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  • Author: Zan Gao x
  • Sport and Exercise Science/Kinesiology x
  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
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Zan Gao

Background:

Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is considered a tool to help children promote a healthy active lifestyle. Empirical studies in this field have been largely unexplored. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between students’ mastery experiences, situational motivation, and physical activity levels in DDR.

Methods:

One hundred and ninety-five seventh, eighth, and ninth graders participated in a 2-week DDR unit. Students’ physical activity levels and situational motivation [intrinsic motivation (IM), identified regulation (IR), external regulation, and amotivation) were measured for 3 classes.

Results:

Students were motivated to play DDR, but their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was low (ie, mean = 4.95%). In addition, students with successful mastery experiences had significantly higher IM, IR, and MVPA.

Conclusions:

Although students were motivated for DDR, they were not physically active in DDR. In addition, successful mastery experience played an important role in students’ motivation and physical activity levels in DDR.

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Zan Gao and Ping Xiang

Background:

Exergaming has been considered a fun solution to promoting a physically active lifestyle. This study examined the impact of an exergaming-based program on urban children’s physical activity participation, body composition and perceptions of the program.

Methods:

A sample of 185 children’s physical activity was measured in August 2009 (pretest), and percent body fat was used as index of body composition. Fourth graders were assigned to intervention group engaging in 30 minutes exergaming-based activities 3 times per week, while third and fifth graders were in comparison group. Measurements were repeated 9 months later (posttest). Interviews were conducted among 12 intervention children.

Results:

ANCOVA with repeated measures revealed a significant main effect for intervention, F(1, 179) = 10.69, P < .01. Specifically, intervention children had significantly greater increased physical activity levels than comparison children. Logistic regression for body composition indicated intervention children did not differ significantly in percent body fat change from comparison children, Chi square = 5.42, P = .14. Children interviewed reported positive attitudes toward the intervention.

Conclusions:

The implementation of exergaming-based program could have a significantly positive effect on children’s physical activity participation and attitudes. Meanwhile, long-term effect of the program on children’s body composition deserves further investigation.

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Zan Gao, Senlin Chen and David F. Stodden

Purpose:

To compare young children’s different intensity physical activity (PA) levels in physical education, recess and exergaming programs.

Methods:

Participants were 140 first and second grade children (73 girls; Meanage= 7.88 years). Beyond the daily 20-minute recess, participants attended 75-minute weekly physical education classes and another 75-minute weekly exergaming classes. Children’s PA levels were assessed by ActiGraph GTX3 accelerometers for 3 sessions in the 3 programs. The outcome variables were percentages of time spent in sedentary, light PA and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA).

Results:

There were significant main effects for program and grade, and an interaction effect for program by grade. Specifically, children’s MVPA in exergaming and recess was higher than in physical education. The 2nd-grade children demonstrated lower sedentary behavior and MVPA than the first-grade children during recess; less light PA in both recess and exergaming than first-grade children; and less sedentary behavior but higher MVPA in exergaming than first-grade children.

Conclusions:

Young children generated higher PA levels in recess and exergaming as compared with physical education. Hence, other school-based PA programs may serve as essential components of a comprehensive school PA program. Implications are provided for educators and health professionals.

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Zachary C. Pope, Beth A. Lewis and Zan Gao

Background:

The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) has been widely used to understand individuals’ physical activity (PA) correlates and behavior. However, the theory’s application among children in exergaming remains unknown.

Purpose:

Investigate the effects of an exergaming program on children’s TTM-based PA correlates and PA levels.

Methods:

At pretest and posttest, 212 upper elementary children (mean age = 11.17 years) from the greater Mountain West Region were administered measures regarding stages of change (SOC) for PA behavior, decisional balance for PA behaviors, PA self-efficacy, and self-reported PA levels. Following the pretest, a weekly 30-minute, 18-week Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) program was implemented. Children were classified into 3 SOC groups: progressive children (ie, progressed to a higher SOC stage); stable children (ie, remained at the same SOC stage); and regressive children (ie, regressed to a lower SOC stage).

Results:

Progressive children had greater increased PA levels than regressive children (P < .01) from pretest to posttest. Similarly, progressive children had greater increased self-efficacy (P < .05) and decision balance (P < .05) than regressive children.

Conclusions:

The findings indicate that progressive children had more improvements on self-efficacy, decisional balance, and PA levels than regressive children over time. Implications of findings are discussed.

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Jung Eun Lee, David F. Stodden and Zan Gao

Background:

Few studies have examined young children’s leisure- and school-based energy expenditure (EE) and moderateto-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The purpose of this study was to explore children’s estimated EE rates and time spent in MVPA in 3 time segments: at-school, after-school, and weekends.

