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Eugene C. Fitzhugh and Dixie L. Thompson

Background:

Adults integrate walking into their leisure-time (LT) in a variety of ways, including the use of walking as their only outlet for leisure-time physical activity (LTPA). The purpose of this study was to examine how LT walking relates to compliance with the 2007 ACSM/AHA guidelines for aerobic-related physical activity (PA).

Methods:

The study sample (N = 14,470 adults, 20+ years of age) came from the 1999 to 2004 NHANES. PA Interviews (past month) allowed each LT active subject to be classified by walking behavior (LTPA Active-No Walking, Walking-Only, Walking-Plus other LTPA). Walking prevalence, frequency (bouts per week), duration (minutes per bout), and compliance with ACSM/AHA recommendations were examined in SUDAAN.

Results:

Overall, 34.4% of adults in the U.S. walk in their LT. Among these active LT walkers, 34.8% were Walking-Only and 65.2% were Walking-Plus adults. Related to compliance with PA recommendations, Walking-Only (29.4%; 95% CI = 26.3 to 32.5) adults were significantly less likely than Walking-Plus (74.6%; 95% CI = 72.6 to 76.7) adults to be compliant with guidelines. The frequency of LTPA explains this difference in compliance (3.4 vs. 7.6 bouts/week, respectively).

Conclusions:

Walking-Only adults should be targeted for increased compliance with PA recommendations by promoting walking frequency and added variety among LTPAs.

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Dinesh John, David Bassett, Dixie Thompson, Jeffrey Fairbrother and Debora Baldwin

Although using a treadmill workstation may change the sedentary nature of desk jobs, it is unknown if walking while working affects performance on office-work related tasks.

Purpose:

To assess differences between seated and walking conditions on motor skills and cognitive function tests.

Methods:

Eleven males (24.6 ± 3.5 y) and 9 females (27.0 ± 3.9 y) completed a test battery to assess selective attention and processing speed, typing speed, mouse clicking/drag-and-drop speed, and GRE math and reading comprehension. Testing was performed under seated and walking conditions on 2 separate days using a counterbalanced, within subjects design. Participants did not have an acclimation period before the walking condition.

Results:

Paired t tests (P < .05) revealed that in the seated condition, completion times were shorter for mouse clicking (26.6 ± 3.0 vs. 28.2 ± 2.5s) and drag-and-drop (40.3 ± 4.2 vs. 43.9 ± 2.5s) tests, typing speed was greater (40.2 ± 9.1 vs. 36.9 ± 10.2 adjusted words · min−1), and math scores were better (71.4 ± 15.2 vs. 64.3 ± 13.4%). There were no significant differences between conditions in selective attention and processing speed or in reading comprehension.

Conclusion:

Compared with the seated condition, treadmill walking caused a 6% to 11% decrease in measures of fine motor skills and math problem solving, but did not affect selective attention and processing speed or reading comprehension.

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Scott A. Conger, Stacy N. Scott, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, Dixie L. Thompson and David R. Bassett

Background:

It is unknown if activity monitors can detect the increased energy expenditure (EE) of wheelchair propulsion at different speeds or on different surfaces.

Methods:

Individuals who used manual wheelchairs (n = 14) performed 5 wheeling activities: on a level surface at 3 speeds, on a rubberized track at 1 fixed speed and on a sidewalk course at a self-selected speed. EE was measured using a portable indirect calorimetry system and estimated by an Actical (AC) worn on the wrist and a SenseWear (SW) activity monitor worn on the upper arm. Repeated-measures ANOVA was used to compare measured EE to the estimates from the standard AC prediction equation and SW using 2 different equations.

Results:

Repeated-measures ANOVA demonstrated a significant main effect between measured EE and estimated EE. There were no differences between the criterion method and the AC across the 5 activities. The SW overestimated EE when wheeling at 3 speeds on a level surface, and during sidewalk wheeling. The wheelchair-specific SW equation improved the EE prediction during low intensity activities, but error progressively increased during higher intensity activities.

Conclusions:

During manual wheelchair propulsion, the wrist-mounted AC provided valid estimates of EE, whereas the SW tended to overestimate EE.

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Jeremy A. Steeves, David R. Bassett, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, Hollie Raynor, Chi Cho and Dixie L. Thompson

Background:

Physical activity (PA) is enjoyable, but there are barriers to participation. TV viewing is highly enjoyable with limited barriers. Exercising while viewing TV may impact enjoyment, exercise self-efficacy, and barriers to PA, compared with exercising without TV.

