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Stuart J. Fairclough, Lynne M. Boddy, Nicola D. Ridgers, and Gareth Stratton

The study examined associations between children’s weight status, physical activity intensity, and physical self-perceptions. Data were obtained from 409 children (224 girls) aged 10–11 years categorized as normal-weight or overweight/obese. Physical activity was assessed using accelerometry, and children completed the Physical Self-Perception Profile. After controlling for the effects of age, maturation, and socioeconomic status vigorous physical activity was significantly associated with normal-weight status among boys (OR = 1.13, p = .01) and girls (OR = 1.13, p = .03). Normal-weight status was significantly associated with perceived Physical Condition (Boys: OR = 5.05, p = .008; Girls: OR = 2.50, p = .08), and Body Attractiveness (Boys: OR = 4.44, p = .007; Girls: OR = 2.56, p = .02). Weight status of 10–11 year old children was significantly associated with time spent in vigorous physical activity and self-perceptions of Body Attractiveness and Physical Condition.

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Simon J. Roberts, Lynne M. Boddy, Stuart J. Fairclough, and Gareth Stratton

The aims of this study were firstly to examine whether there was an observed relative age effect in the cardiorespiratory fitness scores of 9-10 and 11-12 year old children, and secondly whether any observed effect was maintained after controlling for somatic maturity. Cardiorespiratory fitness data from 11,404 children aged 9-10 years and 3,911 children aged 11-12 years were obtained from a large cross-sectional field-based fitness testing program. A one-way ANOVA revealed a statistically significant relative age effect (p < .01) existed in the 20mSRT scores across all the age groups. Furthermore, ANCOVA analyses identified a statistically significant relative age effect was maintained after controlling for somatic maturation (p < .05). From a public health perspective these results confirm the existence of relative age effects for the first time and consequently may hold implications for relatively younger children in the accurate assessment of their cardiorespiratory fitness scores.

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Samantha J. Downs, Stuart J. Fairclough, Zoe R. Knowles, and Lynne M. Boddy

The aim of this study was to assess the physical activity (PA) patterns of youth with intellectual disabilities (ID). PA was monitored for 7 days in 70 participants, 5–15 years old, using accelerometers. There were 32 participants included in the final analysis. Habitual PA and the number of continuous bouts accrued for a range of bout lengths (5–600 s) for light (LPA), moderate (MPA), and vigorous (VPA) PA were calculated. Multivariate analysis of covariance was used to assess differences in the number of continuous bouts by sex, age, and ID group and between week and weekend days. Participants exhibited short sporadic bursts of activity. The number of continuous bouts decreased as the intensity and duration increased. Few differences in PA patterns were reported by sex, ID group, and age group and between week and weekend days, possibly due to the generally low PA levels in this population.

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Liezel Hurter, Anna M. Cooper-Ryan, Zoe R. Knowles, Lorna A. Porcellato, Stuart J. Fairclough, and Lynne M. Boddy

Purpose: Accurately measuring sedentary behavior (SB) in children is challenging by virtue of its complex nature. While self-report questionnaires are susceptible to recall errors, accelerometer data lacks contextual information. This study aimed to explore the efficacy of using accelerometry combined with the Digitising Children’s Data Collection (DCDC) for Health application (app), to capture SB comprehensively. Methods: 74 children (9–10 years old) wore ActiGraph GT9X accelerometers for 7 days. Each received a SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab4 (SM-T230) tablet, with the DCDC app installed and a specially designed sedentary behavior study downloaded. The app uses four data collection tools: 1) Questionnaire, 2) Take a photograph, 3) Draw a picture, and 4) Record my voice. Children self-reported their SB daily. Accelerometer data were analyzed using R-package GGIR. App data were downloaded and individual participant profiles created. SBs reported were grouped into categories and reported as frequencies. Results: Participants spent, on average, 629 min (i.e., 73% of their waking time) sedentary. App data revealed most of their out-of-school SB consisted of screen time (112 photos, 114 drawings, and screen time mentioned 135 times during voice recordings). Playing with toys, reading, arts and crafts, and homework were also reported across all four data capturing tools on the app. On an individual level, data from the app often explained irregular patterns in physical activity and SB observed in accelerometer data. Conclusion: This mixed methods approach to assessing SB adds context to accelerometer data, providing researchers with information needed for intervention design.

