The following article was the Rainer and Julie Martens Invited Lecture given at the National Academy of Kinesiology, September 2011. The federal government has a demonstrated interest in the health benefits of physical activity. A major milestone in federal interest was the publication of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Other federal efforts, such as the National Prevention Strategy and the Lets Move! initiative, seek to translate the science in the Guidelines into action at multiple levels of society. Federal interest is also demonstrated through the range of physical activity research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This paper describes research resources and examples of research funded by several NIH institutes with the intent to enhance the ability of members of the National Academy of Kinesiology to have a positive impact on society by advancing the science, as well as promoting and facilitating the many and diverse benefits of human movement.
K. Robin Yabroff, Richard P. Troiano and David Berrigan
Several studies have reported positive associations between pet ownership and a variety of health outcomes. In this study, we explored associations between pet ownership and physical activity in a large, ethnically diverse population-based sample in California.
Data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) were used to assess the associations between pet ownership (ie, dog, dog and cat, cat, and non–pet owners) and transportation and leisure walking in a sample of 41,514 adults. Logistic regression was used to assess associations between pet ownership and type of walking, and linear regression was used to assess associations between pet ownership and total minutes walking per week.
Dog owners were slightly less likely to walk for transportation than were non–pet owners (OR = 0.91; 95% CI: 0.85 to 0.99) but more likely to walk for leisure than non–pet owners (OR = 1.6; 95% CI: 1.5 to 1.8) in multivariate analyses. Overall, dog owners walked 18.9 (95% CI: 11.4 to 26.4) minutes more per week than non–pet owners. Walking behaviors of cat owners were similar to non–pet owners.
Our findings support the moderate association between dog ownership and higher levels of physical activity.
Catrine Tudor-Locke, Tracy L. Washington, Barbara E. Ainsworth and Richard P. Troiano
The 2003 Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey (ATUS) contains 438 distinct primary activity variables that can be analyzed with regard to how time is spent by Americans. The Compendium of Physical Activities is used to code physical activities derived from various surveys, logs, diaries, etc to facilitate comparison of coded intensity levels across studies.
This article describes the methods, challenges, and rationale for linking Compendium estimates of physical activity intensity (METs, metabolic equivalents) with all activities reported in the 2003 ATUS.
The assigned ATUS intensity levels are not intended to compute the energy costs of physical activity in individuals. Instead, they are intended to be used to identify time spent in activities broadly classified by type and intensity. This function will complement public health surveillance systems and aid in policy and health-promotion activities. For example, at least one of the future projects of this process is the descriptive epidemiology of time spent in common physical activity intensity categories.
The process of metabolic coding of the ATUS by linking it with the Compendium of Physical Activities can make important contributions to our understanding of American’s time spent in health-related physical activity.
Richard P. Troiano, Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Gregory J. Welk, Neville Owen and Barbara Sternfeld
Advances in device-based measures have led researchers to question the value of reported measures of physical activity or sedentary behavior. The premise of the Workshop on Measurement of Active and Sedentary Behaviors: Closing the Gaps in Self-Report Methods, held in July 2010, was that assessment of behavior by self-report is a valuable approach.
To provide suggestions to optimize the value of reported physical activity and sedentary behavior, we 1) discuss the constructs that devices and reports of behavior can measure, 2) develop a framework to help guide decision-making about the best approach to physical activity and sedentary behavior assessment in a given situation, and 3) address the potential for combining reported behavior methods with device-based monitoring to enhance both approaches.
After participation in a workshop breakout session, coauthors summarized the ideas presented and reached consensus on the material presented here.
To select appropriate physical activity assessment methods and correctly interpret the measures obtained, researchers should carefully consider the purpose for assessment, physical activity constructs of interest, characteristics of the population and measurement tool, and the theoretical link between the exposure and outcome of interest.