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Ignacio Perez-Pozuelo, Thomas White, Kate Westgate, Katrien Wijndaele, Nicholas J. Wareham and Soren Brage

Background: Wrist-worn accelerometry is the commonest objective method for measuring physical activity in large-scale epidemiological studies. Research-grade devices capture raw triaxial acceleration which, in addition to quantifying movement, facilitates assessment of orientation relative to gravity. No population-based study has yet described the interrelationship and variation of these features by time and personal characteristics. Methods: 2,043 United Kingdom adults (35–65 years) wore an accelerometer on the non-dominant wrist and a chest-mounted combined heart-rate-and-movement sensor for 7 days free-living. From raw (60 Hz) wrist acceleration, we derived movement (non-gravity acceleration) and pitch and roll (forearm) angles relative to gravity. We inferred physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) from combined sensing and sedentary time from approximate horizontal arm angle coupled with low movement. Results: Movement differences by time-of-day and day-of-week were associated with forearm angles; more movement in downward forearm positions. Mean (SD) movement was similar between sexes ∼31 (42) mg, despite higher PAEE in men. Women spent longer with the forearm pitched >0°, above horizontal (53% vs 36%), and less time at <0° (37% vs 53%). Diurnal pitch was 2.5–5° above and 0–7.5°below horizontal during night and daytime, respectively; corresponding roll angles were ∼0° (hand flat) and ∼20° (thumb-up). Differences were more pronounced in younger participants. All diurnal profiles indicated later wake-times on weekends. Daytime pitch was closer to horizontal on weekdays; roll was similar. Sedentary time was higher (17 vs 15 hours/day) in obese vs normal-weight individuals. Conclusions: More movement occurred in forearm positions below horizontal, commensurate with activities including walking. Findings suggest time-specific population differences in behaviors by age, sex, and BMI.

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Richard Tahtinen, Michael McDougall, Niels Feddersen, Olli Tikkanen, Robert Morris and Noora J. Ronkainen

Individual differences in vulnerability to depression are still underexplored in athletes. We tested the influence of different brooding and reflective rumination profiles (i.e., repetitive thought processes in response to low/depressed mood) on the odds of experiencing clinically relevant depressive symptoms in competitive athletes (N = 286). The Patient Health Questionnaire–9 and the Ruminative Responses Scale–short form were utilized to measure depression and rumination, respectively. Compared to athletes with a low brooding/reflection profile, athletes with a high brooding/reflection profile had significantly higher odds of experiencing clinical levels of depressive symptoms (OR = 13.40, 95% CI = 3.81–47.11). A high reflection/low brooding profile was not, however, related to increased odds of depressive symptoms. Future research could extend our findings by exploring determinants of ruminative tendencies, especially brooding, in athletes. Furthermore, psychological interventions targeting rumination could be examined as a potential prevention and treatment approach to tackling depressive symptoms in athletes.

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Joowon Lee, Baojiang Chen, Harold W. Kohl III, Carolyn E. Barlow, Chong do Lee, Nina B. Radford, Laura F. DeFina and Kelley P. Gabriel

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between self-reported physical activity (PA) and mean common carotid artery intima–media thickness (CCA IMT) among older adults. The data are from 1,811 Cooper Center Longitudinal Study participants, who were aged ≥60 years, with no history of cardiovascular disease. A medical history questionnaire was used to assess PA. Carotid ultrasound was performed to measure CCA IMT and the presence of plaque and stenosis. Logistic regression models were constructed to estimate the association between PA and CCA IMT after adjustment for covariates. The participants were aged 69.2 ± 5.9 years, and the majority were male (73.3%) and White (96.7%). The odds ratio of abnormal thickening of CCA IMT was 0.72 (95% confidence interval [0.54, 0.96]) in physically active participants (≥500 metabolic equivalent·min/week) after adjustment for covariates. In the current study, meeting PA guidelines in older adulthood was associated with lower odds of abnormal thickening of CCA IMT.

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Paddy C. Dempsey, Chuck E. Matthews, S. Ghazaleh Dashti, Aiden R. Doherty, Audrey Bergouignan, Eline H. van Roekel, David W. Dunstan, Nicholas J. Wareham, Thomas E. Yates, Katrien Wijndaele and Brigid M. Lynch

Background: Recent updates to physical activity guidelines highlight the importance of reducing sedentary time. However, at present, only general recommendations are possible (ie, “Sit less, move more”). There remains a need to investigate the strength, temporality, specificity, and dose–response nature of sedentary behavior associations with chronic disease, along with potential underlying mechanisms. Methods: Stemming from a recent research workshop organized by the Sedentary Behavior Council themed “Sedentary behaviour mechanisms—biological and behavioural pathways linking sitting to adverse health outcomes,” this paper (1) discusses existing challenges and scientific discussions within this advancing area of science, (2) highlights and discusses emerging areas of interest, and (3) points to potential future directions. Results: A brief knowledge update is provided, reflecting upon current and evolving thinking/discussions, and the rapid accumulation of new evidence linking sedentary behavior to chronic disease. Research “action points” are made at the end of each section—spanning from measurement systems and analytic methods, genetic epidemiology, causal mediation, and experimental studies to biological and behavioral determinants and mechanisms. Conclusion: A better understanding of whether and how sedentary behavior is causally related to chronic disease will allow for more meaningful conclusions in the future and assist in refining clinical and public health policies/recommendations.

