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Richard Lowry, Sarah M. Lee, Janet E. Fulton and Laura Kann

Background:

To help inform policies and programs, a need exists to understand the extent to which Healthy People 2010 objectives for physical activity, physical education (PE), and television (TV) viewing among adolescents are being achieved.

Methods:

As part of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 5 national school-based surveys were conducted biennially from 1999 through 2007. Each survey used a 3-stage cross-sectional sample of students in grades 9 to 12 and provided self-reported data from approximately 14,000 students. Logistic regression models that controlled for sex, race/ethnicity, and grade were used to analyze secular trends.

Results:

During 1999 to 2007, prevalence estimates for regular participation in moderate and vigorous physical activity, participation in daily PE classes, and being physically active in PE classes did not change significantly among female, male, white, black, or Hispanic students. In contrast, the prevalence of TV viewing for 2 or fewer hours on a school day increased significantly among female, male, white, black, and Hispanic students and among students in every grade except 12th grade.

Conclusions:

Among US adolescents, no significant progress has been made toward increasing participation in physical activity or school PE classes; however, improvements have been made in reducing TV viewing time.

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Bradley M. Appelhans and Hong Li

Purpose:

This study tested associations of organized sports participation and unstructured active play with overall moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in low-income children and examined factors associated with participation frequency.

Method:

Research staff visited 88 low-income Chicago households with children ages 6–13 years. MVPA was assessed through 7-day accelerometry. Researchers documented the home availability of physical activity equipment. Caregivers reported on child participation in organized sports and unstructured active play, family support for physical activity, perceived neighborhood safety, and access to neighborhood physical activity venues.

Results:

Despite similar participation in organized sports and unstructured active play, boys accumulated more MVPA than girls. MVPA was predicted by an interaction between gender and unstructured active play. Boys accumulated 23–45 additional minutes of weekday MVPA and 53–62 additional minutes of weekend MVPA through unstructured active play, with no such associations in girls. Higher reported neighborhood safety and family support for physical activity were associated with engagement in unstructured active play for both genders, and with participation in organized sports for girls.

Conclusion:

Physical activity interventions for low-income, urban children should emphasize unstructured active play, particularly in boys. Fostering family support for physical activity and safe play environments may be critical intervention components.

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Megan E. Holmes, Jim Pivarnik, Karin Pfeiffer, Kimberly S. Maier, Joey C. Eisenmann and Martha Ewing

Background:

The role of psychosocial stress in the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome is receiving increased attention and has led to examination of whether physical activity may moderate the stress-metabolic syndrome relationship. The current study examined relationships among physical activity, stress, and metabolic syndrome in adolescents.

Methods:

Participants (N = 126; 57 girls, 69 boys) were assessed for anthropometry, psychosocial stress, physical activity, and metabolic syndrome variables; t tests were used to examine sex differences, and regression analysis was used to assess relationships among variables controlling for sex and maturity status.

Results:

Mean body mass index approached the 75th percentile for both sexes. Typical sex differences were observed for systolic blood pressure, time spent in moderate and vigorous physical activity, and perceived stress. Although stress was not associated with MetS (β = –.001, P = .82), a modest, positive relationship was observed with BMI (β = .20, P = .04).

Conclusions:

Strong relationships between physical activity and stress with MetS or BMI were not found in this sample. Results may be partially explained by overall good physical health status of the participants. Additional research in groups exhibiting varying degrees of health is needed.

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Lisa Kakinami, Erin K. O’Loughlin, Erika N. Dugas, Catherine M. Sabiston, Gilles Paradis and Jennifer O’Loughlin

Background:

Compared with traditional nonactive video games, exergaming contributes significantly to overall daily physical activity (PA) in experimental studies, but the association in observational studies is not clear.

Methods:

Data were available in the 2011 to 2012 wave of the Nicotine Dependence in Teens (NDIT) study (N = 829). Multivariable sex-stratified models assessed the association between exergaming (1–3 times per month in the past year) and minutes of moderate and vigorous physical activity in the previous week, and the association between exergaming and meeting PA recommendations.

