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Georges Jabbour, Melanie Henderson, Angelo Tremblay and Marie Eve Mathieu

Objective:

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) improves aerobic fitness in children, which is usually assessed by maximal oxygen consumption. However, other indices of aerobic fitness have been understudied.

Methods:

To compare net oxygen (VO2net), net energy consumption (Enet), net mechanical efficiency (MEnet), and lipid oxidation rate in active and inactive children across body weight statuses.

Design:

The sample included normal-weight, overweight, and obese children of whom 44 are active (≥30 min of MVPA/d) and 41 are inactive (<30 min of MVPA/d). VO2net, Enet, MEnet and lipid oxidation rate were determined during an incremental maximal cycling test.

Results:

Active obese participants had significantly lower values of VO2net and Enet and higher MEnet than inactive obese participants at all load stages. In addition, active obese participants showed a significantly higher lipid oxidation rate compared with inactive obese and active overweight and normal-weight participants. VO2net, Enet, and MEnet were similar across active children, regardless of body weight status.

Conclusion:

Thirty minutes or more of MVPA per day is associated with a potentiation of aerobic fitness indicators in obese prepubertal children. Moreover, the indices of aerobic fitness of inactive obese children are significantly different from those of active obese and nonobese ones.

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Alex C. Garn, Alexandre J.S. Morin, Jeffrey Martin, Erin Centeio, Bo Shen, Noel Kulik, Cheryl Somers and Nate McCaughtry

This study investigated a reciprocal effects model (REM) of children’s body fat self-concept and physical self-concept, and objectively measured school physical activity at different intensities. Grade four students (N = 376; M age = 9.07, SD = .61; 55% boys) from the midwest region of the United States completed measures of physical self-concept and body fat self-concept, and wore accelerometers for three consecutive school days at the beginning and end of one school year. Findings from structural equation modeling analyses did not support reciprocal effects. However, children’s body fat self-concept predicted future physical self-concept and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Multigroup analyses explored the moderating role of weight status, sex, ethnicity, and sex*ethnicity within the REM. Findings supported invariance, suggesting that the observed relations were generalizable for these children across demographic groups. Links between body fat self-concept and future physical self-concept and MVPA highlight self-enhancing effects that can promote children’s health and well-being.

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Temitope Erinosho, Derek Hales, Amber Vaughn, Stephanie Mazzucca and Dianne S. Ward

Background:

This study assessed physical activity and screen time policies in child-care centers and their associations with physical activity and screen time practices and preschool children’s (3–5 years old) physical activity.

Methods:

Data were from 50 child-care centers in North Carolina. Center directors reported on the presence/absence of written policies. Trained research assistants observed physical activity and screen time practices in at least 1 preschool classroom across 3 to 4 days. Children (N = 544) wore accelerometers to provide an objective measure of physical activity.

Results:

Physical activity and screen time policies varied across centers. Observational data showed 82.7 min/d of active play opportunities were provided to children. Screen time provided did not exceed 30 min/d/child at 98% of centers. Accelerometer data showed children spent 38 min/d in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and 206 min/d in sedentary activity. Policies about staff supervision of media use were negatively associated with screen time (P < .05). Contrary to expectation, policies about physical activity were associated with less time in physical activity.

Conclusions:

Clear strategies are needed for translating physical activity policies to practice. Further research is needed to evaluate the quality of physical activity policies, their impact on practice, and ease of operationalization.

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Cheryl A. Howe, Marcus W. Barr, Brett C. Winner, Jenelynn R. Kimble and Jason B. White

Background:

Although promoted for weight loss, especially in young adults, it has yet to be determined if the physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) and intensity of the newest active video games (AVGs) qualifies as moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; > 3.0 METs). This study compared the PAEE and intensity of AVGs to traditional seated video games (SVGs).

Methods:

Fifty-three young adults (18−35 y; 27 females) volunteered to play 6 video games (4 AVGs, 2 SVGs). Anthropometrics and resting metabolism were measured before testing. While playing the games (6−10 min) in random order against a playmate, the participants wore a portable metabolic analyzer for measuring PAEE (kcal/min) and intensity (METs). A repeated-measures ANOVA compared the PAEE and intensity across games with sex, BMI, and PA status as main effects.

Results:

The intensity of AVGs (6.1 ± 0.2 METs) was significantly greater than SVGs (1.8 ± 0.1 METs). AVGs elicited greater PAEE than SVGs in all participants (5.3 ± 0.2 vs 0.8 ± 0.0 kcal/min); PAEE during the AVGs was greater in males and overweight participants compared with females and healthy weight participants (p’s < .05).

Conclusions:

The newest AVGs do qualify as MVPA and can contribute to the recommended dose of MVPA for weight management in young adults.

