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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.

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Jason A. Mendoza, Kathy Watson, Nga Nguyen, Ester Cerin, Tom Baranowski and Theresa A. Nicklas

Background:

Walking or bicycling to school (ie, active commuting) has shown promise for improving physical activity and preventing obesity in youth. Our objectives were to examine, among US youth, whether active commuting was inversely associated with adiposity and positively associated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). We also examined whether MVPA mediated the relationships between active commuting and adiposity.

Methods:

Using data of participants aged 12 to 19 years from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2004 (n = 789 unweighted), we constructed multiple linear regression models that controlled for dietary energy intake and sociodemographics. The main exposure variable was active commuting. The outcomes were BMI z-score, waist circumference, skinfolds and objectively measured MVPA. The product-of-coefficients method was used to test for mediation.

Results:

Active commuting was inversely associated with BMI z-score (β = −0.07, P = .046) and skinfolds (β = −0.06, P = .029), and positively associated with overall daily (β = 0.12, P = .024) and before- and after-school (β = 0.20, P < .001) MVPA. Greater before- and after-school MVPA explained part of the relationship between active commuting and waist circumference (Sobel z = −1.98, P = .048).

Conclusions:

Active commuting was associated with greater MVPA and lower measures of adiposity among US youth. Before- and after-school MVPA mediated the relationships between active commuting and waist circumference.

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Susanne James-Burdumy, Nicholas Beyler, Kelley Borradaile, Martha Bleeker, Alyssa Maccarone and Jane Fortson

Background:

The Playworks program places coaches in low-income urban schools to engage students in physical activity during recess. The purpose of this study was to estimate the impact of Playworks on students’ physical activity separately for Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, and non-Hispanic white students.

Methods:

Twenty-seven schools from 6 cities were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Accelerometers were used to measure the intensity of students’ physical activity, the number of steps taken, and the percentage of time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during recess. The impact of Playworks was estimated by comparing average physical activity outcomes in treatment and control groups.

Results:

Compared with non-Hispanic black students in control schools, non-Hispanic black students in Playworks schools recorded 338 more intensity counts per minute, 4.9 more steps per minute, and 6.3 percentage points more time in MVPA during recess. Playworks also had an impact on the number of steps per minute during recess for Hispanic students but no significant impact on the physical activity of non-Hispanic white students.

Conclusions:

The impact of Playworks was larger among minority students than among non-Hispanic white students. One possible explanation is that minority students in non-Playworks schools typically engaged in less physical activity, suggesting that there is more room for improvement.

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Jared M. Tucker, Greg Welk, Sarah M. Nusser, Nicholas K. Beyler and David Dzewaltowski

Background:

This study was designed to develop a prediction algorithm that would allow the Previous Day Physical Activity Recall (PDPAR) to be equated with temporally matched data from an accelerometer.

Methods:

Participants (n = 121) from a large, school-based intervention wore a validated accelerometer and completed the PDPAR for 3 consecutive days. Physical activity estimates were obtained from PDPAR by totaling 30-minute bouts of activity coded as ≥4 METS. A regression equation was developed in a calibration sample (n = 91) to predict accelerometer minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) from PDPAR bouts. The regression equation was then applied to a separate, holdout sample (n = 30) to evaluate the utility of the prediction algorithm.

Results:

Gender and PDPAR bouts accounted for 36.6% of the variance in accelerometer MVPA. The regression model showed that on average boys obtain 9.0 min of MVPA for each reported PDPAR bout, while girls obtain 4.8 min of MVPA per bout. When applied to the holdout sample, predicted minutes of MVPA from the models showed good agreement with accelerometer minutes (r = .81).

Conclusions:

The prediction equation provides a valid and useful metric to aid in the interpretation of PDPAR results.

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Miguel A. Calabro, Gregory J. Welk, Alicia L. Carriquiry, Sarah M. Nusser, Nicholas K. Beyler and Charles E. Matthews

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of a computerized 24-hour physical activity recall instrument (24PAR).

Methods:

Participants (n = 20) wore 2 pattern-recognition activity monitors (an IDEEA and a SenseWear Pro Armband) for a 24-hour period and then completed the 24PAR the following morning. Participants completed 2 trials, 1 while maintaining a prospective diary of their activities and 1 without a diary. The trials were counterbalanced and completed within a week from each other. Estimates of energy expenditure (EE) and minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were compared with the criterion measures using 3-way (method by gender by trial) mixed-model ANOVA analyses.

Results:

For EE, pairwise correlations were high (r > .88), and there were no differences in estimates across methods. Estimates of MVPA were more variable, but correlations were still in the moderate to high range (r > .57). Average activity levels were significantly higher on the logging trial, but there was no significant difference in the accuracy of self-report on days with and without logging.

Conclusions:

The results of this study support the overall utility of the 24PAR for group-level estimates of daily EE and MVPA.

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Gerson Luis de Moraes Ferrari, Timoteo Leandro Araujo, Luis Oliveira, Victor Matsudo, Emily Mire, Tiago V. Barreira, Catrine Tudor-Locke and Peter T. Katzmarzyk

Background:

Studies have found an association between television (TV) viewing and physical activity levels. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between TV viewing and physical activity in 10-year-old Brazilian children.

Methods:

The sample consisted of 485 children. Self-reported TV viewing on weekdays and weekends was assessed by questionnaire. An Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer was used to monitor the range of physical activity intensities (including moderate-to-vigorous physical activity; MVPA), sedentary behavior (SB) and steps/day over 7 days.

