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Marian Huhman, Richard Lowry, Sarah M. Lee, Janet E. Fulton, Susan A. Carlson, and Carrie D. Patnode

Background:

We examined trends of physical activity and screen time among nationally representative samples of children aged 9–13 years to explore whether children overall are becoming less physically active and less likely to be in compliance with screen time recommendations.

Methods:

We analyzed Youth Media Campaign Longitudinal Survey data for trends and demographic patterns of free time and organized physical activity, and hours and minutes of watching television and playing video or computer games. Child-parent dyads for 2002 (N = 3114), 2004 (N = 5177), and 2006 (N = 1200) were analyzed.

Results:

On the day before the interview, and for free time physical activity in the past week, children reported a significant increase in physical activity from 2002–2006. Screen time levels were stable overall; 76.4% of children met the recommendations of 2 hours or less of daily screen time.

Conclusion:

Levels of physical activity among U.S. children aged 9–13 years were stable, or levels slightly improved from 2002–2006. Except for some subgroup differences, trends for compliance with screen time recommendations were also stable from 2002–2006 for U.S. children aged 9–13 years.

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Fleetwood Loustalot, Susan A. Carlson, Janet E. Fulton, Judy Kruger, Deborah A. Galuska, and Felipe Lobelo

Background:

Accurate surveillance data on physical activity prevalence is important for U.S. states and territories as they develop programs and interventions to increase physical activity participation.

Methods:

Using 2007 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we estimated the percentage of U.S. adults in each U.S. state and territory who met minimum aerobic activity criteria using the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2008 Guidelines) and the Healthy People 2010 criteria for physical activity. SUDAAN was used to calculate prevalence estimates and 95% confidence intervals.

Results:

The estimated prevalence of recommended aerobic activity in U.S. states and territories ranged from 44.5% to 73.3% according to 2008 Guidelines and from 30.8% to 60.0% according to Healthy People 2010 criteria. Absolute percent differences in prevalence among U.S. states and territories ranged from 11.7% to 19.1%, and relative percent differences ranged from 20.8% to 44.6%.

Conclusions:

In all U.S. states and territories, a larger proportion of U.S. adults met minimum aerobic activity criteria in the 2008 Guidelines than met corresponding criteria in Healthy People 2010. This difference, however, does not reflect an actual change in the amount of aerobic activity, but a change to the criteria for meeting 2008 Guidelines.

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Kathleen B. Watson, Ginny M. Frederick, Carmen D. Harris, Susan A. Carlson, and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

There is little information on national estimates for participation in types of aerobic activities among U.S. adults. Current estimates are important to develop appropriate and effective interventions to promote physical activity and interpret bias for some activities measured with devices.

Methods:

The percentage of adults participating in specific aerobic activities was estimated overall and by demographic subgroups. The 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System respondents (N = 446,216) reported up to 2 aerobic activities they spent the most time doing during the past month.

Results:

Overall, walking (47%) was the most common activity reported and was reported more by women (54%) than men (41%). Participation in most activities declined with increasing age (P < .006). There were a number of differences in participation between race/ethnic subgroups. Participation increased with more education (P for trend < 0.006) for all activities. Participation in most activities was different (P < .002) across BMI subgroups.

Conclusions:

Walking is the most common activity, overall and among most subgroups. Other activity profiles differ by demographic subgroup. Physical activity promotion strategies that focus on identifying and addressing personal and environmental barriers and understanding demographic subgroup differences could lead to more tailored interventions and public health programs.

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Ginny M. Frederick, Prabasaj Paul, Kathleen Bachtel Watson, Joan M. Dorn, and Janet Fulton

Background:

Point-of-decision prompts may be appropriate to promote walking, instead of using a mechanized mode of transport, such as a train, in airports. To our knowledge, no current studies describe the development of messages for prompts in this setting.

Methods:

In-person interviews were conducted with 150 randomly selected airport travelers who rode the train to their departure gate. Travelers reported various reasons for riding the train to their gate. They were asked about messages that would encourage them to walk. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted for reasons for riding the train. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted for messages to encourage walking to the departure gate.

Results:

Travelers reported not knowing walking was an option (23.8%), seeing others riding the train (14.4%), and being afraid of getting lost (9.2%) as reasons for riding the train. Many indicated that directional signs and prompts promoting walking as exercise would encourage them to walk instead of riding the train.

Conclusions:

Some reasons for riding the train in an airport may be modifiable by installing point-ofdecision prompts. Providing directional signs to travelers may prompt them to walk to their gate instead of riding the train. Similar prompts may also be considered in other community settings.

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Kathleen B. Watson, Susan A. Carlson, Tiffany Humbert-Rico, Dianna D. Carroll, and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Less than one-third of U.S. adults walk for transportation. Public health strategies to increase transportation walking would benefit from knowing what adults think is a reasonable distance to walk. Our purpose was to determine 1) what adults think is a reasonable distance and amount of time to walk and 2) whether there were differences in minutes spent transportation walking by what adults think is reasonable.

Methods:

Analyses used a cross-sectional nationwide adult sample (n = 3653) participating in the 2010 Summer ConsumerStyles mail survey.

Results:

Most adults (> 90%) think transportation walking is reasonable. However, less than half (43%) think walking a mile or more or for 20 minutes or more is reasonable. What adults think is reasonable is similar across most demographic subgroups, except for older adults (≥ 65 years) who think shorter distances and times are reasonable. Trend analysis that adjust for demographic characteristics indicates adults who think longer distances and times are reasonable walk more.

