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Jennifer R. O’Neill, Russell R. Pate and Michael W. Beets

Background:

The aims of this study were to describe the physical activity levels of girls during dance classes and to identify factors associated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in those classes.

Methods:

Participants were 137 girls (11 to 18 years-old) enrolled in ballet, jazz, or tap dance classes from 11 dance studios. Participants wore an accelerometer during the selected dance class on 2 separate days. Factors hypothesized to be associated with MVPA were dance style, instructional level, instructor’s experience, percent of class time spent in choreography, and participants’ age, race/ethnicity, BMI-for-age percentile, and years of dance training. Data were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models.

Results:

Girls engaged in 9.8 minutes of MVPA, 6.0 minutes of moderate, 3.8 minutes of vigorous, 39.3 minutes of light, and 10.9 minutes of sedentary behavior per hour of dance class participation. Jazz/tap classes provided more MVPA than ballet classes, and intermediate level classes provided more MVPA than advanced level classes. Girls with more dance training obtained more MVPA than girls with less dance training.

Conclusion:

Dance classes provide valuable opportunities for adolescent girls to be physically active.

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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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Karen Martin, Alexandra Bremner, Jo Salmon, Michael Rosenberg and Billie Giles-Corti

Background:

The objective of this study was to develop a multidomain model to identify key characteristics of the primary school environment associated with children’s physical activity (PA) during class-time.

Methods:

Accelerometers were used to calculate time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during class-time (CMVPA) of 408 sixth-grade children (mean ± SD age 11.1 ± 0.43 years) attending 27 metropolitan primary schools in Perth Western Australia. Child and staff self-report instruments and a school physical environment scan administered by the research team were used to collect data about children and the class and school environments. Hierarchical modeling identified key variables associated with CMVPA.

Results:

The final multilevel model explained 49% of CMVPA. A physically active physical education (PE) coordinator, fitness sessions incorporated into PE sessions and either a trained PE specialist, classroom teacher or nobody coordinating PE in the school, rather than the deputy principal, were associated with higher CMVPA. The amount of grassed area per student and sporting apparatus on grass were also associated with higher CMVPA.

Conclusion:

These results highlight the relevance of the school’s sociocultural, policy and physical environments in supporting class-based PA. Interventions testing optimization of the school physical, sociocultural and policy environments to support physical activity are warranted.

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Oscar Mac Ananey, Brendan McLoughlin, Ann Leonard, Lewena Maher, Peter Gaffney, Gerard Boran and Vincent Maher

Background:

Several obesity related factors are reported to exacerbate premature arterial stiffening, including inactivity and metabolic disarray. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between physical activity, arterial stiffness and adiposity using objective methods. To further explore the role of adiposity in this complex process, obesity associated anthropometric and humoral biomarkers were measured.

Methods:

Seventy-nine healthy, lifelong nonsmoking subjects were recruited. Habitual physical activity was measured using accelerometry. Arterial stiffness [augmentation index (AIx) and pulse wave velocity (PWV)] was measured using tonometry. Body composition was estimated using bioimpedence. Adipose associated biomarkers, leptin and adiponectin, were also measured.

Results:

Sedentary time was significantly associated with AIx (r = 0.38, P < .001), PWV (r = 0.33, P < .01), body fat composition (r = 0.40, P < .001) and age (r = 0.30, P < .01). Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was inversely correlated with AIx (r = –0.28, P < .05), body fat composition (r = –0.30, P < .01), postprandial insulin (r = –0.35, P < .01), and leptin/adiponectin ratio (r = –0.28, P < .05). MVPA, body fat composition, and postprandial insulin remained independent predictors of AIx but not PWV.

Conclusion:

The more time healthy individuals spend being sedentary, the greater their body fat and arterial stiffness. Conversely higher activity levels are associated with reduced body fat and less arterial stiffness.

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David E. Conroy, Steriani Elavsky, Shawna E. Doerksen and Jaclyn P. Maher

Social-cognitive theories, such as the theory of planned behavior, posit intentions as proximal influences on physical activity (PA). This paper extends those theories by examining within-person variation in intentions and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) as a function of the unfolding constraints in people’s daily lives (e.g., perceived time availability, fatigue, soreness, weather, overeating). College students (N = 63) completed a 14-day diary study over the Internet that rated daily motivation, contextual constraints, and MVPA. Key findings from multilevel analyses were that (1) between-person differences represented 46% and 33% of the variability in daily MVPA intentions and behavior, respectively; (2) attitudes, injunctive norms, self-efficacy, perceptions of limited time availability, and weekend status predicted daily changes in intention strength; and (3) daily changes in intentions, perceptions of limited time availability, and weekend status predicted day-to-day changes in MVPA. Embedding future motivation and PA research in the context of people’s daily lives will advance understanding of individual PA change processes.

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Melisa Comte, Erin Hobin, Steve Manske, Catherine Casey, Jane Griffith, Carly Leggett, Paul Veugelers, Donna Murnaghan and Jonathan McGavock

Objectives:

The purpose of this study was to determine if participation in physical education (PE) was associated with increased moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels in adolescents.

Methods:

This was a cross sectional study comparing MVPA levels in senior-years students—grade 11 and 12—enrolled in high school PE during the semester data were collected compared with those not enrolled in PE in that same semester. The primary outcome measure was daily MVPA measured by accelerometry. The primary exposure was participation in PE.

