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Michael W. Beets and Kenneth H. Pitetti

This study was undertaken to initiate a standardized methodology model for reporting cardiovascular fitness (CVF) for youths in the US and to compare the CVF of youths from a Midwestern metropolitan area to their international and US peers. Participants were 795 youths 8–18 yrs old. The 20-m shuttle-run test (20MST) was used to determine CVF and body composition was determined by body mass index (BMI). Comparative analysis was made by sex and age. Participants in this study showed similar CVF levels with their US peers, but when compared with their international counterparts, they demonstrated considerably lower CVF and higher BMI.

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Michael W. Beets and Kenneth H. Pitetti

Background:

To examine the Healthy Fitness Zone (pass/fail) criterion-referenced reliability (CRR) and equivalency (CRE) of the 1-mile run/walk (MRW) and Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) in adolescents (13 to 18 years).

Methods:

Seventy-six girls and 165 boys were randomly assigned to complete 2 trials of each test.

Results:

CRR for the boys on the MRW (Pa = 77%, κq = 0.53) was lower than on the PACER (Pa = 81%, κq = 0.63); girls were classified more similarly on the MRW (Pa = 83%, κq = 0.67) than on the PACER (Pa = 79%, κq = 0.58). The CRE between the MRW and PACER indicated boys (Pa = 77%, κq = 0.55) were classified more consistently on both tests than girls (Pa = 73%, κq = 0.46).

Conclusions:

No test provided greater consistency. Practitioners may consider other features, such as ease of administration, environmental conditions, and comparative use in the literature.

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Michael W. Beets and John T. Foley

Background:

Much of the research conducted to date implies overweight youth exhibit uniform active and sedentary behavioral patterns. This approach negates the possibility that multiple co-occurring, and seemingly contrasting, behaviors may manifest within the same individual. We present a substantive dialogue on alternative analytical approaches to identifying risk-related active/sedentary behavioral patterns associated with overweight in adolescents.

Methods:

Comparisons were made among latent profile analysis (LPA), cluster analysis (CA), and multinomial logistic regression (MLR). A cross sectional sample of youth (N = 6603; 12−18 yrs) completed a questionnaire assessing: physical activity (PA); competing activities (COMP); and sedentary activities (SED). Demographics associated with PA (age, sex, BMI) were used as covariates/predictors.

Results:

Comparisons among methods revealed that LPA and CA detected subgroupings of behavioral patterns associated with overweight, each unique in regards to behaviors and demographic characteristics, whereas MLR results followed established associations of low PA and high SED without subgroup separation.

Conclusions:

Use of LPA and CA provides a rich understanding of behavioral patterns and the related demographic characteristics. Decisions guiding the selection of analytical techniques are discussed.

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Michael W. Beets, Kenneth H. Pitetti and Bo Fernhall

The purpose of this study was to twofold: to determine reliability of peak performance as measured by peak heart rate (HRpeak) during the Progressive Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) and a treadmill stress test (TM); and to compare the PACER and the TM. The sample consisted of 42 participants 8 to 21 years old with mild mental retardation. Participants completed two PACERs followed by two TMs separated by a minimum of 48 hr. Data collected were HR for the PACER and TM; PACER laps completed; and TM endurance time (min). Intraclass correlations were computed separately for males and females in order to assess the reliability of PACER laps, HRpeak, and TM time. Results indicated high reliability for both males and females on PACER laps and TM HRpeak, and for males on PACER HR and TM time; moderate reliability was observed for females on PACER HRpeak and TM time. No significant differences were detected within or among trials. These findings indicate that youth with mild mental retardation exhibit consistent peak performance on the PACER and TM tests; therefore, PACER can be used for surveillance of aerobic fitness in this population.

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Kenneth H. Pitetti, Michael W. Beets and Judy Flaming

Pedometer accuracy for steps and activity time during dynamic movement for youth with intellectual disabilities (ID) were examined. Twenty-four youth with ID (13 girls, 13.1 ± 3.2 yrs; 11 boys, 14.7 ± 2.7 yrs) were videotaped during adapted physical education class while wearing a Walk4Life 2505 pedometer in five locations around the waist. Researchers viewed each videotape and recorded observed steps and activity time. Observed findings were compared with pedometer recorded steps and time. On average, pedometer registered steps were underestimated by approximately 14% ± 16.5%, whereas pedometer registered time was overestimated by approximately 8.7% ± 21.8%. The findings indicate that the accuracy of pedometers may be compromised during dynamic movement for youth with ID.

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Tarik Ozmen, Necmiye Un Yildirim, Bekir Yuktasir and Michael W. Beets

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a school-based cardiovascular-fitness-training program in children with mental retardation (MR). Thirty boys (8−15 years old) with mild to moderate mental retardation were randomly divided into 2 groups—experimental (EX) and control (CN). The EX group underwent 10 weeks of training 3 times/week for a duration of 1 hr/session at 60-80% peak heart rate. At Week 10, significant increases in 20-m shuttle-run-test (20-MST) laps were observed for the EX group. No improvements were found in percent body fat. No changes were observed for the CN. The school-based training program might prove useful in improving the cardiovascular fitness of children with MR.

