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Hugh Millward, Jamie E. L. Spinney and Darren Scott

Background:

This study employs national time-diary data to evaluate how much aerobic activity Canadians engage in on a daily basis, how that activity is apportioned by activity domain, and how subgroups within the population vary in their aerobic attainment.

Methods:

The study employs time-use data from the 2010 General Social Survey of Canada, for 15,390 respondents aged 15 and older. To estimate effort levels, the authors harmonized survey codes with those in the Compendium of Physical Activities. Aerobic activity was defined as moderate or vigorous effort at 3.5 Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) or higher.

Results:

Among the 4 activity domains, aerobic participation is highest in leisure activities, followed by chores, paid work, and active transportation (AT). Only a minority (42%) of respondents recorded at least 20 mins/day of aerobic activity. Aerobic totals were particularly low for women and those in poor or fair health, and low for students, 15- to 24-year-olds, and those residing in Quebec, Ontario, and larger cities.

Conclusions:

The majority of Canadian adults are failing to meet recommended aerobic activity levels. However, there is considerable opportunity to increase aerobic participation for some groups, particularly women and young adults, especially in the leisure and AT domains.

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Rachel G. Curtis, Dorothea Dumuid, Timothy Olds, Ronald Plotnikoff, Corneel Vandelanotte, Jillian Ryan, Sarah Edney and Carol Maher

health outcomes. 4 – 6 However, research tends to examine physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep as independent predictors of health and well-being, when, in fact, they cannot ever be independent of each other. This is because time use is constrained by the 24-hour day, and only one behavior

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Jillian J. Haszard, Kim Meredith-Jones, Victoria Farmer, Sheila Williams, Barbara Galland and Rachael Taylor

these three time-use variables all occur within the 24-hour day, they are not independent, requiring appropriate statistical analysis. Different activities in a 24-hour period are generally classified into a number of components, which necessarily add to 24 hours and are thus interdependent and

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Cathleen D. Zick, Ken R. Smith, Barbara B. Brown, Jessie X. Fan and Lori Kowaleski-Jones

Background:

We examine how age, life course roles, and contextual variables relate to both the composition and the overall level of physical activity in late adolescence and early adulthood.

Methods:

Data on respondents age 15 to 29 y in the 2003 American Time Use Survey are used to estimate multivariate logistic regressions that assess what factors are associated with meeting the recommended level of physical activity.

Results:

The proportion of respondents who do 30 min or more of team sports declines over the 15 to 29 y age range even after controlling for life course and contextual covariates. Parenthood, employment status, and school enrollment have selective effects on the odds of meeting physical activity recommendations.

Conclusions:

Given the declines in team sports activities, schools and public health officials should consider the potential benefits of promoting other options such as cardiovascular activities, strength training activities, and/or active transportation.

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Catrine Tudor-Locke and Sandra A. Ham

Background:

We report walking for shopping, exercise, transportation, and walking the dog, among other sources captured in the 2003 to 2005 American Time Use Survey (ATUS).

Methods:

We extracted and analyzed 8 walking behaviors (by sex, age, education level, and race/ethnicity) from 24 hours of activities recalled by telephone interview for 15,175 males and 19,518 females age ≥15 years.

Results:

On any given day in 2003 to 2005, 45.8% of Americans participated in a median of 45 minutes of any walking activities; 31.6% walked for shopping purposes, 12.5% walked for transportation, 4.8% walked for exercise, and 2.5% walked the dog. College-educated respondents more commonly reported walking while shopping, walking for exercise, and dog walking. Those with less than a high school education more commonly reported walking for transportation.

Conclusions:

Despite limitations identified in imputing explicit and implicit performance of walking behaviors in the ATUS, Americans engage in a wide variety of walking behaviors that are not well represented by surveys focused only on leisure-time behaviors. Public health implications include increased availability of multiple and varied opportunities for walking, especially through environmental shifts toward more walkable places and destinations and policy shifts that support walking behaviors over competing transportation modes.

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Catrine Tudor-Locke, Tracy L. Washington, Barbara E. Ainsworth and Richard P. Troiano

Background:

The 2003 Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey (ATUS) contains 438 distinct primary activity variables that can be analyzed with regard to how time is spent by Americans. The Compendium of Physical Activities is used to code physical activities derived from various surveys, logs, diaries, etc to facilitate comparison of coded intensity levels across studies.

Methods:

This article describes the methods, challenges, and rationale for linking Compendium estimates of physical activity intensity (METs, metabolic equivalents) with all activities reported in the 2003 ATUS.

