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Kelly R. Evenson, Kimberly B. Morland, Fang Wen and Kathleen Scanlin

This study describes moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior among New York City (NYC) residents 60 years and older and compared with national United States’ estimates. Adults aged 60 or older living in NYC (n = 760) were compared with similar aged adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES; n = 2,451 adults). Both groups wore an ActiGraph accelerometer for one week. The NYC sample recorded 13.2, 23.8, and 37.8 mean min/day of MVPA and the NHANES sample recorded 10.6, 21.1, and 39.3, depending on the definition. Sedentary behavior averaged 9.6 hr/day for the NYC sample and 9.3 hr/day for the NHANES sample. The NYC sample spent a longer proportion of time in sedentary behavior and light activities, but more time in MVPA than the NHANES sample. Urbanicity may explain some of the differences between the two samples.

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Jeffrey J. Martin, Kimberly Oliver and Nate McCaughtry

Theoretically grounded research on the determinants of Mexican American children’s physical activity and related psychosocial variables is scarce. Thus, the purpose of our investigation was to evaluate the ability of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to predict Mexican American children’s self-reported moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Children (N = 475, ages 9-12) completed questionnaires assessing the TPB constructs and MVPA. Multiple regression analyses provided moderate support for the ability of the TPB variables to predict MVPA as we accounted for between 8-9% of the variance in MVPA. Attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control accounted for 45% of the variance in intention. Descriptive results were encouraging because mean values indicated that most children had positive attitudes, moderately strong intentions, felt in control, and perceived support from significant others (i.e., physical education teachers) for their physical activity engagement.

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Jorge Mota, Pedro Silva, Luísa Aires, Maria Paula Santos, José Oliveira and José C. Ribeiro

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine whether there are differences in physical activity (PA) during specific periods of the day among active and less-active girls.

Methods:

The sample comprised 54 girls age 10 to 15 years. PA was assessed by accelerometry. Girls were grouped as less active, active, and highly active.

Results:

Total minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was significantly higher in more-active girls than in their less-active peers (113 and 72 min/d, respectively). The most-active groups were significantly more engaged in MVPA during the outside-of-school period than were less-active girls. Highly active girls spent a significantly higher amount of their MVPA time outside of school than did the less-active group, which spent a significantly higher proportion of MVPA time during late afternoon.

Conclusion:

Outside-of-school PA is a key point for MVPA engagement. Particularly for the less-active girls, however, schools might provide additional PA.

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Eleanor B. Tate, Anuja Shah, Malia Jones, Mary Ann Pentz, Yue Liao and Genevieve Dunton

Background:

Research on adolescent physical activity is mixed regarding the role of parent activity. This study tested parent encouragement, direct modeling, and perceived influence as moderators of objectively-measured (accelerometer) parent and child moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) associations.

Methods:

Parent-child dyads (n = 423; mean child age = 11.33 yrs.) wore accelerometers for 7 days; parents completed surveys. Hierarchical linear regression models tested moderation using a product of constituent terms interaction.

Results:

Parent-reported encouragement moderated the association between parent and child MVPA (β = –.15, P = .01, ΔR 2 = .02, P < .01). Among parents with lower MVPA, child MVPA was higher for children receiving high encouragement (mean = 3.06, SE = .17) vs. low (mean = 3.03, SE = .15, P = .02) and moderate encouragement (mean = 3.40, SE = .09) vs. low (P = .04).

Conclusions:

Physical activity promotion programs may use parent encouragement as a tool to boost child activity, but must consider other child and parent characteristics that could attenuate effects.

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Deborah Cohen, Molly Scott, Frank Zhen Wang, Thomas L. McKenzie and Dwayne Porter

Building design and grounds might contribute to physical activity, and youth spend much of their daylight hours at school. We examined the associations among school building footprints, the size of school grounds, and in-school physical activity of 1566 sixth-grade girls from medium to large middle schools enrolled in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG). The school building footprint and the number of active outdoor amenities were associated with physical activity among adolescent girls. On average, the school footprint size accounted for 4% of all light physical activity and 16% of all MET-weight moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MW-MVPA) during school hours. Active outdoor amenities accounted for 29% of all MW-MVPA during school. School design appears to be associated with physical activity, but it is likely that programming (eg, physical education, intramurals, club sports), social factors, and school siting are more important determinants of total physical activity.

