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The nexus of hours of computer use, physical activity and physical fitness of pupils in Singapore
Chia, M., Quek, J. J., Wang, J., Teo-Koh, S. M., & Gosian, K. K. (2003). The nexus of hours of computer use, physical activity and physical fitness of pupils in Singapore. An Educational Research Funded Project [EP3/99 MC], 1-26.
The purpose of the study was to examine the relationships between hours of computer use, physical activity and physical fitness of 120 pupils (mean age = 10.6 years) from a primary school and 120 pupils (mean age = 14.8 years) from a secondary school. Information about self-reported computer use and physical activity was garnered from questionnaire responses. Heart rate (HR) data (i.e. total time spent at HR<120, 120-139, 140-159 and >160 beats per min-1 [bpm]) using a telemetric system (Polar Vantage, NV) were collected over an average 10-hour period (0800-1800 hours) on two weekdays and a weekend day from 30 boys and 30 girls (aged 10-15 years). Physical fitness data (1.6/2.4 km run, sit and reach, 4x10m shuttle-run, 1-min bent knee sit up, incline flexed arm hang/pull-up and standing broad jump) of all pupils was also collected. Results showed that 98-100% of pupils had previous experience using computers and 98-100% of pupils had access to computers. Hours of computer use per week increased with age (from 10-11 years to 14-15 years) (6.05.0 vs. 8.67.7 hours, p<0.05). No meaningful relationships were detected between hours of computer use per week, physical activity, and physical fitness except a small but significant correlation between hours of computer use and physical activity in primary school pupils. Time spent at HR intensities 120-139 (beats per minute) bpm, 140-159 bpm and >160 bpm revealed that most pupils were largely physically inactive (i.e. HR<120 bpm) during the weekday (90.2%) and especially on the weekend day (97.8%). Accumulated physical activity based on HR intensities described as light (HR 120-139 bpm), moderate (HR 140-159 bpm) and vigorous (HR >160 bpm) increased with age (from 10-11 yr to 14-15 years) for the weekday and the weekend day. Accumulated daily physical activity of a moderate intensity (HR 140-159 bpm) in primary and secondary school pupils did not meet the recommended quality and quantity of physical activity for the maintenance of good physical health that are published in consensus statements of two international panels of experts.
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