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Mareesa O’Dwyer, Stuart J. Fairclough, Nicola Diane Ridgers, Zoe Rebecca Knowles, Lawrence Foweather and Gareth Stratton

Background:

Identifying periods of the day which are susceptible to varying levels of physical activity (PA) may help identify key times to intervene and potentially change preschool children’s PA behaviors. This study assessed variability of objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during weekdays and weekend days among preschool children.

Methods:

One hundred and eighty-eight children (aged 3 to 5 years; 53.2% boys) from a northwest English city wore uni-axial accelerometers for 7 consecutive days.

Results:

Higher levels of MVPA were recorded in boys, particularly those who attended preschool for a half day. Children who attended preschool for a full day engaged in 11.1 minutes less MVPA than children who attended for a half day. After-school hours were characterized by a decrease in activity for all groups. Patterns of activity during the weekend were smoother with less variability.

Conclusion:

This study identified discrete segments of the week, specifically afterschool and during the weekend, when preschoolers engage in low levels of PA. Higher levels of MVPA among children who attended preschool for less time each day suggests that the structured preschool environment is related to decreased activity. Consequently, there is a need for interventions in young children to focus on school and home environments.

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Tiego A. Diniz, Fabricio E. Rossi, Clara Suemi da Costa Rosa, Jorge Mota and Ismael F. Freitas-Junior

The objective of this study was to compare moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), minutes per week (min/wk), and fulfillment of the current recommendation (150 min/wk of MVPA) based on different cut-points in postmenopausal women. The sample was composed of 233 postmenopausal women aged 59.8 ± 6.7 years old. MVPA was measured using triaxial accelerometers. Accelerometers were initialized to collect in 60-s epochs. Participants were included if using at least 5 days. MVPA min/wk were obtained using Freedson, Troiano, Copeland, and Sasaki cut-points. Box-plot indicated large mean differences between almost all cut-points, except for Freedson and Troiano (9.3 [95% LoA: –5.6; 24.3] min/wk). The proportion of women who achieved 150 min/wk of MVPA was similar between Freedson and Troiano (31% vs. 30%). Sasaki and Copeland cut-points resulted in a greater proportion than other cut-points. We concluded that the cut-points analyzed generated different results in MVPA min/wk and low agreement when using current guidelines for MVPA pattern classification, except for the comparisons between Freedson and Troiano cut-points.

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Eric E. Wickel, Joey C. Eisenmann and Gregory J. Welk

Background:

This study compared physical activity levels among early, average, and late maturing boys and girls.

Methods:

Physical activity was assessed with an Actigraph accelerometer in 161 (76 boys, 85 girls) 9 to 14 year olds over 7 consecutive days. Anthropometric variables were measured and the maturity offset (ie, years from peak height velocity) was predicted. Biological maturity groups (early, average, and late) were created based on the mean estimated age at peak height velocity for boys and girls separately.

Results:

Levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were similar between early, average, and late maturing boys and girls after adjusting for differences in chronological age. Levels of MVPA progressively declined across chronological age in boys and girls (P < .001) and gender differences existed at 10-, 12-, and 13-years, with boys having higher levels than girls (P < .05). When aligned according to biological age, gender-related differences in MVPA did not exist.

Conclusions:

Within this sample of 9 to 14 year old boys and girls, there were no significant differences in MVPA among early, average, and late maturing individuals.

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Elisa A. Marques, Andreia Isabel Pizarro, Jorge Mota and Maria Paula Santos

Background:

The exact relation between objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and independent mobility in children has yet to be fully defined. The objective of this study was to determine whether independent mobility is associated with level of MVPA.

Methods:

Data were collected from 9 middle schools in Porto (Portugal) area. A total of 636 children in the 6th grade (340 girls and 296 boys) with a mean age of 11.64 years old participated in the study. PA was measured in 636 participants using an accelerometer. Multinomial logistic regression was applied to assess the odds for belonging to quartiles of MVPA.

