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Locomotive and Non-Locomotive Activity as Determined by Triaxial Accelerometry and Physical Fitness in Japanese Preschool Children

Chiaki Tanaka, Yuki Hikihara, Kazunori Ohkawara, and Shigeho Tanaka

This study examined the potential relationship between participation in physical activity (PA) assessed by triaxial accelerometry and physical fitness testing, including health-related and skill-related parameters of fitness, in 136 Japanese preschoolers (65 girls and 71 boys, 5.5 ± 0.6 years). In partial correlation analyses, grip strength and 20m shuttle run test were positively correlated with time spent in physical activity ratio (PAR) ≥ 4. Better scores on standing long jump distance and jump over and crawl under tests were associated with lower sedentary time and greater moderate-to-vigorous PA time and PAR ≥ 4 time, and increased physical activity level. Moreover, 25m run speed was positively correlated with time spent in PAR ≥ 4 and locomotive activity. These findings suggest that development of both health-related (muscle strength and aerobic fitness) and skill-related fitness (power, agility and speed) may make engagement in PA easier for preschool children, although further research on the cause-effect relationship is needed.

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Results From Japan’s 2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Chiaki Tanaka, Shigeho Tanaka, Shigeru Inoue, Motohiko Miyachi, Koya Suzuki, Takafumi Abe, and John J. Reilly

Open access

Results From Japan’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth

Chiaki Tanaka, Shigeho Tanaka, Shigeru Inoue, Motohiko Miyachi, Koya Suzuki, and John J. Reilly

Background:

The Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth aims to consolidate existing evidence, encourage greater evidence-informed physical activity, and improve surveillance of physical activity.

Methods:

The Japan report card followed the methodology of the Canadian and Scottish report cards, but was adapted to reflect the Japanese context. Nationally representative data were used to score each of the respective indicators.

Results:

The 2016 Japan Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth consists of Health Behaviors and Outcomes (7 indicators), and Influences on Health Behaviors (4 indicators). Three Health Behaviors and Outcomes received C grades (Participation in Sport; Sedentary Behavior; Recreational Screen Time; Physical Fitness), while 2 indicators could not be graded (Overall Physical Activity, and Active Play). The indicators Active Transportation (B) and Weight Status were favorable (A). In the Influences domain, Family Influence and Community and the Built Environment were graded as D, while School and Government Strategies and Investments were favorable (B).

Conclusions:

The Japan report card illustrated some favorable health behaviors, health outcomes, and influences. There is a need for more evidence especially on overall physical activity levels, active play, and community and the built environment.

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Validation of the Physical Activity Questions in the World Health Organization Health Behavior in School-Aged Children Survey Using Accelerometer Data in Japanese Children and Adolescents

Chiaki Tanaka, Akira Kyan, Minoru Takakura, Tim Olds, Natasha Schranz, and Shigeho Tanaka

Background: An international physical activity (PA) questionnaire is beneficial to make cross-country comparisons among children and adolescents. This study assesses the validity of the PA questions in the World Health Organization Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (WHO HBSC) survey in Japanese children and adolescents. Methods: Participants were fifth- to sixth-grade Japanese primary school students (67 students aged 10.8 [0.5] y) and first- to third-grade junior high school students (108 students aged 13.0 [0.7] y). The Japanese version of the PA questions in the WHO HBSC (WHO HBSC-J) was used. To assess the validity of the PA questions, the authors used a partial correlation adjusted for sex, age, and relative weight between the answers to the survey questions and objectively measured moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) by an accelerometer. Results: A significant positive correlation was found between accelerometer-measured MVPA and the number of reported days with at least 60 minutes/day of MVPA in primary school students (r = .39, P = .002) and junior high school students (r = .32, P < .001). Conclusion: The HBSC-J has moderate validity for evaluating MVPA in Japanese primary school and junior high school students.

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Bidirectional Associations Between Adiposity, Sedentary Behavior, and Physical Activity: A Longitudinal Study in Children

Chiaki Tanaka, Xanne Janssen, Mark Pearce, Kathryn Parkinson, Laura Basterfield, Ashley Adamson, and John J. Reilly

Background: Previous studies have reported on the associations between obesity and sedentary behavior (SB) or physical activity (PA) in children. This study examined longitudinal and bidirectional associations between adiposity and SB and PA in children. Methods: Participants were 356 children in England. PA was measured at 7 and 9 years of age using accelerometry. Outcome and exposures were time in SB and PAs and concurrent body mass index z score and fat index (FI). Results: Adiposity at baseline was positively associated with changes in SB (β = 0.975 for FI) and negatively associated with changes in moderate to vigorous PA (β = −0.285 for body mass index z score, β = −0.607 for FI), vigorous PA (β = −0.095 for FI), and total PA (β = −48.675 for FI), but not vice versa. The changes in SB, moderate to vigorous PA, and total PA for children with overweight/obesity were significantly more adverse than those for children with healthy weight. Conclusions: A high body mass index z score or high body fatness at baseline was associated with lower moderate to vigorous PA and vigorous PA after 2 years, but not vice versa, which suggests that in this cohort adiposity influenced PA and SB, but the associations between adiposity and SB or PA were not bidirectional.

