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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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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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Kathleen Y. Wolin, Daniel P. Heil, Sandy Askew, Charles E. Matthews and Gary G. Bennett

Background:

The International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form (IPAQ-S) has been evaluated against accelerometer-determined physical activity measures in small homogenous samples of adults in the United States. There is limited information about the validity of the IPAQ-S in diverse US samples.

Methods:

142 Blacks residing in low-income housing completed the IPAQ-S and wore an accelerometer for up to 6 days. Both 1- and 10-minute accelerometer bouts were used to define time spent in light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity.

Results:

We found fair agreement between the IPAQ-S and accelerometer-determined physical activity (r = .26 for 10-minute bout, r = .36 for 1-minute bout). Correlations were higher among men than women. When we classified participants as meeting physical activity recommendations, agreement was low (kappa = .04, 10-minute; kappa = .21, 1-minute); only 25% of individuals were classified the same by both instruments (10-minute bout).

Conclusions:

In one of the few studies to assess the validity of a self-reported physical activity measure among Blacks, we found moderate correlations with accelerometer data, though correlations were weaker for women. Correlations were smaller when IPAQ-S data were compared using a 10- versus a 1-minute bout definition. There was limited evidence for agreement between the instruments when classifying participants as meeting physical activity recommendations.

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Vitor Pires Lopes, Pedro Magalhães, José Bragada and Catarina Vasques

Background:

Several methods exist to asses and control physical intensity levels of subjects engaged in physical activities programs, accelerometry is a method that could be easily used in the field. The purposes were: to calibrate Actigraph in middle-aged to old obese/overweight and DM2 adult patients; and to determine the threshold counts for sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity (PA).

Methods:

Sample comprise 26 participants (62.6 ± 6.5 years of age) of both gender. Counts and VO2 were simultaneously assessed during: resting, seating, standing, walking at 2.5 km·h−1, 5 km·h−1, and 6 km·h−1. A hierarchical linear model was used to derive a regression equation between MET and counts. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was used to define thresholds for PA levels.

Results:

The regression equation was: MET = 1.388400490262 + 0.001312683420044 (counts·min−1), r = .867. The threshold counts for sedentary-light, light-moderate and moderate-vigorous PA were: 200, 1240, 2400 counts·min−1 respectively.

Conclusion:

The Actigraph is a valid and useful device for the assessment of the amount of time spent in each PA intensity levels in obese/overweight and DM2 middle-aged to old adult patients.

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Anne Marie Z. Jukic, Kelly R. Evenson, Amy H. Herring, Allen J. Wilcox, Katherine E. Hartmann and Julie L. Daniels

Background:

Correlates of prenatal physical activity can inform interventions, but are not well-understood.

Methods:

Participants in the Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition 3 Study were recruited before 20 weeks gestation. Women self-reported frequency, duration, and mode of moderate and vigorous physical activities. We used logistic regression to identify correlates of any physical activity (≥10 minutes/week of any mode), any recreational activity (≥10 minutes/week), and high volume recreational activity (either ≥150 minutes/week of moderate or ≥75 minutes/week of vigorous). Our analysis included 1752 women at 19-weeks gestation and 1722 at 29 weeks.

Results:

Higher education, white race, and enjoyment of physical activity were positively correlated with all 3 outcomes. Any recreational activity was negatively associated with parity, body mass index, and history of miscarriage. The associations of history of miscarriage and body mass index differed at 19 weeks compared with 29 weeks. Single marital status, health professional physical activity advice, and time for activity were associated with high volume recreational activity only.

Conclusions:

Correlates of physical activity differed by mode and volume of activity and by gestational age. This suggests that researchers planning physical activity interventions should consider the mode and amount of activity and the gestational age of the participants.

