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  • Author: Gavin R.H. Sandercock x
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Christine Voss and Gavin R. H. Sandercock

Background:

Parental behavior is an important correlate of child health. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between perceived parental physical activity (PA) and schoolchildren’s aerobic fitness.

Methods:

English schoolchildren’s (n = 4029, 54% boys, 10.0−15.9 yrs) fitness was assessed by 20 m shuttle run test and categorized using criterion-referenced standards. Parental PA was reported by the child.

Results:

Boys and girls were more likely to be fit (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1−1.8; OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1−2.0; respectively) if at least 1 parent was perceived as active compared with when neither parents were. Girls were even more likely to be fit (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2−2.8) if both parents were active. Associations between parental PA and child fitness were generally stronger when parent and child were of the same gender, although girls with active fathers were more likely (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.7−3.7) to be fit compared with inactive fathers.

Conclusion:

Schoolchildren perceiving at least 1 parent as active are more likely to meet health-related fitness standards. Underlying mechanisms remain elusive, but same-gender associations suggest that social rather than genetic factors are of greater importance. Targeting parental PA or at least perceptions of parental PA should be given consideration in interventions aiming to improve child health.

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Daniel D. Cohen, Christine Voss and Gavin R.H. Sandercock

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Gavin R.H. Sandercock, Ayodele Ogunleye and Christine Voss

Background:

This study aimed to examine the relationship between screen time and physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents but also to determine specific elements of PA that were most closely associated with screen time.

Methods:

We studied a cross-sectional sample of 6176 10.0–15.9 year olds (53% boys, 12.9 ± 1.5 years) who completed the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children/Adolescents and reported daily screen time. Differences in total PA and specific elements of PA were examined between groups reporting: < 2 h, 2–4 h, and > 4 h daily screen time.

Results:

There were significant differences between screen time groups in: total PA, number of bouts of PA reported, after school PA, evening PA and weekend PA (P < .0001). There was a graded, negative association between higher screen time and lower free-time PA. Participants reporting < 2 h screen time were also significantly more active during school lunch breaks than those reporting > 2 h. Boys reporting > 4 h screen time were less active during physical education lessons.

Conclusions:

Screen time is significantly and negatively associated with PA in British youth. Screen time may displace active pursuits out of school but is also associated with lower PA during school. Daily screen time should be limited to < 2 h in line with current recommendations.

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Jason Moran, Gavin R.H. Sandercock, Rodrigo Ramírez-Campillo, Oliver Todd, Jay Collison and Dave A. Parry

Purpose:

The purpose of this intervention study was to investigate if a low-dose of plyometric training (PT) could improve sprint and jump performance in groups of different maturity status.

Method:

Male youth field hockey players were divided into Pre-PHV (from -1 to -1.9 from PHV; Experimental: n = 9; Control = 12) and Mid-PHV (0 to +0.9 from PHV; Experimental: n = 8; Control = 9) groups. Participants in the experimental groups completed 60 foot contacts, twice-weekly for 6 weeks.

Results:

PT exerted a positive effect (effect size: 0.4 [-0.4–1.2]) on 10 m sprint time in the experimental Mid-PHV group but this was less pronounced in the Pre-PHV group (0.1 [-0.6–0.9]). Sprint time over 30 m (Mid-PHV: 0.1 [-0.8–0.9]; Pre-PHV: 0.1 [-0.7–0.9]) and CMJ (Mid-PHV: 0.1 [-0.8–0.9]; Pre-PHV: 0.0 [-0.7–0.8]) was maintained across both experimental groups. Conversely, the control groups showed decreased performance in most tests at follow up. Between-group analysis showed positive effect sizes across all performance tests in the Mid-PHV group, contrasting with all negative effect sizes in the Pre-PHV group.

Conclusion:

These results indicate that more mature hockey players may benefit to a greater extent than less mature hockey players from a low-dose PT stimulus. Sixty foot contacts, twice per week, seems effective in improving short sprint performance in Mid-PHV hockey players.