Background: Physical behavior researchers using motion sensors often use acceleration summaries to visualize, clean, and interpret data. Such output is dependent on device specifications (e.g., dynamic range, sampling rate) and/or are proprietary, which invalidate cross-study comparison of findings when using different devices. This limits flexibility in selecting devices to measure physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep. Purpose: Develop an open-source, universal acceleration summary metric that accounts for discrepancies in raw data among research and consumer devices. Methods: We used signal processing techniques to generate a Monitor-Independent Movement Summary unit (MIMS-unit) optimized to capture normal human motion. Methodological steps included raw signal harmonization to eliminate inter-device variability (e.g., dynamic g-range, sampling rate), bandpass filtering (0.2–5.0 Hz) to eliminate non-human movement, and signal aggregation to reduce data to simplify visualization and summarization. We examined the consistency of MIMS-units using orbital shaker testing on eight accelerometers with varying dynamic range (±2 to ±8 g) and sampling rates (20–100 Hz), and human data (N = 60) from an ActiGraph GT9X. Results: During shaker testing, MIMS-units yielded lower between-device coefficient of variations than proprietary ActiGraph and ENMO acceleration summaries. Unlike the widely used ActiGraph activity counts, MIMS-units were sensitive in detecting subtle wrist movements during sedentary behaviors. Conclusions: Open-source MIMS-units may provide a means to summarize high-resolution raw data in a device-independent manner, thereby increasing standardization of data cleaning and analytical procedures to estimate selected attributes of physical behavior across studies.
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Dinesh John, Qu Tang, Fahd Albinali and Stephen Intille
Andreas Heissel, Anou Pietrek, Michael A. Rapp, Stephan Heinzel and Geoffrey Williams
The role of perceived need support from exercise professionals in improving mental health was examined in a sample of older adults, thereby validating the short Health Care Climate Questionnaire. A total of 491 older people (M = 72.68 years; SD = 5.47) attending a health exercise program participated in this study. Cronbach’s alpha was found to be high (α = .90). Satisfaction with the exercise professional correlated moderately with the short Health Care Climate Questionnaire mean value (r = .38; p < .01). The mediator analyses yielded support for the self-determination theory process model in older adults by showing both basic need satisfaction and frustration as mediating variables between perceived autonomy support and depressive symptoms. The short Health Care Climate Questionnaire is an economical instrument for assessing basic need satisfaction provided by the exercise therapist from the participant’s perspective. Furthermore, this cross-sectional study supported the link from coaching style to the satisfaction/frustration of basic psychological needs, which in turn, predicted mental health. Analyses of criterion validity suggest a revision of the construct by integrating need frustration.
Frank E. DiLiberto and Deborah A. Nawoczenski
Although the midfoot is recognized to have an important role in the successful performance of a single-limb heel rise, healthy heel rise performance remains primarily characterized by ankle function. The purpose of this study was to examine the contribution of midfoot region power to single-limb heel rise in healthy adults. Participants (N = 12) performed 20 single-limb heel rises. An electromagnetic motion capture system and a force plate were used to record 3-segment foot motion and ground reaction forces. Inverse dynamic calculations were performed to obtain ankle and midfoot region powers. These data were evaluated with descriptive statistics. A correlation was performed to evaluate the contribution of midfoot region power to heel height, as heel height is a clinical measure of heel-rise performance. The midfoot contributed power during single-limb heel rise (peak positive power: 0.5 [0.2] W·kg−1). Furthermore, midfoot peak power accounted for 36% of the variance in heel height (P = .04). As energy generating internal mechanisms, such as muscle activity, are attributed to power generation, midfoot tissue loading and muscle performance should be considered during clinical and modeling applications of the heel-rise task.
Marlowe Pecora, Luc Tremblay and Matthew Heath
Reaches with overlapping stimulus-response spatial relations (propointing) adhere to speed–accuracy relations as defined by Paul Fitts’ index of difficulty equation (IDFitts: in bits of information). This movement principle is attributed to response mediation via the “fast” visuomotor networks of the dorsal visual pathway. It is, however, unclear whether the executive demands of dissociating stimulus-response spatial relations by reaching mirror-symmetrical to a target (antipointing) elicits similar adherence to Fitts’ equation. Here, pro- and antipointing responses were directed to a constant target amplitude with varying target widths to provide IDFitts values of 3.0, 3.5, 4.3, and 6.3 bits. Propointing movement times linearly increased with IDFitts—a result attributed to visually based trajectory corrections. In contrast, antipointing movement times, deceleration times, and endpoint precision did not adhere to Fitts’ equation. These results indicate that antipointing renders a “slow” and offline mode of control mediated by the visuoperceptual networks of the ventral visual pathway.
