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Valerie Carson, Jodie Stearns, and Ian Janssen

The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between parental and children’s physical activity and screen time behaviors in a large sample of children in the early years. The results are based on 738 children aged 0–5 years and their parents from the Kingston, Canada area. Parents completed a questionnaire from May to September 2011 that assessed sociodemographic characteristics, their physical activity and screen time, and their child’s physical activity and screen time. Logistic regression models, adjusted for potential confounders, were conducted. Parents in the lowest quartile of physical activity were 2.77 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.68–4.57) times more likely to have a child in the lowest quartile of physical activity compared with parents in the highest quartile of physical activity. Relationships were stronger in two parent homes compared with single-parent homes. Parents in the second (odds ratio = 2.27, 95% CI: 1.36–3.78), third (2.30, 1.32–3.99), and fourth (7.47, 4.53–12.33) screen time quartiles were significantly more likely to have a child in the highest quartile of screen time compared with parents in quartile one. To optimize healthy growth and development in the early years, future family-centered interventions targeting both physical activity and screen time appear important.

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Jodie A. Stearns, Paul J. Veugelers, Tara-Leigh McHugh, Chris Sprysak, and John C. Spence

Background: Potential income disparities were examined in the (1) awareness and uptake of the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit (CFTC), and (2) physical activity (PA) of children from families who did and did not claim the credit in Alberta, Canada in 2012 and 2014. Methods: Secondary analyses of 3 cross-sectional data sets of grade 5 students (10–11 y) were performed, including Alberta Project Promoting healthy Living for Everyone Schools 2012 (N = 1037), and Raising healthy Eating and Active Living Kids Alberta 2012 (N = 2676), and 2014 (N = 3125). Parents reported whether they claimed the CFTC in the previous year, their education and household income, and their child’s gender and PA. Children self-reported their PA from the previous 7 days. In Alberta Project Promoting healthy Living for Everyone Schools, children also wore pedometers. Analyses adjusted for clustering within schools and demographic factors. Results: Higher income families (≥$50,000/y) were more likely to be aware of and to have claimed the CFTC compared with low-income families (<$50,000/y). The CFTC was associated with organized PA with larger associations for higher-income families (odds ratio = 9.03–9.32, Ps < .001) compared with lower-income families (odds ratio = 3.27–4.05, Ps < .01). No associations existed for overall PA or pedometer steps with the CFTC. Conclusions: Income disparities exist in the awareness, uptake, and potential impact of the CFTC. Tax credits are not effective in promoting overall PA.

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Morgan Potter, John C. Spence, Normand Boulé, Jodie A. Stearns, and Valerie Carson

Purpose: Understanding the correlates of children’s fitness as they develop is needed. The objectives of this study were to 1) examine the longitudinal associations between physical activity (PA), screen time (ST), and fitness; 2) determine if sex moderates associations; and 3) track PA and ST over 3 years. Methods: Findings are based on 649 children [baseline = 4.5 (0.5) y; follow-up = 7.8 (0.6) y] from Edmonton, Canada. Parental-reported hour per week of PA and ST were measured at baseline and 3 years later. Fitness (vertical jump, sit and reach, waist circumference, grip strength, predicted VO2max, push-ups, and partial curl-ups) was measured using established protocols at follow-up. Sex-specific z scores or low/high fitness groups were calculated. Linear or logistic multiple regression models and Spearman correlations were conducted. Results: Baseline ST was negatively associated with follow-up grip strength [β = −0.010; 95% confidence interval (CI), −0.019 to −0.001]. Associations between baseline PA and follow-up overall fitness (β = 0.009; 95% CI, 0.002 to 0.016) were significant, whereas baseline PA and follow-up VO2max (β = 0.014; 95% CI, 0.000 to 0.027) approached significance (P < .06). No sex interactions were observed. Moderate and large tracking were observed for PA (r s = .30) and ST (r s = .53), respectively. Conclusions: PA and ST may be important modifiable correlates of overall fitness in young children.

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Ashley McCurdy, Jodie A. Stearns, Ryan E. Rhodes, Debbie Hopkins, Kerry Mummery, and John C. Spence

This investigation sought to examine physical activity (PA) as a potential determinant of chronic boredom and associated well-being within the context of COVID-related restrictions. A representative sample of U.K. adults (N = 1,521) completed a survey on June 1, 2020. Bivariate analyses demonstrated that individuals who met guidelines and maintained or increased PA scored higher on life satisfaction, worthwhileness, and happiness and lower on anxiety (i.e., indicators of well-being) and boredom proneness (d = 0.13–0.43). Boredom proneness was correlated with all indicators of well-being (r = .38–.54). A series of regression models revealed that PA predicted lower boredom proneness and better life satisfaction, worthwhileness, and happiness. Boredom proneness accounted for the covariance between PA and well-being. Prospective research is needed to confirm causality of the observed relationships.