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  • Author: Michael William Beets x
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Michael William Beets, Jennifer Huberty and Aaron Beighle

Background:

National and state organizations have called upon afterschool programs (3–6 PM, ASP) to promote physical activity (PA). Few strategies exist that ASPs can use to increase the PA of children enrolled. This study evaluated a policy-level intervention (Movin’ Afterschool, MAS) designed to increase PA through staff implemented policy-level changes and ongoing technical support.

Methods:

Twelve preexisting community-based ASPs serving 580 children (5–12 yrs, 57% girls) were invited to take part in MAS. Evaluation of children’s PA, staff behaviors (engaged or promote PA, other ASP tasks, general supervising), and environmental features (equipment, organized PA) at baseline (Fall 2010) and postassessment (Spring 2011) were collected using SOPLAY (System for Observing Play and Leisure Activity in Youth) for boys and girls, separately. Random effects models evaluated changes in PA categories (sedentary, walking, vigorous).

Results:

The percentage of boys and girls sedentary decreased by 11.8% and 11.4%, respectively. Girls walking increased by 6.9% while boys vigorous PA increased by 6.5%. Greater increases in vigorous activity were observed as postassessment in organized activities for boys and during indoor activities for girls.

Conclusions:

Findings indicate a policy-level approach targeting staff training and ongoing technical support can produce notable increases in PA within the ASP setting.

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Jihong Liu, Han Sun, Michael William Beets and Janice C. Probst

Objectives:

We examined the natural groupings of leisure-time physical activities (LTPA) among US adolescents and their correlates.

Methods:

Data came from the 1999−2006 NHANES, restricted to 3865 boys and 3641 girls 12−19 years old. Respondents were asked to report > 40 types of moderate-to-vigorous LTPA in the past month. Latent class analyses were used to identify natural groupings of the top 10 LTPA using the proportion of each activity’s metabolic equivalents (METs) to total energy expenditure from all physical activities.

Results:

For each gender, 5 natural groupings of LTPA were identified. Among boys, they were basketball players and runners (72.8%), football players (9.0%), bicycle riders (7.5%), soccer players (5.8%), and walkers (4.7%). For girls, the 5 natural groupings in descending order were dancers/walkers/joggers (79.0%), aerobic exercisers (6.1%), swimmers (5.6%), volleyball players (4.9%), and soccer players (4.2%). The natural groupings of physical activities were also impacted by age, race, weight status, region, and season of interview.

Conclusions:

The natural groupings of LTPA reflect adolescent’s preference and these activity patterns are likely shaped by their social and physical environments. Better understanding of common LTPAs and their natural groupings is useful in the design of effective PA interventions.

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Charles F. Morgan, Allison R. Tsuchida, Michael William Beets, Ronald K. Hetzler and Christopher D. Stickley

Background:

Physical activity guidelines for youth and adults include recommendations for moderate intensity activity to attain health benefits. Indirect calorimetry studies have consistently reported a 100 ste·min−1 threshold for moderate intensity walking in adults. No indirect calorimetry studies have investigated step-rate thresholds in children and therefore the primary purpose of the study was to determine preliminary step-rate thresholds for moderate physical activity walking in children.

Methods:

Oxygen consumption was measured at rest and used to determine 3 and 4 age-adjusted metabolic equivalents (A-AMETs) for 4 treadmill trials (self-selected, 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5 MPH). Two trained observers simultaneously counted children’s steps during each walking trial. Step-rate thresholds associated with moderate-intensity activity, defined as 3 and 4 A-AMETs, were determined using hierarchical linear modeling.

Results:

Regression analysis determined an overall step rate of 112 and 134 step·min-1 for 3 and 4 A-AMETs respectively. Body mass index (BMI) weight status and age were positively related to A-AMETs.

Conclusions:

We suggest age and BMI weight status specific recommendations that range from a low of 100 step·min-1 threshold (3 A-AMETs) for overweight/obese 11- to 12-year-olds to a high of 140 step·min-1 threshold (4 A-AMETs) for healthy weight 9- to 10-year-old children.

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Keith Brazendale, Michael William Beets, Robert Glenn Weaver, Jennifer Huberty, Aaron E. Beighle and Russell R. Pate

Background:

Afterschool programs (ASPs) can provide opportunities for children to accumulate moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The optimal amount of time ASPs should allocate for physical activity (PA) on a daily basis to ensure children achieve policystated PA recommendations remains unknown.

