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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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Robert L. Newton, Hongmei Han, Melinda Sothern, Corby K. Martin, Larry S. Webber and Donald A. Williamson

Background:

To determine if there are differences in time spent in physical activity and sedentary behavior between rural African American and Caucasian children.

Methods:

Children wore accelerometers for 3 weekdays. The students were randomly selected from a larger sample of children participating in a weight gain prevention intervention. Usable data were obtained from 272 of the 310 students who agreed to participate. The outcome data included counts per minute (CPM), time spent in moderate to vigorous (MVPA), light (LPA), and sedentary (SED) activity. The equation and cutoff used to analyze national accelerometry data were used for the current study.

Results:

The sample had an average age of 10.4 (1.1) years and 76% were African American. Lower SES African Americans had more CPM (P = .012) and spent more time in MVPA (P = .008) compared with middle SES African American and lower SES Caucasian children. Lower SES African American children also spent fewer minutes in SED activity (P = .044) compared with middle SES African American children.

Conclusions:

These findings support recent results that also used objective activity measures. Children appeared less active and more sedentary than a national sample, warranting interventions in minority and rural populations.

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Aaron Beighle and Robert P. Pangrazi

Background:

The primary purpose of this study was to describe the association between activity time and step counts in children.

Methods:

Subjects were 590 students (334 girls, 256 boys) with each gender having a mean age of 9.2 ± 1.8 y. All subjects wore the Walk4Life 2505 pedometer for four consecutive weekdays. This pedometer simultaneously measures both step counts and activity time.

Results:

Boys accumulated significantly more minutes of activity time/day (140.9 ± 39.6 vs. 126.3 ± 38.1), steps/day (13,348 ± 4131 vs. 11,702 ± 3923), and steps per min (93.99 ± 5.8 vs. 91.85 ± 5.8) than girls (P < 0.001) Steps/day was a significant predictor of activity time/day (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions:

Boys accumulate more steps per day and more activity time per day than girls. There is a strong association between steps per day and activity time in children. Daily steps per minute as a measure of free living physical activity in children is explored

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Pradeep Y. Ramulu, Emilie S. Chan, Tara L. Loyd, Luigi Ferrucci and David S. Friedman

Background:

Measuring physical at home and away from home is essential for assessing health and well-being, and could help design interventions to increase physical activity. Here, we describe how physical activity at home and away from home can be quantified by combining information from cellular network–based tracking devices and accelerometers.

Methods:

Thirty-five working adults wore a cellular network–based tracking device and an accelerometer for 6 consecutive days and logged their travel away from home. Performance of the tracking device was determined using the travel log for reference. Tracking device and accelerometer data were merged to compare physical activity at home and away from home.

Results:

The tracking device detected 98.6% of all away-from-home excursions, accurately measured time away from home and demonstrated few prolonged signal drop-out periods. Most physical activity took place away from home on weekdays, but not on weekends. Subjects were more physically active per unit of time while away from home, particularly on weekends.

Conclusions:

Cellular network–based tracking devices represent an alternative to global positioning systems for tracking location, and provide information easily integrated with accelerometers to determine where physical activity takes place. Promoting greater time spent away from home may increase physical activity.

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Jannique G. Z. van Uffelen, Kristiann C. Heesch and Wendy Brown

Background:

While there is emerging evidence that sedentary behavior is negatively associated with health risk, research on the correlates of sitting time in adults is scarce.

Methods:

Self-report data from 7724 women born between 1973–1978 and 8198 women born between 1946–1951 were collected as part of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Linear regression models were computed to examine whether demographic, family and caring duties, time use, health, and health behavior variables were associated with weekday sitting time.

Results:

Mean sitting time (SD) was 6.60 (3.32) hours/day for the 1973–1978 cohort and 5.70 (3.04) hours/day for the 1946–1951 cohort. Indicators of socioeconomic advantage, such as full-time work and skilled occupations in both cohorts and university education in the mid-age cohort, were associated with high sitting time. A cluster of ‘healthy behaviors’ was associated with lower sitting time in the mid-aged women (moderate/high physical activity levels, nonsmoking, nondrinking). For both cohorts, sitting time was highest in women in full-time work, in skilled occupations, and in those who spent the most time in passive leisure.

Conclusions:

The results suggest that, in young and mid-aged women, interventions for reducing sitting time should focus on both occupational and leisure-time sitting.

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Au Bich Thuy, Leigh Blizzard, Michael Schmidt, Costan Magnussen, Emily Hansen and Terence Dwyer

Background:

Pedometer measurement of physical activity (PA) has been shown to be reliable and valid in industrialized populations, but its applicability in economically developing Vietnam remains untested. This study assessed the feasibility, stability and validity of pedometer estimates of PA in Vietnam.

