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Inga Neissaar and Lennart Raudsepp

The purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal relationships between naturally occurring changes in leisure-time physical activity, depressive symptoms and self-efficacy in adolescent girls. We also aimed to test whether depressive symptoms would moderate the self-efficacy-physical activity relationship. Participants were 181 urban adolescent girls. Physical activity was measured using the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall. Self-efficacy and depressive symptoms were assessed using questionnaires. Body height and body mass were measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Data were collected on three occasions over a 2-year period. There was a decrease in physical activity and self-efficacy and increase in depressive symptoms across three measurement occasions. There were statistically significant and negative relationships between initial level and change for physical activity and depressive symptoms. Initially higher levels of physical activity were related with initially lower levels of depressive symptoms, and change in physical activity across time was inversely associated with change in levels of depressive symptoms across measurements. There were statistically significant and positive relationships between initial level and change for physical activity and self-efficacy after controlling effect of BMI. Latent growth modeling (LGM) also indicated a moderating effect of depressive symptoms on the self-efficacy-physical activity relationship. Girls who had high initial levels of self-efficacy and smaller increases in depressive symptoms had the lowest decline in physical activity participation. Our results encourage the design of interventions that reduce depressive symptoms and increase self-efficacy as a possible of means of increasing adolescent girls’ physical activity.

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Lennart Raudsepp, Inga Neissaar and Merike Kull

The purpose of this study was to examine the stability of sedentary behaviors and physical activity in Estonian school children aged 11–12 year at the beginning of the study. In addition, the consequence of changes in sedentary behaviors on a change in physical activity was investigated. Adolescents (N = 345) completed the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall on four occasions over a 22-month period. Results indicated the curvilinear changes in sedentary behaviors and physical activity across time. There was a significant decrease in physical activity and an increase in sedentary behaviors across three years. Stability coefficients indicated a moderate differential stability of the sedentary behaviors (ranged from 0.31 to 0.64) and physical activity (ranged from 0.36 to 0.59) during early adolescence. Latent growth modeling indicated that increase in sedentary behaviors across a 22-month period was inversely associated with a change in physical activity. Interventions targeted at “high-risk” groups to reduce sedentary behaviors during early adolescence are encouraged.

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Kristel Võsoberg, Vallo Tillmann, Anna-Liisa Tamm, Toivo Jürimäe, Meeli Saar, Katre Maasalu, Inga Neissaar, Evelin Lätt and Jaak Jürimäe

The aim of this study was to describe longitudinal changes in body composition, leptin, adiponectin, and ghrelin over a 36-month period in prepubertal rhythmic gymnasts (RG) and their age-matched untrained controls (UC) entering into puberty. Thirty-five RG (8.0 ± 0.6 yrs) and 33 UC (8.2 ± 0.6 yrs) were followed at 12-month intervals for the next 3 years. Height, weight, pubertal stage, body composition, leptin, adiponectin, and ghrelin were measured at each time points. The pubertal development over the next 36 months was slower in the RG compared with UC. Leptin was increased in UC and remained unchanged in RG over 3-year study period (3.7 ± 3.6 vs. 0.2 ± 1.1 ng/ml; p < .05). In RG, baseline leptin was negatively correlated with the change in body fat percentage over a 36-month period (r = −0.34; p < .05). The change in adiponectin over the study period was negatively correlated with the change in BMI (r = −0.43; p < .05). RG had relative leptin deficiency per body fat mass. In conclusion, relatively high leptin concentration at the beginning of puberty may predict those girls who do not increase their body fat percentage through coming years and therefore may have increased risk for delayed puberty.