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  • Author: Anders Grøntved x
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Lars Østergaard, Anders Grøntved, Line Anita B. Børrestad, Karsten Froberg, Michael Gravesen and Lars B. Andersen

Background:

Previous studies have been inconclusive concerning the effect of active transport on BMI. Our objective was to investigate the association between travel mode and BMI in a large community-based sample of Danish adolescents.

Methods:

A cross-sectional survey on health and lifestyle was distributed to all pupils from the 7th to 9th grade (12–16 years of age) in the municipality of Odense, Denmark.

Results:

Cycling to school was associated with 0.38 lower BMI compared to passive travelers (P = .006) after multivariable adjustment. Cycling to school was associated with 0.55 lower odds of being overweight (P < .001) and 0.30 lower (P < .001) odds of being obese compared to individuals using passive transport. Walking to school was associated with 0.65 lower odds of being overweight (P = .006). Post hoc pairwise comparisons of ethnicity revealed that adolescents of foreign ethnicity were more likely to be walkers or passive commuters (75.14% vs. 29.72%) than cyclists (24.86% vs. 70.28%; P < .001) compared to subjects of Danish ethnicity.

Conclusions:

Cycling to school was associated with lower BMI and lower odds of being overweight or obese compared to passive travel in Danish adolescents, whereas walking to school was associated with lower odds of being overweight.

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Jakob Tarp, Anna Bugge, Niels Christian Møller, Heidi Klakk, Christina Trifonov Rexen, Anders Grøntved and Niels Wedderkopp

Background: The role of muscle fitness in controlling cardiometabolic risk factors during childhood is incompletely understood. Methods: A prospective observational design including 6- to 11-year-old children (n = 512) was used to study associations between 1.5-year changes in handgrip strength, standing vertical jump displacement, the short shuttle run, and a composite of these with changes in composite and single cardiometabolic risk markers. The authors modeled sequential mixed linear regressions controlling for changes in cardiorespiratory fitness, waist circumference, and other putative confounding variables. Results: Statistically significant associations, standardized beta (95% confidence intervals), were observed between changes in composite muscle fitness −0.19 (−0.30 to −0.07), muscular strength −0.15 (−0.25 to −0.06), and agility 0.14 (0.04 to 0.23), but not muscular power −0.06 (−0.14 to 0.03) with changes in the composite risk score. In sex-stratified analysis, associations were robust in girls, but not in boys. Control for changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and waist circumference greatly attenuated associations. Changes in muscle fitness were strongly associated with changes in waist circumference in both girls −0.21 (−0.37 to −0.05) and boys −0.23 (−0.35 to −0.11) after controlling for cardiorespiratory fitness. Conclusions: Our data support a unique role of muscle fitness in the promotion of metabolic health and prevention of excess adipose tissue accumulation in children.

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Anders Grøntved, Grete Skøtt Pedersen, Lars Bo Andersen, Peter Lund Kristensen, Niels Christian Møller and Karsten Froberg

Independent associations between personal- and demographic characteristics and physical activity in 3–6 year old children attending preschool were identified in this study. Boys spent a larger proportion of the time on moderate-and-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; p < .001) and had a higher total physical activity level compared with girls (p < .001). The 3–4 year old children spent less time on MVPA and had a lower total physical activity level compared with both 4–5 (p < .01) and 5–6 year old children (p < .001). The individual preschool, gender and age of preschool children were strong predictors of physical activity (R2-total model=(0.36−0.39)) during preschool attendance.

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Jasper Schipperijn, Mathias Ried-Larsen, Merete S. Nielsen, Anneli F. Holdt, Anders Grøntved, Annette K. Ersbøll and Peter L. Kristensen

Background:

This longitudinal study aimed to examine if a Movability Index (MI), based on objectively measured built environment characteristics, was a determinant for objectively measured physical activity (PA) among young adults.

Methods:

Data collected from 177 persons participating in the Danish part of the European Youth Hearth Study (EYHS) was used to examine the effect of the built environment on PA. A MI was developed using objectively measured built environment characteristics, and included residential density, recreational facilities, daily destinations and street connectivity.

Results:

Results showed a positive cross-sectional association between MI and PA. PA decreased from baseline to follow-up. MI increased, primarily due to participants relocating to larger cities. An increase in MI from baseline to follow-up was associated with a reduced decrease in PA for females.

Conclusions:

Our findings suggest that the built environment is a determinant for PA, especially for females. The found gender differences might suggest the need to develop gender specific environmental indices in future studies. The validity of the measures can be further improved by creating domain specific PA measures as well as domain specific environmental indices and this can potentially reveal more specific built environment determinants for PA.