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Andrew J. Atkin, Trish Gorely, Stuart J.H. Biddle, Simon J. Marshall and Noel Cameron

The present study examined physical activity and sedentary behavior patterns of adolescents between 15.30h and 18.30h. The sample for this study is 1,484 (boys: n = 561; girls: n = 923). Boys and girls reported 21 and 19 min of physical activity and 24 and 26 min of homework respectively during this period. Technology-based sedentary behavior (TV viewing, computer and video game use) was significantly higher in boys than girls (boys = 50 mins; girls = 35 mins; p < .05). The most prevalent behaviors after school are technology-based sedentary behavior, homework and physical activity. During these hours, engagement in physical activity does not appear to displace time spent doing homework.

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Simon J. Marshall, Stuart J.H. Biddle, James F. Sallis, Thomas L. McKenzie and Terry L. Conway

Few studies have attempted to describe patterns of sedentary behavior among children and examine how these relate to patterns of physical activity. A group of 2,494 youth aged 11–15 years from the USA and UK completed a physical activity checklist. Low intercorrelations between sedentary behaviors suggest youth sedentariness is multifaceted and cannot be represented accurately by any one behavior such as TV viewing. Cluster analysis identified three groups of young people, differentiated by the level and type of sedentary behavior and physical activity. Physical activity and sedentary behavior are not two sides of the same coin. Further study should examine the health-related outcomes associated with sedentary behavior and the modifiable determinants of these behaviors among young people.

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Thomas L. McKenzie, Kathryn J. LaMaster, James F. Sallis and Simon J. Marshall

The relationship of classroom teachers’ leisure time physical activity and their conduct of physical education classes was investigated. Eighteen 4th- and 5th-grade teachers reported on their leisure physical activity and had their physical education classes observed systematically during 4 consecutive semesters. Correlational analyses confirmed that more active teachers taught physical education differently from those that were less active. Teachers who were more active provided students with increased physical fitness activities, and the teachers themselves spent more time promoting physical fitness during lessons. The study provides some support for the hypothesis that physically active teachers provide higher quality physical education.

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Noe C. Crespo, Kirsten Corder, Simon Marshall, Gregory J. Norman, Kevin Patrick, James F. Sallis and John P. Elder

Background:

Girls are less physically active than boys, yet no single study has examined the factors that may explain gender differences in children’s physical activity (PA).

Methods:

This study was a cross-sectional analysis of data from 116 caregivers and their children aged 5–8 years who participated in the MOVE study. Caregivers reported various factors that may relate to children’s PA (eg, encouragement for child PA and PA equipment at home). Child PA was measured by 7-day accelerometry. Linear regression tested for the variance in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) explained by gender and several variables. Gender and ethnicity interactions were examined.

Results:

Caregivers were mostly female (97%), mean age 38 ± 6 years, mean BMI 28 ± 6 (kg/m2). Child’s mean age was 8.1 ± 0.7, 54% were female and 40% were overweight/obese. Girls were less physically active than boys (54.1 ± 19.7 vs. 65.2 ± 28.0 daily minutes of MVPA, respectively). Among girls, more days of PE/week was associated with greater MVPA. Among boys, greater parent support for PA, greater parent modeling for PA, and greater number of PA equipment in the home were associated with greater MVPA.

Conclusions:

This study supports that boys and girls have different correlates for MVPA, which may partly explain gender differences in PA.

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Elizabeth Vásquez, Garrett Strizich, Linda Gallo, Simon J. Marshall, Gina C. Merchant, Rosenda Murillo, Frank J. Penedo, Christian Salazar, Daniela Sotres-Alvarez, Benjamin A. Shaw and Carmen R. Isasi

Background:

Chronic stress and/or lifetime traumatic stress can create a self-reinforcing cycle of unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating and sedentary behavior, that can lead to further increases in stress. This study examined the relationship between stress and sedentary behavior in a sample of Hispanic/Latino adults (N = 4244) from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Sociocultural Ancillary Study.

Methods:

Stress was measured as the number of ongoing difficulties lasting 6 months or more and as lifetime exposure to traumatic events. Sedentary behavior was measured by self-report and with accelerometer. Multivariable regression models examined associations of stress measures with time spent in sedentary behaviors adjusting by potential confounders.

Results:

Those who reported more than one chronic stressor spent, on average, 8 to 10 additional minutes per day in objectively measured sedentary activities (P < .05), whereas those with more than one lifetime traumatic stressor spent (after we adjusted for confounders) 10 to 14 additional minutes in sedentary activities (P < .01) compared with those who did not report any stressors. Statistical interactions between the 2 stress measures and age or sex were not significant.

Conclusion:

Interventions aimed at reducing sedentary behaviors might consider incorporating stress reduction into their approaches.