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  • Author: Eugene C. Fitzhugh x
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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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Ryan A. Burchfield, Eugene C. Fitzhugh and David R. Bassett

Purpose:

To study the association between weather-related measures and objectively measured trail use across 3 seasons.

Background:

Weather has been reported as a barrier to outdoor physical activity (PA), but previous studies have explained only a small amount of the variance in PA using weather-related measures.

Methods:

The dependent variable of this study was trail use measured as mean hourly trail counts by an infrared trail counter located on a greenway. Each trail count represents 1 person breaking the infrared beam of the trail counter. Two sources of weather-related measures were obtained by a site-specific weather station and a public domain weather source.

Results:

Temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation were significantly correlated with trail counts recorded during daylight hours. More precise hourly weather-related measures explained 42% of the variance in trail counts, regardless of the weather data source with temperature alone explaining 18% of the variance in trail counts. After controlling for all seasonal and weekly factors, every 1°F increase in temperature was associated with an increase of 1.1 trail counts/hr up to 76°F, at which point trail use began to slightly decrease.

Conclusion:

Weather-related factors have a moderate association with trail use along an urban greenway.

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Dana L. Wolff-Hughes, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, David R. Bassett and Christopher R. Cherry

Background:

Greenways (GW) can be sited and designed in a variety of ways. However, the extent to which siting and design relate to GW user’s demographic characteristics and physical activity (PA) is unknown. The purpose of this study was to compare 2 GWs that differed in terms of their siting and design, with respect to the aforementioned variables.

Methods:

A trail intercept survey measuring PA, modes of GW access, and demographics was administered on 2 GWs (GWlinear vs. GWloop), which varied in siting and design characteristics.

Results:

GWlinear (n = 216), compared with GWloop users (n = 400), accumulated significantly greater volumes of PA from both accessing and using the GW (P = .012). GWlinear users were more likely to be younger, male, and never married; they were also more likely to engage in transportational PA (10.6 vs. 0.3%, P ≤ .001) and access the GW via active transit modes (37.0% vs. 4.2%, P ≤ .001).

Conclusions:

GW siting and design appears to be related to user characteristics, and the types and volumes of PA performed. These results should be considered by GW planners and designers to best serve the PA needs of the community.

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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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Dana L. Wolff-Hughes, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, David R. Bassett and James R. Churilla

Background:

Accelerometer-derived total activity count is a measure of total physical activity (PA) volume. The purpose of this study was to develop age- and gender-specific percentiles for daily total activity counts (TAC), minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and minutes of light physical activity (LPA) in U.S. adults.

Methods:

Waist-worn accelerometer data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used for this analysis. The sample included adults >20 years with >10 hours accelerometer wear time on >4 days (N = 6093). MVPA and LPA were defined as the number of 1-minute epochs with counts >2020 and 100 to 2019, respectively. TAC represented the activity counts acquired daily. TAC, MVPA, and LPA were averaged across valid days to produce a daily mean.

Results:

Males in the 50th percentile accumulated 288 140 TAC/day, with 357 and 22 minutes/day spent in LPA and MVPA, respectively. The median for females was 235 741 TAC/day, with 349 and 12 minutes/day spent in LPA and MVPA, respectively.

Conclusions:

Population-referenced TAC percentiles reflect the total volume of PA, expressed relative to other adults. This is a different approach to accelerometer data reduction that complements the current method of looking at time spent in intensity subcategories.

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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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David R. Bassett, Dinesh John, Scott A. Conger, Eugene C. Fitzhugh and Dawn P. Coe

Background:

Increases in childhood and adolescent obesity are a growing concern in the United States (U.S.), and in most countries throughout the world. Declines in physical activity are often postulated to have contributed to the rise in obesity rates during the past 40 years.

Methods:

We searched for studies of trends in physical activity and sedentary behaviors of U.S. youth, using nontraditional data sources. Literature searches were conducted for active commuting, physical education, high-school sports, and outdoor play. In addition, trends in sedentary behaviors were examined.

Results:

Data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) and other national surveys, as well as longitudinal studies in the transportation, education, electronic media, and recreation sectors showed evidence of changes in several indicators. Active commuting, high school physical education, and outdoor play (in 3- to 12-year-olds) declined over time, while sports participation in high school girls increased from 1971 to 2012. In addition, electronic entertainment and computer use increased during the first decade of the 21st century.

Conclusions:

Technological and societal changes have impacted the types of physical activities performed by U.S. youth. These data are helpful in understanding the factors associated with the rise in obesity, and in proposing potential solutions.

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Dana L. Wolff-Hughes, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, David R. Bassett and James R. Churilla

Purpose:

To contrast associations of accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) accumulated in bouts and total activity counts (TAC) with cardiometabolic biomarkers in U.S. adults.

Methods:

Using 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, the sample was comprised of adults ≥ 20 years, not pregnant or lactating, with self-reported PA and at least 4 days of ≥ 10 hours accelerometer wear time (N = 5668). Bouted MVPA represented the minutes/day with ≥ 2020 counts/minute in bouts of 10 minutes or longer and TAC represented the total activity counts per day. Biomarkers included: cholesterol, triglyceride, glycohemoglobin, plasma glucose, C-peptide, insulin, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and skinfolds. Nested regression models were conducted which regressed each biomarker on bouted MVPA and TAC simultaneously, while adjusting for relevant covariates.

Results:

Results indicated TAC was more strongly associated with 11 biomarkers: HDL-C, triglyceride, plasma glucose, C-peptide, insulin, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, triceps skinfold, and subscapular skinfold. Bouted MVPA, however, only displayed stronger associations with BMI.

Conclusions:

The total volume of physical activity, represented by TAC, appears to have stronger associations with cardiometabolic biomarkers than MVPA accumulated in bouts.

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Jeremy A. Steeves, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Rachel A. Murphy, George A. King, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, David R. Bassett, Dane Van Domelen, John M. Schuna Jr and Tamara B. Harris

Background: Little is known about the daily physical activity (PA) levels of people employed in different occupational categories. Methods: Nine ActiGraph accelerometer-derived daily PA variables are presented and ranked for adults (N = 1465, 20–60 y) working in the 22 occupational categories assessed by NHANES 2005–2006. A composite score was generated for each occupational category by summing the rankings of 3 accelerometer-derived daily PA variables known to have strong associations with health outcomes (total activity counts [TAC], moderate to vigorous PA minutes per week in modified 10-minute bouts [MVPA 10], and percentage of time spent in sedentary activity [SB%]). Results: Classified as high-activity occupational categories, “farming, fishing, forestry,” and “building & grounds cleaning, maintenance” occupations had the greatest TAC (461 996 and 449 452), most MVPA 10 (149.6 and 97.8), most steps per day (10 464 and 11 602), and near the lowest SB% (45.2% and 45.4%). “Community, social services” occupations, classified as low-activity occupational categories, had the second lowest TAC (242 085), least MVPA 10 (12.1), fewest steps per day (5684), and near the highest SB% (64.2%). Conclusions: There is a strong association between occupational category and daily activity levels. Objectively measured daily PA permitted the classification of the 22 different occupational categories into 3 activity groupings.