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  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
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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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Norma Olvera, Dennis W. Smith, Chanam Lee, Jian Liu, Jay Lee, Jun-Hyun Kim and Stephanie F. Kellam

Background:

Parents represent a key ecological component in influencing their child’s physical activity. The aim of this exploratory study was to assess the relationship between maternal acculturation and physical activity in Hispanic children.

Methods:

102 Hispanic mothers (mean age 36.2 yrs; +SD 7.3 yrs) and their children (mean age 10.0 yrs, +SD 0.8 yrs) participated. Most of the mothers (74%) were foreign-born, with 62% classified as low acculturated and 38% high acculturated. Demographic, acculturation, and anthropometric measures were completed by mothers and children. Physical activity was measured using accelerometers. Relationships between maternal acculturation and demographic variables and children’s physical activity were examined using chi-square, Analysis of Variance, and simple regression.

Results:

Children had higher physical activity levels than their mothers (t(49) = −7.87, P < .0001). Significant correlations between maternal and child’s physical activity levels were observed in moderate (r 2 = 0.13, P = .001), vigorous (r 2 = 0.08, P = .05), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (r 2 = 0.17, P = .002). Low acculturated mothers were more likely to have active children compared with high acculturated mothers. Maternal BMI and other demographic characteristics were not significantly associated with child’s physical activity.

Conclusions:

Findings from this study revealed an association among maternal acculturation, role modeling, and child’s physical activity.

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Mark Lemstra, Marla Rogers, Adam Thompson and John Moraros

Background:

Youth in Canada age 5−17 years require a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (PA) everyday. Regrettably, there are no published studies on levels of PA within on-reserve First Nations youth in Canada that use validated surveys. The objective was to determine what percentage of Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) First Nations on-reserve youth met the Canadian Society for Exercise and Physiology’s (CSEP) definition for being physically active, and what influences are associated with meeting this standard.

Methods:

Students in grades 5−8 within the STC were asked to complete a youth health survey.

Results:

Only 7.4% of STC youth met CSEP’s PA standard. Male youth (13.9%) were more likely to meet the PA standard than female youth (4.1%). Having parents who watch youth participate and who provide transportation to classes, having enough equipment at home, having friends bike or walk to school, participating in physical activity headed by a coach or instructor, and participating in structured classes are associated with meeting the standard.

Conclusions:

The prevalence of meeting the PA standard among on-reserve First Nations youth is very low. More research is needed to identify independent risk indicators of being physically inactive.

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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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Shanley Chong, Roy Byun, Soumya Mazumdar, Adrian Bauman and Bin Jalaludin

Background:

The aim was to investigate the association between distant green space and physical activity modified by local green space.

Methods:

Information about physical activity, demographic and socioeconomic background at the individual level was extracted from the New South Wales Population Health Survey. The proportion of a postcode that was parkland was used as a proxy measure for access to parklands and was calculated for each individual.

Results:

There was a significant relationship between distant green space and engaging in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at least once a week. No significant relationship was found between adequate physical activity and distant green space. No significant relationships were found between adequate physical activity, engaging in MVPA, and local green space. However, if respondents lived in greater local green space (≥25%), there was a significant relationship between engaging in MVPA at least once a week and distance green space of ≥20%.

Conclusion:

This study highlights the important effect of distant green space on physical activity. Our findings also suggest that moderate size of local green space together with moderate size of distant green space are important levers for participation of physical activity.

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Lilian G. Perez, Elva M. Arredondo, Thomas L. McKenzie, Margarita Holguin, John P. Elder and Guadalupe X. Ayala

Background:

Greater neighborhood social cohesion is linked to fewer depressive symptoms and greater physical activity, but the role of physical activity on the relationship between neighborhood social cohesion and depression is poorly understood. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of physical activity on the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms.

Methods:

Multivariate logistic regression tested the moderation of self-reported leisure-time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (LTMVPA) and active use of parks or recreational facilities on the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms among 295 randomly selected Latino adults who completed a face-to-face interview.

Results:

After adjusting for age, gender, and income, neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms were inversely related (OR = 0.8; 95% CI: 0.5–1.2). Active use of parks or recreational facilities moderated the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms but meeting the recommendations for LTMVPA did not. Latinos who reported active use of parks or recreational facilities and higher levels of neighborhood social cohesion had fewer depressive symptoms than peers who did not use these spaces.

Conclusions:

Future studies are needed to test strategies for promoting active use of parks or recreational facilities to address depression in Latinos.

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Rosemarie Martin and Elaine Murtagh

Background:

A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of the Active Classrooms intervention, which integrates movement into academic lessons, on the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity levels (MVPA) of primary school children during class-time and throughout the school day.

Methods:

Ten classroom teachers and their students aged 8 to 12 years were recruited and randomized into the Active Classrooms intervention group (n = 131students, n = 5teachers) or a delayed-treatment controlled group (n = 117students, n = 5teachers). The intervention group participated in active academic lessons taught by the classroom teacher over an 8 week period. Accelerometers were used to gather physical activity data at baseline, postintervention and at 4 months follow-up. Teachers completed a questionnaire to evaluate the program.

Results:

A significant difference for change in daily class time MVPA levels was identified between the treatment (n = 95) and control (n = 91) groups from pre- to postintervention (P < .001) and this difference was maintained at follow-up (P < .001). No significant difference emerged between the treatment and control groups for change in school day MVPA levels from pre- to postintervention (P = .52) or follow-up (P = .09). Teachers reported that they were highly satisfied with the program.

Conclusions:

Movement integration has the potential to improve physical activity levels of primary school children in the classroom.

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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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Lauren Waters, Marina Reeves, Brianna Fjeldsoe and Elizabeth Eakin

Background:

Several recent physical activity intervention trials have reported physical activity improvements in control group participants. Explanations have been proposed, but not systematically investigated.

Methods:

A systematic review of physical activity intervention trials was conducted to investigate the frequency of meaningful improvements in physical activity among control group participants (increase of ≥ 60 minutes [4 MET·hours] of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week, or a 10% increase in the proportion of participants meeting physical activity recommendations), and possible explanatory factors. Explanatory factors include aspects of behavioral measurement, participant characteristics, and control group treatment.

Results:

Eight (28%) of 29 studies reviewed reported meaningful improvements in control group physical activity, most of which were of similar magnitude to improvements observed in the intervention group. A number of factors were related to meaningful control group improvements in physical activity, including the number of assessments, mode of measurement administration, screening to exclude active participants, and preexisting health status.

Conclusions:

Control group improvement in physical activity intervention trials is not uncommon and may be associated with behavioral measurement and participant characteristics. Associations observed in this review should be evaluated empirically in future research. Such studies may inform minimal contact approaches to physical activity promotion.

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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.