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  • Author: Cheryl A. Howe x
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Cheryl A. Howe, Kimberly A. Clevenger, Danielle McElhiney, Camille Mihalic, and Moira A. Ragan

Background: This study validated the How(e) Happy Scale (HHS) for measuring children’s real-time physical activity (PA) enjoyment across PA type, intensity, sex, and weight status and compared state versus trait enjoyment. Methods: Children’s (N = 31; 9.7 [1.7] y) PA intensity was measured during sport, play, and locomotive PA. Following each activity, children rated their perceived state (HHS) of enjoyment across 4 constructs (social engagement). Questionnaires measured trait PA enjoyment prior to play. Rasch Rating Scale analysis assessed model-data fit and probability distribution of HHS responses. Analyses of variance compared state versus trait PA enjoyment across main effects, and correlations assessed relationships between measured PA intensity versus state and trait PA enjoyment. Results: Trait PA enjoyment was neither different across sex and weight status nor correlated with PA intensity (r = −.16 to .22). By contrast, HHS responses differed across sex, weight status, and PA type and intensity and correlated with PA type (r = −.56 to −.28) and intensity (r = −.29 to −.32). HHS responses were ordered along the probability curve and showed good infit (0.76–1.22) and outfit (0.71–1.28) statistics and good person (r = .62) and item (r = .88) reliability. Conclusion: HHS is valid for detecting differences in real-time enjoyment across PA type and intensity in all children.

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Kimberly A. Clevenger, Michael J. Wierenga, Cheryl A. Howe, and Karin A. Pfeiffer

The authors conducted a systematic review of children’s and adolescent’s physical activity by schoolyard location. PubMed and Web of Science were searched and articles were selected that included 3- to 17-year-olds and specifically examined and reported physical activity by schoolyard location. The primary outcomes of interest were the percentage of total time or observation intervals spent in each location and percentage of time or observation intervals in each location being sedentary or participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity. Included studies (N = 24) focused on preschoolers (n = 6), children (n = 11), adolescents (n = 2), or children and adolescents (n = 5) and primarily used direct observation (n = 17). Fields, fixed equipment, and blacktop were all important locations for physical activity participation, but there were differences by age group and sex. More research is needed that uses consistent methodology and accounts for other factors such as time of year, provided equipment, and differences in schoolyard designs.

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Cheryl A. Howe, Marcus W. Barr, Brett C. Winner, Jenelynn R. Kimble, and Jason B. White


Although promoted for weight loss, especially in young adults, it has yet to be determined if the physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) and intensity of the newest active video games (AVGs) qualifies as moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; > 3.0 METs). This study compared the PAEE and intensity of AVGs to traditional seated video games (SVGs).


Fifty-three young adults (18−35 y; 27 females) volunteered to play 6 video games (4 AVGs, 2 SVGs). Anthropometrics and resting metabolism were measured before testing. While playing the games (6−10 min) in random order against a playmate, the participants wore a portable metabolic analyzer for measuring PAEE (kcal/min) and intensity (METs). A repeated-measures ANOVA compared the PAEE and intensity across games with sex, BMI, and PA status as main effects.


The intensity of AVGs (6.1 ± 0.2 METs) was significantly greater than SVGs (1.8 ± 0.1 METs). AVGs elicited greater PAEE than SVGs in all participants (5.3 ± 0.2 vs 0.8 ± 0.0 kcal/min); PAEE during the AVGs was greater in males and overweight participants compared with females and healthy weight participants (p’s < .05).


The newest AVGs do qualify as MVPA and can contribute to the recommended dose of MVPA for weight management in young adults.

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Jeffer Eidi Sasaki, Cheryl A. Howe, Dinesh John, Amanda Hickey, Jeremy Steeves, Scott Conger, Kate Lyden, Sarah Kozey-Keadle, Sarah Burkart, Sofiya Alhassan, David Bassett Jr, and Patty S. Freedson


Thirty-five percent of the activities assigned MET values in the Compendium of Energy Expenditures for Youth were obtained from direct measurement of energy expenditure (EE). The aim of this study was to provide directly measured EE for several different activities in youth.


Resting metabolic rate (RMR) of 178 youths (80 females, 98 males) was first measured. Participants then performed structured activity bouts while wearing a portable metabolic system to directly measure EE. Steady-state oxygen consumption data were used to compute activity METstandard (activity VO2/3.5) and METmeasured (activity VO2/measured RMR) for the different activities.


Rates of EE were measured for 70 different activities and ranged from 1.9 to 12.0 METstandard and 1.5 to 10.0 METmeasured.


This study provides directly measured energy cost values for 70 activities in children and adolescents. It contributes empirical data to support the expansion of the Compendium of Energy Expenditures for Youth.