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Alessandra de Carvalho Bastone, Bruno de Souza Moreira, Renata Alvarenga Vieira, Renata Noce Kirkwood, João Marcos Domingues Dias and Rosângela Corrêa Dias

The purpose of this study was to assess the validity of the Human Activity Profile (HAP) by comparing scores with accelerometer data and by objectively testing its cutoff points. This study included 120 older women (age 60–90 years). Average daily time spent in sedentary, moderate, and hard activity; counts; number of steps; and energy expenditure were measured using an accelerometer. Spearman rank order correlations were used to evaluate the correlation between the HAP scores and accelerometer variables. Significant relationships were detected (rho = .47−.75, p < .001), indicating that the HAP estimates physical activity at a group level well; however, scatterplots showed individual errors. Receiver operating characteristic curves were constructed to determine HAP cutoff points on the basis of physical activity level recommendations, and the cutoff points found were similar to the original HAP cutoff points. The HAP is a useful indicator of physical activity levels in older women.

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James LeCheminant, Larry Tucker and Kenric Russell

Background:

This study investigated the relationship between objectively-measured total physical activity (PA), and intensity of PA and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) in 211 healthy, middle-age women (43.1 ± 3.0 y). In addition, this study examined the extent to which age, BMI, abdominal circumference, and body fat percentage operated as confounders in these associations.

Methods:

PA was objectively measured for 7 continuous days using accelerometry. Fasting blood samples were taken, from which CRP was measured using a solid phase ELISA. Body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2), abdominal circumference measured at the umbilicus, and body fat percentage using air displacement plethysmography, were assessed.

Results:

Total PA (activity counts) was significantly and inversely related to CRP concentrations (F = 7.76, P = .006) as was vigorous-intensity PA. After adjusting for differences in body fat percentage, total PA and vigorous-intensity PA were no longer significant predictors of CRP. Abdominal circumference and BMI also tended to weaken the relationship between total or vigorous-intensity PA and CRP but not to the same extent as body fat percentage.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that higher total and vigorous-intensity PA levels are significantly related to lower CRP levels in healthy, middle-age women; however, this relationship is largely a function of differences in body fat percentage.

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Steven P. Hooker, Anna Feeney, Brent Hutto, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Kerry McIver, Daniel P. Heil, John E. Vena, Michael J. LaMonte and Steven N. Blair

Purpose:

This study was designed to validate the Actical activity monitor in middle-aged and older adults of varying body composition to develop accelerometer thresholds to distinguish between light and moderate intensity physical activity (PA).

Methods:

Nonobese 45 to 64 yr (N = 29), obese 45 to 64 yr (N = 21), and ≥65 yr (N = 23; varying body composition) participants completed laboratory-based sitting, household, and locomotive activities while wearing an Actical monitor and a portable metabolic measurement system. Nonlinear regression analysis was used to identify activity count (AC) cut-points to differentiate between light intensity (<3 METs) and moderate intensity (≥3METs) PA.

Results:

Using group-specific algorithms, AC cut points for 3 METs were 1634, 1107, and 431 for the obese 45 to 64 yr group, nonobese 45 to 64 yr group, and ≥65 yr group, respectively. However, sensitivity and specificity analysis revealed that an AC cut-point of 1065 yielded similar accuracy for detecting an activity as less than or greater than 3 METs, regardless of age and body composition.

Conclusion:

For the Actical activity monitor, an AC cut-point of 1065 can be used to determine light and moderate intensity PA in people ≥45 years of age.

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Barbara Resnick and Elizabeth Galik

The purpose of this study was to develop and test a measure of physical activity for residents in long-term-care facilities, the Physical Activity Survey in Long-Term Care (PAS-LTC). Sixty-six activities are included in the PAS-LTC: routine physical activity, personal-care activities, structured exercise, recreational activities, caretaking activities, and repetitive activities. The study included 13 residents in a long-term-care facility, most of whom were women (62%), with an average age of 84 years (± 6.0) and an average Mini Mental State Examination score of 6 (± 6.9). There was evidence of interrater reliability of the PAS-LTC with intraclass correlations of .83-.94. There was some evidence of validity of the measure with statistically significant correlations between PAS-LTC recorded during the evening and night shifts and the number of counts of activity per the ActiGraph (r = .60 and r = .57, respectively, p < .05) and the calories estimated (r = .58 and r = .60, respectively, p < .05). The PAS-LTC completed during the day shift and total activity based on the PAS-LTC showed nonsignificant correlations of .40 or greater with the ActiGraph activity counts and calories.

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Anna Goodman, James Paskins and Roger Mackett

Background:

Children in primary school are more physically active in the spring/summer. Little is known about the relative contributions of day length and weather, however, or about the underlying behavioral mediators.

Methods:

325 British children aged 8 to 11 wore accelerometers as an objective measure of physical activity, measured in terms of mean activity counts. Children simultaneously completed diaries in which we identified episodes of out-of-home play, structured sports, and active travel. Our main exposure measures were day length, temperature, rainfall, cloud cover, and wind speed.

Results:

Overall physical activity was higher on long days (≥ 14 hours daylight), but there was no difference between short (< 9.5 hours) and medium days (10.2–12.6 hours). The effect of long day length was largest between 5 PM and 8 PM, and persisted after adjusting for rainfall, cloud cover, and wind. Up to half this effect was explained by a greater duration and intensity of out-of-home play on long days; structured sports and active travel were less affected by day length.

Conclusions:

At least above a certain threshold, longer afternoon/evening daylight may have a causal role in increasing child physical activity. This strengthens the public health arguments for daylight saving measures such as those recently under consideration in Britain.

