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Physical Activity and Chronic Stress in Early Life: Findings From the 2015 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort

Otávio Amaral de Andrade Leão, Thaynã Ramos Flores, Gregore Iven Mielke, Inácio Crochemore-Silva, Andréa Dâmaso Bertoldi, Marlos Rodrigues Domingues, Joseph Murray, Rafaela Costa Martins, Luciana Tovo-Rodrigues, Isabel O. de Oliveira, and Pedro Curi Hallal

Background: The association of physical activity through early childhood on children’s chronic stress still is unclear. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to test the association of physical activity through early childhood (1–4 y) with chronic stress, measured by hair cortisol at age 4. Methods: Longitudinal study including children from the 2015 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort. Cortisol at age 4 was measured using a hair sample, which provided cortisol concentration from the past months. Physical activity was measured using accelerometers at 1, 2, and 4 years. Linear regression models were used to assess the association between physical activity and chronic stress. Trajectory models were also applied to examine chronic stress in relation to physical activity patterns throughout early childhood. Results: Children with valid physical activity and hair cortisol data were included in the analyses (N = 1475). Three groups of physical activity trajectories between 1 and 4 years were identified: low, medium, and high. No association between physical activity at 1, 2, and 4 years and chronic stress at age 4 was observed. However, children in the “high” physical activity trajectory presented low cortisol concentration; the magnitude of the regression coefficient was slightly larger in girls (β = −0.125; 95% confidence interval, −0.326 to 0.074) than boys (β = −0.051; 95% confidence interval, −0.196 to 0.09). Conclusion: There was no clear association between physical activity and chronic stress in early childhood. Trajectories models suggest that higher activity throughout early childhood may positively impact chronic stress; however, more studies are needed to confirm that hypothesis.

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Maternal Physical Activity Patterns in the 2015 Pelotas Birth Cohort: From Preconception to Postpartum

Luciana Tornquist, Debora Tornquist, Gregore Iven Mielke, Mariângela Freitas da Silveira, Pedro Curi Hallal, and Marlos Rodrigues Domingues

Background: Motherhood has been associated with reduced leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) levels. We aim to assess maternal LTPA patterns from preconception to 4 years postpartum. Methods: The study was developed with mothers from the Pelotas 2015 Birth Cohort, Southern Brazil (n = 4273). LTPA data were self-reported for preconception, antenatal, and 3, 12, 24, and 48 months postpartum. Information on LTPA referring to preconception (3 mo before pregnancy) and each gestational trimester was retrospectively collected in perinatal. The prevalence of active mothers was calculated according to recommendations (≥150 min/wk). We described changes in LTPA between follow-ups and estimated the probability of mothers being active according to previous LTPA. We used group-based trajectory analysis to identify patterns of LTPA throughout the follow-ups. Results: The prevalence of active mothers during leisure time decreased in pregnancy and postpartum compared with preconception. At 12 months postpartum, LTPA levels rose again, but at 48 months, the rates of active mothers still had not returned to preconception levels. Prior LTPA engagement was an important determinant of the maintenance of LTPA. Trajectory analysis identified 4 patterns of maternal LTPA, and ∼80% of mothers were allocated to the “always inactive” group. Higher education and income, working outside the home, multiple births, and participating in the PAMELA study intervention were associated with a higher probability of mothers not being included in this predominantly inactive group. Conclusions: Motherhood is associated with declining rates of women meeting physical activity recommendations during pregnancy and early postpartum.

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Physical Activity During Adolescence and Mental Health in Early Adulthood: Findings From the 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study

Bruna Gonçalves Cordeiro da Silva, Ana Maria Baptista Menezes, Helen Gonçalves, Charles Phillipe de Lucena Alves, Felipe Mendes Delpino, Rafaela Costa Martins, and Fernando César Wehrmeister

Background: Low prevalence of physical activity (PA) and a high prevalence of mental health problems are common among youth. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between PA during adolescence and depression and anxiety disorders in young adulthood. Methods: Data from the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study were analyzed. Leisure-time PA and total PA (leisure plus commuting) were evaluated at 11, 15, and 18 years using self-reported data. PA was evaluated at each age separately and during adolescence, considering the number of times participants reached PA recommendations. Depression and anxiety were assessed through Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview at 22 years. Crude and adjusted association analyses were performed using Poisson regression with robust error variance, providing prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Results: Three thousand two hundred and forty-seven participants were included in the study. In the adjusted analyses, active participants in leisure-time PA (≥300 min/wk) and total PA at 11 years were less likely to be depressed at age 22 (prevalence ratios: 0.54; 95% confidence interval, 0.33–0.89; prevalence ratios: 0.63; 95% confidence interval, 0.41–0.97). For leisure-time PA, the more PA recommendations were met during adolescence, the lower the prevalence of depression. There was no association when PA variables were evaluated separately at 15 and 18 years and between PA and anxiety after controlling for potential confounders. Conclusions: Early adolescence appears to be a sensitive period for PA benefits on depression in early adulthood. The more timepoints reaching PA recommendations during adolescence, the lower the risk of depression. On the other hand, PA during adolescence was not associated with anxiety in young adults.

