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Patricia Tucker and Jennifer D. Irwin

Objective:

To explore the characteristics of a university-wide buddy system that students would be receptive to using.

Methods:

This study targeted a heterogeneous sample of undergraduate university students age 18 to 25 y. An experienced moderator, using a semi-structured interview guide, conducted 13 focus groups (n = 65). Focus group discussions were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Inductive content analysis was conducted independently by two researchers. Measures were incorporated throughout to ensure data trustworthiness.

Results:

The value of this campus-based physical activity intervention was emphasized by the vast majority of participants. Five main themes exemplified students' preferences: sign-up methods; matching criteria; social components; policies and procedures; and contact methods.

Conclusion:

Students confirmed that a campus-based program tailored to their needs and preferences will be more effective than those to which they currently have access. Given the small number of physically active Canadian university students, a campus-based program that is appealing is important for the health of this population.

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Stephanie Truelove, Leigh M. Vanderloo and Patricia Tucker

Background:

Many young children are not meeting the Canadian physical activity guidelines. In an effort to change this, the term active play has been used to promote increased physical activity levels. Among young children, physical activity is typically achieved in the form of active play behavior. The current study aimed to review and synthesize the literature to identify key concepts used to define and describe active play among young children. A secondary objective was to explore the various methods adopted for measuring active play.

Methods:

A systematic review was conducted by searching seven online databases for English-language, original research or reports, and were eligible for inclusion if they defined or measured active play among young children (ie, 2 to 6 years).

Results:

Nine studies provided a definition or description of active play, six measured active play, and 13 included both outcomes. While variability in active play definitions did exist, common themes included: increased energy exerted, rough and tumble, gross motor movement, unstructured, freely chosen, and fun. Alternatively, many researchers described active play as physical activity (n = 13) and the majority of studies used a questionnaire (n = 16) to assess active play among young children.

Conclusion:

Much variability in the types of active play, methods of assessing active play, and locations where active play can transpire were noted in this review. As such, an accepted and consistent definition is necessary, which we provide herein.

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Leigh M. Vanderloo, Olivia J. M. Martyniuk and Patricia Tucker

Background:

Although preschoolers’ physical activity in center-based childcare has received considerable attention, less is known regarding this group’s activity levels within home-based childcare. This review aimed to explore and synthesize the literature on preschoolers’ physical and sedentary activity levels in home-based childcare. Outdoor playtime was also examined to contribute to the understanding of preschoolers’ activity levels within this particular setting.

Methods:

Nine online databases were searched for peer-reviewed, English-language, primary studies that quantitatively measured physical and sedentary activity levels of preschoolers attending home-based childcare. Studies were excluded if they were nonprimary research, if they lacked a preschool-aged sample, if they did not quantitatively measure physical or sedentary activity, or if they took place in an ineligible environment.

Results:

Seven articles were included in this review; 3 had objective measures of activity levels, and 4 relied on nonobjective measures. Accelerometry data suggest that preschoolers’ average sedentary, moderate-to-vigorous, and total physical activity levels in home-based childcare ranged from 39.5 to 49.6, 1.8 to 9.7, and 10.4 to 33.8 min/hr, respectively. Outdoor playtime appears to be inconsistent in home-based childcare.

Conclusion:

Physical activity among preschoolers attending home-based childcare appears to be relatively low and widely varied. Sedentary time has received less attention in home-based childcare settings. Future research examining activity levels in this unique environment is warranted.

