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Susan Vincent Graser, Robert P. Pangrazi and William J. Vincent

Background:

The purpose was to determine if waist placement of the pedometer effected accuracy in normal, overweight, and obese children, when attaching the pedometer to the waistband or a belt.

Methods:

Seventy-seven children (ages 10-12 y) wore five pedometers on the waistband of their pants and a belt at the following placements: navel (NV), anterior midline of the right thigh (AMT), right side (RS), posterior midline of the right thigh (PMT), and middle of the back (MB). Participants walked 100 steps on a treadmill at 80 m · min−1.

Results:

The RS, PMT, and MB sites on the waistband and the AMT and RS sites on the belt produced the least error.

Conclusions:

Of these sites the RS placement is recommended because of the ease of reading the pedometer during activity. Using a belt did not significantly improve accuracy except for normal weight groups at the NV placement site.

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Jillian Ward, Carol Wilkinson, Susan Vincent Graser and Keven A. Prusak

This study examined the effects of increased autonomy on (a) self-determination and (b) physical activity levels. Seventh- and eighth-grade girls (N = 122) in four classes participated in two fitness units (one allowing choice of activities, the other no-choice). The order of the units was counterbalanced, so that two classes participated in the choice unit first, and the other two participated in the no-choice unit first. The abridged Situational Intrinsic Motivation Scale (SIMS) was administered after each unit. Pedometers were used to measure step counts during both units. Overall, self-determination was higher in the choice unit. The repeated measures analysis also indicated that girls who experienced the choice unit first, and then were denied the opportunity to make choices had the lowest levels of self-determination. The results provide empirical support for the theoretical prediction that increased autonomy yields higher levels of self-determination.

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Tyler G. Johnson, Timothy A. Brusseau, Susan Vincent Graser, Paul W. Darst and Pamela H. Kulinna

Background:

The purpose of this study was to conduct a secondary analysis by combining 2 pedometer data sets to describe and analyze pedometer-determined steps/day of children by ethnicity and metropolitan status.

Methods:

Participants were 582 children (309 girls, 273 boys; 53% Hispanic, 26% Caucasian, 21% African American) age 10 to 11 years (M = 10.37 ± 0.48) attending 1 of 10 schools located in urban, suburban, and rural settings. Participants wore a research grade pedometer for at least 3 week/school days. Mean steps/ day were analyzed by gender, ethnicity, and metropolitan status.

Results:

Statistical analyses indicated 1) boys (12,853 ± 3831; P < .001) obtained significantly more steps/day than girls (10,409 ± 3136); 2) African American (10,709 ± 3386; P < .05) children accumulated significantly less steps/day than Hispanic (11,845 ± 3901) and Caucasian (11,668 ± 3369) children; and 3) urban (10,856 ± 3706; P < .05) children obtained significantly less steps/day than suburban (12,297 ± 3616) and rural (11,934 ± 3374) children.

Conclusions:

Findings support self-report data demonstrating reduced physical activity among African American children and youth, especially girls, and among children and youth living in urban areas. Possible reasons for these discrepancies are explored.

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Keven A. Prusak, Todd Pennington, Susan Vincent Graser, Aaron Beighle and Charles F. Morgan

Siedentop and Locke (1997) proposed three critical elements that must exist in our profession to make a difference and achieve systemic success in physical education (SSPE): (a) quality PE in the schools, (b) effective physical education teacher education (PETE) programs, and (c) a working relationship between the two. Using Cuban’s (1992) curriculum change and stability framework, this qualitative study examines the existence of a program that has achieved all three elements in the southwestern US. For over three decades some seventy-two teachers in dozens of schools have yearly served over 40,000 children. This study revealed a fully functioning model consisting of four key, interdependent components driven by a system of accountability measures. The results of the SSPE model—quality PE for children—is achieved by (a) district-wide mandated curriculum, methodologies and language, (b) well-defined district PE coordinator roles, (c) a partnership university, and (d) frequent, ongoing professional development. Results of this study strengthen Siedentop and Locke’s (1997) recommendation for collaborative efforts between universities and partner school districts and provide a model to guide and manage the curriculum change process in K-6 PE.

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Susan Vincent Graser, Alan Groves, Keven A. Prusak and Todd R. Pennington

Background:

Researchers have noted both the utility and limitations of using pedometers to measure physical activity (PA). While these unobtrusive devices are widely accepted for their ability to measure accumulated PA, they have been criticized for their inability to measure exercise intensity. However, recent steps-per-minute (SPM) research provides reasonably accurate measures of intensity allowing users to assess time spent at recommended PA levels. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the SPM taken that are associated with moderate physical activity in 12- to 14-year-old youth.

Methods:

Ninety-three participants (49 boys and 44 girls; ages 12 to 14) walked on a treadmill for 3 minutes at each of 4 different speeds while wearing a pedometer and a heart rate monitor.

Results:

On average boys and girls reached their moderate activity intensity threshold at 122 SPM and 102 SPM, respectively. However, individual differences must be taken into account when determining appropriate SPM intensities for youth.

Conclusions:

The impact of individual differences underscores the need to address SPM for moderate intensity individually rather than with a single guideline for everyone at this age.