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David Kahan and Virginie Nicaise

Background:

Curriculum interventions aimed at increasing physical activity in schools may prove useful in contexts where changes in policy/environment are not feasible. Design/evaluation of interventions targeting minority groups is important in light of well-publicized health disparities. Religious minorities represent a special subset that may positively respond to interventions tailored to their unique beliefs, which to date have been relatively underreported.

Methods:

Muslim American youth (n = 45) attending a parochial middle school participated in a religiously- and culturally-tailored 8-wk, interdisciplinary pedometer intervention. School-time ambulatory activity was quantified using a delayed multiple-baseline across subjects ABA design. Visual analysis of graphic data as well as repeated-measures ANOVA and ANCOVA and post hoc contrasts were used to analyze step counts including the moderating effects of day type (PE, no-PE), gender, BMI classification, grade, and time.

Results:

The intervention elicited modest increases in males’ steps only with effect decay beginning midintervention. BMI classification and grade were not associated with changes in steps.

Conclusions:

Full curricular integration by affected classroom teachers, staff modeling of PA behavior, and alternative curriculum for girls’ PE classes may further potentiate the intervention.

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David A. Rowe and Matthew T. Mahar

Background:

The purpose of the study was to evaluate race-specific FITNESSGRAM® body mass index (BMI) standards in comparison to the recommended standards, i.e., percent fat (%BF) ≥25 in boys and %BF ≥32 in girls.

Methods:

BMI and %BF were estimated in 1,968 Black and White children ages 6-14 years, using methods similar to those used to develop the current FITNESSGRAM standards. Multiple regression was employed to develop age-, sex-, and race-specific BMI standards. Percent agreement and modified kappa (κq) were used to evaluate agreement with the %BF standards, and sensitivity and specificity were used to evaluate classification accuracy.

Results:

Race significantly (p < .05) and meaningfully (β = 2.3% fat) added to the relationship between BMI and %BF. Agreement of the race-specific BMI standards with %BF standards was moderate to high (κq = .73–.88), and classification accuracy improved on the current FITNESSGRAM BMI standards.

Conclusions:

Race-specific BMI standards appear to be a more accurate representation of unhealthy %BF levels than the current FITNESSGRAM BMI standards.

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Laura Spivey Kabiri, Katy Mitchell, Wayne Brewer and Alexis Ortiz

Almost 2 million American children are homeschooled but no information is currently available regarding motor skill proficiency within this population. The purpose of this research was to describe motor skill proficiency among homeschooled children and assess differences in homeschooled subgroups. This crosssectional study screened 73 homeschooled children aged 5–8 years for overall motor skill proficiency using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition, Short Form (BOT-2 SF). Independent t tests examined differences in motor skill proficiency within the homeschooled population. Mann-Whitney U tests examined differences in motor skill proficiency classification within significantly different subgroups. Homeschooled children demonstrated average motor proficiency. Significantly different motor proficiency was seen among homeschooled children participating in 3 or more hours of organized sports per week, t(71) = 2.805, p = .006, 95% CI = 1.77, 10.49, and whose primary caregiver was employed versus unemployed, t(71) = –3.875, p < .001, 95% CI = –13.29, –4.26. Mann-Whitney U tests revealed significantly different motor skill proficiency classification in these same subgroups. Overall, homeschooling showed no detrimental effect on motor skill proficiency. Participation in 3 or more hours of organized sports per week or having an unemployed primary caregiver may improve motor skill proficiency among this population.

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Anne L. Adolph, Maurice R. Puyau, Firoz A. Vohra, Theresa A. Nicklas, Issa F. Zakeri and Nancy F. Butte

Purpose:

Given the unique physical activity (PA) patterns of preschoolers, wearable electronic devices for quantitative assessment of physical activity require validation in this population. Study objective was to validate uniaxial and triaxial accelerometers in preschoolers.

Methods:

Room calorimetry was performed over 3 hours in 64 preschoolers, wearing Actical, Actiheart, and RT3 accelerometers during play, slow, moderate, and fast translocation. Based on activity energy expenditure (AEE) and accelerometer counts, optimal thresholds for PA levels were determined by piecewise linear regression and discrimination boundary analysis.