Methods:

58 sedentary, overweight adults were randomized to 1 of 2 PA prescriptions: one that increased PA during TV viewing (TV Commercial Stepping), and another that focused solely on PA (Walking). Random effects models tested changes in enjoyment of TV and PA, exercise self-efficacy, and barriers to PA across time (baseline, 3, and 6 months) and PA prescription during a 6-month PA intervention.

Results:

At baseline, TV was more enjoyable than PA. Over the 6-month intervention, enjoyment of TV viewing did not change, but enjoyment of PA and exercise self-efficacy significantly increased, while barriers to PA significantly decreased for both groups compared with baseline (P < .05).

Conclusions:

While enjoyment of TV viewing remained constant, PA became more enjoyable, confidence to exercise increased, and barriers to being active were reduced for previously sedentary adults participating in a behavioral PA intervention. These findings highlight the importance of encouraging inactive adults to engage in some form of PA, whether it occurs with or without TV viewing.

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Dinesh John, Dixie L. Thompson, Hollie Raynor, Kenneth Bielak, Bob Rider and David R. Bassett

Purpose:

To determine if a treadmill-workstation (TMWS) increases physical activity (PA) and influences anthropometric, body composition, cardiovascular, and metabolic variables in overweight and obese office-workers.

Methods:

Twelve (mean age= 46.2 ± 9.2 years) overweight/obese sedentary office-workers (mean BMI= 33.9 ± 5.0 kg·m-2) volunteered to participate in this 9-month study. After baseline measurements of postural allocation, steps per day, anthropometric variables, body composition, cardiovascular, and metabolic variables, TMWS were installed in the participants’ offices for their use. Baseline measurements were repeated after 3 and 9 months. Comparisons of the outcome variables were made using repeated-measures ANOVAs or nonparametric Friedman’s Rank Tests.

Results:

Between baseline and 9 months, significant increases were seen in the median standing (146−203 min·day-1) and stepping time (52−90 min·day-1) and total steps/day (4351−7080 steps/day; P < .05). Correspondingly, the median time spent sitting/lying decreased (1238−1150 min·day-1; P < .05). Using the TMWS significantly reduced waist (by 5.5 cm) and hip circumference (by 4.8 cm), low-density lipoproteins (LDL) (by 16 mg·dL-1), and total cholesterol (by 15 mg·dL-1) during the study (P < .05).

Conclusion:

The additional PA energy expenditure from using the TMWS favorably influenced waist and hip circumferences and lipid and metabolic profiles in overweight and obese office-workers.

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David R. Bassett, John Pucher Jr., Ralph Buehler, Dixie L. Thompson and Scott E. Crouter

Purpose:

This study was designed to examine the relationship between active transportation (defined as the percentage of trips taken by walking, bicycling, and public transit) and obesity rates (BMI ≥ 30 kg · m−2) in different countries.

Methods:

National surveys of travel behavior and health indicators in Europe, North America, and Australia were used in this study; the surveys were conducted in 1994 to 2006. In some cases raw data were obtained from national or federal agencies and then analyzed, and in other cases summary data were obtained from published reports.

Results:

Countries with the highest levels of active transportation generally had the lowest obesity rates. Europeans walked more than United States residents (382 versus 140 km per person per year) and bicycled more (188 versus 40 km per person per year) in 2000.

Discussion:

Walking and bicycling are far more common in European countries than in the United States, Australia, and Canada. Active transportation is inversely related to obesity in these countries. Although the results do not prove causality, they suggest that active transportation could be one of the factors that explain international differences in obesity rates.

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Yuri Feito, David R. Bassett, Dixie L. Thompson and Brian M. Tyo

Background:

Activity monitors are widely used in research, and are currently being used to study physical activity (PA) trends in the US and Canada. The purpose of this study was to determine if body mass index (BMI) affects the step count accuracy of commonly used accelerometer-based activity monitors during treadmill walking.

Methods:

Participants were classified into BMI categories and instructed to walk on a treadmill at 3 different speeds (40, 67, and 94 m·min−1) while wearing 4 accelerometer-based activity monitors (ActiGraph GT1M, ActiCal, NL-2000, and StepWatch).

Results:

There was no significant main effect of BMI on pedometer accuracy. At the slowest speed, all waist-mounted devices significantly underestimated actual steps (P < .001), with the NL-2000 recording the greatest percentage (72%). At the intermediate speed, the ActiGraph was the least accurate, recording only 80% of actual steps. At the fastest speed, all of the activity monitors demonstrated a high level of accuracy.

Conclusion:

Our data suggest that BMI does not greatly affect the step-counting accuracy of accelerometer-based activity monitors. However, the accuracy of the ActiGraph, ActiCal, and NL-2000 decreases at slower speeds. The ankle-mounted StepWatch was the most accurate device across a wide range of walking speeds.