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James F. Sallis and Kevin Patrick

The International Consensus Conference on Physical Activity Guidelines for Adolescents convened to review the effects of physical activity on the health of adolescents, to establish age-appropriate physical activity guidelines, and to consider how these guidelines might be implemented in primary health care settings. Thirty-four invited experts and representatives of scientific, medical, and governmental organizations established two main guidelines. First, all adolescents should be physically active daily or nearly every day as part of their lifestyles. Second, adolescents should engage in three or more sessions per week of activities that last 20 min or more and that require moderate to vigorous levels of exertion. Available data suggest that the vast majority of U.S. adolescents meet the first guideline, but only about two thirds of boys and one half of girls meet the second guideline. Physical activity has important effects on the health of adolescents, and the promotion of regular physical activity should be a priority for physicians and other health professionals.

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James F. Sallis and Jacqueline Kerr

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Mindy Fullilove, Chanam Lee, and James F. Sallis

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Nick Cavill, Stuart Biddle, and James F. Sallis

An expert consensus development process was initiated to make public health recommendations regarding young people (5–18 years) and physical activity. Eight commissioned review papers were discussed at a meeting of over 50 academics and experts from a range of disciplines from the UK and overseas. Participants agreed on a consensus statement that summarized the research evidence and made two core recommendations. First, to optimize current and future health, all young people should participate in physical activity of at least moderate intensity for 1 hour per day. Young people who currently do little activity should participate in physical activity of at least moderate intensity for at least half an hour per day. The subsidiary recommendation is that, at least twice a week, some of these activities should help to enhance and maintain muscular strength and flexibility and bone health. A second aspect of the consensus process, which was based on extensive consultation, outlined the practical ways in which key organizations can work together to implement these recommendations. The resultant consensus statement provides a strong basis for the planning of future policies and programs to enhance young people’s participation in health-enhancing physical activity

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Julie A. Sarkin, Thomas L. McKenzie, and James F. Sallis

Boys are typically more physically active than girls, but schools have the potential to promote health-related physical activity for all children. This study investigated gender differences in children’s physical activity levels during physical education (PE) classes and unstructured recess periods. The activity levels of 91 fifth-grade children were assessed by accelerometer (Caltrac) on 3 days. Results indicated that children’s activity levels were low to moderately stable from day to day in both environments. Boys and girls had similar activity levels during PE, t(89) = 1.49, p = .140, but boys were significantly more active than girls during recess, t(89) = 3.27, p = .002. Girls were significantly more active during PE than they were at recess, t(51) = 2.08, p = .043. The results suggest that structured PE classes may provide similar amounts of physical activity for both genders.

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Thomas L. McKenzie, James F. Sallis, and Philip R. Nader

This paper describes SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time), an observation instrument designed to assess variables associated with students’ activity levels and opportunities to become physically fit in physical education. SOFIT involves the direct observation of classes while simultaneously recording student physical activity levels, curriculum context variables, and teacher behavior. The paper reports the reliability, validity, and feasibility of using the instrument, as well as data from using SOFIT to assess 88 third- and fourth-grade classes.

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Javier Molina-García, James F. Sallis, and Isabel Castillo

Background:

Commuting to university represents an opportunity to incorporate physical activity (walking or biking) into students’ daily routines. There are few studies that analyze patterns of transport in university populations. This cross-sectional study estimated energy expenditure from active commuting to university (ACU) and examined sociodemographic differences in findings.

Methods:

The sample included 518 students with a mean age of 22.4 years (59.7% female) from 2 urban universities in Valencia, Spain. Time spent in each mode of transport to university and sociodemographic factors was assessed by self-report.

Results:

Nearly 35% of the students reported walking or biking as their main mode of transport. ACU (min/wk) were highest for walkers (168) and cyclists (137) and lowest for motorbike riders (0.0) and car drivers (16). Public transport users, younger students, low socioeconomic status students, and those living ≤ 2 km from the university had higher energy expenditure from active commuting than comparison groups. Biking was highest among those living 2–5 km from the university.

Conclusions:

Our findings suggest that active commuting and public transit use generated substantial weekly energy expenditure, contributed to meeting physical activity recommendations, and may aid in obesity prevention.

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Nell Faucette, Thomas L. McKenzie, and James F. Sallis

A primary purpose of this study was to describe differences between self-contained and team teaching approaches when two groups of fourth- and fifth-grade classroom teachers attempted to implement a physical education curriculum during a 4-month in-service program. One school featured team teaching in pairs during physical education classes; the other used a self-contained teaching approach. The program required a minimum of three 30-min physical education classes weekly. All teachers participated in an extensive in-service training program that included weekly on-site assistance. Data collection included teachers’ lesson-completion forms, specialist’s reports, SOFIT PE class observations, teacher-completed Stages of Concern questionnaires, and teachers’ formal interviews. Results indicated that classroom teachers who used the self-contained model more consistently implemented the curriculum and more frequently expressed positive responses. Participants who used the team model for the physical education curriculum frequently strayed from the assigned pedagogical approach, ignored major portions of the program, and experienced extreme management concerns.