Methods:

250 adults from a population-based survey were randomly selected to wear Yamax pedometers and record activities for 7 consecutive days. Stability and concurrent validity were assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Spearman correlation coefficients.

Results:

Overall, 97.6% of participants provided at least 1 day of usable recordings, and 76.2% wore pedometers for all 7 days. Only 5.2% of the sample participants were involved in work activities not measurable by pedometer. The number of steps increased with hours of wear. There was no significant difference between weekday and weekend in number of steps, and at least 3 days of recordings were required (ICC of the 3 days of recordings: men 0.96, women 0.97). Steps per hour were moderately correlated (men r = .42, women r = .26) with record estimates of total PA.

Conclusions:

It is feasible to use pedometers to estimate PA in Vietnam. The measure should involve at least 3 days of recording irrespective of day of the week.

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Karen Croteau, Grant Schofield, George Towle and Vijiayarani Suresh

Background:

It is speculated that rural Kenyan children are more physically active than those in developed countries. The purpose of this study was to examine pedometer-measured physical activity levels of western Kenyan youth.

Methods:

Participants in this study were children in Levels 3 and 5 who attended a private primary school. The sample (n = 72) consisted of 43 girls and 29 boys (average age = 9.8 ± 1.1, range = 8−12 years). Age, gender, tribe, and height and weight measures were collected. Weight status category was determined according to CDC guidelines. Participants wore a sealed Yamax pedometer for 4 weekdays during the measurement period. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and 2-way ANOVA (age × gender).

Results:

The total sample averaged 14558 ± 3993 daily steps. There was no significant effect for age [F(4,68) = 1.682, P = .102] nor significant age × gender interaction [F(4,68)=1.956, P = .117]. There was a significant effect for gender [F(1,68) = 4.791, P = .033], with boys (16262 ± 4698) significantly more active than girls (13463 ± 3051).

Conclusions:

The observed daily steps are higher than those observed in the U.S., similar to samples in other developed countries, but lower than Amish youth.

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Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Katie E. Gunnell and Mark Stephen Tremblay

Background: This study aimed to examine the factor structure of responses to the Portuguese version of questions related to screen time–based sedentary behavior among adolescents. Methods: This cross-sectional study with a sample of 1083 adolescents aged 14–19 years was conducted in Brazil. The sample was randomly divided into 2 groups for an exploratory factor analysis and for a confirmatory factor analysis. Screen time was investigated by a Portuguese version of questions about time sitting in front of television, computer, and video games on weekdays and weekends. Results: Scree plots showed 2 factors with eigenvalues above 1. One factor was formed by items about television and computer use, and the other factor was formed by items about video game use. The exploratory factor analysis with 2 factors resulted in factor loadings above .60. A second model with 1 factor was estimated and resulted in factor loadings above .55. A confirmatory factor analysis was estimated based on the 2-factor exploratory factor analysis and goodness-of-fit statistics were adequate. Confirmatory factor analysis with 1 factor had goodness-of-fit statistics adequate. Conclusions: The Portuguese language version of self-report screen time had 2 possible factor solutions, and items demonstrated good factor structure with reasonable reliability making it suitable for use in the future studies.

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George Antonogeorgos, Anastasios Papadimitriou, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos, Kostas N. Priftis and Polyxeni Nikolaidou

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

Our findings demonstrate the important role of vigorous physical activity in the maintenance of normal weight of adolescents

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Maciej S. Buchowski, Leena Choi, Karen M. Majchrzak, Sari Acra, Charles E. Matthews and Kong Y. Chen

Background:

Environmental factors including seasonal changes are important to guide physical activity (PA) programs to achieve or sustain weight loss. The goal was to determine seasonal variability in the amount and patterns of free-living PA in women.

Methods:

PA was measured in 57 healthy women from metropolitan Nashville, TN, and surrounding counties (age: 20 to 54 years, body mass index: 17 to 48 kg/m2) using an accelerometer for 7 consecutive days during 3 seasons within 1 year. PA counts and energy expenditure (EE) were measured in a whole-room indirect calorimeter and used to model accelerometer output and to calculate daily EE and intensity of PA expressed as metabolic equivalents (METs).

Results:

PA was lower in winter than in summer (131 ± 45 vs. 144 ± 54 × 103 counts/d; P = .025) and in spring/fall (143 ± 48 × 103 counts/d; P = .027). On weekends, PA was lower in winter than in summer by 22,652 counts/d (P = .008). In winter, women spent more time in sedentary activities than in summer (difference 35 min/d; P = .007) and less time in light activities (difference −29 min/d, P = .018) and moderate or vigorous activities (difference −6 min/d, P = .051).

Conclusions:

Women living in the southeastern United States had lower PA levels in winter compared with summer and spring/fall, and the magnitude of this effect was greater on weekends than weekdays.