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Delfien Van Dyck, Lieze Mertens, Greet Cardon, Katrien De Cocker, and Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij

This study aimed to obtain qualitative information about physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviors (SB)and their determinants, and about recently retired adults’ needs regarding PA interventions. Four focus group interviews were organized. The most commonly reported PA types were walking, cycling, swimming and fitness. The most commonly reported SB were reading, TV viewing, and computer use. Car use was limited. Most adults agreed their habits had changed during retirement. The most striking PA determinant was the feeling of being a ‘forgotten group’ and therefore having too few tailored PA initiatives available. Furthermore, participants were not aware of the negative health effects of SB and not motivated to decrease their SB. Concerning new PA interventions, very diverse ideas were put forward, reflecting the diversity of the target group. It seems that a dynamic intervention in which participants can choose which PA type they want to increase is preferable for recently retired adults.

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Greet Cardon, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Dirk De Clercq, Renaat Philippaerts, Stefanie Verstraete, and Elisatbeth Geldhof

The present study investigates whether physical fitness, physical activity, and determinants of physical activity are associated with reports of back and neck pain in children. A total of 749 children (mean age: 9.7 years ± 0.7) were evaluated, using a standardized physical fitness test (Eurofit), a physical activity questionnaire, and a pain prevalence questionnaire. Results indicate that physical fitness levels are not associated with back pain reports, but pain reports are lower in girls reporting higher frequencies of moderate physical activity and better estimates for attitude toward physical activity. Therefore, in girls, increased levels of physical activity might contribute to better back health.

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Vera Verbestel, Eveline Van Cauwenberghe, Valerie De Coen, Lea Maes, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, and Greet Cardon

In this study, physical activity (PA) was objectively measured in 213 Belgian preschoolers (Mage = 4.98, SD = .88 years) over 4 consecutive days including two weekend days. Within-day variability in PA showed a typical activity pattern during weekdays and weekend days. Weekdays clearly reflected a preschool attending day with more peaks and troughs than weekend days and after-school hours were characterized by a decrease in activity. Between-day variability in PA was identified in preschool girls above the age of four, suggesting that the lack of a structured preschool environment is already related with a decrease in PA in this sex-specific age group. The results of this study are informative for the development of future PA interventions and indicate that both the preschool and the home environment should be targeted in the promotion of preschoolers’ PA.

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Susana Carrapatoso, Greet Cardon, Delfien Van Dyck, Joana Carvalho, and Freja Gheysen

This study examined the mediating effect of walking on the relationship of social support with vitality and psychological distress. Data from a sample of 2,859 older adults were used. The older adults completed the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey vitality scale, the Global Health Questionnaire, the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, and a social support attributes questionnaire. All social support variables were positively associated with vitality and negatively associated with psychological distress. Walking mediated the associations of appreciation for (3%) and frequency of (8%) social contacts, participation in group activities (19%), closeness from family and friends (8%), and concern from people around (6%) with vitality. Walking also mediated 33% of the association between participation in group activities and psychological distress. The main findings of this study suggest that participation in group activities, as part of social support, in later life is beneficial to improve older adults’ vitality and reduces psychological distress, with walking being a strong mediator of these relationships.

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Greet M. Cardon, Lea R.D. Maes, Leen L. Haerens, and Ilse M.M. De Bourdeaudhuij

Little is known about bicycling to school as children age. At baseline (2002) self-report data from 1070 children were gathered (51.9% boys; mean age: 10 years). The measurements were repeated in 2003 (n = 1039), 2004 (n = 907), 2005 (n = 549) and 2008 (n = 515). The rates of children bicycling to school significantly varied across time points from 46% at the age of ten, 69% at the age of 11, 83% at the age of 12, 70% at the age of 13 toward 78% at the age of 16. Starting from the age of 11, the average duration of time spent bicycling to school significantly increased over time. According to multilevel regression analyses 13.6% of the variance in rates of bicycling to school was situated at the school level, 39.6% at the pupil level and 46.7% at the measurement level. The differences in rates and durations across time points were independent from gender, BMI, SES and having siblings. Pupils engaging in bicycling to school at younger ages had a higher change of engaging in bicycling to school at 16 years old (ORs: 2.69–7.61; ICC bicycling rates: 0.46, ICC bicycling durations: 0.82). This finding emphasizes the need for promoting bicycling to school at young age.

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Ellen De Decker, Kylie Hesketh, Marieke De Craemer, Trina Hinkley, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Jo Salmon, and Greet Cardon

Background:

Television viewing is highly prevalent in preschoolers (3–5 years). Because of the adverse health outcomes related to this behavior, it is important to investigate associations and mediators of young children’s television viewing time. This study investigated whether parental rules regarding television viewing time and parental concerns about screen viewing activities mediated the association between parents’ and preschoolers’ television viewing time.

Methods:

Mediation analyses were performed with the product-of-coefficient test on data derived from the Australian HAPPY study (n = 947) and the Belgian sample of the ToyBox-study (n = 1527). Parents reported their own and their child’s television viewing time, their rules regarding television viewing and concerns about their child’s screen viewing activities.

