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Rachel Cole, Eva Leslie, Adrian Bauman, Maria Donald and Neville Owen

Background:

Walking is integral to strategies to promote physical activity. We identified socio-demographic variations in walking for transport, and for recreation or exercise.

Methods:

Representative population data (n = 3392) from Australia were collected using computer assisted telephone interviewing, to examine adults’ participation in moderate- or brisk-paced walking for transport and walking for recreation or exercise; walking “sufficient” to meet the current public health guideline (≥ 150 min/wk); and, the contributions of total walking to meeting the guideline for total physical activity.

Results:

Rates of sufficient walking for transport (10% for men, 9% for women) were lower than those for walking for recreation or exercise (14% for both genders). Few socio-demographic differences emerged. Men over age 60 y were significantly less likely (OR = 0.40) to walk for transport; men age 45 to 59 y were more likely (OR = 1.56) to walk for recreation or exercise. Walking contributed more toward meeting the current public health guideline among women (15% to 21%) than among men (6% to 8%).

Conclusions:

There is potential for socially equitable increases in participation, through a focus on both walking for transport and on walking for recreation or exercise; attention to gender differences would be helpful.

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Takemi Sugiyama, Dafna Merom, Marina Reeves, Eva Leslie and Neville Owen

Background:

Television viewing time is associated with obesity risk independent of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA). However, it is unknown whether the relationship of TV viewing time with body mass index (BMI) is moderated by other domains of physical activity.

Methods:

A mail survey collected height; weight; TV viewing time; physical activity for transportation (habitual transport behavior; past week walking and bicycling), for recreation (LTPA), and in workplace; and sociodemographic variables in Adelaide, Australia. General linear models examined whether physical activity domains moderate the association between BMI and TV viewing time.

Results:

Analysis of the sample (N = 1408) found that TV time, habitual transport, and LTPA were independently associated with participant’s BMI. The interaction between TV time and habitual transport with BMI was significant, while that between TV time and LTPA was not. Subgroup analyses found that adjusted mean BMI was significantly higher for the high TV viewing category, compared with the low category, among participants who were inactive and occasionally active in transport, but not among those who were regularly active.

Conclusions:

Habitual active transport appeared to moderate the relationship between TV viewing time and BMI. Obesity risk associated with prolonged TV viewing may be mitigated by regular active transport.

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Eva Leslie, Ester Cerin, Christopher J. Gore, Alexis St. George, Adrian Bauman and Neville Owen

Background:

Participation in regular vigorous physical activity could confer health benefits additional to those derived from moderate-intensity physical activities that are currently the focus of public health strategies.

Methods:

Sociodemographic differences in reported participation in vigorous sporting and fitness activities over the past 2 weeks were examined using cross-sectional data from an Australian urban population sample.

Results:

Participation at least once in any form of vigorous physical activity and regular participation (six or more sessions) both decreased across successive age groups and from high to low levels of education. The most frequently reported types of vigorous physical activity were cycling (13.3%), jogging (10.1%), swimming (8.4%) for men; and swimming (8.9%), cycling (8.8%) and aerobics (8.6%) for women.

Conclusion:

Rates of regular participation in vigorous activities were low. Interventions might focus on ways to encourage younger adults to engage more regularly in these activities and to maintain participation through the lifespan.

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Leslie A. Pruitt, Abby C. King, Eva Obarzanek, Michael Miller, Mary O’Toole, William L. Haskell, Laura Fast, Sheila Reynolds and for the Activity Counseling Trial Research Group

Background:

Physical activity recall (PAR) reliability was estimated in a three-site sample of African American and white adults. The sample was sedentary at baseline and more varied in physical activity 24 months later. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to estimate the number of PAR assessments necessary to obtain a reliability of 0.70 at both timepoints.

Methods:

The PAR was administered ≤ 30 d apart at baseline (n = 547) and 24 months (n = 648). Energy expenditure ICC was calculated by race, gender, and age.

Results:

Baseline reliability was low for all groups with 4–16 PARs estimated to attain reliable data. ICCs at 24 months were similar (ICC = 0.54–0.55) for race and age group, with 2–3 PARs estimated to reach acceptable reliability. At 24 months, women were more reliable reporters than men.

Conclusion:

Low sample variability in activity reduced reliability, highlighting the importance of evaluating diverse groups. Despite evaluating a sample with greater physical activity variability, an estimated 2–3 PARs were necessary to obtain acceptable reliability.