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Open access

E. Kipling Webster, Leah E. Robinson and Danielle D. Wadsworth

Background: Activity breaks are an established way physical activity may be incorporated into the preschool day. The purpose of this study was to examine what factors influenced moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during a teacher-implemented classroom-based activity break (CBAB) in a Head Start population. Methods: Ten-minute CBAB was conducted over 2 days in a quasi-experimental design; 99 preschoolers (mean age 3.80 [0.65] y; 49.5% male) from a convenience sample participated. Accelerometers measured MVPA, fundamental motor skill competency was assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development—second edition, and weight classification status used body mass index percentiles. Results: A significant, moderate regression was found (r = .328, P = .001) between fundamental motor skill and MVPA. There was no significant correlation between body mass index percentile and MVPA during the CBAB. In addition, the locomotor subscale was the best predictor for MVPA for children during the CBAB (r = .32, β = 0.82, P < .001). Conclusions: CBAB equally elicited MVPA for normal and overweight preschoolers. Fundamental motor skill competency was associated with MVPA during the CBAB; in particular, locomotor skills were the best predictor for physical activity. Structured activity opportunities that focus on locomotor skills may be a useful integration to prompt more MVPA in a preschool-age population.

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James A. Ashton-Miller and Ronald F. Zernicke

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Paul J. Collings, Diane Farrar, Joanna Gibson, Jane West, Sally E. Barber and John Wright

Background: Physical activity performed while pregnant is beneficially associated with maternal cardiovascular health. It is unknown if benefits extend to neonatal cardiovascular health. This study investigated associations of maternal physical activity with neonatal cord blood lipid and lipoprotein concentrations. Methods: Cord blood lipids were measured at birth in a pseudorandomly selected subgroup of Born in Bradford birth cohort participants (N = 1634). Pregnant women were grouped into 4 activity categories (inactive/somewhat active/moderately active/active) based on their self-reported physical activity at 26- to 28-weeks gestation. Regression was used to calculate adjusted mean differences in neonatal cord blood lipid concentrations among the 4 groups of physical activity. Results: Maternal physical activity was associated with higher neonatal cord blood high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Cord blood high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was higher in neonates of women who were somewhat and moderately active compared with neonates of women who were inactive. There were no associations of pregnancy physical activity with triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein, very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or adiponectin levels. Conclusions: Maternal physical activity is favorably associated with neonatal cord blood high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. This novel beneficial finding highlights the potential for physical activity in pregnancy to aid the early prevention of cardiovascular disease.

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Chia-Yuan Yu and Biyuan Wang

Background: This study explored the percentage change of walking to/from public transit to work from 2009 to 2017 in general and for specific sociodemographic characteristics. Furthermore, this study also examined the sociodemographic characteristics of those who walked to/from transit to work and those who walked 30 minutes or more per day to/from transit to work and compared the difference between 2009 and 2017. Methods: 2009 and 2017 National Household Travel Survey were used. This study used weighted logistic regressions to explore the sociodemographic characteristics of those who walked to/from transit to work and those who walked 30 minutes or more per day to/from transit to work in both 2009 and 2017. Results: The percentage of trips achieving the recommended level of physical activity (30 min or more per day) by walking to/from transit work solely has a slightly increase from 9 in 2009 to 9.5 in 2017. However, the weighted percentages of walking to/from transit to work decreased for low-education, low-income, and minority populations. High population density areas were related to more transit-related walking trips to work in both 2009 and 2017. Conclusions: Policymakers in terms of transit location and service should consider low-education, low-income, and minority populations to address potential equity issues.

Open access

Bradley D. Hatfield, Calvin M. Lu and Jo B. Zimmerman

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Dimitrios Poulimeneas, Maria I. Maraki, Eleni Karfopoulou, Yannis Koutras, Stavrie Chrysostomou, Costas A. Anastasiou, Stavros A. Kavouras and Mary Yannakoulia

Background: Although plenty of evidence indicates that weight loss maintainers are highly physically active, studies focusing on the sex-specific differences in activity levels between maintainers and regainers are scarce. The authors aimed to investigate sex-specific differences in activity patterns in a cohort of Mediterranean maintainers and regainers. Methods: Sample includes 756 participants of the MedWeight registry (60.5% women), aged 18–65 years, who lost ≥10% of their initial weight, and either maintained their loss for ≥12 months or regained it. Participants completed a series of questionnaires, including demographics and weight history. Activity levels were evaluated with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-short version. Results: Maintainers of both sexes were, in total, more active than their same-sex regainers. When specific activities were considered, women maintainers spent more time walking than regainers (P adjusted = .02), whereas men maintainers spent more time in vigorous activities (P adjusted = .001) and walking than regainers (P adjusted = .001). Modest increments in activity of sex-relevant intensity were associated with increased odds for maintenance. Conclusions: Maintainers attained a more active lifestyle than their same-sex regainers, involving more walking for both sexes and more vigorous activities for men. The detected differences, according to activity intensity, support that activity patterns associated with successful weight loss are distinguishable between sexes.

Open access

Brendan T. O’Keeffe, Alan E. Donnelly and Ciaran MacDonncha

Purpose: To examine the test–retest reliability of student-administered (SA) health-related fitness tests in school settings and to compare indices of reliability with those taken by trained research-assistants. Methods: Participants (n = 86; age: 13.43 [0.33] y) were divided into 2 groups, SA (n = 45, girls = 26) or research-assistant administered (RA; n = 41, girls = 21). The SA group had their measures taken by 8 students (age: 15.59 [0.56] y, girls = 4), and the RA group had their measures taken by 8 research-assistants (age: 21.21 [1.38], girls = 5). Tests were administered twice by both groups, 1 week apart. Tests included body mass index, handgrip strength, standing broad jump, isometric plank hold, 90° push-up, 4 × 10-m shuttle run, back-saver sit and reach, and blood pressure. Results: Intraclass correlation coefficients for SA (≥.797) and RA (≥.866) groups were high, and the observed systematic error (Bland–Altman plot) between test 1 and test 2 was close to 0 for all tests. The coefficient of variation was less than 10% for all tests in the SA group, aside from the 90° push-up (24.3%). The SA group had a marginally lower combined mean coefficient of variation across all tests (6.5%) in comparison with the RA group (6.8%). Conclusion: This study demonstrates that, following familiarization training, SA health-related fitness tests in school-based physical education programs can be considered reliable.

Open access

Sigridur L. Gudmundsdottir

Purpose: Insufficient sleep duration may affect athletic performance and health. Inconsistent sleep pattern also has negative health effects, but studies on athletes’ intraindividual sleep variability are scarce. The aim of this research was to compare total sleep time (TST) and variability (TST-variability), wakening after sleep onset, and sleep efficiency, during nights preceding early morning practices with other nights, and to investigate sleep characteristics of nights following a day with early morning only, evening only, or both a morning and an evening session in adolescent swimmers. Methods: Wrist-worn accelerometers were used to measure 1 week of sleep in 108 swimmers (mean age 16.1 [2.6] y) in Iceland. Adjusted regression analyses and linear mixed models were used to explore associations of training schedules with TST, TST-variability, wakening after sleep onset, and sleep efficiency. Results: Mean TST was 6:32 (h:min) (±39 min) and TST-variability was 63 minutes (±25 min). TST decreased and TST-variability increased with more early morning practices. TST preceding early training was 5:36 and 5:06 in <16- and ≥16-year-olds, respectively, shorter than on nights preceding later or no morning training (P < .001). Conclusion: Swimmers have extremely short TST preceding early morning sessions and increased TST-variability with more early morning sessions.