Results:

Compared with male exergamers, female exergamers were more likely to believe exergames were a good way to integrate PA into their lives (89% vs 62%, P = .0001). After we adjusted for covariates, male exergamers were not significantly different from male nonexergamers in minutes of PA. Female exergamers reported 47 more minutes of moderate PA in the previous week compared with female nonexergamers (P = .03). There was no association between exergaming and meeting PA recommendations.

Conclusion:

Exergaming contributes to moderate minutes of PA among women but not among men. Differences in attitudes toward exergaming should be further explored.

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Alexis C. Frazier-Wood, Ingrid B. Borecki, Mary F. Feitosa, Paul N. Hopkins, Caren E. Smith and Donna K. Arnett

Background:

Time spent in sedentary activities (such as watching television) has previously been associated with several risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) such as increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). Little is known about associations with lipoprotein subfractions. Using television and computer screen time in hours per day as a measure of sedentary time, we examined the association of screen time with lipoprotein subfractions.

Methods:

Data were used from men and women forming the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN) study population. Mixed linear models specified lipoprotein measures as the outcome, and screen time as the predictor for fourteen lipoprotein subfraction measures, and included age, smoking status, pedigree, and fat, carbohydrate daily alcohol and energy intake as covariates. Analyses were run separately for men (n = 623) and women (n = 671). A step-down Bonferroni correction was applied to results. The analysis was repeated for significant results (p < .05), additionally controlling for body mass index (BMI) and moderate and vigorous physical activity.

Results:

Linear models indicated that screen time was associated with five lipoprotein parameters in women: the concentration of large VLDL particles (p = .01), LDL particle number (p = .01), concentration of small LDL particles (p = .04), the concentration of large HDL particles (p = .04), and HDL diameter (p = .02). All associations remained after controlling for moderate or vigorous physical activity and BMI.

Conclusions:

We show that sedentary time is associated with lipoprotein measures, markers of cardiometabolic disease, independently of physical activity and BMI, in women but not men.

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José Joaquín Muros, Mikel Zabala, María Jesús Oliveras-López, Paula Rodríguez Bouzas, Emily Knox, José Ángel Rufián-Henares and Herminia López-García de la Serrana

Background:

The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nutritional education and vigorous physical activity on health-related parameters.

Methods:

The sample group consisted of 134 children from 5 rurally located schools. Participants were divided between 5 different experimental groups: control group (CG), physical activity group (PA), nutritional education group (NE), combined intervention group (PA+NE), and a combined intervention group with additional substitution of normally used oil for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO; PA+NE+EVOO). The intervention consisted of 60 minute sessions of physical activity held twice a week as well as nutritional education sessions held over 6 months.

Results:

Students in the groups receiving physical activity reduced their fat percentage and increased their muscle mass post intervention. At posttest the lipid profile improved in all intervention groups. The proportion of macronutrients and dietary cholesterol improved in the groups receiving nutritional education. The posttest comparison showed significantly lower fat percentage, sum of skinfolds and waist circumference in NE relative to CG and PA relative to CG. Diastolic blood pressure and glycaemia were significantly lower in PA+NE+EVOO relative to CG.

Conclusion:

A school-based program consisting of nutritional education or nutritional education plus a physical activity program showed a positive effect on health-related parameters in children.

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George Antonogeorgos, Anastasios Papadimitriou, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos, Kostas N. Priftis and Polyxeni Nikolaidou

Background:

Childhood obesity has become a modern epidemic with escalating rates. The aim of our study was to identify physical activity patterns among Greek schoolchildren and to examine their relationship with obesity.