Methods:

Children (n = 1248, 5 to 12 years) attending 20 ASPs wore accelerometers up to 4 nonconsecutive week days for the duration of the ASPs during spring 2013 (February–April). Daily schedules were obtained from each ASP.

Results:

Across 20 ASPs, 3 programs allocated ≤ 30min, 5 approximately 45 min, 4 60 min, 4 75 min, and 4 ≥ 105 min for PA opportunities daily (min·d-1). Children accumulated the highest levels of MVPA in ASPs that allocated ≥ 60 min·d-1 for PA opportunities (24.8–25.1 min·d-1 for boys and 17.1–19.4 min·d-1 for girls) versus ASPs allocating ≤ 45 min·d-1 for PA opportunities (19.7 min·d-1 and 15.6 min·d-1 for boys and girls, respectively). There were no differences in the amount of MVPA accumulated by children among ASPs that allocated 60 min·d-1 (24.8 min·d-1 for boys and 17.1 min·d-1 for girls), 75 min·d-1 (25.1 min·d-1 for boys and 19.4 min·d-1 for girls) or ≥ 105 min·d-1 (23.8 min·d-1 for boys and 17.8 min·d-1 for girls). Across ASPs, 26% of children (31% for boys and 14% for girls) met the recommended 30 minutes of MVPA.

Conclusions:

Allocating more than 1 hour of PA opportunities is not associated with an increase in MVPA during ASPs. Allocating 60 min·d-1, in conjunction with enhancing PA opportunities, can potentially serve to maximize children’s accumulation of MVPA during ASPs.

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Jennifer L. Huberty, Michael William Beets, Aaron Beighle and Thomas L. Mckenzie

Background:

Children’s achievement of recommendations for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in afterschool programs (ASP) is complex. It is unclear what elements of the ASP environment influence children’s physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of staff behaviors and ASP features (eg, organized activity, recreational equipment) to MVPA participation in youth attending ASPs.

Methods:

Data were collected in 12 ASPs in the Midwest. Staff behavior and child PA was measured using the System for Observing Play and Leisure Activity in Youth. The percentage of children’s MVPA was examined in relation to staff behaviors and ASP features.

Results:

Increases in MVPA were observed when staff were directly engaged in PA, verbally promoted MVPA, and when PA was organized and equipment was present. When 3 or more of these characteristics were present, the proportion of children engaged in MVPA increased by 25%−30%. Conversely, MVPA levels decreased when these characteristics were absent and when staff were attending to other ASP duties or were supervising.

Conclusion:

This study provides evidence about the specific staff behaviors that may influence higher proportions of youth being active during ASP and implies specific skills that need to be incorporated into ASP staff training.

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Michael William Beets, Charles F. Morgan, Jorge A. Banda, Daniel Bornstein, Won Byun, Jonathan Mitchell, Lance Munselle, Laura Rooney, Aaron Beighle and Heather Erwin

Background:

Pedometer step-frequency thresholds (120 steps·min-1, SPM) corresponding to moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) have been proposed for youth. Pedometers now have internal mechanisms to record time spent at or above a user-specified SPM. If pedometers provide comparable MVPA (P-MVPA) estimates to those from accelerometry, this would have broad application for research and the general public. The purpose of this study was to examine the convergent validity of P-MVPA to accelerometer-MVPA for youth.

Methods:

Youth (N = 149, average 8.6 years, range 5 to 14 years, 60 girls) wore an accelerometer (5-sec epochs) and a pedometer for an average of 5.7 ± 0.8 hours·day-1. The following accelerometer cutpoints were used to compare P-MVPA: Treuth (TR), Mattocks (MT), Evenson (EV), Puyau (PU), and Freedson (FR) child equation. Comparisons between MVPA estimates were performed using Bland-Altman plots and paired t tests.

Results:

Overall, P-MVPA was 24.6 min ± 16.7 vs. TR 25.2 min ± 16.2, MT 18.8 min ± 13.3, EV 36.9 min ± 21.0, PU 22.7 min ± 15.1, and FR 50.4 min ± 25.5. Age-specific comparisons indicated for 10 to 14 year-olds MT, PU, and TR were not significantly different from P-MVPA; for the younger children (5−8 year- olds) P-MVPA consistently underestimated MVPA.

Conclusions:

Pedometer-determined MVPA provided comparable estimates of MVPA for older children (10−14 year-olds). Additional work is required to establish age appropriate SPM thresholds for younger children.