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Cheryl A. Howe, Kimberly A. Clevenger, Brian Plow, Steve Porter and Gaurav Sinha

, 7 , 9 , 29 ). There is no similar direct observation research on other group differences (eg, by weight status) because it is difficult to monitor multiple groups at the same time (eg, by sex and weight status) and to identify which children belong in which weight status group using real-time direct

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Melanna F. Cox, Greg J. Petrucci Jr., Robert T. Marcotte, Brittany R. Masteller, John Staudenmayer, Patty S. Freedson and John R. Sirard

. Direct observation (DO) has the potential to be the free-living criterion measure. DO requires little equipment, is not restricted to the laboratory and has been identified as a criterion measure for categorizing free-living PA in children and adults ( Kelly, Fitzsimons, & Baker, 2016 ; Mckenzie, 2002

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Bing Han, Deborah A. Cohen, Kathryn Pitkin Derose, Terence Marsh, Stephanie Williamson and Laura Raaen

Purpose:

This study aims to examine the reliability of a 12-button counter to simultaneously assess physical activity (PA) by age and gender subgroups in park settings.

Methods:

A total of 1,160 pairs of observations were conducted in 481 target areas of 19 neighborhood parks in the great Los Angeles, California, area between June 2013 and March 2014. Interrater reliability was assessed by Pearson’s correlation, intra-class correlation (ICC), and agreement probability in metabolic equivalents (METs). Cosine similarity was used to check the resemblance of distributions among age and gender categories. Pictures taken in a total of 112 target areas at the beginning of the observations were used as a second reliability check.

Results:

Interrater reliability was high for the total METs and METs in all age and gender categories (between 0.82 and 0.97), except for male seniors (correlations and ICC between 0.64 and 0.77, agreement probability 0.85 to 0.86). Reliability was higher for total METs than for METs spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA. Correlation and ICC between observers’ measurement and picture-based counts are also high (between 0.79 and 0.94).

Conclusion:

Trained observers can reliably use the 12-button counter to accurately assess PA distribution and disparities by age and gender.

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Ariane L. Bedimo-Rung, Jeanette Gustat, Bradley J. Tompkins, Janet Rice and Jessica Thomson

Background:

The study’s purpose is to describe the development and evaluate the reliability (inter-observer agreement) and validity (rater agreement with a gold standard) of a direct observation instrument to assess park characteristics that may be related to physical activity.

Methods:

A direct observation instrument of 181 items was developed based on a conceptual model consisting of the following domains: features, condition, access, esthetics, and safety. Fifteen pairs of observers were trained and sent to two parks simultaneously to assess two Target Areas each.

Results:

Overall domain reliability was 86.9%, and overall geographic area reliability was 87.5%. Overall domain validity was 78.7% and overall geographic area validity was 81.5%.

Conclusions:

Inter-rater reliability and validity were generally good, although validity was slightly lower than reliability. Objective items showed the highest reliability and validity. Items that are time-sensitive may need to be measured on multiple occasions, while items asking for subjective responses may require more supervised practice.

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Meke Mukeshi, Bernard Gutin, William Anderson, Patricia Zybert and Charles Basch

The validity of the Caltrac movement sensor for use with preschool children was assessed. Caltrac-derived values for energy expenditure were compared with those derived via laborious coding of direct observation that involved classification of the child’s videotaped activity every other 5 seconds for an hour in the day-care center or on the playground. Both Caltrac and direct observation values were expressed in kilocalories. The subjects were 20 children with a mean age of 35 months. The correlation coefficient for the total of indoor and outdoor activity was r= .62 (p<.01). The separate correlations for indoor and outdoor activity were r=.56 (p<.05) and r=.48 (p<.05), respectively. However, when the children’s weight, height, age, and sex were factored out of both the Caltrac and direct observation scores, the correlations fell to r= .25 (n.s.), r= .47 (p<.05), and r=.16 (n.s.) for the total, indoor, and outdoor activity, respectively. Thus the Caltrac seemed to record indoor activity (mainly walking) more accurately than it recorded the more varied playground movements, casting doubt on its value as a means of measuring physical activity in children 2-3 years of age.

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Kate Lyden, Natalia Petruski, Stephanie Mix, John Staudenmayer and Patty Freedson

Background:

Physical activity and sedentary behavior measurement tools need to be validated in free-living settings. Direct observation (DO) may be an appropriate criterion for these studies. However, it is not known if trained observers can correctly judge the absolute intensity of free-living activities.

