croatian Preschool Children: A Population-Based Study

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2022, 11(1), Ahead of Print | DOI: 10.26773/mjssm.220304

Abstract

This study aimed to determine the differences in physical activity and sedentary behaviour in preschool children living in different geographical regions. Preschool children (N=1625) and their parents from different parts of Croatia, from urban and rural settlements, participated in this cross-sectional, population-based study. Parents completed the Netherlands Physical Activity Questionnaire (NPAQ), a measure of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children. The main results of this study show differences in physical activity and sedentary behaviour in preschool children living in four geographical regions in Croatia (F=4.45; p<0.01). The least physically active are children from a continental area that gravitates to the capital city, while the most active are children from a southern coastal region. Sedentary behaviour is the greatest in the rural eastern Croatian continental region. Higher physical activity and lower sedentary activities in young children living in coastal compared to continen- tal regions show possible specific advantages of Mediterranean climate in general. The practical importance of information obtained in this study is a need for a specific intervention strategy for improving physical activity in continental preschool institutions.

Keywords

kindergarten, Mediterranean, screen-time, rural, urban



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