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Timothy A. Brusseau, James Hannon and Ryan Burns

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) on physical activity and health-related fitness (HRF) in children from low-income families.

Methods:

Participants included 1390 children recruited from kindergarten through sixth grade (mean age = 8.4 ± 1.8 years). Physical activity measures were collected at baseline and at 6 weeks and 12 weeks after program implementation, and HRF measures were collected at baseline and at 12 weeks after program implementation.

Results:

There were significant but weak-to-moderate increases in step counts (mean difference = 603.1 steps, P < .001, d = 0.39) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (mean difference = 4.9 minutes, P < .001, d = 0.39) at 12 weeks compared with baseline. There were also significant but moderate increases in Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run laps (mean difference = 6.5 laps, P < .001, d = 0.47) at 12 weeks compared with baseline. Generalized mixed models respectively yielded 3.02 and 2.34 greater odds that a child would achieve step count and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity standards and 2.26 greater odds that a child would achieve aerobic fitness standards at 12 weeks compared with baseline (P < .001).

Conclusions:

The 12-week CSPAP improved physical activity and HRF in children from low-income families; however, the magnitude of the effects was weak to moderate.

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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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Adrienne J. McNamara, Michael J. Pavol and Katherine B. Gunter

Objective:

Community-based exercise programs are popular for achieving physical activity among older adults, but the amount of physical activity obtained through such programs is unknown. This study quantified the bone-loading forces and levels of cardiovascular activity associated with participation in “Better Bones and Balance” (BBB), a community-based fall- and fracture-prevention program for older adults.

Methods:

Thirty-six postmenopausal women age 73.2 ± 7.6 yr engages in BBB participated in this study. Ground-reaction forces (GRFs) associated with BBB exercises were evaluated using a force platform. Session and weekly totals of minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and total time spent above 55% maximum heart rate (HR) were measured using accelerometers and HR monitors, respectively.

Results:

BBB exercises produced mean 1-leg GRFs of 1.4–2.2 units body weight. Weekly BBB participation was associated with 126 ± 31 min of MVPA.

Conclusion:

Activity obtained by BBB participation meets recommended guidelines for skeletal and cardiovascular health.

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Eleanor B. Tate, Anuja Shah, Malia Jones, Mary Ann Pentz, Yue Liao and Genevieve Dunton

Background:

Research on adolescent physical activity is mixed regarding the role of parent activity. This study tested parent encouragement, direct modeling, and perceived influence as moderators of objectively-measured (accelerometer) parent and child moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) associations.

Methods:

Parent-child dyads (n = 423; mean child age = 11.33 yrs.) wore accelerometers for 7 days; parents completed surveys. Hierarchical linear regression models tested moderation using a product of constituent terms interaction.

Results:

Parent-reported encouragement moderated the association between parent and child MVPA (β = –.15, P = .01, ΔR 2 = .02, P < .01). Among parents with lower MVPA, child MVPA was higher for children receiving high encouragement (mean = 3.06, SE = .17) vs. low (mean = 3.03, SE = .15, P = .02) and moderate encouragement (mean = 3.40, SE = .09) vs. low (P = .04).

Conclusions:

Physical activity promotion programs may use parent encouragement as a tool to boost child activity, but must consider other child and parent characteristics that could attenuate effects.

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Margaret Schneider, Andrea Dunn and Daniel Cooper

Many adolescents do not meet public health recommendations for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). In studies of variables influencing adolescent MVPA, one that has been understudied is the affective response to exercise. We hypothesized that adolescents with a more positive affective response to acute exercise would be more active. Adolescents (N = 124; 46% male) completed two 30-min exercise tasks (above and below the ventilatory threshold [VT]), and wore ActiGraph accelerometers for 6.5 ± 0.7 days. Affective valence was assessed before, during, and after each task. A more positive affective response during exercise below the VT was associated with greater participation in MVPA (p < .05). The results are consistent with the hypothesis that individuals who have a more positive affective response to exercise will engage in more MVPA. To promote greater participation in MVPA among adolescents, programs should be designed to facilitate a positive affective experience during exercise.

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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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Nathalie Aelterman, Maarten Vansteenkiste, Hilde Van Keer, Lynn Van den Berghe, Jotie De Meyer and Leen Haerens

Despite evidence for the utility of self-determination theory in physical education, few studies used objective indicators of physical activity and mapped out between-class, relative to between-student, differences in physical activity. This study investigated whether moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and rated collective engagement in physical education were associated with autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and amotivation at the between-class and between-student levels. Participants were 739 pupils (46.3% boys, M age = 14.36 ± 1.94) from 46 secondary school classes in Flanders (Belgium). Multilevel analyses indicated that 37% and 63% of the variance in MVPA was explained by between-student and between-class differences, respectively. Students’ personal autonomous motivation related positively to MVPA. Average autonomous class motivation was positively related to between-class variation in MVPA and collective engagement. Average controlled class motivation and average class amotivation were negatively associated with collective engagement. The findings are discussed in light of self-determination theory’s emphasis on quality of motivation.

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Jeffrey J. Martin, Kimberly Oliver and Nate McCaughtry

Theoretically grounded research on the determinants of Mexican American children’s physical activity and related psychosocial variables is scarce. Thus, the purpose of our investigation was to evaluate the ability of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to predict Mexican American children’s self-reported moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Children (N = 475, ages 9-12) completed questionnaires assessing the TPB constructs and MVPA. Multiple regression analyses provided moderate support for the ability of the TPB variables to predict MVPA as we accounted for between 8-9% of the variance in MVPA. Attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control accounted for 45% of the variance in intention. Descriptive results were encouraging because mean values indicated that most children had positive attitudes, moderately strong intentions, felt in control, and perceived support from significant others (i.e., physical education teachers) for their physical activity engagement.

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Deborah Cohen, Molly Scott, Frank Zhen Wang, Thomas L. McKenzie and Dwayne Porter

Building design and grounds might contribute to physical activity, and youth spend much of their daylight hours at school. We examined the associations among school building footprints, the size of school grounds, and in-school physical activity of 1566 sixth-grade girls from medium to large middle schools enrolled in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG). The school building footprint and the number of active outdoor amenities were associated with physical activity among adolescent girls. On average, the school footprint size accounted for 4% of all light physical activity and 16% of all MET-weight moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MW-MVPA) during school hours. Active outdoor amenities accounted for 29% of all MW-MVPA during school. School design appears to be associated with physical activity, but it is likely that programming (eg, physical education, intramurals, club sports), social factors, and school siting are more important determinants of total physical activity.

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Kelly R. Evenson, Kimberly B. Morland, Fang Wen and Kathleen Scanlin

This study describes moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior among New York City (NYC) residents 60 years and older and compared with national United States’ estimates. Adults aged 60 or older living in NYC (n = 760) were compared with similar aged adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES; n = 2,451 adults). Both groups wore an ActiGraph accelerometer for one week. The NYC sample recorded 13.2, 23.8, and 37.8 mean min/day of MVPA and the NHANES sample recorded 10.6, 21.1, and 39.3, depending on the definition. Sedentary behavior averaged 9.6 hr/day for the NYC sample and 9.3 hr/day for the NHANES sample. The NYC sample spent a longer proportion of time in sedentary behavior and light activities, but more time in MVPA than the NHANES sample. Urbanicity may explain some of the differences between the two samples.