Science for Education Today, 2019, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 143–162
57.026+ 613.955

Seasonal variability of primary schoolchildren’s anthropometric indicators (the Moscow region)

Pankova N. B. 1 (Moscow, Russian Federation), Karganov M. Y. 1 (Moscow, Russian Federation)
1 Research Institute of General Pathology and Pathophysiology, Moscow, Russian Federation

Introduction. Monitoring biomedical studies indicate a pronounced seasonal variability in body weight and body mass index (BMI) in children and adolescents. However, there is no ambiguity in describing the dynamics of these changes. Several researchers have reported a predominant increase in BMI in winter, on the other hand, a number of studies have found an increase in BMI during summer holidays. The aim of this study is to assess the dynamics of seasonal changes in the following physical development indicators of primary schoolchildren in the Moscow region: body height and weight, BMI, and hand grip strength.
Materials and Methods. 214 schoolchildren from the 1st to the 5th grades were annually examined in late September – early October and late March – early April. The study used such data as body height and weight, BMI, and hand grip strength.
Results. The current research found a pronounced seasonal variability in primary schoolchildren’s body weight and BMI with an increase in the winter period. BMI variability is characteristic of both girls and boys, and does not depend on school entry age (between 7 and 8 years). At the same time, the number of obese children among first-graders matched the estimates reported by the WHO for the corresponding age and sex groups. The current study did not find the growth of obesity among schoolchildren until the end of the 5th grade. However, the research revealed an increase in the number of overweight children and a decrease in the number of children with normal BMI during the period between the 1st and the 5th grades. Seasonal variability in indicators of hand grip strength, as well as physical performance tests was not found.
Conclusions. The data obtained allow to assume that the examined sample of children in terms of anthropometry can be considered as normal. Moreover, the existing negative trends in increasing the number of overweight children can be overcome.

