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Advancing the Debate on ‘Fitness Testing’ for Children: Perhaps We’re Riding the Wrong Animal

Meghann Lloyd, Rachel C. Colley, and Mark S. Tremblay

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Using the Oxygen Uptake Efficiency Slope as an Indicator of Cardiorespiratory Fitness in the Obese Pediatric Population

Peter G. Breithaupt, Rachel C. Colley, and Kristi B. Adamo

The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between the Oxygen Uptake Efficiency Slope (OUES) and traditional measures of cardiorespiratory function in an overweight/obese pediatric sample. Maximal treadmill exercise testing with indirect calorimetry was completed on 56 obese children aged 7–18 years. Maximal OUES, submaximal OUES, VO2peak, VEpeak, and ventilatory threshold (VT) were determined. In line with comparable research in healthy-weight samples, maximal and submaximal OUES were both correlated with VO2peak, VEpeak, and VT (r2= 0.44−0.91) in the obese pediatric sample. Correlations were also found with anthropometric variables, including height (cm), body surface area (m2), body mass (kg), and fat free mass (kg). In comparing our data to a published sample of healthy weight children, maximal and submaximal exercise OUES were both higher in our obese sample. However, when we adjusted for any of body mass (kg), BSA (m2), or FFM (kg) the obese children were found to be less efficient. The results of this study suggest the use of OUES to be an appropriate measure of efficiency of ventilation and cardiorespiratory function in obese children, while also showing that our sample of obese children were less efficient on a per kilogram basis when compared with their healthy weight peers.

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Actical Accelerometer Sedentary Activity Thresholds for Adults

Suzy Lai Wong, Rachel Colley, Sarah Connor Gorber, and Mark Tremblay


Actical accelerometer thresholds have been derived to enable objective measurement of time spent performing sedentary activity in children and adolescents, but not adults. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine Actical accelerometer sedentary activity thresholds for adults.


Data were available from 3187 participants aged 6 to 79 years from a preliminary partial dataset of the Canadian Health Measures Survey, who wore an Actical for 7 days. Step count data were used to evaluate the use of 50, 100, and 800 counts per min (cpm) as sedentary activity thresholds. Minutes when no steps were recorded were considered minutes of sedentary activity.


The use of higher cpm thresholds resulted in a greater percentage of sedentary minutes being correctly classified as sedentary. The percentage of minutes that were incorrectly classified as sedentary was substantially higher when using a threshold of 800 cpm compared with 50 or 100 cpm. Results were similar for children, adolescents, and adults.


These findings suggest that a threshold of 100 cpm is appropriate for classifying sedentary activity of adults when using the Actical. As such, wear periods with minutes registering less than 100 cpm would be classified as time spent performing sedentary activity.

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Associations Between Active School Transport and Physical Activity, Body Composition, and Cardiovascular Fitness: A Systematic Review of 68 Studies

Richard Larouche, Travis John Saunders, Guy Edward John Faulkner, Rachel Colley, and Mark Tremblay


The impact of active school transport (AST) on daily physical activity (PA) levels, body composition and cardiovascular fitness remains unclear.


A systematic review was conducted to examine differences in PA, body composition and cardiovascular fitness between active and passive travelers. The Medline, PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, and ProQuest databases were searched and 10 key informants were consulted. Quality of evidence was assessed with GRADE and with the Effective Public Health Practice Project tool for quantitative studies.


Sixty-eight different studies met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies found that active school travelers were more active or that AST interventions lead to increases in PA, and the quality of evidence is moderate. There is conflicting, and therefore very low quality evidence, regarding the associations between AST and body composition indicators, and between walking to/from school and cardiovascular fitness; however, all studies with relevant measures found a positive association between cycling to/from school and cardiovascular fitness; this evidence is of moderate quality.


These findings suggest that AST should be promoted to increase PA levels in children and adolescents and that cycling to/from school is associated with increased cardiovascular fitness. Intervention studies are needed to increase the quality of evidence.

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Sociodemographic Factors Associated With Meeting the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines Among Adults: Findings From the Canadian Health Measures Survey

Scott Rollo, Karen C. Roberts, Felix Bang, Valerie Carson, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Rachel C. Colley, Ian Janssen, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: This study examined associations between sociodemographic factors and meeting versus not meeting the new Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines recommendations. Methods: The study is based on 7651 respondents aged 18–79 years from the 2007 to 2013 Canadian Health Measures Survey, a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey. Sociodemographic factors included age, sex, household education, household income, race, having a chronic condition, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and body mass index. Participants were classified as meeting or not meeting each of the time-specific recommendations for moderate to vigorous physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep duration. Results: Being an adult aged 18–64 years, normal weight, nonsmoker, and not having a chronic condition were associated with meeting the integrated guidelines. Being aged 18–64 years, male, normal weight, nonsmoker, not having a chronic condition, having a higher household education, and higher household income were associated with meeting the moderate to vigorous physical activity recommendation; being aged 18–64 years was associated with meeting the sedentary behavior recommendation; and being white, not having a chronic condition, and having a higher household income were associated with meeting the sleep duration recommendation. Conclusions: Few Canadian adults met the 2020 Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines, and disparities across sociodemographic factors exist. Implementation strategies and dissemination approaches to encourage uptake and adoption are necessary.

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How Many Valid Days Are Necessary to Assess Physical Activity Data From Accelerometry During Pregnancy?

Danilo Fernandes da Silva, Shuhiba Mohammad, Taniya Singh Nagpal, Sara Carolina Scremin Souza, Rachel C. Colley, and Kristi Bree Adamo

Background: The authors examined whether or not ≤3 days wearing Actical® accelerometers provided acceptable results in comparison with the recommendation of ≥4 days in women across gestation. Methods: A total of 26, 76, and 57 participants at early, mid, and late pregnancy, respectively, were assessed. Participants were instructed to wear the device for 7 days and women who wore it for ≥4 days were included. For each participant, 3, 2, and 1 day(s) were randomly selected. Paired comparisons, intraclass correlations coefficients, and kappa statistics were performed for ≥4 days (criterion) versus 3, 2, and 1 day(s). Averages (in minutes per day) of sedentary time, light, moderate, vigorous, moderate to vigorous physical activity (PA) and steps per day were examined. Results: When 3 valid days were compared with the criterion, no significant differences were found for any gestational period. The intraclass correlations coefficients were “high” for all PA-related variables. The k values varied from .819 to .838 across pregnancy (“strong”). Two and 1 valid day(s) versus the criterion showed significant differences in some PA intensities, reduced intraclass correlations coefficients, “moderate” k values for 2 valid days (.638–.788) and “minimal-to-moderate” k values for 1 valid day (.367–.755). Conclusion: In pregnant women during early, mid, and late pregnancy, PA data obtained from 3 valid days of wear was equivalent and agreed with ≥4 valid days.

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Results from Canada’s 2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Joel D. Barnes, Christine Cameron, Valerie Carson, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Rachel C. Colley, Guy E.J. Faulkner, Ian Janssen, Roger Kramers, Travis J. Saunders, John C. Spence, Patricia Tucker, Leigh M. Vanderloo, and Mark S. Tremblay