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Christine Voss and Gavin Sandercock

The aim of this study was to determine if maximal effort, evidenced by peak HR was attained during the 20m shuttle-run test in a naturalistic setting. Shuttle-run test performance and peak HR were measured in 208 volunteers (11–16 years). Peak HR was 196 (95% confidence interval (C.I.) 194–198 bpm). The relationship between test performance and peak HR was assessed by regression. There was a weak, but statistically significant relationship between test performance and peak HR (R 2 = .029, p = .029) but with such a low coefficient of determination (less than 5% criterion), poor performances were not associated with low peak HR values or underestimation of maximal performance. Peak HR values (196 bpm) were higher than cited criterion values (185 bpm) for maximal effort in laboratory studies. In a naturalistic setting, the 20m shuttle-run test elicits a maximal effort in most children.

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Christine Voss and Gavin R. H. Sandercock

Background:

Parental behavior is an important correlate of child health. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between perceived parental physical activity (PA) and schoolchildren’s aerobic fitness.

Methods:

English schoolchildren’s (n = 4029, 54% boys, 10.0−15.9 yrs) fitness was assessed by 20 m shuttle run test and categorized using criterion-referenced standards. Parental PA was reported by the child.

Results:

Boys and girls were more likely to be fit (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1−1.8; OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1−2.0; respectively) if at least 1 parent was perceived as active compared with when neither parents were. Girls were even more likely to be fit (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2−2.8) if both parents were active. Associations between parental PA and child fitness were generally stronger when parent and child were of the same gender, although girls with active fathers were more likely (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.7−3.7) to be fit compared with inactive fathers.

Conclusion:

Schoolchildren perceiving at least 1 parent as active are more likely to meet health-related fitness standards. Underlying mechanisms remain elusive, but same-gender associations suggest that social rather than genetic factors are of greater importance. Targeting parental PA or at least perceptions of parental PA should be given consideration in interventions aiming to improve child health.

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Daniel D. Cohen, Christine Voss and Gavin R.H. Sandercock

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Gavin R.H. Sandercock, Ayodele Ogunleye and Christine Voss

Background:

This study aimed to examine the relationship between screen time and physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents but also to determine specific elements of PA that were most closely associated with screen time.

Methods:

We studied a cross-sectional sample of 6176 10.0–15.9 year olds (53% boys, 12.9 ± 1.5 years) who completed the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children/Adolescents and reported daily screen time. Differences in total PA and specific elements of PA were examined between groups reporting: < 2 h, 2–4 h, and > 4 h daily screen time.

Results:

There were significant differences between screen time groups in: total PA, number of bouts of PA reported, after school PA, evening PA and weekend PA (P < .0001). There was a graded, negative association between higher screen time and lower free-time PA. Participants reporting < 2 h screen time were also significantly more active during school lunch breaks than those reporting > 2 h. Boys reporting > 4 h screen time were less active during physical education lessons.

Conclusions:

Screen time is significantly and negatively associated with PA in British youth. Screen time may displace active pursuits out of school but is also associated with lower PA during school. Daily screen time should be limited to < 2 h in line with current recommendations.