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Jack L. Nasar and Christopher H. Holloman

Background:

The research sought to find the salient perceived characteristics of playgrounds for African-American children and their parents, and to test effects of changes in those characteristics on playground choice.

Methods:

Thirty-one African-American children and their parents sorted 15 photographs of playgrounds for similarity. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling on the similarity scores and correlations between the resulting dimensions and judged characteristics of each playground revealed salient perceived characteristics. Study 2 had 40 African-American children and their parents view pairs of photographs, manipulated on the salient characteristics, and pick the one to play on (child question) or for the child to play on (parent question). A third study inventoried and observed children’s activities in 14 playgrounds.

Results:

Study 1 found seats, fence, playground type, and softness of surface as salient perceived characteristics of the playground. Study 2 found that participants were more likely to pick playgrounds with equipment and playgrounds with a softer surface. Study 3 found higher levels of physical activity for playground settings with equipment.

Conclusions:

The findings confirm correlational findings on the desirability of equipment and safety. Communities need to test the effects of changes in playgrounds.

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Lydia Kwak, Maria Hagströmer and Michael Sjostrom

Background:

To be able to draw any conclusions regarding the health effects of occupational physical activity (OPA), more information is needed regarding valid measures to assess OPA. Aims were to compare OPA as assessed with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire long version (IPAQ-L) with OPA assessed with an accelerometer and to assess the contribution of OPA to total PA.

Methods:

Working adults (n = 441; mean age = 49.4 yrs; 44% males) wore an accelerometer for 7 days in free-living situations and completed the IPAQ-L. Comparisons were made between IPAQ-L-work and accelerometer data limited to working time (Moderate and Vigorous PA (accelerometer-MVPA-work) and average intensity). Subgroup analyses were performed.

Results:

Spearman correlation was r = .46 (P < .01) between IPAQ-L-work and accelerometer-MVPA-work. Correlations ranged from r = .27 to r = .55 in respectively obese and overweight subjects. The contribution of IPAQ-L-work to IPAQ-total was 24.7%.

Conclusions:

The IPAQ-L work domain is a moderately good measure of time spent on MVPA at work and can be used to assess the contribution of OPA to total PA. This study provides valuable information regarding the use of the IPAQ-L in assessing work domain specific PA, and underscores the importance of assessing OPA, as it can contribute for a substantial part to total PA.

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Lynn B. Panton, Michael R. Kushnick, J. Derek Kingsley, Robert J. Moffatt, Emily M. Haymes and Tonya Toole

Background:

To evaluate physical activity with pedometers and health markers of chronic disease in obese, lower socioeconomic African American women.

Methods:

Thirty-five women (48 ± 8 y) wore pedometers for 2 weeks. One-way analyses of variances were used to compare age, weight, body mass indices (BMI), and health markers of chronic disease (including blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, glycosylated hemoglobin, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein) between women who were classified by steps per day as sedentary (SED < 5,000; 2,941 ± 1,161 steps/d) or active (ACT ≥ 5,000; 7,181 ± 2,398 steps/d).

Results:

ACT had significantly lower BMI (ACT: 37.2 ± 5.6; SED: 44.4 ± 7.2 kg/m2) and hip circumferences (ACT: 37.2 ± 5.6; SED: 44.4 ± 37.2 cm) and higher total cholesterol (ACT: 230 ± 53; SED: 191 ± 32 mg/dL) than SED. There were no differences in health markers of chronic disease between SED and ACT. Pearson product moment correlations showed significant negative correlations between steps/d and weight (r = –.42), BMI (r = –.46), and hip circumference (r = –.47).

Conclusions:

Increased levels of physical activity were associated with reduced BMI and hip circumferences but were not associated with lower health markers for chronic disease in obese, lower socioeconomic African American women.

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Bethany Barone Gibbs, Wendy C. King, Kelliann K. Davis, Amy D. Rickman, Renee J. Rogers, Abdus Wahed, Steven H. Belle and John Jakicic

Background:

Sedentary behavior (SED) has been measured almost exclusively by self-reported total SED or television time in longitudinal studies. This manuscript aimed to compare self-reported vs. objectively measured SED.

Methods:

Among overweight and obese young adults enrolled in a weight loss trial, baseline SED was assessed by 3 methods: 1) a questionnaire assessing 8 common SEDs (SEDQ), 2) 1 question assessing SED from the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (SEDGPAQ), and 3) a monitor worn on the arm (SEDOBJ). In addition, television time (SEDTV) was isolated from the SEDQ. SED measures were compared using Spearman’s correlations, signed-rank tests, and Bland-Altman plots.

