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  • Author: Andreas Holtermann x
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Jørgen Skotte, Mette Korshøj, Jesper Kristiansen, Christiana Hanisch and Andreas Holtermann

Background:

The aim of this study was to validate a triaxial accelerometer setup for identifying everyday physical activity types (ie, sitting, standing, walking, walking stairs, running, and cycling).

Methods:

Seventeen subjects equipped with triaxial accelerometers (ActiGraph GT3X+) at the thigh and hip carried out a standardized test procedure including walking, running, cycling, walking stairs, sitting, and standing still. A method was developed (Acti4) to discriminate between these physical activity types based on threshold values of standard deviation of acceleration and the derived inclination. Moreover, the ability of the accelerometer placed at the thigh to detect sitting posture was separately validated during free living by comparison with recordings of pressure sensors in the hip pockets.

Results:

Sensitivity for discriminating between the physical activity types sitting, standing, walking, running, and cycling in the standardized trials were 99%–100% and 95% for walking stairs. Specificity was higher than 99% for all activities. During free living (140 hours of measurements), sensitivity and specificity for detection of sitting posture were 98% and 93%, respectively.

Conclusion:

The developed method for detecting physical activity types showed a high sensitivity and specificity for sitting, standing, walking, running, walking stairs, and cycling in a standardized setting and for sitting posture during free living.

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Stine Kloster, Ida Høgstedt Danquah, Andreas Holtermann, Mette Aadahl and Janne Schurmann Tolstrup

Background:

Harmful health effects associated with sedentary behavior may be attenuated by breaking up long periods of sitting by standing or walking. However, studies assess interruptions in sitting time differently, making comparisons between studies difficult. It has not previously been described how the definition of minimum break duration affects sitting outcomes. Therefore, the aim was to address how definitions of break length affect total sitting time, number of sit-to-stand transitions, prolonged sitting periods and time accumulated in prolonged sitting periods among office workers.

Methods:

Data were collected from 317 office workers. Thigh position was assessed with an ActiGraph GT3X+ fixed on the right thigh. Data were exported with varying bout length of breaks. Afterward, sitting outcomes were calculated for the respective break lengths.

Results:

Absolute numbers of sit-to-stand transitions decreased, and number of prolonged sitting periods and total time accumulated in prolonged sitting periods increased, with increasing minimum break length. Total sitting time was not influenced by varying break length.

Conclusions:

The definition of minimum break length influenced the sitting outcomes with the exception of total sitting time. A standard definition of break length is needed for comparison and interpretation of studies in the evolving research field of sedentary behavior.

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Anne-Marie Elbe, Svein Barene, Katharina Strahler, Peter Krustrup and Andreas Holtermann

Flow is a rewarding psychological state that motivates individuals to repeat activities. This study explored healthcare workers’ flow experiences during a workplace exercise intervention. Seventy-nine females were assigned to either a 12-week football or Zumba exercise intervention and their flow experiences were assessed at the beginning, midway and at the end of the intervention. The results showed that both intervention groups experienced medium levels of flow and an increase in flow values over time. A significant positive correlation between experiencing flow midway through the intervention and adherence to regular physical activity 18 weeks after the end of the intervention was found. Furthermore, repeated measures throughout the intervention period showed a significantly different development of flow values over time for the adherers and nonadherers. Flow therefore may be of importance for adherence to regular workplace physical activity. Future research needs to investigate the importance of flow in other physical activity settings, especially also for male participants.

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Nicholas D. Gilson, Caitlin Hall, Andreas Holtermann, Allard J. van der Beek, Maaike A. Huysmans, Svend Erik Mathiassen and Leon Straker

Background: This systematic review assessed evidence on the accelerometer-measured sedentary and physical activity (PA) behavior of nonoffice workers in “blue-collar” industries. Methods: The databases CINAHL, Embase, MEDLINE, PubMed, and Scopus were searched up to April 6, 2018. Eligibility criteria were accelerometer-measured sedentary, sitting, and/or PA behaviors in “blue-collar” workers (≥10 participants; agricultural, construction, cleaning, manufacturing, mining, postal, or transport industries). Data on participants’ characteristics, study protocols, and measured behaviors during work and/or nonwork time were extracted. Methodologic quality was assessed using a 12-item checklist. Results: Twenty studies (representing 11 data sets), all from developed world economies, met inclusion criteria. The mean quality score for selected studies was 9.5 (SD 0.8) out of a maximum of 12. Data were analyzed using a range of analytical techniques (eg, accelerometer counts or pattern recognition algorithms). “Blue-collar” workers were more sedentary and less active during nonwork compared with work time (eg, sitting 5.7 vs 3.2 h/d; moderate to vigorous PA 0.5 vs 0.7 h/d). Drivers were the most sedentary (work time 5.1 h/d; nonwork time 8.2 h/d). Conclusions: High levels of sedentary time and insufficient PA to offset risk are health issues for “blue-collar” workers. To better inform interventions, research groups need to adopt common measurement and reporting methodologies.