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Christine B. Phillips, Jerri D. Edwards, Ross Andel and Marcus Kilpatrick

Physical activity (PA) is believed to preserve cognitive function in older adulthood, though little is known about these relationships within the context of daily life. The present microlongitudinal pilot study explored within- and between-person relationships between daily PA and cognitive function and also examined within-person effect sizes in a sample of community-dwelling older adults. Fifty-one healthy participants (mean age = 70.1 years) wore an accelerometer and completed a cognitive assessment battery for five days. There were no significant associations between cognitive task performance and participants’ daily or average PA over the study period. Effect size estimates indicated that PA explained 0–24% of within-person variability in cognitive function, depending on cognitive task and PA dose. Results indicate that PA may have near-term cognitive effects and should be explored as a possible strategy to enhance older adults’ ability to perform cognitively complex activities within the context of daily living.

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Makoto Ayabe, Takuya Yahiro, Myumi Yoshioka, Hiroyuki Higuchi, Yasuki Higaki and Hiroaki Tanaka

Background:

The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the relationship between age and the intensity of the daily physical activity in men and women, aged 18 to 69 years.

Methods:

A total 507 volunteers continuously wore a pedometer with a uni-ax-ial accelerometer (Lifecorder, Kenz, Japan) for 7 days, to determine the number of steps (steps/day) as well as the time spent in physical activity (minutes/day) at light (below 3 METs), moderate (3 to 6 METs), and vigorous (above 6 METs) intensities, respectively. All procedures carried out in the present investigation were conducted from 1999 to 2000 in Japan.

Results:

The time spent in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity significantly decreased with aging (P < 0.01). In contrast, the middle- to older-aged individuals spent a longer time in light intensity physical activity in comparison with the younger individuals (P < 0.05). Furthermore, these age-associated differences of physical activity were also significant, even though the number of steps did not differ significantly.

Conclusions:

These results indicate that the intensity of daily physical activity decreases with increasing age regardless of the amount of daily physical activity.

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Jorge Mota, Paula Santos, Sandra Guerra, José C. Ribeiro and José A. Duarte

The purpose of this study was to compare the daily activity levels of children varying in body mass over 3 consecutive weekdays. The sample was comprised of 157 children (boys, n = 64; girls, n = 93), aged 8–15 years. BMI was used as obesity indicator. Children were categorized as non-obese and over- weight/obese group, according to the age-adapted values. The CSA activity monitor was used as an objective measure of daily physical activity. No significant differences were reported in the daily physical activity among boys and girls according to BMI group. Boys were significantly more engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activities (p = .05) than girls. Significant differences in moderate-to-vigorous physical activities (p = .05) were found between non-obese (69.3 min • day−1) and obese girls (50.7 min • day−1), while no significant differences were reported in boys. Differences between overall activities and involvement in MVPA emerged between overweight/obese and non-obese girls; therefore, obesity in girls may be linked to low levels of physical activity behavior.

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Joaquin U. Gonzales, Dustin M. Grinnell, Martha J. Kalasky and David N. Proctor

The authors examined interindividual and sex-specific variation in systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure responses to graded leg-extension exercise in healthy older (60–78 yr) women (n = 21) and men (n = 19). Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), body composition, physical activity (accelerometry), and vascular function were measured to identify predictors of exercise BP. Neither VO2max nor activity counts were associated with the rise in SBP or DBP during exercise in men. The strongest predictors of these responses in men were age (SBP: r 2 = .19, p = .05) and peak exercise leg vasodilation (DBP: r 2 = –.21, p < .05). In women, the modest relationship observed between VO2max and exercise BP was abolished after adjusting for central adiposity and activity counts (best predictors, cumulative r 2 = .53, p < .05, for both SBP and DBP). These results suggest that determinants of variation in submaximal exercise BP responses among older adults are sex specific, with daily physical activity influencing these responses in women but not men.

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Hazzaa M. Al-Hazzaa and Mohammed A. Sulaiman

The present study examined the relationship between maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max) and daily physical activity in a group of 7- to 12-year-old boys. V̇O2max was assessed through the incremental treadmill test using an open circuit system. Physical activity level was obtained from heart rate telemetry outside of school time for 8 hrs during weekdays and during 40 min of physical education classes. The findings indicated that the absolute value of V̇O2max increased with age, while relative to body weight it remained almost the same across age, with a mean of 48.4 ml · kg−1 · min−1. Moreover, heart rate telemetry showed that the boys spent a limited amount of time on activities that raise the heart rate to a level above 160 bpm (an average of 1.9%). In addition, V̇O2max was found to be significantly related to the percentage of time spent at activity levels at or above a heart rate of 140 bpm, but not with activity levels at or above a heart rate of 160 bpm.

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Jeremy A. Steeves, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Rachel A. Murphy, George A. King, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, David R. Bassett, Dane Van Domelen, John M. Schuna Jr and Tamara B. Harris

Background: Little is known about the daily physical activity (PA) levels of people employed in different occupational categories. Methods: Nine ActiGraph accelerometer-derived daily PA variables are presented and ranked for adults (N = 1465, 20–60 y) working in the 22 occupational categories assessed by NHANES 2005–2006. A composite score was generated for each occupational category by summing the rankings of 3 accelerometer-derived daily PA variables known to have strong associations with health outcomes (total activity counts [TAC], moderate to vigorous PA minutes per week in modified 10-minute bouts [MVPA 10], and percentage of time spent in sedentary activity [SB%]). Results: Classified as high-activity occupational categories, “farming, fishing, forestry,” and “building & grounds cleaning, maintenance” occupations had the greatest TAC (461 996 and 449 452), most MVPA 10 (149.6 and 97.8), most steps per day (10 464 and 11 602), and near the lowest SB% (45.2% and 45.4%). “Community, social services” occupations, classified as low-activity occupational categories, had the second lowest TAC (242 085), least MVPA 10 (12.1), fewest steps per day (5684), and near the highest SB% (64.2%). Conclusions: There is a strong association between occupational category and daily activity levels. Objectively measured daily PA permitted the classification of the 22 different occupational categories into 3 activity groupings.

