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Deborah Young, Brit I. Saksvig, Tong Tong Wu, Kathleen Zook, Xia Li, Steven Champaloux, Mira Grieser, Sunmin Lee and Margarita S. Treuth

Background:

We examined associations among multilevel variables and girls’ physical activity to determine whether they vary at different adolescent ages.

Methods:

All field sites of the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls contributed participants from 6th (n = 1576) and 8th grades (n = 3085). The Maryland site contributed an 11th grade sample (n = 589). Questionnaires were used to obtain demographic and psychosocial information (individual- and social-level variables); height, weight, and triceps skinfold to assess body composition; interviews and surveys for school-level data; and geographical information systems and self-report for neighborhood-level variables. Moderate to vigorous physical activity minutes (MVPA) were assessed from accelerometers. Mixed models (13 individual, 5 social, 15 school, 12 neighborhood variables) were used to determine multilevel associations.

Results:

Variables at individual, social, school, and neighborhood levels were associated with MVPA, but differed across grades. Lower percent body fat, higher social support from friends, and lower school math scores were associated with higher MVPA at 6th and 8th grade. Higher physical activity self-efficacy was associated with higher MVPA at 11th grade. Only lower physical activity barriers were associated with higher MVPA at all grades.

Conclusion:

MVPA is a complex behavior with fluid, multilevel correlates that differ among girls across middle and high school.

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Jennifer R. O’Neill, Russell R. Pate and Michael W. Beets

Background:

The aims of this study were to describe the physical activity levels of girls during dance classes and to identify factors associated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in those classes.

Methods:

Participants were 137 girls (11 to 18 years-old) enrolled in ballet, jazz, or tap dance classes from 11 dance studios. Participants wore an accelerometer during the selected dance class on 2 separate days. Factors hypothesized to be associated with MVPA were dance style, instructional level, instructor’s experience, percent of class time spent in choreography, and participants’ age, race/ethnicity, BMI-for-age percentile, and years of dance training. Data were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models.

Results:

Girls engaged in 9.8 minutes of MVPA, 6.0 minutes of moderate, 3.8 minutes of vigorous, 39.3 minutes of light, and 10.9 minutes of sedentary behavior per hour of dance class participation. Jazz/tap classes provided more MVPA than ballet classes, and intermediate level classes provided more MVPA than advanced level classes. Girls with more dance training obtained more MVPA than girls with less dance training.

Conclusion:

Dance classes provide valuable opportunities for adolescent girls to be physically active.

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Dana L. Wolff-Hughes, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, David R. Bassett and James R. Churilla

Background:

Accelerometer-derived total activity count is a measure of total physical activity (PA) volume. The purpose of this study was to develop age- and gender-specific percentiles for daily total activity counts (TAC), minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and minutes of light physical activity (LPA) in U.S. adults.

Methods:

Waist-worn accelerometer data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used for this analysis. The sample included adults >20 years with >10 hours accelerometer wear time on >4 days (N = 6093). MVPA and LPA were defined as the number of 1-minute epochs with counts >2020 and 100 to 2019, respectively. TAC represented the activity counts acquired daily. TAC, MVPA, and LPA were averaged across valid days to produce a daily mean.

Results:

Males in the 50th percentile accumulated 288 140 TAC/day, with 357 and 22 minutes/day spent in LPA and MVPA, respectively. The median for females was 235 741 TAC/day, with 349 and 12 minutes/day spent in LPA and MVPA, respectively.

Conclusions:

Population-referenced TAC percentiles reflect the total volume of PA, expressed relative to other adults. This is a different approach to accelerometer data reduction that complements the current method of looking at time spent in intensity subcategories.

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Renata Moraes Bielemann, Virgílio Viana Ramires, Denise Petrucci Gigante, Pedro Curi Hallal and Bernardo Lessa Horta

Background:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between physical activity and triglyceride and HDLc levels in young male adults.

