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  • Author: Christina D. Economos x
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Jennifer M. Sacheck, Tara Nelson, Laura Ficker, Tamar Kafka, Julia Kuder and Christina D. Economos

Amid the childhood obesity epidemic, understanding how organized sports participation contributes to meeting physical activity recommendations in children is important. Anthropometrics were measured in children (n = 111; 68% female, 9.1 ± 0.8yr) before one 50-min soccer match. Time spent at different physical activity intensity levels was examined using Actigraph accelerometers. 49% of the match time was spent in sedentary activity (25.4 ± 5.7 min), while 33% of the match (16.9 ± 4.7 min) was spent in moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA; p < .001). 22.5% of the children were overweight/obese and spent more time in sedentary activity (+3.2 ± 1.2 min; p < .05) and less time in MVPA (-3.0 ± 1.0 min; p < .01) compared with the normal weight children. These data demonstrate that playing an organized sport such as soccer only meets a portion (~25%) of the 60 min of MVPA recommended and even less of this recommendation is met by overweight/obese children.

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Rebecca A. Seguin, Christina D. Economos, Ruth Palombo, Raymond Hyatt, Julia Kuder and Miriam E. Nelson

Background:

Despite the recognized health benefits, few older women participate in strength-training exercises.

Methods:

The purpose of this study was to examine factors related to older women’s adherence to strength training after participation in the Strong Women Program, a nationally disseminated community program. Adherence was defined as ≥4 months of twice-weekly strength training. Surveys were sent to 970 program participants from 23 states and to participants’ corresponding program leaders. Five-hundred fifty-seven participants responded (57%).

Results:

Of respondents who completed surveys (527), 79% (415) adhered to strength training; adherers reported a mean of 14.1 ± 9.1 months of strength training. Logistic-regression analysis revealed that exercise adherence was positively associated with age (p = .001), higher lifetime physical activity levels (p = .045), better perceived health (p = .003), leader’s sports participation (p = .028), and leader’s prior experience leading programs (p = .006).

Conclusion:

These data lend insight to factors that may be related to exercise adherence among midlife and older women.

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Daniel P. Hatfield, Virginia R. Chomitz, Kenneth Chui, Jennifer M. Sacheck and Christina D. Economo

Background:

Associations between physical activity (PA) intensity and volume and adolescents’ cardiometabolic health have research, policy, and practice implications. This study compares associations between cardiometabolic risk factors and 1) moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) minutes versus total PA volume (accelerometer-derived total activity counts, TAC) and 2) light PA volume (counts at light intensity, L-TAC) versus moderate-to-vigorous PA volume (counts at moderate-to-vigorous intensity, MV-TAC).

Methods:

2105 adolescents from 2003– 2006 NHANES were included. Independent variables were MVPA minutes, TAC, L-TAC, and MV-TAC. Regression models tested associations between PA variables and continuous metabolic risk index (CMRI), waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, HDL, insulin, and triglycerides.

Results:

TAC demonstrated a slightly stronger inverse association with CMRI (P = .004) than did MVPA (P = .013). TAC and MVPA were both associated with systolic and diastolic pressure, HDL, and insulin; associations were similar or slightly stronger for TAC. L-TAC and MV-TAC were both associated with CMRI and HDL. Only L-TAC was associated with diastolic pressure. Only MV-TAC was associated with waist circumference, systolic pressure, and insulin.

Conclusions:

Compared with MVPA minutes, TAC demonstrates similar or slightly stronger associations with cardiometabolic risk factors. L-TAC and MV-TAC appear similarly associated with adolescents’ clustered risk but differently associated with individual risk factors.

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Jennifer M. Sacheck, Helen M. Rasmussen, Meghan M. Hall, Tamar Kafka, Jeffrey B. Blumberg and Christina D. Economos

To investigate the association between pregame snacks varying in macronutrient content and exercise intensity, physiological stress, and fatigue in young soccer players. One hour before a 50-min soccer game, children (n = 79; 9.1 ± 0.8 y) were randomly assigned to consume a raisin-, peanut-butter-, or cereal-based snack. Body mass index, blood glucose, and salivary measures of stress (cortisol and immunoglobulin A-IgA) were measured pre- and post-game. Exercise intensity was measured by accelerometry. Self-administered questionnaires were used to assess diet quality and fatigue. Analysis of covariance was used to examine the relationship between pregame snacks and biochemical outcomes. Postgame glucose and cortisol increased [12.9 ± 21.3 mg/dL (p < .001) and 0.04 ± 0.10 μg/dL (p < .05), respectively] and IgA decreased −2.3 ± 9.6 μg/mL; p < .001) from pregame values. The pregame snack was not associated with exercise intensity or post-game outcome; however, children consuming the cereal-based (high-sugar and high-glycemic index (GI)) snack exercised more intensely than the 2 lower-GI snack groups (p < .05). Children who consumed the high-sugar, high-GI snack also reported more symptoms of fatigue (p < .05). A high-sugar, high-GI pregame snack was associated with exercise intensity and fatigue but not changes in blood sugar or stress biomarkers following a soccer game in children.

