As a default setting, many body-worn research-grade activity monitors rely on software algorithms developed for young adults using waist-worn devices. ActiGraph offers the low-frequency extension (LFE) filter, which reduces the movement threshold to capture low acceleration activity, which is more common in older adults. It is unclear how this filter changes activity estimates and whether it is appropriate for all older adults. The authors compared activity estimates with and without the LFE filter on wrist-worn devices in a sample of 34 older adults who wore the ActiGraph GT9X on their nondominant wrist for 7 days in a free-living environment. The authors used participant characteristics to predict discrepancy in step count estimates generated with and without the LFE filter to determine which individuals are most accurately characterized. Estimates of steps per minute were higher (M = 21, SD = 1), and more activity was classified as moderate to vigorous intensity (M = 5.03%, SD = 3.92%) with the LFE filter (M = 11, SD = 1; M = 4.27%, SD = 3.52%) versus without the LFE filter (all ps < .001). The findings suggest that axes-based variables should be interpreted with caution when generated with wrist-worn data, and future studies should develop separate wrist and waist-worn standard estimates in older adults. Participation in a greater amount of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity predicted a larger discrepancy in step counts generated with and without the filter (p < .009), suggesting that the LFE filter becomes increasingly inappropriate for use in highly active older individuals.
Hilary Hicks, Alexandra Laffer, Kayla Meyer, and Amber Watts
Shelby Borowski, Jyoti Savla, and Anisa M. Zvonkovic
Background: Little is known about the link between flexible work arrangements and health behaviors, such as physical activity. This study aimed to explore how self-efficacy and daily barriers to physical activity influence daily levels of physical activity on workdays when university staff members used a flexible work arrangement (flextime or telework). Methods: Full-time university staff employees (N = 61, mean age = 41; 89% female) participated in this daily diary study. Participants completed an initial survey followed by daily surveys over the course of one workweek, resulting in 281 diary days. Results: The most frequently reported barriers to physical activity were as follows: lack of time, feeling tired, and not enough motivation. Multilevel models revealed that as the number of barriers increased, minutes of physical activity significantly decreased. Self-efficacy was not significantly related to daily physical activity. Participants reported fewer minutes of physical activity on flextime workdays compared to days when a flexible work arrangement was not used (ie, traditional workday). Daily use of a flexible work arrangement did not moderate the association between barriers and physical activity. Conclusions: This study illustrated the influence of daily barriers and flextime workdays on physical activity levels, which can inform workplace health programs for university staff.
Matthew Hobbs, Stuart J.H. Biddle, Andrew P. Kingsnorth, Lukas Marek, Melanie Tomintz, Jesse Wiki, John McCarthy, Malcolm Campbell, and Simon Kingham
Background: This study investigates the association between television (TV) viewing and child adiposity and if parental education and child ethnicity moderate this association. Method: Cross-sectional, pooled (2013/2014–2016/2017) adult and child New Zealand Health Survey were matched resulting in 13,039 children (2–14 y) and parent dyads. Child TV viewing was estimated using self-reported time for each weekday and weekend. The height (in centimeters), weight (in kilograms), and waist circumference of parents and children were measured. Childhood body mass index and obesity were defined using the International Obesity Task Force cutoff values. Effect modification was assessed by interaction and then by stratifying regression analyses by parent education (low, moderate, and high) and child ethnicity (Asian, European/other, Māori, and Pacific). Results: Overall, watching ≥2 hours TV on average per day in the past week, relative to <2 hours TV viewing, was associated with a higher odds of obesity (adjusted odds ratio = 1.291 [1.108–1.538]), higher body mass index z score (b = 0.123 [0.061–0.187]), and higher waist circumference (b = 0.546 [0.001–1.092]). Interactions considering this association by child ethnicity and parent education revealed little evidence of effect modification. Conclusion: While TV viewing was associated with child adiposity, the authors found little support for a moderating role of parental education and child ethnicity.
