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Dana L. Wolff-Hughes, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, David R. Bassett and James R. Churilla

Purpose:

To contrast associations of accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) accumulated in bouts and total activity counts (TAC) with cardiometabolic biomarkers in U.S. adults.

Methods:

Using 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, the sample was comprised of adults ≥ 20 years, not pregnant or lactating, with self-reported PA and at least 4 days of ≥ 10 hours accelerometer wear time (N = 5668). Bouted MVPA represented the minutes/day with ≥ 2020 counts/minute in bouts of 10 minutes or longer and TAC represented the total activity counts per day. Biomarkers included: cholesterol, triglyceride, glycohemoglobin, plasma glucose, C-peptide, insulin, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and skinfolds. Nested regression models were conducted which regressed each biomarker on bouted MVPA and TAC simultaneously, while adjusting for relevant covariates.

Results:

Results indicated TAC was more strongly associated with 11 biomarkers: HDL-C, triglyceride, plasma glucose, C-peptide, insulin, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, triceps skinfold, and subscapular skinfold. Bouted MVPA, however, only displayed stronger associations with BMI.

Conclusions:

The total volume of physical activity, represented by TAC, appears to have stronger associations with cardiometabolic biomarkers than MVPA accumulated in bouts.

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Britni R. Belcher, Richard P. Moser, Kevin W. Dodd, Audie Atienza, Rachel Ballard-Barbash and David Berrigan

Background:

Discrepancies in self-report and accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) may influence relationships with obesity-related biomarkers in youth.

Methods:

Data came from 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) for 2174 youth ages 12 to 19. Biomarkers were: body mass index (BMI, kg/m2), BMI percentile, height and waist circumference (WC, cm), triceps and subscapular skinfolds (mm), systolic & diastolic blood pressure (BP, mmHg), high-density lipoprotein (HDL, mg/dL), total cholesterol (mg/dL), triglycerides (mg/dL), insulin (μU/ml), C-reactive protein (mg/dL), and glycohemoglobin (%). In separate sex-stratified models, each biomarker was regressed on accelerometer variables [mean MVPA (min/day), nonsedentary counts, and MVPA bouts (mean min/day)] and self-reported MVPA. Covariates were age, race/ethnicity, SES, physical limitations, and asthma.

Results:

In boys, correlations between self-report and accelerometer MVPA were stronger (boys: r = 0.14−0.21; girls: r = 0.07−0.11; P < .010) and there were significant associations with BMI, WC, triceps skinfold, and SBP and accelerometer MVPA (P < .01). In girls, there were no significant associations between biomarkers and any measures of physical activity.

Conclusions:

Physical activity measures should be selected based on the outcome of interest and study population; however, associations between PA and these biomarkers appear to be weak regardless of the measure used.

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Felipe Fossati Reichert, Ana Maria Batista Menezes, Jonathan Charles Kingdom Wells, Ulf Ekelund, Fabiane Machado Rodrigues and Pedro Curi Hallal

Background:

Prospective studies on physical activity (PA), diet, and body composition in adolescents are lacking, particularly outside high-income countries.

Goals:

To describe the methods used to assess these variables in the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort and to discuss the fieldwork challenges faced and alternatives to overcome them.

Methods:

In 2006–07 a subsample of the 1993 Pelotas cohort was revisited. PA was estimated using questionnaires, a combined heart-rate and motion sensor (Acti-Heart), and the ActiGraph GT1M accelerometer. Diet was investigated by questionnaire. Total body water was determined by stable isotopes. Thirty individuals had their total energy expenditure assessed by doubly labeled water. All data were collected at participants’ home.

Results:

The logistics of the fieldwork and the difficulties in undertaking the study and alternatives to overcome them are presented. Preliminary analyses show that 511 individuals were traced (response rate = 90.0%). Compliance of both adolescents and their families for the motion sensors and body-composition measurements was excellent.

Conclusions:

The authors conclude that it is feasible to carry out high-quality studies on PA in developing countries. They hope the article will be useful to other researchers interested in carrying out similar studies.

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Melody Oliver, Scott Duncan, Celia Kuch, Julia McPhee and Grant Schofield

Background:

Aims were to investigate sex, ethnicity, and age differences in achieving daily step count and television (TV) watching recommendations in schoolchildren.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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.

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Ariane L. Rung, Andrew J. Mowen, Stephanie T. Broyles and Jeanette Gustat

Background:

Neighborhood parks play an important role in promoting physical activity. We examined the effect of activity area, condition, and presence of supporting features on number of park users and park-based physical activity levels.

Methods:

37 parks and 154 activity areas within parks were assessed during summer 2008 for their features and park-based physical activity. Outcomes included any park use, number of park users, mean and total energy expenditure. Independent variables included type and condition of activity area, supporting features, size of activity area, gender, and day of week. Multilevel models controlled for clustering of observations at activity area and park levels.

Results:

Type of activity area was associated with number of park users, mean and total energy expenditure, with basketball courts having the highest number of users and total energy expenditure, and playgrounds having the highest mean energy expenditure. Condition of activity areas was positively associated with number of basketball court users and inversely associated with number of green space users and total green space energy expenditure. Various supporting features were both positively and negatively associated with each outcome.

Conclusions:

This study provides evidence regarding characteristics of parks that can contribute to achieving physical activity goals within recreational spaces.

