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Volume 34 (2024): Issue 2 (Mar 2024)

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Volume 18 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

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After-School Activities of Japanese Elementary School Children: Comparison of Children Who Attend Lessons and Cram Schools With Those Who Do Not

Yasuo Kojima

Background: This study examined the after-school activities of Japanese elementary school children in which little information is available for understanding the process by which participation in organized activities leads to the decrease in children’s independent mobility. Methods: One thousand eight hundred and twenty-four mothers of elementary school children participated in an online survey. The mothers responded to the questions on the number of lessons (or cram schools) their children attended weekdays, as well as their children’s behavior after classes, and parents providing transportation when their children go out to play. Results: The proportion of children attending lessons and/or cram schools increased as their grades progressed. A significant interaction existed between the degree of parental transportation and grade in terms of whether or not the children attended lessons and/or cram schools. Parental involvement included pick up or drop-off for a large percentage of younger children without lessons, whereas the degree of parental involvement was greater for older children attending lessons. In other words, parents of children without attending lessons or cram schools tended to allow children to engage in independent activities when they reached the higher grades, whereas parents of children who frequently attended lessons and cram schools tended to remain involved in transporting their children, even when they reached the higher grades. Conclusions: The results suggested that the participation of children in organized activities leads to a routine of parental pickup and/or drop-off, which renders difficult the facilitation of opportunities for children to independently participate in play activities.

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Mixed-Method Precooling Enhances Self-Paced 20-km Cycling Time-Trial Performance When Apparent Temperature Is >46 °C but May Not Be a Priority in <46 °C

Julian Andro P. Ramos, Kagan J. Ducker, Hugh Riddell, Olivier Girard, Grant J. Landers, and Carly J. Brade

Purpose: Precooling (PreC) may only benefit performance when thermal strain experienced by an individual is sufficiently high. We explored the effect of mixed-method PreC on 20-km cycling time-trial (CTT) performance under 3 different apparent temperatures (AT). Methods: On separate days, 12 trained or highly trained male cyclists/triathletes completed six 20-km CTTs in 3 different ATs: hot-dry (35 °C AT), moderately hot-humid (40 °C AT), and hot-humid (46 °C AT). All trials were preceded by 30 minutes of mixed-method PreC or no PreC (control [CON]). Results: Faster 2.5-km-split completion times occurred in PreC compared with CON in 46 °C AT (P = .02), but not in 40 °C AT (P = .62) or 35 °C AT (P = .57). PreC did not affect rectal and body temperature during the 20-km CTT. Skin temperature was lower throughout the CTT in PreC compared with CON in 46 °C AT (P = .01), but not in 40 °C AT (P = 1.00) and 35 °C AT (P = 1.00). Heart rate had a greater rate of increase during the CTT for PreC compared with CON in 46 °C AT (P = .01), but not in 40 °C AT (P = .57) and 35 °C AT (P = 1.00). Ratings of perceived exertion (P < .001) and thermal comfort (P = .04) were lower for PreC compared with CON in 46 °C AT only, while thermal sensation was not different between PreC and CON. Conclusion: Mixed-method PreC should be applied prior to 20-km CTTs conducted in hot-humid conditions (≥46 °C AT). Alternatively, mixed-method PreC may be a priority in moderately hot-humid (∼40 °C AT) conditions but should not be in hot-dry (∼35 °C AT) conditions for 20-km CTT.

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Erratum. Quantifying Area-Level Physical Activity Offerings in Social Context: A Novel Concept That Goes Beyond Walkability and Access to Open Spaces

Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Exploring 24-Hour Movement Behaviors in Early Years: Findings From the SUNRISE Pilot Study in Tunisia

Mohamed Amine Ltifi, Olfa Turki, Ghaith Ben-Bouzaiene, Jeffrey Cayaban Pagaduan, Anthony Okely, and Mohamed Souhaiel Chelly

Purpose: The International Study of Movement Behaviors in the Early Years (SUNRISE) was conducted in Tunisia to assess the proportion of preschoolers who met the World Health Organization guidelines for physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep. The study also evaluated the feasibility of the methods for the SUNRISE study. Methods: Five kindergartens were recruited from urban and rural areas in Tunisia. Physical activity and sleep duration were assessed using a waist-worn ActiGraph. Screen time and sleep quality were assessed via an interview-administered parent questionnaire. The NIH Toolbox was used. Results: A total of 112 preschoolers were assessed (50 boys, age = 4.1 [0.58]). Only 18% of children met all recommendations of the World Health Organization guidelines, while 53% met the sedentary screen time (in minutes per day), and 41% met physical activity recommendation (in minutes per day). Eighty-one percent of children met the sleep duration recommendation (in minutes per day). There was good compliance with the ActiGraph protocol. Conclusions: This pilot study provided important insights into the feasibility of the study and the movement behaviors of Tunisian preschool children. The results suggest there is a need to promote healthy levels of physical activity and sedentary screen time in children, which should be a priority in public health initiatives, including preschool curricula, in Tunisia.

