Indoor and Outdoor Context-Specific Contributions to Early Adolescent Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity as Measured by Combined Diary, Accelerometer, and GPS

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: The distribution of adolescent moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) across multiple contexts is unclear. This study examined indoor and outdoor leisure time in terms of being structured or unstructured and explored relationships with total daily MVPA. Methods: Between September 2012 and January 2014, 70 participants (aged 11–13 y) from 4 schools in Edinburgh wore an accelerometer and global positioning system receiver over 7 days, reporting structured physical activity using a diary. Time spent and MVPA were summarized according to indoor/outdoor location and whether activity was structured/unstructured. Independent associations between context-specific time spent and total daily MVPA were examined using a multivariate linear regression model. Results: Very little time or MVPA was recorded in structured contexts. Unstructured outdoor leisure time was associated with an increase in total daily MVPA almost twice that of unstructured indoor leisure time [b value (95% confidence interval), 8.45 (1.71 to 14.48) vs 4.38 (0.20 to 8.22) minute increase per hour spent]. The association was stronger for time spent in structured outdoor leisure time [35.81 (20.60 to 52.27)]. Conclusions: Research and interventions should focus on strategies to facilitate time outdoors during unstructured leisure time and maximize MVPA once youth are outdoors. Increasing the proportion of youth engaging in structured activity may be beneficial given that, although time spent was limited, association with MVPA was strongest.

Pearce, Saunders, and Turner are with the Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences, Moray House School of Education, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Allison is with the Dept of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

Pearce (mp9828@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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