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    • "Recent evidence has shown that children who engage in high levels of physical activity (PA) are at a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, Type II Diabetes, cancer and other chronic illness [1]. It has been suggested that for health improvements to occur reducing the risks of premature death and the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), physical activity should be made a public health priority throughout the world [2]. It is estimated that less than 20% of children globally [3] [4] and less than 50% of children in Ireland [5] meet public health guidelines which recommend that children aged 5– 17 years should accumulate at least 60 min of moderate-tovigorous physical activity (MVPA) every day [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence demonstrates that children are not engaging in the recommended 60mins of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Physical activity (PA) interventions have been acknowledged by the WHO (2010) as a key strategy to increase the PA levels of children. School has been recognised as a primary location for reaching the majority of children and providing PA opportunities for them. However, the sedentary nature of lessons carried out in the classroom has been identified as a contributing factor to physical inactivity among this age group. To develop and evaluate a classroom-based intervention which integrates PA and academic content, and evaluate its effects on the PA levels of children aged 8-11 in Ireland. Active Classrooms is an 8-week classroom based intervention guided by the behaviour change wheel (BCW) framework (Michie et al. 2011) that will be evaluated using a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT). Study measures will be taken at baseline, during the final week of the intervention and at follow-up after 4months. The primary outcome is minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity during school time objectively assessed using accelerometers (Actigraph). Teachers' perceptions on the effectiveness and use of the intervention and students' enjoyment of the programme will be evaluated post intervention. Changing teacher behaviour towards using physically active teaching methods may increase the moderate to vigorous physical activity levels of their students. Therefore, the results of this study may have important implications for the health of children both now and into the future. Trial Registration: ISRCTN14265493. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Contemporary Clinical Trials
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    • "This may have important implications for public health messaging, where current WHO and US Surgeon General PA [26, 39–41] guidelines suggest that adults accumulate 30 minutes of MVPA on most days (5 or more) and in bouts of 10 minutes or more [8, 10]. It is apparent from our objective PA data that, and at least among the men in our study, that most already accumulate 30 minutes of MVPA, at least in 1-minute bouts, verified by objective monitoring and in spite of their BMI status or whether they were engaged in manual labor or not. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: This difference in how populations living in low-, middle or upper-income countries accumulate daily PA, i.e. patterns and intensity, is an important part in addressing the global PA movement. We sought to characterize objective PA in 2,500 participants spanning the epidemiologic transition. The Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study (METS) is a longitudinal study, in 5 countries. METS seeks to define the association between physical activity (PA), obesity and CVD risk in populations of African origin: Ghana (GH), South Africa (SA), Seychelles (SEY), Jamaica (JA) and the US (suburban Chicago). Methods: Baseline measurements of objective PA, SES, anthropometrics and body composition, were completed on 2,500 men and women, aged 25-45 years. Moderate and vigorous PA (MVPA, min/d) on week and weekend days was explored ecologically, by adiposity status and manual labor. Results: Among the men, obesity prevalence reflected the level of economic transition and was lowest in GH (1.7%) and SA (4.8%) and highest in the US (41%). SA (55%) and US (65%) women had the highest levels of obesity, compared to only 16% in GH. More men and women in developing countries engaged in manual labor and this was reflected by an almost doubling of measured MPVA among the men in GH (45 min/d) and SA (47 min/d) compared to only 28 min/d in the US. Women in GH (25 min/d), SA (21 min/d), JA (20 min/d) and SEY (20 min/d) accumulated significantly more MPVA than women in the US (14 min/d), yet this difference was not reflected by differences in BMI between SA, JA, SEY and US. Moderate PA constituted the bulk of the PA, with no study populations except SA men accumulating > 5 min/d of vigorous PA. Among the women, no sites accumulated >2 min/d of vigorous PA. Overweight/obese men were 22% less likely to engage in manual occupations. Conclusion: While there is some association for PA with obesity, this relationship is inconsistent across the epidemiologic transition and suggests that PA policy recommendations should be tailored for each environment.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · BMC Public Health
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    • "Physical activity is determined by complex factors that vary widely between countries, and thus, it is important to research this topic [10]. Paradoxically, although 80% of the global population is located in low-and middle-income countries, only a small fraction of studies on the determinants of physical inactivity are conducted in these nations [10,11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Physical activity in adolescents is associated with short- and long-term health benefits. Physical activity can occur in various domains and is influenced by a complex network of factors. The aims of this study are 1) to describe the physical activity of Brazilian adolescents in physical education classes, during leisure time, and during active commuting and 2) to investigate the socio-demographic and behavioral factors associated with physical activity. Methods: The representative sample included 109,104 Brazilian students in the final year of elementary school from 2,842 schools. The weekly frequency and duration of physical activity were assessed. A variety of socio-demographic and behavioral factors were studied. A multiple Poisson regression analysis was used to test for associations between physical activity and the socio-demographic and behavioral variables. Results: Most of the students (97.0%) engaged in physical activity in at least one of the domains studied, especially physical education at school (81.7%) and leisure time physical activity (67.5%). However, only 29% of the adolescents reached the recommended level of physical activity. Among the adolescents who reached the minimum recommended time for physical activity, the various domains contributed the following proportions to total physical activity: leisure time physical activity (PR 12.5; 95% CI 11.17-13.97), active commuting (PR 1.63; 95% CI 1.59-1.67), and physical education at school (PR 1.36; 95% CI 1.29-1.44). The weekly frequency of all activities was greater among boys than among girls. Moreover, nearly two-thirds (61.8%) of students spent more than two hours per day engaging in sedentary behaviors; the prevalence of sedentary behaviors was similar between boys and girls (59.0 and 64.5%, respectively).Total level of physical activity, leisure time physical activity, and active commuting were associated with higher nutritional scores. Conclusions: Physical activity is important in any health promotion program. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in policies and interagency initiatives that promote all domains and to ensure that the general population helps determine the scope and design of such policies.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · BMC Public Health
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