Results:

In 448 participants, SEDQ and SEDGPAQ were only weakly associated with SEDOBJ (rs = 0.21; P < .001, rs = 0.32; P < .001, respectively). Compared with SEDOBJ, SEDQ more often overestimated SEDOBJ (median difference: 1.1 hours/day; P < .001), while SEDGPAQ more often underestimated SEDOBJ (median difference: –0.7 hours/day; P < .001). The correlation between SEDTV and SEDOBJ was not significantly different from 0 (rs = 0.08; P = .08).

Conclusions:

SEDQ and SEDGPAQ were weakly correlated with, and significantly different from, SEDOBJ in overweight and obese young adults. SEDTV was not related to SEDOBJ. The poor associations of self-reported and objectively measured SED could affect interpretation and comparison across studies relating SED to adverse health outcomes.

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Todd A. Smitherman, Patricia M. Dubbert, Karen B. Grothe, Jung Hye Sung, Darla E. Kendzor, Jared P. Reis, Barbara E. Ainsworth, Robert L. Newton Jr., Karen T. Lesniak and Herman A. Taylor Jr.

Background:

Physical inactivity has been consistently linked to cardiovascular disease, yet few instruments have been validated for assessment of physical activity in African Americans, a group particularly vulnerable to heart disease. The current study aimed to establish the psychometric properties of the activity survey used in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) among African Americans, the JHS Physical Activity Cohort survey (JPAC).

Methods:

Test-retest reliability over 2 weeks was assessed using a convenience sample of 40 African Americans. Convergent validity with accelerometer and pedometer data were assessed in 2 samples from the JHS (N = 404 and 294, respectively).

Results:

Test-retest reliability was excellent, with intraclass correlations = .99 for the JPAC total and index scores. Higher JPAC total scores were significantly associated with higher raw accelerometer and pedometer counts. Spearman correlations between JPAC total scores and accelerometer (rho = .24) and pedometer counts (rho = .32) were consistent with these results. Most subscales were significantly correlated with the objective measures. The JPAC total score was most strongly associated with objectively-measured activity.

Conclusion:

This study provides support for the reliability and validity of the JPAC as a tool for assessing physical activity among African Americans across a variety of domains.

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Katrina D. DuBose, Sandra Edwards, Barbara E. Ainsworth, Jared P. Reis and Martha L. Slattery

Background:

Historical physical activity (PA) questionnaires assess relationships between past PA and chronic diseases. The 4-Corner’s Historical Physical Activity Questionnaire (HPAQ) was validated in 78 middle-age women.

Methods:

In 1996 and 1998, women kept PA records (PAR) for four consecutive days while wearing Caltrac accelerometers. In 2001, the same women recalled their past PA levels using the HPAQ. PA levels from the HPAQ were compared to PARs and the Caltrac. Race-adjusted Spearman correlations determined validity.

Results:

Low to modest correlations existed between PA (min/wk and MET-min/wk) from the HPAQ and PARs for moderate (r = 0.16 and 0.14, respectively), vigorous PA (r = 0.26 and 0.27, respectively; P < 0.05) and moderate-vigorous PA (r = 0.20 and 0.17, respectively). Moderate and moderate-vigorous, but not vigorous PA was positively related to energy expenditure expressed as kilocalories (r = 0.23, P < 0.05 and 0.22, −0.03, respectively) or PA volume (MET-min/wk) (r = 0.29, 0.29, P < 0.05 and 0.10, respectively).

Conclusion:

The HPAQ can produce valid estimates of women’s past moderate and vigorous PA levels.

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Ryan E. Rhodes, Chris M. Blanchard and Rachel E. Blacklock

Age and gender are consistently related to physical activity (PA), yet theoretical explanation for these associations is scant. The present study compared the mean values and correlations of a population sample, divided by gender and age group, with respect to theory of planned behavior beliefs (behavioral, normative, and control) and PA. Participants were a sample (N = 6,739) of adults (M age = 49.65, SD = 16.04) who completed measures of social and health demographics, theory of planned behavior beliefs, and self-reported PA. Mean analyses identi-fed greater perceived control over PA for seniors than for young and middle-aged adults (η2 > .025). Belief–behavior correlations, however, were not different across age and gender in 24 of 26 tests (q < .19). Thus, PA beliefs are invariant across age and gender with the exception of mean levels of perceived control, which are lower among younger adults than older adults. Factors such as early parenthood and career demands were considered the likely reasons for differences. Overall, the evidence suggests that adapting theoretical models for specific age groups or based on gender may not be necessary.