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Accelerometry Measured Movement Behaviors in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: Cross-Sectional Analysis of the ELSA-Brasil Study

Danilo de Paula, Inácio Crochemore-Silva, Rosane Harter Griep, Bruce Bartholow Duncan, and Maria Inês Schmidt

Background: Little investigation of accelerometry assessed movement behaviors and physical inactivity was carried out in middle-aged and older adults in low-middle-income countries. Objective: Describe accelerometry-measured movement behaviors and prevalence of physical inactivity in middle-aged and older adults. Methods: We collected raw accelerometry data during the third visit (2017–2019) of ELSA-Brasil, a large-scale multicenter Brazilian cohort. Participants wore an ActiGraph wGT3X-BT on the waist for 24 hours for 7 days and documented sleep in a diary. Results: Nine thousand two hundred and seventy-nine participants had valid data (73.4% of the eligible cohort). Overall activity was higher for men (11.82mg; 95% confidence interval [CI], 11.7 to 11.93) than women (10.69mg; 95% CI, 10.6 to 10.77) and lower in older groups—women (−0.12mg/y; 95% CI, −0.13 to −0.11), men (−0.16mg/y; 95% CI, −0.17 to −0.14). Participants were more active from noon to midnight. Distribution of movement behaviors varied with sex and age, and sleep duration was longer in older individuals. Overall, 14.4% (95% CI, 13.7 to 15.1) were inactive, with inactivity being more frequent in women (16.4%; 95% CI, 15.4 to 17.4) than men (12.2%; 95% CI, 11 to 13). Higher rates were observed in the oldest. Retirement was associated with a higher prevalence of physical inactivity in both sexes. Conclusion: Women were less active than men. Older individuals showed a high prevalence of physical inactivity, probably related to transition into retirement. These findings strengthen evidence for public policies promoting physical activity by emphasizing the need to target women, older individuals, and those transitioning to retirement to improve and/or maintain physical activity levels throughout the course of their lives.

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Does Physical Fitness Relate to Academic Achievement in High School Students?

Carla Caroliny de Almeida Santana, Mauro Virgilio Gomes de Barros, Flávio Roberto Carneiro de Medeiros, João Francisco Lins Brayner Rangel Júnior, Francys Paula Cantieri, Daniela Alarcon, and Wagner Luiz do Prado

Background: Academic achievement (AA) is an important issue not only during the school period since it is a strong predictor of long-term professional and social success. Physical fitness (PF) components are associated with AA, and previous studies were conducted with relatively small samples, lack of statistical power, and the conclusions are based on simple correlational analyses. The objective of this study was to analyze the association between PF (single and clustered) with AA in a large and representative sample of high school students. Methods: Cross-sectional design study conducted with 911 students, aged 13–15 years (38.52% boys) enrolled in the first year of high school. Cardiorespiratory fitness (20-m shuttle run test), muscular strength (dynamometer), and body composition (skinfolds) were measured. PF components were clustered (Z-cardiorespiratory fitness + Z-muscular strength – Z-body fatness). AA was analyzed through standard math tests. Hierarchical linear regression analysis was applied to verify the independent contribution of each single component and PF’s cluster on AA. Age, screen time, maternal education, race, and type of residence were used as covariates. Results: Among boys, cardiorespiratory fitness was negatively associated with AA (β = −0.137; P = .041), while strength was positively associated with AA (β = 0.188; P = .004). There was no association between clustered PF indicators and AA (β = 0.064; P = .297). There was a negative association between age and AA in girls (β = −0.151; P = .003) and in boys (β = −0.128; P = .045). Conclusions: These results support current literature, indicating an association between PF’s component, namely muscular strength and AA (mathematics) in adolescents, even when controlled for several covariates.