Results:

Established HR cutoffs in preschoolers for sedentary/light, light/moderate and moderate/vigorous levels were used to define AEE (0.015, 0.054, 0.076 kcal·kg−1·min−1) and PA ratio (PAR; 1.6, 2.9, 3.6) thresholds, and accelerometer thresholds. True positive predictive rates were 77%, 75%, and 76% for sedentary; 63%, 61%, and 65% for light; 34%, 52%, and 49% for moderate; 46%, 46%, and 49% for vigorous levels. Due to low positive predictive rates, we combined moderate and vigorous PA. Classification accuracy was improved overall and for the combined moderate-to-vigorous PA level (69%, 82%, 79%) for Actical, Actiheart, and RT3, respectively.

Conclusion:

Uniaxial and triaxial accelerometers are acceptable devices with similar classification accuracy for sedentary, light, and moderate-to-vigorous levels of PA in preschoolers.

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Michael W. Beets, Guy C. Le Masurier, Aaron Beighle, David A. Rowe, Charles F. Morgan, Jack Rutherford, Michael Wright, Paul Darst and Robert Pangrazi

Background:

The purpose of this study was to cross-validate international BMI-referenced steps/d cut points for US girls (12,000 steps/d) and boys (15,000 steps/d) 6 to 12 years of age.

Methods:

Secondary pedometer-determined physical activity data from US children (N = 1067; 633 girls and 434 boys, 6 to 12 years) were analyzed. Using international BMI classifications, cross-validation of the 12,000 and 15,000 steps/d cut points was examined by the classification precision, sensitivity, and specificity for each age–sex stratum.

Results:

For girls (boys) 6 to 12 years, the 12,000 (15,000) steps/d cut points correctly classified 42% to 60% (38% to 67%) as meeting (achieved steps/d cut point and healthy weight) and failing (did not achieve steps/d cut point and overweight). Sensitivity ranged from 55% to 85% (64% to 100%); specificity ranged from 23% to 62% (19% to 50%).

Conclusion:

The utility of pedometer steps/d cut points was minimal in this sample given their inability to differentiate among children who failed to achieve the recommended steps/d and exhibited an unhealthy weight. Caution, therefore, should be used in applying previous steps/d cut points to US children.

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Stephen J. Rossi, Thomas W. Buford, Douglas B. Smith, Robin Kennel, Erin E. Haff and G. Gregory Haff

Purpose:

The primary purpose of this study was to simultaneously analyze both ends of the barbell with 19 weightlifters (age 18.0 ± 3.2 years, body mass 84.0 ± 14.2 kg, height 167.3 ± 8.7 cm) participating in a weightlifting competition to determine whether there were asymmetries in barbell kinematics and kinetics between the right and left sides of the barbell. The second purpose was to compare barbell-trajectory classification of the snatch and clean lifts between the right and left sides of the barbell.

Methods:

Barbell kinematic and kinetic data were collected and analyzed with 2 VS-120 weightlifting-analysis systems (Lipman Electronic Engineering Ltd, Ramat Hahayal, Israel). Barbell trajectories (A, B, and C) for the right and left sides were analyzed for each lift.

Results:

No significant difference was found in trajectory classification between sides of the barbell for either lift. The frequencies analysis revealed that type C barbell trajectories were the most prevalent in each lift. When the right and left sides of the barbell were compared during the snatch and clean, no significant differences were determined for any kinematic or kinetic variables.

Conclusions:

The V-scope system appears to facilitate analysis of barbell kinematics, kinetics, and trajectories during weightlifting competition regardless of which side of the barbell is analyzed.

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Ryan D. Burns, Timothy A. Brusseau, Yi Fang, You Fu and James C. Hannon

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), aerobic fitness, and cardio-metabolic risk factors in Hispanic children from low-income U.S. schools.

