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Guy C. Le Masurier, Aaron Beighle, Charles B. Corbin, Paul W. Darst, Charles Morgan, Robert P. Pangrazi, Bridgette Wilde and Susan D. Vincent

Background:

The purpose of this study was to describe the pedometer-determined physical activity levels of American youth.

Methods:

A secondary analysis of six existing data sets including 1839 (1046 females, 793 males; ages 6 to 18) school-aged, predominantly white subjects from the southwest US. Grade clusters for elementary (grades 1 to 3), upper elementary (grades 4 to 6), middle school (grades 7 to 9), and high school (grades 10 to 12) were created for statistical analysis.

Results:

Males in grades 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 accumulated significantly more steps/d (13,110 ± 2870 and 13,631 ± 3463, respectively; P < 0.001) than males in grades 7 to 9 and 10 to 12 (11,082 ± 3437 and 10,828 ± 3241). Females in grades 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 accumulated significantly more steps/d (11,120 ± 2553 and 11,125 ± 2923; P < 0.001) than females in grades 7 to 9 and 10 to 12 (10,080 ± 2990 and 9706 ± 3051).

Conclusions:

Results are consistent with those reported for other objective assessments of youth activity indicating that males are typically more active than females and physical activity is less prevalent among secondary school youth than those in elementary school. Pedometer-determined physical activity levels of youth, including secondary school youth, are higher than reported for adult populations.

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Susan Vincent Graser, Alan Groves, Keven A. Prusak and Todd R. Pennington

Background:

Researchers have noted both the utility and limitations of using pedometers to measure physical activity (PA). While these unobtrusive devices are widely accepted for their ability to measure accumulated PA, they have been criticized for their inability to measure exercise intensity. However, recent steps-per-minute (SPM) research provides reasonably accurate measures of intensity allowing users to assess time spent at recommended PA levels. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the SPM taken that are associated with moderate physical activity in 12- to 14-year-old youth.

Methods:

Ninety-three participants (49 boys and 44 girls; ages 12 to 14) walked on a treadmill for 3 minutes at each of 4 different speeds while wearing a pedometer and a heart rate monitor.

Results:

On average boys and girls reached their moderate activity intensity threshold at 122 SPM and 102 SPM, respectively. However, individual differences must be taken into account when determining appropriate SPM intensities for youth.

Conclusions:

The impact of individual differences underscores the need to address SPM for moderate intensity individually rather than with a single guideline for everyone at this age.

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Anders Raustorp and Andreas Fröberg

accelerometers and pedometers have gained popularity among PA researchers as they are convenient, unobtrusive, and relatively unbiased. 9 Some studies employing ActiGraph™ accelerometers have reported a low to moderate tracking of PA between age 5 and 15. 10 , 11 The lack of standardization in processing

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Christine E. Johnson, Heather E. Erwin, Lindsay Kipp and Aaron Beighle

We used achievement goal theory to examine students’ physical activity (PA) motivation and physical education (PE) enjoyment. Purposes included: 1) determine whether schools with different pedagogical approaches varied in student perceptions of mastery and performance climate dimensions, enjoyment, and PA; 2) examine gender and grade differences in enjoyment and PA; and 3) determine if dimensions of motivational climate predicted enjoyment and PA levels in PE, controlling for gender and grade. Youth (n = 290, 150 girls) from three southeast United States middle schools wore a pedometer and completed a motivational climate and enjoyment questionnaire. Boys were more active and enjoyed PE more than girls, and 7th/8th grade students were more active than 6th grade students. Enjoyment was positively predicted by teacher’s emphasis on two mastery climate dimensions, controlling for gender. PE activity time was predicted by two performance climate dimensions, controlling for gender and grade. Implications for practice are discussed.

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Lucelia Luna de Melo, Verena Menec, Michelle M. Porter and A. Elizabeth Ready

This study examined the associations between walking behavior and the perceived environment and personal factors among older adults. Sixty participants age 65 yr or older (mean 77 ± 7.27, range 65–92) wore pedometers for 3 consecutive days. Perceived environment was assessed using the Neighborhood Environment Walk-ability Scale (abbreviated version). Physical function was measured using the timed chair-stands test. The mean number of steps per day was 5,289 steps (SD = 4,029). Regression analyses showed a significant association between personal factors, including physical function (relative rate = 1.05, p < .01) and income (RR = 1.43, p < .05) and the average daily number of steps taken. In terms of perceived environment, only access to services was significantly related to walking at the univariate level, an association that remained marginally significant when controlling for personal characteristics. These results suggest that among this sample of older adults, walking behavior was more related to personal and intrinsic physical capabilities than to the perceived environment.

