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Geoffrey Whitfield, Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel and Harold W. Kohl III

Background:

Emerging evidence suggests that combined physical activity (PA) and inactivity may be more important for chronic disease risk than PA alone. A highly active yet highly sedentary population is needed to study this interaction. The present purpose is to describe the sitting habits of a group of recreational runners and determine if sitting varies with reported training duration or anticipated running velocity.

Methods:

Marathon and half-marathon participants completed the Multicontext Sitting Time Questionnaire and reported peak training duration, anticipated finishing time, and demographic information. Sitting time was described across 5 contexts for workdays and nonworkdays. Total sitting time was analyzed by tertiles of training duration and anticipated event running velocity.

Results:

218 participants took part in this study. Median reported training time was 6.5 hours per week. Median total sitting time was higher on workdays than nonworkdays (645 and 480 minutes, respectively, P < .0001). Total sitting time was not associated with training duration or anticipated event running velocity.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that recreational distance runners are simultaneously highly sedentary and highly active, supporting independence of sedentary behaviors and moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA. This population may provide the characteristics needed to study the joint effects of active and sedentary behaviors on health outcomes.

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Casey P. Durand, Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Deanna M. Hoelscher and Harold W. Kohl III

Background:

The potential for adults to accrue significant physical activity through public transit use is a topic of interest. However, there are no data on analogous questions among children. The goal of this analysis was to quantify patterns of transit use and correlates of transit-related physical activity among children aged 5 to 17 years.

Methods:

Data for this cross-sectional study came from the 2012 California Household Travel Survey. Probit regressions modeled the probability of transit use; negative binomial regressions modeled minutes/day in transit-related active travel.

Results:

Public transit use accounted for 3% of trips in California in 2012. Older Hispanic youth and those residing in areas with greater housing density and county size had a higher probability of transit use. Driver licensure, home ownership, household income, and vehicles in household were negatively correlated with public transit use. Race/ethnicity, income, and transit type were correlated with time spent in active travel to/from transit.

Conclusions:

Given its importance as a source of physical activity for some children, researchers should consider assessment of public transit-related activity in physical activity measurement instruments. Efforts to encourage active travel should consider how to incorporate transit-related activity, both from a measurement perspective and as an intervention strategy.

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Joseph T. Ciccolo, Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Caroline Macera and Barbara E. Ainsworth

Background:

Self-rated health (SRH) is a predictor of several clinical outcomes, including mortality. Physical activity is associated with SRH; however, the specific role that resistance training (RT) plays in this relationship is unknown. We explored the independent association between self-reported RT and SRH in a cross-sectional survey (National Physical Activity and Weight Loss Study; NPAWLS) conducted by the University of South Carolina Prevention Research Center in 2002.

Method:

Subjects were 9651 men and women (mean age 46.5 yrs) classified as having high or low SRH; and they were categorized into 2 groups: (1) meeting nationally recommended levels for RT (≥2 days/week); (2) not meeting levels (<2 days/week or no RT).

Results:

Meeting national recommendations was associated with male gender (P < .01), normal BMI (P < .01), and higher education (P < .01). When compared to individuals with low SRH, those with high SRH were 2 times as likely to meet recommended levels of RT (OR = 2.32; 95% CI = 1.96 to 2.76). The model modestly attenuated when fully adjusted for confounding variables, including other exercise (OR = 1.79; 95% CI = 1.49 to 2.15).

Conclusion:

This study identifies the specific positive relationship between RT and SRH, further supporting the health benefits of meeting the national recommendations for RT.

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Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Rita DiGioacchino DeBate, Robin R. High and Elizabeth F. Racine

Background:

Evidence supporting the effectiveness of a developmental-focused youth sport (DYS) program designed exclusively for elementary school aged girls is mounting. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of on the Girls on the Run program on psychological and physical assets among 3rd- to 5th-grade girls.

Methods:

A longitudinal quasi-experimental study was conducted to evaluate intervention effects among 877 participants categorized into 1 of 3 groups (never, newly, and previously exposed). A 64-item self-report survey measured developmental assets at 3 time-points. Nested random effects ANOVA models were used to compare demographic factors and psychological and physical assets between exposure groups and to compare longitudinal differences in these assets.

