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John Manor, Elizabeth Hibberd, Meredith Petschauer and Joseph Myers

Context:

Rounded-shoulder and forward-head posture can be contributing factors to shoulder pain. Corrective techniques such as manual therapy and exercise have been shown to improve these altered postures, but there is little evidence that corrective garments such as posture shirts can alter posture.

Objectives:

To determine the acute effects of corrective postureshirt use on rounded-shoulder and forward-head posture in asymptomatic college students.

Design:

Repeated-measures intervention study with counterbalanced conditions.

Setting:

Research laboratory.

Participants:

24 members of the general student body of a university, 18–25 y old, with a forward shoulder angle (FSA) >52° and no history of upper-extremity surgery, scoliosis, active shoulder pain, or shoulder pain in the previous 3 mo that restricted participation for 3 consecutive days.

Interventions:

Photographic posture assessment under a control condition, under a sham or treatment condition (counterbalanced), under another control condition, and treatment or sham.

Main Outcome Measures:

FSA and forward head angle (FHA) calculated from a lateral photograph.

Results:

FSA decreased relative to the control condition while participants wore the sham shirt (P = .029) but not the corrective posture shirt (P = 1.00). FHA was unchanged between groups (P = .371).

Conclusions:

Application of a corrective posture shirt did not acutely alter FSA or FHA, while application of a sham shirt may decrease FSA at rest.

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Jennifer L. Copeland, Samuel Y. Chu and Mark S. Tremblay

Women experience significant changes in endocrine function during aging. Decreasing levels of anabolic hormones may be associated with musculoskeletal atrophy and decrease in function that is observed in older women and, as a result, there has been an increase in the use of pharmacological hormone therapies. It is difficult to distinguish, however, between physiological changes that are truly age related and those that are associated with lifestyle factors such as physical activity participation. Some research has shown that circulating levels of anabolic hormones such as DHEA(S) and IGF-I in older women are related to physical activity, muscle function, and aerobic power. Exercise-intervention studies have generally shown that increasing age blunts the acute hormonal response to exercise, although this might be explained by a lower exercise intensity in older women. There have been relatively few studies that examine hormonal adaptations to exercise training. Physical activity might have an effect on hormone action as a result of changes in protein carriers and receptors, and future research needs to clarify the effect of age and exercise on these other components of the endocrine system. The value and safety of hormone supplements must be examined, especially when used in combination with an exercise program.

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Carlos Mario Arango, Diana C. Parra, Amy Eyler, Olga Sarmiento, Sonia C. Mantilla, Luis Fernando Gomez and Felipe Lobelo

Background:

Active school transport (AST) is a recommended strategy to promote physical activity (PA) and prevent overweight (OW) in school-aged children. In many developing countries, such as Colombia, this association has not been well characterized.

Objective:

To determine the association between AST and weight status in a representative sample of adolescents from Montería, Colombia.

Methods:

Participants were 546 adolescents (278 boys) aged 11 to 18 years old from 14 randomly selected schools in Montería, Colombia in 2008. The PA module of the Global School Health Survey (GSHS-2007) was used to determine the prevalence of AST. To identify OW, participants were classified according to CDC 2000 criteria (BMI ≥85th percentile). Association between AST and OW was determined by binomial logistic regression.

Results:

Odds ratios adjusted for age, sex, location of school, compliance with PA, and screen time recommendations showed that adolescents who reported AST had a significantly lower likelihood to be OW compared with adolescents who reported nonactive transportation (OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3−0.8, P < .05).

Conclusions:

These results support the importance of AST as a useful PA domain with potential implications for overweight prevention, in rapidly developing settings. Further epidemiologic and intervention studies addressing AST are needed in the region.

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Scott J. Strath, Ann M. Swartz, Sarah J. Parker, Nora E. Miller, Elizabeth K. Grimm and Susan E. Cashin

Background:

Increasing physical activity (PA) levels in older adults represents an important public health challenge. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of combining individualized motivational messaging with pedometer walking step targets to increase PA in previously inactive and insufficiently active older adults.

Methods:

In this 12-week intervention study older adults were randomized to 1 of 4 study arms: Group 1—control; Group 2—pedometer 10,000 step goal; Group 3—pedometer step goal plus individualized motivational feedback; or Group 4—everything in Group 3 augmented with biweekly telephone feedback.

Results:

81 participants were randomized into the study, 61 participants completed the study with an average age of 63.8 ± 6.0 years. Group 1 did not differ in accumulated steps/day following the 12-week intervention compared with participants in Group 2. Participants in Groups 3 and 4 took on average 2159 (P < .001) and 2488 (P < .001) more steps/day, respectively, than those in Group 1 after the 12-week intervention.

Conclusion:

In this 12-week pilot randomized control trial, a pedometer feedback intervention partnered with individually matched motivational messaging was an effective intervention strategy to significantly increase PA behavior in previously inactive and insufficiently active older adults.

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Eeva Aartolahti, Sirpa Hartikainen, Eija Lönnroos and Arja Häkkinen

This study was conducted to determine the characteristics of health and physical function that are associated with not starting strength and balance training (SBT). The study population consisted of 339 community-dwelling individuals (75–98 years, 72% female). As part of a population-based intervention study they received comprehensive geriatric assessment, physical activity counseling, and had the opportunity to take part in SBT at the gym once a week. Compared with the SBT-adopters, the nonadopters (n = 157, 46%) were older and less physically active, had more comorbidities and lower cognitive abilities, more often had sedative load of drugs or were at the risk of malnutrition, had lower grip strength and more instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) difficulties, and displayed weaker performance in Berg Balance Scale and Timed Up and Go assessments. In multivariate models, higher age, impaired cognition, and lower grip strength were independently associated with nonadoption. In the future, more individually-tailored interventions are needed to overcome the factors that prevent exercise initiation.

