A positive relationship between daily physical activity and aerobic fitness exists in adults. Studies in children have given conflicting results, possibly because of differences in methods used to assess daily physical activity and fitness. No study regarding daily physical activity and fitness in children has been published, where fitness has been assessed by direct measurement of maximum oxygen uptake and related to daily physical activity intensities by accelerometers. We examined 248 children (140 boys and 108 girls), aged 7.9-11.1 years. Maximum workload and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2PEAK) by indirect calorimetry were measured during a maximum bicycle ergometer exercise test. Exercise capacity was adjusted for body mass and (body mass)(2/3). Daily physical activity was evaluated by accelerometers, worn around the waist for 4 days. Mean accelerometer counts and time spent in vigorous physical activity were calculated. VO2PEAK was correlated with mean accelerometer counts (r=0.23 for boys and r=0.23 for girls, both P < 0.05), but somewhat better with time spent in vigorous activity (r=0.32 for boys, r=0.30 for girls, both P < 0.05). All results remained virtually the same regardless of the method used to adjust for differences in body size.