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  • Author: James J. McClain x
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James J. McClain, Gregory J. Welk, Michelle Ihmels and Jodee Schaben

Background:

The PACER test is a valid and reliable assessment of aerobic capacity in children. However, many schools lack adequate space to administer the test. This study compared the utility of the standard 20m PACER test with an alternative 15m PACER protocol in 5th and 8th grade students.

Methods:

A total of 171 students completed both PACER protocols in a counterbalanced design. Agreement between the two protocols was assessed with correlations, repeated-measures ANOVA, and classification agreement into the FITNESSGRAM ® healthy fitness zones.

Results:

The difference in estimated VO2max between the two tests was slightly larger for boys (5th grade, 1.32 ml/kg/min; 8th grade, 1.72 ml/kg/min) than girls (5th grade, 0.14 ml/kg/min; 8th grade, 1.11 ml/kg/min), but these differences are probably not of practical significance. Classification agreement was 88% for boys and 91% for girls.

Conclusions:

Collectively, the results suggest that the 15m and 20m PACER provide similar information about aerobic fitness in youth. The 20m test is recommended when possible, but the 15m provides a useful alternative for schools with smaller gymnasiums.

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Michelle Ihmels, Gregory J. Welk, James J. McClain and Jodee Schaben

Background:

Advances in BIA offer practical alternative approaches to assessing body composition in young adolescents and have not been studied for comparability.

Methods:

This study compared reliability and convergent validity of three field tests (2-site skinfold, Omron and Tanita BIA devices) on young adolescents. Reliability was determined using intraclass correlation coefficients, convergent validity was examined by computing correlations among the three estimates, differences in estimated body fat values were evaluated using repeated-measures ANOVA, and classification agreement was computed for achieving FITNESSGRAM ® Healthy Fitness Zone.

Results:

ICC values of all three measures exceeded .97. Correlations ranged from .74 to .81 for males and .79 to .91 for females. Classification agreement values ranged from 82.8% to 92.6%.

Conclusions:

Results suggest general agreement among the selected methods of body composition assessments in both boys and girls with the exception that percent body fat in boys by Tanita BIA is significantly lower than skinfold estimation.

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Teresa L. Hart, James J. McClain and Catrine Tudor-Locke

Background:

Emerging interest in the health impacts of sedentary behaviors has driven the exploration of objective instrumentation capable of capturing these behaviors. The purpose was to compare (under laboratory conditions) outputs from ActiGraph (AG), Intelligent Device for Energy Expenditure and Physical Activity (IDEEA), and activPAL Professional (AP) against direct observation (DO) in sedentary, standing, and active behaviors; and assess convergent validity of instrument outputs under free-living conditions.

Methods:

Participants (13 males/16 females; 28.9 ± 6.2 years) wore instruments concurrently during laboratory and free-living studies. AG cutpoints of ≤50, <100, and ≤259 counts/minute were used to determine time in sedentary behaviors. Laboratory data were evaluated using mean percent error. Free-living data were analyzed using dependent t tests and RM ANOVA.

Results:

AP precisely measured all identified DO behaviors under laboratory conditions; IDEEA precisely identified sitting and standing. For the free-living study, there was no difference in sedentary time detected by AP and IDEEA but a significant difference was observed in standing time. No difference was apparent between AP and AG259 in sit/lie/stand or ambulatory activity time.

Conclusions:

In a laboratory setting, the utility of all instruments to classify activities into behavioral categories was confirmed. This may enhance research on sedentary behaviors and health-related outcomes.

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James J. McClain, David Grant, Gordon Willis and David Berrigan

Background:

Question design can influence the validity and reliability of physical activity (PA) self-report instruments. This study assesses the effect of temporal domain (“days” walked versus “times” walked) on survey questions about walking behavior.

Methods:

A 2005 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) sub-sample (n = 6332) reported the number of days or times they walked for leisure or transportation in the past 7 days and the usual time spent per day or per time. Question order was randomized by temporal domain. Minutes walked per week (mean ± SE) and adherence to PA guidelines (≥150 min/wk) were assessed.

Results:

Estimates of leisure walking remained stable across temporal domain (days = 71.4 ± 2.5 min; times = 73.4 ± 2.4 min), but transportation walking differed depending on domain (days = 70.4 ± 3.2 min; times = 52.5 ± 2.6 min). Adherence to PA guidelines based on leisure walking was stable across temporal domain (days = 14.9 ± 0.6%; times = 14.9 ± 0.6%), but again differed by domain for transportation walking (days = 10.4 ± 0.6%; times = 7.8 ± 0.5%). A large order effect (number-of-days versus number-of-times asked first) was observed for reports of days walking for transportation (days first = 87.8 ± 2.9 min; times first = 52.3 ± 2.5 min).

Conclusion:

Temporal domain influences estimates of self-reported transportation walking behavior. Current efforts to capture PA from both transportation and leisure activities in health research appear to present distinct methodological challenges.

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Catrine Tudor-Locke, David R. Bassett, Michael F. Shipe and James J. McClain

Background:

The purpose of this review is to update the methodological aspects of pedometry to encourage the consistent use of pedometers for assessment, to decrease sources of error, and to facilitate comparison and interpretation of results.

Methods:

The specific measurement topics addressed include: instrument choice, metric choice, validity, reliability, data collection and retrieval, time worn, day-to-day variability, monitoring time frame, reactivity, and data treatment.

Results:

A wide variety of valid and reliable instruments are commercially available and we can expect continued evolutions in value-added features as supporting technology improves. Data collection and retrieval has been achieved through various methods, including face-to-face contact, fax, e-mail, website, and conventional mail, and sometimes a combination of these. Day-to-day variation is not random, as would be expected from inconsistent pedometer performance, but rather exposes true behavior instability that can be explained by other factors and described using a coefficient of variation. Data reduction should be conducted cautiously and only after a full discovery (and disclosure) of its impact on aggregated group statistics and their relationship with other parameters.

Conclusions:

We have no doubt that research with pedometers will continue to yield new and important insights in the coming years.

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James J. McClain, Teresa L. Hart, Renee S. Getz and Catrine Tudor-Locke

Background:

This study evaluated the utility of several lower cost physical activity (PA) assessment instruments for detecting PA volume (steps) and intensity (time in MVPA or activity time) using convergent methods of assessment.

Methods:

Participants included 26 adults (9 male) age 27.3 ± 7.1 years with a BMI of 23.8 ± 2.8 kg/m2. Instruments evaluated included the Omron HJ-151 (OM), New Lifestyles NL-1000 (NL), Walk4Life W4L Pro (W4L), and ActiGraph GT1M (AG). Participants wore all instruments during a laboratory phase, consisting of 10 single minute treadmill walking bouts ranging in speed from 40 to 112 m/min, and immediate following the laboratory phase and during the remainder of their free-living day (11.3 ± 1.5 hours). Previously validated AG MVPA cutpoints were used for comparison with OM, NL, and W4L MVPA or activity time outputs during the laboratory and free-living phase.

Results:

OM and NL produced similar MVPA estimates during free-living to commonly used AG walking cutpoints, and W4L activity time estimates were similar to one AG lifestyle cutpoint evaluated.

Conclusion:

Current findings indicate that the OM, NL, and W4L, ranging in price from $15 to $49, can provide reasonable estimates of free-living MVPA or activity time in comparison with a range of AG walking and lifestyle cutpoints.