Methods:

We used information about males belonging 1982 Pelotas Birth Cohort. Physical activity in 4 domains (leisure time, transportation, household, and occupation) was assessed by self-report in participants of the cohort at ages of 18 and 23 years. Subjects were active if reached the recommendation of 150 min/week of moderate to vigorous physical activity. At 23 years of age, blood sample was collected, and triglycerides and HDLc levels estimated. Multivariate linear and Poisson regression were used to adjust the estimates for confounders.

Results:

Males who were inactive at 18 and active at 23 years had 41% lower risk (β = 0.59; 95% confidence interval: 0.40; 0.89) for borderline-high triglycerides (≥ 150 mg/dL) as compared with those who were inactive at both follow-ups. No association was found between changes of physical activity and HDLc level. In cross-sectional analyses, greater HDLc levels were found in active subjects in 4 domains, whereas there was no difference in HDL levels according physical activity during leisure time.

Conclusion:

Becoming active from adolescence to early adulthood reduced the risk for high triglycerides. Current physical activity was associated with greater HDLc levels.

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Tessa M. Pollard and Cornelia Guell

Background:

We assessed the quality of data on physical activity obtained by recall from Muslim women of South Asian origin, and the feasibility of using accelerometer-based physical activity monitors to provide more objective measures of physical activity in this group.

Methods:

In this largely qualitative study, 22 British Pakistani women were asked to wear accelerometers (the GT1M Actigraph and/or the Sensewear Armband) for 4 days, provided 2 24-hour recalls of activities, and were interviewed about their experiences with the monitors.

Results:

Women reported spending most of their time in housework and childcare, activities which generated the majority of recorded bouts of moderate to vigorous physical activity. However, women had difficulty in recalling the timing, and assessing the intensity, of these usually unstructured activities. A significant minority of accelerometer datasets were incomplete and some women reported either forgetting to wear the acceler-ometer or finding it intrusive.

Conclusions:

Questionnaires are unlikely to provide an accurate assessment of physical activity in this group of women. This suggests that accelerometer data will be preferable. However, collecting sufficient data for large-scale studies using activity monitors in this population will be challenging.

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Jennifer Brunet and Catherine M. Sabiston

This study examined (1) the relationships between self-presentation processes (i.e., impression motivation and impression construction) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among breast cancer survivors, and (2) whether social cognitive constructs (i.e., self-presentational efficacy expectancy [SPEE]; self-presentational outcome expectancy [SPOE]; self-presentational outcome value [SPOV]) moderate these relationships. Breast cancer survivors (N = 169; M age = 55.06, SD = 10.67 years) completed self-report measures. Hierarchical regression analysis, controlling for age and body mass index, indicated that impression motivation was a significant correlate of MVPA (β = .25). Furthermore, SPEE (β = .21) and SPOV (β = .27) were moderators of this relationship. The final models accounted for 12–24% of the variance in MVPA. The findings of this study suggest that self-presentation processes (i.e., impression motivation) may indeed relate to breast cancer survivors’ MVPA. In addition, social cognitive constructs (i.e., SPEE, SPOV) moderated the relationship between impression motivation and MVPA. It may be effective to target impression motivation, SPEE, and SPOV in interventions aimed at increasing MVPA among breast cancer survivors.

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Norma Olvera, Dennis W. Smith, Chanam Lee, Jian Liu, Jay Lee, Jun-Hyun Kim and Stephanie F. Kellam

Background:

Parents represent a key ecological component in influencing their child’s physical activity. The aim of this exploratory study was to assess the relationship between maternal acculturation and physical activity in Hispanic children.

Methods:

102 Hispanic mothers (mean age 36.2 yrs; +SD 7.3 yrs) and their children (mean age 10.0 yrs, +SD 0.8 yrs) participated. Most of the mothers (74%) were foreign-born, with 62% classified as low acculturated and 38% high acculturated. Demographic, acculturation, and anthropometric measures were completed by mothers and children. Physical activity was measured using accelerometers. Relationships between maternal acculturation and demographic variables and children’s physical activity were examined using chi-square, Analysis of Variance, and simple regression.

