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Ying Sun, Jing An, Xi Wang, Ping Zu and Fang-Biao Tao

Background:

The study aims to understand the possible gender difference in the associations between physical activity and depressive symptoms during pubertal transition.

Methods:

Participants were 30,399 children and adolescents of Han ethnicity from urban and rural areas in 8 cities in China. Physical activity (PA) and depressive symptom was assessed by adapted Youth Risk Behavior Survey and Children Depression Inventory (CDI), respectively. Pubertal development was assessed by trained physicians.

Results:

In China, over 30% boys and 40% girls reported having no vigorous PA (VPA) or moderate PA (MPA) in the past week. In girls, participating in VPA 1 to 2 days/week showed protective effect for depressive symptoms; whereas in boys, participating in MPA 1 to 2 days/week showed protective effect for depressive symptoms at and after genital stage III (G3).

Conclusions:

Moderate frequency (1 to 2 days/week) in PA undertaken might be encouraged to prevent depressive symptoms among adolescents.

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Michelle Y. Martin, M. Paige Powell, Claire Peel, Sha Zhu and Richard Allman

This study examined whether leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) was associated with health-care utilization in a racially diverse sample of rural and urban older adults. Community-dwelling adults (N = 1,000, 75.32 ± 6.72 years old) self-reported participating in LTPA and their use of the health-care system (physician visits, number and length of hospitalizations, and emergency-room visits). After controlling for variables associated with health and health-care utilization, older adults who reported lower levels of LTPA also reported a greater number of nights in the hospital in the preceding year. There was no support, however, for a relationship between LTPA and the other indicators of health-care utilization. Our findings suggest that being physically active might translate to a quicker recovery for older adults who are hospitalized. Being physically active might not only have health benefits for older persons but also lead to lower health-care costs.

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Marc S. Mitchell, Catherine A. Gaul, Patti-Jean Naylor and Constadina Panagiotopoulos

The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between insulin resistance (IR) and objectively measured habitual moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in First Nations youth. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2 rural villages in northern British Columbia, Canada. Thirty-nine healthy youth (16 males and 23 females; age = 11.8yrs ± 2.2; range = 8.8–18.5yrs) participated. PA was measured with ActiGraph GT1M accelerometers. The homeostasis model assessment estimate of IR (HOMA-IR) was used to define IR. Duration of MVPA was inversely related to HOMA-IR (r=−.44, p < .01). From the regression model, 30 min of habitual MVPA corresponded to HOMA-IR levels that were 15% lower. In conclusion, these findings suggest that active First Nations youth have lower HOMA-IR values.

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Jamie E. L. Spinney and Hugh Millward

This research uses four nationally representative samples of time diary data, spanning almost 30 yr, that are fused with energy expenditure information to enumerate the median daily duration of moderate or vigorous-effort activity, quantify the prevalence of Canadians age 65 yr and older who are meeting recommended daily levels of physical activity, and explore the factors affecting rates of active living. Results indicate that 41.1% of older Canadians met recommended levels of physical activity in 1992, 40.6% in 1998, 43.5% in 2005, and 39.6% in 2010. Both rates of active living and daily duration of aerobic activity exhibit significant differences among sociodemographic groups, with age, sex, activity limitation, urban-rural, and season exhibiting the most significant influences. This study illustrates the potential for time diary data to provide detailed surveillance of physical activity patterns, active aging research, and program development, as well.

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Deborah Laliberte Rudman and Michelle Durdle

This secondary analysis of data drawn from a descriptive phenomenological study explored how older adults with low vision experience and manage community mobility. Participants included 34 urban and rural older adults, age 70 years and older, who were not using low-vision-rehabilitation services. The findings convey a core element of the experience of community mobility for participants: living with a pervasive sense of fear regarding one’s body and way of being. Participants continually gauged risks associated with mobility and engaged in risk avoidance and management strategies. Community mobility was often restricted by participants because of perceived risks, leading to reduced participation in a range of physical, social, and other types of activities. Further research on environmental factors mediating community mobility and on strategies effective in maintaining mobility among seniors with low vision is essential to optimize participation, health, and service delivery.

