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Trevor A. Pickering, Jimi Huh, Stephen Intille, Yue Liao, Mary Ann Pentz and Genevieve F. Dunton

Background:

Decisions to perform moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) involve behavioral cognitive processes that may differ within individuals depending on the situation.

Methods:

Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) was used to examine the relationships of momentary behavioral cognitions (ie, self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, intentions) with MVPA (measured by accelerometer). A sample of 116 adults (mean age, 40.3 years; 72.4% female) provided real-time EMA responses via mobile phones across 4 days. Multilevel models were used to test whether momentary behavioral cognitions differed across contexts and were associated with subsequent MVPA. Mixed-effects location scale models were used to examine whether subject-level means and within-subjects variances in behavioral cognitions were associated with average daily MVPA.

Results:

Momentary behavioral cognitions differed across contexts for self-efficacy (P = .007) but not for outcome expectancy (P = .53) or intentions (P = .16). Momentary self-efficacy, intentions, and their interaction predicted MVPA within the subsequent 2 hours (Ps < .01). Average daily MVPA was positively associated with within-subjects variance in momentary self-efficacy and intentions for physical activity (Ps < .05).

Conclusions:

Although momentary behavioral cognitions are related to subsequent MVPA, adults with higher average MVPA have more variation in physical activity self-efficacy and intentions. Performing MVPA may depend more on how much behavioral cognitions vary across the day than whether they are generally high or low.

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Alison Carver, Anna Timperio and David Crawford

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine associations between perceptions of neighborhood safety and physical activity among youth.

Methods:

We completed a cross-sectional study of children age 8 to 9 years (n = 188) and adolescents age 13 to 15 years (n = 346) in areas of varying socioeconomic status in Melbourne, Australia. Parents and adolescents completed questionnaires on perceptions of neighborhood safety. Scores were computed for perceptions of road safety, incivilities, and personal safety of the child or adolescent. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) before or after school, on evenings, and on weekends was recorded using accelerometers.

Results:

There were no associations between parental perceptions of neighborhood safety and children’s MVPA outside school hours. Parental perception of personal safety was positively associated with adolescent boys’ MVPA after school. Adolescent girls’ concern about road safety was negatively associated with their MVPA during evenings and outside school hours.

Conclusion:

Perceptions of neighborhood safety might influence physical activity among youth in different ways according to age group and sex.

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Peter Anthamatten, Lois Brink, Beverly Kingston, Eve Kutchman, Sarah Lampe and Claudio Nigg

Background:

Careful research that elucidates how behavior relates to design in the context of elementary school grounds can serve to guide cost-efficient design with the goal of encouraging physical activity (PA). This work explores patterns in children’s PA behavior within playground spaces with the specific goal of guiding healthy playground design.

Methods:

Data on children’s utilization and PA behavior in 6 playgrounds divided into 106 observation zones were collected in 2005 and 2006 at Denver elementary school playgrounds using the System for Observing Play and Leisure Activity in Youth. Analyses of variance and t tests determined whether there were differences in utilization and behavior patterns across observations zones and between genders.

Results:

This study provides evidence that children prefer to use certain types of playground zones and that they are more likely to practice moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in some zones. The authors observed statistically significant differences between genders. Boys were more likely to engage in MVPA in zones without equipment, girls were more likely to use zones with equipment.

Conclusions:

This work suggests that the inclusion or omission of specific playground features may have an impact on the way that children use the spaces.

