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Michael L. Booth, Adrian Bauman and Neville Owen

In a cross-sectional survey, older Australians (N = 402) were asked to report their physical activity habits and the 3 main barriers to more physical activity. Active and inactive men and women differed only in how many reported being sufficiently active or that their health was too poor to be more active. Six barriers were reported by more than 10% of inactive men and women: “already active enough,” “have an injury or disability,” “poor health,” “too old,” “don't have enough time,” and “I'm not the sporty type.” Insufficient time was identified by significantly fewer respondents as age increased. More respondents 65–70+ years old identified poor health as a barrier than did those 60–64. The proportion who had an injury or disability decreased from 60–64 to 65–69 and increased markedly among those 70+. Programs for older adults should take into account the age of the target group and the limitations imposed by poor health or disability.

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Anthony D. Okely, Michael L. Booth and John W. Patterson

This study investigated a possible relationship between cardiorespiratory endurance and fundamental movement skill proficiency among adolescents. Locomotor (run and jump) and object-control (catch, throw, kick, and strike) skills and cardiorespiratory endurance, indirectly measured using the Multistage Fitness Test (MFT) or PACER, were assessed in 2,026 boys and girls in Grade 8 (mean age = 13.3 years) and Grade 10 (mean age = 15.3 years), who were part of a randomly selected sample who agreed to participate in the New South Wales Schools Fitness and Physical Activity Survey, 1997. Boys had higher levels of cardiorespiratory endurance and were more competent than girls on 5 out of 6 skills. Grade 10 students were better on all skills and were aerobically fitter than Grade 8 students. All six skills and a skills index were related to the number of laps completed on the MFT. The six skills explained 20% and 26% of the variance in the number of laps completed on the MFT for Grade 8 and Grade 10 girls, respectively, and 12% and 17% for Grade 8 and Grade 10 boys, respectively. This finding can be interpreted as evidence of a relationship between cardiorespiratory endurance and fundamental movement skills among adolescents. Further studies are recommended to determine if improved movement skills in adolescents can promote cardiorespiratory endurance.

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Michael L. Booth, Anthony D. Okely, Tien Chey and Adrian E. Bauman

This study examined the pattern of activity energy expenditure (AEE) among New South Wales (NSW) high school students in relation to age, sex, socioeconomic status (SES), place of residence, cultural background, season, participation in moderate- and vigorous-intensity and in organized and non-organized physical activity.

Methods:

Cross-sectional survey of a randomly-selected sample (N = 2026). Respondents self-reported their physical activity participation during a usual week in summer and winter.

Results:

Boys reported greater AEE than girls and, whereas AEE was greater among grade 10 than grade 8 boys, the reverse was true for girls. Boys reported the same AEE for summer and winter, but girls reported less AEE during winter. Both boys and girls reported spending the same proportion of their AEE in vigorous-intensity (72%) compared with moderate-intensity activity (28%) and in non-organized (60%) compared with organized activity. There was no clear association between urban/rural place of residence and AEE. Although AEE tended to be positively associated with SES among girls, there was no association among boys. Girls from Asian cultural backgrounds reported much lower AEE than girls from other cultural backgrounds.

Conclusion:

Patterns of energy expenditure among adolescent boys and girls should be considered in developing interventions to ensure needs are adequately met.