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Peter Pagels, Anders Raustorp, Trevor Archer, Ulf Lidman and Marie Alricsson

Background:

Health organizations suggest that adults ought to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity daily physical activity. This study investigated the effects of a 30-minute single daily bout of brisk walking upon risk factors for coronary heart disease with blood lipid profile in particular.

Methods:

Thirty-three (25–45 y) adults, were randomly assigned into an exercise group (EG; n = 16, 9w) and a control group (CG; n = 17, 6w). The EG walked briskly 30 minutes daily during the 3-week test period. Compliance/adherence was maximal throughout the 3-week intervention due to stringent daily monitoring.

Results:

The EG showed a significant decrease in concentrations of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and total cholesterol (TC) during the intervention period. A significant inverse correlation between Δ energy expenditure/day and Δ LDL-C (r = –0.39, P < .05) and an improvement in weight and BMI in the EG was found. Average steps during 30 minutes brisk walking bout was 3669 steps/bout generating a mean energy expenditure of 191 kcal/ bout.

Conclusions:

The most unique findings were that daily single bouts of moderate-intensity physical activity for 30 minutes, during 3 weeks, induced favorable effects upon body weight, BMI, and blood concentration of LDL-C and TC in healthy adults.

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Brandon L. Alderman, Tami Benham-Deal, Aaron Beighle, Heather E. Erwin and Ryan L. Olson

Little is known about the exact contribution of physical education (PE) to total daily physical activity (PA) among children and adolescents. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe the PA of middle school students during PE and non-PE days and determine if children would compensate for a lack of PE by increasing their PA later in the day. Two hundred seventy nine students (159 boys, 120 girls) wore pedometers (Walk4Life LS252, Plainfield, IL) during 5 school days, with at least two of the days including scheduled PE. The least (~1,575; 31% increase), moderately (~2,650; 20% increase), and most highly active students (~5,950; 34% increase) accumulated significantly more daily step counts on days when they participated in PE. Nearly three times the percent of boys (37%) and more than two times the percent of girls (61%) met the recommended steps/day guidelines on days when PE was offered. Rather than a compensatory effect, the most highly active students were more active on school days with PE, even after accounting for the steps they accrued in PE. The evidence is consistent with other studies that have found that PE contributes meaningfully to daily PA, that youth do not compensate when they are not provided opportunities to be physically active in school-based programs, and some youth are stimulated to be more active when they participate in school-based PA programs.

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Dac Minh Tuan Nguyen, Virgile Lecoultre, Andrew P. Hills and Yves Schutz

Background:

Increases in physical activity (PA) are promoted by walking in an outdoor environment. Along with walking speed, slope is a major determinant of exercise intensity, and energy expenditure. The hypothesis was that in free-living conditions, a hilly environment diminishes PA to a greater extent in obese (OB) when compared with control (CO) individuals.

Methods:

To assess PA types and patterns, 28 CO (22 ± 2 kg/m2) and 14 OB (33 ± 4 kg/m2) individuals wore during an entire day 2 accelerometers and 1 GPS device, around respectively their waist, ankle and shoulder. They performed their usual PA and were asked to walk an additional 60 min per day.

Results:

The duration of inactivity and activity with OB individuals tended to be, respectively, higher and lower than that of CO individuals (P = .06). Both groups spent less time walking uphill/downhill than on the level (20%, 19%, vs. 61% of total walking duration, respectively, P < .001). However OB individuals spent less time walking uphill/downhill per day than CO (25 ± 15 and 38 ± 15 min/d, respectively, P < 0.05) and covered a shorter distance per day (3.8 km vs 5.2 km, P < 0.01).

Conclusions:

BMI and outdoor topography should also be considered when prescribing extra walking in free-living conditions.

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Timothy A. Brusseau, Pamela H. Kulinna, Catrine Tudor-Locke and Matthew Ferry

Background:

Embracing a physically active lifestyle is especially important for American Indian (AI) children who are at a greater risk for hypokinetic diseases, particularly Type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this study was to describe AI children’s pedometer-determined physical activity (PA) segmented into prominent daily activity patterns.

Methods:

Participants included 5th- and 6th-grade children (N = 77) attending school from 1 Southwestern US AI community. Children wore a pedometer (Yamax Digiwalker SW-200) for 7 consecutive days.

Results:

Boys accumulated 12,621 (±5385) steps/weekday and girls accumulated 11,640 (±3695) steps/weekday of which 38% (4,779 ± 1271) and 35% (4,027 ± 1285) were accumulated at school for boys and girls, respectively. Physical education (PE) provided the single largest source of PA during school for both boys (25% or 3117 steps/day) and girls (23% or 2638 steps/day). Lunchtime recess provided 1612 (13%) and 1241 (11%) steps/day for boys and girls, respectively. Children were significantly less active on weekend days, accumulating 8066 ± 1959 (boys) and 6676 ± 1884 (girls).

Conclusions:

Although children accumulate a majority of their steps outside of school, this study highlights the important contribution of PE to the overall PA accumulation of children living in AI communities. Further, PA programming during the weekend appears to be important for this population.