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Steven P. Singleton, James T. Fitzgerald and Anne Victoria Neale

This study was conducted to determine the exercise habits and fitness status of healthy older black and white adults, ages 50 to 80 years. The 384 subjects were enrolled in a health promotion project conducted by a midwestern medical school. Self-reported exercise levels were higher for men than for women and were higher for whites compared with blacks. Age had the greatest impact on treadmill performance for both sexes. Activity levels declined with age for men but not for women. Self-reported exercise levels were highly predictive of fitness status for men but not for women. The relationship in older adults between activity levels and both measured fitness and health status needs further investigation.

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Stamatis Agiovlasitis, Robert W. Motl, John T. Foley and Bo Fernhall

This study examined the relationship between energy expenditure and wrist accelerometer output during walking in persons with and without Down syndrome (DS). Energy expenditure in metabolic equivalent units (METs) and activity-count rate were respectively measured with portable spirometry and a uniaxial wrist accelerometer in 17 persons with DS (age: 24.7 ± 6.9 years; 9 women) and 21 persons without DS (age: 26.3 ± 5.2 years; 12 women) during six over-ground walking trials. Combined groups regression showed that the relationship between METs and activity-count rate differed between groups (p < .001). Separate models for each group included activity-count rate and squared activity-count rate as significant predictors of METs (p ≤ .005). Prediction of METs appeared accurate based on Bland-Altman plots and the lack of between-group difference in mean absolute prediction error (DS: 17.07%; Non-DS: 18.74%). Although persons with DS show altered METs to activity-count rate relationship during walking, prediction of their energy expenditure from wrist accelerometry appears feasible.

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Natalie Jayne Taylor, Scott E. Crouter, Rebecca J. Lawton, Mark T. Conner and Andy Prestwich

Background:

Precise measurement of physical activity (PA) is required to identify current levels and changes in PA within a population, and to gauge effectiveness of interventions.

Methods:

The Online Self-reported Walking and Exercise Questionnaire (OSWEQ) was developed for monitoring PA via the Web. Forty-nine participants (mean ± SD; age = 27 ± 11.9yrs) completed the OSWEQ and International PA Questionnaire (IPAQ) short form 3 times [T1/T2/T3 (separated by 7-days)] and wore an Actigraph-GT3X-accelerometer for 7-days between T2-T3. For each measure, estimates of average MET·min·day−1 and time spent in moderate PA (MPA), vigorous PA (VPA) and moderate and vigorous PA (MVPA) were obtained.

Results:

The OSWEQ and IPAQ demonstrated test-retest reliability for MPA, VPA, and MVPA minutes and average MET·min·day−1 between T1-T2 (OSWEQ range, r = .71–.77; IPAQ range, r = .59–.79; all, P < .01). The OSWEQ and IPAQ, compared with the GT3X, had lower estimates (mean error ± 95% PI) of MVPA MET·min·day−1 by 150.4 ± 477.6 and 247.5 ± 477.5, respectively.

Conclusions:

The OSWEQ demonstrates good test-retest reliability over 7-days and better group level estimates of MET·min·day−1 than the IPAQ, compared with the GT3X. These results suggest that the OSWEQ is a reliable and valid measure among young/working age adults and could be useful for monitoring PA trends over time.

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Alex Griffiths, Calum Mattocks, Andy Robert Ness, Kate Tilling, Chris Riddoch and Sam Leary

Background:

A study deriving a threshold for moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) in terms of accelerometer counts in 12-year-old children was repeated with a subset of the same children at 16 years.

Methods:

Fifteen girls and thirty boys took part in 6 activities (lying, sitting, slow walking, walking, hopscotch and jogging) while wearing an Actigraph 7164 accelerometer and a Cosmed K4b2 portable metabolic unit. Random intercepts modeling was used to estimate cut points for MVPA (defined as 4 METs).

Results:

Using a single model, the sex-specific thresholds derived for MVPA at 16 years were some way below the 3600 counts/minute used for both sexes at age 12, particularly for girls. However graphical examination suggested that a single model might be inadequate to describe both higher- and lower-intensity activities. Models using only lower-intensity activities close to the 4 METs threshold supported retention of the 3600 counts/minute cut point for both sexes.

Conclusions:

When restricting to lower-intensity activities only, these data do not provide sufficient evidence to change the previously established cut point of 3600 counts/minute to represent MVPA. However, further data and more sophisticated modeling techniques are required to confirm this decision.

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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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Greg Welk, Youngwon Kim, Robin P. Shook, Laura Ellingson and Roberto L. Lobelo

Background:

The study evaluated the concurrent and criterion validity of a new, disposable activity monitor designed to provide objective data on physical activity and energy expenditure in clinical populations.