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Christiana M.T. van Loo, Anthony D. Okely, Marijka Batterham, Tina Hinkley, Ulf Ekelund, Soren Brage, John J. Reilly, Gregory E. Peoples, Rachel Jones, Xanne Janssen and Dylan P. Cliff

Background:

To validate the activPAL3 algorithm for predicting metabolic equivalents (TAMETs) and classifying MVPA in 5- to 12-year-old children.

Methods:

Fifty-seven children (9.2 ± 2.3y, 49.1% boys) completed 14 activities including sedentary behaviors (SB), light (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activities (MVPA). Indirect calorimetry (IC) was used as the criterion measure. Analyses included equivalence testing, Bland-Altman procedures and area under the receiver operating curve (ROC-AUC).

Results:

At the group level, TAMETs were significantly equivalent to IC for handheld e-game, writing/coloring, and standing class activity (P < .05). Overall, TAMETs were overestimated for SB (7.9 ± 6.7%) and LPA (1.9 ± 20.2%) and underestimated for MVPA (27.7 ± 26.6%); however, classification accuracy of MVPA was good (ROC-AUC = 0.86). Limits of agreement were wide for all activities, indicating large individual error (SB: −27.6% to 44.7%; LPA: −47.1% to 51.0%; MVPA: −88.8% to 33.9%).

Conclusions:

TAMETs were accurate for some SB and standing, but were overestimated for overall SB and LPA, and underestimated for MVPA. Accuracy for classifying MVPA was, however, acceptable.

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Chelsey M. Thul, Marla E. Eisenberg, Nicole Larson and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Background:

Little is known about the physical activity patterns of Somali adolescents. This study compared time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and participation in specific physical activities among Somali, other Non-Hispanic black and white adolescents.

Methods:

A subsample of 1,268 adolescents (mean age= 14.6) who completed surveys as part of the EAT 2010 (Eating and Activity in Teens) study was included in analyses. Gender-stratified linear and logistic regressions, controlling for body mass index and demographic characteristics, were conducted to estimate mean weekly hours of self-reported MVPA and mean weekly hours and prevalence of engagement in each of 26 physical activities assessed by ethnic/racial group.

Results:

Somali girls had lower mean MVPA hours than their peers; however, no differences were found for Somali boys. Involvement in most activities was similar for Somali and other groups, but some differences were observed. For example, Somali youth were more likely to play soccer than their same-sex other black peers (boys: 52.4% vs. 20.4%; girls: 34.6% vs. 14.6%; P < .05). Somali girls also engaged in more hours per week of soccer than their black or white peers.

Conclusions:

Activities for which Somali youth indicated higher involvement may be particularly relevant for culturally-tailored physical activity programming.

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Danielle Arigo, Paul Rohde, Heather Shaw and Eric Stice

Background:

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is critical for maintaining a healthy weight, although little is known about psychological barriers to maintaining MVPA in at-risk groups. Identifying characteristics associated with poor MVPA maintenance in obesity prevention programs could improve participant outcomes.

Methods:

Toward this end, we examined predictors of MVPA in an obesity prevention trial for college students at risk for weight gain (n = 333; 72% female, mean BMI = 23.4 kg/m2). Participants engaged in 1 of 3 weight control interventions and in 4 assessments over 12-month follow-up (ie, measured height/weight, self-reports of psychosocial characteristics, 4 days of accelerometer wear).

Results:

Multilevel modeling analyses showed that across conditions, participants decreased total MVPA minutes per week over 12 months (B = –5.48, P < .01). Baseline self-report scores for both impulsiveness and cognitive dissonance regarding engaging in unhealthy behaviors negatively predicted MVPA over time. Participants higher (vs. lower) in baseline impulsiveness (B = –6.89, P = .03) and dissonance (B = –4.10, P = .04) began the study with more MVPA minutes, but showed sharper declines over time.

Conclusions:

Targeted MVPA-focused intervention for students who show elevated impulsiveness and cognitive dissonance may improve both MVPA and weight control outcomes for these individuals.

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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.

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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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Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Jennifer Wolch, Chih-Ping Chou, Michael Jerrett, Jason Byrne, Susan Weaver and Kim D. Reynolds

Background:

Efforts to increase community levels of physical activity through the development of multiuse urban trails could be strengthened by information about factors predicting trail use. This study examined whether reasons for trail use predict levels of physical activity on urban trails.

Methods:

Adults (N = 335) living within a 1-mile buffer zone of urban trails in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles completed a self-report measure assessing demographics, reason for trail use, and physical activity on the trail. Accelerometers measured total daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Environmental features of the urban trail were assessed with the Systematic Pedestrian and Cyclist Environmental Scan for trails measure. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted that accounted for clustering of individuals within trail segments.

Results:

After controlling for demographic and environmental factors and total daily MVPA, reasons for trail use significantly predicted recreational but not transportation activity. Recreational trail activity was greater for participants who reported exercise and health reasons for trail use as compared with other reasons (ie, social interaction, enjoying nature, walking pets) for recreational trail use.

Conclusions:

To increase the use of urban trails, it may be useful to promote the health and exercise benefits of recreational trail use.