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  • Author: Steven H. Kelder x
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Andrew E. Springer, Deanna M. Hoelscher and Steven H. Kelder

Background:

Geographic differences in the prevalence of physical activity (PA) have been found among adults in the US; similar studies have not been conducted among adolescents.

Methods:

Using nationally representative cross-sectional data from the CDC’s 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, we estimated the prevalence of PA and sedentary behaviors by metropolitan status and geographic region.

Results:

The prevalence of PA was lowest and prevalence of sedentary behavior highest for urban students. Students from the South reported the lowest prevalence of PA and the highest prevalence of TV watching, while students from the West generally reported the highest PA prevalence and lowest sedentary behavior prevalence. Prevalence differences ranged from < 1.0% to > 15%, with most differences falling between 5% and 10%.

Conclusions:

Findings mirror regional variations previously observed in adult PA. We need to understand factors that contribute to lower PA in youth living in the South and in urban settings.

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Deanna M. Hoelscher, Andrew Springer, Tiffni H. Menendez, Peter W. Cribb and Steven H. Kelder

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Grace Goc Karp, Philip W. Scruggs, Helen Brown and Steven H. Kelder

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Deanna M. Hoelscher, Cristina Barroso, Andrew Springer, Brian Castrucci and Steven H. Kelder

Background:

Few studies have compared physical activity (PA) and sedentary activity (SA) by grade and ethnicity, specifically including elementary school students. A cross-sectional probability-based design was used to provide data by ethnicity (African American, Hispanic, and White/Other), gender, and grade (4th, 8th, and 11th) from 2000 to 2002.

Methods:

Two validated questionnaires (elementary and secondary) assessed self-reported PA and SA. Point-prevalence estimates and 95% confidence intervals were computed.

Results:

Over 70% of students reported vigorous PA on ≥3 days/week, but <50% participated in daily physical education. A significant percentage (30% to 50%) of students reported ≥3 hours per day in SA. Fourth-grade boys and girls reported equal PA; however, 8th and 11th grade girls reported lowered vigorous PA. African American 8th- and 11th-grade boys reported the highest PA, but African American children also reported the highest prevalence of SA.

Conclusions:

Findings from this study highlight the disparities in physical and sedentary activities by gender, grade, and race/ethnicity, and the need to address these differences with programs and policy. In general, grade level and gender differences were more striking and consistent than racial/ethnic differences.

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Katherine A. Skala, Andrew E. Springer, Shreela V. Sharma, Deanna M. Hoelscher and Steven H. Kelder

Background:

Physical education (PE) classes provide opportunities for children to be active. This study examined the associations between specific environmental characteristics (teacher characteristics; class size, duration and location; and lesson context) and elementary school-aged children’s moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA) during PE.

Methods:

Environmental characteristics and student activity levels were measured in 211 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade PE classes in 74 Texas public schools using SOFIT direct observation.

Results:

Students engaged in less than half their PE class time in MVPA (38%), while approximately 25% of class time was spent in classroom management. Percent time in MVPA was significantly higher in outdoor classes compared with indoors (41.4% vs. 36.1%, P = .037). Larger (P = .044) and longer (P = .001) classes were negatively associated with percentage of MVPA and positively correlated with time spent in management (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Findings suggest that children’s activity may be influenced by environmental factors such as class size, location, and lesson contexts. These findings hold important policy implications for PE class organization and the need for strategies that maximize children’s MVPA. Further research is needed to test the causal association of these factors with student MVPA.

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Andrew E. Springer, Steven H. Kelder, Nalini Ranjit, Heather Hochberg-Garrett, Sherman Crow and Joanne Delk

Background:

Marathon Kids® (MK) is a community and school-based program that promotes running, walking, and healthy eating in elementary school children. This study assessed the impact of MK on self-reported physical activity (PA), fruit and vegetable consumption (FVC), and related psycho-social factors in a sample of low-income, 4th- and 5th-grade students in Texas (n = 511). Intervention strategies included structured school running time, behavioral tracking, celebratory events, and rewards.

Methods:

A quasi-experimental design with 5 intervention (MK) and 3 comparison schools was employed. Students were assessed at baseline in the fall and at 3 time points during 2008 to 09. Mixed-effect regression methods were used to model pooled means, adjusting for baseline and sociodemographic variables.

Results:

MK students reported a higher mean time of running in past 7 days compared with non-MK students (mean = 4.38 vs. 3.83, respectively. P = .002), with a standardized effect size of 0.16. Mean times of FVC (P = .008), athletic identity self-concept (P < .001), PA outcome expectations (P = .007), and PA and FVC self-efficacy (P < .001 and P = .02, respectively) were also higher in MK students. Fewer differences in social support were observed.

Conclusion:

Findings provide further evidence on the importance of community and school partnerships for promoting PA and healthy eating in children.

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Steven H. Kelder, Grace Goc Karp, Philip W. Scruggs and Helen Brown

Is there anything more important than the health, well-being and education of a nation’s children? This paper takes the position that school is the most important place to educate children about health and to develop lifelong health promoting skills. We believe that health promotion programs and activities are integral to the school’s educational program, not as extracurricular, but as central to school’s educational mission. In this chapter, we highlight the importance of physical education and physical activity as key components of a well-designed coordinated school health program. We also outline the skills that PE teachers must learn to take a leadership role in the school health movement.

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Shreela V. Sharma, Deanna M. Hoelscher, Steven H. Kelder, Pamela M. Diamond, R. Sue Day and Albert C. Hergenroeder

Background:

The purpose of this study was to identify pathways used by psychosocial factors to influence physical activity and bone health in middle-school girls.

Methods:

Baseline data from the Incorporating More Physical Activity and Calcium in Teens (IMPACT) study collected in 2001 to 2003 were used. IMPACT was a 1 1/2 years nutrition and physical activity intervention study designed to improve bone density in 717 middle-school girls in Texas. Structural Equations Modeling was used to examine the interrelationships and identify the direct and indirect pathways used by various psychosocial and environmental factors to influence physical activity and bone health.

Results:

Results show that physical activity self-efficacy and social support (friend, family engagement, and encouragement in physical activity) had a significant direct and indirect influence on physical activity with participation in sports teams as the mediator. Participation in sports teams had a direct effect on both physical activity (β= 0.20, P < .05) and bone health and (β=0.13, P < .05).

Conclusion:

The current study identified several direct and indirect pathways that psychosocial factors use to influence physical activity and bone health among adolescent girls. These findings are critical for the development of effective interventions for promoting bone health in this population.