Methods:

A sample of healthy adults (n = 52) wore the disposable Metria IH1 along with the established Sensewear armband (SWA) monitor for a 1-week period. Concurrent validity was examined by evaluating the statistical equivalence of estimates from the Metria and the SWA. Criterion validity was examined by comparing the relative accuracy of the Metria IH1 and the SWA for assessing walking/running. The absolute validity of the 2 monitors was compared by computing correlations and mean absolute percent error (MAPE) relative to criterion data from a portable metabolic analyzer.

Results:

The output from 2 monitors was highly correlated (correlations > 0.90) and the summary measures yielded nearly identical allocations of time spent in physical activity and energy expenditure. The monitors yielded statistically equivalent estimates and had similar absolute validity relative to the criterion measure (12% to 15% error).

Conclusions:

The disposable nature of the adhesive Metria IH1 monitor offers promise for clinical evaluation of physical activity behavior in patients. Additional research is needed to test utility for counseling and behavior applications.

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Barbara B. Brown and Carol M. Werner

Background:

Accelerometer output feedback might enable assessment of recall biases for moderate bouts by obese and nonobese individuals; accelerometry might also help residents recall destinations for moderate-intensity walking bouts.

Methods:

Adult residents’ 1-week accelerometer-measured physical activity and obesity status were measured before and after a new rail stop opened (n = 51 Time 1; n = 47 Time 2). Participants recalled the week’s walking bouts, described them as brisk (moderate) or not, and reported a rail stop destination or not.

Results:

At the end of the week, we provided accelerometry output to residents as a prompt. Recall of activity intensity was accurate for about 60% of bouts. Nonobese participants had more moderate bouts and more “stealth exercise” —moderate bouts recalled as not brisk—than did obese individuals. Obese participants had more overestimates—recalling light bouts as brisk walks—than did nonobese individuals. Compared with unprompted recall, accelerometry-prompted recalls allowed residents to describe where significantly more moderate bouts of activity occurred.

Conclusion:

Coupling accelerometry feedback with self-report improves research by measuring the duration, intensity, and destination of walking bouts. Recall errors and different patterns of errors by obese and nonobese individuals underscore the importance of validation by accelerometry.

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Daniel P. Hatfield, Virginia R. Chomitz, Kenneth Chui, Jennifer M. Sacheck and Christina D. Economo

Background:

Associations between physical activity (PA) intensity and volume and adolescents’ cardiometabolic health have research, policy, and practice implications. This study compares associations between cardiometabolic risk factors and 1) moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) minutes versus total PA volume (accelerometer-derived total activity counts, TAC) and 2) light PA volume (counts at light intensity, L-TAC) versus moderate-to-vigorous PA volume (counts at moderate-to-vigorous intensity, MV-TAC).

Methods:

2105 adolescents from 2003– 2006 NHANES were included. Independent variables were MVPA minutes, TAC, L-TAC, and MV-TAC. Regression models tested associations between PA variables and continuous metabolic risk index (CMRI), waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, HDL, insulin, and triglycerides.

Results:

TAC demonstrated a slightly stronger inverse association with CMRI (P = .004) than did MVPA (P = .013). TAC and MVPA were both associated with systolic and diastolic pressure, HDL, and insulin; associations were similar or slightly stronger for TAC. L-TAC and MV-TAC were both associated with CMRI and HDL. Only L-TAC was associated with diastolic pressure. Only MV-TAC was associated with waist circumference, systolic pressure, and insulin.

Conclusions:

Compared with MVPA minutes, TAC demonstrates similar or slightly stronger associations with cardiometabolic risk factors. L-TAC and MV-TAC appear similarly associated with adolescents’ clustered risk but differently associated with individual risk factors.

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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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Edgard Melo Keene von Koenig Soares, Guilherme E. Molina, Daniel Saint Martin, João Luís A. E. Sadat P. Leitão, Keila E. Fontana, Luiz F. Junqueira Jr., Timóteo Leandro de Araújo, Sandra Mahecha Matsudo, Victor K. Matsudo and Luiz Guilherme Grossi Porto

Background: The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (PA) throughout the week. However, the weekly frequency of PA and how to combine moderate and vigorous PA to define who reaches the recommended PA are controversial. PA level might be highly different based on the recommendation and/or the criteria employed. Methods: Demographic data and PA level evaluated by International Physical Activity Questionnaire from 3 random and representative samples from 1 state, 1 city, and 1 local organization in Brazil were analyzed (n = 2961). Nine criteria from different recommendations were used to define PA level. Prevalence estimates and 95% confidence intervals of sufficient PA were calculated for each criterion and compared with the referent (World Health Organization guideline). Total agreement, sensitivity, and specificity were also calculated with 95% confidence interval. Results: When a weekly frequency of PA was required, the prevalence of sufficient PA decreased by 11% (P < .05). For all criteria, doubling the vigorous PA minutes was similar to simply adding them to moderate PA. These findings are consistent regardless of sex, age, and educational level. Conclusion: Prevalence estimates and agreement between different PA recommendations were significantly affected when a minimum frequency was required but did not change when vigorous PA minutes were doubled.