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André Oliveira, Jorge Mota, Carla Moreira, Susana Vale, Sandra Abreu, Pedro Moreira and Rute Marina Santos

Background:

The aim of the current study was to verify if physical activity (PA) behavior (steps/day) was associated with environmental features that may be able to promote PA and walking in a sample of Portuguese adolescents living in the Azorean Archipelago.

Methods:

The sample comprised 948 adolescents aged 15–18 years (543 girls) from the Azorean Physical Activity Health Study II. PA was objectively measured with pedometers. Participants were classified as active if they belong to percentile 75th (by age and gender) or more. Environmental perceptions were assessed with a questionnaire. Binary logistic regression analyzed relationships between PA and environmental perceptions controlling for age, body mass index, gender and socioeconomic status.

Results:

Regression analysis showed that participants with a positive overall perception in the transportation dimension were 44.2% (OR = 1.442, P = .025) more likely to be classified as active than those with a negative overall perception. No significant results were found for safety, aesthetics and facilities dimensions.

Conclusions:

A positive overall perception of the transportation dimension was positively associated with PA in Azorean Adolescents. Future health promotion strategies aimed to increase PA in this population should consider the environmental features that are associated with PA levels.

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Vincent Ochieng Onywera, Kristi B. Adamo, Andrew W. Sheel, Judith N. Waudo, Michael Kipsugut Boit and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

Comparable data to examine the physical activity (PA) transition in African countries such as Kenya are lacking.

Methods:

We assessed PA levels from urban (UKEN) and rural (RKEN) environments to examine any evidence of a PA transition. Nine- to twelve-year-old children participated in the study: n = 96 and n = 73 children from UKEN and RKEN, respectively. Pedometers were used to estimate children’s daily step count. Parental perception regarding their child’s PA patterns was collected via questionnaire (n = 172).

Results:

RKEN children were more physically active than their UKEN counterparts with a mean average steps per day (± SE) of 14,700 ± 521 vs. 11,717 ± 561 (P < .0001) for RKEN vs. UKEN children respectively. 62.5% of the UKEN children spent 0 hours per week playing screen games compared with 13.1% of UKEN children who spent more than 11 hours per week playing screen games. Seventy percent of UKEN and 34% of RKEN parents reported being more active during childhood than their children respectively.

Conclusions:

Results of this study are indicative of a PA transition in Kenya. Further research is needed to gather national data on the PA patterns of Kenyan children to minimize the likelihood of a public health problem due to physical inactivity.

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Amy E. Montpetit, Hugues Plourde, Tamara R. Cohen and Kristine G. Koski

Background:

A “fit pregnancy” requires balancing energy expenditure with energy intake (EI) to achieve appropriate gestational weight gains (GWG), healthy infant birth weights (IBW), and minimal postpartum weight retention (PPWR). Our objective was to develop an integrated conceptual framework to assess the contribution of prepregnancy weight (PP-BMI), EI, and physical activity (PA) as determinants of GWG, IBW, and PPWR.

Methods:

Pregnant women (n = 59) were recruited from prenatal classes. Energy intake was estimated using 3 24-hr diet recalls and PA using a validated PA questionnaire and a pedometer. Telephone interviews at 6-weeks postpartum assessed self-reported GWG, IBW, and PPWR. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to explore the potential predictors of GWG, IBW, and PPWR.

Results:

Prepregnancy BMI was associated with GWG, and EI was associated with IBW; each model captured only 6%–18% of the variability. In contrast, PPWR was predicted by PP-BMI, GWG, and EI, which together explained 61% of its variability, whereas GWG alone explained 51% of the variability in PPWR.

Conclusions:

Modeling the relationship using hierarchical models suggests that PP-BMI, prepartum PA, and EI differentially impact GWG, IBW, and PPWR.

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James C. Hannon and Thomas Ratliffe

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of coed (coed) and single-gender game-play settings on the activity levels of Caucasian and African American high school physical education students. Students participated in flag football, ultimate Frisbee, and soccer units. Classes were as follows: there were two coed classes, two coed classes were split into male and female teams for game play, one class was exclusively female, and one class was exclusively male. Digi-walker pedometers were worn by students to monitor activity levels calculated as steps per minute. High school males, on average, had higher step counts than females in all settings, and Caucasian students were more active, on average, than African American students. There were no differences in activity levels for females between coed and single-gender game-play settings. There was some evidence, however, that in ultimate Frisbee and soccer units, male students in males-only classes were less physically active than were males in coed and split coed classes. Teacher interaction rates and team-sport preferences rather than the gender composition might have contributed to differences in activity levels of the classes.

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Charlotte L. Edwardson, Melanie Davies, Kamlesh Khunti, Thomas Yates and Alex V. Rowlands

and competition. These features, along with the relatively low cost of the activity trackers and the design, make them particularly appealing to researchers as alternative tools to the waist worn pedometer commonly used in physical activity behavior change research (e.g., Kang, Marshall, Barreira