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Gerda Jimmy, Roland Seiler and Urs Maeder

Background:

Accelerometry has been established as an objective method that can be used to assess physical activity behavior in large groups. The purpose of the current study was to provide a validated equation to translate accelerometer counts of the triaxial GT3X into energy expenditure in young children.

Methods:

Thirty-two children aged 5–9 years performed locomotor and play activities that are typical for their age group. Children wore a GT3X accelerometer and their energy expenditure was measured with indirect calorimetry. Twenty-one children were randomly selected to serve as development group. A cubic 2-regression model involving separate equations for locomotor and play activities was developed on the basis of model fit. It was then validated using data of the remaining children and compared with a linear 2-regression model and a linear 1-regression model.

Results:

All 3 regression models produced strong correlations between predicted and measured MET values. Agreement was acceptable for the cubic model and good for both linear regression approaches.

Conclusions:

The current linear 1-regression model provides valid estimates of energy expenditure for ActiGraph GT3X data for 5- to 9-year-old children and shows equal or better predictive validity than a cubic or a linear 2-regression model.

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E. Kipling Webster and Dale A. Ulrich

With recent revisions, the evaluation of the reliability and validity of the Test of Gross Motor Development—3rd edition (TGMD-3) is necessary. The TGMD-3 was administered to 807 children (M age = 6.33 ± 2.09 years; 52.5% male). Reliability assessments found that correlations with age were moderate to large; ball skills had a higher correlation (r = .47) compared with locomotor skills (r = .39). Internal consistency was very high in each age group and remained excellent for all racial/ethnic groups and both sexes. Test-retest reliability had high ICC agreements for the locomotor (ICC = 0.97), ball skills (ICC = 0.95), and total TGMD-3 (ICC = 0.97). For validity measures, the TGMD-3 had above acceptable item difficulty (range = 0.43–0.91) and item discrimination values (range = 0.34–0.67). EFA supported a one-factor structure of gross motor skill competence for the TGMD-3 with 73.82% variance explained. CFA supported the one-factor model (χ2(65) = 327.61, p < .001, CFI = .95, TLI = .94, RMSEA = .10), showing acceptable construct validity for the TGMD-3. Preliminary results show the TGMD-3 exhibits high levels of validity and reliability, providing confidence for the usage and collection of new norms.

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Darcy M. Brown, Dan B. Dwyer, Samuel J. Robertson and Paul B. Gastin

The purpose of this study was to assess the validity of a global positioning system (GPS) tracking system to estimate energy expenditure (EE) during exercise and field-sport locomotor movements. Twenty-seven participants each completed a 90-min exercise session on an outdoor synthetic futsal pitch. During the exercise session, they wore a 5-Hz GPS unit interpolated to 15 Hz and a portable gas analyzer that acted as the criterion measure of EE. The exercise session was composed of alternating 5-minute exercise bouts of randomized walking, jogging, running, or a field-sport circuit (×3) followed by 10 min of recovery. One-way analysis of variance showed significant (P < .01) and very large underestimations between GPS metabolic power– derived EE and oxygen-consumption (VO2) -derived EE for all field-sport circuits (% difference ≈ –44%). No differences in EE were observed for the jog (7.8%) and run (4.8%), whereas very large overestimations were found for the walk (43.0%). The GPS metabolic power EE over the entire 90-min session was significantly lower (P < .01) than the VO2 EE, resulting in a moderate underestimation overall (–19%). The results of this study suggest that a GPS tracking system using the metabolic power model of EE does not accurately estimate EE in field-sport movements or over an exercise session consisting of mixed locomotor activities interspersed with recovery periods; however, is it able to provide a reasonably accurate estimation of EE during continuous jogging and running.

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Marybeth Grant-Beuttler, Jenifer Jennings, Christina McCauley, Robert Dulay, Katlyn Grossnickle, Kerri Kill and John Hay

Purpose:

To develop an electronic version of the Children’s Self-Perceptions of Adequacy in and Predilection for Physical Activity (eCSAPPA), which would allow individual administration to children younger than nine years of age.

Methods:

Fifty-four, four—nine-year-old children completed the eCSAPPA and the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD-2). Parental measures of physical activity, and body mass index were obtained. Twenty-one participants additionally completed the paper version of the CSAPPA.

Results:

All children successfully completed the eCSAPPA with interclass correlation coefficients of .76 for Adequacy and .86 for Total Score. Correlations and linear predictive equations for eCSAPPA revealed the TGMD-2’s Locomotor subtest, age, and parent’s activity rating explained 28–30% of the variability in Total and Adequacy eCSAPPA scores. Predilection and Enjoyment of Physical Education (PE) scores were less stable, with the TGMD-2’s Locomotor subtest and age predicting 17% of the Predilection score and the TGMD-2’s Object Control subtest demonstrating 17% of Enjoyment of PE.

Conclusion:

Children ages four-nine years can feasibly complete the electronic version of the CSAPPA and results hint that self-efficacy may be more plastic in younger children. The eCSAPPA is a promising instrument allowing the exploration of young children’s development of adequacy and predilection toward physical activity as well as enjoyment of PE.

