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Zhiguang Zhang, Eduarda Sousa-Sá, João R. Pereira, Anthony D. Okely, Xiaoqi Feng and Rute Santos

Background: This study examined the associations between environmental characteristics of early childhood education and care (ECEC) centers and 1-year change in toddlers’ physical activity and sedentary behavior while at the centers. Methods: Data from 292 toddlers from the GET-UP! study were analyzed. Environmental characteristics of ECEC centers were rated using the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-revised edition at baseline. Children’s physical activity and sedentary behavior in the centers were assessed using activPAL devices, at baseline and at 1-year follow-up. Linear mixed models were performed to examine the associations between the environmental characteristics and change in the proportion of time spent in physical activity and sedentary behavior. Results: Compared with baseline, children spent a higher proportion of time in sedentary behavior (sitting) but a lower proportion of time in standing and physical activity (stepping) while at ECEC centers, at 1-year follow-up. The environmental characteristics “interaction” (B = −1.39; P = .01) and “program structure” (B = −1.15; P = .04) were negatively associated with change in the proportion of time spent in physical activity. Conclusion: Better “interaction” and “program structure” may preclude children’s physical activity from declining over time and may be considered important features to target in future interventions in ECEC centers aiming at promoting active lifestyles.

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Aristides M. Machado-Rodrigues, Manuel J. Coelho e Silva, Jorge Mota, Rute Marina Santos, Sean P. Cumming and Robert M. Malina

Background:

Sport has high social valence and is a primary context for physical activity for the majority of youth. The aim of this study was to estimate the contribution of participation in organized sport to the total daily energy expenditure and also to its moderate-to-vigorous portion in male adolescents.

Methods:

The sample comprised 165 Portuguese male youth, aged 13 to 16 years. Physical activity was assessed with a multi-method approach (Actigraph GT1M accelerometer plus 3-day diary record). Differences in the intensities of physical activity and sedentary behavior of male sport participants and nonsport participants were compared using independent sample t-test.

Results:

Male participants in organized sports spent significantly more time in moderate-to-vigorous activities than nonparticipants, although the P-value for the 15 to 16 years age-group was marginal (P = .08) on the weekend days. In addition, male adolescents spent 11% to 13% of total daily energy expenditure in organized sports which corresponded to 35% to 42% of the moderate-to-vigorous portion of daily energy expenditure.

Conclusion:

Organized sport appears to be a relevant component of daily activity energy expenditure to promote healthy lifestyles among male adolescents.