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Alison Carver, Anna Timperio and David Crawford

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine associations between perceptions of neighborhood safety and physical activity among youth.

Methods:

We completed a cross-sectional study of children age 8 to 9 years (n = 188) and adolescents age 13 to 15 years (n = 346) in areas of varying socioeconomic status in Melbourne, Australia. Parents and adolescents completed questionnaires on perceptions of neighborhood safety. Scores were computed for perceptions of road safety, incivilities, and personal safety of the child or adolescent. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) before or after school, on evenings, and on weekends was recorded using accelerometers.

Results:

There were no associations between parental perceptions of neighborhood safety and children’s MVPA outside school hours. Parental perception of personal safety was positively associated with adolescent boys’ MVPA after school. Adolescent girls’ concern about road safety was negatively associated with their MVPA during evenings and outside school hours.

Conclusion:

Perceptions of neighborhood safety might influence physical activity among youth in different ways according to age group and sex.

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Amanda Telford, Jo Salmon, Damien Jolley and David Crawford

This study aimed to develop a reliable, valid, and feasible method for assessing physical activity among children ages 5–6 and 10–12 years. Test–retest reliability of a parental proxy questionnaire and a children’s self-report questionnaire was assessed in 280 children and parents. The criterion validity of the questionnaires was assessed using accelerometry. The proxy questionnaire provided a reliable measure of the type, frequency, and duration of children’s physical activity. Neither version of the questionnaire provided an accurate estimate of individual children’s physical activity. To assess the type, frequency, intensity, and duration of children’s activity, a combination of questionnaire and objective measures should be employed.

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Amanda Telford, Jo Salmon, Anna Timperio and David Crawford

The aim of this study was to describe the type, frequency, duration, and intensity of children’s physical activity and to examine differences by sex, age, and SES. Participants consisted of 5- to 6-year-old (n = 291) and 10- to 12-year-old (n = 919) children and their parents taking part in the Children’s Leisure Activities Study (CLASS). Parents completed proxy questionnaires about their child’s activity, and all children wore an accelerometer for 8 days. Accelerometry data showed that younger children accumulated approximately 4 hrs of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) per day, and older children accumulated approximately 2 hrs per day. Fewer than three- quarters of 10- to 12-year-old boys and less than half of 10- to 12-year-old girls recorded 120 min of MVPA per day. Significant differences in the number of activities, as well as the type and frequency of activities performed, were observed by age and sex. The findings indicate that physical activities that appeal to older girls, such as lifestyle, noncompetitive activities, should be considered in the development of physical activity promotion strategies.

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Jan M. Moore, Anna F. Timperio, David A. Crawford, Cate M. Burns and David Cameron-Smith

Jockeys are required to maintain very low body weight and precise weight control during competition. This study examined the weight loss and weight management strategies of professional horseracing jockeys in the state of Victoria, Australia. An anonymous, self-completed questionnaire was administered (55% response rate, n=116). Almost half (43%) reported that maintaining riding weight was difficult or very difficult, with 75% routinely skipping meals. In preparation for racing, 60% reported that they typically required additional weight loss, with 81% restricting food intake in the 24 hours prior to racing. Additionally, sauna-induced sweating (29%) and diuretics (22%) were frequently employed to further aid in weight loss prior to racing. These rapid weight loss methods did not differ between the 51% of jockeys who followed a weight management plan compared to those who did not. The impact of these extreme weight loss practices on riding performance and health remains unknown.

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Nathaniel S. Nye, Drew S. Kafer, Cara Olsen, David H. Carnahan and Paul F. Crawford

Background: Abdominal circumference (AC) is superior to body mass index (BMI) as a measure of risk for various health outcomes. Our objective was to compare AC and BMI as predictors of lower extremity overuse injury (LEOI) risk. Methods: Retrospective review of electronic medical records of 79,868 US Air Force personnel over a 7-year period (2005–2011) for incidence of new LEOI. Subjects were stratified by BMI and AC. Injury risk for BMI/AC subgroups was calculated using Kaplan–Meier curves and Cox proportional-hazards regression. Receiver operating characteristic curves with area under the curve were used to compare each model’s predictive value. Results: Cox proportional-hazards regression showed significant risk association between elevated BMI, AC, and all injury types, with hazard ratios ranging 1.230–3.415 for obese versus normal BMI and 1.665–3.893 for high-risk versus low-risk AC (P < .05 for all measures). Receiver operating characteristic curves with area under the curve showed equivalent performance between BMI and AC for predicting all injury types. However, the combined model (AC and BMI) showed improved predictive ability over either model alone for joint injury, overall LEOI, and most strongly for osteoarthritis. Conclusions: Although AC and BMI alone performed similarly well, a combined approach using BMI and AC together improved risk estimation for LEOI.

