Thorough assessment of children’s physical activity is essential to efficacious interventions to reduce childhood obesity prevalence. The purpose of this study was to examine children’s recess physical activity (RPA) patterns of behavior using the Activities of Daily Living –Playground Participation (ADL-PP: Watkinson et al., 2001) instrument. ADL-PP-based RPA data from 3rd-5th grade schoolchildren (N = 444: 51% male, 23.6% overweight/obese) were analyzed to determine the number and specific activity patterns overall as well as according to gender and weightstatus. Patterns of RPA findings showed girls participated in a higher number of activities compared with boys who participated in more sport-related activities. A wide variety in the specific activities in which children engaged was found according to gender and weight-status. Examination of RPA, with the ADL-PP, extends the literature by providing new data relative to the variety and specific types of activities in which children choose to engage during discretionary times, such as recess.
Megan Babkes Stellino and Christina Sinclair
George Antonogeorgos, Anastasios Papadimitriou, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos, Kostas N. Priftis, and Polyxeni Nikolaidou
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.
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.
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.
Our findings demonstrate the important role of vigorous physical activity in the maintenance of normal weight of adolescents
Alex Pinheiro Gordia, Teresa Maria Bianchini de Quadros, Jorge Mota, and Luciana Rodrigues Silva
Weight status-referenced pedometer step-count guidelines for young people have been developed for populations from high-income countries and may not be applicable to middle- and low-income countries. The objectives of this study were 1) to develop cut-off points for pedometer-determined step count in young Brazilians using waist circumference (WC) as a reference criterion, and 2) to analyze the capacity of previous recommendations to discriminate abdominal obesity in the sample studied.
A cross-sectional study was conducted on 1,044 schoolchildren (456 boys) aged 6–17 years from Northeastern Brazil. WC was measured and daily step counts were determined with a pedometer.
The area under the curve (AUC) of step count was significant for boys (AUC = 0.55; 95%CI: 0.50–0.59) and girls (AUC = 0.57; 95%CI: 0.53–0.61). Our cut-off points (14,414 and 11,355 steps for boys and girls, respectively) were more balanced in terms of sensitivity and specificity compared with previous recommendations. The use of previous guidelines to classify step count in the sample provided very low sensitivity or specificity and wide variation in the prevalence of insufficient physical activity (39.3–77.0%).
A universal step-count recommendation for young people may not be adequate and specific guidelines seem to be necessary for different countries or regions.
Tim Olds, Carol Ann Maher, and Kate Ridley
Low physical activity has been associated with increased fatness and deceased fitness. This observational study aimed to describe the magnitude, composition, and time-distribution of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in Australian children.
A total of 1132 10 to 13 year old schoolchildren completed a 24-h activity recall diary on 2 to 4 occasions. MVPA was defined as any activity requiring ≥3METs, including sport, play, active transport, chores, and other activities.
MVPA was higher in boys than girls (173 vs 140 min/day; P < .0001), higher on nonschool days than school days (166 vs 143 min/day; P < .0001), and decreased with age (9 min/day per year of age). MVPA consisted of structured sport (37%), active transport (26%), unstructured play (24%), and chores/miscellaneous activities (13%). Every hour of MVPA was associated with a reduction in screen time (26.5 min), non-screen-based sedentary pastimes (8 min), and sleep (5.5 min). The least active quartile of children were more likely to be girls (OR = 3.4), have higher screen time, and sleep more. From 4:00−6:30 PM on school days there were large differences in participation between high-active and low-active children.
Findings suggest MVPA interventions should target girls, screen time and focus on the after-school period.
Sigurbjörn Árni Arngrímsson, Torarinn Sveinsson, and Erlingur Jóhannsson
The purpose of this study was to validate an equation that has been used to predict peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) and, if invalid, to develop a new equation predicting VO2peak from performance on a cycle ergometer test. Forty-five 9- and 15-year-old children underwent a VO2peak test and were randomized into developmental (DEV) and cross-validation (C-V) groups. The equation under validation, which requires knowledge of resting energy expenditure (REE), underestimated VO2peak (p < .05), but once adjusted with a new parameter calculated in DEV, it cross-validated well (r YY′ = .98, SE = .18 L · min−1). The accuracy of a new prediction equation built in DEV, not using REE, was confirmed in C-V (r YY′ = .98, SE = .17 L · min−1) and the slope and intercept were not different from the line of identity (p < .05). VO2peak in schoolchildren can be predicted with good accuracy from an equation based on the whole sample [VO2peak′ = −1.5986 + 0.0115 · (maximal power output) + 0.0109 · (mass) + 0.1313 · (gender) + 0.0085 · (maximal heart rate)].
Melody Oliver, Scott Duncan, Celia Kuch, Julia McPhee, and Grant Schofield
Aims were to investigate sex, ethnicity, and age differences in achieving daily step count and television (TV) watching recommendations in schoolchildren.
Participants were 615 children (n = 325) and adolescents (n = 290) aged 5 to 16 years. Activity was assessed over 5 days using pedometers; TV time was collected via parental proxy-report and self-report. Ethnic, sex, and age differences in step counts, TV time, and odds of meeting TV and step count recommendations were examined for weekdays, weekend days, and overall using generalized estimation equation modeling.
