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Alexander Vigo-Valentín, Kimberly A. Bush and Samuel R. Hodge

Background:

There is limited evidence on physical activity patterns among Hispanic adolescents in Puerto Rico. This restricts opportunities to implement effective interventions and policies to increase physical activity in schools. The purpose of this study was to examine the physical activity behaviors of adolescents attending middle and high schools in Puerto Rico based on a compendium of moderate to vigorous physical activities including walking, jogging or running, bicycling, sports and more. A secondary purpose was to examine group differences as a function of gender and school level.

Method:

A cross-sectional survey research design was used. Students (N = 637) attending public middle and high schools completed a Visual 7-Day Physical Activity Recall survey. Both descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted to describe the sample and to determine group differences.

Results:

Puerto Rican adolescents’ levels of physical activity decreased throughout the week. Only a small proportion of them reached at least 60 minutes everyday of the week. Differences were found between middle and high school students’ daily and weekly participation in physical activities.

Conclusions:

Most adolescents do not engage in sufficient physical activity.

Implications:

Implications of the results are discussed and recommendations are articulated for policy makers, educators, and other professionals.

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Genevieve Dunton, Vicki J. Ebin, Merav W. Efrat, Rafael Efrat, Christianne J. Lane and Scott Plunkett

Objective:

The current study investigates the extent to which a refundable tax credit could be used to increase low-income children’s after-school physical activity levels.

Methods:

An experimental study was conducted evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention offering a simulated refundable tax credit to parents of elementary-school-age children (n = 130) for enrollment in after-school physical activity programs. A randomized controlled design was used, with data collected at baseline, immediately following the 4-month intervention (postintervention), and 6 weeks after the end of the intervention (follow-up). Evaluation measures included (1) enrollment rate, time spent, weekly participation frequency, duration of enrollment, and long-term enrollment patterns in after-school physical activity programs and (2) moderate to vigorous physical activity.

Results:

The simulated tax credits did not significantly influence low-income children’s rates of enrollment in after-school physical activity programs, frequency of participation, time spent in after-school physical activity programs, and overall moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity at postintervention or follow-up.

Conclusion:

The use of refundable tax credits as incentives to increase participation in after-school physical activity programs in low-income families may have limited effectiveness. Lawmakers might consider other methods of fiscal policy to promote physical activity such as direct payment to after-school physical activity program providers for enrolling and serving a low-income child in a qualified program, or improvements to programming and infrastructure.

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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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John R. Sirard, Ann Forsyth, J. Michael Oakes and Kathryn H. Schmitz

Background:

The purpose of this study was to determine 1) the test-retest reliability of adult accelerometer-measured physical activity, and 2) how data processing decisions affect physical activity levels and test-retest reliability.

Methods:

143 people wore the ActiGraph accelerometer for 2 7-day periods, 1 to 4 weeks apart. Five algorithms, varying nonwear criteria (20 vs. 60 min of 0 counts) and minimum wear requirements (6 vs. 10 hrs/day for ≥ 4 days) and a separate algorithm requiring ≥ 3 counts per min and ≥ 2 hours per day, were used to process the accelerometer data.

Results:

Processing the accelerometer data with different algorithms resulted in different levels of counts per day, sedentary, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Reliability correlations were very good to excellent (ICC = 0.70−0.90) for almost all algorithms and there were no significant differences between physical activity measures at Time 1 and Time 2.

Conclusions:

This paper presents the first assessment of test-retest reliability of the Actigraph over separate administrations in free-living subjects. The ActiGraph was highly reliable in measuring activity over a 7-day period in natural settings but data were sensitive to the algorithms used to process them.

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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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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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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.