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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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Tanya M.F. Scarapicchia, Catherine M. Sabiston, Ross E. Andersen and Enrique Garcia Bengoechea

Young inactive healthy-weight females (n = 42) were randomly assigned to exercise at a self-selected pace on a treadmill beside a confederate who was providing either intrinsic or externally regulated verbal primes. Heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), percentage of time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and exercise continuance were recorded. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire assessing mood pre- and postexercise session and postexercise motivational outcomes. The intrinsic motivation group reported higher RPE values after 8 min of exercise, had higher recorded HR measures at all 5 recorded time points, exercised at a higher %HR max, spent more time in MVPA, and were more likely to continue to exercise than participants in the externally regulated motivation group. A time effect was noted for vigor. Based on these findings, exercise motivation can be “contagious” through verbal primes, suggesting that exercising with or around intrinsically motivated individuals may have beneficial outcomes.

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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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Kerry E. Costello, Janie L. Astephen Wilson and Cheryl L. Hubley-Kozey

Purpose: 1) To compare group-level physical activity calculated from a single versus multiple non-consecutive, one-week accelerometer monitoring periods in individuals with medial-compartment knee osteoarthritis and asymptomatic controls; and 2) to examine agreement among these estimates of physical activity at the individual-level. Methods: Accelerometer data from 38 individuals with knee osteoarthritis and 47 asymptomatic individuals was collected during three non-consecutive monitoring periods over one year. General linear models examined the effects of number of sessions averaged (one, two, or three) and group on light and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity, step count, and sedentary behavior. Bland Altman analyses examined agreement between one-, two-, and/or three-session averages. Results: There were no sessions by group interactions. There was a main effect of sessions for sedentary behavior that was borderline significant when expressed as percent wear time. Limits of agreement indicated that two-session average versus single-session metrics could differ by ±50 minutes for light physical activity, ±20 minutes for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and ±2100 steps per day. Conclusions: These data suggest that objective physical activity monitoring practices might differ between clinical research, where group data are compared, and clinical decision making, where individual data are compared. Good estimates of group level differences in step count, light, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were found using a single session of accelerometer data, but a single session of sedentary behavior data should take wear time into account. The large limits of agreement indicate that multiple sessions may be needed to compare these metrics among or within individuals.

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Karin A. Pfeiffer and Michael J. Wierenga

Participation in a sport is widely considered a valuable form of physical activity, especially for children and adolescents. In addition, many think that sport participation translates to future physical activity. However, limited research has examined the ability of youth sport to significantly contribute to meeting daily physical activity guidelines (60 min/day of moderate to vigorous physical activity) and whether the physical activity behaviors of youth sport participants will translate into future, habitual activity in both the short and the long term. In this paper, available research on the role of youth sport in the promotion of physical activity is evaluated. Two major questions are used to frame the discussion: How much physical activity do youth sport participants attain during games and practices, and does sport participation during childhood and adolescence translate into habitual physical activity in adulthood? This is followed by ideas for future research and preliminary recommendations for best practices or policies.

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Paul D. Loprinzi

Objective:

Examine the association between objectively-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and engagement in self-reported muscle strengthening activities (MSA) with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), and in turn, how each of these parameters associate with of all-cause mortality.

Methods:

Data from the 2003–2006 NHANES were employed, with follow-up through December 31, 2011 (N = 5030; 20+ yrs). Physical activity was assessed via accelerometry; MSA was assessed via survey; and ALT and GGT were assessed via a blood sample. Linear regression and Cox proportional hazard models were used.

Results:

MVPA (βadjusted = 0.15; 95% CI: –0.45 to 0.76; P = .60) was not associated with ALT, but MSA was (β adjusted = –0.31; 95% CI: –0.56 to –0.05; P = .02). With regard to GGT, MSA was not significant (β adjusted = –0.12; 95% CI: –0.71 to 0.47; P = .67), nor was MVPA (β adjusted = –1.10; 95% CI: –2.20 to 0.06; P = .06). Higher ALT levels were associated with increased allcause mortality risk (HRadjusted = 1.05; 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.06; P < .001).

Conclusion:

Physical activity is favorably associated with markers of hepatic inflammation, and higher levels of markers of hepatic inflammation are associated with increased mortality risk. These findings suggest that physical activity may help protect against premature mortality through its influence on liver pathology.

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Melisa Comte, Erin Hobin, Steve Manske, Catherine Casey, Jane Griffith, Carly Leggett, Paul Veugelers, Donna Murnaghan and Jonathan McGavock

Objectives:

The purpose of this study was to determine if participation in physical education (PE) was associated with increased moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels in adolescents.

