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Erik Hemmingsson, Ulf Ekelund, and Joanna Udden

Background:

The impact of walking and bicycling on insulin resistance (IR) in women with abdominal obesity is unclear.

Methods:

Pooled analysis of data from a randomized trial on physically active commuting (bicycling + walking vs walking only) in women with abdominal obesity [n = 98; age:47.3 ± 7.6 yrs; waist circumference (WC):103.1 ± 7.8 cm]. Bicycling and walking data were collected during 7 consecutive days by trip meters (Trelock FC-410) and pedometers (Yamax digiwalker SW-200) at baseline, 2, 4, and 6 months. Owing to a skew distribution we analyzed bicycling as a binary dummy variable with a 10 km/week cut-off. Fasting serum insulin and homeostatic model assessment – insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were assessed at baseline and 6 months, as were body mass index (BMI), WC, and dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-assessed % whole-body fat.

Results:

Increased bicycling by 10 km/wk was associated with reductions in fasting serum insulin at follow-up independent of age, treatment allocation, baseline phenotype, Δ walking, and Δ % body fat (β = −10.9, P = .042), but not HOMA-IR (β = −2.0, P = .13). Increased walking was not associated with fasting serum insulin (P = .33) or HOMA-IR (P = .44) at follow-up, after adjustment for the same covariates and Δ bicycling.

Conclusion:

Increased bicycling but not walking was associated with reduced insulin levels at follow-up. Bicycling may be more effective than walking for reducing insulin levels in abdominally obese women.

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Guro Pauck Øglund, Maria Hildebrand, and Ulf Ekelund

The purpose of this systematic review was to explore whether birth weight, early growth and motor development act as determinants of physical activity in children and youth.

Methods:

We performed a systematic literature search on the possible early life determinants. A meta-analysis was performed on the association between birthweight and objectively measured physical activity.

Results:

We identified 9 studies examining birth weight, in which none of the studies with objectively measured physical activity observed an association between birth weight and physical activity. The meta-analysis confirmed this result (b=-3.08, 95% CI -10.20, 4.04). The 3 studies examining early growth and physical activity in youth differ in methodology and the results are inconsistent. Two studies suggest an association between earlier motor development and physical activity and sport participation in youth. This was not confirmed in a third study.

Conclusion:

Our meta-analysis suggests that birth weight is not an important determinant of physical activity in youth. Available data does not allow firm conclusions whether early growth and motor development act as determinants of physical activity in youth.

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Andreas Nilsson, Ulf Ekelund, Agneta Yngve, and Michael Söström

The aim was to investigate (a) the effect of five different time sampling intervals (epoch settings) on different intensity levels when assessing physical activity with an accelerometer (CSA, WAM 7164), and (b) whether the placement of the monitor (on the hip and back) would affect the outcome. Sixteen children (aged 7 yrs) were monitored for four consecutive days. A significant main epoch effect was found for time spent at very high (p < .01) and high (p < .01) intensity activities. No significant difference between the two placements regarding total amount of physical activity (cnts • min−1) or different intensity levels was observed. In conclusion, different time sampling intervals, but not placement, should be carefully considered when assessing physical activity.

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Tracy L. Kolbe-Alexander, Estelle V. Lambert, Judith Biletnikoff Harkins, and Ulf Ekelund

The aim of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of the Yale Physical Activity Survey (YPAS) and the short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) in older South African adults. The YPAS includes measures of weekly energy expenditure (EE) for housework, yard work, caregiving, exercise, and recreation. The IPAQ measures total time and EE during vigorous and moderate activity, walking, and sitting. The instruments were administered twice for test–retest reliability (men, n = 52, 68 ± 5.4 years, and women, n = 70, 66 ± 5.8 years). Data for criterion validity were obtained from accelerometers. YPAS reliability ranged from r = .44 to.80 for men and r = .59 to .99 for women (p < .0001). IPAQ reliability was lower for men (r = .29 to .76) than for women (r = .46 to .77). Criterion validity of the YPAS was .31 to .54 for men and .26 to .29 for women. The YPAS and short IPAQ had comparable results for reliability and criterion validity.

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Orjan Ekblom, Gisela Nyberg, Elin Ekblom Bak, Ulf Ekelund, and Claude Marcus

Background:

Wrist-worn accelerometers may provide an alternative to hip-worn monitors for assessing physical activity as they are easier to wear and may thus facilitate long-term recordings. The current study aimed at a) assessing the validity of the Actiwatch (wrist-worn) for estimating energy expenditure, b) determining cut-off values for light, moderate, and vigorous activities, c) studying the comparability between the Actiwatch and the Actigraph (hip-worn), and d) assessing reliability.

Methods:

For validity, indirect calorimetry was used as criterion measure. ROC-analyses were applied to identify cut-off values. Comparability was tested by simultaneously wearing of the 2 accelerometers during free-living condition. Reliability was tested in a mechanical shaker.

Results:

All-over correlation between accelerometer output and energy expenditure were found to be 0.80 (P < .001).Based on ROC-analysis, cut-off values for 1.5, 3, and 6 METs were found to be 80, 262, and 406 counts per 15 s, respectively. Energy expenditure estimates differed between the Actiwatch and the Actigraph (P < .05). The intra- and interinstrument coefficient of variation of the Actiwatch ranged between 0.72% and 8.4%.

Conclusion:

The wrist-worn Actiwatch appears to be valid and reliable for estimating energy expenditure and physical activity intensity in children aged 8 to 10 years.