Method:

Participants were 198 Hispanic children from low-income schools (Mean age = 10.3 ± 0.5 years; 119 girls, 79 boys). Waist circumference, height, and cardio-metabolic blood markers were collected in a fasted state. Estimated VO2 Peak scores were also collected. Multilevel generalized mixed effects models were employed to examine the independent effect of WHtR and aerobic fitness classification on a child meeting recommended levels for each cardio-metabolic blood marker.

Results:

A child having a WHtR < 0.5 related to meeting recommended levels for HDL cholesterol (OR = 3.25, p < .01), triglycerides (OR = 2.94, p < .01), glucose (OR = 3.42, p < .01), and related to a lower continuous Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP) score (β = −8.5 mmHg, p < .01). Aerobic fitness classification only independently related to meeting recommended levels for HDL cholesterol (OR = 2.94, p = .010).

Conclusion:

Having a WHtR < 0.5 independently associated with favorable cardio-metabolic blood markers and thus serves as an effective screening tool for cardio-metabolic risk in Hispanic children from low-income schools.

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James J. McClain, Gregory J. Welk, Michelle Ihmels and Jodee Schaben

Background:

The PACER test is a valid and reliable assessment of aerobic capacity in children. However, many schools lack adequate space to administer the test. This study compared the utility of the standard 20m PACER test with an alternative 15m PACER protocol in 5th and 8th grade students.

Methods:

A total of 171 students completed both PACER protocols in a counterbalanced design. Agreement between the two protocols was assessed with correlations, repeated-measures ANOVA, and classification agreement into the FITNESSGRAM ® healthy fitness zones.

Results:

The difference in estimated VO2max between the two tests was slightly larger for boys (5th grade, 1.32 ml/kg/min; 8th grade, 1.72 ml/kg/min) than girls (5th grade, 0.14 ml/kg/min; 8th grade, 1.11 ml/kg/min), but these differences are probably not of practical significance. Classification agreement was 88% for boys and 91% for girls.

Conclusions:

Collectively, the results suggest that the 15m and 20m PACER provide similar information about aerobic fitness in youth. The 20m test is recommended when possible, but the 15m provides a useful alternative for schools with smaller gymnasiums.

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Ryan D. Burns, Timothy A. Brusseau and James C. Hannon

Background:

Optimal levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) have been shown to improve health and academic outcomes in youth. Limited research has examined MVPA trajectories throughout a daily middle school physical education (PE) curriculum. The purpose of this study was to examine MVPA trajectories over a daily PE curriculum and the modifying effects of sex, body composition, and cardiorespiratory endurance.

Methods:

One hundred 7th- and 8th-grade students participated in daily PE lessons. There were 66 lessons throughout the semester. MVPA was monitored during each lesson using NL-1000 piezoelectric pedometers. Students were classified into FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zones using estimated VO2 Max and Body Mass Index (BMI). A population averaged generalized estimating equation was employed to examine MVPA trajectories.

Results:

On average, students’ MVPA decreased over time (β = –0.35, P < .001). Poor student VO2max classification significantly modified the trajectories (β = –0.14, P < .001), however poor BMI classification did not have a modifying effect (β = 0.03, P = .158).

Conclusions:

MVPA decreased in daily PE over time and cardiorespiratory endurance significantly modified the trajectories. The results support that extra efforts have to be made by teachers and students to sustain MVPA behaviors over a semester.

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Saichon Kloyiam, Sarah Breen, Philip Jakeman, Joe Conway and Yeshayahu Hutzler

The purpose of this study was to describe running economy, soccer specific endurance, and selected kinematic running criteria in soccer players with cerebral palsy (SPCP) and to compare them with values of position-matched players without CP. Fourteen international, male soccer players with cerebral palsy completed the “Yo-Yo” intermittent recovery run level 1 (IRL-1) test to assess soccer-specific endurance and a submaximal running test on a treadmill to determine running economy. The mean IRL-1 distance covered by the SPCP of the Irish CP team was found to be 43–50% below the mean distance attained by position-matched soccer players without disability, while running economy was found to be within the range of that reported for able-bodied athletes. No relationship could be found between the level of CP-ISRA classification and soccer-specific endurance or running economy in this group of elite level SPCP. Though small in number, these data support a further examination of the relationship between CP classification and sport-specific performance.