Results:

After adjustment for multiple comparisons, previous program participants had significantly higher physical activity commitment (P = .006) and physical activity levels (P = .047) at preintervention than never exposed. From pre- to postintervention body image improved in newly exposed participants (P = .03). Physical activity increased from preintervention to follow-up among never and newly exposed participants (all P < .05).

Conclusions:

Although we were unable to fully confirm the study hypotheses, the results of the current study provide new evidence to support future long-term studies examining the effectiveness of an innovative DYS program for 3rd- to 5th-grade girls.

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Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, James R. Morrow Jr. and Anne-Lorraine T. Woolsey

Context:

The selection of the most psychometrically appropriate self-report tool(s) to measure specific physical activity constructs has been a challenge for researchers, public health practitioners, and clinicians, alike. The lack of a reasonable gold standard measure and inconsistent use of established and evolving terminology have contributed to these challenges. The variation of self-report measures and quality of the derived summary estimates could be attributed to the absence of a standardized conceptual framework for physical activity.

Objective:

To present a conceptual framework for physical activity as a complex and multidimensional behavior that differentiates behavioral and physiological constructs of human movement.

Process:

The development of a conceptual framework can provide the basic foundation from which to standardize definitions, guide design and development of self-report measures, and provide consistency during instrument selection.

Conclusions:

Based on our proposed conceptual framework for physical activity, we suggest that physical activity is more clearly defined as the behavior that involves human movement, resulting in physiological attributes including increased energy expenditure and improved physical fitness. Utilization of the proposed conceptual framework can result in better instrument choices and consistency in methods used to assess physical activity and sedentary behaviors across research and public health practice.

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Richard P. Troiano, Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Gregory J. Welk, Neville Owen and Barbara Sternfeld

Context:

Advances in device-based measures have led researchers to question the value of reported measures of physical activity or sedentary behavior. The premise of the Workshop on Measurement of Active and Sedentary Behaviors: Closing the Gaps in Self-Report Methods, held in July 2010, was that assessment of behavior by self-report is a valuable approach.

Objective:

To provide suggestions to optimize the value of reported physical activity and sedentary behavior, we 1) discuss the constructs that devices and reports of behavior can measure, 2) develop a framework to help guide decision-making about the best approach to physical activity and sedentary behavior assessment in a given situation, and 3) address the potential for combining reported behavior methods with device-based monitoring to enhance both approaches.

Process:

After participation in a workshop breakout session, coauthors summarized the ideas presented and reached consensus on the material presented here.

Conclusions:

To select appropriate physical activity assessment methods and correctly interpret the measures obtained, researchers should carefully consider the purpose for assessment, physical activity constructs of interest, characteristics of the population and measurement tool, and the theoretical link between the exposure and outcome of interest.

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Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Rebecca L. Rankin, Chong Lee, Mary E. Charlton, Pamela D. Swan and Barbara E. Ainsworth

Background:

The 400 m walk test has been used in older adults; however, the applicability in middle-aged populations is unknown.

Methods:

Data were obtained from the Evaluation of Physical Activity Measures in Middle-Aged Women (PAW) Study and included 66 women (52.6 ± 5.4 years). Participants were instructed to walk at a brisk, maintainable pace; time taken to complete the 400 m was recorded in seconds. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to assess test-retest reliability. Spearman rank order correlation coefficients were used to examine the concurrent validity of the walk test with cardiorespiratory fitness and associations with physical activity, body composition, flexibility, static balance, and muscular fitness, adjusted for age and body mass index.

Results:

Participants completed the walk at visits 4 and 5 in 248.0 and 245.0 seconds, respectively. The walk test had excellent reproducibility [ICC = 0.95 (95% CI: 0.92, 0.97)] and was significantly associated with estimated (ρ = −0.43; P < 0.0001) and measured (ρ = −0.56; P < 0.001) VO2max. The walk test was also significantly related to physical activity, body composition, flexibility, and balance.

Conclusions:

These findings support the utility of the 400 m walk test to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness and reflect free-living physical activity in healthy, middle-aged women.