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Felipe Fossati Reichert, Ana Maria Batista Menezes, Jonathan Charles Kingdom Wells, Ulf Ekelund, Fabiane Machado Rodrigues, and Pedro Curi Hallal

Background:

Prospective studies on physical activity (PA), diet, and body composition in adolescents are lacking, particularly outside high-income countries.

Goals:

To describe the methods used to assess these variables in the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort and to discuss the fieldwork challenges faced and alternatives to overcome them.

Methods:

In 2006–07 a subsample of the 1993 Pelotas cohort was revisited. PA was estimated using questionnaires, a combined heart-rate and motion sensor (Acti-Heart), and the ActiGraph GT1M accelerometer. Diet was investigated by questionnaire. Total body water was determined by stable isotopes. Thirty individuals had their total energy expenditure assessed by doubly labeled water. All data were collected at participants’ home.

Results:

The logistics of the fieldwork and the difficulties in undertaking the study and alternatives to overcome them are presented. Preliminary analyses show that 511 individuals were traced (response rate = 90.0%). Compliance of both adolescents and their families for the motion sensors and body-composition measurements was excellent.

Conclusions:

The authors conclude that it is feasible to carry out high-quality studies on PA in developing countries. They hope the article will be useful to other researchers interested in carrying out similar studies.

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Ane Kristiansen Solbraa, Ulf Ekelund, Ingar M. Holme, Sidsel Graff-Iversen, Jostein Steene-Johannessen, Eivind Aadland, and Sigmund Alfred Anderssen

Background:

Sex, age, body mass index (BMI), perceived health and health behavior are correlates known to affect physical activity and sedentary time. However, studies have often been cross-sectional, and less is known about long-term correlates. Thus, the aims were to investigate 1) the associations between a set of characteristics (demographic, biological, psychological, and behavioral) and objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time at 13-year follow-up, and 2) the association between changes in these characteristics over time and physical activity and sedentary time.

Methods:

Baseline characteristics were collected in 40-year-olds in 1996, and follow-up data on objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time were obtained in 2009 (n = 240). Data were analyzed by multiple linear regressions.

Results:

Self-reported physical activity (P < .001) and improved perceived health (P = .046) were positively associated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) whereas BMI (P = .034) and increased BMI (P = .014) were negatively associated with MVPA at follow-up. Women spent less time being sedentary than men (P = .019). Education (P < .001) was positively associated and improved perceived health (P = .010) was negatively associated with sedentary time at follow-up.

Conclusions:

MVPA and sedentary time at follow-up were associated with behavioral, biological and demographic correlates. However, the nature of our analyses prevents us from inferring causality.

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Felipe Fossati Reichert, Jonathan Charles Kingdom Wells, Ulf Ekelund, Ana Maria Baptista Menezes, Cesar Gomes Victora, and Pedro C. Hallal

Background:

Physical activity may influence both fat and lean body mass. This study investigated the association between physical activity in children between the ages of 11 and 13 years and both fat and lean mass.

Methods:

A subsample of the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort was visited in 2004–2005 and 2006–2007. Physical activity was estimated through standardized questionnaires. Body composition (ie, fat and lean mass) was measured using deuterium dilution. Those with moderate-to-vigorous activity greater than 420 min/wk were classified as active, and physical activity trajectory was defined as being above or below the cutoff at each visit.

Results:

Four hundred eighty-eight adolescents (51.8% boys) were evaluated. The mean difference in fat mass in boys and girls who reported ≥ 420 min/wk of physical activity in both visits compared with those who were consistently inactive was –4.8 kg (P ≤ .001). There was an inverse association between physical activity and fat mass among boys in both crude and confounder-adjusted analyses, whereas for girls, the association was evident only in the crude analysis. There was no significant association between physical activity and lean mass.

Conclusion:

Physical activity may contribute to tackling the growing epidemic of adolescent obesity in low- and middle-income countries.

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Eero A. Haapala, Juuso Väistö, Aapo Veijalainen, Niina Lintu, Petri Wiklund, Kate Westgate, Ulf Ekelund, Virpi Lindi, Soren Brage, and Timo A. Lakka

Purpose:

To investigate the relationships of objectively measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary time (ST) to arterial stiffness in prepubertal children.

Method:

Altogether 136 children (57 boys, 79 girls) aged 6–8-years participated in the study. Stiffness index (SI) was assessed by pulse contour analysis based on photoplethysmography. ST, light PA, moderate PA, and vigorous PA were assessed using combined acceleration and heart rate monitoring. We investigated the associations of ST (<1.5METs) and time spent in intensity level of PA above 2–7METs in min/d with SI using linear regression analysis. We studied the optimal duration and intensity of PA to identify children being in the highest quarter of SI using Receiver Operating Characteristics curves.

Results:

Moderate PA, vigorous PA, and cumulative time spent in PA above 3 (β=–0.279, p = .002), 4 (β =–0.341, P<0.001), 5 (β =–0.349, P<0.001), 6 (β =–0.312, P<0.001), and 7 (β =–0.254, p = .005) METs were inversely associated with SI after adjustment for age, sex, and monitor wear time. The cutoffs for identifying children being in the highest quarter of SI <68 min/d for PA exceeding 5 METs and <26 min/d for PA exceeding 6 METs.

Conclusion:

Lower levels of PA exceeding 3–6 METs were related to higher arterial stiffness in children.