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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.

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Kelly Cornett, Katherine Bray-Simons, Heather M. Devlin, Sunil Iyengar, Patricia Moore Shaffer, and Janet E. Fulton

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Eric T. Hyde, John D. Omura, Kathleen B. Watson, Janet E. Fulton, and Susan A. Carlson

Background: To estimate the proportion of adults’ and parents’ knowledge of the adult aerobic and youth physical activity guidelines, respectively, in the United States. Methods: Data were analyzed from a national sample of adults in the 2017 ConsumerStyles survey. Prevalence of knowledge of the adult aerobic guideline (ie, 150 min/wk of moderate-intensity activity) was estimated among all respondents (n = 3910) and of the youth guideline (ie, 60 min/d of physical activity on 7 d/wk) among parents (n = 1288). Odds ratios were estimated using logistic regression models adjusting for demographic characteristics. Results: Overall, 2.5% (95% confidence interval, 2.0–3.1) of adults and 23.0% (95% confidence interval, 20.5–25.7) of parents were knowledgeable of the adult aerobic and youth guidelines, respectively. After adjustment, odds of knowledge of the adult guideline differed significantly by sex and physical activity level, whereas knowledge of the youth guideline differed by parental education level. Conclusions: Despite the release of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans nearly a decade ago, most US adults and parents lack knowledge of the adult aerobic and youth physical activity guidelines. Effective communication strategies may help raise awareness of current and future editions of national guidelines for physical activity.

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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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Prabasaj Paul, Susan A. Carlson, Dianna D. Carroll, David Berrigan, and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Walking, the most commonly reported physical activity among U.S. adults, is undertaken in various domains, including transportation and leisure.

Methods:

This study examined prevalence, bout length, and mean amount of walking in the last week for transportation and leisure, by selected characteristics. Self-reported data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (N = 24,017) were analyzed.

Results:

Prevalence of transportation walking was 29.4% (95% CI: 28.6%–30.3%) and of leisure walking was 50.0% (95% CI: 49.1%–51.0%). Prevalence of transportation walking was higher among men; prevalence of leisure walking was higher among women. Most (52.4%) transportation walking bouts were 10 to 15 minutes; leisure walking bouts were distributed more evenly (28.0%, 10–15 minutes; 17.1%, 41–60 minutes). Mean time spent in transportation walking was higher among men, decreased with increasing BMI, and varied by race/ethnicity and region of residence. Mean time spent leisure walking increased with increasing age and with decreasing BMI.

Conclusion:

Demographic correlates and patterns of walking differ by domain. Interventions focusing on either leisure or transportation walking should consider correlates for the specific walking domain. Assessing prevalence, bout length, and mean time of walking for transportation and leisure separately allows for more comprehensive surveillance of walking.

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Melissa C. Kay, Dianna D. Carroll, Susan A. Carlson, and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

To estimate the proportion of U.S. adults aware and knowledgeable of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Methods:

Analysis is based on a cross-sectional national sample of adults in the 2009 (n = 4281) HealthStyles survey. We estimated the prevalence of adults who reported awareness of government physical activity guidelines and who were knowledgeable of the currently recommended moderate-intensity physical activity guideline (ie, 150 minutes per week) from the 2008 Guidelines.

Results:

In 2009, the percent of adults who reported being aware of government physical activity (PA) guidelines was 36.1%. The percent of adults knowledgeable of the moderate-intensity physical activity guideline was less than 1% (0.56%).

Conclusions:

Most U.S. adults lack sufficient awareness and knowledge of the 2008 Guidelines, putting them at risk for failure to meet them. The nation needs more effective communication strategies to translate and disseminate PA guidelines.

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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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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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Janet E. Fulton, Xuewen Wang, Michelle M. Yore, Susan A. Carlson, Deborah A. Galuska, and Carl J. Caspersen

Background:

To examine the prevalence of television (TV) viewing, computer use, and their combination and associations with demographic characteristics and body mass index (BMI) among U.S. youth.

Methods:

The 1999 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was used. Time spent yesterday sitting and watching television or videos (TV viewing) and using the computer or playing computer games (computer use) were assessed by questionnaire.

Results:

Prevalence (%) of meeting the U.S. objective for TV viewing (≤2 hours/day) ranged from 65% to 71%. Prevalence of no computer use (0 hours/day) ranged from 23% to 45%. Non-Hispanic Black youth aged 2 to 15 years were less likely than their non-Hispanic White counterparts to meet the objective for TV viewing. Overweight or obese school-age youth were less likely than their normal weight counterparts to meet the objective for TV viewing

Conclusions:

Computer use is prevalent among U.S. youth; more than half of youth used a computer on the previous day. The proportion of youth meeting the U.S. objective for TV viewing is less than the target of 75%. Time spent in sedentary behaviors such as viewing TV may contribute to overweight and obesity among U.S. youth.

Open access

Thomas L. Schmid, Janet E. Fulton, Jean M. McMahon, Heather M. Devlin, Kenneth M. Rose, and Ruth Petersen