Methods:

A total of 187 second and third grade children from 2 elementary schools participated in the study. Accelerometers were used to assess children’s 5-day EE and MVPA. Multiple 2 (Grade) × 2 (Gender) ANOVAs with repeated measures (Time) were conducted to examine the differences in the outcome variables.

Results:

Significant time effects on EE and MVPA were revealed. Children’s EE rate and minutes in MVPA per day were higher during after school and weekends than at school.

Conclusions:

Although children were more active outside of school, their MVPA during weekdays and weekends still fell far short of the recommended level of 60 minutes/day.

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Peng Zhang, Jung Eun Lee, David F. Stodden and Zan Gao

Background: The objective was to examine changes of children’s time spent in sedentary, light physical activity, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and estimated energy expenditure (EE) rates during weekdays and weekends across 3 years. Methods: An initial sample of 261 children’s (mean age = 7.81 y) 5-day physical activity and EE were assessed annually via accelerometry across 3 years using repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance. The outcome variables were time spent in sedentary, light physical activity, MVPA, and kilocalories per day for weekdays and weekends. Results: A significant decrease in MVPA and EE occurred during weekdays across the 3 years (P = .01). Only the second-year data demonstrated an increase (+2.49 min) in weekend MVPA (P = .04). Children’s sedentary time during weekdays increased significantly in years 1 and 2 (P = .01), yet significantly decreased in the third year (−44.31 min). Children’s sedentary time during weekends significantly decreased in the first year (−27.31 min), but increased in the following 2 years (P = .01). Children’s light physical activity demonstrated a statistically significant increase in year 2 (+3.75 min) during weekdays (P = .05). Conclusions: Children’s MVPA and EE generally declined during weekdays but were maintained during weekends across a 3-year time span. Children may benefit most from weekday intervention strategies.

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You Fu, Zan Gao, James C. Hannon, Ryan D. Burns and Timothy A. Brusseau Jr.

Background:

This study aimed to examine the effect of a 9-week SPARK program on physical activity (PA), cardiorespiratory endurance (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run; PACER), and motivation in middle-school students.

Methods:

174 students attended baseline and posttests and change scores computed for each outcome. A MANOVA was employed to examine change score differences using follow-up ANOVA and Bonferroni post hoc tests.

Results:

MANOVA yielded a significant interaction for Grade × Gender × Group (Wilks’s Λ = 0.89, P < .001). ANOVA for PA revealed significant differences between SPARK grades 6 and 7 (Mean Δ = 8.11, P < .01) and Traditional grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ = –6.96, P < .01). ANOVA also revealed greater PACER change for Traditional boys in grade 8 (P < .01) and SPARK girls in grade 8 (P < .01). There were significant interactions with perceived competence differences between SPARK grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ = 0.38, P < .05), Enjoyment differences between SPARK grades 6 and 7 (Mean Δ = 0.67, P < .001), and SPARK grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ = 0.81, P < .001).

Conclusions:

Following the intervention, SPARK displayed greater increases on PA and motivation measures in younger students compared with the Traditional program.

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Zachary C. Pope, Nan Zeng, Xianxiong Li, Wenfeng Liu and Zan Gao

Background: This study examined the accuracy of Microsoft Band (MB), Fitbit Surge HR (FS), TomTom Cardio Watch (TT), and Apple Watch (AW) for energy expenditure (EE) estimation at rest and at different physical activity (PA) intensities. Method: During summer 2016, 25 college students (13 females; M age = 23.52 ± 1.04 years) completed four separate 10-minute exercise sessions: rest (i.e., seated quietly), light PA (LPA; 3.0-mph walking), moderate PA (MPA; 5.0-mph jogging), and vigorous PA (VPA; 7.0-mph running) on a treadmill. Indirect calorimetry served as the criterion EE measure. The AW and TT were placed on the right wrist and the FS and MB on the left—serving as comparison devices. Data were analyzed in late 2017. Results: Pearson correlation coefficients revealed only three significant relationships (r = 0.43–0.57) between smartwatches’ EE estimates and indirect calorimetry: rest-TT; LPA-MB; and MPA-AW. Mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) values indicated the MB (35.4%) and AW (42.3%) possessed the lowest error across all sessions, with MAPE across all smartwatches lowest during the LPA (33.7%) and VPA (24.6%) sessions. During equivalence testing, no smartwatch’s 90% CI fell within the equivalence region designated by indirect calorimetry. However, the greatest overlap between smartwatches’ 90% CIs and indirect calorimetry’s equivalency region was observed during the LPA and VPA sessions. Finally, EE estimate variation attributable to the use of different manufacturer’s devices was greatest at rest (53.7 ± 12.6%), but incrementally decreased as PA intensity increased. Conclusions: MB and AW appear most accurate for EE estimation. However, smartwatch manufacturers may consider concentrating most on improving EE estimate accuracy during MPA.