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In Remembrance: The Life and Legacy of Michael T. Turvey (1942–2023)

Michael A. Riley and Dagmar Sternad

Michael T. Turvey passed away on August 12, 2023 at the age of 81. This obituary aims to honor his life and career by highlighting some key events in his personal and professional life, noting some of his many remarkable accomplishments, and emphasizing his exceptional mentorship, friendship, and generosity.

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The KID Study (Kids Interacting With Dogs): Piloting a Novel Approach for Measuring Dog-Facilitated Youth Physical Activity

Colleen J. Chase, Sarah Burkart, and Katie Potter

Background: Two-thirds of children in the United States do not meet the National Physical Activity Guidelines, leaving a majority at higher risk for negative health outcomes. Novel, effective children’s physical activity (PA) interventions are urgently needed. Dog-facilitated PA (e.g., dog walking and active play) is a promising intervention target, as dogs support many of the known correlates of children’s PA. There is a need for accurate methods of quantifying dog-facilitated PA. Purpose: The study purpose was to determine the feasibility and acceptability of a novel method for quantifying the volume and intensity of dog-facilitated PA among dog-owning children. Methods: Children and their dog(s) wore ActiGraph accelerometers with a Bluetooth proximity feature for 7 days. Additionally, parents logged child PA with the family dog(s). Total minutes of dog-facilitated PA and percentage of overall daily moderate to vigorous PA performed with the dog were calculated. Results: Twelve children (mean age = 7.8 ± 2.9 years) participated. There was high feasibility, with 100% retention, valid device data (at least 4 days ≥6-hr wear time), and completion of daily parent log and questionnaire packets. On average, dog-facilitated PA contributed 22.9% (9.2 min) and 15.1% (7.3 min) of the overall daily moderate to vigorous PA for children according to Bluetooth proximity data and parent report, respectively. Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of utilizing an accelerometer with a proximity feature to quantify dog-facilitated PA. Future research should use this protocol with a larger, more diverse sample to determine whether dog-facilitated PA contributes a clinically significant amount toward overall PA in dog-owning youth.

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A Matched-Pair Analysis of Gross Motor Skills of 3- to 5-Year-Old Children With and Without a Chronic Physical Illness

Chloe Bedard, Sara King-Dowling, Brian W. Timmons, and Mark A. Ferro

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the gross motor skills of children with a chronic physical illness with those of their healthy peers. Methods: Data for children with a chronic physical illness come from the Multimorbidity in Children and Youth Across the Life Course study, and data from children without a physical illness come from the Health Outcomes and Physical Activity in Preschoolers study. Multimorbidity in Children and Youth Across the Life Course and Health Outcomes and Physical Activity in Preschoolers included children ages 3–5 years and administered the Peabody Development Motor Scales-second edition. Participants were sex and age matched (20 male and 15 female pairs; M age = 54.03 [9.5] mo). Results : Gross motor skills scores were “below average” for 47% of children with a physical illness compared with 9% of children without a physical illness (P = .003). Matched-paired t tests detected significant differences in total gross motor scores (d z  = −0.35), locomotor (d z  = −0.31), and object control (d z  = −0.39) scores, with healthy children exhibiting better motor skills, and no significant difference in stationary scores (d z  = −0.19). Conclusions : This skill gap may increase burden on children with physical illness and future research should assess gross motor skills longitudinally to establish whether the gap widens with age.

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Physical Behavior Profiles Among Older Adults and Their Associations With Physical Capacity and Life-Space Mobility

Lotta Palmberg, Antti Löppönen, Matti Hyvärinen, Erja Portegijs, Taina Rantanen, Timo Rantalainen, and Laura Karavirta

We identified data-driven multidimensional physical activity (PA) profiles using several novel accelerometer-derived metrics. Participants aged 75, 80, and 85 (n = 441) wore triaxial accelerometers for 3–7 days. PA profiles were formed with k-means cluster analysis based on PA minutes, intensity, fragmentation, sit-to-stand transitions, and gait bouts for men and women. Associations with physical capacity and life-space mobility were examined using age-adjusted general linear models. Three profiles emerged: “Exercisers” and “actives” accumulated relatively high PA minutes, with actives engaging in lighter intensity PA. “Inactives” had the highest activity fragmentation and lowest PA volume, intensity, and gait bouts. Inactives showed lower scores in physical capacity and life-space mobility compared with exercisers and actives. Exercisers and actives had similar physical capacity and life-space mobility, except female exercisers had higher walking speed in the 6-min walk test. Our findings demonstrate the importance of assessing PA as multidimensional behavior rather than focusing on a single metric.