Marcella A. Raney, Abbie L. Bowers, and Amanda L. Rissberger
Background: Green schoolyard renovations lead to immediate positive changes in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and social behavior. This pilot study examines whether these benefits are equally distributed across gender and age and maintained 16 months postgreening. Methods: Physical activity and social interactions during recess were recorded at control (n = 389) and experimental (n = 642) Title I urban elementary schools with direct observation and accelerometers. Results: Activity profiles were similar to 4-month postgreening and to baseline for experimental girls and boys, respectively. There was no difference in MVPA minutes between sexes (girls = 11.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 11.1 to 12.5]; boys = 12.8; 95% CI, 12.0 to 13.4) and no difference in sitting minutes between age groups (first to fourth = 2.0; 95% CI, 1.5 to 2.6; fifth to sixth = 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.4) in green areas. Experimental students spent more time in MVPA (11.2 min; 95% CI, 10.6 to 11.8 vs 8.9 min; 95% CI, 8.3 to 9.3), in small groups (10.6 min; 95% CI, 10.2 to 11.0 vs 9.2 min; 95% CI, 8.5 to 9.9), and engaged in more prosocial interactions (5.5; 95% CI, 5.1 to 6.3 vs 3.7; 95% CI, 3.0 to 4.2) than control students. Conclusions: Green schoolyard renovations result in persistent changes to recess behavior that are characteristic of a more collaborative community and counteract age-related declines in MVPA, particularly for girls.
Genevieve F. Dunton, Daniel Chu, Christine H. Naya, Britni R. Belcher, and Tyler B. Mason
Background: Psychological stress has adverse effects on health-related behaviors, yet longitudinal research is lacking. Research examined how children’s and mothers’ perceived stress are associated with children’s physical activity and sedentary behavior trajectories across 3 years. Methods: Mothers and their children (N = 186 dyads; 8–12 y at baseline, 57% Hispanic) completed 6 assessments across 3 years. Children and mothers self-reported perceived stress using the Stress in Children Scale and Perceived Stress Scale, respectively. Children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior were assessed using accelerometers. Mixed models examined interactions of mothers’ and children’s perceived stress by time elapsed in the study on children’s MVPA and sedentary behavior. Results: The perceived stress × time elapsed interactions were significant for children’s MVPA and sedentary behavior (Ps < .05). Higher average perceived stress in mothers was associated with greater decreases in children’s MVPA and increases in children’s sedentary behavior. The child stress × time elapsed interactions was significant for children’s MVPA (P < .05) but not sedentary behavior. Higher average perceived stress in children was associated with smaller decreases in children’s MVPA. Conclusion: Interventions to promote physical activity and reduce screen time in children should mitigate the effects of psychological stress, especially among mothers, on these behaviors.
S. Morgan Hughey, Marilyn E. Wende, Ellen W. Stowe, Andrew T. Kaczynski, Jasper Schipperijn, and J. Aaron Hipp
Background: Neighborhood parks are recognized as important spaces for facilitating physical activity (PA); however, it remains unclear how the frequency of park use is associated with PA. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between minutes of moderate to vigorous PA and multiple park use indicators: (1) use of a neighborhood park, (2) unique number of neighborhood parks used, and (3) frequency of neighborhood park use. Methods: Adults were surveyed from 4 US cities (Brooklyn, NY; Greenville County, SC; Raleigh, NC; and Seattle, WA). Using a map-based survey platform, participants indicated all neighborhood parks they used and the frequency of use in the past 30 days. Participants self-reported their weekly moderate to vigorous PA. Quantile regression was used to examine associations between PA and park use indicators. Results: Of all respondents (N = 360), 60% indicated visiting a neighborhood park in the past 30 days, with an average of about 13 total neighborhood park visits (SD = 17.5). Significant, positive associations were found between moderate to vigorous PA and both unique neighborhood park visits and total number of neighborhood parks visits. Conclusions: Frequency of park visitation is associated with PA among US adults. Ensuring equitable and safe access to neighborhood parks has the potential for population-level PA health benefits.