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Murray C. Lee, Marla R. Orenstein and Maxwell J. Richardson

Background:

The recent decline in children’s active commuting (walking or biking) to school has become an important public health issue. Recent programs have promoted the positive effects of active commuting on physical activity (PA) and overweight. However, the evidence supporting such interventions among schoolchildren has not been previously evaluated.

Methods:

This article presents the results of a systematic review of the association between active commuting to school and outcomes of PA, weight, and obesity in children.

Results:

We found 32 studies that assessed the association between active commuting to school and PA or weight in children. Most studies assessing PA outcomes found a positive association between active commuting and overall PA levels. However, almost all studies were cross-sectional in design and did not indicate whether active commuting leads to increased PA or whether active children are simply more likely to walk. Only 3 of 18 studies examining weight found consistent results, suggesting that there might be no association between active commuting and reduced weight or body mass index.

Conclusion:

Although there are consistent findings from cross-sectional studies associating active commuting with increased total PA, interventional studies are needed to help determine causation.

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Louise C. Mâsse and Judith E. de Niet

Background:

Over the years, self-report measures of physical activity (PA) have been employed in applications for which their use was not supported by the validity evidence.

Methods:

To address this concern this paper 1) provided an overview of the sources of validity evidence that can be assessed with self-report measures of PA, 2) discussed the validity evidence needed to support the use of self-report in certain applications, and 3) conducted a case review of the 7-day PA Recall (7-d PAR).

Results:

This paper discussed 5 sources of validity evidence, those based on: test content; response processes; behavioral stability; relations with other variables; and sensitivity to change. The evidence needed to use self-report measures of PA in epidemiological, surveillance, and intervention studies was presented. These concepts were applied to a case review of the 7-d PAR. The review highlighted the utility of the 7-d PAR to produce valid rankings. Initial support, albeit weaker, for using the 7-d PAR to detect relative change in PA behavior was found.

Conclusion:

Overall, self-report measures can validly rank PA behavior but they cannot adequately quantify PA. There is a need to improve the accuracy of self-report measures of PA to provide unbiased estimates of PA.

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Louise Foley and Ralph Maddison

There has been increased research interest in the use of active video games (in which players physically interact with images onscreen) as a means to promote physical activity in children. The aim of this review was to assess active video games as a means of increasing energy expenditure and physical activity behavior in children. Studies were obtained from computerised searches of multiple electronic bibliographic databases. The last search was conducted in December 2008. Eleven studies focused on the quantification of the energy cost associated with playing active video games, and eight studies focused on the utility of active video games as an intervention to increase physical activity in children. Compared with traditional nonactive video games, active video games elicited greater energy expenditure, which was similar in intensity to mild to moderate intensity physical activity. The intervention studies indicate that active video games may have the potential to increase free-living physical activity and improve body composition in children; however, methodological limitations prevent definitive conclusions. Future research should focus on larger, methodologically sound intervention trials to provide definitive answers as to whether this technology is effective in promoting long-term physical activity in children.

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Braulio C. Mendonça, Antônio C. Oliveira, José Jean O. Toscano, Alan G. Knuth, Thiago T. Borges, Deborah C. Malta, Danielle K. Cruz and Pedro C. Hallal

Background:

Evaluation studies of large scale physical activity promotion programs are rare in Latin America. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the association between various forms of exposure to Academia da Cidade (PAC), a professionally supervised intervention in Aracaju (Brazil), and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA).

Methods:

A population-based study including 2267 adults was carried out. LTPA was assessed using the long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, and a cut-off of 150 minutes per week was used in the analyses.

Results:

In fully adjusted models, having ever heard about PAC was related to an odds of 1.8 (95% CI 1.4−2.2) for reaching the 150-minutes per week LTPA threshold. Equivalent odds ratios were 1.6 (95% CI 1.1−2.3) for having ever seen a PAC class, 14.3 (95% CI 12.3−16.4) for current and 4.0 (95% CI 1.4−11.3) for past PAC participation.

Conclusion:

Different sources of exposure to PAC were significantly associated with LTPA, which may suggest that professionally-supervised community classes offered for free may be a successful alternative for promoting physical activity in Brazil. If PAC happens to be expanded to other Brazilian areas, intervention studies may be carried out to evaluate its effectiveness.

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Dana M. Litt, Ronald J. Iannotti and Jing Wang

Background:

Motivating adolescents to maintain levels of physical activity (PA) is important because regular PA in adolescence contributes to physical, psychological, and social well-being and PA during adolescence has been associated with activity levels in adulthood.

Purpose:

The overall aim of this study is to validate a measure of external reward, health values, and personal interest motivations for adolescent PA developed by Wold and Kannas and to examine the relationship between these motivations and level of PA.

Methods:

A nationally representative sample of 9011 adolescents completed the Health Behavior in School-aged Children survey instrument. Ten items were used to measure PA motivations. Multiple group confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were applied to test the 3-factor structure of the motivation scale and to examine the relationship between the 3 motivations and PA.

Results:

The Wold and Kannas’s motivation measure assessed external, social, and health motivations which predicted PA in adolescents.

Conclusions:

The Wold and Kannas’s motivation measure is suitable for assessing motivations for PA in US adolescents and may contribute to both theoretical and intervention studies that address this public health need.