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Mark Loftin, Patricia Strikmiller, Barbara Warren, Leann Myers, Leslie Schroth, James Pittman, David Harsha and Melinda Sothern

Peak cardiorespiratory responses, physical activity patterns, and the association of VO2peak and physical activity were examined in 16 elementary (ES) and 16 high school (HS) females. Peak responses were assessed during treadmill running, and physical activity patterns were examined over two 12-hour weekdays. Results indicated similar relative VO2peak responses between groups (ES: M = 46.8 ml · kg−1 · min−1;HS:M = 46.6 ml · kg−1 · min−1). No statistical differences (p ≤ .05) were noted when moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and vigorous physical activity (VPA) were compared. Also, a three-way (Group × HR level × Sustained minutes) ANOVA revealed no statistical differences. A median correlation (r = .27) was found from 8 independent correlations of habitual physical activity and VO2peak. ES and HS appeared similar in regard to VO2peak, accumulative and sustained MVPA and VPA. Low levels of sustained MVPA and VPA (≥ 10 min) were evident in both groups.

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Robert L. Newton, Hongmei Han, Melinda Sothern, Corby K. Martin, Larry S. Webber and Donald A. Williamson

Background:

To determine if there are differences in time spent in physical activity and sedentary behavior between rural African American and Caucasian children.

Methods:

Children wore accelerometers for 3 weekdays. The students were randomly selected from a larger sample of children participating in a weight gain prevention intervention. Usable data were obtained from 272 of the 310 students who agreed to participate. The outcome data included counts per minute (CPM), time spent in moderate to vigorous (MVPA), light (LPA), and sedentary (SED) activity. The equation and cutoff used to analyze national accelerometry data were used for the current study.

Results:

The sample had an average age of 10.4 (1.1) years and 76% were African American. Lower SES African Americans had more CPM (P = .012) and spent more time in MVPA (P = .008) compared with middle SES African American and lower SES Caucasian children. Lower SES African American children also spent fewer minutes in SED activity (P = .044) compared with middle SES African American children.

Conclusions:

These findings support recent results that also used objective activity measures. Children appeared less active and more sedentary than a national sample, warranting interventions in minority and rural populations.

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Mark Loftin, Melinda Sothern, Georgianna Tuuri, Connie Tompkins, Cathie Koss and Marc Bonis

Purpose:

The aim of this investigation was to compare gender differences in physiologic and perceptual responses during a 1-h run at recent marathon pace and running economy at three speeds in recreational marathon runners.

Methods:

In a counterbalanced design, 10 men and 10 women completed a 1-h treadmill run and a running economy test. Treadmill speed for the 1-h run ranged from 141 to 241 m·min−1 and 134, 168, and 188 m·min−1 for running economy. Physiologic parameters (oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide production, pulmonary ventilation, and heart rate) and perceived exertion were measured. Repeated-measures ANOVA was used to compare any gender differences (P < .05) during the 1-h run and a two-way ANOVA was used to compare running economy. With this sample, estimated marathon energy expenditure, body composition, and maximal physiologic function was reported.1

Results:

With the exception of an allometric expression of VO2 (mL·min−1·kg BW−0.75), similar gender physiologic and perceptual responses were found during the 1-h run. Although not significant, the females exercised at a higher percent VO2max (8% to 9%) during the run. Similar gender differences were also noted during the running economy tests.

Conclusions:

Although the male runners completed a recent marathon significantly faster than the females, similar gender physiologic and perceptual responses were generally found during the 1-h treadmill run and the running economy tests.

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Ariane L. Bedimo-Rung, Jessica L. Thomson, Andrew J. Mowen, Jeanette Gustat, Bradley J. Tompkins, Patricia K. Strikmiller and Melinda S. Sothern

Background:

Parks provide environments for physical activity, yet little is known about how natural disasters affect them or how these disasters alter physical activity. Our objectives were to (1) describe the development of an instrument to assess park conditions following a hurricane and (2) document the conditions of New Orleans’ parks 3 and 6 months after Hurricane Katrina.

Methods:

A Post-Hurricane Assessment (PHA) instrument was developed and implemented in 54 parks 3 and 6 months post-hurricane.

Results:

Summary scores of the Park Damage Index and the Neighborhood Damage Index showed improvement between 3 and 6 months of data collection. Parks and neighborhoods most affected by the hurricane were located in the most- and least-affluent areas of the city.

Conclusion:

The PHA proved to be a promising tool for assessing park conditions in a timely manner following a natural disaster and allowed for the creation of summary damage scores to correlate to community changes.

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Kara N. Dentro, Kim Beals, Scott E. Crouter, Joey C. Eisenmann, Thomas L. McKenzie, Russell R. Pate, Brian E. Saelens, Susan B. Sisson, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Melinda S. Sothern and Peter T. Katzmarzyk

Background:

The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance partnered with physical activity experts to develop a report card that provides a comprehensive assessment of physical activity among United States children and youth.

Methods:

The 2014 U.S. Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth includes 10 indicators: overall physical activity levels, sedentary behaviors, active transportation, organized sport participation, active play, health-related fitness, family and peers, school, community and the built environment, and government strategies and investments. Data from nationally representative surveys were used to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the physical activity indicators. The Committee used the best available data source to grade the indicators using a standard rubric.

Results:

Approximately one-quarter of children and youth 6 to 15 years of age were at least moderately active for 60 min/day on at least 5 days per week. The prevalence was lower among youth compared with younger children, resulting in a grade of D- for overall physical activity levels. Five of the remaining 9 indicators received grades ranging from B- to F, whereas there was insufficient data to grade 4 indicators, highlighting the need for more research in some areas.

Conclusions:

Physical activity levels among U.S. children and youth are low and sedentary behavior is high, suggesting that current infrastructure, policies, programs, and investments in support of children’s physical activity are not sufficient.