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Volume 20 (2023): Issue 11 (Nov 2023)

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Association Between Children’s and Parents’ Physical Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Lagged Analysis

Monika Szpunar, Matthew Bourke, Leigh M. Vanderloo, Brianne A. Bruijns, Stephanie Truelove, Shauna M. Burke, Jason Gilliland, Jennifer D. Irwin, and Patricia Tucker

Background: COVID-19 caused closures of movement supporting environments such as gyms and schools in Canada. This study evaluated the association between Ontario parents’ and children’s physical activity levels across time during COVID-19, controlling for variables that were identified as significant predictors of children’s and parents’ physical activity (e.g., children’s age, parents’ employment status). Methods: Parents (n = 243; mean age = 38.8 y) of children aged 12 and under (n = 408; mean age = 6.3 y) living in Ontario, Canada completed 2 online surveys, the first between August and December 2020 and the second between August and December 2021. At baseline, parents were asked to recall prepandemic physical activity levels. To determine the association between parent and child physical activity during COVID-19, a cross-lagged model was estimated to determine the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between parents’ and children’s physical activity across time. Results: Bivariate associations revealed that parents’ and children’s physical activity levels were significantly related during lockdown and postlockdown but not prelockdown. The autoregressive paths from prelockdown to during lockdown were significant for children (β = 0.53, P < .001) and parents (β = 1.058, P < .001) as were the autoregressive paths from during lockdown to postlockdown for children (β = 0.61, P < .001) and parents (β = 0.48, P < .001). In fully adjusted models, the cross-lagged association between parents’ physical activity prelockdowns was significantly positively associated with their children’s physical activity during lockdowns (β = 0.19, P = .013). Conclusions: Resources are needed to ensure that children and parents are obtaining sufficient levels of physical activity, particularly during a pandemic.

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Clustering of Multilevel Factors Among Children and Adolescents: Associations With Health-Related Physical Fitness

Shan Cai, Yunfei Liu, Jiajia Dang, Panliang Zhong, Di Shi, Ziyue Chen, Peijin Hu, Jun Ma, Yanhui Dong, Yi Song, and Hein Raat

Background: To identify the clustering characteristics of individual-, family-, and school-level factors, and examine their associations with health-related physical fitness. Methods: A total of 145,893 Chinese children and adolescents aged 9–18 years participated in this cross-sectional study. The 2-step cluster analysis was conducted to identify clusters among individual-, family-, and school-level factors. Physical fitness indicator was calculated through sex- and age-specific z scores of forced vital capacity, standing long jump, sit-and-reach flexibility, body muscle strength, endurance running, and body mass index. Results: Three, 3, and 5 clusters were automatically identified at individual, family, and school levels, respectively. Students with low physical fitness indicator were more likely to be in the “longest sedentary time and skipping breakfast” cluster (odds ratio [OR] = 1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12–1.24), and “physical inactivity and insufficient protein consumption” cluster (OR = 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02–1.12) at individual level, the “single children and high parental education level” cluster (OR = 1.15; 95% CI, 1.10–1.21), and “no physical activity support and preference” cluster (OR = 1.30; 95% CI, 1.25–1.36) at family level, and the “physical education occupied” cluster (OR = 1.06; 95% CI, 1.01–1.11), and “insufficient physical education frequency” cluster (OR = 1.16; 95% CI, 1.08–1.24) at school level. Girls were more vulnerable to individual- and school-level clusters, while boys were more susceptible to family clusters; the younger students were more sensitive to school clusters, and the older students were more susceptible to family clusters (P-interaction < .05). Conclusions: This study confirmed different clusters at multilevel factors and proved their associations with health-related physical fitness, thus providing new perspective for developing targeted interventions.

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Household Food Insecurity Is Associated With Physical Activity in Youth and Young Adults With Diabetes: A Cross-Sectional Study

Lauren A. Reid, Marco Geraci, Jason A. Mendoza, Anwar T. Merchant, Beth A. Reboussin, Russell R. Pate, Lawrence M. Dolan, Katherine A. Sauder, Eva Lustigova, Grace Kim, and Angela D. Liese

Background: Physical activity (PA) is essential for optimal diabetes management. Household food insecurity (HFI) may negatively affect diabetes management behaviors. The purpose of this study was to cross-sectionally examine the association between HFI and PA in youth and young adults (YYA) with type 1 (N = 1998) and type 2 (N = 391) diabetes from the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study. Methods: HFI was measured with the US Household Food Security Survey Module. PA was measured with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form. Walking, moderate-intensity PA (excluding walking), vigorous-intensity PA, moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA, and total PA were estimated as minutes per week, while time spent sitting was assessed in minutes per day. All were modeled with median regression. Meeting PA guidelines or not was modeled using logistic regression. Results: YYA with type 1 diabetes who experienced HFI spent more time walking than those who were food secure. YYA with type 2 diabetes who experienced HFI spent more time sitting than those who were food secure. Conclusions: Future research should examine walking for leisure versus other domains of walking in relation to HFI and use objective PA measures to corroborate associations between HFI and PA in YYA with diabetes.

