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Timothy A. Brusseau

This paper discusses some of the benefits and challenges of Kinesiology as a pre-allied health degree. Specifically, it highlights the impact of large enrollment growth on resources, course offerings, student experiences, student quality, and research. It is the author’s intent that this paper will stimulate discussion among Kinesiology programs and faculty to ensure that we are staying true to the recommended Kinesiology core and preparing our students to be future physical activity leaders while also providing the flexibility for students who are interested in pursuing graduate training in an allied health field.

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Timothy A. Brusseau, James Hannon and Ryan Burns

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) on physical activity and health-related fitness (HRF) in children from low-income families.

Methods:

Participants included 1390 children recruited from kindergarten through sixth grade (mean age = 8.4 ± 1.8 years). Physical activity measures were collected at baseline and at 6 weeks and 12 weeks after program implementation, and HRF measures were collected at baseline and at 12 weeks after program implementation.

Results:

There were significant but weak-to-moderate increases in step counts (mean difference = 603.1 steps, P < .001, d = 0.39) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (mean difference = 4.9 minutes, P < .001, d = 0.39) at 12 weeks compared with baseline. There were also significant but moderate increases in Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run laps (mean difference = 6.5 laps, P < .001, d = 0.47) at 12 weeks compared with baseline. Generalized mixed models respectively yielded 3.02 and 2.34 greater odds that a child would achieve step count and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity standards and 2.26 greater odds that a child would achieve aerobic fitness standards at 12 weeks compared with baseline (P < .001).

Conclusions:

The 12-week CSPAP improved physical activity and HRF in children from low-income families; however, the magnitude of the effects was weak to moderate.

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Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Timothy Brusseau, Donetta Cothran and Catrine Tudor-Locke

This study guided by a health ecology conceptual framework evaluated four “bottom-up” Physical Activity (PA) interventions with school personnel planning for their own health ecology with state level support for one year. Students (N = 616) were from four schools in the Southwestern USA in the 3rd-8th grade. Participants had various ethnic backgrounds (e.g., Hispanic 44%, Caucasian 43%) and wore a pedometer for five school days pre/post intervention. Teacher and school level data were also reported by schools. Program components varied across the four intervention sites. Paired samples t test results showed that three of the four intervention schools significantly increased both school day and 24 hr PA. School personnel reported significantly more favorable results at post test for nurse visits, student absences, and classroom teachers’ use of PA breaks. Using a health ecology lens, when schools develop their own PA intervention and have “buy in” from staff, significant increases in PA are attainable.

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Ryan D. Burns, Timothy A. Brusseau and James C. Hannon

Background:

Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programming (CSPAP) has the potential to increase physical activity (PA) in children over time. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of CSPAP on school day step counts in children.

Methods:

Participants were 327 fourth and fifth grade children recruited from 4 elementary schools. The study was conducted within an Interrupted Time-Series Design framework. School day step counts were collected for 5 days across preintervention and postintervention time-points (10 days total) using NL-1000 piezoelectric pedometers. Robust piecewise regression examined pre- and postintervention intercepts and slopes, and the change in these parameters using postestimation statistics.

Results:

The slope coefficient was statistically significant across preintervention (β = –105.23, P < .001) but not postintervention time-points (β = –63.23, P = .347), suggesting decreases in steps counts across preintervention and stability of step counts across postintervention school days. Postestimation statistics yielded increases in school day step counts from the end of preintervention (day 5) to the start of postintervention (day 6; t(319) = –4.72, P < .001, Cohen’s d = 4.72).

Conclusions:

The CSPAP intervention increased average school day step counts and attenuated decreases in step counts throughout the school week in children.

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Ryan D. Burns, Timothy A. Brusseau and James C. Hannon

Background:

Optimal levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) have been shown to improve health and academic outcomes in youth. Limited research has examined MVPA trajectories throughout a daily middle school physical education (PE) curriculum. The purpose of this study was to examine MVPA trajectories over a daily PE curriculum and the modifying effects of sex, body composition, and cardiorespiratory endurance.

Methods:

One hundred 7th- and 8th-grade students participated in daily PE lessons. There were 66 lessons throughout the semester. MVPA was monitored during each lesson using NL-1000 piezoelectric pedometers. Students were classified into FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zones using estimated VO2 Max and Body Mass Index (BMI). A population averaged generalized estimating equation was employed to examine MVPA trajectories.

Results:

On average, students’ MVPA decreased over time (β = –0.35, P < .001). Poor student VO2max classification significantly modified the trajectories (β = –0.14, P < .001), however poor BMI classification did not have a modifying effect (β = 0.03, P = .158).

Conclusions:

MVPA decreased in daily PE over time and cardiorespiratory endurance significantly modified the trajectories. The results support that extra efforts have to be made by teachers and students to sustain MVPA behaviors over a semester.

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Ryan D. Burns, Timothy A. Brusseau and James C. Hannon

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a 36-week Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) on cardiometabolic health markers in children from low-income schools.

Methods:

Participants were 217 school-aged children (mean age = 10.1 ± 1.1 years; 114 girls, 103 boys) recruited from 5 low-income elementary schools. Cardiometabolic health markers were collected in a fasted state at 2 time-points, before commencement of the CSPAP for classroom and school level clustering and the modifying effects of grade level and sex, there were statistically significant improvements in HDL cholesterol (Δ = 3.6 mg/dL, 95% CI: 1.4 mg/dL to 5.8 mg/dL, P = .039), triglycerides (Δ = –14.1 mg/dL, 95% CI: –21.4 mg/dL to –6.8 mg/dL, P = .022), and mean arterial pressure (Δ = –4.3 mmHg, 95% CI: –8.5 mmHg to –0.1 mmHg, P = .041) following the 36-week CSPAP intervention. Sixth-grade children showed decreases in LDL cholesterol (Δ = –15.3 mg/dL, 95% CI: –30.5 mg/dL to –0.1 mg/dL, P = .033).

