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  • Author: Lars Østergaard x
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Jakob Tarp, Lars B. Andersen and Lars Østergaard

Background:

Cycling to and from school is an important source of physical activity (PA) in youth but it is not captured by the dominant objective method to quantify PA. The aim of this study was to quantify the underestimation of objectively assessed PA caused by cycling when using accelerometry.

Methods:

Participants were 20 children aged 11 to 14 years from a randomized controlled trial performed in 2011. Physical activity was assessed by accelerometry with the addition of heart rate monitoring during cycling to school. Global positioning system (GPS) was used to identify periods of cycling to school.

Results:

Mean minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during round-trip commutes was 10.8 (95% CI: 7.1−16.6). Each kilometer of cycling meant an underestimation of 9314 (95% CI: 7719−11238) counts and 2.7 (95% CI: 2.1−3.5) minutes of MVPA. Adjusting for cycling to school increased estimates of MVPA/day by 6.0 (95% CI: 3.8−9.6) minutes.

Conclusions:

Cycling to and from school contribute substantially to levels of MVPA and to mean counts/min in children. This was not collected by accelerometers. Using distance to school in conjunction with self-reported cycling to school may be a simple tool to improve the methodology.

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Line Anita Bjørkelund Børrestad, Lars Østergaard, Lars Bo Andersen and Elling Bere

Background:

To provide more accurate assessment of commuting behavior and potential health effect, it is important to have accurate methods. Therefore, the current study aimed to a) compare questionnaire reported mode of commuting with objectively measured data from accelerometer and cycle computer, b) compare moderate vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among children cycling vs. walking to school, and c) thus calculate possible underestimated MVPA, when using accelerometers to measure commuter cycling.

Methods:

A total of 78 children, average age 11.4 (SD = 0.5), participated in the study. Physical activity was measured with cycle computers and accelerometers for 4 days. Mode of commuting and demographic information was self-reported in a questionnaire.

Results:

Children who reported to cycle to school spent significantly more time cycling than those who walked to school, 53.6 (SD = ± 33.9) minutes per day vs. 25.5 (SD = ± 24.6) minutes per day (P = .002) (ie, showing that MVPA, measured by accelerometers, underestimated 28.1 minutes per day among children cycling to school vs. those not cycling to school).

Conclusion:

To provide more accurate assessment of active commuting in children and adolescents future studies should incorporate multiple methodologies such as global position systems (GPS), accelerometers, cycle computers, and self-reported measurements.

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Lars Østergaard, Anders Grøntved, Line Anita B. Børrestad, Karsten Froberg, Michael Gravesen and Lars B. Andersen

Background:

Previous studies have been inconclusive concerning the effect of active transport on BMI. Our objective was to investigate the association between travel mode and BMI in a large community-based sample of Danish adolescents.

Methods:

A cross-sectional survey on health and lifestyle was distributed to all pupils from the 7th to 9th grade (12–16 years of age) in the municipality of Odense, Denmark.

Results:

Cycling to school was associated with 0.38 lower BMI compared to passive travelers (P = .006) after multivariable adjustment. Cycling to school was associated with 0.55 lower odds of being overweight (P < .001) and 0.30 lower (P < .001) odds of being obese compared to individuals using passive transport. Walking to school was associated with 0.65 lower odds of being overweight (P = .006). Post hoc pairwise comparisons of ethnicity revealed that adolescents of foreign ethnicity were more likely to be walkers or passive commuters (75.14% vs. 29.72%) than cyclists (24.86% vs. 70.28%; P < .001) compared to subjects of Danish ethnicity.

Conclusions:

Cycling to school was associated with lower BMI and lower odds of being overweight or obese compared to passive travel in Danish adolescents, whereas walking to school was associated with lower odds of being overweight.

Open access

Lisbeth Runge Larsen, Jens Troelsen, Kasper Lund Kirkegaard, Søren Riiskjær, Rikke Krølner, Lars Østergaard, Peter Lund Kristensen, Niels Christian Møller, Bjørn Friis Neerfeldt Christensen, Jens-Ole Jensen, Charlotte Østergård and Thomas Skovgaard

Background:

The first Danish Report Card on Physical Activity (PA) for Children and Youth describes Denmark’s efforts in promoting and facilitating PA and PA opportunities for children and youth.

Methods:

The report card relies primarily on a synthesis of the best available research and policy strategies identified by the Report Card Research Committee consisting of a wide presentation of researchers and experts within PA health behaviors and policy development. The work was coordinated by Research and Innovation Centre for Human Movement and Learning situated at the University of Southern Denmark and the University College Lillebaelt. Nine PA indicators were graded using the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card development process.

Results:

Grades from A (highest) to F (lowest) varied in Denmark as follows: 1) Overall Physical Activity (D+), 2) Organized Sport Participation (A), 3) Active Play (INC; incomplete), 4) Active Transportation (B), 5) Sedentary Behaviors (INC), 6) Family and Peers (INC), 7) School (B), 8) Community and the Built Environment (B+), and 9) Government strategies and investments (A-).

Conclusions:

A large proportion of children in Denmark do not meet the recommendations for PA despite the favorable investments and intensions from the government to create good facilities and promote PA.

Open access

Danielle Louise Nørager Johansen, Bjørn Friis Neerfeldt Christensen, Michael Fester, Børge Koch, Peter Lund Kristensen, Lisbeth Runge Larsen, Jesper Ninn Sandfeld Melcher, Tina Kryger Mondrup, Niels Christian Møller, Jacob Have Nielsen, Maja Pilgaard, Søren Præstholm, Mette Toftager, Jens Troelsen, Lars Østergaard and Thomas Skovgaard