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Kleverton Krinski, Daniel G. S. Machado, Luciana S. Lirani, Sergio G. DaSilva, Eduardo C. Costa, Sarah J. Hardcastle and Hassan M. Elsangedy

sedentary obese women. Exercise may feel easier when performed in the outdoor environment ( Gladwell, Brown, Wood, Sandercock, & Barton, 2013 ). For example, Focht ( 2009 ) found that physically active normal-weight women self-selected a faster walking speed outdoors and reported a lower RPE compared with

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Russell R. Pate, Marsha Dowda, William H. Brown, Jonathan Mitchell and Cheryl Addy

Background:

It is known that children are more physically active outdoors than indoors. However, few previous studies have observed the time course for physical activity as young children transition from indoor to outdoor activities.

Methods:

Participants were 3- to 5-year-old children enrolled in the Children’s Activity and Movement in Preschool Study (CHAMPS). Trained observers used the Observational System for Recording Physical Activity in Children-Preschool Version (OSRAC-P) to record children’s physical activity levels over 20 minutes in outdoor settings. The 20-minute outdoor observational period began immediately following the transition from indoors to outdoors.

Results:

Children’s activity levels were moderately high at the time of transition and declined over the 20-minute observation period. Different patterns, however, were observed for boys and girls. Overall, boys were more active than girls. Boys’ activity levels declined in a linear fashion over the 20-minute period, while girls’ activity levels increased slightly, decreased, and then increased slightly again.

Conclusions:

These data indicate that physical activity levels decline with increased duration of outdoor play. The frequency and duration of outdoor play should be investigated for the purpose of optimizing physical activity levels.

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Lina Engelen, Anita C Bundy, Adrian Bauman, Geraldine Naughton, Shirley Wyver and Louise Baur

Background:

Children can spend substantial amounts of leisure time in sedentary activities, dominated by TV/screen time. However, objective real-time measurement of activities after school among young school children is seldom described.

Methods:

School children (n = 246, 5−7 years old, mean 6.0) and their parents were recruited by random selection from 14 schools across Sydney, Australia. Parents used a real-time objective measure (Experience Sampling Method, ESM) to record children’s activities and whether they were indoors or outdoors at 3 random times each day after school. Data were collected across 4 weekdays in 1 week and then, 13 weeks later, another 4 weekdays in 1 week.

Results:

Results were based on 2940 responses from 214 childparent dyads showed that 25% of behavior involved physical activity, 51% was spent in sedentary activities, and 22% was TV/ screen time. Most instances (81%) occurred indoors.

Conclusion:

Despite a high proportion of TV/screen time, children were also engaged in a range of other sedentary and physically active pursuits after school. Hence TV/screen time is not a suitable proxy for all sedentary behavior, and it is important to gather information on other non–screen-based sedentary and physically active behaviors. Future research is warranted to further investigate after-school activities in young primary school children.

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Li-Tang Tsai, Merja Rantakokko, Anne Viljanen, Milla Saajanaho, Johanna Eronen, Taina Rantanen and Erja Portegijs

This cross-sectional study investigated associations between reasons to go outdoors and objectively-measured walking activity in various life-space areas among older people. During the study, 174 community-dwelling older people aged 75–90 from central Finland wore an accelerometer over seven days and recorded their reasons to go outdoors in an activity diary. The most common reasons for going outdoors were shopping, walking for exercise, social visits, and running errands. Activities done in multiple life-space areas contributed more to daily step counts than those done in the neighborhood or town and beyond. Those who went shopping or walked for exercise accumulated higher daily step counts than those who did not go outdoors for these reasons. These results show that shopping and walking for exercise are common reasons to go outdoors for community-dwelling older people and may facilitate walking activity in older age. Future studies on how individual trips contribute to the accumulation of steps are warranted.

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Jolanthe L. de Koning, Afroditi Stathi and Kenneth R. Fox

The frequency of trips outdoors is a strong indicator of older adults’ physical activity levels. This qualitative study compared and contrasted determinants of trips outdoors between rural- (n = 13) and urban-living (n = 15) people aged 65 and older living in England. Interview transcripts were analyzed through directed and summative content analysis employing the Ecological Model framework. Some personal-level determinants (age-related barriers) and environment-level factors (car dependence, bus services) were shared across samples. The main differences were seen in how a community-based social network instigated trips outdoors for rural participants while family ties mostly led to trips outdoors for urban-living participants. Urban participants used and valued recreational facilities, but rural participants did not report them as important in determining trips outdoors. Strategies to improve public transport and minimize age-related barriers may translate from urban to rural contexts. However, social and/or physical environment interventions could be more effective if they were rural-grounded, not urban-translated.