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Qualitative Insights on the Importance of Sociocultural Contexts on Asian Indian Migrant Participation in Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior

Siona Fernandes, Erica Hinckson, and Justin Richards

Background: Influences on physical activity and sedentary behavior may differ for migrants moving from their country of origin to a new country. This study aimed to explore the range of contextual factors that influence physical activity and sedentary behavior among Indian migrants, making comparisons with India. Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 21 Indian migrants (10 men and 11 women) aged between 18 and 65 years living in Melbourne, Australia. Data were analyzed thematically, coded inductively, and managed with NVivo. Results: Participants perceived a lack of social connection as a key barrier to physical activity participation. Group-based physical activity fostered social connections. Cultural associations were sites to engage in cultural physical activity and integrate with other Indians. Australia’s physical contexts (eg, availability of facilities and built environment) facilitated physical activity behavior. Workplace environments (eg, the nature of the job) prompted sedentary behavior. Other contextual shifts with migration related to activities of daily living (eg, shifts in transport [walking] behavior in India to a greater reliance on cars in Australia) and migrant-friendly health communication (messaging from Australian health/allied health practitioners). Conclusions: Sociocultural contexts remain key influences on migrant physical activity participation. Prioritizing integrated approaches and engaging insider codesign are important in tailoring and promoting migrant physical activity and limiting sedentary behavior.

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Volume 20 (2023): Issue 8 (Aug 2023)

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Unmasking the Political Power of Physical Activity Research: Harnessing the “Apolitical-Ness” as a Catalyst for Addressing the Challenges of Our Time

Eun-Young Lee and Mark S. Tremblay

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Motivational Profile as a Predictor of Physical Activity Among US Adults During the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Daily Diary Study

Kristen N. Moore, Kayla Nuss, Bridgette Do, Shirlene D. Wang, Kaigang Li, Dan J. Graham, Genevieve F. Dunton, and Jimikaye B. Courtney

This study used a daily diary approach to examine associations between day-level physical activity (PA) behavior, PA-specific motivational profile, and days since the COVID-19 national emergency declaration during the early months (April–June 2020) of the pandemic. A total of 468 US adults (M age = 34.8 y, 79% female) participated in a 28-day smartphone-based daily diary study assessing PA. A baseline survey assessed PA and motivation for PA using the Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire. Multilevel linear regression models examined the main effects and interactions of motivational profile and time (days since the US March 13, 2020, COVID-19 national emergency declaration) on daily PA minutes. Latent profile analysis identified 4 distinct motivational profiles for PA among this sample: profile 1: high amotivation (n = 100, 21%); profile 2: low controlled motivation (n = 55, 12%); profile 3: high external regulation (n = 47, 10%); and profile 4: moderate autonomous motivation (n = 266, 57%). After controlling for baseline PA, there were significant interactions between profile and time on daily PA (−0.21, P < .01). Profile 2 showed greater decreases in daily PA minutes over time than profile 1 (b = −0.29, P < .01). Profiles 3 and 4 did not indicate significant decreases in PA compared with profile 1 (b = 0.14, P = .31 and b = −0.16, P = .05, respectively). Contrary to previous research, individuals with lower controlled or moderate autonomous motivation demonstrated the largest decreases in PA over time, whereas individuals with higher amotivation or external regulation demonstrated smaller decreases over time. These findings suggest that external motivation may have provided short-term protection against declines in PA observed during early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Is Binge Drinking Associated With Specific Types of Exercise and Free Time Sports? A Pooled Analysis With 718,147 Adults

Michael Pereira da Silva, Roseane de Fátima Guimarães, Rodrigo Bozza, Thiago Matias, Thiago Silva Piola, Leandro Quadro Corrêa, Virgílio Ramires, Eduardo Alexandrino, and Samuel de Carvalho Dumith

Objective: To verify the association between exercise and free time sport types and binge drinking in a large sample of adults. Methods: Data of 718,147 adults from the “Surveillance of Risk and Protection Factors for Chronic Diseases by Telephone Survey” were used. We described the demographic and behavioral variables, and negative binomial regression analyzed the association between exercise and free time sport types and binge drinking adjusted by demographics variables, body mass index status, and television time. Results: Outdoor walking/running was the most common exercise reported (20.0%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 19.8%–20.2%), followed by team sports (8.1%; 95% CI, 8.0%–8.2%) and strengthening (8.0%; 95% CI, 7.9%–8.1%). The prevalence of binge drinking for each exercise and free time sport type ranged from 6.9% (water aerobics) to 31.9% (team sports). Participants engaging in strengthening (prevalence ratio = 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04–1.21, P = .002) and team sports (prevalence ratio = 1.11; 95% CI, 1.07–1.17, P < .001) were more likely to binge drink more frequently in the past 30 days than inactive participants. Conclusions: It appears that the participants’ profile plays an important role in the underlying social context of this association. Participants with more frequent strengthening and less frequent team sports practice, who were primarily younger and single, were more likely to binge drink frequently.