Open access

Salomé Aubert, Joel D. Barnes, Chalchisa Abdeta, Patrick Abi Nader, Ade F. Adeniyi, Nicolas Aguilar-Farias, Dolores S. Andrade Tenesaca, Jasmin Bhawra, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Greet Cardon, Chen-Kang Chang, Christine Delisle Nyström, Yolanda Demetriou, Catherine E. Draper, Lowri Edwards, Arunas Emeljanovas, Aleš Gába, Karla I. Galaviz, Silvia A. González, Marianella Herrera-Cuenca, Wendy Y. Huang, Izzeldin A.E. Ibrahim, Jaak Jürimäe, Katariina Kämppi, Tarun R. Katapally, Piyawat Katewongsa, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Asaduzzaman Khan, Agata Korcz, Yeon Soo Kim, Estelle Lambert, Eun-Young Lee, Marie Löf, Tom Loney, Juan López-Taylor, Yang Liu, Daga Makaza, Taru Manyanga, Bilyana Mileva, Shawnda A. Morrison, Jorge Mota, Vida K. Nyawornota, Reginald Ocansey, John J. Reilly, Blanca Roman-Viñas, Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Pairoj Saonuam, John Scriven, Jan Seghers, Natasha Schranz, Thomas Skovgaard, Melody Smith, Martyn Standage, Gregor Starc, Gareth Stratton, Narayan Subedi, Tim Takken, Tuija Tammelin, Chiaki Tanaka, David Thivel, Dawn Tladi, Richard Tyler, Riaz Uddin, Alun Williams, Stephen H.S. Wong, Ching-Lin Wu, Paweł Zembura and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: Accumulating sufficient moderate to vigorous physical activity is recognized as a key determinant of physical, physiological, developmental, mental, cognitive, and social health among children and youth (aged 5–17 y). The Global Matrix 3.0 of Report Card grades on physical activity was developed to achieve a better understanding of the global variation in child and youth physical activity and associated supports. Methods: Work groups from 49 countries followed harmonized procedures to develop their Report Cards by grading 10 common indicators using the best available data. The participating countries were divided into 3 categories using the United Nations’ human development index (HDI) classification (low or medium, high, and very high HDI). Results: A total of 490 grades, including 369 letter grades and 121 incomplete grades, were assigned by the 49 work groups. Overall, an average grade of “C-,” “D+,” and “C-” was obtained for the low and medium HDI countries, high HDI countries, and very high HDI countries, respectively. Conclusions: The present study provides rich new evidence showing that the situation regarding the physical activity of children and youth is a concern worldwide. Strategic public investments to implement effective interventions to increase physical activity opportunities are needed.

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Paul D. Loprinzi

Objective:

Examine the association between objectively-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and engagement in self-reported muscle strengthening activities (MSA) with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), and in turn, how each of these parameters associate with of all-cause mortality.

Methods:

Data from the 2003–2006 NHANES were employed, with follow-up through December 31, 2011 (N = 5030; 20+ yrs). Physical activity was assessed via accelerometry; MSA was assessed via survey; and ALT and GGT were assessed via a blood sample. Linear regression and Cox proportional hazard models were used.

Results:

MVPA (βadjusted = 0.15; 95% CI: –0.45 to 0.76; P = .60) was not associated with ALT, but MSA was (β adjusted = –0.31; 95% CI: –0.56 to –0.05; P = .02). With regard to GGT, MSA was not significant (β adjusted = –0.12; 95% CI: –0.71 to 0.47; P = .67), nor was MVPA (β adjusted = –1.10; 95% CI: –2.20 to 0.06; P = .06). Higher ALT levels were associated with increased allcause mortality risk (HRadjusted = 1.05; 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.06; P < .001).

Conclusion:

Physical activity is favorably associated with markers of hepatic inflammation, and higher levels of markers of hepatic inflammation are associated with increased mortality risk. These findings suggest that physical activity may help protect against premature mortality through its influence on liver pathology.

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Cathleen D. Zick

Background:

Extending Daylight Savings Time (DST) has been identified as a policy intervention that may encourage physical activity. However, there has been little research on the question of if DST encourages adults to be more physically active.

Methods:

Data from residents of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah ages 18–64 who participated in the 2003–2009 American Time Use Survey are used to assess whether DST is associated with increased time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The analysis capitalizes on the natural experiment created because Arizona does not observe DST.

Results:

Both bivariate and multivariate analyses indicate that shifting 1 hour of daylight from morning to evening does not impact MVPA of Americans living in the southwest.

Conclusions:

While DST may affect the choices people make about the timing and location of their sports/recreational activities, the potential for DST to serve as a broad-based intervention that encourages greater sports/recreation participation is not supported by this analysis. Whether this null effect would persist in other climate situations is an open question.

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Erin K. Howie, Joanne A. McVeigh and Leon M. Straker

Background:

There are several practical issues when considering the use of hip-worn or wrist-worn accelerometers. This study compared compliance and outcomes between hip- and wrist-worn accelerometers worn simultaneously by children during an active video games intervention.

