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Meghann Lloyd, Travis J. Saunders, Emily Bremer and Mark S. Tremblay

The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential long-term association of motor skill proficiency at 6 years of age and self-reported physical activity (PA) at age 26. Direct motor performance data were collected in 1991 with a follow-up study occurring in 1996, and then indirect questionnaires (self-report) administered in 2001 and 2011. In 2011, 17 participants who were identified as either having high motor proficiency (HMP) or low motor proficiency (LMP) in 1991 completed a series of 4 questionnaires. Analyses were conducted to determine whether there were differences between groups for motor skill proficiency, PA, or sedentary behavior, and whether these outcomes were related across ages. Motor skill proficiency at age 6 was related to self-reported proficiency at age 16 (r = .77, p = .006), and self-reported proficiency between 16 and 26 years (r = .85, p = .001). Motor skill proficiency at age 6 was positively associated with leisure time PA at age 26 in females and participants in the HMP group. The results may provide preliminary evidence about the importance of how early motor skill proficiency relates to long-term PA. More research with larger sample sizes is needed to investigate the importance of motor skills over time.

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Brittany T. MacEwen, Travis J. Saunders, Dany J. MacDonald and Jamie F. Burr

Background:

Sit-stand desks reduce workplace sitting time among healthy office workers; however, their metabolic and behavioral impact in higher risk populations remains unknown.

Methods:

25 office workers with abdominal obesity were randomized to an intervention (sit-stand workstation) or control group (seated desk) for 12 weeks. Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and cardiometabolic risk factors were assessed before and after the intervention period in both groups.

Results:

In comparison with the control group, which did not change, the intervention group experienced significant reductions in workday (344 ± 107 to 186 ± 101 min/day) and total (645 ± 140 to 528 ± 91 min/day) sitting time, as well as increases in workday standing time (154 ± 108 to 301 ± 101 min/day, P < .05). There were no changes in sitting or standing time outside of work hours, steps taken each day, or any marker of cardiometabolic risk in either group (all P > .05).

Conclusion:

Sit-stand desks were effective in reducing workplace sedentary behavior in an at-risk population, with no change in sedentary behavior or physical activity outside of work hours. However, these changes were not sufficient to improve markers of cardiometabolic risk in this population.

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Richard Larouche, Travis John Saunders, Guy Edward John Faulkner, Rachel Colley and Mark Tremblay

Background:

The impact of active school transport (AST) on daily physical activity (PA) levels, body composition and cardiovascular fitness remains unclear.

Methods:

A systematic review was conducted to examine differences in PA, body composition and cardiovascular fitness between active and passive travelers. The Medline, PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, and ProQuest databases were searched and 10 key informants were consulted. Quality of evidence was assessed with GRADE and with the Effective Public Health Practice Project tool for quantitative studies.

Results:

Sixty-eight different studies met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies found that active school travelers were more active or that AST interventions lead to increases in PA, and the quality of evidence is moderate. There is conflicting, and therefore very low quality evidence, regarding the associations between AST and body composition indicators, and between walking to/from school and cardiovascular fitness; however, all studies with relevant measures found a positive association between cycling to/from school and cardiovascular fitness; this evidence is of moderate quality.

Conclusion:

These findings suggest that AST should be promoted to increase PA levels in children and adolescents and that cycling to/from school is associated with increased cardiovascular fitness. Intervention studies are needed to increase the quality of evidence.

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Travis Saunders, Nerissa Campbell, Timothy Jason, Gail Dechman, Paul Hernandez, Kara Thompson and Chris M. Blanchard

Background:

Although individual studies have reported on the number of steps/day taken by individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), this evidence has not been systematically reviewed or synthesized.

Methods:

MEDLINE and PsycINFO were searched for studies reporting objectively-measured steps/day and percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1%) in patients with COPD. Meta-analyses were used to estimate steps/day across studies, while metaregression was used to estimate between-study variance based on clinical and demographic factors (year and location of study, activity monitor brand, number of days wearing the monitor, whether participants were about to enter pulmonary rehabilitation, 6-minute walk distance (6MWD), FEV1%, age, and sex).

Results:

38 studies including 2621 participants met inclusion criteria. The pooled mean estimate was 4579 steps/day (95% CI:4310 to 5208) for individuals with COPD. Only 6MWD, FEV1% and whether patients were about to undergo pulmonary rehabilitation explained a significant portion of the variance (P < 0.1) in univariate meta-regression. In a multivariate model including the above risk factors, only FEV1% was associated with steps/day after adjustment for other covariates.

Conclusions:

These results indicate that patients with COPD achieve extremely low levels of physical activity as assessed by steps/day, and that severity of airflow obstruction is associated with activity level.

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Charles Boyer, Mark Tremblay, Travis Saunders, Allison McFarlane, Michael Borghese, Meghann Lloyd and Pat Longmuir

This project examined the feasibility, validity, and reliability of the plank isometric hold for children 8–12 years of age. 1502 children (52.5% female) performed partial curl-up and/or plank protocols to assess plank feasibility (n = 823, 52.1% girls), validity (n = 641, 54.1% girls) and reliability (n = 111, 47.8% girls). 12% (n = 52/431) of children could not perform a partial curl-up, but virtually all children (n = 1066/1084) could attain a nonzero score for the plank. Plank performance without time limit was influenced by small effects with age (β = 6.86; p < .001, η2 = 0.03), flexibility (β = 0.79; p < .001, η2 = 0.03), and medium effects with cardiovascular endurance (β = 1.07; p < .001, η2 = 0.08), and waist circumference (β = −0.92; p < .001, η2 = 0.06). Interrater (ICC = 0.62; CI = 0.50, 0.75), intrarater (ICC = 0.83; CI = 0.73, 0.90) and test-retest (ICC = 0.63; CI = 0.46, 0.75) reliability were acceptable for the plank without time limit. These data suggest the plank without time limit is a feasible, valid and reliable assessment of torso muscular endurance for children 8–12 years of age.

Open access

Joel D. Barnes, Christine Cameron, Valerie Carson, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Rachel C. Colley, Guy E.J. Faulkner, Ian Janssen, Roger Kramers, Travis J. Saunders, John C. Spence, Patricia Tucker, Leigh M. Vanderloo and Mark S. Tremblay