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Emily Budzynski-Seymour, Rebecca Conway, Matthew Wade, Alex Lucas, Michelle Jones, Steve Mann and James Steele

Background: Physical activity (PA) promotes health and well-being. For students, university represents a transitional period, including increased independence over lifestyle behaviors, in addition to new stressors and barriers to engaging in PA. It is, therefore, important to monitor PA trends in students to gain a greater understanding about the role it might play in physical and mental well-being, as well as other factors, such as attainment and employability. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys were conducted in 2016 in Scottish universities and colleges, and in 2017 in universities and colleges across the United Kingdom, and the data were pooled for the present study (N = 11,650). Cumulative ordinal logistic regression was used to model the association between PA levels and mental and personal well-being, social isolation, and perceptions of academic attainment and employability. Results: Only 51% of the respondents met the recommended levels of moderate to vigorous PA per week. There was a linear relationship between PA levels and all outcomes, with better scores in more active students. Conclusions: UK university students are insufficiently active compared with the general population of 16- to 24-year olds. Yet, students with higher PA report better outcomes for mental and personal well-being, social isolation, and perceptions of academic attainment and employability.

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Jennifer P. Agans, Oliver W.A. Wilson and Melissa Bopp

Objective: To assess the extent to which college student physical activity behaviors and attitudes are associated with enrollment in required, but self-selected, health and wellness courses. Participants: Data were analyzed from 1473 undergraduate students (60% women) taking health and wellness courses at a large northeastern university. Methods: Demographic characteristics and activity levels at the time of course enrollment were assessed in relation to course selection and activity levels after course completion. One-way analysis of variance tests were used to assess the differences in the characteristics of students enrolling in different types of health and wellness courses, and paired samples t tests were used to assess the differences in physical activity and related attitudes from the time of enrollment to the end of the semester. Results: Course selection was predicted by demographic characteristics and precourse activity levels. Overall, no significant change in activity levels was observed over the course of one semester, although some effects were observed within certain types of activities. Conclusions: When given the option, college students appear to select health and wellness courses that match their current activity levels. These courses do not significantly change the average student’s behavior or attitudes about physical activity.

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Jillian J. Haszard, Kim Meredith-Jones, Victoria Farmer, Sheila Williams, Barbara Galland and Rachael Taylor

Although 24-hour time-use data are increasingly being examined in relation to indices of health, consensus has yet to be reached about the best way to present estimates from compositional analyses. This analysis explored the impact of different presentations of results when assessing the relationship between 24-hour time-use and body mass index (BMI) z-score using compositional analysis of 5-day actigraphy data in 742 children. First it was found that reallocating non-wear time to day-time components only (sedentary behavior, light physical activity, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity [MVPA]) before normalization to 24 hours provided stronger estimates with BMI z-score than simply removing non-wear time before normalization. Estimates for sleep time were substantially affected, where associations with BMI z-score nearly doubled (mean difference [95% CI] in BMI z-score for 10% longer sleep were −0.20 [−0.32, −0.08] compared to −0.11 [−0.23, 0.002]). Presenting estimates in terms of a greater number of minutes in a component, relative to all others, showed MVPA to be the strongest predictor of BMI z-score, while estimates in terms of the proportion of minutes showed sleep to be the strongest predictor. Both presentations have value. However, presentations in terms of one-to-one “substitutions” of time may need careful interpretation due to the uneven distribution of time in each component. In conclusion, when analyzing relationships between 24-hour time-use and health outcomes, non-wear time and presentation of estimates can impact final conclusions. As a result, the current understanding of the importance of sleep for child health may be underestimated.

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Alyson J. Crozier, Luc J. Martin and Kevin S. Spink

The extent to which humans consider themselves part of a group versus a collection of individuals is termed groupness. Despite a rich history in other domains, research examining the construct in physical activity settings is only beginning to emerge. Indeed, seminal research from other domains and recent efforts in physical activity highlight the importance of groupness perceptions for a range of outcomes. This paper provides an overview of the current groupness conceptualization in physical activity, presents research conducted in exercise and sport contexts, and, most important, provides a roadmap highlighting future research avenues. Proposed lines of enquiry relevant to physical activity include the development of a context-specific conceptualization, advances in methodologies to facilitate measurement and analysis, and the importance of contextualizing groupness research within physical activity settings.

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Stephanie Field, Jeff Crane, Patti-Jean Naylor and Viviene Temple

Children who underestimate their physical abilities have lower motivation, higher anxiety, and lack of understanding as to why they may be succeeding or struggling in sports settings, which can result in withdrawal from physical activities. Theoretically, middle childhood is a time when perceptions of physical competence (PPC) become more accurate as children develop the cognitive capacity to interpret new sources of feedback and develop a realistic sense of their physical abilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which accuracy of PPC changed from grade 2 to grade 4. Participants were 238 boys and girls (M age = 7.8 yrs) from eight participating elementary schools in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The Test of Gross Motor Development–Second Edition was used to assess motor skills. PPC were assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (for grade 2) and the Self-Perception Profile for Children (for grades 3 and 4). Results revealed that participants who underestimated or overestimated their physical competence in grade 2 saw an improvement in accuracy, and, by grade 4, had similar accuracy scores to their peers who were considered ‘accurate’ estimators. These results reinforce theory that suggests PPC become more accurate in middle childhood.