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P. Margaret Grant, Malcolm H. Granat, Morag K. Thow and William M. Maclaren

This study measured objectively the postural physical activity of 4 groups of older adults (≥65 yr). The participants (N = 70) comprised 3 patient groups—2 from rehabilitation wards (city n = 20, 81.8 ± 6.7 yr; rural n = 10, 79.4 ± 4.7 yr) and the third from a city day hospital (n = 20, 74.7 ± 7.9 yr)—and a healthy group to provide context (n = 20, 73.7 ± 5.5 yr). The participants wore an activity monitor (activPAL) for a week. A restricted maximum-likelihood-estimation analysis of hourly upright time (standing and walking) revealed significant differences between day, hour, and location and the interaction between location and hour (p < .001). Differences in the manner in which groups accumulated upright and sedentary time (sitting and lying) were found, with the ward-based groups sedentary for prolonged periods and upright for short episodes. This information may be used by clinicians to design appropriate rehabilitation interventions and monitor patient progress.

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Kelly Samara Silva, Adair da Silva Lopes, Carla Meneses Hardman, Luciana Gatto Azevedo Cabral, Shana Ginar da Silva and Markus Vinicius Nahas

Background:

Commuting reflects an important opportunity for youth to engage in physical activity. This study aimed to compare modes of commuting to school and to work and to identify sociodemographic factors associated with various modes of transportation.

Methods:

Epidemiologic study with a repeated cross-sectional design. Participants included high school students (15–19 years of age) from Santa Catarina state, Brazil, in 2001 (n = 5028) and 2011 (n = 6529). A questionnaire containing information on the type of transport used to commute to school and to work was administered.

Results:

Walking/bicycling and the use of the bus to commute to school and to work remained stable after a decade; however, the use of car/motorcycle to school (6.4% versus 12.6%) and to work (10.2% versus 19.7%) increased significantly. In both cases, females more frequently used buses, whereas males commuted to work by car/bus. Students from rural areas more commonly commuted to school by car/motorcycle, whereas those from urban areas traveled to work more by bus. There was a greater use of cars/motorcycles by young people from higher-income families.

Conclusions:

The use of cars/motorcycles to commute to school/work has almost doubled in the last decade. Sex, residential area and income were associated with passive commuting.

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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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Masamitsu Kamada, Jun Kitayuguchi, Kuninori Shiwaku, Shigeru Inoue, Shimpei Okada and Yoshiteru Mutoh

Background:

Physical activity contributes to maintaining functional ability later in life. Specific relationships between walking for particular purposes (eg, recreation or transport) and functional ability are not clear. It is useful for planning health promotion strategies to clarify whether walking time for recreation, or walking time for transport has the stronger relationship with maximum walking speed (MWS), a determinant of functional ability later in life in the elderly.

Methods:

A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2007 using a sample of 372 community-dwelling elderly people aged 60 to 87 years in Mitoya Town, Unnan City, rural Japan. Associations with MWS were examined for self-reported weekly times of walking for recreation and for transport using multiple linear regression analyses.

Results:

Both in men and women, walking time for recreation was significantly associated with MWS after controlling for age, height, weight, hip and knee pain, and a number of chronic diseases (men: β = 0.18, P = .024; women: β = 0.17, P < .01). However, walking time for transport was not significantly associated with MWS (men: β = −0.094, P = .24; women: β = −0.040, P = .50).

Conclusions:

Walking for recreation may contribute to maintaining functional abilities such as MWS in the elderly.

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Euna Han, Lisa Powell, Sandy Slater and Christopher Quinn

Background:

Secondary data are often necessary to assess the availability of commercial physical activity (PA) facilities and examine its association with individual behaviors and outcomes, yet the validity of such sources has been explored only in a limited number of studies.

Methods:

Field data were collected on the presence and attributes of commercial PA facilities in a random sample of 30 urban, 15 suburban, and 15 rural Census tracts in the Chicago metropolitan statistical area and surrounding area.

Results:

Approximately 40% of PA establishments in the field data were listed for both urban and nonurban tracts in both lists except for nonurban tracts in D&B (35%), which was significantly improved in the combined list of D&B and InfoUSA. Approximately one-quarter of the PA facilities listed in D&B were found on the ground, whereas 40% to 50% of PA facilities listed in InfoUSA were found on the ground. PA establishments that offered instruction programs or lessons or that had a court or pool were less likely to be listed, particularly in the nonurban tracts.

Conclusions:

Secondary commercial business lists on PA facilities should be used with caution in assessing the built environment.