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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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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:

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, Yang Bai, and Timothy A. Brusseau

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the independent and joint associations between physical activity (PA) and sports participation on academic performance variables within a representative sample of children and adolescents. Methods: Data were analyzed from the combined 2017–2018 National Survey of Children’s Health. Household addresses were randomly selected within each US state. One household parent answered health and wellness questions pertaining to one randomly selected household child (N = 37,392; 48.1% female; 6- to 17-y old). Weighted logistic regression models were employed to examine the independent and joint associations between child PA frequency and sports participation with academic performance variables, adjusting for child- and family-level covariates. Results: Child PA frequency independently associated with 37% to 46% lower odds and child sports participation independently associated with 53% lower odds of reported difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions (P < .001). For children who participated in sports, PA associated with 47% to 56% lower odds of ever repeating a grade level (P = .01). Conclusions: Frequency of weekly PA and sports participation independently and negatively associated with difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions, whereas the negative association between PA and ever repeating a grade level differed by child sports participation status.

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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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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:

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, 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, 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.