Methods:

This was a cross sectional study comparing MVPA levels in senior-years students—grade 11 and 12—enrolled in high school PE during the semester data were collected compared with those not enrolled in PE in that same semester. The primary outcome measure was daily MVPA measured by accelerometry. The primary exposure was participation in PE.

Results:

Among the 508 adolescents (16.9 ± 0.8 yrs, 49% female, n = 338 exposed to PE) studied, no differences in MVPA (47.0 ± 25.8 vs. 43.9 ± 25.0 mins/day, P = .25) or sedentary time (540.2 ± 94.7 vs. 550.2 ± 79.4 mins/day, P = .79) were noted between students enrolled in PE compared with students not enrolled in PE. Participation in PE was associated with a greater odds of achieving >60 minutes of MVPA daily (OR: 1.69; 95% CI: 1.04−2.75). This association was stronger among boys (OR: 2.4; 95% CI: 1.2−4.8) than girls (OR: 1.17; 95% CI: 5−2.7).

Conclusion:

Enrollment in PE in grade 11 or 12 is associated with modestly higher levels of MVPA and an increased likelihood of meeting PA guidelines among students in grades 11 and 12, particularly among boys.

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Mark Lemstra, Marla Rogers, Adam Thompson and John Moraros

Background:

Youth in Canada age 5−17 years require a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (PA) everyday. Regrettably, there are no published studies on levels of PA within on-reserve First Nations youth in Canada that use validated surveys. The objective was to determine what percentage of Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) First Nations on-reserve youth met the Canadian Society for Exercise and Physiology’s (CSEP) definition for being physically active, and what influences are associated with meeting this standard.

Methods:

Students in grades 5−8 within the STC were asked to complete a youth health survey.

Results:

Only 7.4% of STC youth met CSEP’s PA standard. Male youth (13.9%) were more likely to meet the PA standard than female youth (4.1%). Having parents who watch youth participate and who provide transportation to classes, having enough equipment at home, having friends bike or walk to school, participating in physical activity headed by a coach or instructor, and participating in structured classes are associated with meeting the standard.

Conclusions:

The prevalence of meeting the PA standard among on-reserve First Nations youth is very low. More research is needed to identify independent risk indicators of being physically inactive.

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Jennifer L. Huberty, Michael William Beets, Aaron Beighle and Thomas L. Mckenzie

Background:

Children’s achievement of recommendations for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in afterschool programs (ASP) is complex. It is unclear what elements of the ASP environment influence children’s physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of staff behaviors and ASP features (eg, organized activity, recreational equipment) to MVPA participation in youth attending ASPs.

Methods:

Data were collected in 12 ASPs in the Midwest. Staff behavior and child PA was measured using the System for Observing Play and Leisure Activity in Youth. The percentage of children’s MVPA was examined in relation to staff behaviors and ASP features.

Results:

Increases in MVPA were observed when staff were directly engaged in PA, verbally promoted MVPA, and when PA was organized and equipment was present. When 3 or more of these characteristics were present, the proportion of children engaged in MVPA increased by 25%−30%. Conversely, MVPA levels decreased when these characteristics were absent and when staff were attending to other ASP duties or were supervising.

Conclusion:

This study provides evidence about the specific staff behaviors that may influence higher proportions of youth being active during ASP and implies specific skills that need to be incorporated into ASP staff training.

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Leanne Liggett, Andrew Gray, Winsome Parnell, Rob McGee and Yvette McKenzie

Background:

Objective measures, such as accelerometers, are increasingly being used to measure physical activity (PA) levels in children, and the use of validated and reliable instruments is desirable when measuring the effectiveness of programs. The purpose of this study was to determine the validity and reliability of the New Lifestyles NL-1000 accelerometer among preschoolers using a modified version of the Children’s Activity Rating Scale (CARS).

Methods:

Fourteen preschoolers wore the NL-1000 at their waist while the device measured activity levels [in seconds of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)]. They were also videoed for approximately 12 minutes while participating in normal activities at an early childhood center. At approximately 2-minute intervals, activity level readings derived from the NL-1000 were recorded. The video footage was analyzed using a modified CARS technique and the CARS scores compared with data obtained from the accelerometer.

Results:

Within subject reliability was measured using intraclass correlation coefficients (0.58 for CARS and 0.59 for NL-1000). Furthermore, 95% of the variation in CARS could be explained by variation in the accelerometer counts, with 2.4% of the variation being participant-specific.

Conclusion:

The NL-1000 is a sufficiently reliable and valid tool for assessing MVPA in preschoolers.