Open access

Recent Secular Trends in Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Internationally: Analyses of Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Global Matrices 1.0 to 4.0

John J. Reilly, Joel Barnes, Silvia Gonzalez, Wendy Y. Huang, Taru Manyanga, Chiaki Tanaka, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: We examined recent global secular trends in 5 indicators of child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behavior (Overall Physical Activity, Organized Sport and Physical Activity, Active Play, Active Transportation, and Sedentary Behavior) and 4 influences on these (Family and Peers, School, Community and Environment, and Government). Methods: Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance letter grades (A+ to F) were assigned numbers from 15 to 2, with 0 assigned for missing/incomplete grades. Trends from Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Global Matrices 1.0 (2014) to 4.0 (2022) were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models with level of economic development and gender inequity considered as potential moderators. Results: Report card grades were generally relatively stable. Trends generally did not differ significantly by level of economic development (except for Active Transportation and Active Play), but gender inequality did significantly moderate trends for most of the indicators, with higher gender inequality associated with more adverse changes in grades. The number of “incomplete” grades decreased over time, but this did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: While trends varied within and between countries, physical activity and sedentary behaviors, and the influences on these behaviors globally, were relatively stable over the past decade or so, albeit at undesirable levels.

Open access

Report Card Grades on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth Comparing 30 Very High Human Development Index Countries

Salomé Aubert, Joel D. Barnes, Nicolas Aguilar-Farias, Greet Cardon, Chen-Kang Chang, Christine Delisle Nyström, Yolanda Demetriou, Lowri Edwards, Arunas Emeljanovas, Aleš Gába, Wendy Y. Huang, Izzeldin A.E. Ibrahim, Jaak Jürimäe, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Agata Korcz, Yeon Soo Kim, Eun-Young Lee, Marie Löf, Tom Loney, Shawnda A. Morrison, Jorge Mota, John J. Reilly, Blanca Roman-Viñas, Natasha Schranz, John Scriven, Jan Seghers, Thomas Skovgaard, Melody Smith, Martyn Standage, Gregor Starc, Gareth Stratton, Tim Takken, Tuija Tammelin, Chiaki Tanaka, David Thivel, Richard Tyler, Alun Williams, Stephen H.S. Wong, Paweł Zembura, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: To better understand the childhood physical inactivity crisis, Report Cards on physical activity of children and youth were prepared concurrently in 30 very high Human Development Index countries. The aim of this article was to present, describe, and compare the findings from these Report Cards. Methods: The Report Cards were developed using a harmonized process for data gathering, assessing, and assigning grades to 10 common physical activity indicators. Descriptive statistics were calculated after converting letter grades to interval variables, and correlational analyses between the 10 common indicators were performed using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients. Results: A matrix of 300 grades was obtained with substantial variations within and between countries. Low grades were observed for behavioral indicators, and higher grades were observed for sources of influence indicators, indicating a disconnect between supports and desired behaviors. Conclusion: This analysis summarizes the level and context of the physical activity of children and youth among very high Human Development Index countries, and provides additional evidence that the situation regarding physical activity in children and youth is very concerning. Unless a major shift to a more active lifestyle happens soon, a high rate of noncommunicable diseases can be anticipated when this generation of children reaches adulthood.

Open access

Global Matrix 3.0 Physical Activity Report Card Grades for Children and Youth: Results and Analysis From 49 Countries

