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Open access

Deborah Salvo, Leandro Garcia, Rodrigo S. Reis, Ivana Stankov, Rahul Goel, Jasper Schipperijn, Pedro C. Hallal, Ding Ding, and Michael Pratt

Background: Many of the known solutions to the physical inactivity pandemic operate across sectors relevant to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Methods: The authors examined the contribution of physical activity promotion strategies toward achieving the SDGs through a conceptual linkage exercise, a scoping review, and an agent-based model. Results: Possible benefits of physical activity promotion were identified for 15 of the 17 SDGs, with more robust evidence supporting benefits for SDGs 3 (good health and well-being), 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 13 (climate action), and 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions). Current evidence supports prioritizing at-scale physical activity-promoting transport and urban design strategies and community-based programs. Expected physical activity gains are greater for low-and middle-income countries. In high-income countries with high car dependency, physical activity promotion strategies may help reduce air pollution and traffic-related deaths, but shifts toward more active forms of travel and recreation, and climate change mitigation, may require complementary policies that disincentivize driving. Conclusions: The authors call for a synergistic approach to physical activity promotion and SDG achievement, involving multiple sectors beyond health around their goals and values, using physical activity promotion as a lever for a healthier planet.

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Nadja Schott and Nancy Getchell

Background: Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) frequently have difficulties performing gross motor skills such as the overarm throw. Our study examines the differences in both qualitative and quantitative characteristics of overarm throwing for accuracy between typically developing (TD) and children with DCD. Methods: A total of 74 children (36 females/38 males) aged between 7 and 11 years, participated in this study. The authors used the Movement Assessment Battery for Children—second edition to assess motor impairment. In total, 37 (50%) met the criteria for DCD. Each participant completed 10 overarm throws for accuracy at a target. The authors assessed movement quality using the component approach () and quantity using target accuracy. Results: The analyses revealed significantly lower throwing accuracy in DCD versus TD children. Children with DCD also demonstrated fewer component combinations and lower developmental levels than their TD peers. Finally, product scores tracked with process scores. Discussion: Both qualitative and quantitative measures clearly showed that children with DCD are at a disadvantage in controlling a ball during overarm throwing. They used stability profiles that limited coordination variability. TD participants performed more combinations of higher developmental levels to achieve more accurate throws, suggesting they controlled variability to optimize the accuracy of their throws.

Open access

Paul Mackie, Gary Crowfoot, Heidi Janssen, Elizabeth Holliday, David Dunstan, and Coralie English

Background: Interrupting prolonged sitting acutely lowers blood pressure in nonstroke populations. However, the dose–response effect in stroke survivors is unknown. The authors investigated different doses of light-intensity standing exercises that interrupt prolonged sitting and reduce blood pressure immediately and over 24 hours in stroke survivors. Methods: Within-participant, laboratory-based, dose escalation trial. Conditions (8 h) were prolonged sitting and 2 experimental conditions of standing exercises with increasing frequency (3 cohorts, 2 × 5 min to 6 × 5 min). The primary outcome is the mean systolic blood pressure. Results: Twenty-nine stroke survivors (aged 66 [12] y) participated. Frequent bouts of standing exercises lowered the mean systolic blood pressure following the 4 × 5-minute (−2.1 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval [CI], −3.6 to −0.6) and 6 × 5-minute conditions (−2.3 mm Hg; 95% CI, −4.2 to −0.5) compared with prolonged sitting. Diastolic blood pressure was lowered following the 6 × 5-minute condition (−1.4 mm Hg; 95% CI, −2.7 to −0.2). The 24-hour systolic blood pressure increased following the 2 × 5-minute condition (6.9 mm Hg; 95% CI, 3.1 to 10.6). Conclusions: Interrupting prolonged sitting with more frequent bouts of standing exercises lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure in stroke survivors. However, reductions may only be short term, and investigations on sustained effects are warranted.

Open access

Markus Gerber, Christin Lang, Johanna Beckmann, Jan Degen, Rosa du Randt, Stefanie Gall, Kurt Z. Long, Ivan Müller, Madeleine Nienaber, Peter Steinmann, Uwe Pühse, Jürg Utzinger, Siphesihle Nqweniso, and Cheryl Walter

Background: Little is known whether physical activity (PA)-promoting environments are equally accessible to children with divergent socioeconomic status (SES) in low-/middle-income countries. The authors, therefore, examined whether South African children from poorer versus wealthier families living in marginalized communities differed in moderate to vigorous PA and cardiorespiratory fitness. We also tested associations between family car ownership and PA/cardiorespiratory fitness. Methods: Parents/guardians of 908 children (49% girls, mean age = 8.3 [1.4] y) completed a survey on household SES. PA was assessed via 7-day accelerometry, parental and child self-reports, and cardiorespiratory fitness with the 20-m shuttle run test. Results: Based on accelerometry, most children met current moderate to vigorous PA recommendations (≥60 min/d). About 73% of the children did not engage in structured physical education lessons. Whereas children of the lowest SES quintile accumulated higher levels of device-based moderate to vigorous PA, peers from the highest SES quintile engaged in more sedentary behaviors, but self-reported higher engagement in sports, dance, and moving games after school. Families’ car ownership was associated with higher parent/self-reported leisure-time PA. Conclusions: A deeper understanding is needed about why wealthier children are more sedentary, but simultaneously engage in more leisure-time PA. The fact that access to structural physical education is denied to most children is critical and needs to be addressed.

