Research: Physical Activity of Malaysian Primary School Children

Comparison by Sociodemographic Variables and Activity Domains

2 June 2016

Innovation is an important part of FrieslandCampina’s route2020 strategy for sustainable growth and value creation. The FrieslandCampina innovation and R&D projects often have interesting results. For example research on physical activity of primary school children as presented in the article below.


This study describes the physical activity of primary school children according to sociodemographic characteristics and activity domains. Using the Malaysian South East Asian Nutrition Surveys data, 1702 children aged 7 to 12 years were included in the analysis. Physical activity was reported as a total score and categorised into low, medium, and high levels based on Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children. Higher overall activity scores were found in boys, younger age, non-Chinese ethnicity, and normal body mass index category. Sex, age, and ethnicity differences were found in structured or organised, physical education, and outside-of-school domain scores. Transport-related scores differed by age group, ethnicity, household income, and residential areas but not among the three physical activity levels. Participation of girls, Chinese, and older children were low in overall and almost all activity domains. Sociodemographic characteristics are important factors to consider in increasing the different domains of physical activity among Malaysian children.


  • Jyh Eiin Wong, PhD1
  • Panam Parikh, PhD2
  • Bee Koon Poh, PhD1⇑
  • Paul Deurenberg, PhD3
    on behalf of the SEANUTS Malaysia Study Group

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
FrieslandCampina, Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Nutrition Consultant, Langkawi, Malaysia

DOI: 10.1177/1010539516650726

Key words: activity domains, children, Malaysia, physical activity, primary school