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Jason A. Mendoza, Kathy Watson, Nga Nguyen, Ester Cerin, Tom Baranowski and Theresa A. Nicklas

Background:

Walking or bicycling to school (ie, active commuting) has shown promise for improving physical activity and preventing obesity in youth. Our objectives were to examine, among US youth, whether active commuting was inversely associated with adiposity and positively associated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). We also examined whether MVPA mediated the relationships between active commuting and adiposity.

Methods:

Using data of participants aged 12 to 19 years from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2004 (n = 789 unweighted), we constructed multiple linear regression models that controlled for dietary energy intake and sociodemographics. The main exposure variable was active commuting. The outcomes were BMI z-score, waist circumference, skinfolds and objectively measured MVPA. The product-of-coefficients method was used to test for mediation.

Results:

Active commuting was inversely associated with BMI z-score (β = −0.07, P = .046) and skinfolds (β = −0.06, P = .029), and positively associated with overall daily (β = 0.12, P = .024) and before- and after-school (β = 0.20, P < .001) MVPA. Greater before- and after-school MVPA explained part of the relationship between active commuting and waist circumference (Sobel z = −1.98, P = .048).

Conclusions:

Active commuting was associated with greater MVPA and lower measures of adiposity among US youth. Before- and after-school MVPA mediated the relationships between active commuting and waist circumference.

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Bonny Yee-Man Wong, Sai-Yin Ho, Wing-Sze Lo, Ester Cerin, Kwok-Kei Mak and Tai-Hing Lam

Background:

Little is known about the longitudinal relations of environment attributes and leisure-time physical activity (PA) in adolescents, and the moderating effects of individual characteristics. This study examined the longitudinal association of the perceived availability of neighborhood sport facilities with leisure-time PA, and the potential moderating effects of age, past PA behavior, and weight status in adolescents.

Methods:

Among 20,933 follow-up subjects (60.9% of 34,369 baseline subjects), 9993 from 32 Hong Kong secondary schools were successfully matched with baseline (mean duration 16 months; SD 1.7) and had complete information. At baseline and follow-up, respondents reported their leisure-time PA, weight, height, and the presence of sport facilities in the neighborhood.

Results:

Increased perceived availability of sport facilities from baseline to follow-up predicted more leisure-time PA at follow-up (β = 1.029; 95% CI: 1.011–1.047) overall. This effect was modified by baseline PA, with a significant effect observed only among those who had engaged in leisure-time PA more than 3 times a week.

Conclusions:

Increasing awareness of neighborhood sport facilities or building more such facilities may help active adolescents maintain or increase their leisure-time PA. However, more comprehensive multilevel interventions that aim at enhancing potential social, personal, and environmental PA-related factors may be needed to motivate inactive adolescents.

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Ester Cerin, Anthony Barnett, Man-chin Cheung, Cindy H.P. Sit, Duncan J. Macfarlane and Wai-man Chan

This study examined reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire–Long Form (IPAQ-LC) in Chinese seniors, including moderating effects of neighborhood walkability and socioeconomic status (SES) on reliability and validity. The IPAQ-LC was interviewer-administered (n = 96), accelerometer and 7-day walk-diary data were collected (n = 94), and the IPAC-LC was readministered (N = 92). Acceptable reliability was found for all measures of physical activity (PA) overall and across different types of neighborhood. Participants from highly walkable neighborhoods were more reliable at estimating walking for transport. Participants from low-SES areas were less reliable at estimating leisure-time PA and sitting but more reliable at estimating transport-related walking. IPAQ-LC walking was significantly related to light- but not moderate-intensity accelerometry-based PA. It was moderately to strongly related to a 7-day diary of walking. The data imply slow-paced walking, probably due to age, climate, and terrain. The findings suggest that the IPAQ-LC’s reliability and validity are acceptable in Chinese seniors.

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Jacqueline Kerr, James F. Sallis, Neville Owen, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Ester Cerin, Takemi Sugiyama, Rodrigo Reis, Olga Sarmiento, Karel Frömel, Josef Mitáš, Jens Troelsen, Lars Breum Christiansen, Duncan Macfarlane, Deborah Salvo, Grant Schofield, Hannah Badland, Francisco Guillen-Grima, Ines Aguinaga-Ontoso, Rachel Davey, Adrian Bauman, Brian Saelens, Chris Riddoch, Barbara Ainsworth, Michael Pratt, Tom Schmidt, Lawrence Frank, Marc Adams, Terry Conway, Kelli Cain, Delfien Van Dyck and Nicole Bracy

Background:

National and international strategies to increase physical activity emphasize environmental and policy changes that can have widespread and long-lasting impact. Evidence from multiple countries using comparable methods is required to strengthen the evidence base for such initiatives. Because some environment and policy changes could have generalizable effects and others may depend on each country’s context, only international studies using comparable methods can identify the relevant differences.

Methods:

Currently 12 countries are participating in the International Physical Activity and the Environment Network (IPEN) study. The IPEN Adult study design involves recruiting adult participants from neighborhoods with wide variations in environmental walkability attributes and socioeconomic status (SES).

Results:

Eleven of twelve countries are providing accelerometer data and 11 are providing GIS data. Current projections indicate that 14,119 participants will provide survey data on built environments and physical activity and 7145 are likely to provide objective data on both the independent and dependent variables. Though studies are highly comparable, some adaptations are required based on the local context.

Conclusions:

This study was designed to inform evidence-based international and country-specific physical activity policies and interventions to help prevent obesity and other chronic diseases that are high in developed countries and growing rapidly in developing countries.