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Maarike Sallo and Raiot Silla

The purpose of this investigation was to study the pattern of habitual physical activity (HPA) and to assess the time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in kindergarten and first-grade schoolchildren. In 54 children, HPA was studied during 4 consecutive days by whole-day heart rate (HR) monitoring. MVPA was defined on the basis of HR threshold above 139 beats per minute. Sustained periods of MVPA of 20 or more minutes were observed only in 20% of boys and 17% of girls. However, the pattern of HPA of all children contained 1-min, and 2- to 4-min periods of MVPA, and 80% of boys and 90% of girls had 5- to 9-min sustained periods of MVPA. It can be concluded that in 4- to 8-year-old children, HPA is characterized by an intermittent pattern without prolonged periods of MVPA.

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Louise A. Kelly, John J. Reilly, Sheila C. Fairweather, Sarah Barrie, Stanley Grant and James Y Paton

The primary aim of this study was to test the validity of two accelerometers, CSA/MTI WAM-7164 and Actiwatch®, against direct observation of physical activity using the Children’s Physical Activity Form (CPAF). CSA/MTI WAM-7164 and Actiwatch accelerometers simultaneously measured activity during structured-play classes in 3- to 4-year olds. Accelerometry output was synchronized to CPAF assessments of physical activity in 78 children. Rank order correlations between accelerometry and direct observation evaluated the ability of the accelerometers to assess total physical activity. Within-child minute-to-minute correlations were calculated between accelerometry output and direct observation. For total physical activity, CSA/MTI output was significantly correlated with CPAF (r = .72, p < .001), but output from the Actiwatch was not (r = .16, p > .05).

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Jo E. Cowden and Carol C. Torrey

The ROADMAP (Role of Assessment Directed Movements, Actions, and Patterns) Model is presented, providing a plan of action for the adapted motor developmentalist (AMD) to assess the motor actions of young children. The emerging specialty area of the AMD requires new areas of proficiency, which are described in the ROADMAP Model. The model defines and describes inputs, processes, products, outputs, and outcomes as they relate to the process of assessment. The role of the adapted motor developmentalist as a key member in the inter- or transdisciplinary assessment process is discussed. Additionally, selected motor assessment instruments are suggested for use by the AMD.

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Janet E. Fulton, Charlene R. Burgeson, Geraldine R. Perry, Bettylou Sherry, Deborah A. Galuska, Maria P. Alexander, Howell Wechsler and Carl J. Caspersen

An expert panel workshop had two specific aims: (a) to review the current state of knowledge of existing methods for assessing physical activity and sedentary behavior in order to determine their reliability, validity, feasibility, strengths, and limitations and (b) to set research priorities and recommendations to enable the use of reliable and valid instruments for assessing physical activity and sedentary behavior within the context of three public health functions for children ages 2–5 years. Experts presented four major recommendations for research priorities at the conclusion of the 2-day workshop. The need to develop valid methods for measuring physical activity and sedentary behavior was considered the necessary first step to accomplish meaningful physical activity surveillance, public health research, and intervention research for children ages 2–5 years.

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Edward H. Ip, Santiago Saldana, Grisel Trejo, Sarah A. Marshall, Cynthia K. Suerken, Wei Lang, Thomas A. Arcury and Sara A. Quandt

Background:

Obesity disproportionately affects children of Latino farmworkers. Further research is needed to identify patterns of physical activity (PA) in this group and understand how PA affects Body Mass Index (BMI) percentile.

Methods:

Two hundred and forty-four participants ages 2.5 to 3.5 in the Niños Sanos longitudinal study wore accelerometers that measured daily PA. Several PA-related parameters formed a profile for conducting hidden Markov modeling (HMM), which identified different states of PA.

Results:

Latino farmworker children were generally sedentary. Two different states were selected using HMM—less active and more active. In the more active state; members spent more minutes in moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Most children were in the less active state at any given time; however, switching between states occurred commonly. One variable—mother’s concern regarding lack of PA—was a marginally significant predictor of membership in the more active state. State did not predict BMI or weight percentile after adjusting for caloric intake.

Conclusion:

Most children demonstrated high amounts of sedentary behavior, and rates of MVPA fell far below recommended levels for both states. The lack of statistically significant results for risk factors and PA state on weight-related outcomes is likely due to the homogeneous behaviors of the children.

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Ai-Wen Hwang, Chiao-Nan Chen, I-Chin Wu, Hsin-Yi Kathy Cheng and Chia-Ling Chen

This cross-sectional study investigated the correlates of body mass index (BMI) and risk factors for overweight among 91 children with motor delay (MD) aged 9–73 months. Anthropometric measurements and questionnaires regarding multiple risk factors were obtained. Simple correlations between BMI percentile classifications and potential predictors were examined using Spearman’s rank/Pearson’s correlations and χ2 analysis. Multiple predictors of overweight were analyzed using logistic regression. BMI was correlated positively with higher caloric intake (rs = .21, p < .05) and negatively with passive activity (rs = -.21, p < .05). When multiple predictors were considered, more severe dysphagia (odds ratio [OR], 2.81, p = .027, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13–7.04) and antiepileptic drug use (OR, 19.12, p = .008, 95% CI, 2.14–170.81) had significant partial effects on overweight status. Agencies supporting early development should consider caregiver education regarding the potential implication of feeding style and medication on BMI.

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Vitor Lopes, Lisa Barnett and Luís Rodrigues

The purpose is to explore relationships among moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), sedentary behavior (SB), and actual gross motor competence (MC) and perceived motor competence (PMC) in young children. Data were collected in 101 children (M age = 4.9 ± 0.93 years). MVPA was measured with accelerometry. Gross MC was assessed with the Portuguese version of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children. PMC was evaluated with the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children. Regressions were used to determine predictive relationships related to the following research questions: (a) Can gross MC predict perceived motor competence, (b) can actual and perceived gross MC predict MVPA, and (c) can actual and perceived gross MC predict SB? Results showed no association between gross MC and PMC and between these constructs and MVPA and SB. This lack of association in the early ages is probably due to the young children’s cognitive inability to make accurate self-judgments and evaluations. A child might have low levels of actual gross MC but perceive her- or himself as skillful.

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Susanna M.K. Chow, Yung-Wen Hsu, Sheila E. Henderson, Anna L. Barnett and Sing Kai Lo

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the suitability of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC) for use in Greater China. Chinese children numbering 255 between the ages of 4 and 6 from Hong Kong and 544 from Taiwan were tested individually on the standardized test contained within the M-ABC. Data from these 799 children were compared to that presented in the test manual for the 493 children of the same age comprising the United States standardization sample. Both within-culture and cross-cultural differences were statistically significant when all items of the M-ABC were examined simultaneously, but effect sizes were too low to be considered meaningful. However, descriptive analysis of the cut-off scores used for impairment detection on the test suggested that adjustments to some items would be desirable for these particular Chinese populations.