Purpose:

To compare DO estimates of total MET-hours and time in activity intensity categories to a criterion measure from indirect calorimetry (IC).

Methods:

Fifteen participants were directly observed on three separate days for two hours each day. During this time participants wore an Oxycon Mobile indirect calorimeter and performed any activity of their choice within the reception area of the wireless metabolic equipment. Participants were provided with a desk for sedentary activities (writing, reading, computer use) and had access to exercise equipment (treadmill, bike).

Results:

DO accurately and precisely estimated MET-hours [% bias (95% CI) = –12.7% (–16.4, –7.3), ICC = 0.98], time in low intensity activity [% bias (95% CI) = 2.1% (1.1, 3.2), ICC = 1.00] and time in moderate to vigorous intensity activity [% bias (95% CI) –4.9% (–7.4, –2.5), ICC = 1.00].

Conclusion:

This study provides evidence that DO can be used as a criterion measure of absolute intensity in free-living validation studies.

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Whitney A. Welch, Ann M. Swartz, Chi C. Cho and Scott J. Strath

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the accuracy of direct observation (DO) to estimate MET level and intensity category during laboratory-based and free-living activity in older adults. Older adults engaged in unstructured laboratory and free-living activity. Participants wore a portable metabolic system to measure energy expenditure and were directly observed. DO recorded MET-level point estimates. 32,401 in-laboratory and 87,715 free-living data points (9 participants, 67% male, 71.0 ± 6.9 years, 27.1 ± 4.3 kg·m–2) were included in final analysis. Results revealed 45.4% of in-laboratory and 61.1% of free-living mean DO activities fell within 0.5 METs of the measured MET values. DO accurately classified intensity category 45.0% of the time in-laboratory and 50.9% of free-living observations. DO-estimated activity cost resulted in low point estimate accuracy however there was low variability between the mean measured and estimated METs. This suggests, dependent on the desired outcome, DO could provide a viable option for activity assessment, however, the low point estimate accuracy presents a need for further research to continue to refine the approach to increase accuracy.

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Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Greg Welk, Michelle A. Ihmels and Julia Richards Krapfl

Background:

The System for Observing Play and Leisure Activities (SOPLAY) is a direct observation instrument designed to assess group physical activity and environmental contexts. The purpose of this study was to test the convergent validity of the SOPLAY using temporally matched data from an accelerometry-based activity monitor.

Methods:

Accelerometry-based physical activity data were obtained from 160 elementary school children from 9 after-school activity programs. SOPLAY coding was used to directly observe physical activity during these sessions. Analyses evaluated agreement between the monitored and observed physical activity behavior by comparing the percent of youth engaging in physical activity with the 2 assessments.

Results:

Agreement varied widely depending on the way the SOPLAY codes were interpreted. Estimates from SOPLAY were significantly higher than accelerometer PA levels when codes of walking and vigorous were used (in combination) to reflect participation in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA). Estimates were similar when only SOPLAY codes of vigorous were used to define MVPA (Difference = 1.33 ± 22.06%).

Conclusions:

SOPLAY codes of walking corresponded well with estimates of Light intensity PA. Observations provide valid indicators of MVPA if coding is based on the percentage of youth classified as “vigorous.”

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Julian A. Reed, Cheryl-Anne Arant, Princess Wells, Katherine Stevens, Sandra Hagen and Holly Harring

Background:

The purpose was to examine 9 adult activity settings in 25 community parks to determine the most and least frequently used by gender, physical-activity (PA) intensity, and ethnicity.

Methods:

All activity settings were identified, measured, and cataloged with GIS measures using the SOPARC direct observation instrument. Each setting was assessed 4 times a day for 7 consecutive days.

Results:

Significantly more male adults were observed at the 25 parks (1598 versus 946; 63% versus 37%). Nine hundred fifty-eight (60%) male adults and 771 (81.1%) female adults used the paved trails. The second most heavily used activity setting for male adults was the softball and baseball fields (n = 239, 14.9%), and female adults chose to use the swimming pools (n = 45, 4.5%). Whites participated in considerably more vigorous PA than minorities.

Conclusions:

Paved trails were only in 5 of the 25 parks but were the most frequently used activity setting.

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Erika Rees-Punia, Alicia Holloway, David Knauft and Michael D. Schmidt

or active throughout the school day and (2) use direct observation to characterize tasks, motions, and physical activity intensity as well as to describe gender differences during a teacher-led elementary science or math lesson utilizing the school garden as a teaching space. Methods Study Design