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Inter-Brand, -Dynamic Range, and -Sampling Rate Comparability of Raw Accelerometer Data as Used in Physical Behavior Research

Annelinde Lettink, Wessel N. van Wieringen, Teatske M. Altenburg, Mai J.M. Chinapaw, and Vincent T. van Hees

Objective: Previous studies that looked at comparability of accelerometer data focused on epoch or recording level comparability. Our study aims to provide insight into the comparability at raw data level. Methods: We performed five experiments with accelerometers attached to a mechanical shaker machine applying movement along a single axis in the horizontal plane. In each experiment, a 1-min no-movement condition was followed by nineteen 2-min shaker frequency conditions (30–250 rpm). We analyzed accelerometer data from Axivity, ActiGraph, GENEActiv, MOX, and activPAL devices. Comparability between commonly used brands and dynamic ranges was assessed in the frequency domain with power spectra and in the time domain with maximum lagged cross-correlation analyses. The influence of sampling rate on magnitude of acceleration across brands was explored visually. All data were published open access. Results: Magnitude of noise in rest was highest in MOX and lowest in ActiGraph. The signal mean power spectral density was equal between brands at low shaker frequency conditions (<3.13 Hz) and between dynamic ranges within the Axivity brand at all shaker frequency conditions. In contrast, the cross-correlation coefficients between time series across brands and dynamic ranges were higher at higher shaking frequencies. Sampling rate affected the magnitude of acceleration most in Axivity and least in GENEActiv. Conclusions: The comparability of raw acceleration signals between brands and/or sampling rates depends on the type of movement. These findings aid a more fundamental understanding and anticipation of differences in behavior estimates between different implementations of raw accelerometry.

Free access

Measuring Sleep Among Cancer Survivors: Accelerometer Measures Across Days and Agreement Between Accelerometer and Self-Reported Measures

Sidney M. Donzella, Alla Sikorski, Kimberly E. Lind, Meghan B. Skiba, Cynthia A. Thomson, and Tracy E. Crane

Background: The associations between subjective (self-reported) and objective (actigraphy) sleep measurements are not well documented among survivors of cancer. The purpose of this study was to examine actigraphy measurements across days and the associations of two self-reported sleep measures with actigraphy-measured sleep measures. Methods: Sleep data were collected using self-reported sleep diary, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and hip-worn actigraphy at baseline for a subsample participating in the Lifestyle Intervention for oVarian cancer Enhanced Survival (N = 516) randomized controlled trial. Intraclass correlation coefficients were used to evaluate consistency of actigraphy sleep measures across days of wear and associations of sleep diary with actigraphy for total sleep time (TST), time asleep, and time awake. Bland–Altman plots were used to assess the associations of sleep duration and sleep efficiency derived from Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and actigraphy. Results: Participants were aged 60.3 years (SD 9.3 years). For TST, the associations were strongest after 3 weekdays of consecutive actigraphy wear (ICC = .43 95% CI [.35, .51]), and actigraphy-measured daily TST was longest (617, SD 135 min) compared with self-reported measures. Sleep diary versus actigraphy associations for TST, time asleep, and time awake were weak to moderate. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index versus actigraphy association was weak for all sleep constructs. Conclusion: The strength of association between self-reported and actigraphy measures of sleep ranged from weak to very strong, depending on the sleep construct. Impact: Results highlight the importance of selecting an appropriate measurement tool for estimating individual sleep constructs among survivors of cancer.

Open access

Bidirectional Relationship Over Time Between Body Mass Index and Fundamental Movement Skill Domains Measured by a Process-Oriented Method in Childhood: A 3-Year Longitudinal Study

Maria Kasanen, Arto Laukkanen, Donna Niemistö, Asko Tolvanen, Francisco Ortega, and Arja Sääkslahti

The worldwide increase in childhood overweight and obesity underscores the need to study variables like fundamental movement skill (FMS) levels from early childhood. This study investigated the bidirectional longitudinal relationship between body mass index (BMI) and process-oriented FMSs, including locomotor skills and object control skills in 675 Finnish children, aged 3–8 years at baseline (50.5% female, mean age 5.5 years) over 3 years. Standardized BMI-for-age SD scores (BMI SDS z-scores) followed Finnish national standards. The FMS assessment comprised four subtests from the Test of Gross Motor Development, third edition. Age-adjusted standardized residuals of FMS or skill domains and BMI SDS z-scores were used in a two-level, cross-classified, cross-lagged regression analysis, accounting for gender, and baseline value of the dependent variables. The results showed no statistically significant longitudinal relationship between BMI and FMS or its skill domains for either gender in either direction. This suggests that BMI and process-oriented FMS, encompassing locomotor skill and object control skill, develop independently, possibly influenced by unexplored variables. These findings contradict earlier results based on product-oriented measurements, which may include a physical capacity component. The outcomes further underscore the importance of monitoring weight status from early childhood, given its significant association with later-life weight conditions.

