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Andrea Ramírez Varela and Michael Pratt

In 2012, the Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA!) was established to provide information that would enable countries to initiate or improve research capacity, surveillance systems, program development, and policymaking to increase physical activity levels. Findings from the first GoPA! Country Cards showed an unequal distribution of physical activity surveillance, research productivity, and policy development and implementation around the world. Regular global monitoring of these factors, especially in countries with the largest data gaps, was recommended to combat the global pandemic of physical inactivity. After 6 years and using standardized methods, GoPA! is launching the second set of Country Cards based on data up to 2019 from 217 countries. Overall results showed that periodic national surveillance of physical activity was less common in low-income countries, compared with middle- and high-income countries. Large inequities were seen with more than a 50-fold difference in publications between high- and low-income countries and 32% of the countries worldwide had no physical activity policy. GoPA! has a critical role in facilitating evidence-based physical activity promotion building on international guidelines and the World Health Organization Global Action Plan. GoPA! will continue to monitor progress as we battle the global pandemic of physical inactivity.

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Bethany Barone Gibbs, Melissa A. Jones, John M. Jakicic, Arun Jeyabalan, Kara M. Whitaker, and Janet M. Catov

Background: Though moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity is recommended, limited research exists on sedentary behavior (SED) during pregnancy. Methods: The authors conducted a prospective cohort study to describe objectively measured patterns of SED and activity during each trimester of pregnancy. Women wore thigh- (activPAL3) and waist-mounted (ActiGraph GT3X) activity monitors. SED and activity were compared across trimesters using likelihood ratio tests and described using group-based trajectories. Exploratory analyses associated SED and activity trajectories with adverse pregnancy outcomes and excessive gestational weight gain. Results: Pregnant women (n = 105; mean [SD] age = 31 [5] y; prepregnancy body mass index = 26.2 [6.6] kg/m2) had mean SED of 9.7, 9.5, and 9.5 hours per day (P = .062) across trimesters, respectively. Some activities differed across trimesters: standing (increased, P = .01), stepping (highest in second trimester, P = .04), steps per day (highest in second trimester, P = .008), and moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (decreased, P < .001). Prolonged SED (bouts ≥ 30 min) and bouted moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (≥10 min) were stable (P > .05). In exploratory analyses, higher SED and lower standing, stepping, and steps per day trajectories were associated with increased odds of adverse pregnancy outcomes (P < .05). No trajectories were associated with excessive gestational weight gain. Conclusions: Pregnant women exhibited stable SED of nearly 10 hours per day across pregnancy. Future research evaluating SED across pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcome risk is warranted.

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Catherine E. Draper, Karen Milton, and Jasper Schipperijn

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Joanne A. McVeigh, Jennifer Ellis, Caitlin Ross, Kim Tang, Phoebe Wan, Rhiannon E. Halse, Satvinder Singh Dhaliwal, Deborah A. Kerr, and Leon Straker

Activity trackers provide real-time sedentary behavior (SB) and physical activity (PA) data enabling feedback to support behavior change. The validity of activity trackers in an obese population in a free-living environment is largely unknown. This study determined the convergent validity of the Fitbit Charge 2 in measuring SB and PA in overweight adults. The participants (n = 59; M ± SD: age = 48 ± 11 years; body mass index = 34 ± 4 kg/m2) concurrently wore a Charge 2 and ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer for 8 days. The same waking wear periods were analyzed, and standard cut points for GT3X+ and proprietary algorithms for the Charge 2, together with a daily step count, were used. Associations between outputs, mean difference (MD) and limits of agreement (LOA), and relative differences were assessed. There was substantial association between devices (intraclass correlation coefficients from .504, 95% confidence interval [.287, .672] for SB, to .925, 95% confidence interval [.877, .955] for step count). In comparison to the GT3X+, the Charge 2 overestimated SB (MD = 37, LOA = −129 to 204 min/day), moderate to vigorous PA (MD = 15, LOA = −49 to 79 min/day), and steps (MD = 1,813, LOA = −1,066 to 4,691 steps/day), and underestimated light PA (MD = −32, LOA = −123 to 58 min/day). The Charge 2 may be a useful tool for self-monitoring of SB and PA in an overweight population, as mostly good agreement was demonstrated with the GT3X+. However, there were mean and relative differences, and the implications of these need to be considered for overweight adult populations who are already at risk of being highly sedentary and insufficiently active.