Results:

Children had higher physical activity levels than their mothers (t(49) = −7.87, P < .0001). Significant correlations between maternal and child’s physical activity levels were observed in moderate (r 2 = 0.13, P = .001), vigorous (r 2 = 0.08, P = .05), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (r 2 = 0.17, P = .002). Low acculturated mothers were more likely to have active children compared with high acculturated mothers. Maternal BMI and other demographic characteristics were not significantly associated with child’s physical activity.

Conclusions:

Findings from this study revealed an association among maternal acculturation, role modeling, and child’s physical activity.

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Shanley Chong, Roy Byun, Soumya Mazumdar, Adrian Bauman and Bin Jalaludin

Background:

The aim was to investigate the association between distant green space and physical activity modified by local green space.

Methods:

Information about physical activity, demographic and socioeconomic background at the individual level was extracted from the New South Wales Population Health Survey. The proportion of a postcode that was parkland was used as a proxy measure for access to parklands and was calculated for each individual.

Results:

There was a significant relationship between distant green space and engaging in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at least once a week. No significant relationship was found between adequate physical activity and distant green space. No significant relationships were found between adequate physical activity, engaging in MVPA, and local green space. However, if respondents lived in greater local green space (≥25%), there was a significant relationship between engaging in MVPA at least once a week and distance green space of ≥20%.

Conclusion:

This study highlights the important effect of distant green space on physical activity. Our findings also suggest that moderate size of local green space together with moderate size of distant green space are important levers for participation of physical activity.

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Jamie Lye Ching Ting, Swarup Mukherjee and Michael Chia Yong Hwa

Background:

Adolescents require at least 60 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (PA) for optimum health benefits. Reduced active and increased sedentary time can adversely affect health independently. This study investigated the sedentary behavior and physical activity patterns of Singaporean adolescents.

Methods:

233 adolescents aged 13 to 15 years participated in the study. Accelerometry was used to assess the daily PA patterns for 3 weekdays and 2 weekend days consecutively. Height, weight, BMI, waist circumference and waist-hip ratio were determined as surrogate measures of health.

Results:

None of the participants achieved the recommended 60 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on all 5 days. Significantly more time was spent engaging in sedentary activity compared with MVPA on both weekdays and weekends. MVPA and sedentary time were positively associated on weekdays after controlling for gender (P < .001). Weekday MVPA was positively associated with waist circumference (P < .001) and waist-hip ratio (P < .001).

Conclusion:

Singaporean adolescents fall substantially short of meeting the daily PA recommendations. Separate strategies to promote PA may be necessary for adolescents of differing weight status and gender. Pragmatic rather than idealistic targets to promote PA need to be set based on population-specific baseline data.

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Jakob Tarp, Lars B. Andersen and Lars Østergaard

Background:

Cycling to and from school is an important source of physical activity (PA) in youth but it is not captured by the dominant objective method to quantify PA. The aim of this study was to quantify the underestimation of objectively assessed PA caused by cycling when using accelerometry.

Methods:

Participants were 20 children aged 11 to 14 years from a randomized controlled trial performed in 2011. Physical activity was assessed by accelerometry with the addition of heart rate monitoring during cycling to school. Global positioning system (GPS) was used to identify periods of cycling to school.

Results:

Mean minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during round-trip commutes was 10.8 (95% CI: 7.1−16.6). Each kilometer of cycling meant an underestimation of 9314 (95% CI: 7719−11238) counts and 2.7 (95% CI: 2.1−3.5) minutes of MVPA. Adjusting for cycling to school increased estimates of MVPA/day by 6.0 (95% CI: 3.8−9.6) minutes.

Conclusions:

Cycling to and from school contribute substantially to levels of MVPA and to mean counts/min in children. This was not collected by accelerometers. Using distance to school in conjunction with self-reported cycling to school may be a simple tool to improve the methodology.