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Stewart G. Trost and Jan Hutley

Teaching adolescents to use self-management strategies may be an effective approach to promoting lifelong physical activity (PA). However, the extent to which adolescents use self-management strategies and their impact on current PA have not been studied previously. The aims of this study were 1) to describe the prevalence of self-management strategy use in adolescents; and 2) to determine relationships between self-management strategy use, PA self-efficacy, and PA participation. 197 students completed questionnaires measuring use of self-management strategies, self-efficacy, and PA behavior. The most prevalent self-management strategies (>30%) were thinking about the benefits of PA, making PA more enjoyable, choosing activities that are convenient, setting aside time to do PA, and setting goals to do PA. Fewer than 10% reported rewarding oneself for PA, writing planned activities in a book or calendar, and keeping charts of PA. Use of self-management strategies was associated with increased self-efficacy (r = .47, p < .001) and higher levels of PA (r = .34 p < .001). A 1-unit difference in self-management strategy scores was associated with a ~fourfold increase in the probability of being active (OR = 3.7, 95% CI = 1.8-7.4). Although strongly associated with PA, a relatively small percentage of adolescents routinely use self-management strategies.

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Samantha M. McDonald and Stewart G. Trost

Purpose:

This study evaluated the effects of a goal setting intervention on aerobic fitness (AF) in 6th to 8th grade students.

Method:

Students at the intervention school received a lesson on SMART goal setting. Students in the comparison school served as a measurement-only group. AF was assessed via the PACER multistage shuttle run test pre and post intervention. Between-group differences for change in AF were assessed using a RM ANCOVA.

Results:

A significant group by time interaction was observed for PACER performance, F(1,263) = 39.9, p < .0001. Intervention students increased PACER performance from 40.6 to 45.9 laps, while comparison students exhibited a decline from 30.2 to 23.4 laps. Intervention students were 10 times as likely as those in the comparison school to maintain Healthy Fitness Zone status or progress from Needs Improvement Zone to Healthy Fitness Zone.

Discussion:

Educating middle school students about SMART goal setting may be an effective strategy for improving aerobic fitness.

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Stewart G. Trost, Bronwyn Fees, and David Dzewaltowski

Background:

This study evaluated the effect of a “move and learn” curriculum on physical activity (PA) in 3- to 5-year-olds attending a half-day preschool program.

Methods:

Classrooms were randomized to receive an 8-week move and learn program or complete their usual curriculum. In intervention classes, opportunities for PA were integrated into all aspects of the preschool curriculum, including math, science, language arts, and nutrition education. Changes in PA were measured objectively using accelerometry and direct observation.

Results:

At the completion of the 8-week intervention, children completing the move and learn curriculum exhibited significantly higher levels of classroom moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) than children completing their usual curriculum. Significant differences were also noted for classroom VPA over the final 2 weeks.

Conclusion:

The results suggest that integrating movement experiences into an existing early childhood curriculum is feasible and a potentially effective strategy for promoting PA in preschool children.

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Kok Sonk Lee and Stewart G. Trost

The purpose of this study was to document the level of physical activity and sedentary behavior in a representative sample of Singaporean adolescents. A random sample of 1,827 secondary school students from six secondary schools (929 boys, 898 girls, mean age 14.9 ± 1.2 yr) completed the Three-Day Physical Activity Recall (3DPAR) self-report instrument. Approximately 63% of Singaporean high school students met current guidelines requiring 60 min of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Just over half (51.6%) met the guideline calling for regular vigorous physical activity. Across all grade levels, boys were consistently more active than girls. More than 70% of Singaporean high school students exceeded the recommended 2 hours per day of electronic media use. Collectively, these findings suggest that a significant proportion of Singaporean adolescents are not sufficiently active and are in need of programs to promote physical activity and decrease sedentary behavior.

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Peter A. Hastie and Stewart G. Trost

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which sport education can provide students with sufficient opportunities for developing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Nineteen seventh-grade boys (average age = 12.9 yrs.) participated in a 22-lesson season of floor hockey. For all students (both higher and lower skilled), students averaged a total of 31.6 min of MVPA during the season, or 63.2% of lesson time. Further, there was no significant difference according to skill level {33.4 min (Higher) vs. 30.4 min (Lower), nor were there any significant differences in MVPA levels across the phases of the season.

