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Mark S. Tremblay

Background: Emerging research shows that the composition of movement behaviors throughout the day (physical activities, sedentary behaviors, sleep) is related to indicators of health, suggesting previous research that isolated single movement behaviors maybe incomplete, misleading, and/or unnecessarily constrained. Methods: This brief report summarizes evidence to support a 24-hour movement behavior paradigm and efforts to date by a variety of jurisdictions to consult, develop, release, promote, and study 24-hour movement guidelines. It also introduces and summarizes the accompanying series of articles related specifically to 24-hour movement guidelines for the early years. Results: Using robust and transparent processes, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the World Health Organization have developed and released 24-hour movement guidelines for the early years: an integration of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep. Other countries are exploring a similar approach and related research is expanding rapidly. Articles related to guideline development in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia, and by the World Health Organization are a part of this special series. Conclusions: A new paradigm employing 24-hour movement guidelines for the early years that combines recommendations for movement behaviors across the whole day is gaining momentum across the globe.

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Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Katie E. Gunnell, and Mark Stephen Tremblay

Background: This study aimed to examine the factor structure of responses to the Portuguese version of questions related to screen time–based sedentary behavior among adolescents. Methods: This cross-sectional study with a sample of 1083 adolescents aged 14–19 years was conducted in Brazil. The sample was randomly divided into 2 groups for an exploratory factor analysis and for a confirmatory factor analysis. Screen time was investigated by a Portuguese version of questions about time sitting in front of television, computer, and video games on weekdays and weekends. Results: Scree plots showed 2 factors with eigenvalues above 1. One factor was formed by items about television and computer use, and the other factor was formed by items about video game use. The exploratory factor analysis with 2 factors resulted in factor loadings above .60. A second model with 1 factor was estimated and resulted in factor loadings above .55. A confirmatory factor analysis was estimated based on the 2-factor exploratory factor analysis and goodness-of-fit statistics were adequate. Confirmatory factor analysis with 1 factor had goodness-of-fit statistics adequate. Conclusions: The Portuguese language version of self-report screen time had 2 possible factor solutions, and items demonstrated good factor structure with reasonable reliability making it suitable for use in the future studies.

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Joey C. Eisenmann, P.T. Katzmarzyk, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

In recent years, it has been noted that children and youth are physically inactive, and physical activity levels have declined over the past decades. However, few empirical studies have been conducted to test this assumption. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine leisure-time physical activity levels among Canadian adolescents 12–19 years of age.

Methods:

Age, sex, geographic, and temporal trends in leisure-time physical activity energy expenditure (AEE) were examined using data from 5 national surveys conducted between 1981 and 1998. AEE was calculated from participants’ questionnaire responses on physical activity participation. General linear models were used to examine the differences in AEE across survey years, geographic regions, sexes, and age groups.

Results:

Males and 12–14-year-olds displayed greater AEE than females and 15–19-year-olds, respectively, and AEE was lowest in Quebec and highest in the West. AEE increased between the 1981 and 1988 surveys and has since remained relatively stable. The prevalence of subjects meeting the 12.6 kJ · kg−1 · d−1 (3 kcal · kg−1 · d−1) recommendation increased from 1981 to 1988. Since 1988, the prevalence of those meeting the 12.6 kJ · kg−1 · d−1 recommendation has decreased in 12–14 year old boys and remained relatively stable in the other groups. In 1998, about 45% of males and 35% of females met the 12.6 kJ · kg−1 · d−1 recommendation. In 1998, about 20% of 12–19-year-old males and 12–14-year-old females met the 25.1 kJ · kg−1 · d−1 (6 kcal · kg−1 · d−1) recommendation, while about 10% of 15–19-year-old females met this recommendation. In females, the prevalence of those meeting the 25.1 kJ · kg−1 · d−1 recommendation has remained relatively stable (about 10%) since 1981 except for an increase between 1996 and 1998 in 12–14-year-old girls. In males, a similar pattern, but not as dramatic, of that observed for the prevalence of those meeting the 12.6 kJ · kg−1 · d−1 emerged—that is, an increase between 1981 and 1988 and then a decrease in 12–14-year-old boys and a stable pattern in 15–19-year-old boys.

Conclusion:

Although self-reported leisure-time physical activity appears to have increased since 1981, a majority of Canadian adolescents do not meet current recommendations for physical activity.

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Suzy Lai Wong, Rachel Colley, Sarah Connor Gorber, and Mark Tremblay

Background:

Actical accelerometer thresholds have been derived to enable objective measurement of time spent performing sedentary activity in children and adolescents, but not adults. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine Actical accelerometer sedentary activity thresholds for adults.

Methods:

Data were available from 3187 participants aged 6 to 79 years from a preliminary partial dataset of the Canadian Health Measures Survey, who wore an Actical for 7 days. Step count data were used to evaluate the use of 50, 100, and 800 counts per min (cpm) as sedentary activity thresholds. Minutes when no steps were recorded were considered minutes of sedentary activity.

Results:

The use of higher cpm thresholds resulted in a greater percentage of sedentary minutes being correctly classified as sedentary. The percentage of minutes that were incorrectly classified as sedentary was substantially higher when using a threshold of 800 cpm compared with 50 or 100 cpm. Results were similar for children, adolescents, and adults.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that a threshold of 100 cpm is appropriate for classifying sedentary activity of adults when using the Actical. As such, wear periods with minutes registering less than 100 cpm would be classified as time spent performing sedentary activity.

