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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Chiaki Tanaka, Yuki Hikihara, Kazunori Ohkawara, and Shigeho Tanaka
Chiaki Tanaka, Shigeho Tanaka, Shigeru Inoue, Motohiko Miyachi, Koya Suzuki, Takafumi Abe, and John J. Reilly
Chiaki Tanaka, Shigeho Tanaka, Shigeru Inoue, Motohiko Miyachi, Koya Suzuki, and John J. Reilly
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.