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Sarah A. Amin, Paula J. Duquesnay, Catherine M. Wright, Kenneth Chui, Christina D. Economos and Jennifer M. Sacheck

Purpose: Socioeconomic status (SES) may impact children’s physical activity (PA) behaviors and confidence to participate in PA. We examined how SES modifies the relationship between children’s perceived athletic competence (PAC) and moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA). Methods: Children (N = 1157; 45% male; grades 3–4) were recruited for the Fueling Learning through Exercise study. Free/reduced price lunch eligibility was used as an indicator of SES. Seven-day accelerometry (ActiGraph GT3X+) was used to measure daily MVPA, out-of-school MVPA (O-MVPA), and school-time MVPA. PAC was assessed using the Harter’s Self-Perception Profile for Children (6 items, scored 1–4; median split: high and low PAC). Results: MVPA and PAC differed between low-SES [n = 556; 41.6 (17.1) min/d; high PAC = 45%] and middle-SES children [n = 412; 49.6 (22.7) min/d; high PAC = 62%]. There was an interaction between SES and PAC for MVPA (P < .001) and O-MVPA (P < .001), but not for school-time MVPA (P > .05). Middle-SES children with high PAC were more likely to engage in MVPA (β = 6.6 min/d; 95% confidence interval, 3.9 to 9.3; P < .001) and O-MVPA (β = 4.8 min/d; 95% confidence interval, 2.8 to 6.8; P < .001), associations that did not exist for low-SES children (P > .05). Conclusions: PAC was positively associated with daily MVPA and O-MVPA, but not among low-SES children. Research is needed to elucidate the factors that shape the relationship between PAC and MVPA.

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Michelle M. Porter, Miriam E. Nelson, Maria A. Fiatarone Singh, Jennifer E. Layne, Christine M. Morganti, Isaiah Trice, Christina D. Economos, Ronenn Roubenoff and William J. Evans

Resistance training (RT) increases strength in older adults, but there have been few studies of long-term RT or detraining in older adults. Postmenopausal participants (51–71 years of age) were randomized to RT or a control group for Year 1. For Year 2, participants chose whether to resistance train or not. Three groups emerged: train/train (n = 8: 60 ± 4 years), train/no train (n = 11: 62 ± 3 years), or controls (n = 17; 58 ± 6 years). Both training groups increased strength (p < .05) in Year 1. In Year 2, train/train maintained strength, whereas train/no train lost strength for knee extension (p < .001) but not for arm pulldown. Controls did not change. Reported physical activity levels were significantly increased in trainers in Year 1 and remained high regardless of RT in Year 2 (p < .05). Therefore, sustained changes in strength and physical activity behavior might be possible even if RT is discontinued.

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M. Renée Umstattd, Stephanie L. Baller, Erin Hennessy, David Hartley, Christina D. Economos, Raymond R. Hyatt, Anush Yousefian and Jeffrey S. Hallam

Background:

Evidence supports the role of physical and social environments in active living, including perception of environment. However, measurement of perceived environments in rural settings is lacking. This study describes the development of the Rural Active Living Perceived Environmental Support Scale (RALPESS).

Methods:

Premised on social ecological and cognitive perspectives, 85 initial items were generated through a literature review and a mixed-methods investigation of “activity-friendly” environments. Items were organized by resource areas—town center, indoor and outdoor physical activity areas, schools, churches, and areas around the home/neighborhood—and submitted for expert panel review. In 2009, a revised questionnaire was disseminated to adolescents, parents, public school staff, and older adults in 2 rural southeastern United States counties. Principal component analysis with varimax rotation was used to explore factor structure (n = 542).

Results:

The final analysis yielded 33 items with 7 factors: 1) church facilities, 2) town center connectivity, 3) indoor areas, 4) around the home/neighborhood, 5) town center physical activity resources, 6) school grounds, and 7) outdoor areas.

Conclusions:

The RALPESS is a valid, internally consistent, and practically useful instrument to measure perceptions of rural environments in the context of physical activity across the lifespan. Confirmatory factor analysis is recommended to validate factor structure.