For citation:
Pankova N. B., Karganov M. Y. Seasonal variability of primary schoolchildren’s anthropometric indicators (the Moscow region). Science for Education Today, 2019, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 143–162. DOI:
  1. Aizman R. I. Methodological principles and methodical approaches to the monitoring of the students' health and health saving activity of educational organizations. Journal of Pedagogical Innovation, 2019, vol. 1, pp. 5–13. (In Russian) URL:
  2. Berezina N. O., Stepanova M. I., Lashneva I. P. Features of physical development modern preschoolers. Problems of School and University Medicine and Health, 2017, no. 4, pp. 34–39. (In Russian) URL:
  3. Bogoslovskiy I. N., Sheptikin S. A. Analysis of students’ motor activity during the academic year. Physical Education and Sports Training, 2016, no. 2, pp. 7–10. (In Russian) URL:
  4. Butko M. A. To the problem of shortage of physical activity for children of primary school age. Physical Culture and Health, 2015, no. 2, pp. 60–62. (In Russian) URL:
  5. Gavryushin M. Yu., Sazonova O. V., Borodina L. M., Gorbachev D. O. Analysis of the diet of children in the summer organisations of rest and improvement. Problems of School and University Medicine and Health, 2018, no. 2, pp. 31–39. (In Russian) URL:
  6. Gavryushin M. Yu., Sazonova O. V., Gorbachev D. O., Borodina L. M., Frolova O. V., Tupikova  D. S. A rationale for the use of anthropometric measurements and bioelectrical impedance analysis as efficacy criteria for summer camp healthcare. Bulletin of Russian State Medical University, 2019, no. 2, pp. 97–104. (In Russian) DOI: URL:
  7. Gritsinskaya V. L. Evaluation of physical development of school-age boys in Saint Petersburg with the use of the anthropometric calculator of WHO. Public Health and Life Environment, 2018, no.  2, pp. 16–19. (In Russian) URL:
  8. Platonova A. G., Podrigalo L. V. Application of motor activity for the evaluation of the effectiveness of children’s rehabilitation. Problems of School and University Medicine and Health, 2014, no. 3, pp. 51–52. (In Russian) URL:
  9. Radysh I. V., Skal'ny V. V., Kislyi N. D., Torshin V. I., Radysh B. B., Ermakova N. V. Seasonal variation in protein metabolism and haemoglobin A1C in healthy men. Technologies of Living Systems, 2016, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 19–23. (In Russian) URL:
  10. Radysh I. V., Skal'nyy V. V., Koroteyeva T. V., Torshin V. I., Umnova T. N., Khodorovich A. M., Starshinov Yu. P. Seasonal changes in hormone metabolism and glycated hemoglobin in healthy women. Technologies of Living Systems, 2016, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 35–40. (In Russian) URL:
  11. Sedova A. S. Hygienic characteristics of variable day regimen of children in the organization of their rest and recovery. Public Health and Life Environment, 2016, no. 8, pp. 28–31. (In Russian) URL:
  12. Chanchaeva E. A., Aizman R. I., Sidorov S. S., Popova E. V., Simonova O. I. Modern trends of the development of primary school-aged children (literature review). Acta Biomedica Scientifica, 2019, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 59–65. (In Russian) DOI: URL:
  13. Yachmenev N. V., Rubanovich V. B. Dynamics of morphofunctional state of 6th-7th form schoolchildren in the academic year, depending on the organization of physical education. Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University Bulletin, 2017, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 191–202. (In Russian). URL:
  14. Baranowski T., Motil K. J., Moreno J. P. Multi-etiological perspective on child obesity prevention. Current Nutrition Reports, 2019, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1–10. DOI:
  15. Baranowski T., O'Connor T., Johnston C., Hughes S., Moreno J., Chen T. A., Meltzer L., Baranowski J. School year versus summer differences in child weight gain: A narrative review. Childhood Obesity, 2014, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 18–24. DOI:
  16. Bhutani S., Hanrahan L. P., Vanwormer J., Schoeller D. A. Circannual variation in relative weight of children 5 to 16 years of age. Pediatric Obesity, 2018, vol. 13, no. 7, pp. 399–405. DOI:
  17. Brazendale K., Beets M. W., Turner-McGrievy G. M., Kaczynski A. T., Pate R. R., Weaver R. G. Children's obesogenic behaviors during summer versus school: A within-person comparison. Journal of School Health, 2018, vol. 88, no. 12, pp. 886-892. DOI:
  18. Brazendale K., Beets M. W., Weaver R. G., Pate R. R., Turner-McGrievy G. M., Kaczynski A. T., Chandler J. L., Bohnert A., von Hippel P. T. Understanding differences between summer vs. school obesogenic behaviors of children: The structured days hypothesis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2017, vol. 14, pp. 100. DOI:
  19. Brusseau T. A., Burns R. D. Children's Weight Gain and Cardiovascular Fitness Loss over the summer. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2018, vol. 15, no.  12, pp. 2770. DOI:
  20. Dalskov S. M., Ritz C., Larnkjær A., Damsgaard C. T., Petersen R. A., Sørensen L. B., Hjorth  M.  F., Ong K. K., Astrup A., Mølgaard C., Michaelsen K. F. Seasonal variations in growth and body composition of 8-11-y-old Danish children. Pediatric Research, 2016, vol. 79, no. 2, pp.  358–363. DOI:
  21. Downey D. B., Boughton H. R. Childhood body mass index gain during the summer versus during the school year. New Directions for Youth Development, 2007, vol. 114, pp. 33–43. DOI:
  22. Franckle R., Adler R., Davison K. Accelerated weight gain among children during summer versus school year and related racial/ethnic disparities: A systematic review. Preventing Chronic Disease, 2014, vol. 11, pp. 130355. DOI:
  23. Kobayashi M., Kobayashi M. The relationship between obesity and seasonal variation in body weight among elementary school children in Tokyo. Economics & Human Biology, 2006, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 253–261. DOI:
  24. Moreno J. P., Crowley S. J., Alfano C. A., Hannay K. M., Thompson D., Baranowski T. Potential circadian and circannual rhythm contributions to the obesity epidemic in elementary school age children. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2019, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 25. DOI:
  25. Moreno J. P., Johnston C. A., Chen T. A., O'Connor T. A., Hughes S. O., Baranowski J., Woehler D., Baranowski T. Seasonal variability in weight change during elementary school. Obesity, 2015, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 422–428. DOI:
  26. Moreno J. P., Vézina-Im L. A., Vaughan E. M., Baranowski T. Impact of child summertime obesity interventions on body mass index, and weight-related behaviours: A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. BMJ Open, 2017, vol. 7, pp. e017144. DOI:
  27. Sabbağ C. Seasonal BMI changes of rural women living in Anatolia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2012, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 1159–1170. DOI:
  28. Smith D. T., Bartee R. T., Dorozynski C. M., Carr L. J. Prevalence of overweight and influence of out-of-school seasonal periods on body mass index among American Indian schoolchildren. Preventing Chronic Disease, 2009, vol. 6, no. 1. PMID: 19080026 PMCID: PMC2644610 URL:  
  29. Sturm R., Patel D., Alexander E., Paramanund J. Seasonal cycles in food purchases and changes in BMI among South Africans participating in a health promotion programme. Public Health Nutrition, 2016, vol. 19, no. 15, pp. 2838–2843. DOI:
  30. Tanskey L. A., Goldberg J., Chui K., Must A., Sacheck J. The state of the summer: A review of child summer weight gain and efforts to prevent it. Current Obesity Reports, 2018, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 112–121. DOI:
  31. Tovar A., Lividini K., Economos C. D., Folta S., Goldberg J., Must A. School's out: What are urban children doing? The Summer Activity Study of Somerville Youth (SASSY). BMC Pediatrics, 2010, vol. 10, pp. 16. DOI:
  32. Visscher T. L., Seidell J. C. Time trends (1993-1997) and seasonal variation in body mass index and waist circumference in the Netherlands. International Journal of Obesity, 2004, vol. 28, pp.  1309–1316. DOI:
  33. von Hippel P. T., Workman J. From kindergarten through second grade, U.S. children's obesity prevalence grows only during summer vacations. Obesity, 2016, vol. 24, no. 11, pp. 2296–2300. DOI:
  34. Zhang J., Himes J. H., Hannan P. J., Arcan C., Smyth M., Rock B. H., Story M. Summer effects on body mass index (BMI) gain and growth patterns of American Indian children from kindergarten to first grade: a prospective study. BMC Public Health, 2011, vol. 11, pp. 951. DOI:
  35. Zinkel S. R., Moe M., Stern E. A., Hubbard V. S., Yanovski S. Z., Yanovski J. A., Schoeller D. A. Comparison of total energy expenditure between school and summer months. Pediatric Obesity, 2013, vol. 8, no. 5, pp. 404–410. DOI:
Date of the publication 31.10.2019