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François Trudeau, Louis Laurencelle, and Roy J. Shephard

The purpose of this study was to examine the possible influence of childhood physical fitness on physical activity level and some of its psychosocial determinants as an adult. Childhood (age 10–12 years) data from the longitudinal Trois-Rivières Growth and Development Study (body mass index, Physical Work Capacity (PWC170)), number of sit-ups/min, left + right hands grip strength) were correlated with adult data (age 35.0 ± 0.3 years) for physical activity (PA) level, attitude toward PA, intention to exercise, perceived barriers to exercise and support of an active lifestyle by significant others. No significant relationships between childhood physical fitness and adulthood PA were found. Although the sample size is relatively small, our data suggest that the preadolescent physical fitness level has no measurable impact on adult habitual PA, attitudes toward PA, intentions to exercise, perceived barriers to exercise or support from the individual’s entourage.

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Richard Larouche, Louis Laurencelle, Roy J. Shephard, and Francois Trudeau

Background:

Several studies have reported an age-related decline of physical activity (PA). We examined the impact of 4 important transitional periods—adolescence, the beginning of postsecondary education, entry into the labor market, and parenthood—on the PA of participants in the Trois-Rivières quasi-experimental study.

Methods:

In 2008, 44 women and 42 men aged 44.0 ± 1.2 years were given a semistructured interview; the frequency and duration of physical activities were examined during each of these transition periods. Subjects had been assigned to either an experimental program [5 h of weekly physical education (PE) from Grades 1 to 6] or the standard curriculum (40 min of weekly PE) throughout primary school.

Results:

The percentage of individuals undertaking ≥ 5 h of PA per week decreased from 70.4% to 17.0% between adolescence and midlife. The largest decline occurred on entering the labor market (from 55.9% to 23.4%). At midlife, there were no significant differences of PA level between experimental and control groups. Men were more active than women at each transition except for parenthood.

Conclusions:

Our results highlight a progressive nonlinear decline of PA involvement in both groups. Promotion initiatives should target these periods to prevent the decline of PA.

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François Trudeau, Louis Laurencelle, Janie Tremblay, Mirjana Rajic, and Roy J. Shephard

The purpose of this project was to undertake a long-term follow-up of participants in the Trois-Rivières Growth and Development Study. Some 20 years after their initial involvement in the program, two groups were compared: experimental subjects (n =150) who had received 5 one-hour sessions of specialized physical education per week throughout their 6 years of primary school, and the original control group (n = 103). All subjects completed a questionnaire regarding current patterns of physical activity (PA), attitudes and beliefs about PA, and perceived barriers to PA. Principal results indicate: (a) More experimental than control women exercise 3 times or more per week, (b) experimental subjects more commonly perceived their health to be very good to excellent, (c) control subjects in general felt less psychological dependency on exercise, and (d) women in the experimental group had a lower relative risk of back problems.