Overall, boys were more active than girls (P < .001). Adolescents were more active than children (P = .044), watched more TV (P = .005), and were less likely to meet TV watching recommendations (P = .004). Non-European children watched significantly more TV (P = .008), and were significantly less likely to meet TV recommendations than non-European children (P = .001). Participants watched more TV and accumulated less steps on weekend days than weekdays.
Multifaceted interventions focusing on both increasing activity and decreasing TV time are needed, especially on weekends. Children and girls may benefit more from activity interventions, while ethnic-specific interventions focusing on TV habits may be most efficacious for adolescents.
Eimear Keane, Xia Li, Janas M. Harrington, Anthony P. Fitzgerald, Ivan J. Perry, and Patricia M. Kearney
Globally, public health policies are targeting modifiable lifestyle behaviors. We explore the independent association of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior on the risk of childhood overweight/obesity.
A cross-sectional survey of children aged 8–11 years (N = 826). Objective body mass index was used to classify children as normal weight or overweight/obese. Children wore wrist-worn Geneactiv accelerometers for 7-days and thresholds were applied to categorize MVPA and sedentary time. Screen time (ST) was parent reported. Poisson regression examined the independent association of (1) MVPA (2), objective sedentary time and (3) ST on the risk of overweight/obesity.
Overall, 23.7% (95% CI, 20.8–26.6%) of children were overweight/obese. On average, children spent 10.8% of waking time at MVPA and 61.3% sedentary. One-fifth (22.1%, 95% CI, 19.3–25.0%) of children achieved MVPA recommendations (≥ 60 min each day) and 17.5% (95% CI, 14.9–20.1%) met ST recommendations (<2 hr per day). Time spent at MVPA was inversely associated with the risk of overweight/obese independent of total sedentary time. Total time spent sedentary was not associated with overweight/obese independent of MVPA. ST was associated with an increased risk of overweight/obese independent of physical activity.
Few schoolchildren met physical activity and screen time recommendations suggesting population based measures are needed.
Murray C. Lee, Marla R. Orenstein, and Maxwell J. Richardson
The recent decline in children’s active commuting (walking or biking) to school has become an important public health issue. Recent programs have promoted the positive effects of active commuting on physical activity (PA) and overweight. However, the evidence supporting such interventions among schoolchildren has not been previously evaluated.
This article presents the results of a systematic review of the association between active commuting to school and outcomes of PA, weight, and obesity in children.
We found 32 studies that assessed the association between active commuting to school and PA or weight in children. Most studies assessing PA outcomes found a positive association between active commuting and overall PA levels. However, almost all studies were cross-sectional in design and did not indicate whether active commuting leads to increased PA or whether active children are simply more likely to walk. Only 3 of 18 studies examining weight found consistent results, suggesting that there might be no association between active commuting and reduced weight or body mass index.
Although there are consistent findings from cross-sectional studies associating active commuting with increased total PA, interventional studies are needed to help determine causation.
Kelly R. Evenson, Brian Neelon, Sarah C. Ball, Amber Vaughn, and Dianne S. Ward
Despite the growing interest in active (ie, nonmotorized) travel to and from school, few studies have explored the measurement properties to assess active travel. We evaluated the criterion validity and test–retest reliability of a questionnaire with a sample of young schoolchildren to assess travel to and from school, including mode, travel companion, and destination after school.
To assess test–retest reliability, 54 children age 8 to 11 years completed a travel survey on 2 consecutive school days. To assess criterion validity, 28 children age 8 to 10 years and their parents completed a travel survey on 5 consecutive weekdays.
test–retest reliability of all questions indicated substantial agreement. The questions on mode of transport, where you will go after school, and how you will get there also displayed substantial agreement between parental and child reports.
For this population, a questionnaire completed by school-age children to assess travel to and from school, including mode, travel companion, and destination after school, was reliably collected and indicated validity for most items when compared with parental reports.
Ross D. Neville, Fergal Lyons, Brendan Doyle, and Kimberley D. Lakes
This study compared fundamental movement skills (FMS) in children from schools on the lower and upper levels of socioeconomic status. Data were collected from 228 schoolchildren across five schools in Ireland. There were 147 children from schools of social disadvantage (Mage = 7.67 [SD = 0.62] years; 55% boys) and 81 children from schools considered in the normal range for socioeconomic development (Mage = 7.34 [SD = 0.26] years; 56% boys). FMS were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development–2. Mixed models were used to estimate differences in FMS, while controlling for the nested structure of the data and for sex, age, body mass index, and class size. There was a substantial sex×school interaction, with girls from schools of social disadvantage exhibiting greater object-control skills proficiency than their counterparts in schools on the upper tertiles of socioeconomic development (standardized effect size = 0.66 [±95% confidence limits, ±0.50]; p = .02). The suggestion that children from social disadvantage are delayed in FMS is unsupported in this cohort. Differences in the structure of physical education and types of sports undertaken by children in schools of social disadvantage in Ireland are considered as explanations for this departure from previous studies.