Results:

After controlling for age, gender, body mass index, meeting PA recommendations, and participation in structured exercise, the odds of having a higher level of MVPA when children have higher independent mobility increase through the MVPA quartiles.

Conclusions:

A positive associations were found between independent mobility and quartiles of physical activity.

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Shannon Halloway, JoEllen Wilbur, Michael E. Schoeny, Pamela A. Semanik and David X. Marquez

This study examined the combined effects of sedentary behavior and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on cardiovascular health in older Latinos. In a cross-sectional sample of 147 older, community-dwelling Latinos, time spent in sedentary behavior and MVPA were obtained using accelerometers. Analyses examined the effects of a measure of physical activity that combined levels of sedentary behavior (± 10 daily hours) and MVPA (< 30, 30–150, or > 150 weekly minutes) on cardiovascular health outcomes (blood pressure, BMI, waist circumference, cardiorespiratory fitness). Results suggest that cardiovascular health benefits of MVPA on BMI (p = .005), waist circumference (p = .002), and cardiorespiratory fitness (p = .012) may depend on a participant’s level of sedentary behavior. For all three, health benefits of 30–150 weekly minutes of MVPA were found only for those without excessive sedentary behavior (≥ 10 hr). Sedentary behavior may negatively impact cardiovascular health despite moderate participation in MVPA. Health guidelines should suggest reducing sedentary behavior while increasing MVPA.

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Arto Gråstén, Anthony Watt, Jarmo Liukkonen and Timo Jaakkola

Background:

The study examined the effects of school-based program on students’ self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity and physical competence, and associated links to gender, grade, body mass index, and physical education assessments.

Methods:

Participants were 240 middle school students (143 intervention, 97 control) from 3 small cities in North-East Finland. The intervention group received task-involving climate support in physical education classes and additional physical activities during school days across 1 year.

Results:

The intervention group’s physical competence increased, whereas the control group’s competence remained stable across the period. However, physical activity levels were stable in both groups. The findings also showed that body mass index was negatively associated with physical competence and activity in the intervention group at the follow-up measure. Physical education assessments were positively related with only the baseline scores of physical competence in the intervention group. In contrast, the assessments had positive relationships with physical competence and activity of control group students.

Conclusions:

The present program was an effective protocol to increase student’s perceptions of physical competence. Since the quantity of school physical education including recess activities cannot be dramatically increased, positive learning experiences should be provided, and thus, support perceptions of physical competence.

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Dana L. Wolff-Hughes, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, David R. Bassett and James R. Churilla

Purpose:

To contrast associations of accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) accumulated in bouts and total activity counts (TAC) with cardiometabolic biomarkers in U.S. adults.

Methods:

Using 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, the sample was comprised of adults ≥ 20 years, not pregnant or lactating, with self-reported PA and at least 4 days of ≥ 10 hours accelerometer wear time (N = 5668). Bouted MVPA represented the minutes/day with ≥ 2020 counts/minute in bouts of 10 minutes or longer and TAC represented the total activity counts per day. Biomarkers included: cholesterol, triglyceride, glycohemoglobin, plasma glucose, C-peptide, insulin, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and skinfolds. Nested regression models were conducted which regressed each biomarker on bouted MVPA and TAC simultaneously, while adjusting for relevant covariates.

Results:

Results indicated TAC was more strongly associated with 11 biomarkers: HDL-C, triglyceride, plasma glucose, C-peptide, insulin, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, triceps skinfold, and subscapular skinfold. Bouted MVPA, however, only displayed stronger associations with BMI.

Conclusions:

The total volume of physical activity, represented by TAC, appears to have stronger associations with cardiometabolic biomarkers than MVPA accumulated in bouts.