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Anson B. Rosenfeldt, Amanda L. Penko, Andrew S. Bazyk, Matthew C. Streicher, Tanujit Dey and Jay L. Alberts

The aim of this project was to (a) evaluate the potential of the 2-min walk test to detect declines in gait velocity under dual-task conditions and (b) compare gait velocity overground and on a self-paced treadmill in Parkinson’s disease (PD). In total, 23 individuals with PD completed the 2-min walk test under single- and dual-task (serial 7s) conditions overground and on a self-paced treadmill. There was a significant decrease in gait velocity from single- to dual-task conditions overground (1.32 ± 0.22 to 1.10 ± 0.25 m/s; p < .001) and on the self-paced treadmill (1.24 ± 0.21 to 1.05 ± 0.25 m/s; p < .001). Overground and treadmill velocities were not statistically different from each other; however, differences approached or exceeded the minimal clinical important difference. The 2-min walk test coupled with a cognitive task provides an effective model of identifying dual-task declines in individuals with PD. Further studies comparing overground and self-paced treadmill velocity is warranted in PD.

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Joshua Twaites, Richard Everson, Joss Langford and Melvyn Hillsdon

Purpose: Physical activity classifiers are typically trained on data obtained from sensors at a set orientation. Changes in this orientation (such as being on a different wrist) result in performance degradation. This work investigates a method to obtain sensor location and orientation invariance for classification of wrist-mounted accelerometry via a technique known as domain adaption. Methods: Data was gathered from 16 participants who wore accelerometers on both wrists. Physical activity classification models were created using data from each wrist and then used to predict activities when using data from the opposing wrist. Using subspace alignment domain adaption, this procedure was then repeated to align the training and testing data before the classification stage. Results: Prediction of activity when using data where the wearer’s wrist was incorrectly specified resulted in a significant (p = .01) decrease in performance of 12%. When using domain adaption this drop in performance became negligible (M difference < 1%, p = .73). Conclusion: Domain adaption is a valuable method for achieving accurate physical activity classification independent of sensor orientation in wrist-worn accelerometry.

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Katja Krustrup Pedersen, Esben Lykke Skovgaard, Ryan Larsen, Mikkel Stengaard, Søren Sørensen and Kristian Overgaard

Accelerometers are widely used to measure physical activity, but limitations in the ability to differentiate between running intensities have been reported. This problem may relate to accelerometer placement. In this study, we compare the validity of accelerometers placed on the hip and the thigh for the measurement of walking and running speed under laboratory and field conditions. Young healthy men and women wore ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers on the hip and on the thigh while performing walking and running activities in laboratory (n = 31) and field conditions (n = 17). Vector magnitude counts per minute (VM cpm) were correlated with speed of locomotion and, during laboratory trials, with oxygen consumption (VO2, ml·min−1·kg−1). Both hip- and thigh-placed VM cpm showed strong correlations with walking speed ranging from 3 to 7 km·h−1 (r = 0.93 and r = 0.95, respectively) and VO2 (r = 0.85 and r = 0.91, respectively). Compared with the hip-placed VM cpm, thigh-placed VM cpm showed significantly stronger correlations with running speed ranging from 7 to 20 km·h−1 (r = 0.29 and r = 0.89, respectively) and the corresponding VO2 (r = 0.25 and r = 0.87, respectively). Regardless of accelerometer placement, VM cpm were similar between laboratory and field tests performed at comparable walking and running speeds. These results show that accelerometers placed on the thigh, but not on the hip, provide proportional output across a wide range of walking and running speeds. Thus, thigh-placed accelerometers are able to differentiate between running intensities in both laboratory and field conditions.

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Jonathan M. Miller, Mark A. Pereira, Julian Wolfson, Melissa N. Laska, Toben F. Nelson and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Background: This study tested for differences in personal, social, and environmental correlates of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) across ethnicity/race in male and female adolescents. Methods: Self-reported MVPA and 47 potential correlates of MVPA were measured in an ethnically/racially diverse cross-sectional sample of adolescents, in Minnesota, who participated in EAT-2010 (Eating and Activity in Teens). Interactions of potential correlates with ethnicity/race on MVPA were tested in linear hierarchical regression models in boys and girls. Results: Boys reported 1.7 more weekly hours of MVPA than girls. White adolescents reported 1.1 to 2.1 more weekly hours of MVPA than nonwhite adolescents. Among girls, neighborhood road connectivity was negatively correlated with MVPA among Hispanic and Asian participants. Among boys, sports participation was positively correlated with MVPA among all ethnicities/races, except Asians. Home media equipment was positively correlated with MVPA among Hispanic boys, but negatively correlated among white boys. Conclusions: A few correlates of physical activity among adolescents differed intersectionally by ethnicity/race and sex. Sports participation and home media equipment may have differing impacts on physical activity across ethnicities and races in boys, whereas neighborhood features like road connectivity may have differing impacts on physical activity across ethnicities and races in girls.

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Robin S. Vealey, Robin Cooley, Emma Nilsson, Carly Block and Nick Galli

The purpose of this study was to examine the types and perceived usefulness of questionnaires used by consultants in applied intervention work with athletes in 2003 and 2017, as well as to understand consultants’ perceptions of the advantages, limitations, and needs regarding the use of questionnaires in consulting. Sport psychology consultants in 2003 (n = 96) and 2017 (n = 106) completed a questionnaire that included Likert-scale questions as well as open-ended questions. The percentage of consultants who used questionnaires decreased from 83% in 2003 to 67% in 2017. Consultants in 2003 rated questionnaires as more useful than consultants in 2017, although the specific questionnaires used by consultants did not change extensively over the 14-year period. Advantages in using questionnaires included efficiency, structure of assessment, consensual validation, and credibility, while limitations included lack of relevance, undermining of athlete-consultant relationship, interpretive problems, and cost and lack of access.