Conclusions:

Walking for short distances is acceptable to most U.S. adults. Public health programs designed to encourage longer distance trips may wish to improve supports for transportation walking to make walking longer distances seem easier and more acceptable to most U.S. adults.

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Summer Dawn DeBastiani, Dianna D. Carroll, Melissa Cunningham, Sarah Lee, and Janet Fulton

Background:

To measure parental awareness of government physical activity guidelines and knowledge of the amount of physical activity recommended for youth (ie, 60 minutes per day, 7 days per week) as specified in the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Methods:

A cross-sectional national sample of adults responded to physical activity guideline questions added to the HealthStyles survey in 2009 (n = 1552). The prevalence of parents aware of government physical activity guidelines and knowledgeable of the youth physical activity guideline, specifically, was estimated overall and by parental demographic characteristics (sex, education, income level, race/ethnicity, age group, marital status) and body mass index.

Results:

In 2009, 34.8% of parents reported being aware of physical activity guidelines, and 9.7% were knowledgeable of the amount of physical activity recommended for youth.

Conclusions:

Many parents lack awareness and knowledge of the youth physical activity guidelines. The low prevalence estimates suggest the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans has not been effectively disseminated. These results may also indicate a need for effective communication strategies to educate and inform parents, an important influencer of children’s health behaviors.

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Susan A. Carlson, Kathleen B. Watson, Prabasaj Paul, Thomas L. Schmid, and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Information about how presence and usefulness of neighborhood supports for walking differs by demographic characteristics can help guide community strategies to promote walking.

Methods:

Reported presence and usefulness of neighborhood supports (shops, transit stops, sidewalks, parks, interesting things to look at, well-lit at night, low crime rate, and cars following speed limit) were examined in 3973 U.S. adults who completed the 2014 SummerStyles survey.

Results:

Percentage reporting neighborhood supports as present ranged from 25.3% (SE = 0.8) for interesting things to 55.8% (SE = 1.0) for low crime rate. Percentage who reported a support as useful ranged from 24.6% (SE = 1.4) for transit stops to 79.0% (SE = 1.1) for sidewalks among those with the support. This percentage ranged from 13.4% (SE = 0.8) for transit stops to 52.8% (SE = 1.1) for shops among those without the support. One or more demographic differences were observed for the presence of each support, and the presence of all supports differed by education and metro status. Demographic patterns were less clear when examining usefulness and patterns often differed by support type and presence.

Conclusions:

Presence and usefulness of neighborhood supports for walking can differ by type and demographic characteristics. Recognizing these difference can help communities plan and implement strategies to promote walking.

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Simani M. Price, Judith McDivitt, Deanne Weber, Lisa S. Wolff, Holly A. Massett, and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Despite the potential benefits of reducing the risk of osteoporosis in later life, research on adolescent girls’ weight-bearing physical activity (WBPA) is limited. This study explores correlates for WBPA in this population.

Methods:

A nationally representative telephone survey sponsored by the National Bone Health Campaign was conducted with 1000 girls age 9 to 12 years and a parent. Girls’ physical activities were coded as weight bearing or not and correlated with cognitive, social, and environmental variables.

Results:

Regression analysis revealed that WBPA was significantly associated with self-reported parents’ education, parental self-efficacy, girls’ normative beliefs about time spent in physical activity, being physically active with a parent, having physically active friends, and perceived availability of after-school physical activities.

Conclusions:

Interventions encouraging parents to participate in WBPA with their daughters and increasing parents’ positive attitudes and self-efficacy in getting their daughters to be physically active should be tested.

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MinKyoung Song, Dianna D. Carroll, Sarah M. Lee, and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines recommend youth participate in a variety of physical activities; however, few nationally representative studies describe the types and variety of youth activity. This study assessed the most frequently reported types and variety of activities among U.S. high school students, and examined the association between variety and meeting the 2008 Guidelines for aerobic activity (aerobic guideline).

Methods:

We analyzed data on 8628 U.S. high school students in grades 9–12 from the 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey. Types of physical activity were assessed by identifying which activities each student reported in the past 7 days. Variety was assessed by the total number of different activities each student reported. Percentage (95% CI) of students who reported engaging in each activity was assessed. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between variety and meeting the aerobic guideline.

Results:

Walking was the most frequently reported activity among U.S. high school students. On average, students reported participating in 6 different activities. Variety was positively associated with meeting the aerobic guideline.

Conclusions:

These findings support encouraging youth to participate in many physical activities and may be useful for developing interventions that focus on the most prevalent activities.

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Shifan Dai, Dianna D. Carroll, Kathleen B. Watson, Prabasaj Paul, Susan A. Carlson, and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Information on specific types of physical activities in which US adults participate is important for community and program development to promote physical activity.

Methods:

Prevalence of participation and average time spent for 33 leisuretime aerobic activities and 10 activity categories were calculated using self-reported data from 22,545 participants aged ≥ 18 years in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2006.

Results:

Overall, 38% of US adults reported no leisure-time physical activities, and 43% reported 1 or 2 activities in the past 30 days. Walking was the most frequently reported activity for both men (29%) and women (38%). Among walkers, the average time spent walking was 198 minutes/week for men and 152 minutes/week for women. The most reported activities for men after walking were bicycling and yard work, and for women were aerobics and dance. For most activity categories, participation was lower among adults aged ≥ 65 years than among younger adults, and among Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic blacks than among non-Hispanic whites. Participation in most categories increased with increasing educational attainment.

Conclusions:

Participation in physical activity differs by types of activities and demographic characteristics. Physical activity promotion programs should take these differences into account when developing intervention strategies.