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Exercise Science and Child Health: A Tale of Many Journeys

Dan M. Cooper

The purpose of this review is to focus on several intersecting journeys, new pathways necessary to advance the field of exercise medicine and exercise science in child health. We will cover the journey of concept and discovery in which novel technologies are reshaping how we measure and gauge

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Australia and Other Nations Are Failing to Meet Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children: Implications and a Way Forward

Leon Straker, Erin Kaye Howie, Dylan Paul Cliff, Melanie T. Davern, Lina Engelen, Sjaan R. Gomersall, Jenny Ziviani, Natasha K. Schranz, Tim Olds, and Grant Ryan Tomkinson


Australia has joined a growing number of nations that have evaluated the physical activity and sedentary behavior status of their children. Australia received a “D minus” in the first Active Healthy Kids Australia Physical Activity Report Card.


An expert subgroup of the Australian Report Card Research Working Group iteratively reviewed available evidence to answer 3 questions: (a) What are the main sedentary behaviors of children? (b) What are the potential mechanisms for sedentary behavior to impact child health and development? and (c) What are the effects of different types of sedentary behaviors on child health and development?


Neither sedentary time nor screen time is a homogeneous activity likely to result in homogenous effects. There are several mechanisms by which various sedentary behaviors may positively or negatively affect cardiometabolic, neuromusculoskeletal, and psychosocial health, though the strength of evidence varies. National surveillance systems and mechanistic, longitudinal, and experimental studies are needed for Australia and other nations to improve their grade.


Despite limitations, available evidence is sufficiently convincing that the total exposure and pattern of exposure to sedentary behaviors are critical to the healthy growth, development, and wellbeing of children. Nations therefore need strategies to address these common behaviors.

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Preschool to School-Age Physical Activity Trajectories and School-Age Physical Literacy: A Longitudinal Analysis

Hilary A.T. Caldwell, Nicole A. Proudfoot, Natascja A. DiCristofaro, John Cairney, Steven R. Bray, and Brian W. Timmons

relationship with physical literacy. Acknowledgments This study would not have been possible without the ongoing support and contributions of the members of the Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program. Finally, the authors would like to thank the many participants and their families who contributed to the

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Impact of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior on Spontaneous Female and Male Fertility: A Systematic Review

Alison K. Brinson, Shana G. da Silva, Kathryn R. Hesketh, and Kelly R. Evenson

Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health (#UL1TR000083). Author Brinson was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (T32 HD091058). Dr da Silva was supported by the Brazilian Government through the Science Without Borders

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Modified Chrispin-Norman Score: Correlation With Peak Exercise Capacity and Efficiency of Ventilation in Children With Cystic Fibrosis

Aleksandar Sovtic, Predrag Minic, Jovan Kosutic, Gordana Markovic-Sovtic, and Milan Gajic

The modified Chrispin-Norman radiography score (CNS) is used in evaluation of radiographic changes in children with cystic fibrosis (CF). We evaluated the correlation of modified CNS with peak exercise capacity (Wpeak) and ventilatory efficiency (reflected by breathing reserve index—BRI) during progressive cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET). Thirty-six children aged 8–17 years were stratified according to their CNS into 3 groups: mild (<10), moderate (10–15), and severe (>15). CPET was performed on a cycle ergometer. Lung function tests included spirometry and whole-body plethysmography. Patients with higher CNS had lower FEV1 (p < .001), Wpeak predicted (%; p = .01) and lower mean peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak/kg; p = .014). The BRI at the anaerobic threshold and at Wpeak was elevated in patients with the highest CNS values (p < .001). The modified CNS correlates moderately with Wpeak (R = −0.443; p = .007) and BRI (R = −0.419; p = .011). Stepwise multiple linear regression showed that RV/TLC was the best predictor of Wpeak/pred (%; B = −0.165; b = −0.494; R2 = .244; p = .002). Children with CF who have high modified CNS exhibit decreased exercise tolerance and ventilatory inefficacy during progressive effort.

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From NIH to Texas Schools: Policy Impact of the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) Program in Texas

Deanna M. Hoelscher, Andrew Springer, Tiffni H. Menendez, Peter W. Cribb, and Steven H. Kelder

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The Common Fund Initiative and Its Implication for Advancing Exercise and Physical Activity Research in Child Health

Dan M. Cooper and Shlomit Radom-Aizik

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New Insights Into Accelerometer-Measured Habitual Physical Activity and Sedentary Time During Early Recovery in Pediatric Concussion

Bhanu Sharma, Joyce Obeid, Carol DeMatteo, Michael D. Noseworthy, and Brian W. Timmons

), as well as Doctoral support to Sharma from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR-CGS-D, #157864). Timmons is the Canada Research Chair in Child Health & Exercise Medicine. References 1. Bailey DP , Hewson DJ , Champion RB , Sayegh SM . Sitting time and risk of cardiovascular

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Girls on the Run: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of a Developmentally Focused Youth Sport Program

Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Rita DiGioacchino DeBate, Robin R. High, and Elizabeth F. Racine


Evidence supporting the effectiveness of a developmental-focused youth sport (DYS) program designed exclusively for elementary school aged girls is mounting. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of on the Girls on the Run program on psychological and physical assets among 3rd- to 5th-grade girls.


A longitudinal quasi-experimental study was conducted to evaluate intervention effects among 877 participants categorized into 1 of 3 groups (never, newly, and previously exposed). A 64-item self-report survey measured developmental assets at 3 time-points. Nested random effects ANOVA models were used to compare demographic factors and psychological and physical assets between exposure groups and to compare longitudinal differences in these assets.


After adjustment for multiple comparisons, previous program participants had significantly higher physical activity commitment (P = .006) and physical activity levels (P = .047) at preintervention than never exposed. From pre- to postintervention body image improved in newly exposed participants (P = .03). Physical activity increased from preintervention to follow-up among never and newly exposed participants (all P < .05).


Although we were unable to fully confirm the study hypotheses, the results of the current study provide new evidence to support future long-term studies examining the effectiveness of an innovative DYS program for 3rd- to 5th-grade girls.

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Organized Sports and Unstructured Active Play as Physical Activity Sources in Children From Low-Income Chicago Households

Bradley M. Appelhans and Hong Li


This study tested associations of organized sports participation and unstructured active play with overall moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in low-income children and examined factors associated with participation frequency.


Research staff visited 88 low-income Chicago households with children ages 6–13 years. MVPA was assessed through 7-day accelerometry. Researchers documented the home availability of physical activity equipment. Caregivers reported on child participation in organized sports and unstructured active play, family support for physical activity, perceived neighborhood safety, and access to neighborhood physical activity venues.


Despite similar participation in organized sports and unstructured active play, boys accumulated more MVPA than girls. MVPA was predicted by an interaction between gender and unstructured active play. Boys accumulated 23–45 additional minutes of weekday MVPA and 53–62 additional minutes of weekend MVPA through unstructured active play, with no such associations in girls. Higher reported neighborhood safety and family support for physical activity were associated with engagement in unstructured active play for both genders, and with participation in organized sports for girls.


Physical activity interventions for low-income, urban children should emphasize unstructured active play, particularly in boys. Fostering family support for physical activity and safe play environments may be critical intervention components.