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Michelle Ogrodnik, Jillian Halladay, Barbara Fenesi, Jennifer Heisz and Katholiki Georgiades

Background: Participation in physical activity (PA) is a modifiable factor that contributes to academic success, yet the optimal dose (ie, frequency) and mechanisms underlying the effect require further exploration. Methods: Using data from 19,886 elementary and 11,238 secondary school students across Ontario, Canada, this study examined associations between PA participation frequency, academic achievement, and inattention and hyperactivity. Results: Among elementary students, there was a positive association between PA frequency and academic achievement. Participating in 1 to 2 days per week of PA related to higher academic achievement compared with no days, whereas 7 days per week had the largest associations. For secondary students, a minimum of 3 to 4 days per week was associated with higher academic achievement with no significant benefit of additional days. Indirect effects of inattention and hyperactivity were found for both groups, suggesting that the benefits of PA on academic achievement may be partly explained by reductions in inattention and hyperactivity, especially for secondary school students. Conclusion: Students may experience academic benefits from PA even if they are not meeting the guidelines of exercising daily. These benefits may occur, in part, through reductions in inattention and hyperactivity. Further work is needed to determine the temporality and mechanism of these associations.

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Tanya Tripathi, Stacey C. Dusing, Peter E. Pidcoe, Yaoying Xu, Mary S. Shall and Daniel L. Riddle

Aims: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “parents to incorporate supervised, awake ‘prone play’ in their infant’s routine to support motor development and minimize the risk of plagiocephaly”. The purpose of this feasibility study was to compare usual care to a reward contingency–based intervention, developed to increase prone tolerance and improve motor skills. Methods: Ten full-term infants, 3–6- months old, with poor prone tolerance were randomized to either the Education group or Reward contingency group. Each group participated in three parent education sessions and 15 intervention sessions, over the period of three weeks. Infants in the Reward contingency group used the Prone Play Activity Center, a technology developed to reinforce motor behavior of infants in prone position. Intervention frequency and parent feedback data determined the feasibility of the interventions. Results: Infants in the Reward contingency group practiced a median of 12 of the 15 anticipated intervention sessions in the Prone Play Activity Center. These infants used the device for a mean of 18 minutes per day. Parents of infants in the Education group practiced a median of 10 sessions of the 15 anticipated intervention sessions. Conclusion: The reward contingency–based intervention is feasible for use in a future clinical trial with some modifications.

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Jessica Gorzelitz, Chloe Farber, Ronald Gangnon and Lisa Cadmus-Bertram

Background: The evidence base regarding validity of wearable fitness trackers for assessment and/or modification of physical activity behavior is evolving. Accurate assessment of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) is important for measuring adherence to physical activity guidelines in the United States and abroad. Therefore, this systematic review synthesizes the state of the validation literature regarding wearable trackers and MVPA. Methods: A systematic search of the PubMed, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and Cochrane Library databases was conducted through October 2019 (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018103808). Studies were eligible if they reported on the validity of MVPA and used devices from Fitbit, Apple, or Garmin released in 2012 or later or available on the market at the time of review. A meta-analysis was conducted on the correlation measures comparing wearables with the ActiGraph. Results: Twenty-two studies met the inclusion criteria; all used a Fitbit device; one included a Garmin model and no Apple-device studies were found. Moderate to high correlations (.7–.9) were found between MVPA from the wearable tracker versus criterion measure (ActiGraph n = 14). Considerable heterogeneity was seen with respect to the specific definition of MVPA for the criterion device, the statistical techniques used to assess validity, and the correlations between wearable trackers and ActiGraph across studies. Conclusions: There is a need for standardization of validation methods and reporting outcomes in individual studies to allow for comparability across the evidence base. Despite the different methods utilized within studies, nearly all concluded that wearable trackers are valid for measuring MVPA.

