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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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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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Deborah A. Cohen, Scott Ashwood, Molly Scott, Adrian Overton, Kelly R. Evenson, Carolyn C. Voorhees, Ariane Bedimo-Rung and Thomas L. McKenzie

Background:

Proximity to routine destinations is an important correlate of physical activity. We examined the association between distance from school and physical activity in adolescent girls.

Methods:

We mapped the addresses of 1554 sixth-grade girls who participated in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG) Study and calculated the shortest distance from home to school along the street network. Using a hierarchical design we examined the association between MET-weighted moderate to vigorous physical activity (MW- MVPA) and distance to school, while controlling for potential confounders.

Results:

Distance to school was inversely associated with weekday MW- MVPA for middle school girls. For every mile the girls lived from their schools, they engaged in an average of 13 fewer MET-weighted minutes per week.

Conclusions:

Distance to school is inversely associated with MW-MVPA. The most adversely affected girls lived more than 5 miles from school. Time spent commuting could explain reduced time for physical activity.

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Simone Nicolai, Petra Benzinger, Dawn A. Skelton, Kamiar Aminian, Clemens Becker and Ulrich Lindemann

The purpose of the study was to investigate whether a 24-hr recording period is sufficient to describe physical activity (PA) of 1 week for intraindividual comparison in older adults. Furthermore, the authors analyzed whether physical performance can be used as a surrogate marker of PA. PA was captured on 7 consecutive days by a body-fixed sensor in 44 community-dwelling older adults (80.75 ± 4.05 yr). Mean times of walking and of “time on feet” of the group were 10.2 hr (± 3.5) and 35.1 hr (± 9.43), respectively. Intraindividual variabilities of walking and of time on feet were 31.9% ± 10.79% and 19.4% ± 8.76%, respectively. Accumulated time of variables of PA showed no differences between weekdays, with variabilities of 3.8% and 1.8% for walking and time on feet, respectively. Association between Short Physical Performance Battery and PA was limited (walking r = .397, time on feet r = .41).

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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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Jenna Panter, Andrew Jones, Esther Van Sluijs and Simon Griffin

The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the associations between active commuting behavior, levels of physical activity and distance to school in 9–10 year old children. Participants were children (n = 1824) who took part in the SPEEDY study (Sport, Physical activity and Eating behavior: Environmental Determinants in Young people). For both boys and girls, significant positive associations were observed between walking to school and physical activity and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during weekday journey times (8–9am and 3–4pm), and the size of association also became stronger with increasing distance from school. Promotion of active commuting to school might be an important way to increase levels of physical activity in school children.

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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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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.