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Mark Loftin, Patricia Strikmiller, Barbara Warren, Leann Myers, Leslie Schroth, James Pittman, David Harsha and Melinda Sothern

Peak cardiorespiratory responses, physical activity patterns, and the association of VO2peak and physical activity were examined in 16 elementary (ES) and 16 high school (HS) females. Peak responses were assessed during treadmill running, and physical activity patterns were examined over two 12-hour weekdays. Results indicated similar relative VO2peak responses between groups (ES: M = 46.8 ml · kg−1 · min−1;HS:M = 46.6 ml · kg−1 · min−1). No statistical differences (p ≤ .05) were noted when moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and vigorous physical activity (VPA) were compared. Also, a three-way (Group × HR level × Sustained minutes) ANOVA revealed no statistical differences. A median correlation (r = .27) was found from 8 independent correlations of habitual physical activity and VO2peak. ES and HS appeared similar in regard to VO2peak, accumulative and sustained MVPA and VPA. Low levels of sustained MVPA and VPA (≥ 10 min) were evident in both groups.

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James Dollman, Tim S. Olds, Adrian Esterman and Tim Kupke

The study aimed to establish pedometer step cut points in relation to weight status among 2,071 5–16 year old Australians. Height, weight and waist circumference were measured, and participants wore a pedometer for seven days. Pedometer values were taken as the average number of steps per day and weighted according to the ratio of weekdays to weekends. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to identify the optimal pedometer counts to predict overweight. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to compare anthropometric variables across pedometer step quintiles. The ROC model for older females was nonsignificant. Optimal cut points were 12,000 for younger males, 11,000 for older males and 10,000 for younger females. These were largely confirmed by ANCOVA. The cut points were lower than previously reported for equivalent age groups. Cultural and environmental differences may necessitate population-specific guidelines to be established.

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Constantinos A. Loucaides and Russell Jago

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between pedometer-assessed physical activity and a number of individual, social, and environmental correlates among Cypriot elementary school children.

Methods:

School children in grades 5 and 6 (N = 104) and their parents (N = 70) wore pedometers for five consecutive weekdays and completed questionnaires assessing potential correlates of steps/d.

Results:

A hierarchical regression analysis indicated that gender, weekly frequency of sports club attendance, and hours playing outside accounted for 32% of the variance in steps/d. In addition, children with a body-mass index (BMI) above the 85th percentile (based on age and gender) scored significantly lower steps/d than children with a BMI below the 85th percentile.

Conclusions:

This study suggested that correlates of steps/d in children are similar to the findings of other studies using different measures of physical activity behavior.

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Douglas E. Long, Lisa M. Gaetke, Stephen D. Perry, Mark G. Abel and Jody L. Clasey

The purpose of this study was to descriptively compare the physical activity and dietary intake of public school (PSC) versus home schooled children (HSC). Potential parental and home influences were also examined. Thirty six matched pairs of public school-home school children aged 7–11 years participated in this study. Each participant wore an activity monitor and recorded their dietary intake concurrently for seven consecutive days. PSC had significantly more total and weekday steps, and spent more time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity compared with HSC. There were no differences in dietary intake between the two groups. These results suggest differences in physical activity between PSC and HSC and encourage further study of public and home school environments, in relation to the obesity epidemic.

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Lorayne Woodfield, Michael Duncan, Yahya Al-Nakeeb, Alan Nevill and Charles Jenkins

The present study examines the relationship of sex, ethnicity, and socio-economic status to physical activity levels of young people. Participants were 301 males and females (12.9 – 0.81 years). Physical activity was measured using the four by one-day physical activity recall questionnaire. ANOVA revealed that high socio-economic status children reported greater average daily energy expenditure levels than low socio-economic status children (p < .01). The daily energy expenditure of white-Caucasian children was significantly higher than black or Asian children. White boys were significantly more active than white girls, but no such sex differences were observed among black and Asian children. Although activity was always greater at weekends, a decline in activity by school year was observed on Saturdays and Sundays but with no such decline observed on weekdays.