Conclusions:

Improvements in specific cardiometabolic health markers were found following a 36-week CSPAP in children from low-income schools.

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Ryan D. Burns, Youngwon Kim, Wonwoo Byun and Timothy A. Brusseau

Background: To examine the relationships among school day sedentary times (SED), light physical activity (LPA), and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) with gross motor skills in children using Compositional Data Analysis. Methods: Participants were 409 children (mean age = 8.4 [1.8] y) recruited across 5 low-income schools. Gross motor skills were assessed using the test for gross motor development—third edition (TGMD-3), and physical activity was assessed using accelerometers. Isometric log-ratio coordinates were calculated by quantifying the relative proportion of percentage of the school day spent in SED, LPA, and MVPA. The associations of the isometric log-ratio coordinates with the TGMD-3 scores were estimated using general linear mixed-effects models adjusted for age, body mass index, estimated aerobic capacity, and school affiliation. Results: A higher proportion of the school day spent in %MVPA relative to %SED and %LPA was significantly associated with higher TGMD-3 total scores (γ MVPA = 14.44, P = .01). This relationship was also observed for the ball skills subtest scores (γ MVPA = 16.12, P = .003). Conclusions: Replacing %SED and %LPA with %MVPA during school hours may be an effective strategy for improving gross motor skills, specifically ball skills, in low-income elementary school-aged children.

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Ryan D. Burns, Timothy A. Brusseau, Yi Fang, You Fu and James C. Hannon

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), aerobic fitness, and cardio-metabolic risk factors in Hispanic children from low-income U.S. schools.

Method:

Participants were 198 Hispanic children from low-income schools (Mean age = 10.3 ± 0.5 years; 119 girls, 79 boys). Waist circumference, height, and cardio-metabolic blood markers were collected in a fasted state. Estimated VO2 Peak scores were also collected. Multilevel generalized mixed effects models were employed to examine the independent effect of WHtR and aerobic fitness classification on a child meeting recommended levels for each cardio-metabolic blood marker.

Results:

A child having a WHtR < 0.5 related to meeting recommended levels for HDL cholesterol (OR = 3.25, p < .01), triglycerides (OR = 2.94, p < .01), glucose (OR = 3.42, p < .01), and related to a lower continuous Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP) score (β = −8.5 mmHg, p < .01). Aerobic fitness classification only independently related to meeting recommended levels for HDL cholesterol (OR = 2.94, p = .010).

Conclusion:

Having a WHtR < 0.5 independently associated with favorable cardio-metabolic blood markers and thus serves as an effective screening tool for cardio-metabolic risk in Hispanic children from low-income schools.

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Tyler G. Johnson, Timothy A. Brusseau, Paul W. Darst, Pamela H. Kulinna and Janel White-Taylor

Background:

The purposes of this study were to describe and analyze the steps/d of nonwhite minority children and youth by gender, grade level, race/ethnicity, and mode of school transportation. A secondary purpose was to compare the steps/d of minority children and youth to their Caucasian grade-level counterparts.

Methods:

Participants were 547 minority youth grades 5 to 8 from 4 urban schools. Participants wore sealed pedometers for 6 consecutive week/school days. Three hundred and ten participants responded to a questionnaire concerning their mode of transportation to and from school.

Results:

Statistical analyses indicated a main effect for gender (F(3, 546) = 13.50, P < .001) with no interaction. Boys (12,589 ± 3921) accumulated significantly more steps/d than girls (9,539 ± 3,135). Further analyses also revealed a significant main effect for mode of school transportation (F(2, 309) = 15.97, P ≤ .001). Walkers (12,614 ± 4169) obtained significantly more steps/d than car (10,021 ± 2856) or bus (10,230 ± 3666) transit users.

Conclusions:

Minority boys obtain similar steps/d as their Caucasian grade-level counterparts; minority girls obtain less steps/d than their Caucasian grade-level counterparts. Minority youth who actively commute are more likely to meet PA recommendations than nonactive commuters.

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Timothy A. Brusseau, Pamela H. Kulinna, Catrine Tudor-Locke and Matthew Ferry

Background:

Embracing a physically active lifestyle is especially important for American Indian (AI) children who are at a greater risk for hypokinetic diseases, particularly Type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this study was to describe AI children’s pedometer-determined physical activity (PA) segmented into prominent daily activity patterns.

Methods:

Participants included 5th- and 6th-grade children (N = 77) attending school from 1 Southwestern US AI community. Children wore a pedometer (Yamax Digiwalker SW-200) for 7 consecutive days.

Results:

Boys accumulated 12,621 (±5385) steps/weekday and girls accumulated 11,640 (±3695) steps/weekday of which 38% (4,779 ± 1271) and 35% (4,027 ± 1285) were accumulated at school for boys and girls, respectively. Physical education (PE) provided the single largest source of PA during school for both boys (25% or 3117 steps/day) and girls (23% or 2638 steps/day). Lunchtime recess provided 1612 (13%) and 1241 (11%) steps/day for boys and girls, respectively. Children were significantly less active on weekend days, accumulating 8066 ± 1959 (boys) and 6676 ± 1884 (girls).

Conclusions:

Although children accumulate a majority of their steps outside of school, this study highlights the important contribution of PE to the overall PA accumulation of children living in AI communities. Further, PA programming during the weekend appears to be important for this population.