Relationship of exercise at preschool and out of school and daily physical activity to physical fitness in preschool children in the Kanto region: A cross-sectional study

Chiaki Tanaka, Yuki Hikihara, Takafumi Ando, Kazunori Ohkawara, Chiyoko Usui, Reiko Sasaki, Shigeho Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study sought to examine the potential relationships of physical education (PE) participation at preschool and sports club (SC) participation out of school and daily physical activity (PA) measured objectively using a triaxial accelerometer, with physical fitness in preschool children. Physical fitness testing was used to measure both health-related and skill-related parameters of fitness in 191 Japanese preschoolers in the Kanto region (94 boys and 97 girls, 5.6 ± 0.6 years). Daily PA was assessed using a triaxial accelerometer (ActivTracer, GMS) for 6 consecutive days, including weekdays and weekend days. PE and SC participation was assessed using questionnaires for preschool teachers or parents of subjects, respectively. All health-related and skill-related physical fitness and total Z-score were correlated with time spent with physical activity ratio (PAR) ≥ 4 when adjusted for age, sex, body height and weight. In addition, greater grip strength was associated with PE participation at preschool, and 25 m run speed was associated with SC participation, also. However, 25 m run speed was negatively associated with PE participation. These findings suggest that daily PA may contribute to the development of both health-related and skill-related fitness in preschool children, although further research on the cause-effect relationship is needed. Moreover, participation in a SC may contribute to the development of running speed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalJapanese Journal of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Accelerometer
  • Physical activity
  • Physical fitness
  • Sports participation
  • Young children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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