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Kylie Ball, Verity J. Cleland, Anna F. Timperio, Jo Salmon and David A. Crawford

Background:

This study aimed to examine cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between socioeconomic position (SEP) and physical activity and sedentary behaviors among children and adolescents.

Methods:

Maternal education was reported by parents of 184 children 5 to 6 years old and 358 children 10 to 12 years old in 2001. In 2001 and 2004, physical activity was assessed by accelerometry. Older children self-reported and parents of younger children proxy-reported physical activity and TV-viewing behaviors. Linear regression was used to predict physical activity and sedentary behaviors, and changes in these behaviors, from maternal education.

Results:

Among all children, accelerometer-determined and self- or parent-reported moderate and vigorous physical activity declined over 3 years. Girls of higher SEP demonstrated greater decreases in TV-viewing behaviors than those of low SEP. In general, no prospective associations were evident between SEP and objectively assessed physical activity. A small number of prospective associations were noted between SEP and self-reported physical activity, but these were generally weak and inconsistent in direction.

Conclusions:

This study did not find strong evidence that maternal education was cross-sectionally or longitudinally predictive of children’s physical activity or sedentary behaviors. Given the well-documented inverse relationship of SEP with physical activity levels in adult samples, the findings suggest that such disparities might emerge after adolescence.

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Lawrence W. Judge, Kimberly J. Bodey, David Bellar, Christine Brooks and Terry Crawford

In recent years, large scale sport organizations and national governing bodies have produced coaching education programs to prepare coaches to teach and mentor athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine: a) track & field coaches’ familiarity with the National Standards for Sport Coaches, b) the alignment of United States Track & Field (USATF) Developmental, Level I, and Level II coaching education programs with the National Standards for Sport Coaches, and c) the alignment of USATF Developmental, Level I, and Level II coaching education programs with coaches’ perceived needs for subject matter training. A 39-item survey was administered during a USATF certification course to measure coaches’ familiarity and perceptions. The results showed the vast majority of coaches (75.2%) were not familiar with the National Standards. At the time of assessment, the Developmental, Level I, and Level II courses were partially aligned with 25 of 40 standards at the Level 1, Level 3, or Level 5 accreditation levels. The courses were not aligned with 15 of 40 standards at any accreditation level. The majority of deficiencies existed in Domain 2: Safety and Injury Prevention, Domain 7: Organization and Administration, and Domain 8: Evaluation. While the USATF coaching education curriculum is partially aligned with many, but not all, of the national standards, the curriculum appears to contain subject matter training that coaches perceived as needed. Curricular revisions, including future directions of the USATF coaching education program, such as new courses and innovative use of technology, are presented.

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Clare Hume, Anna Timperio, Jenny Veitch, Jo Salmon, David Crawford and Kylie Ball

Background:

This study examined cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between physical activity, sedentary behavior, and depressive symptoms among adolescents.

Methods:

Participants were 155 adolescents (14.4 years ± 0.61) in 2004 (40% boys). Data collection occurred in 2004 and again in 2006. At both time points, participants completed the Centers for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC), from which they were classified as having depressive symptoms (≥15) or not (<15). Organized sport and TV viewing were self-reported and moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) and vigorous (VPA) physical activity and sedentary time were objectively measured. Logistic and linear regression analyses examined cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between MVPA, VPA, organized sport, TV viewing, sedentary time, and symptoms of depression.

Results:

There were no cross-sectional or longitudinal associations between MVPA, VPA, organized sport, sedentary time, and symptoms of depression among boys or girls. However, having symptoms of depression in 2004 did predict higher TV viewing among adolescent girls in 2006 (approximately 168 minutes/week more TV viewing; P ≤ .001).

Conclusions:

MVPA, VPA, organized sport and objectively-measured sedentary time appeared unrelated to depressive symptoms in this sample, but depressive symptoms predicted increased TV viewing over time among adolescent girls. Further research is required to determine the clinical relevance of this finding.

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Verity Cleland, Marita Sodergren, Petr Otahal, Anna Timperio, Kylie Ball, David Crawford, Jo Salmon and Sarah A. McNaughton

This study aimed to determine whether associations between the perceived environment and physical activity are moderated by urban-rural status among midolder aged adults. Environmental (safety, aesthetics, physical activity environment) and physical activity (total, leisure, transport) data from 3,888 adults (55 to 65 years) from urban and rural areas of Victoria, Australia, were analyzed. Multinomial logistic regression examined interactions between urban-rural status and environments in associations with physical activity. Significant (P < .05) interactions were evident and indicated positive associations only among older rural adults for both safety and aesthetics with total and transport physical activity (e.g., rural adults reporting higher safety were 91% to 118% more likely to have higher activity than rural adults reporting low safety). In contrast, the physical activity environment was positively associated with leisure activity among only urban adults. Findings suggest that some tailoring of physical activity promotion strategies targeting the environment may be required for urban and rural midolder aged adults.