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So-Yeun Kim and Joonkoo Yun

This study examined sources of variability in physical activity (PA) of youth with developmental disabilities (DD), and determined the optimal number of days required for monitoring PA. Sixteen youth with DD wore two pedometers and two accelerometers for 9 days, including 5 weekdays (W) and 2 weekends (WK). A two-facet in fully crossed two-way ANOVAs were employed to estimate sources of variability across W, WK, and W and WK combined (WWK) for each device. Primary sources of variability were the person and the person by day interaction for both devices. Using a pedometer, four, six, and eight days of measurements were required to determine typical PA levels of the participants during W, WK, and WWK, respectively. Using one accelerometer, four days of measurements were estimated across all days.

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David A. Rowe, Matthew T. Mahar, Thomas D. Raedeke and Joanna Lore

The study was undertaken to evaluate (a) the reliability of pedometer data and reactivity of children to wearing a pedometer, (b) the effectiveness of a missing data replacement procedure, and (c) the validity of the Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire (LTEQ). Six days of pedometer data were collected from 299 middle-school children, followed by administration of the LTEQ. Six days of pedometer data were found to be adequately reliable for research into habitual physical activity (R xx = .79) and no reactivity occurred. Inclusion of weekday and weekend scores is recommended where possible. The individual-centered data-replacement procedure did not adversely affect reliability, so this data-replacement method offers great promise to physical activity researchers who wish to maintain statistical power in their studies. The LTEQ does not appear to measure physical activity similarly to pedometers (r = .05), and researchers should use the LTEQ with caution in children until further research explains this discrepancy.

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Maea Hohepa, Grant Schofield, Gregory S. Kolt, Robert Scragg and Nick Garrett

Background:

Few studies have examined high school students’ physical activity habits using objective measures. The purpose of this study was to describe pedometer-determined habitual physical activity levels of youth.

Methods:

236 high school students (age 12–18 years) wore sealed pedometers for 5 consecutive days. Data were analyzed using generalizing estimating equations.

Results:

Mean steps/d (± SE) differed significantly by sex (males, 10,849 ± 381; females, 9652 ± 289), age (junior students [years 9–11], 11,079 ± 330; senior students [years 12 and 13], 9422 ± 334), time of week (weekday, 12,259 ± 287; weekend day, 8241 ± 329), and mode of transportation to and from school (walkers, 13,308 ± 483; car transit users, 10,986 ± 435). Only 14.5% of students achieved at least 10,000 steps on every day during the monitoring period.

Conclusion:

Daily step counts differed substantially by age, sex, time of week, and transportation mode to school.

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Dawn D. Rosser Sandt and Georgia C. Frey

The purpose of this study was to compare daily, physical education, recess, and after school moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels between children with and without autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Children ages 5 to 12 years wore a uniaxial accelerometer for five days (four weekdays, one weekend day). There were no differences between children with and without ASD at any physical activity setting. Both groups were more active during recess compared to after school, and children with ASD were similarly active in recess and physical education. Although many children with ASD acquired 60 min of physical education per day, this may decrease with age as opportunities for recess and physical education are eliminated.

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Jorge Mota, Paula Santos, Sandra Guerra, José C. Ribeiro and José A. Duarte

The purpose of this study was to compare the daily activity levels of children varying in body mass over 3 consecutive weekdays. The sample was comprised of 157 children (boys, n = 64; girls, n = 93), aged 8–15 years. BMI was used as obesity indicator. Children were categorized as non-obese and over- weight/obese group, according to the age-adapted values. The CSA activity monitor was used as an objective measure of daily physical activity. No significant differences were reported in the daily physical activity among boys and girls according to BMI group. Boys were significantly more engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activities (p = .05) than girls. Significant differences in moderate-to-vigorous physical activities (p = .05) were found between non-obese (69.3 min • day−1) and obese girls (50.7 min • day−1), while no significant differences were reported in boys. Differences between overall activities and involvement in MVPA emerged between overweight/obese and non-obese girls; therefore, obesity in girls may be linked to low levels of physical activity behavior.