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R. Glenn Weaver, Michael W. Beets, Collin Webster and Jennifer Huberty

Background:

Frontline-staff are critical to achieving policies related to child physical activity and nutrition (PAaN) in out-of-school-time programs (OSTP). Recent policies call upon staff to demonstrate behaviors related to PAaN. Currently, no instrument exists to measure these behaviors. This study fills the gap between policy mandates and staff behaviors by describing the development of the System for Observing Staff Promotion of Activity and Nutrition (SOSPAN) in OSTP.

Methods:

SOSPAN items were aligned with existing OSTP policies. Reliability and validity data of SOSPAN were collected across 8 OSTP: 4 summer day camps and 4 afterschool programs. Validity of SOSPAN staff behaviors/management of PA was established using the percent of children active measured concurrently via direct observation.

Results:

A total of 6437 scans were performed. Interrater percent agreement ranged from 74%–99% across PAaN behaviors. Children’s activity was associated with staff facilitative behaviors/management, such as playing with the children and providing 2 or more activities for children to choose, while prohibitive behaviors/management, such as waiting in line were related to increased sedentary behavior. Staff nutrition behaviors were observed in less than 0.6% of scans.

Conclusion:

SOSPAN is a reliable and valid tool to assess staff behaviors/management of PAaN in OSTPs.

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Jennifer L. Huberty, Michael W. Beets, Aaron Beighle and Greg Welk

Background:

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Ready for Recess: an elementary school recess intervention targeting staff training (ST) and providing recreational equipment (EQ).

Methods:

Ready for Recess had 4 intervention schools: 1) EQ+ST, 2) EQ, 3) ST, and 4) control. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was assessed with accelerometers at the four schools in 257 3rd- to 6th-grade children. Random intercept models for overweight/obese (OWOB) and healthy weight (HW) for boys and girls separately, examined change in percentage of time spent in MVPA during recess across EQ+ST, EQ, and ST compared with the control from baseline to postintervention.

Results:

HW boys receiving EQ+ST increased MVPA by 19.4%, OWOB boys receiving ST increased MVPA by 4.5%, OWOB girls receiving EQ-ST increased MVPA by 6.0%, while HW girls receiving EQ decreased MVPA by 13.6% in comparison with the control.

Conclusions:

Ready for Recess represents a possible means to increase MVPA in OWOB girls/boys, populations least likely to meet MVPA recommendations. However, the effect of the intervention was not uniform across all subgroups.

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Jennifer R. O’Neill, Russell R. Pate and Michael W. Beets

Background:

The aims of this study were to describe the physical activity levels of girls during dance classes and to identify factors associated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in those classes.

Methods:

Participants were 137 girls (11 to 18 years-old) enrolled in ballet, jazz, or tap dance classes from 11 dance studios. Participants wore an accelerometer during the selected dance class on 2 separate days. Factors hypothesized to be associated with MVPA were dance style, instructional level, instructor’s experience, percent of class time spent in choreography, and participants’ age, race/ethnicity, BMI-for-age percentile, and years of dance training. Data were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models.

Results:

Girls engaged in 9.8 minutes of MVPA, 6.0 minutes of moderate, 3.8 minutes of vigorous, 39.3 minutes of light, and 10.9 minutes of sedentary behavior per hour of dance class participation. Jazz/tap classes provided more MVPA than ballet classes, and intermediate level classes provided more MVPA than advanced level classes. Girls with more dance training obtained more MVPA than girls with less dance training.

Conclusion:

Dance classes provide valuable opportunities for adolescent girls to be physically active.

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Michael W. Beets, John T. Foley, Daniel W.S. Tindall and Lauren J. Lieberman

Thirty-five youth with visual impairments (13.5 ± 2.1yrs, 13 girls and 22 boys) walked four 100-meter distances while wearing two units (right and left placement) of three brands of voice-announcement (VA) pedometers (CentriosTM Talking Pedometer, TALKiNG Pedometer, and Sportline Talking Calorie Pedometer 343) and a reference pedometer (NL2000). Registered pedometer steps for each trial were recorded, compared to actual steps assessed via digital video. Inter-unit agreement between right and left VA pedometer placement was low (ICC range .37 to .76). A systematic error was observed for the VA pedometers on the left placement (error range 5.6% to 12.2%), while right placement VA pedometers were at or below ± 3% from actual steps (range 2.1% to 3.3%). The reference pedometer was unaffected by placement (ICC .98, error ~1.4%). Overall, VA pedometers demonstrated acceptable accuracy for the right placement, suggesting this position is necessary for youth with visual impairments.