Open access

Fahim A. Salim, Fasih Haider, Dees Postma, Robby van Delden, Dennis Reidsma, Saturnino Luz and Bert-Jan van Beijnum

Automatic tagging of video recordings of sports matches and training sessions can be helpful to coaches and players and provide access to structured data at a scale that would be unfeasible if one were to rely on manual tagging. Recognition of different actions forms an essential part of sports video tagging. In this paper, the authors employ machine learning techniques to automatically recognize specific types of volleyball actions (i.e., underhand serve, overhead pass, serve, forearm pass, one hand pass, smash, and block which are manually annotated) during matches and training sessions (uncontrolled, in the wild data) based on motion data captured by inertial measurement unit sensors strapped on the wrists of eight female volleyball players. Analysis of the results suggests that all sensors in the inertial measurement unit (i.e., magnetometer, accelerometer, barometer, and gyroscope) contribute unique information in the classification of volleyball actions types. The authors demonstrate that while the accelerometer feature set provides better results than other sensors, overall (i.e., gyroscope, magnetometer, and barometer) feature fusion of the accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope provides the bests results (unweighted average recall = 67.87%, unweighted average precision = 68.68%, and κ = .727), well above the chance level of 14.28%. Interestingly, it is also demonstrated that the dominant hand (unweighted average recall = 61.45%, unweighted average precision = 65.41%, and κ = .652) provides better results than the nondominant (unweighted average recall = 45.56%, unweighted average precision = 55.45, and κ = .553) hand. Apart from machine learning models, this paper also discusses a modular architecture for a system to automatically supplement video recording by detecting events of interests in volleyball matches and training sessions and to provide tailored and interactive multimodal feedback by utilizing an HTML5/JavaScript application. A proof of concept prototype developed based on this architecture is also described.

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Ryan D. Burns, Yang Bai and Timothy A. Brusseau

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the independent and joint associations between physical activity (PA) and sports participation on academic performance variables within a representative sample of children and adolescents. Methods: Data were analyzed from the combined 2017–2018 National Survey of Children’s Health. Household addresses were randomly selected within each US state. One household parent answered health and wellness questions pertaining to one randomly selected household child (N = 37,392; 48.1% female; 6- to 17-y old). Weighted logistic regression models were employed to examine the independent and joint associations between child PA frequency and sports participation with academic performance variables, adjusting for child- and family-level covariates. Results: Child PA frequency independently associated with 37% to 46% lower odds and child sports participation independently associated with 53% lower odds of reported difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions (P < .001). For children who participated in sports, PA associated with 47% to 56% lower odds of ever repeating a grade level (P = .01). Conclusions: Frequency of weekly PA and sports participation independently and negatively associated with difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions, whereas the negative association between PA and ever repeating a grade level differed by child sports participation status.

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Alessandra Buja, Andrea Rabensteiner, Milena Sperotto, Giulia Grotto, Chiara Bertoncello, Silvia Cocchio, Tatjana Baldovin, Paolo Contu, Chiara Lorini and Vincenzo Baldo

Background: The importance of health literacy (HL) in health promotion is increasingly clear and acknowledged globally, especially when addressing noncommunicable diseases. This paper aimed to collect and summarize all current data from observational studies generating evidence of the association between HL and physical activity (PA) and to analyze intervention studies on the promotion of PA to ascertain whether HL moderates the efficacy of such intervention. Methods: A comprehensive systematic literature search of observational studies investigating the association between HL and PA was performed. Intervention studies on the promotion of PA that also measured the HL levels of participants and its effect on the outcome of the intervention were also identified. Results: Of the 22 studies included in this review, 18 found a significant positive association between high HL and high levels of PA. The only intervention study among them indicated that HL was not a significant moderator of the intervention’s effectiveness. Conclusion: HL can enable individuals to make deliberate choices about their PA and thus contribute to preventing many chronic noncommunicable diseases. That said, low levels of HL do not seem to influence the efficacy of health promotion interventions.

Open access

Steven J. Petruzzello and Allyson G. Box

The status of physical activity in higher education has changed dramatically over the past 100 years. In this paper, we aim to (a) provide a brief history of physical activity on campus; (b) describe how that activity has changed from a requirement to an elective; (c) illustrate how mental health (particularly stress, anxiety, and depression) has changed in college students over the past few decades; and (d) describe the relationships between physical activity and mental health, particularly in college students. The paper culminates with recommendations for how colleges and universities might facilitate better student mental health through physical activity. There is room to improve the physical activity and mental health of college students, realigning higher education with the promotion of mens sana in corpore sano.