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Stewart G. Trost, Rebecca Tang, and Paul D. Loprinzi

Background:

This study evaluated the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a church-based intervention to promote physical activity (PA) in children.

Methods:

The study was conducted in 4 churches located in 2 large metropolitan areas and 2 regional towns in Kansas. Churches in the intervention condition implemented the “Shining Like Stars” physical activity curriculum module during their regularly scheduled Sunday school classes. Churches in the control condition delivered the same content without integrating physical activity into the lessons. In addition to the curriculum, the intervention churches completed a series of weekly family devotional activities designed to promote parental support for PA and increase PA outside of Sunday school.

Results:

Children completing the Shining Like Stars curriculum exhibited significantly greater amounts of MVPA than those in the control condition (20 steps/min vs. 7 steps/min). No intervention effects were observed for PA levels outside of Sunday school or parental support for PA; however, relative to controls, children in the intervention churches did exhibit a significant reduction in screen time.

Conclusion:

The findings confirm that the integration of physical activity into Sunday school is feasible and a potentially effective strategy for promoting PA in young children.

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Stewart G. Trost, Christopher C. Drovandi, and Karin Pfeiffer

Background:

Published energy cost data for children and adolescents are lacking. The purpose of this study was to measure and describe developmental trends in the energy cost of 12 physical activities commonly performed by youth.

Methods:

A mixed age cohort of 209 participants completed 12 standardized activity trials on 4 occasions over a 3-year period (baseline, 12-months, 24-months, and 36-months) while wearing a portable indirect calorimeter. Bayesian hierarchical regression was used to link growth curves from each age cohort into a single curve describing developmental trends in energy cost from age 6 to 18 years.

Results:

For sedentary and light-intensity household chores, YOUTH METs (METy) remained stable or declined with age. In contrast, METy values associated with brisk walking, running, basketball, and dance increased with age.

Conclusions:

The reported energy costs for specific activities will contribute to efforts to update and expand the youth compendium.

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Hayley E. Christian, Leanne Lester, Mohamed K. Al Marzooqi, Stewart G. Trost, and Alana Papageorgiou

Background: Social emotional development is imperative to young children’s long-term psychological and physical health. Physical activity (PA) may be important for young children’s social emotional development. The association between preschooler PA duration and intensity and social emotional development was investigated. Methods: Data from six hundred and fifty-one 2- to 4-year-olds in the Play Spaces and Environments for Children’s Physical Activity (PLAYCE) study were analyzed. PA was measured using ActiGraph-GT3X accelerometers worn over 7 days. Social emotional development was measured using the parent-completed Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Multilevel linear regression models examined the association between PA duration and intensity and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire subscales. Results: Preschoolers did 158.2 (SD = 40.2) minutes per day of PA with 27% meeting the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines for the Early Years. There was a 1.74 point decrease in the total Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire score for each additional hour of moderate-intensity PA per day (P < .05). Similar significant associations were found across all domains of social emotional development except hyperactivity, and were consistent across different intensities of light, moderate, and vigorous PA. Conclusions: These findings highlight the potential importance of PA, especially moderate-intensity play-based PA, for different aspects of preschool children’s social emotional development. Longitudinal and intervention research is required to confirm whether promoting PA in the early years provides developmental benefit.

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John R. Sirard, Stewart G. Trost, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Marsha Dowda, and Russell R. Pate

Background:

The purposes of this study were 1) to establish accelerometer count cutoffs to categorize activity intensity of 3 to 5-y old-children and 2) to evaluate the accelerometer as a measure of children’s physical activity in preschool settings.

Methods:

While wearing an ActiGraph accelerometer, 16 preschool children performed five, 3-min structured activities. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analyses identified count cutoffs for four physical activity intensities. In 9 preschools, 281 children wore an ActiGraph during observations performed by three trained observers (interobserver reliability = 0.91 to 0.98).

Results:

Separate count cutoffs for 3, 4, and 5-y olds were established. Sensitivity and specificity for the count cutoffs ranged from 86.7% to 100.0% and 66.7% to 100.0%, respectively. ActiGraph counts/15 s were different among all activities (P < 0.05) except the two sitting activities. Correlations between observed and ActiGraph intensity categorizations at the preschools ranged from 0.46 to 0.70 (P < 0.001).

Conclusions:

The ActiGraph count cutoffs established and validated in this study can be used to objectively categorize the time that preschool-age children spend in different physical activity intensity levels.