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André F. Seabra, Denisa M. Mendonça, Martine A. Thomis, Robert M. Malina and José A. Maia

Background:

The present study considered age- and sex-associated variation in sports participation (SP) in Portuguese youth.

Method:

A national survey of 12,568 students, ages 10 to 18 y, was conducted. Two items of the Baecke et al. (1982) questionnaire that deal with SP were considered. Logistic regression and factorial ANOVA were used.

Results:

The prevalence of SP is greater in males than females. Mean sport scores increased in both sexes from ages 10 to 18 y. Soccer was the most practiced sport among males, while swimming and soccer were the most practiced sports among females. Males participated in SP >5 hours per week compared to 1 to 2 hours per week in females. High-intensity sports were more prevalent among males, while sports of mid-level intensity were more prevalent among females. The majority of youth participate in sport more than 9 months of the year.

Conclusion:

SP is an important component of physical activity among Portuguese youth and has a relatively stable prevalence between ages 10 to 18 y.

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Élvio R. Gouveia, Bruna R. Gouveia, José A. Maia, Cameron. J. Blimkie and Duarte L. Freitas

The aims of this study were to describe age- and sex-related differences in total body skeletal muscle (TB-SM) mass and to determine the variance explained by physical activity (PA). This cross-sectional study included 401 males and 402 females, aged 60–79 years. TB-SM was determined by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and PA by Baecke questionnaire. Statistical analysis included t test, ANOVAs, Pearson correlations, and multiple regression analysis. TB-SM mass was higher in the youngest age group when compared with the oldest in males and females. Males had greater TB-SM values than females. PA made a significant and positive contribution to the variation in TB-SM, β = 0.071; p = .016. Sex, height, fat mass, and PA explained 77% of the variance in TB-SM. The oldest cohorts and females had lower TB-SM than the younger cohorts and males. This study suggests that PA exerts a significant role in the explanation of TB-SM.

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Ana C. Seabra, José Maia, André F. Seabra, Greg Welk, Robert Brustad and António M. Fonseca

Background:

The Youth Physical Activity Promotion (YPAP) model provides an integrated approach to understanding the predisposing, enabling, and reinforcing factors influencing physical activity (PA) behavior. The purpose of this study was to evaluate an adapted version of the YPAP model for explaining PA among Portuguese schoolchildren.

Methods:

A random cross-sectional sample of 683 children (8–10 years of age) attending elementary public schools in the north of Portugal completed a detailed survey assessing attraction to PA, perceived physical competence, parental influences and leisure time PA. Structural equation modeling techniques were conducted (EQS6.1).

Results:

Attraction to PA was directly associated with children’s PA participation (β = 0.271, P < .05). Perceived physical competence imposed an indirect effect on children’s PA through children’s attraction to PA (β = 0.253, P < .05). Parental influence had an indirect effect on children’s PA through perceived physical competence and attraction to PA (β = 0.318 and 0.662, respectively, P < .05). Perceived physical competence and parental influence were not directly associated with children’s PA (β = 0.069 and 0.180, respectively, P > .05).

Conclusions:

The adapted version of YPAP model was useful in explaining PA participation in elementary Portuguese schoolchildren. Intervention programs intended to enhance attraction to PA, perceived physical competence and favorable parental influence should be developed to promote children’s PA participation.

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António Prista, Leonardo Nhantumbo, Silvio Saranga, Vítor Lopes, José Maia, André e Seabra, João Vinagre, Carole A. Conn and Gaston Beunen

Physical activity (PA) in children/adolescents of both genders from a rural community in Mozambique was estimated by accelerometry and by questionnaire and was compared with PA of Portuguese youth. Total PA, moderate (MPA), vigorous (VPA) and very vigorous (VVPA) were evaluated. Mozambican boys were more active than girls. Intensity of PA declined significantly with age. Survival activities, such as household tasks, were the predominant mode of PA. Compared with Portuguese children/adolescents, Mozambicans had significantly higher total PA; showed less decline of PA with age and engaged in fewer minutes at higher intensity PA. Environmental factors likely explain documented differences.

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Michele Caroline de Souza, Raquel Nichele de Chaves, Vitor Pires Lopes, Robert M. Malina, Rui Garganta, André Seabra and José Maia

Background:

Health benefits of physical activity (PA) and physical fitness (PF) are reasonably well established, but tracking studies of PA and PF in childhood have not ordinarily considered the role of motor coordination.

Objectives:

To compare the growth status, gross motor coordination (GMC), PA, and PF characteristics of children at 6 years of age relative to aerobic fitness (fit, unfit) and PA (active, sedentary) at 10 years.

Methods:

285 primary school children (142 girls, 143 boys) resident on the 4 main Azorean islands, Portugal, were measured annually (in the fall) from 6 to 10 years. ANOVA and t tests were computed with SPSS 17.

Results:

Children with either high aerobic fitness or with high level of PA at 10 years of age tended to have a more favorable profile at 6 years compared with those with low fitness or low activity, respectively. Children who were both fit and active at 10 years of age had a more favorable activity and fitness profile and had better GMC at 6 years compared with children who were unfit and sedentary.

Conclusions:

Results highlight the need to consider not only PA, but also PF and GMC in health promotion through the primary school years.

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Susana M. Soares, Ricardo J. Fernandes, J. Leandro Machado, José A. Maia, Daniel J. Daly and João P. Vilas-Boas

Context:

It is essential to determine swimmers’ anaerobic potential and better plan training, understanding physiological effects of the fatigue.