Results:

The assigned ATUS intensity levels are not intended to compute the energy costs of physical activity in individuals. Instead, they are intended to be used to identify time spent in activities broadly classified by type and intensity. This function will complement public health surveillance systems and aid in policy and health-promotion activities. For example, at least one of the future projects of this process is the descriptive epidemiology of time spent in common physical activity intensity categories.

Conclusions:

The process of metabolic coding of the ATUS by linking it with the Compendium of Physical Activities can make important contributions to our understanding of American’s time spent in health-related physical activity.

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Jamie E. L. Spinney, Hugh Millward and Darren Scott

Background:

Walking is the most common physical activity for adults with important implications for urban planning and public health. Recreational walking has received considerably more attention than walking for transport, and differences between them remain poorly understood.

Methods:

Using time-use data collected from 1971 randomly-chosen adults in Halifax, Canada, we identified walking for transport and walking for recreation events, and then computed participation rates, occurrences, mean event durations, and total daily durations in order to examine the participants and timing, while the locations were examined using origin-destination matrices. We compared differences using McNemar’s test for participation rates, Wilcoxon test for occurrences and durations, and Chi-Square test for locations.

Results:

Results illustrate many significant differences between the 2 types of walking, related to participants, timing, and locations. For example, results indicate a daily average of 3.1 walking for transport events, each lasting 8 minutes on average, compared with 1.4 recreational walking events lasting 39 minutes on average. Results also indicate more than two-thirds of recreational walks are home-based, compared with less than one-fifth of transport walks.

Conclusions:

This research highlights the importance of both types of walking, while also casting suspicion on the traditional home-based paradigm used to measure “walkability.”

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Jamie E. L. Spinney and Hugh Millward

This research uses four nationally representative samples of time diary data, spanning almost 30 yr, that are fused with energy expenditure information to enumerate the median daily duration of moderate or vigorous-effort activity, quantify the prevalence of Canadians age 65 yr and older who are meeting recommended daily levels of physical activity, and explore the factors affecting rates of active living. Results indicate that 41.1% of older Canadians met recommended levels of physical activity in 1992, 40.6% in 1998, 43.5% in 2005, and 39.6% in 2010. Both rates of active living and daily duration of aerobic activity exhibit significant differences among sociodemographic groups, with age, sex, activity limitation, urban-rural, and season exhibiting the most significant influences. This study illustrates the potential for time diary data to provide detailed surveillance of physical activity patterns, active aging research, and program development, as well.

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Casey Jordan Mace, Ralph Maddison, Timothy Olds and Ngaire Kerse

Background:

The Multimedia Activity Recall for Children and Adults (MARCA) is a computerized recall instrument that records use of time during 24 hr the previous day and has been developed to address limitations of current self-report physical activity measures for those in advanced age.

Methods:

Test–retest reliability and convergent validity of the adult MARCA were assessed in a sample of 45 advanced-age adults (age 84.9 SD ± 1.62 yr) as a subsample of the Life and Living in Advanced-Age Cohort Study New Zealand (LiLACS NZ). Test–retest methods required participants to recall the previous day’s activity using the MARCA twice within the same day. Convergent validity was assessed against accelerometry.

Results:

Test–retest reliability was high, with ICCs greater than .99 for moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and physical activity level (PAL). Compared with accelerometry, the MARCA demonstrated validity comparable to other self-report instruments with Spearman’s coefficients of .34 and .59 for time spent in nonsedentary physical activity and PAL.

Conclusion:

The MARCA is a valid and reliable self-report tool for physical activity behaviors in advanced-age adults.

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Sandi L. Pruitt and Andrew E. Springer

Background:

Evidence of an association between employment and physical activity (PA) in youth has been mixed, with studies suggesting both positive and negative associations. We examined the association between employment and PA among U.S. high school students as measured by self-reported overall PA, vigorous exercise, and participation in school athletic teams.

Methods:

We employed a secondary analysis using weighted linear regression to a sample of black and white 10th grade (n = 12073) and 12th grade students (n = 5500) drawn from the nationally representative cross-sectional 2004 Monitoring the Future Study.

Results:

Overall, 36.5% of 10th and 74.6% of 12th grade students were employed. In multivariable analyses, 10th graders working >10 hours a week reported less overall PA and exercise and those working >20 hours a week reported less participation in team sports. Among 12th graders, any level of employment was associated with lower rates of team sports; those working >10 hours a week reported less overall PA; and those working >20 hours reported less exercise.

Conclusions:

Employment at and above 10 hours per week is negatively associated with PA. Increasing work intensity may shed light on the decline of PA as adolescents grow older and merits further attention in research.