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Kelly R. Laurson, Gregory J. Welk and Joey C. Eisenmann

Background:

The purpose of this study was to provide a practical demonstration of the impact of monitoring frame and metric when assessing pedometer-determined physical activity (PA) in youth.

Methods:

Children (N = 1111) were asked to wear pedometers over a 7-day period during which time worn and steps were recorded each day. Varying data-exclusion criteria were used to demonstrate changes in estimates of PA. Steps were expressed using several metrics and criteria, and construct validity was demonstrated via correlations with adiposity.

Results:

Meaningful fluctuations in average steps per day and percentage meeting PA recommendations were apparent when different criteria were used. Children who wore the pedometer longer appeared more active, with each minute the pedometer was worn each day accounting for an approximate increase of 11 and 8 steps for boys and girls, respectively (P < .05). Using more restrictive exclusion criteria led to stronger correlations between indices of steps per day, steps per minute, steps per leg length, steps per minute per leg length, and obesity.

Conclusion:

Wear time has a meaningful impact on estimates of PA. This should be considered when determining exclusion criteria and making comparisons between studies. Results also suggest that incorporating wear time per day and leg length into the metric may increase validity of PA estimates.

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Lisa M. Barnett, Leah E. Robinson, E. Kipling Webster and Nicola D. Ridgers

Background:

The purpose was to determine the reliability of an instrument designed to assess young children’s perceived movement skill competence in 2 diverse samples.

Methods:

A pictorial instrument assessed 12 perceived Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) based on the Test of Gross Motor Development 2nd edition. Intra-Class Correlations (ICC) and internal consistency analyses were conducted. Paired sample t tests assessed change in mean perceived skill scores. Bivariate correlations between the intertrial difference and the mean of the trials explored proportional bias.

Results:

Sample 1 (S1) were culturally diverse Australian children (n = 111; 52% boys) aged 5 to 8 years (mean = 6.4, SD = 1.0) with educated parents. Sample 2 (S2) were racially diverse and socioeconomically disadvantaged American children (n = 110; 57% boys) aged 5 to 10 years (mean = 6.8, SD = 1.1). For all children, the internal consistency for 12 FMS was acceptable (S1 = 0.72, 0.75, S2 = 0.66, 0.67). ICCs were higher in S1 (0.73) than S2 (0.50). Mean changes between trials were small. There was little evidence of proportional bias.

Conclusion:

Lower values in S2 may be due to differences in study demographic and execution. While the instrument demonstrated reliability/internal consistency, further work is recommended in diverse samples.

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Andreas Wolff Hansen, Inger Dahl-Petersen, Jørn Wulff Helge, Søren Brage, Morten Grønbæk and Trine Flensborg-Madsen

Background:

The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) is commonly used in surveys, but reliability and validity has not been established in the Danish population.

Methods:

Among participants in the Danish Health Examination survey 2007–2008, 142 healthy participants (45% men) wore a unit that combined accelerometry and heart rate monitoring (Acc+HR) for 7 consecutive days and then completed the IPAQ. Background data were obtained from the survey. Physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) and time in moderate, vigorous, and sedentary intensity levels were derived from the IPAQ and compared with estimates from Acc+HR using Spearman’s correlation coefficients and Bland-Altman plots. Repeatability of the IPAQ was also assessed.

Results:

PAEE from the 2 methods was significantly positively correlated (0.29 and 0.49; P = 0.02 and P < 0.001; for women and men, respectively). Men significantly overestimated PAEE by IPAQ (56.2 vs 45.3 kJ/kg/day, IPAQ: Acc+HR, P < .01), while the difference was nonsignificant for women (40.8 vs 44.4 kJ/kg/day). Bland-Altman plots showed that the IPAQ overestimated PAEE, moderate, and vigorous activity without systematic error. Reliability of the IPAQ was moderate to high for all domains and intensities (total PAEE intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.58).

Conclusions:

This Danish Internet-based version of the long IPAQ had modest validity and reliability when assessing PAEE at population level.