Open access

Lisa Chaba, Stéphanie Scoffier-Mériaux, Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, and Vanessa Lentillon-Kaestner

This article focuses on two popular sports that can put male athletes at risk of developing an eating disorder: bodybuilding and running. Bodybuilders concentrate on gaining muscle mass and runners on leaning body mass. Based on the trans-contextual model of motivation, this study aimed to better understand the psychological mechanisms underlying eating disorders in these athletes. In all, 272 male bodybuilders and 217 male runners completed measures of sport motivation, theory of planned behavior variables (i.e., attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and intention to gain muscle mass/lean body mass), and eating disorders (dieting, control, and bulimia behaviors). The results revealed satisfactory fit indices for both samples. Autonomous and controlled motivations for sport were positively directly and indirectly related to eating disorders in these athletes. This motivational mechanism needs more in-depth investigation, and motivational profiles might help distinguish athletes with and without eating disorders.

Open access

Arlette C. Perry, Emily W. Flanagan, Carolina Velasquez, Kara D. Bolon, Gina C. Zito, and Soyeon Ahn

Background: This study evaluated the effects of a novel nutrition and movement science after-school program integrating laboratory experiences for minority children. Laboratory experiences demonstrated how the body moves, functions, and performs in response to exercise and healthy nutrition. Methods: A total of 76 children from 4 after-school programs that were primarily Latino and black were randomly assigned to either an experimental translational health in nutrition and kinesiology (THINK; n = 46) or standard curriculum that served as the control group (CON; n = 30). An analysis of covariance controlling for baseline values was used to compare differences between THINK and CON after the 4-month intervention. Results: Following the program, THINK participants evidenced lower triceps and subscapular skinfold thickness (P < .01 and <.05, respectively). THINK students showed greater improvements in aerobic fitness, grip strength, and agility than CON (P < .01, <.01, and <.05, respectively). Participants in THINK also demonstrated higher scores on their nutrition habits/behaviors questionnaire (P < .01), nutrition science (P < .05), and exercise fitness tests (P < .001) than CON. Conclusion: An innovative curriculum featuring nutrition and kinesiology education interfaced with hands-on laboratory experiences and physical activities can improve physical outcomes and health-related behaviors in after-school programs serving minority children.

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Sari Aaltonen, Teemu Palviainen, Richard J. Rose, Urho M. Kujala, Jaakko Kaprio, and Karri Silventoinen

Background: Both genetic and environmental influences have been shown to contribute to the association between physical activity and overall academic performance. The authors examined whether leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) shares genetic and environmental variances between spelling, essay writing, reading aloud, reading comprehension, and mathematics in early adolescence. Moreover, they investigated whether genetic polymorphisms associated with physical activity behavior affect these academic skills. Methods: Participants were 12-year-old Finnish twins (n = 4356–4370 twins/academic skill, 49% girls). Academic skills were assessed by teachers, and LTPA was self-reported. Polygenic scores for physical activity behavior were constructed from the UK Biobank. Quantitative genetic modeling and linear regression models were used to analyze the data. Results: The trait correlations between LTPA and academic skills were significant but weak (r = .05–.08). The highest trait correlation was found between LTPA and mathematics. A significant genetic correlation was revealed between LTPA and essay writing (r A = .14). Regarding polygenic scores of physical activity, the highest correlations were found with reading comprehension, spelling, and essay writing, but these results only approached statistical significance (P values = .09–.15). Conclusions: The authors’ results suggest that reading and writing are the academic skills that most likely share a common genetic background with LTPA.

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Christine W. St. Laurent, Sarah Burkart, Chloe Andre, and Rebecca M.C. Spencer

Background: Early childhood is an important age for brain and cognitive development. Given the support of physical activity and fitness on cognition and academic performance in older children, more research has emerged recently focusing on younger children. In this systematic review, the authors review the relations between physical activity/fitness and academic-related (ie, school readiness and cognitive) outcomes in early childhood. Methods: A search was conducted from PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, ERIC databases, and reference lists for articles that had participants aged less than 6 years were written in English, and were in peer-reviewed journals. Articles were excluded if the design was a case study or case series report. The Grading Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation framework was followed to assess the quality of evidence by study design. Results: Sixty-eight articles reporting on 72 studies (29 observational and 43 experimental) were included. The majority of study effects were mixed, and the quality of evidence varied from very low to low. Conclusions: A clear consensus about the role of physical activity and fitness on academic-related outcomes in early childhood is still lacking given the high heterogeneity in methodological approaches and overall effects. Additional high-quality studies are needed to determine what specific dosages of physical activity are impactful at this age.