The present study examined objectively measured physical activity in Malaysian children and compared the differences in physical levels between obese and healthy weight children. Eighty-six obese children were matched for age and sex with 86 healthy weight children with median age 9.5 years. Habitual physical activity and sedentary behaviour were measured over 5 days using Actigraph accelerometers. Time spent sedentary was significantly higher in the obese group (90% vs. 86% of daytime; p = 0.001). Moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity was significantly higher in the healthy weight group (1.2 vs. 0.7% of daytime, p <0.001). In both healthy weight and obese children, physical activity levels were exceptionally low, although moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity was significantly lower in the obese group than the healthy weight group. Efforts to prevent and treat obesity in Malaysian children will need a substantial focus on the promotion of reductions in sedentary behaviour and increases in physical activity.
- physical activity
- sedentary behaviour