Methods:

As part of a larger randomized crossover trial, participants (n = 73, age 10 to 12 years) wore 2 Actical accelerometers simultaneously during waking hours for 7 days, on the hip and wrist. Measurements were repeated at 4 timepoints: 1) at baseline, 2) during traditional video games condition, 3) during active video games condition, 4) during no video games condition. Compliance and intervention effects were compared between hip and wrist.

Results:

There were no statistically significant differences at any timepoint in percentage compliance between hip (77% to 87%) and wrist (79% to 89%). Wrist-measured counts (difference of 64.3 counts per minute, 95% CI 4.4–124.3) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (12 min/day, 95% CI 0.3–23.7) were higher during the no video games condition compared with the traditional video games condition. There were no differences in hip-measured counts per minute or MVPA between conditions or sedentary time for hip or wrist.

Conclusions:

There were no differences in compliance between hip- and wrist-worn accelerometers during an intervention trial, however, intervention findings differed between hip and wrist.

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Ya-Wen Hsu, Chih-Ping Chou, Selena T. Nguyen-Rodriguez, Arianna D. McClain, Britni R. Belcher and Donna Spruijt-Metz

Background:

A profound decline in physical activity occurs in puberty. This phenomenon is not well understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine associations between family/friend social support for physical activity, negative meanings of physical activity (NMPA), and internal /external barriers to physical activity with moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and sedentary and light behavior (SLB) in youth.

Methods:

A total of 350 participants from 7 Los Angeles County middle schools participated in the study (62% Latina, 79% females). Hypothesized pathways were examined using structural equation modeling. Psychosocial variables and participation in MVPA and SLB were assessed by self-reported questionnaires.

Results:

NMPA were related to lower levels of family/friend social support and greater internal/external barriers. Family social support was the only significant indicator of MVPA (β = 0.79). Low family social support was related to higher SLB (β = −0.25).

Conclusions:

Family social support seems crucial to promote MVPA and reduce SLB in adolescents and might be influenced by child’s feelings about physical activity. Future research should consider the interrelationship between psychosocial correlates of physical activity.

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Jennifer L. Huberty, Michael William Beets, Aaron Beighle and Thomas L. Mckenzie

Background:

Children’s achievement of recommendations for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in afterschool programs (ASP) is complex. It is unclear what elements of the ASP environment influence children’s physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of staff behaviors and ASP features (eg, organized activity, recreational equipment) to MVPA participation in youth attending ASPs.

Methods:

Data were collected in 12 ASPs in the Midwest. Staff behavior and child PA was measured using the System for Observing Play and Leisure Activity in Youth. The percentage of children’s MVPA was examined in relation to staff behaviors and ASP features.

Results:

Increases in MVPA were observed when staff were directly engaged in PA, verbally promoted MVPA, and when PA was organized and equipment was present. When 3 or more of these characteristics were present, the proportion of children engaged in MVPA increased by 25%−30%. Conversely, MVPA levels decreased when these characteristics were absent and when staff were attending to other ASP duties or were supervising.

Conclusion:

This study provides evidence about the specific staff behaviors that may influence higher proportions of youth being active during ASP and implies specific skills that need to be incorporated into ASP staff training.

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Kaori Ishii, Ai Shibata, Minoru Adachi, Yoshiyuki Mano and Koichiro Oka

Background:

Sedentary behaviors (SB) are associated with health indicators; however, there are currently very few studies that have examined these associations, especially in conjunction with psychological factors, in children. The current study examined the independent relationship between objectively assessed SB, and indicators of obesity and psychological well-being, among Japanese children.

Methods:

A total of 967 elementary-school children completed a cross-sectional survey. SB was measured with accelerometers for 7 consecutive days. Psychological well-being data (eg, anxiety and behavior problems) were collected via a self-report questionnaire. To determine the relationship of SB with degree of obesity and psychological well-being, linear regression analyses were conducted to relate the indicators of obesity and psychological well-being on SB, adjusted by gender, grade, percentage of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day, duration spent wearing the accelerometer, and degree of obesity.

Results:

SB was significantly related to behavioral/emotional problems (β = .280, P = .010, R 2 = .015). There was a statistically significant relationship between SB and anxiety (β = .206, P = .059, R 2 = .007). No significant association with degree of obesity was found.

Conclusions:

Excess SB relates higher levels of behavioral/emotional problems and anxiety. These results can inspire the development of interventions that promote well-being and enhance psychological health, by focusing on SB in Japanese children.