Results:

Daily MVPA was highest among children viewing TV <1 hour/day (69 min) compared with children viewing 1 to 2 hours/day (61 min), 3 to 4 hours/day (55 min) and ≥ 5 hours/day (59 min) on weekdays (P = .0015). Differences in MVPA were not observed across TV categories on weekends. The prevalence of reaching 60 min/day of MVPA and 12,000 steps/day on weekdays was significantly greater in children viewing ≤ 2 hours/day (51.7% and 23.5%, respectively) compared with those viewing > 2 hours/day (38.6%, P = .0058; and 15.1%, P = .0291, respectively). There was no difference in SB across TV viewing categories.

Conclusion:

Time spent in MVPA and the frequency of meeting MVPA guidelines were significantly higher among children viewing ≤ 2 hours/day of TV on weekdays compared with those viewing more.

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Victoria Catenacci, Christopher Barrett, Lorraine Odgen, Ray Browning, Christine Adele Schaefer, James Hill and Holly Wyatt

Background:

The America on the Move (AOM) Family Intervention Program has been shown to prevent excess weight gain in overweight children. Providing intervention materials via the internet would have the potential to reach more families but may increase sedentary behavior. The purpose was to evaluate whether delivering the AOM Family Intervention via the internet versus printed workbook would have a similar impact on sedentary behaviors in children.

Methods:

131 children (age 8–12) were randomized to receive the AOM Family Intervention via the internet or workbook for 12 weeks. Changes in objectively measured sedentary time and moderate-to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) as well as self-reported screen time were compared between groups.

Results:

There were no significant differences between groups in screen time, sedentary time, or MVPA at the end of the 12 week intervention. Families receiving the intervention via the internet were more likely to remain in the study (98% vs. 82%, P = .016).

Conclusions:

Using the internet to deliver the lifestyle intervention did not increase sedentary behavior in children. Attrition rates were lower when the program was delivered by internet versus via printed materials. These results provide support for using the internet to deliver healthy lifestyle programs for children.

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Tim Olds, Carol Ann Maher and Kate Ridley

Background:

Low physical activity has been associated with increased fatness and deceased fitness. This observational study aimed to describe the magnitude, composition, and time-distribution of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in Australian children.

Methods:

A total of 1132 10 to 13 year old schoolchildren completed a 24-h activity recall diary on 2 to 4 occasions. MVPA was defined as any activity requiring ≥3METs, including sport, play, active transport, chores, and other activities.

Results:

MVPA was higher in boys than girls (173 vs 140 min/day; P < .0001), higher on nonschool days than school days (166 vs 143 min/day; P < .0001), and decreased with age (9 min/day per year of age). MVPA consisted of structured sport (37%), active transport (26%), unstructured play (24%), and chores/miscellaneous activities (13%). Every hour of MVPA was associated with a reduction in screen time (26.5 min), non-screen-based sedentary pastimes (8 min), and sleep (5.5 min). The least active quartile of children were more likely to be girls (OR = 3.4), have higher screen time, and sleep more. From 4:00−6:30 PM on school days there were large differences in participation between high-active and low-active children.

Conclusion:

Findings suggest MVPA interventions should target girls, screen time and focus on the after-school period.

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Gary S. Goldfield, Risa Mallory, Denis Prud’homme and Kristi B. Adamo

Background:

This study evaluated the effects of gender on response to a behavioral intervention that rewarded increases in physical activity (PA) with increases in access to TV viewing.

Methods:

We performed a secondary analysis of a clinical trial that randomized 30 overweight or obese, 8- to 12-year-old children to an intervention (8 boys, 6 girls) or control (7 boys, 9 girls) group. Participants wore accelerometers every day for 8 weeks and attended biweekly meetings to download the activity monitors. For the intervention group, accumulating 400 counts of PA on accelerometers earned 1 hour of TV time, which was controlled by a Token TV electronic device. Controls wore activity monitors but had free access to T V.

Results:

Compared with girls, boys in the intervention group exhibited greater increases in overall daily PA counts (110% versus 40%, P < .05) and minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; +18.1 versus +2.7, P < .05). Neither boys nor girls in the control group showed significant changes in overall PA or intensity of PA.

Conclusion:

Wearing an accelerometer in combination with rewarding PA with TV might be a more effective intervention for increasing overall PA and time spent in MVPA in overweight and obese boys than it is for overweight or obese girls.

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Evelyn B. Kelly, Deborah Parra-Medina, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Marsha Dowda, Terry L. Conway, Larry S. Webber, Jared B. Jobe, Scott Going and Russell R. Pate

Background:

A need exists to better understand multilevel influences on physical activity among diverse samples of girls. This study examined correlates of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among adolescent girls from different racial/ethnic backgrounds.

Methods:

1,180 6th grade girls (24.5% black, 15.7% Hispanic, and 59.8% white) completed a supervised self-administered questionnaire that measured hypothesized correlates of PA. MVPA data were collected for 6 days using the ActiGraph accelerometer. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to examine correlates of PA in each racial/ethnic group.

Results:

Hispanic girls (n = 185) engaged in 21.7 minutes of MVPA per day, black girls (n = 289) engaged in 19.5 minutes of MVPA per day, and white girls (n = 706) engaged in 22.8 minutes of MVPA per day. Perceived transportation barriers (+; P = .010) were significantly and positively related to MVPA for Hispanic girls. For black girls, Body Mass Index (BMI) (–; P = .005) and social support from friends (+; P = .006) were significant correlates of MVPA. For white girls, BMI (–; P < .001), barriers (–; P = .012), social support from friends (+; P = .010), participation in school sports (+; P = .009), and community sports (+; P = .025) were significant correlates of MVPA. Explained variance ranged from 30% to 35%.

Conclusions:

Correlates of MVPA varied by racial/ethnic groups. Effective interventions in ethnically diverse populations may require culturally tailored strategies.