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James F. Sallis and Kevin Patrick

The International Consensus Conference on Physical Activity Guidelines for Adolescents convened to review the effects of physical activity on the health of adolescents, to establish age-appropriate physical activity guidelines, and to consider how these guidelines might be implemented in primary health care settings. Thirty-four invited experts and representatives of scientific, medical, and governmental organizations established two main guidelines. First, all adolescents should be physically active daily or nearly every day as part of their lifestyles. Second, adolescents should engage in three or more sessions per week of activities that last 20 min or more and that require moderate to vigorous levels of exertion. Available data suggest that the vast majority of U.S. adolescents meet the first guideline, but only about two thirds of boys and one half of girls meet the second guideline. Physical activity has important effects on the health of adolescents, and the promotion of regular physical activity should be a priority for physicians and other health professionals.

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James F. Sallis and Jacqueline Kerr

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Nick Cavill, Stuart Biddle and James F. Sallis

An expert consensus development process was initiated to make public health recommendations regarding young people (5–18 years) and physical activity. Eight commissioned review papers were discussed at a meeting of over 50 academics and experts from a range of disciplines from the UK and overseas. Participants agreed on a consensus statement that summarized the research evidence and made two core recommendations. First, to optimize current and future health, all young people should participate in physical activity of at least moderate intensity for 1 hour per day. Young people who currently do little activity should participate in physical activity of at least moderate intensity for at least half an hour per day. The subsidiary recommendation is that, at least twice a week, some of these activities should help to enhance and maintain muscular strength and flexibility and bone health. A second aspect of the consensus process, which was based on extensive consultation, outlined the practical ways in which key organizations can work together to implement these recommendations. The resultant consensus statement provides a strong basis for the planning of future policies and programs to enhance young people’s participation in health-enhancing physical activity

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Mindy Fullilove, Chanam Lee and James F. Sallis

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James F. Sallis, Kevin Patrick and Barbara J. Long

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Nicola W. Burton, Gavin Turrell, Brian Oldenburg and James F. Sallis

Introduction:

This study assessed the relative contributions of psychological, social, and environmental variables to walking, moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity.

Methods:

A questionnaire was mailed to a random sample (57% response rate). Analyses used a backwards elimination logistic regression model, removing and replacing individual variables, and adjusting for age, gender, household composition, and education (N = 1827).

Results:

The sociodemographic and correlate variables collectively accounted for 43% of the variation in total activity, 26% of walking, 22% of moderate-intensity activity and 45% of vigorous-intensity activity (Nagelkerke R2). Individually, the correlates accounted for 0.0 to 4.0% of unique variation, with habit, efficacy, and support having higher values. Physical health, discouragement, competition, and time management contributed more to vigorous-intensity activity. Anticipated benefits of social interactions and weight management contributed more to moderate-intensity activity. Neighborhood aesthetics contributed more to walking.

Conclusion:

Walking, moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity might be associated with different correlates.

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Javier Molina-García, James F. Sallis and Isabel Castillo

Background:

Commuting to university represents an opportunity to incorporate physical activity (walking or biking) into students’ daily routines. There are few studies that analyze patterns of transport in university populations. This cross-sectional study estimated energy expenditure from active commuting to university (ACU) and examined sociodemographic differences in findings.

Methods:

The sample included 518 students with a mean age of 22.4 years (59.7% female) from 2 urban universities in Valencia, Spain. Time spent in each mode of transport to university and sociodemographic factors was assessed by self-report.

Results:

Nearly 35% of the students reported walking or biking as their main mode of transport. ACU (min/wk) were highest for walkers (168) and cyclists (137) and lowest for motorbike riders (0.0) and car drivers (16). Public transport users, younger students, low socioeconomic status students, and those living ≤ 2 km from the university had higher energy expenditure from active commuting than comparison groups. Biking was highest among those living 2–5 km from the university.

Conclusions:

Our findings suggest that active commuting and public transit use generated substantial weekly energy expenditure, contributed to meeting physical activity recommendations, and may aid in obesity prevention.

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Virginie Nicaise, David Kahan, Karen Reuben and James F. Sallis

This study investigated the impact of renovation and redesign of a university preschool’s outdoor space on children’s sedentary behavior, light activity, and moderate-to-vigorous-physical-activity (MVPA) during unstructured recess. Physical activity was measured by accelerometry and direct observation in two independent samples of 50 (baseline) and 57 (postintervention) children (M age=4.4 yrs ± 0.5). Controlling for gender, age, BMI and recess length, observational data, but not accelerometry, revealed a significant decrease in intervals spent sedentary (-26.5%) and increases in light physical activity (+11.6%) and MVPA (+14.9%). Higher levels of MVPA were associated with specific environmental changes (new looping cycle path, OR = 2.18; increased playground open space, OR = 7.62; and new grass hill, OR = 3.27). Decreased sedentary behavior and increased light activity and MVPA may be realized with environmental changes that promote continuous and novel movement experiences in more expansive spaces.

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Javier Molina-García, Ana Queralt, Isabel Castillo and James F. Sallis

Background:

This study examined changes in multiple physical activity domains during the transition out of high school and psychosocial and environmental determinants of these changes.

Methods:

A 1-year prospective study was designed. The baseline sample was composed of 244 last-year high school students (58.6% female) from Valencia, Spain. Follow-up rate was 46%. Physical activity and potential determinants were measured by the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire and other evaluated scales in 2 waves.

Results:

Total physical activity and active commuting (AC) decreased, respectively, by 21% and 36%, only in males. At time 1, access to car/motorbike (inverse), planning/psychosocial barriers (inverse), street connectivity (positive) and parental education (inverse) were significantly associated with AC (P < .05). Prospectively, the increase in distance to school/workplace was associated with AC decrease among males (P < .001). In both genders, there was a decrease in leisure-time physical activity (LTPA; –35% in males, –43% in females). At time 1, self-efficacy and social support were positive correlates of LTPA (P < .05). Social support decreases were associated with reductions in LTPA for males (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Several psychosocial and environmental correlates of physical activity change were identified, and these are promising targets for interventions.

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Colin A. Armstrong, James F. Sallis, Melbourne F. Hovell and C. Richard Hofstetter

Components of the transtheoretical model of change were examined in a prospective study of the adoption of vigorous exercise in adults. Respondents to a random mail survey were resurveyed 2 years later. Those who reported no vigorous exercise at baseline were classified as either contemplators (n = 213) or precontemplators (n = 188). Contemplators had higher baseline self-efficacy scores than precontemplators (p < .001). In multivariate analyses, baseline stage of change was a significant predictor (p < .0005) of later adoption of vigorous exercise, even after controlling for differences in age, gender, and self-efficacy. During the first 6 months postbaseline, contemplators were nearly twice as likely as precontemplators to progress to the stage of action (46% vs. 24%), and four times more likely to progress to the stage of maintenance (25% vs. 6%). Use of the transtheoretical model in the study of exercise was supported in this prospective examination of exercise in a community sample.