Many studies have examined preschoolersʼ physical activity (PA) in nursery school settings. They suggest that PA in this age group is influenced by factors such as age, gender, and size of playground. The present study compares the PA level of “active” or “inactive” children, as subjectively assessed by nursery school teachers, and uses accelerometry to examine how their PA levels differ across several conditions, involving different levels of activity, in nursery schools. PA was assessed using a triaxial accelerometer (Active Style Pro, Omron) for 5 weekdays in nursery school. We examined the time children spent in moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA) during free play and structured physical activity periods (in the playroom, playground, and nearby parks). MVPA was higher in the “active” children than in the “inactive” ones, throughout the time spent in nursery school and free play. However, during structured physical activities, both groups had similar MVPA levels. In particular, during outdoor structured activities in the playground and parks, both group had high PA levels. Locomotor activities accounted for most of the childrenʼs MVPA during outdoor activities, while non-locomotor activities were predominant in indoor play as compared to outdoor play. These results suggest that structured physical activities are effective in increasing the MVPA levels of particularly “inactive” children. Further, outdoor plays are especially important to increase the PA levels of all kinds of children.
This study investigated the differences in physical characteristics of Nepalʼs major castes and ethnic groups to create more appropriate standard values with which to evaluate the growth and development of Nepalese children. Data was collected to determine the unique physical characteristics for each group, and this data was further analyzed to combine groups into clusters. Six body measurements (height, weight, chest circumference, sitting height, biacromion breadth, skinfold thickness) were taken of 1,344 children, ages 2-6, from 6 castes and 1 ethnic group in the Sunsari and Sankhuwasava districts of Nepal. Analysis of this data showed growth and physical attributes characteristic for each group. Cluster analysis (Wardʼs Method) was then used to determine similarities between the groups, which resulted in three clusters：high and middle caste cluster (Brahman, Chhetri, Yadav and Koiri), a low caste cluster (Kami and Mushar), and a Sherpa ethnic group cluster. These results indicate that standard values established for each of these clusters will be needed to more accurately evaluate the physical growth of Nepalese children. Because of the distinct physical growth characteristics of each cluster, Nepalese children cannot be properly evaluated using a single standard value for all groups.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between rebound jumping ability and running ability in preschool children. The subjects consisted of 166 preschool children (96 boys and 70 girls；age range：2.0-6.0 years). The measurements used were jumping height of counter movement jumping (CMJ), index (jumping height/ground contact time) of consecutive rebound jumping (RJ), 20-m running velocity (RV), step length (SL) and step frequency (SF). To exclude the effects of growth on running ability, dimensionless numbers：indices of running velocity (IRV), step length (ISL) and step frequency (ISF) were calculated. Results were as follows；1 ) CMJ jumping height, RJ-index, RV, SL, IRV and ISL increased with aging. 2 ) The IRV, ISL and ISF correlated with CMJ jumping height and RJ index. The coefficient correlation of RJ-index to increase with aging. 3 ) RJ height and RJ ground contact time correlated with flight time and ground contact time in the 20-m run. These results suggest that CMJ and RJ ability influence the development of running ability in preschool children.
The purpose of this study was to clarify childrenʼs subjective symptoms of fatigue and their relationship to the autonomic nervous system through a method of questionnaire and cold pressor test. The subjects were 254 boys and 184 girls (3rd-6th grade elementary school student, 3rd grade junior high school student, and 1st-3rd grade high school student). The investigation was carried out during May 2007 and May 2009. The results are summarized as follows：1 ) The total subjective symptoms of fatigue score rose as the school year progressed, and the score for girls was higher than for boys among high school students. Moreover, the percentage of those with a score of 0 points was only 7.4%. In addition, “I feel sleepy” and “I give a yawn” ranked as the two worst complaint items. The rate of complaint showed a relationship of Ⅰ group＞Ⅱ group＞Ⅲ group, assuming a tiredness type of “Mental work and night shift.” 2 ) The values derived from the vasopressor response by the cold pressor test were similar to the values of the previous study in 14.0±10.5 mmHg. Moreover, when these values were compared against past standards, 65.8% of subjects saw responses that were either low or excessive. 3 ) About the relations with subjective symptoms of fatigue and the autonomic nervous system, in the high school and the junior high school student, the relevance was not confirmed among both, but in the elementary school children, the group with a high tiredness score showed a larger vasopressor response than the low tiredness score group. From this, we surmise that an excessive sympathetic response to stimulation is operating behind the subjective symptoms of fatigue among the elementary group. And it is thought that an action to fix the imbalance of such an autonomic nervous system is necessary for the reduction of fatigue subjective symptoms.