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Kasper Salin, Anna Kankaanpää, Xiaolin Yang, Tuija H. Tammelin, Costan G. Magnussen, Risto Telama, Nina Hutri-Kähönen, Jorma S.A. Viikari, Olli T. Raitakari, and Mirja Hirvensalo

Background: To examine if major life changes over a 4-year period among 34- to 49-year-old adults (mean = 41.8, SD = 5.0) were associated with a change in physical activity in men (37.7%) and women (62.3%). Methods: Daily steps and aerobic steps (steps that lasted for at least 10 min without interruption at a pace of >60 steps/min) were collected from 1051 participants in 2007 and 2011. Changes in marital status, work status, and residence and the birth of a child were determined from both time points. A latent change score model was used to examine mean changes in daily total steps, aerobic steps, and nonaerobic steps (total steps minus aerobic steps). Results: Women who had a first child in the 4-year period had a decrease in their nonaerobic steps (P = .001). Men who divorced in the 4-year period had a decrease in their nonaerobic steps (P = .020), whereas women who recoupled decreased their total steps (P = .030). Conclusions: Counseling for parents having a first child on how to increase physical activity in their everyday life could potentially have an influence on an individual’s physical activity.

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Antje Ullrich, Sophie Baumann, Lisa Voigt, Ulrich John, and Sabina Ulbricht

Background: The purposes of this study were to examine accelerometer measurement reactivity (AMR) in sedentary behavior (SB), physical activity (PA), and accelerometer wear time in 2 measurement periods and to quantify AMR as a human-related source of bias for the reproducibility of SB and PA estimates. Methods: In total, 136 participants (65% women, mean age = 54.6 y) received 7-day accelerometry at the baseline and after 12 months. Latent growth models were used to identify AMR. Intraclass correlations were calculated to examine the reproducibility using 2-level mixed-effects linear regression analyses. Results: Within each 7-day accelerometry assessment, the participants increased their time spent in SB (b = 2.4 min/d; b = 3.8 min/d) and reduced their time spent in light PA (b = −2.0 min/d; b = −3.2 min/d), but did not change moderate to vigorous PA. The participants reduced their wear time (b = −5.2 min/d) only at the baseline. The intraclass correlations ranged from .42 for accelerometer wear time to .74 for SB. The AMR was not identified as a source of bias in any regression model. Conclusions: AMR may influence SB and PA estimates differentially. Although 7-day accelerometry seems to be a reproducible measure, our findings highlight accelerometer wear time as a crucial confounder in analyzing SB and PA data.

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Richard Tahtinen, Hafrun Kristjansdottir, Daniel T. Olason, and Robert Morris

The aim of the study was to explore the prevalence of specific symptoms of depression in athletes and to test differences in the likelihood of athletes exhibiting these symptoms across age, sex, type of team sport, and level of competition. A sample of Icelandic male and female team sport athletes (N = 894, 18–42 years) was included in the study. Of the athletes exhibiting clinically significant depressive symptoms on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, 37.5% did not exhibit core symptoms of depression. Compared with males, females were significantly more likely to exhibit depressed mood, feelings of worthlessness/guilt, and problems with sleep, fatigue, appetite, and concentration. Within males, differences were mostly related to neurovegetative aspects of depression (sleep and appetite), whereas in females, differences were related to cognitive/emotional aspects (e.g., depressed mood, guilt/worthlessness). The findings underline the importance of exploring specific symptoms of depression to provide a richer understanding of depressive symptomology in athletes.

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Changwook Kim, Jinwon Kim, and Brijesh Thapa

Background: The examination of the longitudinal effect of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) on mental well-being is important, but previous studies have typically been limited by their use of a cross-sectional approach. This study empirically examined how LTPA intensity was associated with changes in distinct functions of mental well-being (eg, emotional, psychological, social) over time, and vice versa. Methods: Parallel latent growth curve modeling in combination with propensity score matching analysis was conducted. Data were derived from a sample of adults from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study. Results: The results showed that the initial level of moderate LTPA at the baseline was associated with growth in psychological and social functioning over time, and vice versa. However, vigorous LTPA at the baseline was related only to growth in emotional functioning over time. Conclusion: The longitudinal association between LTPA and mental well-being had different matching mechanisms for LTPA intensities and their relation to distinct functioning for mental well-being. The findings contribute to an enhanced understanding of LTPA’s longitudinal effect on mental well-being.

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John H. Challis

The results of the 2020 review and ranking of U.S. doctoral programs in kinesiology conducted by the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK) are presented. These results represent data collected for the  2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 calendar years for 43 programs. The rankings reflect data collected on program faculty (productivity, funding, and visibility) and program students (admissions, support, publications, and employment). The data for each assessment index were first transformed into z scores, and then the z scores converted into T-scores. Weights were applied to the T-scores of the indices and then summed to obtain a total T-score. Programs were ranked in two ways: one based on the total T-scores from the data not normalized (unadjusted) and the other with total T-scores from the data normalized with respect to the number of faculty members in each program (adjusted). In addition to program rankings, descriptive data are presented on faculty and student data.