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Ryan D. Burns, Timothy A. Brusseau and James C. Hannon

Background:

Optimal levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) have been shown to improve health and academic outcomes in youth. Limited research has examined MVPA trajectories throughout a daily middle school physical education (PE) curriculum. The purpose of this study was to examine MVPA trajectories over a daily PE curriculum and the modifying effects of sex, body composition, and cardiorespiratory endurance.

Methods:

One hundred 7th- and 8th-grade students participated in daily PE lessons. There were 66 lessons throughout the semester. MVPA was monitored during each lesson using NL-1000 piezoelectric pedometers. Students were classified into FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zones using estimated VO2 Max and Body Mass Index (BMI). A population averaged generalized estimating equation was employed to examine MVPA trajectories.

Results:

On average, students’ MVPA decreased over time (β = –0.35, P < .001). Poor student VO2max classification significantly modified the trajectories (β = –0.14, P < .001), however poor BMI classification did not have a modifying effect (β = 0.03, P = .158).

Conclusions:

MVPA decreased in daily PE over time and cardiorespiratory endurance significantly modified the trajectories. The results support that extra efforts have to be made by teachers and students to sustain MVPA behaviors over a semester.

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Yves Vanden Auweele, Filip Boen, Wanda Schapendonk and Karen Dornez

This study evaluated the impact of two simple interventions aimed at promoting stair use among female employees at a five-floor worksite. The first intervention involved a “health” sign that linked stair use to health and fitness; it was placed at the junction between the staircase and the elevator. The second intervention involved an additional e-mail sent a week later by the worksite’s doctor, pointing out the health benefits of regular stair use. Stair use increased significantly from 69% at baseline to 77% in the week after the first intervention, 2 (1) = 12.97, p < .001. Moreover, compared with the first intervention, stair use increased significantly to 85% in the week after the second intervention, 2 (1) = 15.58, p < .001. However, stair use decreased to 67% in a follow-up one month after the sign was removed, and was not significantly different from baseline, 2 (1) = 0.41, p = .52. These results suggest that simple and inexpensive interventions such as a health sign in combination with an e-mail sent by the worksite’s doctor can encourage female employees to use the stairs. However, it appears that sustained effort is needed to consolidate these effects.

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Catherine J. Vladutiu, Kelly R. Evenson and Stephen W. Marshall

Background:

Although physical activity can provide health benefits to pregnant women, population-based research on the circumstances surrounding injuries from physical activity during pregnancy is lacking.

Methods:

Physical activity and subsequent injuries among a cohort of 1469 pregnant women in North Carolina were examined prospectively from the third phase of the Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition Study between 2001 and 2005. Chi-square analyses were used to compare distributions of maternal characteristics among women who sustained injuries from physical activity and women who reported no injuries during pregnancy. Injury incidence rates were calculated.

Results:

Few pregnant women (N = 34) reported a physical activity-related injury during pregnancy. The rates of physical activity-related and exercise-related injuries during pregnancy were 3.2 per 1000 physical activity hours and 4.1 per 1000 exercise hours, respectively. The most common types of injuries were bruises or scrapes (55%). Among all injuries, 33% resulted from exercise and 67% resulted from nonexercise physical activities. Sixty-four percent of all injuries were due to falls.

Conclusions:

The incidence of injury from physical activity was low during pregnancy. Women should continue to be encouraged to maintain involvement in physical activity during pregnancy, while being aware of the potential for injury, particularly falls, from these activities.

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Mitch J. Duncan, Hannah M. Badland and William Kerry Mummery

Background:

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between occupational category and 3 health-related behaviors: participation in leisure-time physical activity, active transport (AT) and occupational sitting in a sample of employed Australian adults.

Methods:

A random, cross-sectional sample of 592 adults aged 18 to 71 years completed a telephone survey in October/November 2006. Reported occupations were categorized as professional (n = 332, 56.1%), white-collar (n = 181, 30.6%), and blue-collar (n = 79, 13.3%). Relationships between occupational category and AT, sufficient physical activity and occupational sitting were examined using logistic regression.

Results:

White-collar employees (OR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.14−0.95) were less likely to engage in AT and more likely to engage in occupational sitting (OR = 3.10, 95% CI 1.63−5.92) when compared with blue-collar workers. Professionals (OR = 3.04, 95% CI 1.94−4.76) were also more likely to engage in occupational sitting compared with blue-collar workers. No relationship was observed between occupational category and engagement in sufficient physical activity.

Conclusions:

No association between occupational category and sufficient physical activity levels was observed, although white-collar and professionals were likely to engage in high levels of occupational sitting. Innovative and sustainable strategies are required to reduce occupational sitting to improve health.

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Katie Smith, L. Lanningham-Foster, Amy Welch and Christina Campbell

Background:

Innovative methods are warranted to optimize prenatal outcomes. This study’s objective was to determine if a web-based behavioral intervention (BI) can prevent excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) by increasing physical activity (PA).

Methods:

Participants were randomized to usual care (UC; n = 21) or BI (n = 24) between 10 to 14 weeks gestation. GWG, PA, and diet were assessed at baseline, mid-, and late pregnancy.

Results:

No differences in GWG or adherence to GWG recommendations presented between groups. Total UC MET-minutes significantly decreased from baseline to late-pregnancy (1,234 ± 372 MET-minutes, P = .013). Mid-pregnancy sustained PA was greater for BI than UC (20-minute PA bouts: 122 ± 106 vs. 46 ± 48 minutes/week, P = .005; 30-minute PA bouts: 74 ± 70 vs. 14 ± 24 minutes/week, P < .001), and greater for BI at mid-pregnancy compared with baseline (20-minute PA bouts: 61.3 ± 21.9; 30-minute PA bouts: 39.6 ± 14.8, both P < .05). BI energy intake at mid-pregnancy significantly increased from baseline (336 ± 127 kcals, P = .04) and was significantly greater than UC (2,503 ± 703 vs. 1,894 ± 594, P = .005).

