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Charles F. Morgan, Allison R. Tsuchida, Michael William Beets, Ronald K. Hetzler and Christopher D. Stickley

Background:

Physical activity guidelines for youth and adults include recommendations for moderate intensity activity to attain health benefits. Indirect calorimetry studies have consistently reported a 100 ste·min−1 threshold for moderate intensity walking in adults. No indirect calorimetry studies have investigated step-rate thresholds in children and therefore the primary purpose of the study was to determine preliminary step-rate thresholds for moderate physical activity walking in children.

Methods:

Oxygen consumption was measured at rest and used to determine 3 and 4 age-adjusted metabolic equivalents (A-AMETs) for 4 treadmill trials (self-selected, 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5 MPH). Two trained observers simultaneously counted children’s steps during each walking trial. Step-rate thresholds associated with moderate-intensity activity, defined as 3 and 4 A-AMETs, were determined using hierarchical linear modeling.

Results:

Regression analysis determined an overall step rate of 112 and 134 step·min-1 for 3 and 4 A-AMETs respectively. Body mass index (BMI) weight status and age were positively related to A-AMETs.

Conclusions:

We suggest age and BMI weight status specific recommendations that range from a low of 100 step·min-1 threshold (3 A-AMETs) for overweight/obese 11- to 12-year-olds to a high of 140 step·min-1 threshold (4 A-AMETs) for healthy weight 9- to 10-year-old children.

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Keven A. Prusak, Todd Pennington, Susan Vincent Graser, Aaron Beighle and Charles F. Morgan

Siedentop and Locke (1997) proposed three critical elements that must exist in our profession to make a difference and achieve systemic success in physical education (SSPE): (a) quality PE in the schools, (b) effective physical education teacher education (PETE) programs, and (c) a working relationship between the two. Using Cuban’s (1992) curriculum change and stability framework, this qualitative study examines the existence of a program that has achieved all three elements in the southwestern US. For over three decades some seventy-two teachers in dozens of schools have yearly served over 40,000 children. This study revealed a fully functioning model consisting of four key, interdependent components driven by a system of accountability measures. The results of the SSPE model—quality PE for children—is achieved by (a) district-wide mandated curriculum, methodologies and language, (b) well-defined district PE coordinator roles, (c) a partnership university, and (d) frequent, ongoing professional development. Results of this study strengthen Siedentop and Locke’s (1997) recommendation for collaborative efforts between universities and partner school districts and provide a model to guide and manage the curriculum change process in K-6 PE.

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Charles F. Morgan, Thomas L. McKenzie, James F. Sallis, Shelia L. Broyles, Michelle M. Zive and Philip R. Nader

We examined associations of demographic/biological, psychological, social, and environmental variables with two different measures (self-reported and accelerometer) of physical activity (PA) in Mexican-American (56 boys; 64 girls) and European-American (49 boys; 45 girls) children (mean age = 12.1 years). Among 32 potential correlates, 4 gender and 16 ethnic differences were found. Percent of variance explained from 3% to 24% for self-reported PA and from 7% to 16% for accelerometer-measured PA. Physical self-perception was the only variable with a significant association across all subgroups and both measures. Less favorable levels of psychosocial variables among Mexican-Americans may explain ethnic differences in PA.

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Michael William Beets, Charles F. Morgan, Jorge A. Banda, Daniel Bornstein, Won Byun, Jonathan Mitchell, Lance Munselle, Laura Rooney, Aaron Beighle and Heather Erwin

Background:

Pedometer step-frequency thresholds (120 steps·min-1, SPM) corresponding to moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) have been proposed for youth. Pedometers now have internal mechanisms to record time spent at or above a user-specified SPM. If pedometers provide comparable MVPA (P-MVPA) estimates to those from accelerometry, this would have broad application for research and the general public. The purpose of this study was to examine the convergent validity of P-MVPA to accelerometer-MVPA for youth.

Methods:

Youth (N = 149, average 8.6 years, range 5 to 14 years, 60 girls) wore an accelerometer (5-sec epochs) and a pedometer for an average of 5.7 ± 0.8 hours·day-1. The following accelerometer cutpoints were used to compare P-MVPA: Treuth (TR), Mattocks (MT), Evenson (EV), Puyau (PU), and Freedson (FR) child equation. Comparisons between MVPA estimates were performed using Bland-Altman plots and paired t tests.

Results:

Overall, P-MVPA was 24.6 min ± 16.7 vs. TR 25.2 min ± 16.2, MT 18.8 min ± 13.3, EV 36.9 min ± 21.0, PU 22.7 min ± 15.1, and FR 50.4 min ± 25.5. Age-specific comparisons indicated for 10 to 14 year-olds MT, PU, and TR were not significantly different from P-MVPA; for the younger children (5−8 year- olds) P-MVPA consistently underestimated MVPA.

Conclusions:

Pedometer-determined MVPA provided comparable estimates of MVPA for older children (10−14 year-olds). Additional work is required to establish age appropriate SPM thresholds for younger children.

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Michael W. Beets, Guy C. Le Masurier, Aaron Beighle, David A. Rowe, Charles F. Morgan, Jack Rutherford, Michael Wright, Paul Darst and Robert Pangrazi

Background:

The purpose of this study was to cross-validate international BMI-referenced steps/d cut points for US girls (12,000 steps/d) and boys (15,000 steps/d) 6 to 12 years of age.

Methods:

Secondary pedometer-determined physical activity data from US children (N = 1067; 633 girls and 434 boys, 6 to 12 years) were analyzed. Using international BMI classifications, cross-validation of the 12,000 and 15,000 steps/d cut points was examined by the classification precision, sensitivity, and specificity for each age–sex stratum.

Results:

For girls (boys) 6 to 12 years, the 12,000 (15,000) steps/d cut points correctly classified 42% to 60% (38% to 67%) as meeting (achieved steps/d cut point and healthy weight) and failing (did not achieve steps/d cut point and overweight). Sensitivity ranged from 55% to 85% (64% to 100%); specificity ranged from 23% to 62% (19% to 50%).

Conclusion:

The utility of pedometer steps/d cut points was minimal in this sample given their inability to differentiate among children who failed to achieve the recommended steps/d and exhibited an unhealthy weight. Caution, therefore, should be used in applying previous steps/d cut points to US children.