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Jennifer L. Copeland, Samuel Y. Chu, and Mark S. Tremblay

Women experience significant changes in endocrine function during aging. Decreasing levels of anabolic hormones may be associated with musculoskeletal atrophy and decrease in function that is observed in older women and, as a result, there has been an increase in the use of pharmacological hormone therapies. It is difficult to distinguish, however, between physiological changes that are truly age related and those that are associated with lifestyle factors such as physical activity participation. Some research has shown that circulating levels of anabolic hormones such as DHEA(S) and IGF-I in older women are related to physical activity, muscle function, and aerobic power. Exercise-intervention studies have generally shown that increasing age blunts the acute hormonal response to exercise, although this might be explained by a lower exercise intensity in older women. There have been relatively few studies that examine hormonal adaptations to exercise training. Physical activity might have an effect on hormone action as a result of changes in protein carriers and receptors, and future research needs to clarify the effect of age and exercise on these other components of the endocrine system. The value and safety of hormone supplements must be examined, especially when used in combination with an exercise program.

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John J. Reilly, Smita Dick, Geraldine McNeill, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

The Active Healthy Kids Scotland Report Card aims to consolidate existing evidence, facilitate international comparisons, encourage more evidence-informed physical activity and health policy, and improve surveillance of physical activity.

Methods:

Application of the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card process and methodology to Scotland, adapted to Scottish circumstances and availability of data.

Results:

The Active Healthy Kids Scotland Report Card 2013 consists of indicators of 7 Health Behaviors and Outcomes and 3 Influences on Health Behaviors and Outcomes. Grades of F were assigned to Overall Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior (recreational screen time), and Obesity Prevalence. A C was assigned to Active Transportation and a D- was assigned to Diet. Two indicators, Active and Outdoor Play and Organized Sport Participation, could not be graded. Among the Influences, Family Influence received a D, while Perceived Safety, Access, and Availability of Spaces for Physical Activity and the National Policy Environment graded more favorably with a B.

Conclusions:

The Active Healthy Kids Canada process and methodology was readily generalizable to Scotland. The report card illustrated low habitual physical activity and extremely high levels of screen-based sedentary behavior, and highlighted several opportunities for improved physical activity surveillance and promotion strategies.

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Mark S. Tremblay, Joel D. Barnes, and Jennifer Cowie Bonne

For 20 years Active Healthy Kids Canada (AHKC) has worked to inspire the country to engage all children and youth in physical activity (PA). The primary vehicle to achieve this is the AHKC Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, which has been released annually since 2005. Using 10 years of experience with this knowledge translation and synthesis mechanism, this paper aggregates and consolidates diverse evidence demonstrating the impact of the Report Card and related knowledge translation activities. Over the years many evaluations, consultations, assessments, and surveys have helped inform changes in the Report Card to improve its impact. Guided by a logic model, the various assessments have traversed areas related to distribution and reach, meeting stakeholder needs, use of the Report Card, its influence on policy, and advancing the mission of AHKC. In the past 10 years, the Report Card has achieved > 1 billion media impressions, distributed > 120,000 printed copies and > 200,000 electronic copies, and benefited from a collective ad value > $10 million. The Report Card has been replicated in 14 countries, 2 provinces, 1 state and 1 city. AHKC has received consistent positive feedback from stakeholders and endusers, who reported that the Report Card has been used for public awareness/education campaigns and advocacy strategies, to strengthen partnerships, to inform research and program design, and to advance and adjust policies and strategies. Collectively, the evidence suggests that the Report Card has been successful at powering the movement to get kids moving, and in achieving demonstrable success on immediate and intermediate outcomes, although the long-term goal of improving the PA of Canadian children and youth remains to be realized.

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Jennifer L. Copeland, Kent C. Kowalski, Rachel M. Donen, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

To accommodate the need for longitudinal physical activity research, we developed the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adults (PAQ-AD). The PAQ-AD is an adult version of the PAQ-C and PAQ-A questionnaires which were developed for older children and adolescents, respectively.

Methods:

Two studies assessed the convergent validity of the PAQ-AD using a series of self-report tools and direct measurement of physical activity.

Results:

In the first sample (N = 247), the PAQ-AD was significantly related to a series of self-report tools (r = 0.53 to 0.64). In the second sample (N = 184), the PAQ-AD was significantly related to the self-report tools (r = 0.56 to 0.63), a physical activity recall interview (r = 0.24), and to direct measurements of physical activity (r = 0.26 to 0.43).

Conclusion:

These results provide preliminary validity evidence for the PAQ-AD and suggest the PAQ “family” of questionnaires might be advantageous for longitudinal research assessing physical activity from childhood to adulthood.

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Stella K. Muthuri, Lucy-Joy M. Wachira, Vincent O. Onywera, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

A physical activity transition to declining activity levels, even among children, now poses a serious public health concern because of its contribution to a rising prevalence of noncommunicable diseases. Childhood physical activity levels are associated with parental perceptions of the neighborhood; however, these relationships have not been explored in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The objective was to investigate relationships between parental perceptions of the neighborhood and physical activity indicators among Kenyan children.

Methods:

Data were collected from children 9 to 11 years old in Nairobi as part of the International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and Environment. Child physical activity was assessed by accelerometry, and information on obtaining sufficient physical activity, active transport, and parental perceptions of the neighborhood collected using questionnaires.

Results:

Of 563 participating children, 45.7%, 12.6%, and 11.4% used active school transportation, met physical activity guidelines, and were sufficiently active, respectively. Parental perception of positive neighborhood social cohesion, positive environs and connectivity, and negative child safety concerns, were associated with child physical activity outcomes.

Conclusions:

Aspects of parental perceptions of the neighborhood were associated with child physical activity outcomes and should be further explored to appropriately inform policy and practice in curbing declining physical activity levels among children in SSA.