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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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David R. Paul, Matthew Kramer, Kim S. Stote and David J. Baer

Background:

The number of days of data and number of subjects necessary to estimate total physical activity (TPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) requires an understanding of within- and between-subject variances, and the influence of sex, body composition, and age.

Methods:

Seventy-one adults wore accelerometers for 7-day intervals over 6 consecutive months.

Results:

Body fat and sex influenced TPA and MVPA. The sources of subject-related variation for TPA and MVPA were within-subject (48.4% and 54.3%), between-subject (34.3% and 31.8%), and calendar effects (17.3% and 13.9%). Based on within-subject variances, the error associated with estimating TPA and MVPA by collecting 1 to 7 days of data ranged from 28.2% to 13.3% for TPA and 62.0% to 28.6% for MVPA. Based on between-subject variances, detecting a 10% difference between 2 groups at a power of 90% requires approximately 200 and 725 subjects per group for TPA and MVPA, respectively.

Conclusions:

Estimates of MVPA are more variable than TPA in overweight adults, therefore more days of data are required to estimate MVPA and larger sample sizes to detect treatment differences for MVPA. Log-transforming data reduces the need for additional days of data collection, thereby improving chances of detecting treatment effects.

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Birgitta L. Baker and Kirsten K. Davison

Background:

This study examined predictors of perceived athletic competence and subsequent physical activity in a longitudinal sample of adolescent girls.

Methods:

A sample of 149 girls was assessed at ages 9, 11, and 13. Perceived athletic competence (PAC) was measured at all ages. Nonaesthetic versus aesthetic sport participation, body fat percentage, and breast development were measured at age 9. Accelerometers were used to measure girls’ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at age 13.

Results:

Girls who participated in nonaesthetic sports at age 9 reported higher PAC at age 11 than those who participated in only aesthetic sports, while more advanced breast development at age 9 was associated with greater relative declines in PAC between ages 11 and 13. Both age 11 PAC and the relative change in PAC between ages 11 and 13 were significant positive predictors of age 13 MVPA. Results were independent of age 9 socioeconomic status and self-reported physical activity.

Conclusion:

Perceived athletic competence is a suitable target for intervention efforts designed to increase adolescent girls’ physical activity. Particular attention should be focused on girls who are overweight or experiencing puberty. Participation in nonaesthetic sports may be particularly important in the development of PAC.

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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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Kelly R. Evenson, Amy H. Herring and Fang Wen

Background:

Few studies measure physical activity objectively or at multiple time points during postpartum. We describe physical activity at 3- and 12-months postpartum among a cohort of women using both self-reported and objective measures.

Methods:

In total, 181 women completed the 3-month postpartum measures, and 204 women completed the 12-month postpartum measures. Participants wore an ActiGraph accelerometer for 1 week and completed in-home interviews that included questions on physical activity. A cohort of 80 women participated at both time points. Poisson regression models were used to determine whether physical activity differed over time for the cohort.

Results:

For the cohort, average counts/minute were 364 at 3-months post-partum and 394 at 12-months postpartum. At both time periods for the cohort, vigorous activity averaged 1 to 3 minutes/day, and moderate activity averaged 16 minutes/day. Sedentary time averaged 9.3 hours at 3-months postpartum and 8.8 hours at 12-months postpartum, out of a 19-hour day. Average counts/minute increased and sedentary behavior declined from 3- to 12-months postpartum.

Conclusion:

Interventions are needed to help women integrate more moderate to vigorous physical activity and to capitalize on the improvements in sedentary behavior that occur during postpartum.

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Jim Dollman and Kate Ridley

Background:

Evidence suggests that a substantial proportion of children meet guidelines for sufficient physical activity, but also exceed TV guidelines. Health-related consequences of this combination are unknown.

Methods:

843 children, (age 10-11 y), were surveyed for health-related fitness [endurance performance (20 m MST), skinfolds, waist girth], daily TV and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Children were grouped using daily TV (≤ 120 min) and MVPA (≥ 60 min) guidelines: hiTV-hiMVPA/“technoactives”’; hiTV-loMVPA/“screenies”; and loTV-hiMVPA/“sporties.” Groups were compared on health-related fitness measures.

Results:

There was a trend (P = 0.07) towards higher girls’ skinfolds among “screenies” than “sporties.” Boys’ waist girths were higher among “technoactives” than “sporties” (P = 0.008). Male “technoactives” outperformed “screenies” on the 20 m MST (P = 0.03). Female “sporties” (P = 0.004) and “technoactives” (P = 0.0002) outperformed “screenies” on the 20 m MST.

Conclusions:

“Technoactives” were no different than “sporties” on endurance fitness but exhibited less favorable fat distribution among boys. Overall, “screenies” exhibited the least favorable health profiles.

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Justin B. Moore, Michael W. Beets, Sara F. Morris and Mary Bea Kolbe

Background:

Most youth fail to achieve 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily while engaging in excessive amounts of sedentary behaviors. The objective of this investigation was to identify modifiable factors associated with meeting MVPA recommendations or engaging in greater than 55% of observed time sedentary.