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Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Margaret Schneider, Dan J. Graham and Dan M. Cooper

Cross-sectional research examined whether physical activity or physical fitness was more closely linked to physical self-concept in adolescent females ages 14 to 17 (N = 103, 63% Caucasian). Moderate physical activity and vigorous physical activity were measured through a 3-day physical activity recall. Physical fitness was assessed using highly accurate measures of peak oxygen consumption (via cycle ergometer) and percent body fat (via dual X-ray absorptiometer). The Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) assessed self-concept in 11 domains (e.g., health, endurance, appearance). Pearson’s correlations showed that vigorous physical activity was positively associated with scores on most of the PSDQ scales (p < .005). Peak oxygen consumption was positively related to all of the selfconcept domains (p < .001), and percent body fat was negatively related on most of the PSDQ scales (p < .005). Multiple-regression analyses found that physical fitness (i.e., peak oxygen consumption and percent body fat) was more closely related to physical self-concept than was physical activity. In addition to the possibility that genetically determined fitness levels may influence physical selfconcept, these findings suggest that programs designed to elevate self-perceptions may require physical activity levels sufficient to improve cardiovascular fitness and decrease body fat.

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Robin P. Shook, Nicole C. Gribben, Gregory A. Hand, Amanda E. Paluch, Gregory J. Welk, John M. Jakicic, Brent Hutto, Stephanie Burgess and Steven N. Blair

Background:

Subjective measures of moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) rely on relative intensity whereas objective measures capture absolute intensity; thus, fit individuals and unfit individuals may perceive the same activity differently.

Methods:

Adults (N = 211) wore the SenseWear Armband (SWA) for 10 consecutive days to objectively assess sedentary time and MVPA. On day 8, participants completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) to subjectively assess sitting time and MVPA. Fitness was assessed via a maximal treadmill test, and participants were classified as unfit if the result was in the bottom tertile of the study population by sex or fit if in the upper 2 tertiles.

Results:

Overall, estimates of MVPA between the IPAQ and SWA were not significantly different (IPAQ minus SWA, 67.4 ± 919.1 MVPA min/wk, P = .29). However, unfit participants overestimated MVPA using the IPAQ by 37.3% (P = .02), but fit participants did not (P = .99). This between-group difference was due to overestimation, using the IPAQ, of moderate activity by 93.8 min/wk among the unfit individuals, but underestimation of moderate activity among the fit participants by 149.4 min/wk.

Conclusion:

Subjective measures of MVPA using the IPAQ varied by fitness category; unfit participants overestimated their MVPA and fit participants accurately estimated their MVPA.

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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.

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Koichiro Oka and Ai Shibata

Background:

Dog ownership appears to have associated health benefits as a result of increased physical activity through dog walking. This study examined the association between dog ownership and health-related physical activity among Japanese adults.

Methods:

Male and female respondents to an Internet-based cross-sectional survey were divided into the following groups: dog owner (DOG), nondog pet owner (NDOG), and nonpet owner (NPOG). Moderate and vigorous physical activity amount (MVPA), walking amount (Walking), and sedentary behavior time (SB) were estimated from the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Analyses of covariance and logistic regression analysis were used.

Results:

The differences in MVPA, Walking, and SB were statistically significant among the three groups. DOG had a significantly greater amount of MVPA than NDOG and NPOG. DOG also had a significantly greater amount of Walking and less SB time than NPOG, and DOG was 1.5 times more likely to meet the physical activity recommendation than NDOG and NPOG.

Conclusions:

The dog owners had higher physical activity levels than owners of other kinds of pets and those without any pets, suggesting that dogs may play a major role in promoting physical activity. However, only 30% of the dog owners met the recommended criteria for physical activity.

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Nicola D. Ridgers, Stuart J. Fairclough and Gareth Stratton

Background:

Recess is an opportunity for children to engage in daily physical activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the 12-month effects of a playground intervention on children’s moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) and vigorous physical activity (VPA) during morning and lunchtime recess.

Methods:

Four hundred and seventy children (232 boys, 238 girls) from 26 elementary schools participated in the study. Fifteen schools redesigned the playground environment using playground markings and physical structures. Eleven schools served as socioeconomic matched controls. Physical activity levels were quantified using heart rate and accelerometry at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months post-intervention. A 3-level (time, pupil, and school) multilevel analysis was used to determine the effects of the intervention across time on MVPA and VPA.

Results:

Positive yet nonsignificant intervention effects were found for MVPA and VPA during morning and lunchtime recess. Intervention children were more active during recess than control children. Interactions revealed that the intervention effect was stronger at 6 months than 12 months post-intervention.

Conclusions:

A playground markings and physical structures intervention had a positive effect on intervention children’s morning and lunchtime MVPA and VPA when assessed using heart rate and accelerometry, but this effect is strongest 6-months post-intervention and decreased between 6 months and 12 months.