Determining Metabolic Costs of Gardening and Typical Physical Activities in Children

Monday, July 22, 2013
Desert Ballroom: Salons 7-8 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Sin-Ae Park , Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
A-Young Lee , Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Ho-Sang Lee , Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Kwan-Suk Lee , Hongik University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Ki-Cheol Son , Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Candice Shoemaker , Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
The objectives of this study were to determine the exercise intensities and energy expenditures of two gardening activities—such as planting transplants and sowing seeds in a garden plot—and four typical physical activities—such as running, jump roping, walking, and passing a ball—in children aged 11 to 13 years. Eighteen children volunteered in this study at a high tunnel in Cheongju, Chungbuk, South Korea, and performed randomly selected activities. Each child did each activity for 10 minutes and had a 5-minute rest time between the each activity. During the gardening and physical activities, the children wore a Cosmed K4b2which is a portable calorimetric monitoring system to measure metabolic costs such as oxygen uptake and energy expenditure for each physical activity. The heart rate during the each activity was also measured by radiotelemetry (Polar T 31). The results showed that the two gardening and four physical activities performed by the children were moderate- to high-intensity physical activities (5.4 ± 0.7 – 9.1 ± 1.4 METs). The activities with highest intensity were running (9.1 ± 1.4 METs) and rope skipping (8.8 ± 1.1 METs). The activities with lowest intensity were walking (6.1 ± 0.9 METs), planting transplants (5.8 ± 1.1 METs), passing a ball (5.6 ± 1.1 METs), and sowing seeds (5.4 ± 0.7 METs). Running and rope skipping showed a higher intensity than the other activities (P < 0.0001) and sowing seeds was the least intense activity performed in this study (P < 0.0001). This study showed a potential that gardening can be a healthy physical activity for children.