Elroy J. Aguiar, Zachary R. Gould, Scott W. Ducharme, Chris C. Moore, Aston K. McCullough and Catrine Tudor-Locke
Background: A walking cadence of ≥100 steps/min corresponds to minimally moderate intensity, absolutely defined as ≥3 metabolic equivalents (METs). This threshold has primarily been calibrated during treadmill walking. There is a need to determine the classification accuracy of this cadence threshold to predict intensity during overground walking. Methods: In this laboratory-based cross-sectional investigation, participants (N = 75, 49.3% women, age 21–40 y) performed a single 5-minute overground (hallway) walking trial at a self-selected preferred pace. Steps accumulated during each trial were hand tallied and converted to cadence (steps/min). Oxygen uptake was measured using indirect calorimetry and converted to METs. The classification accuracy (sensitivity, specificity, overall accuracy, and positive predictive value) of ≥100 steps/min to predict ≥3 METs was calculated. Results: A cadence threshold of ≥100 steps/min yielded an overall accuracy (combined sensitivity and specificity) of 73.3% for predicting minimally moderate intensity. Moreover, for individuals walking at a cadence ≥100 steps/min, the probability (positive predictive value) of achieving minimally moderate intensity was 80.3%. Conclusions: Although primarily developed using treadmill-based protocols, a cadence threshold of ≥100 steps/min for young adults appears to be a valid heuristic value (evidence-based, rounded, practical) associated with minimally moderate intensity during overground walking performed at a self-selected preferred pace.
Kara C. Hamilton, Mark T. Richardson, Shanda McGraw, Teirdre Owens and John C. Higginbotham
Background: Effective physical activity interventions are needed for children because health behaviors track into adulthood, and risk factors for diseases begin early in life. No study has determined whether an intervention designed using a Community-Based Participatory Research approach can improve moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and the related psychosocial constructs in underserved children. This study determined whether improvements in MVPA and related psychosocial constructs (self-efficacy, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and skills) occurred following a Community-Based Participatory Research intervention in underserved, rural children. It was then determined if these constructs were mediators of MVPA. Methods: Two fifth-grade classes at a school (n = 19 and n = 20) were randomly assigned to an intervention or comparison group. The intervention group participated in a 4-week intervention designed to improve MVPA (wGT3X-BT accelerometer; ActiGraph, Pensacola, FL) and the related psychosocial constructs (written survey). Groups were assessed prior to and immediately following the intervention. Results: There were no differences at baseline between groups. MVPA (30.0 [4.4] min), knowledge, and skill scores were significantly higher in the intervention group compared with the comparison group at follow-up (P < .05). Knowledge and skills were mediating variables of MVPA. Conclusions: Priority should be placed on research that determines the sustained impact of similar Community-Based Participatory Research interventions.
Jeanette Gustat, Christopher E. Anderson and Sandy J. Slater
Background: Spaces that promote play are important for the physical, social, and psychological growth of children. Public spaces, including playgrounds, provide an important venue for children to engage in play. A simple tool is needed to evaluate playground features and conditions. Methods: A simple play space audit instrument to assess the presence and condition of playground features was tested on a sample of 70 playgrounds during the summer of 2017, in Chicago, IL. Duplicate observations were collected on 17 playgrounds. Frequencies of features were tabulated, and reliability of variables was assessed using percent agreement and kappa statistic. Scores were created to summarize playground “playability,” overall and within domains of general overview, surface, path, and play equipment/structure features. Results: The tool demonstrated acceptable reliability with high kappa values between .79 and .90 for all items in domains. The overall score, general overview score, and play equipment/structure scores were correlated with mean playground usage. Conclusions: This brief instrument allows reliable assessment of playground features and their conditions. The scoring method generates a summary of playground conditions and features, which facilitates comparison of playgrounds. This tool has the potential to assist communities in evaluating their play spaces and identifying where to focus resources for improvements.