Conclusions:

Sedentary pregnant women should increase PA but may need additional dietary counseling to prevent excessive GWG.

Open access

Pawel Zembura, Aleksandra Goldys and Hanna Nalecz

Background:

Poland’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first assessment of child and youth physical activity (PA) in Poland using the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance grading system. The main goal was to summarize and describe the current state of child and youth PA to increase awareness and surveillance.

Methods:

The systematic methodology that underpins the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card was adapted and applied to the Polish report card. The best available data were consolidated, reviewed by a group of experts, and used to assign the letter grades to 9 core PA indicators on a scale ranging from A (highest) to F (lowest).

Results:

The 9 indicators were graded as such: 1) Overall Physical Activity (D), 2) Organized Sport Participation (C), 3) Active Play (INC), 4) Active Transportation (C), 5) Sedentary Behaviors (D), 6) Family and Peers (C), 7) School (B), 8) Community and the Built Environment (C), and 9) Government Strategies and Investments (C).

Conclusions:

The final grades show a strong role of school in providing PA for children and youth in Poland. However, promotion of school-based sport participation appears to be insufficient by itself to sustainably promote PA in this group.

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Cheryl B. Anderson

One’s athletic identity, developed and maintained by others as well as the self, is likely important in sustaining long-term physical activity over many years. The 21-item Athletic Identity Questionnaire (AIQ) is presented as a multidimensional measure of the components of athletic identity that reflects an attribute all people possess to varying degrees and encompasses exercise, sports, and physical activity. Confirmatory factor analyses in two samples of young adults (n = 446 and 485) supported a first-order model of four correlated factors: athletic appearance; importance of exercise/ sports/ physical activity; competence; and encouragement from others. A latent factor of physical activity with two indicators—stage of exercise behavior and exercise frequency per week—correlated significantly with the four athletic identity factors in both samples (r = 0.57–0.89 in Sample 1, r = 0.56–0.90 in Sample 2), and this 5-factor measurement model also represented an adequate fit. Results provide support for the reliability and validity of the AIQ.

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Tamara Vehige Calise and Sarah Martin

Background:

Physical inactivity is one of the top 3 risk factors associated with an increased prevalence of obesity and other chronic diseases. The public health infrastructure positions state health departments to address physical inactivity. To examine preparedness, all 50 health departments were assessed, using the 5 benchmarks developed by CDC for physical activity and public health practice, on their capacity to administer physical activity programs.

Methods:

States were scored on a 5-point scale for each benchmark. The top 2 high and low scores were combined to create 2 categories. Exact Chi-square analyses were performed.

Results:

States with CDC obesity funding scored higher on 4 benchmarks than states without. States with a state physical activity plan scored higher on all benchmarks than states without. States with a physical activity coalition scored higher on 2 benchmarks than states without.

Conclusions:

At the time of the assessment, approximately 20% of state physical activity programs could have improved in the use of evidence-based strategies and planning and evaluation approaches. Furthermore, many programs seemed to have limited sustainability. The findings of this report serve as a baseline of the capacity and infrastructure of state health department physical activity programs.

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Andrew J. Mowen and Birgitta L. Baker

Background:

The United States’ first National Physical Activity Plan is now under development. This plan follows the release of new physical activity guidelines and seeks to address the nation’s ongoing physical inactivity and obesity crisis. For this plan to be successful, all facets of American culture need to unify behind its recommendations and action steps. Guidance for this plan involves active participation from a variety of sectors, including the park, recreation, fitness, and sport (PRFS) sector.

Purpose:

In this white paper, we discuss the potential of the PRFS sector in addressing America’s physical inactivity. Specifically, we provide a brief description, history, and scope of the PRFS sector; present evidence concerning linkages between this sector and physical activity; and discuss existing challenges and emerging opportunities for promoting physical activity. We conclude by suggesting PRFS recommendations to promote physical activity based on anticipated effectiveness, reach, scope, and sustainability.

Methods:

Academic articles, professional reports, and physical activity plans were reviewed to summarize the evidence concerning PRFS sector strategies for increasing physical activity. Recommendations: Based on our review, we propose several sector-specific proximity, place, program, partnership, promotion, people, policy, and performance indicator recommendations for improving physical activity in the United States.

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Connie L. Tompkins, Timothy Flanagan, John Lavoie II and David W. Brock

Background:

Compared with structured/organized activities, unstructured, self-selected physical activity (PA) may be more appealing for children in particular obese (OB) children. We examined whether both healthy-weight (HW) and OB children would engage in moderate to vigorous intensity PA during an unstructured PA program and compared heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) between the children.

Methods:

Twenty-one children [9 OB (≥95th BMI percentile, 12 HW (5th – <85th), 8.6 ± 0.8 years; 9 males, 12 females] participated in before-school (7:30 AM to 8:15 AM) PA for 18 weeks, 3 consecutive days/week. Each child wore a Polar E600 HR monitor and was provided a vigorous, age-targeted heart rate (THR) of 70%.

Results:

Mean HR ≥ vigorous THR for all children in 65.3% of the sessions and exceeded moderate intensity in 100%. Over the 18-weeks, no significant difference was observed in the overall mean HR between the HW (171.4 ± 12.0) and OB (169.3 ± 13.0), however the OB reported significantly lower RPEs than the HW (16.9 ± 2.6 vs. 17.6 ± 1.5, respectively; P < .05).

Conclusions:

Both the HW and OB children consistently sustained PA of moderate and vigorous intensity. The current study provides insight regarding the physiological capabilities and perceptual responses of HW and OB children participating in PA programs.