This study examined the use of fundamental movement skills among young children at play and analyzed the factors affecting the use of these skills. Forty-seven young children (aged 1-3 years) and their parents participated in the study at a childcare support center located in City A, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The participating children were pre-kindergarten or pre-nursery children. The initial part of the study included a survey administered to parents to assess their evaluation of the environment and substance of the childrenʼs at-home play. Next, the children were observed while at play in the childcare support center for 20 minutes. The frequencies and types of fundamental movement skills were recorded. Following the examination, the childrenʼs play situations were assessed. Overall, during play, the children employed 65 fundamental movement skills (stability：14 types, locomotion：15 types, manipulation：36 types). The use of each fundamental movement skill was observed an average of 4 times per child, in an average of 18 children. The mean number of types of skills employed in the overall sample was 25, and the mean frequency of use of skills per child was 271. The childrenʼs play and fundamental movement skill use influenced both the indoor and outdoor environments of the childcare support center. The at-home environment and substance of the childrenʼs play had non-significant effects on the fundamental movement skills observed in the childcare support center.
The purpose of this study was to create growth evaluation charts for 3 physical characteristics (height, weight and skin-fold thickness) for 2 to 6 years old boys and girls from the major castes (high/middle and low castes) in Nepal. We used the LMS method of Cole and Green (1992), Ohsawa et al. (2011) for standardization. This is the first time in Nepal that standard growth values have been derived from real measurements. The Nepalese government has been distributing growth evaluation charts that did not include height, and that were created using values very similar to the standard weight values used by the WHO. Furthermore, sex and caste differences are ignored, making it very likely that children evaluated with this chart would be mistakenly evaluated as delayed growth or underweight. This could also result in unnecessary worry for those educators and healthcare workers giving nutrition and health guidance for children. When we plotted the standardized weight values from this study for 2 to 3 year old girls from the low caste on the Nepalese government-issued growth evaluation chart, our 3rd percentile values were consistently 1 kg below the chart values. In order to accurately evaluate the growth of Nepalese children, new growth evaluation charts are necessary：charts scientifically derived from measurements not only of weight, but also height, skin-fold thickness, etc. for children of both sexes and from the different castes. We would like to propose the adoption of these new charts to the relevant Nepalese institutions and organizations.
Recently, the near-infrared spectroscopic imaging method which can measure hemoglobin concentration by non-invasive and bloodless method is attracted attention, because an anemia tendency of children is worried. Under such a situation, we are starting the development of the Lifestyle Check System (LCS) which combined with measurement of hemoglobin concentration using the near-infrared spectroscopic imaging method and living situation survey. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the use situation and utility of LCS. LCS was set up in a school health room at a high school. The data of 36 days except a holiday was used for analysis. The students were able to use LCS freely in this period. As a result, 12.8% (boys：6.2%, girls：18.5%) of the students used the LCS. The answers from the major of user about convenience of operation, operation time, necessity of an additional item and reuse will were satisfactory. Thus, it was shown that LCS which was able to operate by children was a high utility. In addition, it was considered that LCS was effective for an advice by teachers for improvement of an anemia tendency because of being able to catch the issues of the living situation synthetically.
A questionnaire survey was conducted to assess the physical activity, health-related QOL and depression of junior high school students. The subjects were 1,332 students from 5 public junior high schools in a certain city；valid responses were obtained from 1,289 students. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was used for assessing physical activity, the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQLTM) for health-related quality of life (QOL), and the Depression Self-Rating Scale for Children (DSRS-C) for depression tendency. With regard to physical activity between males and females and among different grades, there was a significant difference in the amount of vigorous-intensity activity (in terms of days, hours, and total activity time of 1 week). However, no significant difference was observed in walking. In the different age groups, the difference was observed in moderate-intensity activity (time, total activity time of 1 week) and energy expenditure. No significant difference was observed between males and females in holiday time is sitting activity was not observed in the grades. With regard to health-related QOL, a significant difference was observed between male and female students in the emotional function. The percentage calculated for each grade revealed that the female students showed higher depression tendency than the male students and that the number of students exceeding the cut-off score, which was determined to indicate depression tendency, increased as they advanced to the next grade. While the score maintained around 30% from the 1st year to 3rd year in the female students, it showed about 30% only in the 3rd year in the male students. Furthermore, one in three male and female 3rd year junior high school students was determined to have depression tendency. Therefore, it is necessary to reconsider the current cut-off score when using it to assess junior high school students.