Prevalence and correlates of achieving recommended physical activity levels among children living in rural South Asia—A multi-centre study
A comparative study of 215 sedentary (no regular physical exercise undertaken) and 313 physically active (regular physical exercise undertaken) Bengalee boys aged 10-17 years was undertaken to investigate the differences in overall adiposity (body mass index), subcutaneous adiposity (skinfolds) and body composition (percent body fat, fat mass and fat mass index). Both groups had a similar age. The results revealed that boys who did not undertake regular physical exercise (NPE) had a significantly greater mean body mass index (BMI) compared with those who undertook regular physical exercise (PE); p < 0.001. The means for all the skinfolds as well as percent body fat (PBF), fat mass (FM) and fat mass index (FMI) were significantly higher among the NPE group. The percentile distributions of all these variables and indices were consistently higher among the NPE group. The results of ANOVA of physical exercise (PE = yes, NPE = no) and PBF, FM and FMI, with age as covariate, revealed that PE had a significant negative effect on all these measures of body composition even after controlling for the impact of age. The means in each case were greater among the NPE group. In conclusion, this study provided evidence that Bengalee boys, who undertook regular physical exercise, had significantly less adiposity compared with those who did not undertake regular physical exercise.