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Robert E. Davis and Paul D. Loprinzi

Objectives:

To examine whether accelerometer-measured physical activity–based reactivity was present in a nationally representative sample of U.S. children (6–11 yrs), adolescents (12–17 yrs), and adults (≥20 yrs).

Methods:

Data from the 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (N = 674, 6–85 yrs) were used. Physical activity (PA) was assessed using the ActiGraph 7164 accelerometer, with PA assessed over 7 days of monitoring. Two PA metrics were assessed, including activity counts per day (CPD) and time spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA. Evidence of reactivity was defined as a statistically significantly change in either of these 2 PA metrics from day 1 of monitoring to days 2 or 3, with day 1 of monitoring being a Monday.

Results:

Suggestion of reactivity was observed only for the adult population where CPD from days 2 and 3 (297,140.6 ± 7920.3 and 295,812.9 ± 8364.9), respectively, differed significantly from day 1 (309,611.5 ± 9134.9) over the monitoring period (4.0% to 4.5% change). The analysis was conducted 2 additional times with differing start days (Tuesday and Wednesday), and this approach failed to demonstrated a reactive presence.

Conclusion:

In this national sample of U.S. children, adolescents and adults, we did not observe sufficient evidence of accelerometer reactivity.

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Andrea K. Chomistek, Eric J. Shiroma and I-Min Lee

Background:

Physical activity is important for maintaining healthy weight. The time of day when exercise is performed—a highly discretionary aspect of behavior—may impact weight control, but evidence is limited. Thus, we examined the association between the timing of physical activity and obesity risk in women.

Methods:

A cross-sectional analysis was conducted among 7157 Women’s Health Study participants who participated in an ancillary study begun in 2011 that is measuring physical activity using accelerometers. The exposure was percentage of total accelerometer counts accumulated before 12:00 noon and the outcome was obesity.

Results:

Mean (±SD) BMI among participants was 26.1 (±4.9) kg/m2 and 1322 women were obese. The mean activity counts per day was 203,870 (±95,811) of which a mean 47.1% (±11.5%) were recorded in the morning. In multivariable-adjusted models, women who recorded < 39% (lowest quartile) of accelerometer counts before 12:00 noon had a 26% higher odds of being obese, compared with those recording ≥ 54% (highest quartile) of counts before noon (P trend = 0.02).

Conclusions:

These study findings—that women who are less active during morning hours may be at higher risk of obesity—if confirmed can provide a novel strategy to help combat the important health problem of obesity.

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Rachel A. Jones, Annaleise Riethmuller, Kylie Hesketh, Jillian Trezise, Marijka Batterham and Anthony D. Okely

The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability and potential efficacy of a physical activity program for preschool children. A 20-week, 2-arm parallel cluster randomized controlled pilot trial was conducted. The intervention comprised structured activities for children and professional development for staff. The control group participated in usual care activities, which included designated inside and outside playtime. Primary outcomes were movement skill development and objectively measured physical activity. At follow-up, compared with children in the control group, children in the intervention group showed greater improvements in movement skill proficiency, with this improvement statically significant for overall movement skill development (adjust diff. = 2.08, 95% CI 0.76, 3.40; Cohen’s d = 0.47) and significantly greater increases in objectively measured physical activity (counts per minute) during the preschool day (adjust diff. = 110.5, 95% CI 33.6, 187.3; Cohen’s d = 0.46). This study demonstrates that a physical activity program implemented by staff within a preschool setting is feasible, acceptable and potentially efficacious.

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Karla E. Foster, Timothy K. Behrens, Abigail L. Jager and David A. Dzewaltowski

Background:

This study evaluated the effect of elimination and nonelimination games on objectively measured physical activity and psychosocial responses in children.

Methods:

A total of 29 children in grades 4 to 6 (65.5% male; 10.5 ± 1.0 years old) wore an accelerometer while participating in 2 elimination and 2 nonelimination games. Activity counts were collected using a 30-second epoch and converted to METs to determine minutes spent in sedentary behavior and light, moderate, vigorous, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Self-efficacy, enjoyment, and peer-victimization were assessed on 4 occasions (before and after 2 elimination and 2 nonelimination games).

Results:

Overall, girls spent more time in sedentary behavior compared with boys. Children engaged in significantly more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during nonelimination games compared with elimination games. Furthermore, children significantly increased self-efficacy after playing both game sessions. A significant interaction between type of game and time of measurement in the prediction of enjoyment showed that enjoyment modestly increased after elimination games and slightly decreased after nonelimination games. There were no differences in peer-victimization.

Conclusion:

This study provides preliminary evidence that nonelimination games provide more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity compared with elimination games, but elimination games may be more enjoyable.

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James N. Roemmich, Christina L. Lobarinas, Jacob E. Barkley, Tressa M. White, Rocco Paluch and Leonard H. Epstein

This study evaluated the effectiveness of an open-loop system that reinforces physical activity with TV watching to increase children’s physical activity. Nonoverweight, sedentary boys and girls (8–12 y) were randomized to a group that received feedback of activity counts + reinforcement for physical activity by providing access to television (F+R, n = 20); or to feedback, no reinforcement (Feedback, n = 20) or no feedback, no reinforcement control (Control, n = 21) groups. Children wore an accelerometer with a count display for 4-months with a 1-year follow-up. F+R reduced TV by 68 min/day and TV time was lower than the Feedback (p < .005) and Control (p < .002) groups. TV time of F+R remained 31 min lower (p < .02) than baseline at 1-year. F+R had a 44% increase in physical activity, which was greater than the feedback (p < .04) and control (p < .01) groups. An open-loop system decreases TV viewing and increases physical activity of children for 4-months. TV of the F+R group remained lower at 12 months, suggesting a reduction in screen-time habits.