Methods:

700 adolescents age 10 to 12 years were evaluated through a standardized questionnaire. Several demographic, socioeconomic, and physical activity characteristics were recorded. Physical activity was assessed and adolescents were characterized as active and nonactive. Body height and weight were measured and body mass index was calculated in order to to classify subjects as overweight or obese (IOTF classification). Multiple logistic regression and multivariate techniques (principal components analysis) were performed.

Results:

Eight physical activity patterns were identified, including increased physical activity in weekdays and weekends, sports physical activity, vigorous, moderate, and low physical activity. Increased physical activity on weekends and vigorous physical activity in boys were negatively associated with being overweight or obese (OR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.48−0.90 and OR: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.49−0.88, correspondingly) and moderate physical activity was marginally positively associated in girls (OR: 1.28; 95% CI: 0.97−1.69), after adjusting for several confounders.

Conclusions:

Our findings demonstrate the important role of vigorous physical activity in the maintenance of normal weight of adolescents

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Christopher Coutts, Timothy Chapin, Mark Horner and Crystal Taylor

Background:

Parks and other forms of green space are among the key environmental supports for recreational physical activity. Measurements of green space access have provided mixed results as to the influence of green space access on physical activity.

Methods:

This cross-sectional study uses a geographical information system (GIS) to examine the relationships between the amount of and distance to green space and county-level (n = 67) moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in the state of Florida.

Results:

The gross amount of green space in a county (P < .05) and the amount of green space within defined distances of where people live (1/4 mile, P < .01; 1/2 mile, P < .05; 1 mile, P < .01) were positively associated with self-reported levels of MVPA. Distance to the nearest green space and the amount of green space furthest from where people live (10 miles) were not significantly associated with MVPA. All measures were weighted by the population living in census tracts.

Conclusions:

The results suggest that there is an association between the accessibility created by having more green space closer to home and MVPA, but this holds only for areas up to and including 1 mile from home.

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Kylie Ball, Verity J. Cleland, Anna F. Timperio, Jo Salmon and David A. Crawford

Background:

This study aimed to examine cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between socioeconomic position (SEP) and physical activity and sedentary behaviors among children and adolescents.

Methods:

Maternal education was reported by parents of 184 children 5 to 6 years old and 358 children 10 to 12 years old in 2001. In 2001 and 2004, physical activity was assessed by accelerometry. Older children self-reported and parents of younger children proxy-reported physical activity and TV-viewing behaviors. Linear regression was used to predict physical activity and sedentary behaviors, and changes in these behaviors, from maternal education.

Results:

Among all children, accelerometer-determined and self- or parent-reported moderate and vigorous physical activity declined over 3 years. Girls of higher SEP demonstrated greater decreases in TV-viewing behaviors than those of low SEP. In general, no prospective associations were evident between SEP and objectively assessed physical activity. A small number of prospective associations were noted between SEP and self-reported physical activity, but these were generally weak and inconsistent in direction.

Conclusions:

This study did not find strong evidence that maternal education was cross-sectionally or longitudinally predictive of children’s physical activity or sedentary behaviors. Given the well-documented inverse relationship of SEP with physical activity levels in adult samples, the findings suggest that such disparities might emerge after adolescence.

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David Claxton and Gayle M. Wells

Background:

This study examined the effect of using physical activity homework on physical activity levels of college students.

Methods:

Students in randomly assigned sections of a university health course were assigned 30 minutes of physical activity homework 3 days a week or no homework for 12 weeks. Participants completed self-reports of physical activity before the homework intervention and again at the conclusion of the 12 weeks of physical activity homework.

Results:

Participants in all course sections reported significant increases in the number of days per week of moderate and vigorous physical activity. Participants in homework sections additionally showed significant increases in the days they engaged in muscular strength/endurance training and activities to manage weight. Participants in sections without homework showed a significant increase in the number of days engaged in flexibility training. Comparison of gain scores showed statistically significant increases by the homework group in the days they participated in activities designed to manage weight.

Conclusion:

Physical activity homework was deemed to be an effective method of increasing college students’ levels of physical activity.