Free access

Coordination Dynamics in Motor Learning: Acquisition and Adaptation in a Serial Stimulus Tracking Task

Matheus M. Pacheco, Natália F.A. Ambrósio, Fernando G. Santos, Go Tani, and Luciano Basso

The dynamics of mastering the degrees of freedom in motor learning are still far from being understood. The present work explored coordination dynamics in a redundant task, relating it to performance and adaptation in a serial stimulus tracking task. One hundred and sixty-three children (10–14 years of age) continuously responded to sequential stimuli (containing five stimuli) by pressing the respective sensors before the next stimulus presentation. Participants performed 120 trials with a fixed sequence (4–2–5–3–1) and a fixed interstimuli interval (800 ms) to learn the first pattern (practice phase). Then, a changed sequence (4–2–5–1–3) with a shorter interval (700 ms) was presented for 40 trials (adaptation phase). To measure coordination and its change, we calculated the correlation matrix of the stimulus–touch interval between the five sensors in blocks of 20 trials of the practice phase and classified individuals in terms of clusters. We found associations between coordination dynamics, performance curves, and adaptation in both coordination and performance. Furthermore, using network analyses, we found a tendency for all groups to increase the clustering coefficient. We discuss the possibility of this result representing a process of progressive segregation.

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The Evolution of Physical Activity and Health Research in China: A Bibliometric Analysis of Study Areas and Sex Balance in Authorship

Kaiyue Zhang, Diana Morales, Junshi Chen, Wenhua Zhao, Anne Tang, Eduardo Kohn, Ding Ding, Andrea Ramirez Varela, Michael Pratt, and Pedro C. Hallal

Background: This article evaluates the evolution of physical activity and health research in China through a bibliometric analysis focused on number of publications, study areas, and sex balance in authorship. Methods: A systematic review was conducted by the Global Observatory for Physical Activity for “physical activity and health” publications between 1950 and 2019. Here, we focus on the 610 Chinese publications identified, defined as those in which data collection took place in China. We assessed the number of publications, classified them into 5 areas (1) surveillance, (2) correlates and determinants, (3) health consequences, (4) interventions, and (5) policy, and analyzed female participation in authorship. Results: The first Chinese publication identified in the review was in 1990. Since, the average number of physical activity and health publications increased from one per year in the 1990s to 7.6 per year in the 2000s, and to 47 per year in the 2010s. Most publications focused on the correlates and determinants (38.7%) and the health consequences of physical activity (35.9%). Physical activity policy accounted for 2.3% of the publications. In the 1990s, 64% of the publications included at least one female author; this proportion increased to 90% in the 2010s. Conclusion: Despite a slow start, China’s research on physical activity and health has grown rapidly since 2000. The distribution of publications by study areas and female participation in authorship is similar to that observed globally, with fewer publications focused on interventions and policy as compared with other topics.

Free access

Reactions From the Experts: Implications of Open-Source ActiGraph Counts for Analyzing Accelerometer Data

Alexander H.K. Montoye, Samuel R. LaMunion, Jan C. Brønd, and Kimberly A. Clevenger

In 2022, it became possible to produce ActiGraph counts from raw accelerometer data without use of ActiLife software. This supports the availability and use of transparent, open-source methods for producing physical behavior outcomes from accelerometer data. However, questions remain regarding the implications of the availability of open-source ActiGraph counts. This Expert Question and Answer paper solicited and summarized feedback from several noted physical behavior measurement experts on five questions related to open-source counts. The experts agreed that open-source, transparent, and translatable methods help with harmonization of accelerometer methods. However, there were mixed views as to the importance of open-source counts and their place in the field moving forward. This Expert Question and Answer provides initial feedback, but more research both within this special issue and to be conducted moving forward will help to inform whether and how open-source counts will be accepted and adopted for use for device-based physical behavior assessments.