Results:

Among the 508 adolescents (16.9 ± 0.8 yrs, 49% female, n = 338 exposed to PE) studied, no differences in MVPA (47.0 ± 25.8 vs. 43.9 ± 25.0 mins/day, P = .25) or sedentary time (540.2 ± 94.7 vs. 550.2 ± 79.4 mins/day, P = .79) were noted between students enrolled in PE compared with students not enrolled in PE. Participation in PE was associated with a greater odds of achieving >60 minutes of MVPA daily (OR: 1.69; 95% CI: 1.04−2.75). This association was stronger among boys (OR: 2.4; 95% CI: 1.2−4.8) than girls (OR: 1.17; 95% CI: 5−2.7).

Conclusion:

Enrollment in PE in grade 11 or 12 is associated with modestly higher levels of MVPA and an increased likelihood of meeting PA guidelines among students in grades 11 and 12, particularly among boys.

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Richard R. Rosenkranz, Greg J. Welk and David A. Dzewaltowski

Background:

Active recreation sessions taking place within after-school programs (ASP) present an opportunity for attending children to attain part of the recommended 60 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). This cross-sectional study’s purpose was to assess relationships between microlevel ASP environmental characteristics and physical activity and sedentary behavior (SED).

Methods:

During 161 ASP active recreation sessions, 240 children from 7 schools wore Actigraph GT1M accelerometers and were observed up to 6 times per year, over 3 years. To provide microlevel environmental data, trained observers recorded session times, location, duration, organization, equipment, and number of children and staff. Unadjusted bivariate correlations and multivariable regression analyses were used to assess the influence of microlevel environmental variables on MVPA and SED, with regression models controlling for relevant covariates.

Results:

Across all ASP active recreation sessions, children spent 39 ± 15% in MVPA and 16 ± 11% in SED. Session location, boy-to-girl ratio, and duration were significantly related to MVPA in the regression model. For SED, location and duration were significant influences in the model.

Conclusions:

Both location and duration appear to be modifiable correlates of group physical activity level, which may serve to inform intervention efforts to promote physical activity in ASP.

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Cindy H.P. Sit, Jessica W.K. Lam and Thomas L. McKenzie

Background:

Interactive electronic games have recently been popularized and are believed to help promote children’s physical activity (PA). The purpose of the study was to examine preferences and PA levels during interactive and online electronic games among overweight and nonoverweight boys and girls.

Methods:

Using a modification of the SOFIT, we systematically observed 70 Hong Kong Chinese children (35 boys, 35 girls; 50 nonoverweight, 20 overweight), age 9 to 12 years, during 2 60-minute recreation sessions and recorded their game mode choices and PA levels. During Session One children could play either an interactive or an online electronic bowling game and during Session Two they could play an interactive or an online electronic running game.

Results:

Children chose to play the games during 94% of session time and split this time between interactive (52%) and online (48%) versions. They engaged in significantly more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during interactive games than their online electronic versions (70% vs. 2% of game time). Boys and nonoverweight children expended relatively more energy during the interactive games than girls and overweight children, respectively.

Conclusions:

New-generation interactive games can facilitate physical activity in children, and given the opportunity children may select them over sedentary versions.

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John R. Sirard, Ann Forsyth, J. Michael Oakes and Kathryn H. Schmitz

Background:

The purpose of this study was to determine 1) the test-retest reliability of adult accelerometer-measured physical activity, and 2) how data processing decisions affect physical activity levels and test-retest reliability.

Methods:

143 people wore the ActiGraph accelerometer for 2 7-day periods, 1 to 4 weeks apart. Five algorithms, varying nonwear criteria (20 vs. 60 min of 0 counts) and minimum wear requirements (6 vs. 10 hrs/day for ≥ 4 days) and a separate algorithm requiring ≥ 3 counts per min and ≥ 2 hours per day, were used to process the accelerometer data.

Results:

Processing the accelerometer data with different algorithms resulted in different levels of counts per day, sedentary, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Reliability correlations were very good to excellent (ICC = 0.70−0.90) for almost all algorithms and there were no significant differences between physical activity measures at Time 1 and Time 2.

Conclusions:

This paper presents the first assessment of test-retest reliability of the Actigraph over separate administrations in free-living subjects. The ActiGraph was highly reliable in measuring activity over a 7-day period in natural settings but data were sensitive to the algorithms used to process them.

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Nicholas M. Edwards, Gregory D. Myer, Heidi J. Kalkwarf, Jessica G. Woo, Philip R. Khoury, Timothy E. Hewett and Stephen R. Daniels

Objective:

Evaluate effects of local weather conditions on physical activity in early childhood.

Methods:

Longitudinal prospective cohort study of 372 children, 3 years old at enrollment, drawn from a major US metropolitan community. Accelerometer-measured (RT3) physical activity was collected every 4 months over 5 years and matched with daily weather measures: day length, heating/cooling degrees (degrees mean temperature < 65°F or ≥ 65°F, respectively), wind, and precipitation. Mixed regression analyses, adjusted for repeated measures, were used to test the relationship between weather and physical activity.

Results:

Precipitation and wind speed were negatively associated with total physical activity and moderate-vigorous physical activity (P < .0001). Heating and cooling degrees were negatively associated with total physical activity and moderate-vigorous physical activity and positively associated with inactivity (all P < .0001), independent of age, sex, race, BMI, day length, wind, and precipitation. For every 10 additional heating degrees there was a 5-minute daily reduction in moderatevigorous physical activity. For every additional 10 cooling degrees there was a 17-minute reduction in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

Conclusions:

Inclement weather (higher/lower temperature, greater wind speed, more rain/snow) is associated with less physical activity in young children. These deleterious effects should be considered when planning physical activity research, interventions, and policies.