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Leisure-Time Physical Activity in a Southern Brazilian City (2004–2021): Applying an Equity Lens to Time-Trend Analyses

Andrea Wendt, Alan G. Knuth, Bruno P. Nunes, Mario Renato de Azevedo Jr, Helen Gonçalves, Pedro C. Hallal, and Inácio Crochemore-Silva

Background: This study aimed to verify leisure-time physical activity trends over 15 years and monitor inequalities according to gender, self-reported skin color, and socioeconomic position in a Southern Brazilian city. A secondary aim is to evaluate intersectionalities in physical activity. Methods: Trend analysis using 3 population-based surveys carried out in 2004, 2010, and 2021. Main outcome assessed was the prevalence of physical activity according to recommendations (150 min/wk). Inequalities dimensions measured were sex, self-reported skin color, and wealth. Intersectionalities were evaluated using Jeopardy index combining all inequality dimensions. Trend analysis was performed using least-squares weighted regression. Results: We included data from 3090, 2656, and 5696 adults in 2004, 2010, and 2021, respectively. Prevalence of physical activity remains stable around 25% in the 3 years. In the 3 periods evaluated, men presented a prevalence in average 10 percentage points higher than women (SII2004 = −11.1 [95% confidence interval, CI, −14.4 to −7.8], SII2021 = −10.7 [95% CI, −13.7 to −7.7]). Skin color inequalities did not present a clear pattern. Richest individuals, in general presented a prevalence of leisure-time physical activity level 20pp higher than poorest ones (SII2004 = 20.5 [95% CI, 13.7 to 27.4]; SII2021 = 16.7 [95% CI, 11.3 to 22.0]). Inequalities were widely marked, comparing the most privileged group (represented by men, the wealthiest, and White) and the most socially vulnerable group (represented by women, the poorest, and Black/Brown). The Slope Index of Inequality for intersectionalities was −24.5 (95% CI, −31.1 to −17.9) in 2004 and −18.8 in 2021 (95% CI, −24.2 to −13.4). Conclusions: Our analysis shows that women, Black/Brown, and poor present lower leisure-time physical activity level. This group is often neglected regarding other health and social outcomes.

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The Impact of a Lifestyle Intervention on Postpartum Cardiometabolic Risk Factors Among Hispanic Women With Abnormal Glucose Tolerance During Pregnancy: Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Trial

Kathryn A. Wagner, Christine W. St. Laurent, Penelope Pekow, Bess Marcus, Milagros C. Rosal, Barry Braun, Joann E. Manson, Brian W. Whitcomb, Lynnette Leidy Sievert, and Lisa Chasan-Taber

Background: Women with abnormal glucose tolerance during pregnancy are at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), with higher rates among Hispanics. However, studies on the impact of lifestyle interventions on postpartum CVD profiles are sparse. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a controlled trial among a subsample of Hispanic women with abnormal glucose tolerance participating in Estudió PARTO (Project Aiming to Reduce Type twO diabetes; mean age = 28.2 y, SD: 5.8) who were randomized to a culturally modified Lifestyle intervention (n = 45) or a comparison Health and Wellness intervention (n = 55). Primary endpoints were biomarkers of cardiovascular risk (lipids, C-reactive protein, fetuin-A, and albumin-to-creatinine ratio) and insulin resistance (fasting insulin, glucose, HbA1c, homeostasis model assessment, leptin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and adiponectin) measured at baseline (6-wk postpartum) and 6 and 12 months. Results: In intent-to-treat analyses, there were no significant differences in changes in biomarkers of CVD risk or insulin resistance over the postpartum year. In prespecified sensitivity analyses, women adherent with the Lifestyle Intervention had more favorable improvements in insulin (intervention effect = −4.87, SE: 1.93, P = .01) and HOMA-IR (intervention effect = −1.15, SE: 0.53, P = .03) compared with the Health and Wellness arm. In pooled analyses, regardless of intervention arm, women with higher postpartum sports/exercise had greater increase in HDL-cholesterol (intervention effect = 6.99, SE: 1.72, P = .0001). Conclusions: In this randomized controlled trial among Hispanic women with abnormal glucose tolerance, we did not observe a significant effect on postpartum biomarkers of CVD risk or insulin resistance. Women adherent to the intervention had more favorable changes in insulin and HOMA-IR.