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B. Adar Emken, Ming Li, Gautam Thatte, Sangwon Lee, Murali Annavaram, Urbashi Mitra, Shrikanth Narayanan and Donna Spruijt-Metz

Background:

KNOWME Networks is a wireless body area network with 2 triaxial accelerometers, a heart rate monitor, and mobile phone that acts as the data collection hub. One function of KNOWME Networks is to detect physical activity (PA) in overweight Hispanic youth. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the in-laboratory recognition accuracy of KNOWME.

Methods:

Twenty overweight Hispanic participants (10 males; age 14.6 ± 1.8 years), underwent 4 data collection sessions consisting of 9 activities/session: lying down, sitting, sitting fidgeting, standing, standing fidgeting, standing playing an active video game, slow walking, brisk walking, and running. Data were used to train activity recognition models. The accuracy of personalized and generalized models is reported.

Results:

Overall accuracy for personalized models was 84%. The most accurately detected activity was running (96%). The models had difficulty distinguishing between the static and fidgeting categories of sitting and standing. When static and fidgeting activity categories were collapsed, the overall accuracy improved to 94%. Personalized models demonstrated higher accuracy than generalized models.

Conclusions:

KNOWME Networks can accurately detect a range of activities. KNOWME has the ability to collect and process data in real-time, building the foundation for tailored, real-time interventions to increase PA or decrease sedentary time.

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Eric E. Wickel

Background:

This study examined associations between sedentary time, physical activity (PA), and executive function among youth participating in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.

Methods:

Sedentary time and PA (light, moderate, vigorous, and moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA)) were objectively assessed at 9 and 15 years, while executive function (inhibition, working memory, and fluid intelligence) were assessed at 15 years. Regression models were used to examine associations.

Results:

Sedentary time at 9 years predicted fluid intelligence at 15 years (B = 0.031), whereas increased sedentary time from 9 to 15 years predicted higher inhibition (B = 0.003), working memory (B = 0.074), and fluid intelligence (B = 0.029). Relatively lower levels of working memory at 15 years were predicted from increased levels of light PA, moderate PA, and MVPA from 9 to 15 years (B = –0.075, –0.293, and –0.173, respectively). At 15 years, inhibition, working memory, and fluid intelligence were significantly associated with sedentary time (B = 0.003, 0.055, and 0.045, respectively).

Conclusions:

Childhood sedentary time and PA may affect executive function at 15 years; however, prospective studies are needed to examine the concurrent change in both sedentary time and PA with executive function.

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Melody Oliver, Philip John Schluter and Grant Schofield

Background:

Accelerometers are widely used to quantify physical activity (PA) in preschoolers, yet no ‘best practice’ method for data treatment exists. The purpose of this study was to develop a robust method for data reduction using contemporary statistical methods and apply it to preschoolers’ accelerometer data.

Methods:

Children age 2 to 5 years were recruited in Auckland, New Zealand, and asked to wear accelerometers over 7 days. Average daily PA rates per second were derived for participants, estimated using negative binomial generalized estimating equation (GEE) models. Overall participant rates were derived and compared using normal GEE models. Descriptive information for data analyzed were compared with that derived using traditional data inclusion approaches.

Results:

Data were gathered from 78 of the 93 enrolled children over a median of 7 days. Daily PA rates ranged from 1.27 to 17.64 counts per second (median 5.70). Compared with traditional approaches, this method had many advantages, including improved data retention, the computation of a continuous measure, and facilitating powerful multivariable regression analyses, while providing similar descriptive information to existing methods.

Conclusion:

PA rates were successfully calculated for preschoolers’ activity description and advantages of the approach identified. This method holds promise for future use and merits further application and enhancement.

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Audie A. Atienza, Brian Oliveira, B.J. Fogg and Abby C. King

This pilot investigation used portable electronic diaries to assess the physical activity and other health behaviors of 20 adults age 50+ (mean age = 61 years). Study aims were to examine whether computerized cognitive-behavioral strategies could increase adherence to the assessments, the acceptability of electronic diaries to assess everyday health, and the relationship between computerized physical activity assessments with a standardized physical activity measure. Although approximately two thirds of participants had never used an electronic diary, results indicated that a large majority (83%) reported enjoying the use of the electronic diaries, and most (72%) reported enjoying answering all of the health questions. The cognitive-behavioral strategies employed did not enhance assessment adherence, but electronic-diary-based activity levels corresponded more strongly with the poststudy standardized activity measure than the baseline standardized measure, providing evidence of temporal convergence. Findings suggest that the use of portable electronic technology in physical activity assessment of middle-aged and older adults deserves further study.

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Danielle D. Wadsworth, Mary E. Rudisill, Jared A. Russell, James R. McDonald and David D. Pascoe

The School of Kinesiology at Auburn University unites teaching, research, and outreach efforts to provide access to physical activity for local, statewide, and global communities. This paper provides a brief overview of the programs as well as strategies to mobilize efforts for physical activity outreach within an academic setting. School-wide efforts include youth initiatives, physical activity assessments offered through our TigerFit program, and the United States Olympic Team Handball training center. All programs provide service-learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students as well as outreach outcomes. Furthermore, the programs provide a platform for scholarship in the form of publications, partnerships for grant submissions, and student research projects. Merging teaching, outreach, and scholarship has provided longevity for the programs, thereby establishing long-term social ties to the community and providing continued access to physical activity to promote public health.