Salomé Aubert, Joel D. Barnes, Chalchisa Abdeta, Patrick Abi Nader, Ade F. Adeniyi, Nicolas Aguilar-Farias, Dolores S. Andrade Tenesaca, Jasmin Bhawra, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Greet Cardon, Chen-Kang Chang, Christine Delisle Nyström, Yolanda Demetriou, Catherine E. Draper, Lowri Edwards, Arunas Emeljanovas, Aleš Gába, Karla I. Galaviz, Silvia A. González, Marianella Herrera-Cuenca, Wendy Y. Huang, Izzeldin A.E. Ibrahim, Jaak Jürimäe, Katariina Kämppi, Tarun R. Katapally, Piyawat Katewongsa, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Asaduzzaman Khan, Agata Korcz, Yeon Soo Kim, Estelle Lambert, Eun-Young Lee, Marie Löf, Tom Loney, Juan López-Taylor, Yang Liu, Daga Makaza, Taru Manyanga, Bilyana Mileva, Shawnda A. Morrison, Jorge Mota, Vida K. Nyawornota, Reginald Ocansey, John J. Reilly, Blanca Roman-Viñas, Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Pairoj Saonuam, John Scriven, Jan Seghers, Natasha Schranz, Thomas Skovgaard, Melody Smith, Martyn Standage, Gregor Starc, Gareth Stratton, Narayan Subedi, Tim Takken, Tuija Tammelin, Chiaki Tanaka, David Thivel, Dawn Tladi, Richard Tyler, Riaz Uddin, Alun Williams, Stephen H.S. Wong, Ching-Lin Wu, Paweł Zembura, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: Accumulating sufficient moderate to vigorous physical activity is recognized as a key determinant of physical, physiological, developmental, mental, cognitive, and social health among children and youth (aged 5–17 y). The Global Matrix 3.0 of Report Card grades on physical activity was developed to achieve a better understanding of the global variation in child and youth physical activity and associated supports. Methods: Work groups from 49 countries followed harmonized procedures to develop their Report Cards by grading 10 common indicators using the best available data. The participating countries were divided into 3 categories using the United Nations’ human development index (HDI) classification (low or medium, high, and very high HDI). Results: A total of 490 grades, including 369 letter grades and 121 incomplete grades, were assigned by the 49 work groups. Overall, an average grade of “C-,” “D+,” and “C-” was obtained for the low and medium HDI countries, high HDI countries, and very high HDI countries, respectively. Conclusions: The present study provides rich new evidence showing that the situation regarding the physical activity of children and youth is a concern worldwide. Strategic public investments to implement effective interventions to increase physical activity opportunities are needed.

Open access

Global Matrix 4.0 Physical Activity Report Card Grades for Children and Adolescents: Results and Analyses From 57 Countries

Salomé Aubert, Joel D. Barnes, Iryna Demchenko, Myranda Hawthorne, Chalchisa Abdeta, Patrick Abi Nader, José Carmelo Adsuar Sala, Nicolas Aguilar-Farias, Susana Aznar, Peter Bakalár, Jasmin Bhawra, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Mikel Bringas, Jonathan Y. Cagas, Angela Carlin, Chen-Kang Chang, Bozhi Chen, Lars Breum Christiansen, Candice Jo-Anne Christie, Gabriela Fernanda De Roia, Christine Delisle Nyström, Yolanda Demetriou, Visnja Djordjic, Arunas Emeljanovas, Liri Findling Endy, Aleš Gába, Karla I. Galaviz, Silvia A. González, Kylie D. Hesketh, Wendy Yajun Huang, Omphile Hubona, Justin Y. Jeon, Danijel Jurakić, Jaak Jürimäe, Tarun Reddy Katapally, Piyawat Katewongsa, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Yeon-Soo Kim, Estelle Victoria Lambert, Eun-Young Lee, Sharon Levi, Pablo Lobo, Marie Löf, Tom Loney, José Francisco López-Gil, Juan López-Taylor, Evelin Mäestu, Agus Mahendra, Daga Makaza, Marla Frances T. Mallari, Taru Manyanga, Bojan Masanovic, Shawnda A. Morrison, Jorge Mota, Falk Müller-Riemenschneider, Laura Muñoz Bermejo, Marie H. Murphy, Rowena Naidoo, Phuong Nguyen, Susan Paudel, Željko Pedišić, Jorge Pérez-Gómez, John J. Reilly, Anne Kerstin Reimers, Amie B. Richards, Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Pairoj Saonuam, Olga L. Sarmiento, Vedrana Sember, Mohd Razif Shahril, Melody Smith, Martyn Standage, Gareth Stratton, Narayan Subedi, Tuija H. Tammelin, Chiaki Tanaka, Riki Tesler, David Thivel, Dawn Mahube Tladi, Lenka Tlučáková, Leigh M. Vanderloo, Alun Williams, Stephen Heung Sang Wong, Ching-Lin Wu, Paweł Zembura, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: The Global Matrix 4.0 on physical activity (PA) for children and adolescents was developed to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the global variation in children’s and adolescents’ (5–17 y) PA, related measures, and key sources of influence. The objectives of this article were (1) to summarize the findings from the Global Matrix 4.0 Report Cards, (2) to compare indicators across countries, and (3) to explore trends related to the Human Development Index and geo-cultural regions. Methods: A total of 57 Report Card teams followed a harmonized process to grade the 10 common PA indicators. An online survey was conducted to collect Report Card Leaders’ top 3 priorities for each PA indicator and their opinions on how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted child and adolescent PA indicators in their country. Results: Overall Physical Activity was the indicator with the lowest global average grade (D), while School and Community and Environment were the indicators with the highest global average grade (C+). An overview of the global situation in terms of surveillance and prevalence is provided for all 10 common PA indicators, followed by priorities and examples to support the development of strategies and policies internationally. Conclusions: The Global Matrix 4.0 represents the largest compilation of children’s and adolescents’ PA indicators to date. While variation in data sources informing the grades across countries was observed, this initiative highlighted low PA levels in children and adolescents globally. Measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, local/international conflicts, climate change, and economic change threaten to worsen this situation.