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Diane L. Gill

In taking a senior perspective, the author first steps back and offers an historical view and then offers her senior advice for moving forward. When the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) was in its infancy (early 1970s), the psychology subarea was known as social psychology and physical activity, and our research largely followed social psychology theories and research methods. In subsequent developing years, our research split into sport psychology and exercise psychology, with more focused research lines that moved away from social psychology and physical activity. While the more focused research builds our evidence base, that research has little impact on the wide range of participants and professionals. To have greater impact, we can reclaim the “social,” and we can take a more inclusive view of physical activity. We must recognize and highlight the powerful and complex role of “social” context and relationships and directly engage with professionals and participants in those real-world settings. We need more scholars who partner with other (nonacademic) professionals, teach those future professionals, and engage with their community and the public to enhance our real-world impact.

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Rebekah Lynn, Rebekah Pfitzer, Rebecca R. Rogers, Christopher G. Ballmann, Tyler D. Williams and Mallory R. Marshall

Little is known about validity of wrist-worn physical activity monitors during activities when an arm-swing is not present. The purpose of this study was to compare the step-counting validity of wrist-worn activity monitors (Fitbit Charge HR Series 2, ActiGraph GT9X Link, Apple Watch Series 4) during functional physical activities with fixed upper extremities. Tasks included treadmill walking at 3 mph and five free-living tasks (walking with a baby doll on the left hip and the right hip, holding groceries, and pushing a stroller while walking and while jogging). Device step counts were compared to hand-counted steps from GoPro video footage. Fitbit Charge had less error when compared to the left ActiGraph in both stroller walking and jogging, treadmill walking, and grocery walking tasks (p < .001 to .020). For grocery walking, walking with a baby on the right, and walking with a baby on the left, device percentage errors ranged from 0 (0.5%) to −7.6 (15.8%). For stroller jogging, stroller walking, and treadmill walking, device percentage errors ranged from −8.3 (7.3%) to −94.3 (17.9%). Tasks with the hands fixed to an item that also had contact with the floor (stroller and treadmill) had more error than when participants held an item that was not in contact with the floor (doll and groceries). Though wrist-worn, consumer-grade step-counting devices typically undercount steps in general, consumers should be aware that their devices may particularly undercount steps during activities with the hands fixed. This may be especially true with items in contact with the floor.

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Kimberly A. Clevenger, Michael J. Wierenga, Cheryl A. Howe and Karin A. Pfeiffer

The authors conducted a systematic review of children’s and adolescent’s physical activity by schoolyard location. PubMed and Web of Science were searched and articles were selected that included 3- to 17-year-olds and specifically examined and reported physical activity by schoolyard location. The primary outcomes of interest were the percentage of total time or observation intervals spent in each location and percentage of time or observation intervals in each location being sedentary or participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity. Included studies (N = 24) focused on preschoolers (n = 6), children (n = 11), adolescents (n = 2), or children and adolescents (n = 5) and primarily used direct observation (n = 17). Fields, fixed equipment, and blacktop were all important locations for physical activity participation, but there were differences by age group and sex. More research is needed that uses consistent methodology and accounts for other factors such as time of year, provided equipment, and differences in schoolyard designs.

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J.D. DeFreese and Alan L. Smith

Person-centered investigations of athlete burnout have utility to unearth novel information about this developmental experience within the social environment of competitive sport. Guided by extant theory, conceptually proposed developmental patterns of athlete burnout were examined across a season as expressed in profiles of emotional and physical exhaustion, reduced accomplishment, and sport devaluation perceptions. Athlete social perceptions were also explored as predictors of profile membership. Collegiate athletes (N = 129) completed established assessments of study variables at four in-season time points. Latent profile analysis revealed profiles characterized by athletes experiencing the three burnout dimensions similarly at any given time point, with the notable exception of exhaustion being more frequently experienced in some profiles. Social support perceptions predicted profile membership with moderate success. Trends in profile stability provide some support for consideration of exhaustion-driven burnout experiences. Results shed light on the theoretical pathways of burnout development and inform continued longitudinal burnout research efforts.

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Kelly R. Evenson and Camden L. Spade

Purpose: A systematic review to summarize the validity and reliability of steps, distance, energy expenditure, speed, elevation, heart rate, and sleep assessed by Garmin activity trackers. Methods: Searches included studies published through December 31, 2018. Correlation coefficients (CC) were assessed as low (<0.60), moderate (0.60 to <0.75), good (0.75 to <0.90), or excellent (≥0.90). Mean absolute percentage errors (MAPE) were assessed as acceptable at <5% in controlled conditions and <10% for free-living conditions. Results: Overall, 32 studies of adults documented validity. Four of these studies also documented reliability. The sample size ranged from 1–95 for validity and 4–31 for reliability testing. Step inter- and intra-reliability was good-to-excellent and speed intra-reliability was excellent. No other features were explored for reliability. Step validity, across 16 studies, generally indicated good-to-excellent CC and acceptable MAPE. Distance validity, tested in three studies, generally indicated poor CC and MAPE that exceeded acceptable limits, with both over and underestimation. Energy expenditure validity, across 12 studies, generally indicated wide variability in CC and MAPE that exceeded acceptable limits. Heart rate validity in five studies had low-to-excellent CC and all MAPE exceeded acceptable limits. Speed, elevation, and sleep validity were assessed in only one or two studies each; for sleep, the criterion relied on self-report rather than polysomnography. Conclusion: This systematic review of Garmin activity trackers among adults indicated higher validity of steps; few studies on speed, elevation, and sleep; and lower validity for distance, energy expenditure, and heart rate. Intra- and inter-device feature reliability needs further testing.