Results:

Parents’ television viewing time was directly associated with preschoolers’ television viewing time and parental rule for television viewing time mediated this association in both samples (14.4% and 8.1% in the Australian and Belgian samples, respectively).

Conclusions:

This study is unique in examining the mediating pathway of parental television viewing and a rule limiting TV viewing time and whether this is consistent in different samples. Due to the consistent importance, both parents’ television viewing time and rules should be targeted in interventions to decrease preschoolers’ television viewing time.

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Anne I. Wijtzes, Maïté Verloigne, Alexandre Mouton, Marc Cloes, Karin A.A. De Ridder, Greet Cardon, and Jan Seghers

Background:

This 2016 Belgium Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first systematic evaluation of physical activity (PA) behaviors, related health behaviors, health outcomes, and influences thereon, using the Active Healthy Kids Canada grading framework.

Methods:

A research working group consisting of PA experts from both Flanders and Wallonia collaborated to determine the indicators to be graded, data sources to be used, and factors to be taken into account during the grading process. Grades were finalized after consensus was reached among the research working group and 2 stakeholder groups consisting of academic and policy experts in the fields of PA, sedentary behavior, and dietary behavior.

Results:

Eleven indicators were selected and assigned the following grades: Overall PA (F+), Organized Sport Participation (C-), Active Play (C+), Active Transportation (C-), Sedentary Behaviors (D-), School (B-), Government Strategies and Investment (C+), and Weight Status (D). Incomplete grades were assigned to Family and Peers, Community and the Built Environment, and Dietary Behaviors due to a lack of nationally representative data.

Conclusions:

Despite moderately positive social and environmental influences, PA levels of Belgian children and youth are low while levels of sedentary behaviors are high.

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Stefanie J.M. Verstraete, Greet M. Cardon, Dirk L.R. De Clercq, and Ilse M.M. De Bourdeaudhuij

The study aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of a 2-year health-related physical education intervention in a pretest-posttest design. Sixteen elementary schools (764 pupils, mean age: 11.2 ± 0.7) participated in the study. Schools were randomly assigned to the intervention condition (n = 8) and the control condition (n = 8). Making use of direct observation data gathered according to SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time), the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity engagement during physical education classes was significantly higher in the intervention condition than in the control condition. Children’s moderate-to-vigorous physical activity engagement during physical education lessons increased with 14% in the intervention condition (from 42 to 56%). No significant effects were found on the accelerometer data. The health-related physical education intervention was found to be promising in promoting physical activity during physical education classes.

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Maïté Verloigne, Nicola D. Ridgers, Mai Chinapaw, Teatske Altenburg, Elling Bere, Sveinung Berntsen, Greet Cardon, Johannes Brug, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Wendy Van Lippevelde, and Lea Maes

There are currently no studies available reporting intervention effects on breaking up children’s sedentary time. This study examined the UP4FUN intervention effect on objectively measured number of breaks in sedentary time, number of sedentary bouts (> 10 mins) and total and average amount of time spent in those sedentary bouts among 10- to 12-year-old Belgian children. The total sample included 354 children (mean age: 10.9 ± 0.7 years; 59% girls) with valid ActiGraph accelerometer data at pre- and posttest. Only few and small intervention effects were found, namely on total time spent in sedentary bouts immediately after school hours (4-6PM; β = -3.51mins) and on average time spent in sedentary bouts before school hours (6-8.30AM; β = -4.83mins) and immediately after school hours in favor of children from intervention schools (β = -2.71mins). Unexpectedly, girls from intervention schools decreased the number of breaks during school hours (8.30AM-4PM; β = -23.45breaks) and increased the number of sedentary bouts on a weekend day (β = +0.90bouts), whereas girls in control schools showed an increase in number of breaks and a decrease in number of bouts. In conclusion, UP4FUN did not have a consistent or substantial effect on breaking up children’s sedentary time and these data suggest that more intensive and longer lasting interventions are needed.

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Laura Garcia-Cervantes, Sara D’Haese, Rocio Izquierdo-Gomez, Carmen Padilla-Moledo, Jorge R. Fernandez-Santos, Greet Cardon, and Oscar Luis Veiga

Background:

The aim was to investigate the association of (i) parental, sibling, and friend coparticipation in physical activity (PA); and (ii) independent mobility (IM) for walking, cycling, and taking public transport with objectively measured nonschool PA on week- and weekend days in different school grades.

Methods:

A total of 1376 Spanish youngsters (50.8% boys; mean age 11.96 ± 2.48 years) participated in the study. Participants reported the frequency of their parental, sibling, and best friend coparticipation in PA with them and their IM for walking, cycling, and taking public transport. PA was objectively measured by accelerometry.

Results:

Coparticipation in PA and IM were more frequently related to nonschool PA among adolescents than among children. Friend coparticipation in PA was positively associated with higher levels of nonschool PA in adolescents. IM for walking and IM for cycling in adolescents were related to nonschool PA on weekdays.

Conclusions:

Our results highlight the need for age-focused interventions and the integration of family and friends to promote PA in youth.