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Anders Raustorp, Peter Pagels, Cecilia Boldemann, Nilda Cosco, Margareta Söderström and Fredrika Mårtensson

Background:

It is important to understand the correlates of physical activity (PA) to influence policy and create environments that promote PA among preschool children. We compared preschoolers’ PA in Swedish and in US settings and objectively examined differences boys’ and girls’ indoor and outdoor PA regarding different intensity levels and sedentary behavior.

Methods:

Accelerometer determined PA in 50 children with mean age 52 months, (range 40–67) was recorded during preschool time for 5 consecutive weekdays at 4 sites. The children wore an Actigraph GTIM Monitor.

Results:

Raleigh preschool children, opposite to Malmö preschoolers spent significantly more time indoors than outdoors (P < .001). Significantly more moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) was observed outdoors (P < .001) in both settings. Malmö children accumulated significantly more counts/min indoors (P < .001). The percent of MVPA during outdoor time did not differ between children at Raleigh and Malmö.

Conclusion:

Physical activity counts/minutes was significantly higher outdoors vs. indoors in both Malmö and Raleigh. Malmö preschoolers spent 47% of attendance time outdoors compared with 18% for Raleigh preschoolers which could have influenced the difference in preschool activity between the 2 countries. Time spent in MVPA at preschool was very limited and predominantly adopted outdoors.

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Beth M. Myers and Nancy M. Wells

Background:

Gardens are a promising intervention to promote physical activity (PA) and foster health. However, because of the unique characteristics of gardening, no extant tool can capture PA, postures, and motions that take place in a garden.

Methods:

The Physical Activity Research and Assessment tool for Garden Observation (PARAGON) was developed to assess children’s PA levels, tasks, postures, and motions, associations, and interactions while gardening. PARAGON uses momentary time sampling in which a trained observer watches a focal child for 15 seconds and then records behavior for 15 seconds. Sixty-five children (38 girls, 27 boys) at 4 elementary schools in New York State were observed over 8 days. During the observation, children simultaneously wore Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometers.

Results:

The overall interrater reliability was 88% agreement, and Ebel was .97. Percent agreement values for activity level (93%), garden tasks (93%), motions (80%), associations (95%), and interactions (91%) also met acceptable criteria. Validity was established by previously validated PA codes and by expected convergent validity with accelerometry.

Conclusions:

PARAGON is a valid and reliable observation tool for assessing children’s PA in the context of gardening.

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Pradeep Y. Ramulu, Emilie S. Chan, Tara L. Loyd, Luigi Ferrucci and David S. Friedman

Background:

Measuring physical at home and away from home is essential for assessing health and well-being, and could help design interventions to increase physical activity. Here, we describe how physical activity at home and away from home can be quantified by combining information from cellular network–based tracking devices and accelerometers.

Methods:

Thirty-five working adults wore a cellular network–based tracking device and an accelerometer for 6 consecutive days and logged their travel away from home. Performance of the tracking device was determined using the travel log for reference. Tracking device and accelerometer data were merged to compare physical activity at home and away from home.

Results:

The tracking device detected 98.6% of all away-from-home excursions, accurately measured time away from home and demonstrated few prolonged signal drop-out periods. Most physical activity took place away from home on weekdays, but not on weekends. Subjects were more physically active per unit of time while away from home, particularly on weekends.

Conclusions:

Cellular network–based tracking devices represent an alternative to global positioning systems for tracking location, and provide information easily integrated with accelerometers to determine where physical activity takes place. Promoting greater time spent away from home may increase physical activity.

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Samantha McDonald, Marsha Dowda, Natalie Colabianchi, Dwayne Porter, Rod K. Dishman and Russell R. Pate

Previous research suggests the neighborhood environment may be an important influence on children’s physical activity (PA) behaviors; however, findings are inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to further understand the relationship between perceptions of the neighborhood environment and children’s afterschool moderate-to-vigorous PA. Utilizing a structural equation modeling technique, we tested a conceptual model linking parent and child perceptions of the neighborhood environment, parent support for PA, and child outdoor PA with children’s afterschool moderate-to vigorous PA. We found that child perception of the neighborhood environment and outdoor PA were positively associated with afterschool moderate-to-vigorous PA. In addition, parent support for PA positively influenced children’s outdoor PA. The neighborhood environment and outdoor activity appear to play an influential role on children’s afterschool PA behaviors.