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Robert H. DuRant and Albert C. Hergenroeder

During the 1993 International Consensus Conference on Physical Activity Guidelines for Adolescents, specific recommendations were made concerning the levels and types of physical activity in which adolescents should be encouraged to engage. This paper addresses the promotion of these guidelines by primary health care providers. Based on social cognitive theory, principles for promoting changes in health behaviors are described. Using the GAPS model (gather information, assess further, problem identification, and self-efficacy and solving barriers), methods of implementing these principles in a physician’s office are presented. Promoting physical activity in other health care settings and situations is also discussed. Primary health care providers can be effective promoters of physical activity to their adolescent patients.

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Richard P. Troiano

The following article was the Rainer and Julie Martens Invited Lecture given at the National Academy of Kinesiology, September 2011. The federal government has a demonstrated interest in the health benefits of physical activity. A major milestone in federal interest was the publication of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Other federal efforts, such as the National Prevention Strategy and the Lets Move! initiative, seek to translate the science in the Guidelines into action at multiple levels of society. Federal interest is also demonstrated through the range of physical activity research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This paper describes research resources and examples of research funded by several NIH institutes with the intent to enhance the ability of members of the National Academy of Kinesiology to have a positive impact on society by advancing the science, as well as promoting and facilitating the many and diverse benefits of human movement.

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Laura N. Desha, Jenny M. Ziviani, Jan M. Nicholson, Graham Martin and Ross E. Darnell

This study employed ordinal logistic regression analyses to investigate the relationship between American adolescents’ participation in physical activity and depressive symptomatology. Data were drawn from the second Child Development Supplement to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (CDS II), which was conducted over 2002-2003. Fewer than 60% of adolescents were found to accumulate 60 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) outside of school hours on week or weekend days. Accumulated duration of MVPA was not, however, significantly associated with severity of depressive symptoms for either gender. Males who were not involved in sporting clubs or lessons were more likely than males who were highly involved to experience greater severity of depressive symptoms (OR = 3.24, CI = 1.33, 7.87). Results highlight gender variability in the psychosocial correlates of sporting participation and prompt further investigation of the relevance of current physical activity guidelines for mental health in adolescence.

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Russell R. Pate, Barbara J. Long and Greg Heath

This paper reviews the descriptive epidemiology of physical activity in adolescents. Large population-based studies were reviewed, along with smaller studies using objective monitoring of physical activity. Estimates showed that adolescents engage in physical activity of any intensity for a mean of one hour per day. Approximately two thirds of males and one quarter of females participate in moderate to vigorous activity for 20 min 3 or more days per week. Activity levels decline with increasing age across adolescence, and this decrease is more marked in females than in males. Comparison of these data to physical activity guidelines for adolescents suggests the vast majority are meeting the guideline of accumulating physical activity. However, a substantial number of males, and the majority of females, are not meeting the guideline for moderate to vigorous physical activity.

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Sam Zizzi, Dave Goodrich, Ying Wu, Lindsey Parker, Sheila Rye, Vivek Pawar, Carol Mangone and Irene Tessaro

Although much has been learned about the global determinants of physical activity in adults, there has been a lack of specific focus on gender, age, and urban/rural differences. In this church-based community sample of Appalachian adults (N = 1,239), the primary correlates of physical activity included age, gender, obesity, and self-efficacy. Overall, 42% of all participants and 31% of adults age 65 years or older met recommended guidelines for physical activity, which suggests that most participants do not engage in adequate levels of physical activity. Of participants who met physical activity guidelines, the most common modes of moderate and vigorous activity were walking briskly or uphill, heavy housework or gardening, light strength training, and biking. These particular activities that focus on building self-efficacy might be viable targets for intervention among older adults in rural communities.

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Collin A. Webster, Diana Mindrila, Chanta Moore, Gregory Stewart, Karie Orendorff and Sally Taunton

Purpose: A comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) is designed to help school-aged youth meet physical activity guidelines as well as develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that foster meaningful lifelong physical activity participation. In this study, we employed a “diffusion of innovations theory” perspective to examine the adoption of CSPAPs in relation to physical education teachers’ domain-specific innovativeness, educational background, demographics, and perceived school support. Methods: Physical education teachers (N = 407) responded to an electronic survey with validated measures for each of the above-mentioned variables. Results: Latent profile analysis classified teachers into three domain-specific innovativeness levels (high, average, and low). CSPAP-related professional training, knowledge, and perceived school support were found to be significant factors in domain-specific innovativeness and CSPAP adoption. Discussion/Conclusion: This study provides novel evidence to inform professional development initiatives so that they can be tailored to physical education teachers who may be less likely to adopt a CSPAP.