Purpose:

To study changes in the characteristics of the intracyclic velocity variation during an all-out 50-m swim and to observe differences in speed and stroking parameters between these changes.

Methods:

28 competitive swimmers performed a 50-m front-crawl all-out test while attached to a speedometer. The velocity–time (v[t]) curve off all stroke cycles was analyzed per individual using a routine that included a wavelet procedure, allowing the determination of the fatigue thresholds that divide effort in time intervals.

Results:

One or 2 fatigue thresholds were observed at individual level on the v(t) curve. In males, when 1 fatigue threshold was identified, the mean velocity and the stroke index dropped (P < .05) in the second time interval (1.7 ± 0.0 vs 1.6 ± 0.0 m/s and 3.0 ± 0.2 vs 2.8 ± 0.3 m/s, respectively). When 2 fatigue thresholds were identified, the mean velocity of the first time interval was higher than that of the third time interval (P < .05), for both male (1.7 ± 0.0 vs 1.6 ± 0.1 m/s) and female (1.5 ± 0.1 vs 1.3 ± 0.1 m/s) swimmers.

Conclusion:

One or 2 fatigue thresholds were found in the intracyclic velocity-variation patterns. Concurrently, changes in velocity and stroke parameters were also observed between time intervals. This information could allow coaches to obtain new insights into delaying the degenerative effects of fatigue and maintain stable stroke-cycle characteristics over a 50-m event.

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Élvio R. Gouveia, José A. Maia, Gaston P. Beunen, Cameron J. Blimkie, Ercília M. Fena and Duarte L. Freitas

The purposes of this study were to generate functional-fitness norms for Portuguese older adults, to determine age and sex differences, and to analyze the physical activity–associated variation in functional fitness. The sample was composed of 802 older adults, 401 men and 401 women, age 60–79 yr. Functional fitness was assessed using the Senior Fitness Test. Physical activity level was estimated via the Baecke questionnaire. The P50 values decreased from 60 to 64 to 75 to 79 yr of age. A significant main effect for age group was found in all functional-fitness tests. Men scored significantly better than women in the chair stand, 8-ft up-and-go, and 6-min walk. Women scored significantly better than men in chair sit-and-reach and back scratch. Active participants scored better in functional-fitness tests than their average and nonactive peers. This study showed a decline in functional fitness with age, better performance of men, and increased proficiency in active participants.

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Tiago V. Barreira, Stephanie T. Broyles, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Mikael Fogelholm, Gang Hu, Rebecca Kuriyan, Estelle V. Lambert, Carol A. Maher, José A. Maia, Timothy Olds, Vincent Onywera, Olga L. Sarmiento, Martyn Standage, Mark S. Tremblay, Peter T. Katzmarzyk and for the ISCOLE Research Group

Background: To determine if children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time varied across levels of household income in countries at different levels of Human Development Index (HDI), consistent with the theory of epidemiological transition. Methods: Data from 6548 children (55% girls) aged 9–11 years from 12 countries at different HDI levels are used in this analysis to assess MVPA and sedentary time (measured using ActiGraph accelerometers) across levels of household income. Least-square means are estimated separately for boys and girls at the estimated 10th, 50th, and 90th percentiles of HDI for the sample. Results: For boys, time in MVPA is negatively associated with income at the 10th and 50th percentiles of HDI (both P < .002). For girls, time in MVPA is negatively associated with income at the 10th and 50th percentiles of HDI (all P < .01) and positively related with income at the 90th percentile (P = .04). Sedentary time is positively associated with income at the 10th percentile of HDI for boys (P = .03), but not for girls. Conclusions: Results support the possibility of an epidemiological transition in physical activity, with lower levels of MVPA observed at opposite levels of income depending on the HDI percentile. This phenomenon was not observed for sedentary time.

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Richard Larouche, Emily F. Mire, Kevin Belanger, Tiago V. Barreira, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Mikael Fogelholm, Gang Hu, Estelle V. Lambert, Carol Maher, José Maia, Tim Olds, Vincent Onywera, Olga L. Sarmiento, Martyn Standage, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Mark S. Tremblay and For the ISCOLE Research Group

Purpose: This study investigated the relationship between outdoor time and physical activity (PA), sedentary time (SED), and body mass index z scores among children from 12 lower-middle-income, upper-middle-income, and high-income countries. Methods: In total, 6478 children (54.4% girls) aged 9–11 years participated. Outdoor time was self-reported, PA and SED were assessed with ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers, and height and weight were measured. Data on parental education, neighborhood collective efficacy, and accessibility to neighborhood recreation facilities were collected from parent questionnaires. Country latitude and climate statistics were collected through national weather data sources. Gender-stratified multilevel models with parental education, climate, and neighborhood variables as covariates were used to examine the relationship between outdoor time, accelerometry measures, and body mass index z scores. Results: Each additional hour per day spent outdoors was associated with higher moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA (boys: +2.8 min/d; girls: +1.4 min/d), higher light-intensity PA (boys: +2.0 min/d; girls: +2.3 min/d), and lower SED (boys: −6.3 min/d; girls: −5.1 min/d). Effect sizes were generally weaker in lower-middle-income countries. Outdoor time was not associated with body mass index z scores. Conclusions: Outdoor time was associated with higher PA and lower SED independent of climate, parental education, and neighborhood variables, but effect sizes were small. However, more research is needed in low- and middle-income countries.