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Phillip J. Hill, Melitta A. McNarry, Leanne Lester, Lawrence Foweather, Lynne M. Boddy, Stuart J. Fairclough, and Kelly A. Mackintosh

This study aimed to assess whether sex moderates the association of fundamental movement skills and health and behavioral outcomes. In 170 children (10.6 ±0.3 years; 98 girls), path analysis was used to assess the associations of fundamental movement skills (Get Skilled, Get Active) with perceived sports competence (Children and Youth—Physical Self-Perception Profile), time spent in vigorous-intensity physical activity, sedentary time, and body mass index z score. For boys, object control skill competence had a direct association with perceived sports competence (β = 0.39; 95% confidence interval, CI [0.21, 0.57]) and an indirect association with sedentary time, through perceived sports competence (β = −0.19; 95% CI [−0.09, −0.32]). No significant association was observed between fundamental movement skills and perceived sports competence for girls, although locomotor skills were found to predict vigorous-intensity physical activity (β = 0.18; 95% CI [0.08, 0.27]). Perceived sports competence was associated with sedentary time, with this being stronger for boys (β = −0.48; 95% CI [−0.64, −0.31]) than girls (β = −0.29; 95% CI [−0.39, −0.19]). The study supports a holistic approach to health-related interventions and highlights a key association of perceived sports competence and the time children spend sedentary.

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Nils Swindell, Damon Berridge, Melitta A. McNarry, Kelly A. Mackintosh, Lynne M. Boddy, Stuart J. Fairclough, and Gareth Stratton

Purpose:To examine (1) associations between body fat percent (BF) and lifestyle behaviors in children aged 9–11 years and (2) the consistency of these associations over a 10-year period. Methods: In this repeat, cross-sectional study, 15,977 children aged 9–11 years completed an anthropometric assessment and the SportsLinx Lifestyle survey between 2004 and 2013. Body fat was estimated according to the sum of the triceps and subscapular skinfold measurements. Multilevel models were utilized to examine associations between BF and responses to the lifestyle survey while controlling for known covariates. Results: Lifestyle behaviors explained 8.6% of the total variance in body fat. Specifically, negative associations were found between BF and active transport to school ( β = −0.99 [0.19], P < .001), full-fat milk (−0.07 [0.15], P < .001), and sweetened beverage consumption (−0.40 [0.15], P = .007). Relative to the reference group of ≤8:00 PM, later bedtime was positively associated with BF: 8:00 to 8:59 PM ( β = 1.60 [0.26], P < .001); 9:00 to 10:00 PM ( β = 1.04 [0.24], P < .001); ≥10:00 PM ( β = 1.18 [0.30], P < .001). Two-way interactions revealed opposing associations between BF and the consumption of low-calorie beverages for boys ( β = 0.95 [0.25], P < .001) and girls ( β = −0.85 [0.37], P = .021). There was no significant change in these associations over a 10-year period. Conclusions: In this population-level study covering a decade of data collection, lifestyle behaviors were associated with BF. Policies and interventions targeting population-level behavior change, such as active transport to school, sleep time, and consumption of full-fat milk, may offer an opportunity for improvements in BF.

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Rebecca M. Dagger, Ian G. Davies, Kelly A. Mackintosh, Genevieve L. Stone, Keith P. George, Stuart J. Fairclough, and Lynne M. Boddy

Purpose: To assess the effects of the Children’s Health, Activity and Nutrition: Get Educated! intervention on body size, body composition, and peak oxygen uptake in a subsample of 10- to 11-year-old children. Methods: Sixty children were recruited from 12 schools (N = 6 intervention) to take part in the CHANGE! subsample study. Baseline, postintervention, and follow-up measures were completed in October 2010, March–April 2011, and June–July 2011, respectively. Outcome measures were body mass index z score, waist circumference, body composition assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (baseline and follow-up only), and peak oxygen uptake. Results: Significant differences in mean trunk fat mass (control = 4.72 kg, intervention = 3.11 kg, P = .041) and trunk fat % (control = 23.08%, intervention = 17.75%, P = .022) between groups were observed at follow-up. Significant differences in waist circumference change scores from baseline to follow-up were observed between groups (control = 1.3 cm, intervention = −0.2 cm, P = .023). Favorable changes in body composition were observed in the intervention group; however, none of these changes reached statistical significance. No significant differences in peak oxygen uptake were observed. Conclusions: The results of the present study suggest the multicomponent curriculum intervention had small to medium beneficial effects on body size and composition health outcomes.

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Cara Shearer, Hannah R. Goss, Lowri C. Edwards, Richard J. Keegan, Zoe R. Knowles, Lynne M. Boddy, Elizabeth J. Durden-Myers, and Lawrence Foweather

Physical literacy continues to gain global momentum, yet the definition and underlying concept of physical literacy remain contested in both research and practice. This lack of clarity has the potential to undermine the operationalization of physical literacy. This paper considers the various definitions of physical literacy that are currently adopted internationally. Physical literacy experts identified seven leading groups that have established physical literacy initiatives. Although each group is unified in using the term physical literacy, there are contrasting definitions and interpretations of the concept. Common themes were identified, including the (a) influence of physical literacy philosophy, (b) core elements of physical literacy, (c) lifelong nature of physical literacy, and (d) the need to scientifically pursue a robust operationalization of the concept. We conclude by recommending that programs relating to physical literacy should provide a definition, a clear philosophical approach, and transparency with how their actions align with this approach.