Free access

Process Evaluation of a Scaled-Up School-Based Physical Activity Program for Adolescents: Physical Activity 4 Everyone

Matthew Mclaughlin, Jed Duff, Elizabeth Campbell, Tom McKenzie, Lynda Davies, Luke Wolfenden, John Wiggers, and Rachel Sutherland

Background: Physical Activity 4 Everyone (PA4E1) is a whole-school physical activity program, with demonstrated efficacy (2012–2014). PA4E1 was adapted (scaled-up) and tested in a scale-up trial (2017–2020). This process evaluation study of the scale-up trial had 2 aims. First, to describe the acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility of PA4E1 in the scale-up trial, from the perspective of school staff involved in the program management and delivery. Second, to generate themes that may explain school staff assessments of acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility. Methods: Data were collected at various time points throughout the 2-year implementation phase. Online surveys were collected from In-School Champions, Head Physical Education teachers, Principals, and Physical Education teachers (quantitative data). Focus groups and interviews were conducted with In-School Champions, Principals, and Physical Education teachers (qualitative data). Existing published data on website engagement, adaptations, modifications, and the scale-up trial primary outcome (implementation of physical activity practices) were triangulated with the quantitative and qualitative during analysis, to generate themes. Results: School staff delivering PA4E1 reported it was highly acceptable, appropriate, and feasible. Seven themes were generated relating to acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility. The themes related to how the program was funded, the delivery modes of implementation support, the identification of easy-wins, the recruitment of the right in-school champion, facilitating principal buy-in, mitigating the impact of school staff turnover, and engaging the whole school. Conclusions: Recommendations are made to inform future adaptations for PA4E1 and potentially school-based physical activity programs more generally. The findings may inform future scalability assessments of the suitability of programs for scale-up.

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Active Learning Through Video Conferencing to Maintain Physical Activity Among Older Adults: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Kazuki Uemura, Tsukasa Kamitani, Atsuya Watanabe, Hiroshi Okamoto, Kenshi Saho, and Minoru Yamada

This randomized pilot trial investigated the feasibility of an active learning physical activity intervention through video conferencing and its preliminary effects. Participants comprised community-dwelling older adults who could use e-mail. The intervention group underwent a 12-week active learning intervention via video conferencing to promote a healthy lifestyle, particularly physical activity. The control group received information via e-mail once per week. The amount of physical activity and sedentary behavior was measured using an accelerometer at baseline, postintervention, and 24-week postintervention (36 weeks). Of the 31 participants, 29 were eligible and randomized into two groups (15 for the intervention and 14 for the control). Adherence to the intervention was 83%–100% (mean, 97%). Compared with the control group, the intervention group showed moderate maintenance effects on total physical activity and sedentary behavior at 36 weeks. Active learning physical activity intervention through video conferencing was found to be feasible and contributed to the prevention of physical activity decline in older adults.

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Synchronous Group-Based Online Exercise Programs for Older Adults Living in the Community: A Scoping Review

Maria Fernanda Fuentes Diaz, Brianna Leadbetter, Vanessa Pitre, Sarah Nowell, Martin Sénéchal, and Danielle R. Bouchard

Older adults are the least physically active group with specific barriers to regular exercise, and online exercise programs could overcome some of those barriers. This scoping review aimed to describe the characteristics of supervised group-based synchronous online exercise programs for older adults living in the community, their feasibility, acceptability, and potential benefits. MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase, SPORTDiscus, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature were searched until November 2022. The included studies met the following criteria: participants aged 50 years and above, a minimum of a 6-week group-based supervised and synchronous intervention, and original articles available in English. Eighteen articles were included, with 1,178 participants (67% female, average age of 71 [57–93] years), most (83%) published in the past 3 years. From the limited reported studies, delivering supervised, synchronous online exercise programs (one to three times/week, between 8 and 32 weeks) for older adults living in the community seems feasible, accepted, and can improve physical function.

Free access

International Society of Research and Advocacy for Developmental Coordination Disorder (ISRA-DCD)—15th Biannual Conference and International Motor Development Research Consortium (I-MDRC)—6th Assembly