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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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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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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.

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Maciej S. Buchowski, Charles E. Matthews, Sarah S. Cohen, Lisa B. Signorello, Jay H. Fowke, Margaret K. Hargreaves, David G. Schlundt and William J. Blot

Background:

Low physical activity (PA) is linked to cancer and other diseases prevalent in racial/ethnic minorities and low-income populations. This study evaluated the PA questionnaire (PAQ) used in the Southern Cohort Community Study, a prospective investigation of health disparities between African-American and white adults.

Methods:

The PAQ was administered upon entry into the cohort (PAQ1) and after 12–15 months (PAQ2) in 118 participants (40–60 year-old, 48% male, 74% African-American). Test-retest reliability (PAQ1 versus PAQ2) was assessed using Spearman correlations and the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Criterion validity of the PAQ was assessed via comparison with a PA monitor and a last-month PA survey (LMPAS), administered up to 4 times in the study period.

Results:

The PAQ test-retest reliability ranged from 0.25–0.54 for sedentary behaviors and 0.22–0.47 for active behaviors. The criterion validity for the PAQ compared with PA monitor ranged from 0.21–0.24 for sedentary behaviors and from 0.17–0.31 for active behaviors. There was general consistency in the magnitude of correlations between the PAQ and PA-monitor between African-Americans and whites.

Conclusions:

The SCCS-PAQ has fair to moderate test-retest reliability and demonstrated some evidence of criterion validity for ranking participants by their level of sedentary and active behaviors.

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Kate A. Heelan and Joey C. Eisenmann

Background:

It is uncertain as to whether physical activity (PA) may influence the body composition of young children.

Purpose:

To determine the association between PA, media time, and body composition in children age 4 to 7 y.

Methods:

100 children (52 girls, 48 boys) were assessed for body-mass index (BMI), body fat, fat mass (FM), and fat-free mass using dual energy x-ray absorbtiometryptiometry (DXA). PA was monitored using accelerometers and media time was reported by parental proxy.

Results:

In general, correlations were low to moderate at best (r < 0.51), but in the expected direction. Total media time and TV were significantly associated with BMI (r = 0.51, P < 0.05) and FM (r = 0.29 to 0.30, P < 0.05) in girls. In boys, computer usage was significantly associated with FM in boys (r = 0.31, P < 0.05).

Conclusion:

The relatively low correlations suggest that other factors may influence the complex, multi-factorial body composition phenotype of young children.

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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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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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Philip J. Troped, Heather A. Whitcomb, Brent Hutto, Julian A. Reed and Steven P. Hooker

Purpose:

This study assessed test-retest reliability of an interviewer-administered trail survey.

Methods:

An intercept survey was conducted with adults using 2 paved trails in Indiana and South Carolina (N = 295; mean age = 46.9 ± 18 y). The survey included items on frequency and duration of trail use for recreation and transportation, other patterns of trail use, and sociodemographic characteristics. Fifty-five adults completed the survey twice (2−16 d apart; mean = 7.4 ± 2.6 d). Test-retest reliability was assessed with Spearman rank correlation coefficients, Kappa coefficients, and percent agreement.

Results:

Kappa coefficients and percent agreement for 9 categorical items ranged from 0.65 to 0.96 and from 64.0% to 98.2%, respectively. Among these items, the lowest Kappas were found for perceived safety (0.65) and reported duration of visits for recreational purposes (0.67). Spearman rank correlation coefficients for travel distance to and on the trail and frequency of trail use during the past 7 days and past 4 weeks ranged from 0.62 to 0.93.

Conclusion:

Though further assessments of this survey with different populations and types of trails may be warranted, its overall high reliability indicates it can be used by researchers and practitioners in its current form.

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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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Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Rebecca L. Rankin, Chong Lee, Mary E. Charlton, Pamela D. Swan and Barbara E. Ainsworth

Background:

The 400 m walk test has been used in older adults; however, the applicability in middle-aged populations is unknown.

Methods:

Data were obtained from the Evaluation of Physical Activity Measures in Middle-Aged Women (PAW) Study and included 66 women (52.6 ± 5.4 years). Participants were instructed to walk at a brisk, maintainable pace; time taken to complete the 400 m was recorded in seconds. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to assess test-retest reliability. Spearman rank order correlation coefficients were used to examine the concurrent validity of the walk test with cardiorespiratory fitness and associations with physical activity, body composition, flexibility, static balance, and muscular fitness, adjusted for age and body mass index.

Results:

Participants completed the walk at visits 4 and 5 in 248.0 and 245.0 seconds, respectively. The walk test had excellent reproducibility [ICC = 0.95 (95% CI: 0.92, 0.97)] and was significantly associated with estimated (ρ = −0.43; P < 0.0001) and measured (ρ = −0.56; P < 0.001) VO2max. The walk test was also significantly related to physical activity, body composition, flexibility, and balance.

Conclusions:

These findings support the utility of the 400 m walk test to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness and reflect free-living physical activity in healthy, middle-aged women.