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Kyra Hamilton and Katherine M. White

The current study aimed to test the validity of an extended theory of planned behavior model (TPB; Ajzen, 1991), incorporating additional self and social influences, for predicting adolescent moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Participants (N = 423) completed an initial questionnaire that assessed the standard TPB constructs of attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control, as well as past behavior, self-identity, and the additional social influence variables of group norms, family social support, friends’ social support, and social provisions. One week after completion of the main questionnaire, participants completed a follow-up questionnaire that assessed self-reported physical activity during the previous week. The standard TPB variables—past behavior, self-identity, and group norms, but not social support infuences—predicted intentions, with intention, past behavior, and self-identity predicting behavior. Overall, the results provide support for an extended version of the TPB incorporating self-identity and those social influences linked explicitly to membership of a behaviorally relevant reference group.

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Michael William Beets, Charles F. Morgan, Jorge A. Banda, Daniel Bornstein, Won Byun, Jonathan Mitchell, Lance Munselle, Laura Rooney, Aaron Beighle and Heather Erwin

Background:

Pedometer step-frequency thresholds (120 steps·min-1, SPM) corresponding to moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) have been proposed for youth. Pedometers now have internal mechanisms to record time spent at or above a user-specified SPM. If pedometers provide comparable MVPA (P-MVPA) estimates to those from accelerometry, this would have broad application for research and the general public. The purpose of this study was to examine the convergent validity of P-MVPA to accelerometer-MVPA for youth.

Methods:

Youth (N = 149, average 8.6 years, range 5 to 14 years, 60 girls) wore an accelerometer (5-sec epochs) and a pedometer for an average of 5.7 ± 0.8 hours·day-1. The following accelerometer cutpoints were used to compare P-MVPA: Treuth (TR), Mattocks (MT), Evenson (EV), Puyau (PU), and Freedson (FR) child equation. Comparisons between MVPA estimates were performed using Bland-Altman plots and paired t tests.

Results:

Overall, P-MVPA was 24.6 min ± 16.7 vs. TR 25.2 min ± 16.2, MT 18.8 min ± 13.3, EV 36.9 min ± 21.0, PU 22.7 min ± 15.1, and FR 50.4 min ± 25.5. Age-specific comparisons indicated for 10 to 14 year-olds MT, PU, and TR were not significantly different from P-MVPA; for the younger children (5−8 year- olds) P-MVPA consistently underestimated MVPA.

Conclusions:

Pedometer-determined MVPA provided comparable estimates of MVPA for older children (10−14 year-olds). Additional work is required to establish age appropriate SPM thresholds for younger children.

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Galya Bigman, Vandita Rajesh, Laura M. Koehly, Larkin L. Strong, Abiodun O. Oluyomi, Sara S. Strom and Anna V. Wilkinson

Background:

Existing racial/ethnic disparities in physical activity during childhood increase Hispanics’ risk of developing chronic diseases, which serves to increase health disparities. This study examined associations of family cohesion and conflict with self-reported moderate-tovigorous physical activity (MVPA), controlling for psychosocial covariates such as subjective social status, anxiety, and sensation-seeking.

Methods:

1000 Mexican origin adolescents reported their MVPA levels approximately 2 years apart. Psychosocial covariates, family cohesion and conflict were measured at the first assessment. Generalized Linear Models were used to prospectively examine the relationship between family cohesion and conflict and subsequent MVPA based on 711 participants who had low levels of baseline MVPA.

Results:

35% of boys and 24% of girls reported adequate MVPA levels at follow-up; girls were less likely to report adequate MVPA (RR = 0.76; 95% CI: 0.61–0.93) than boys. Overall, family cohesion was associated with MVPA (P = .01), but family cohesion was not (P = .41). Gender-based analyses revealed that adequate MVPA was associated with family cohesion (RR = 1.40; 95% CI: 1.03–1.88), sensation seeking (RR = 1.05; 95% CI: 1.00–1.10), and age (RR = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.74–0.98) among girls and with subjective social status (RR = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.08–1.33) among boys.

Conclusions:

The family social environment and gender differences should be addressed in health promotion programs targeting MVPA.