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Striking a Balance: Physical Activity and Planetary Health

Katja Siefken and Karim Abu-Omar

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Biopsychosocial Effects of a Conventional Exercise Program and Culturally Relevant Activities in Older Women From Mozambique

Timóteo Daca, Antônio Prista, Paulo Farinatti, Matheus Maia Pacheco, Ricardo Drews, Taru Manyanga, Albertino Damasceno, and Go Tani

Aim: This randomized controlled trial compared the effects of a Conventional Exercise Program (CEP) and Culturally Relevant Activities (CRA) on body mass, cardiovascular risk, functional fitness (strength, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness, and agility), self-efficacy, and self-esteem in older women dwelling in Mozambique. Methods: Fifty-seven women (67 [7] y) underwent 60-minute sessions of CEP (n = 28) or CRA (n = 29) performed 3 days per week for 12 weeks. CRA included Mozambican traditional dances and games (intensity corresponding to scores 3–4 of BORG-CR10 scale), and CEP included 20-minute stationary cycling (65%–75% heart rate reserve) and a resistance training circuit (8 exercises, 15-repetition maximum). Results: CEP and CRA (P < .05) showed increased percent fat (3.4% and 5.3%), waist circumference (3.3% and 5.8%), and cardiorespiratory fitness (14.4% and 9.4%), and decreased triglycerides (−20.0% and −77.8%). In CEP (P < .05), body mass (2.9%), body mass index (3.2%), and high-density lipoprotein (10.0%) increased, while glycemia (−4.8%) and total cholesterol (−9.8%) decreased. Blood pressure slightly increased in CEP (6.2%, P > .05) and CRA (4.3%, P < .05). Self-efficacy and self-esteem increased to similar levels in both groups (15%, P < .05). Conclusions: CEP and CRA were capable to improve biopsychosocial health-related variables in Mozambican older women. Culturally referenced PA interventions should be considered as an alternative in African countries.

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Cost-Utility of an Exercise Referral Scheme Versus Doing Nothing in Flemish Adults: Exploring the Impact of Key Assumptions

Amber Werbrouck, Masja Schmidt, Koen Putman, Steven Simoens, Nick Verhaeghe, and Lieven Annemans

Background: This health-economic evaluation assessed the cost-effectiveness of an exercise referral scheme (ERS) versus doing nothing in the Flemish region (Belgium), with a particular focus on the impact of several scenarios. Methods: A 14-state Markov model was applied to compare the expected costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) of 2 alternatives: the Flemish ERS (2019 data, mean age 52 y, 69.1% women) and doing nothing. A health care payer perspective was adopted and a lifetime time horizon was applied. A set of 18 scenario analyses is presented. In addition, univariate and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed. Results: Under the assumptions selected for the base-case analysis, the Flemish ERS is moderately cost-effective compared with doing nothing, with an incremental cost-utility ratio of €28,609/QALY. Based on the scenario analyses, the results largely depend on the assumptions regarding the continuation of the intervention effect and the frequency with which the intervention is repeated. The greatest health gains can be made when a sustainable behavioral change is achieved among participants. The probabilistic sensitivity analysis confirmed that the cost-effectiveness results were not robust. Conclusions: If it is possible to induce a sustainable behavioral change with an intervention delivered at 2- or 5-year intervals, then the Flemish ERS is potentially cost-effective compared with doing nothing (given a €40,000/QALY threshold). These results suggest the importance of repeated implementation of the program together with careful monitoring of the adherence and the sustainability of the observed effects in a real-world setting.

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Reducing LGBTQ+ Physical Activity Disparities Through Improved Measurement and Inclusion of Sexual Orientation in US National Data Sets

Keegan T. Peterson and Melissa Bopp

Adequate participation in physical activity (PA) is effective in reducing negative health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, as well as stress, anxiety, and depression. However, 1 in 4 adults meet the PA guidelines, with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons reporting increased rates of inactivity and higher rates of negative health outcomes. Limited research can be conducted on best methods to promote PA among LGBTQ+ adults as there is a lack of standardized measurements for both sexual orientation status and PA used in US national data set methodologies. A call to action is warranted to highlight the lack of uniform methodologies for collecting both sexual orientation and PA data in national data sets, with an overall goal of promoting inclusion and transparency of sexual orientation as a primary, secondary, and tertiary influence on PA. The current societal disconnect of national data sets collecting sexual orientation does not allow for proper extrapolation within the LGBTQ+ classifications. LGBTQ+ identities each report differing PA and health outcomes, promoting the need for proper sexual orientation measures. Without this inclusion, we will continue to see larger health disparities among LGBTQ+ persons due to outdated measurements in current US national data sets. This commentary provides sexual orientation status on health outcomes linked to physical inactivity, the need to include uniform sexual orientation measures in national data sets, and implications of the inclusion of this measure to conduct PA research as it relates to health outcomes.