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Andrew F. Clark, Joannah Campbell, Patricia Tucker, Piotr Wilk and Jason A. Gilliland

Background: Children’s sedentary lifestyles and low physical activity levels may be countered using population-level interventions. This study examines factors influencing the use of a free community-wide physical activity access pass for grade 5 students (G5AP). Methods: A natural experiment with longitudinal data collection. A sample of 881 children completed the 9-month follow-up survey self-reporting where they used the G5AP. Two analyses were conducted: Getis-Ord GI* geographic cluster analysis of the spatial distribution of users, and logistic regression examining the relationship between use and accessibility (informational, economic, and geographic) and mobility options, while accounting for intrapersonal and interpersonal factors. Results: Overall, 44.9% of children used the G5AP with clusters of high use in urban areas and low use in the suburbs. Other factors significantly related to G5AP included gender (girls), informational accessibility (active recruitment), economic accessibility (median household income), geographic accessibility (facilities within 1.6 km of home), and mobility options (access to Boys & Girls Club bus). Conclusions: This study found that a diverse population of children used the G5AP. To continue being successful, community-based physical activity interventions need to ensure that the intervention increases geographic, economic, and informational accessibility and provides mobility options that are available to the target population.

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Leigh M. Vanderloo, Natascja A. Di Cristofaro, Nicole A. Proudfoot, Patricia Tucker and Brian W. Timmons

Young children’s activity and sedentary time were simultaneously measured via the Actical method (i.e., Actical accelerometer and specific cut-points) and the ActiGraph method (i.e., ActiGraph accelerometer and specific cut-points) at both 15-s and 60-s epochs to explore possible differences between these 2 measurement approaches. For 7 consecutive days, participants (n = 23) wore both the Actical and ActiGraph side-by-side on an elastic neoprene belt. Device-specific cut-points were applied. Paired sample t tests were conducted to determine the differences in participants’ daily average activity levels and sedentary time (min/h) measured by the 2 devices at 15-s and 60-s time sampling intervals. Bland-Altman plots were used to examine agreement between Actical and ActiGraph accelerometers. Regardless of epoch length, Actical accelerometers reported significantly higher rates of sedentary time (15 s: 42.7 min/h vs 33.5 min/h; 60 s: 39.4 min/h vs 27.1 min/h). ActiGraph accelerometers captured significantly higher rates of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (15 s: 9.2 min/h vs 2.6 min/h; 60 s: 8.0 min/h vs 1.27 min/h) and total physical activity (15 s: 31.7 min/h vs 22.3 min/h; 60 s: = 39.4 min/h vs 25.2 min/h) in comparison with Actical accelerometers. These results highlight the present accelerometry-related issues with interpretation of datasets derived from different monitors.

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Leigh M. Vanderloo, Patricia Tucker, Ali Ismail and Melissa M. van Zandvoort

Background:

Preschoolers spend a substantial portion of their day in childcare; therefore, these centers are an ideal venue to encourage healthy active behaviors. It is important that provinces’/territories’ childcare legislation encourage physical activity (PA) opportunities. The purpose of this study was to review Canadian provincial/territorial childcare legislation regarding PA participation. Specifically, this review sought to 1) appraise each provincial/territorial childcare regulation for PA requirements, 2) compare such regulations with the NASPE PA guidelines, and 3) appraise these regulations regarding PA infrastructure.

Methods:

A review of all provincial/territorial childcare legislation was performed. Each document was reviewed separately by 2 researchers, and the PA regulations were coded and summarized. The specific provincial/territorial PA requirements (eg, type/frequency of activity) were compared with the NASPE guidelines.

Results:

PA legislation for Canadian childcare facilities varies greatly. Eight of the thirteen provinces/territories provide PA recommendations; however, none provided specific time requirements for daily PA. All provinces/territories did require access to an outdoor play space.

Conclusion:

All Canadian provinces/territories lack specific PA guidelines for childcare facilities. The development, implementation, and enforcement of national PA legislation for childcare facilities may aid in tackling the childhood obesity epidemic and assist childcare staff in supporting and encouraging PA participation.

Open access

Joel D. Barnes, Christine Cameron, Valerie Carson, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Rachel C. Colley, Guy E.J. Faulkner, Ian Janssen, Roger Kramers, Travis J. Saunders, John C. Spence, Patricia Tucker, Leigh M. Vanderloo and Mark S. Tremblay