Methods:

Youth (N = 1005, 10.5 yrs, 52% girls) wore accelerometers with daily minutes of MVPA (≥ 2296 counts·min−1) classified as ≥ 60mins/d vs. < 60min/d of MVPA. Sedentary behavior (< 100 counts·min−1) was classified as < 55% or ≥ 55% of total wear-time. Two-level random effects logit survival models for repeated events (days of monitoring) examined the association of psychosocial self-report measures and demographic characteristics to meeting the MVPA recommendation and spending ≥ 55% of time sedentary.

Results:

Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays were associated with a decreased likelihood of meeting MVPA recommendations relative to Mondays. Wednesday thru Sunday were associated with a decreased likelihood of spending ≥ 55% of time sedentary. Being a boy, receiving transportation, and fewer reported barriers to physical activity were associated with meeting MVPA recommendations.

Conclusions:

Relatively few youth are engaging in recommended levels of physical activity. Provision of transportation and reduction of barriers to physical activity are relevant targets for physical activity promotion.

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Georges Jabbour, Melanie Henderson, Angelo Tremblay and Marie Eve Mathieu

Objective:

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) improves aerobic fitness in children, which is usually assessed by maximal oxygen consumption. However, other indices of aerobic fitness have been understudied.

Methods:

To compare net oxygen (VO2net), net energy consumption (Enet), net mechanical efficiency (MEnet), and lipid oxidation rate in active and inactive children across body weight statuses.

Design:

The sample included normal-weight, overweight, and obese children of whom 44 are active (≥30 min of MVPA/d) and 41 are inactive (<30 min of MVPA/d). VO2net, Enet, MEnet and lipid oxidation rate were determined during an incremental maximal cycling test.

Results:

Active obese participants had significantly lower values of VO2net and Enet and higher MEnet than inactive obese participants at all load stages. In addition, active obese participants showed a significantly higher lipid oxidation rate compared with inactive obese and active overweight and normal-weight participants. VO2net, Enet, and MEnet were similar across active children, regardless of body weight status.

Conclusion:

Thirty minutes or more of MVPA per day is associated with a potentiation of aerobic fitness indicators in obese prepubertal children. Moreover, the indices of aerobic fitness of inactive obese children are significantly different from those of active obese and nonobese ones.

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Catherine J. Vladutiu, Kelly R. Evenson, Anne Marie Jukic and Amy H. Herring

Background:

Postpartum women are encouraged to participate in ≥ 150 min/week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, but few women achieve this recommendation. This study sought to identify factors associated with participation in physical activity after pregnancy.

Methods:

We examined correlates of any self-reported moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (≥ 10 min/week across all modes) and any recreational MVPA (≥ 10 min/week) among women enrolled in the Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition Postpartum study at 3 months postpartum (n = 667) and at 12 months postpartum (n = 530). Potential correlates were identified according to the socioecological framework.

Results:

At 3 and 12 months postpartum, lower odds of participation in any MVPA were associated with lower education, breastfeeding, and minimal emotional support. Low exercise self-efficacy, receipt of advice about physical activity, and warmer seasons were associated with higher odds of any MVPA. For recreational MVPA, lower odds of participation were associated with unmarried status, lower education, employment, low income, preeclampsia, and minimal emotional support. Involvement in child/adult care activities, transportation MVPA, and warmer seasons were associated with higher odds of recreational MVPA.

Conclusion:

These findings suggest that several modifiable intrapersonal and interpersonal factors are associated with postpartum MVPA and should be considered when developing interventions to help women maintain or increase MVPA after pregnancy.

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Michael W. Beets, Aaron Beighle, Matteo Bottai, Laura Rooney and Fallon Tilley

Background:

Policies to require afterschool programs (ASPs, 3 PM to 6 PM) to provide children a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) exist. With few low-cost, easy-to-use measures of MVPA available to the general public, ASP providers are limited in their ability to track progress toward achieving this policy-goal. Pedometers may fill this gap, yet there are no step-count guidelines for ASPs linked to 30 minutes of MVPA.

Methods:

Steps and accelerometer estimates of MVPA were collected concurrently over multiple days on 245 children (8.2 years, 48% boys, BMI-percentile 68.2) attending 3 community-based ASPs. Random intercept logit models and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were used to identify a threshold of steps that corresponded with attaining 30 minutes of MVPA.

Results:

Children accumulated an average of 2876 steps (standard error [SE] 79) and 16.1 minutes (SE0.5) of MVPA over 111 minutes (SE1.3) during the ASP. A threshold of 4600 steps provided high specificity (0.967) and adequate sensitivity (0.646) for discriminating children who achieved the 30 minutes of MVPA; 93% of the children were correctly classified. The total area under the curve was 0.919. Children accumulating 4600 steps were 25times more likely to accumulate 30 minutes of MVPA.

Conclusions:

This step threshold will provide ASP leaders with an objective, low-cost, easy-to-use tool to monitor progress toward policy-related goals.