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Niina Lintu, Kai Savonen, Anna Viitasalo, Tuomo Tompuri, Jussi Paananen, Mika P. Tarvainen and Timo Lakka

Background:

There are few studies on determinants of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) among girls and boys separately in population samples of children.

Methods:

We therefore investigated the determinants of CRF, assessed by maximal workload per height using allometric scaling, in a population sample of 162 girls and 177 boys aged 6 to 8 years. We used automated bootstrap feature selection and linear regression models.

Results:

The strongest determinants of CRF among girls were maximal heart rate (HR; standardized regression coefficient [β] = 0.31, P < .001), unsupervised physical activity (β = 0.29, P < .001), lean body mass (β = 0.23, P = .001), and errors in static balance test (β = –0.16, P = .02), accounting altogether for 25.7% of variation in CRF. In boys, unsupervised physical activity (β = 0.24, P < .001), resting HR (β = –0.25, P < .001), hand grip strength (β = 0.21, P = .001), errors in static balance test (β = –0.16, P = .01), organized football (β = 0.16, P = .01), and unsupervised trampoline jumping (β = 0.14, P = .04) were the strongest determinants of CRF, accounting altogether for 29.7% of variation in CRF.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that unsupervised physical activity is sufficient in improving CRF in both sexes. Furthermore, larger muscle mass and better balance are associated with higher CRF that has to be taken into account when assessing CRF using maximal cycle ergometer exercise test among children.

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Leena Hakola, Kai Savonen, Pirjo Komulainen, Maija Hassinen, Rainer Rauramaa and Timo A. Lakka

Background:

Little is known about factors that modify the effectiveness of exercise interventions in increasing exercise. We aimed to identify moderators of the effectiveness of aerobic exercise intervention in maintaining increased aerobic exercise among older individuals.

Methods:

The participants of a 4-year randomized controlled trial were a population sample of 1410 men and women aged 57 to 78 years. The aerobic exercise group included 185 individuals and the control group included 169 individuals who reported low aerobic exercise at baseline. Maintained increase in aerobic exercise was defined as at least 60-minute increase in moderate-to-heavy aerobic exercise per week from baseline to 2- and 4-year assessments.

Results:

Individuals in the aerobic exercise group were 2.5 (95% CI 1.5 to 3.9) times more likely to maintain increased aerobic exercise than those in the control group. Individuals aged < 68.5 years but not older individuals succeeded in maintaining increased aerobic exercise in the intervention group (P = .02 for interaction). Individuals who were past smokers (P = .02 for interaction), were working (P = .05 for interaction), or had symptoms of depression (P = .05 for interaction) succeeded better in maintaining increased aerobic exercise in the intervention group than other individuals.

Conclusions:

These findings help in more precise targeting of future exercise interventions among older individuals.