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Iuliana Hartescu, Kevin Morgan and Clare D. Stevinson

A minimum level of activity likely to improve sleep outcomes among older people has not previously been explored. In a representative UK sample aged 65+ (n = 926), cross-sectional regressions controlling for appropriate confounders showed that walking at or above the internationally recommended threshold of ≥ 150 min per week was significantly associated with a lower likelihood of reporting insomnia symptoms (OR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.45−0.91, p < .05). At a 4-year follow-up (n = 577), higher walking levels at baseline significantly predicted a lower likelihood of reporting sleep onset (OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.42−0.97, p < .05) or sleep maintenance (OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.41−0.95, p < .05) problems. These results are consistent with the conclusion that current physical activity guidelines can support sleep quality in older adults.

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David X. Marquez, Eduardo E. Bustamante, Edward McAuley and Dawn E. Roberts

Background:

Latinos have the lowest leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) rates. However, measurement of only LTPA might underestimate total physical activity. This study compares the objective physical activity of Latinos reporting high or low levels of LTPA and also compares gender differences.

Methods:

Data were obtained from 148 Latinos (n = 83 women, n = 65 men). Freedson cut points were employed to determine daily minutes of activity.

Results:

Latinos reporting high LTPA engaged in more daily minutes of vigorous and very vigorous activity than Latinos reporting low LTPA (P values < .05). There was no difference in daily minutes of moderate-intensity activity (P = .12), with both groups of Latinos meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/American College of Sports Medicine guidelines. Men engaged in more daily minutes of moderate activity than women (P < .01).

Conclusions:

Many Latinos met physical activity guidelines even when reporting low levels of LTPA. Future studies should determine whether equivalent health benefits are achieved by meeting guidelines through LTPA and non-LTPA.

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Lindsey Cox, Victoria Berends, James F. Sallis, Jessica Marie St. John, Betsy McNeil, Martin Gonzalez and Peggy Agron

Background:

Most youth are not meeting physical activity guidelines, and schools are a key venue for providing physical activity. School districts can provide physical activity opportunities through the adoption, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of policies. This paper reports results of a 2009 survey of California school governance leaders on the barriers and opportunities to providing school-based physical activity and strategies to promote adoption of evidence-based policies.

Methods:

California school board members (n = 339) completed an 83 item online survey about policy options, perceptions, and barriers to improving physical activity in schools.

Results:

Board members’ highest rated barriers to providing physical activity were budget concerns, limited time in a school day, and competing priorities. The key policy opportunities to increase physical activity were improving the quantity and quality of physical education, integrating physical activity throughout the school day, supporting active transportation to/from school, providing access to physical activity facilities during nonschool hours, and integrating physical activity into before/after school programs.

Conclusions:

Survey findings were used to develop policy resources and trainings for school governance leaders that provide a comprehensive approach to improving physical activity in schools.

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Charles F. Morgan, Allison R. Tsuchida, Michael William Beets, Ronald K. Hetzler and Christopher D. Stickley

Background:

Physical activity guidelines for youth and adults include recommendations for moderate intensity activity to attain health benefits. Indirect calorimetry studies have consistently reported a 100 ste·min−1 threshold for moderate intensity walking in adults. No indirect calorimetry studies have investigated step-rate thresholds in children and therefore the primary purpose of the study was to determine preliminary step-rate thresholds for moderate physical activity walking in children.

Methods:

Oxygen consumption was measured at rest and used to determine 3 and 4 age-adjusted metabolic equivalents (A-AMETs) for 4 treadmill trials (self-selected, 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5 MPH). Two trained observers simultaneously counted children’s steps during each walking trial. Step-rate thresholds associated with moderate-intensity activity, defined as 3 and 4 A-AMETs, were determined using hierarchical linear modeling.

Results:

Regression analysis determined an overall step rate of 112 and 134 step·min-1 for 3 and 4 A-AMETs respectively. Body mass index (BMI) weight status and age were positively related to A-AMETs.

Conclusions:

We suggest age and BMI weight status specific recommendations that range from a low of 100 step·min-1 threshold (3 A-AMETs) for overweight/obese 11- to 12-year-olds to a high of 140 step·min-1 threshold (4 A-AMETs) for healthy weight 9- to 10-year-old children.