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Walter Herzog, Timothy Koh, Evelyne Hasler and Tim Leonard

We hypothesize that the neuromuscular system is designed to function effectively in accomplishing everyday movement tasks. Since everyday movement tasks may vary substantially in terms of speed and resistance, we speculate that agonistic muscles contribute differently to varying movement tasks such that the mechanical, structural, and physiological properties of the system are optimized at all times. We further hypothesize that a mechanical perturbation to the musculoskeletal system, such as the loss of an important joint ligament or the change of a muscle’s line of action, causes an adaptation of the system aimed at reestablishing effective function. Here. we demonstrate how the specificity of the cat ankle extensors is used to accommodate different locomotor tasks. We then illustrate how the loss of an important ligament in the cat knee leads to neuromuscular adaptation. Finally, we discuss the adaptability of skeletal muscle following an intervention that changes a muscle’s line of action, moment arm, and excursion.

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Marcos Rodrigo Trindade Pinheiro Menuchi and Lilian Teresa Bucken Gobbi

Locomotion generates a visual movement pattern characterized as optic flow. To explore how the locomotor adjustments are affected by this pattern, an experimental paradigm was developed to eliminate optic flow during obstacle avoidance. The aim was to investigate the contribution of optic flow in obstacle avoidance by using a stroboscopic lamp. Ten young adults walked on an 8m pathway and stepped over obstacles at two heights. Visual sampling was determined by a stroboscopic lamp (static and dynamic visual sampling). Three-dimensional kinematics data showed that the visual information about self-motion provided by the optic flow was crucial for estimating the distance from and the height of the obstacle. Participants presented conservative behavior for obstacle avoidance under experimental visual sampling conditions, which suggests that optic flow favors the coupling of vision to adaptive behavior for obstacle avoidance.

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Joonkoo Yun and Deborah R. Shapiro

This study examined the psychometric properties of Ulrich’s (1988) Actual Physical Competence Scale for children with mental retardation. A total of 139 children with MR, 7 to 13 years of age participated. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that a multidimensional model of skill assessment captures the motor performance of those with MR more accurately than a unidimensional model. Indices of goodness of fit for the multidimensional model were GFI = .91, RMSEA = .09, (χ2/df) = 2.15, and CFI = .93. Test-retest reliability and internal consistency for the total test battery was ICC = .91 and α = .62, respectively. When evaluating movement skills of children with mental retardation, a multidimensional model incorporating both locomotor and object control skills is recommended.

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Mikael Scohier, Dominique De Jaeger and Benedicte Schepens

The purpose of this study was to mechanically evoke a triceps surae stretch reflex during the swing phase of running, to study its within-the-step phase dependency. Seven participants ran on a treadmill at 2.8 m·s−1 wearing an exoskeleton capable of evoking a sudden ankle dorsiflexion. We measured the electromyographic activity of the soleus, medial and lateral gastrocnemii just after the perturbation to evaluate the triceps surae stretch reflex. Similar perturbations were also delivered at rest. Our results showed that the stretch reflex was suppressed during the swing phase of running, except in late swing where a late reflex response was observed. At rest, all triceps surae muscles showed an early reflex response to stretch. Our findings suggest that the triceps surae short/medium-latency stretch reflex cannot be evoked during swing phase and thus cannot contribute to the control of the locomotor pattern after aperturbation during this phase.

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Ellen M. Kowalski and Claudine Sherrill

This study examined the effects of model type and verbal rehearsal strategy in relation to motor sequencing of boys with learning disabilities (LD). Eighty boys, ages 7 and 8 years, were exposed to four experimental conditions in a 2 × 2 (Model × Verbal Rehearsal Strategy) design. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of four groups: (a) visual-silent model/verbal rehearsal, (b) visual-verbal model/verbal rehearsal, (c) visual-silent model/ no verbal rehearsal, and (d) visual-verbal model/ no verbal rehearsal. The four groups were statistically equal on measures of age, IQ, behavior, learner modality preference, and motor proficiency. Data collected for experimental analysis were generated by the Motor Sequencing Test which measured the ability to model seven locomotor tasks in the correct order. Results revealed that the boys with LD performed significantly better on the motor sequencing test when trained in verbal rehearsal strategy. However, results indicated no significant difference in motor sequencing under visual-silent and visual-verbal model conditions.

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Amelia Mays Woods, Kim C. Graber, David Newman Daum and Chris Gentry

This study examined physical activity (PA) variables related to recess PA patterns of kindergarten, first and second grade children, and the social preferences and individuals influencing their PA. Data collected (N = 147) used the System of Observing Children’s Activity and Relationships during Play (SOCARP) instrument. Children were interviewed. Kindergarten boys spent a significantly higher percentage of time in MVPA (t = 3.137, d = .96, p < .008). Kindergarten girls spent significantly more time standing (t = 3.548, d = 1.07, p < .008). Second grade boys spent a significantly (t = 4.44, d = 1.98, p < .0125) more time in sport activities. Second grade girls spent significantly more time in sedentary (t = 4.399, d = 1.11, p < .0125) and locomotor (t = 3.533, d = .899, p < .0125) activities. Participants articulated the prominence of friends, engaging in games/activities, and playing on the playground equipment.