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Richard R. Rosenkranz and David A. Dzewaltowski

Previous studies have demonstrated that parents may influence the physical activity (PA) levels of children. The present study sought to determine whether PA-related parenting behaviors were associated with the physical activity and relative weight of children, controlling for other covariates. A community sample of mothers (n = 193) of after-school-program attendees completed questionnaires assessing parental social support for PA, sedentary behavior, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Children (N = 193, 51% girls) were objectively assessed for height and weight via stadiometer and digital scale, and the data were converted to body mass index (BMI) percentile via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2010a) growth charts. Linear regression analysis revealed that maternal encouragement for child PA was positively related to both child PA and BMI percentile. However, mother-child shared physical activity was negatively related to child BMI percentile. Therefore, varying types of PA-related parenting behaviors may have differential relationships with child PA and relative weight.

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Laura N. Desha, Jenny M. Ziviani, Jan M. Nicholson, Graham Martin and Ross E. Darnell

This study employed ordinal logistic regression analyses to investigate the relationship between American adolescents’ participation in physical activity and depressive symptomatology. Data were drawn from the second Child Development Supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (CDS II), which was conducted over 2002-2003. Fewer than 60% of adolescents were found to accumulate 60 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) outside of school hours on week or weekend days. Accumulated duration of MVPA was not, however, significantly associated with severity of depressive symptoms for either gender. Males who were not involved in sporting clubs or lessons were more likely than males who were highly involved to experience greater severity of depressive symptoms (OR = 3.24, CI = 1.33, 7.87). Results highlight gender variability in the psychosocial correlates of sporting participation and prompt further investigation of the relevance of current physical activity guidelines for mental health in adolescence.

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Zan Gao

Background:

Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is considered a tool to help children promote a healthy active lifestyle. Empirical studies in this field have been largely unexplored. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between students’ mastery experiences, situational motivation, and physical activity levels in DDR.

Methods:

One hundred and ninety-five seventh, eighth, and ninth graders participated in a 2-week DDR unit. Students’ physical activity levels and situational motivation [intrinsic motivation (IM), identified regulation (IR), external regulation, and amotivation) were measured for 3 classes.

Results:

Students were motivated to play DDR, but their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was low (ie, mean = 4.95%). In addition, students with successful mastery experiences had significantly higher IM, IR, and MVPA.

Conclusions:

Although students were motivated for DDR, they were not physically active in DDR. In addition, successful mastery experience played an important role in students’ motivation and physical activity levels in DDR.

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Adrienne J. McNamara, Michael J. Pavol and Katherine B. Gunter

Objective:

Community-based exercise programs are popular for achieving physical activity among older adults, but the amount of physical activity obtained through such programs is unknown. This study quantified the bone-loading forces and levels of cardiovascular activity associated with participation in “Better Bones and Balance” (BBB), a community-based fall- and fracture-prevention program for older adults.

Methods:

Thirty-six postmenopausal women age 73.2 ± 7.6 yr engages in BBB participated in this study. Ground-reaction forces (GRFs) associated with BBB exercises were evaluated using a force platform. Session and weekly totals of minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and total time spent above 55% maximum heart rate (HR) were measured using accelerometers and HR monitors, respectively.

Results:

BBB exercises produced mean 1-leg GRFs of 1.4–2.2 units body weight. Weekly BBB participation was associated with 126 ± 31 min of MVPA.

Conclusion:

Activity obtained by BBB participation meets recommended guidelines for skeletal and cardiovascular health.

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Stewart G. Trost, Bronwyn Fees and David Dzewaltowski

Background:

This study evaluated the effect of a “move and learn” curriculum on physical activity (PA) in 3- to 5-year-olds attending a half-day preschool program.

Methods:

Classrooms were randomized to receive an 8-week move and learn program or complete their usual curriculum. In intervention classes, opportunities for PA were integrated into all aspects of the preschool curriculum, including math, science, language arts, and nutrition education. Changes in PA were measured objectively using accelerometry and direct observation.

Results:

At the completion of the 8-week intervention, children completing the move and learn curriculum exhibited significantly higher levels of classroom moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) than children completing their usual curriculum. Significant differences were also noted for classroom VPA over the final 2 weeks.

Conclusion:

The results suggest that integrating movement experiences into an existing early childhood curriculum is feasible and a potentially effective strategy for promoting PA in preschool children.