Stephanie G. Kerrigan, Evan M. Forman, Mitesh Patel, Dave Williams, Fengqing Zhang, Ross D. Crosby and Meghan L. Butryn
Background: Despite interest in financial incentive programs, evidence regarding the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of deposit contracts (ie, use of participants’ own money as a financial reward) for increasing physical activity (PA) is limited. Furthermore, evidence regarding the use of feedback within incentive programs is limited. Purpose: To evaluate: (1) the feasibility and acceptability of deposit contracts for increasing objectively measured PA and (2) the effects of deposit contracts with or without ongoing feedback on PA. Methods: Participants (n = 24) were exposed to 3 conditions (1) self-monitoring, (2) incentive, and (3) incentive with feedback in an ABACABAC design, with the order of incentive conditions counterbalanced across participants. Results: Effect sizes suggest that individuals had a modest increase in PA during the incentive conditions compared with self-monitoring. Presentation order moderated results, such that individuals exposed to incentives with feedback first performed more poorly across both incentive conditions. In addition, individuals often cited the deposit contract as a reason for not enrolling, and those who did participate reported inadequate acceptability of the incentives and feedback. Conclusions: Results suggest that while deposit contracts may engender modest increases in PA, this type of incentive may not be feasible or acceptable for promoting PA.
Catrine Tudor-Locke, John M. Schuna Jr, Damon L. Swift, Amber T. Dragg, Allison B. Davis, Corby K. Martin, William D. Johnson and Timothy S. Church
Background: Step-counting interventions with discrepant intensity emphases may elicit different effects. Methods: A total of 120 sedentary/low-active, postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to one of the following 3 groups: (1) 10,000 steps per day (with no emphasis on walking intensity/speed/cadence; basic intervention, 49 completers), (2) 10,000 steps per day and at least 30 minutes in moderate intensity (ie, at a cadence of at least 100 steps per minute; enhanced intervention, 47 completers), or (3) a control group (19 completers). NL-1000-determined steps and active minutes (a device-specific indicator of time at moderate+ intensity) were collected as process variables during the 12-week intervention. Outcome variables included systolic and diastolic blood pressure, anthropometric measurements, fasting blood glucose and insulin, flow-mediated dilation, gait speed, and ActiGraph GT3X+-determined physical activity and sedentary behavior. Results: The “basic group” increased 5173 to 9602 steps per day and 9.2 to 30.2 active minutes per day. The “enhanced group” similarly increased 5061 to 10,508 steps per day and 8.7 to 38.8 active minutes per day. The only significant change over time for clinical variables was body mass index. Conclusions: Interventions that use simple step-counters can achieve elevated volume and intensity of daily physical activity, regardless of emphasis on intensity. Despite this, few clinical outcomes were apparent in this sample of postmenopausal women with generally normal or controlled hypertension.
Margaret McGladrey, Angela Carman, Christy Nuetzman and Nicole Peritore
Background: Rural counties in the United States face daunting structural issues that reduce their populations’ physical activity levels, including geographic isolation as well as deficits in infrastructure, public transportation, health care providers, and funding. Methods: Funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided an opportunity to assess how Extension enhanced the collective impact of systems-level physical activity promotion programming through a multisectoral coalition in Clinton County, Kentucky. Results: The Extension-led coalition accomplished the 6 essential functions of a backbone support organization by identifying obesity as a critical local issue (function 1: providing overall strategic direction), developing a multisectoral coalition (function 2: facilitating dialog between partners), compiling data on the county’s physical activity infrastructure (function 3: managing data collection and analysis), creating communication channels (function 4: handling communication), organizing community awareness events (function 5: coordinating community outreach), and securing additional grants (function 6: mobilizing funding). The average rating of Extension’s leadership across multiple dimensions by 3 coalition members in a postproject survey was “excellent” on a 5-point Likert scale. Conclusions: Extension is well positioned through their mission, broad community engagement, data collection, needs assessment, community and academic relationships, and embeddedness in local communities to serve as the backbone support organizations for rural physical activity promotion coalitions.