Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Is There a Need to Account for Reactivity When Measuring Children's Activity Levels Using Pedometers?

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Is There a Need to Account for Reactivity When Measuring Children's Activity Levels Using Pedometers?

Article excerpt

Susan D. Vincent and Robert P. Pangrazi, Arizona State University

Reactivity is a postulated phenomenon defined as a change in normal activity patterns due to the participants' knowledge that their activity levels are being monitored. If reactivity exists, it is important for researchers to account for a reactivity period and analyze data beyond the reactivity period to gain a more accurate picture of children's normal activity levels. The purpose of this study was to determine if reactivity occurs in elementary school children when being monitored with a sealed pedometer. Participants were 12 second graders, 15 fourth graders, and 21 sixth graders from an elementary school in an urban community. Sealed pedometers were worn for 8 days from the time children left school until they returned to school (except for sleeping hours). If reactivity occurs, we would expect to see higher activity counts on Day 1 and a pattern of decreasing activity on consecutive days until activity level's plateau to a normal pattern of behavior. Data in this study do not support the reactivity hypo thesis. A factorial repeated measures analysis of variance (Sex by Grade by Day) revealed no significant differences among any of the 8 days for all participants, F(7, 277) = 1. …

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