Longitudinal and Secular Trends in Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior During Adolescence

Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 S 2nd St, WBOB Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454-1015, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 01/2007; 118(6):e1627-34. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2006-0926
Source: PubMed


There is little epidemiologic research on longitudinal and secular trends in weight-related health behaviors throughout the stages of adolescence. In particular, few data are available to assess secular trends in various sedentary behaviors. The objective of this research was to investigate longitudinal and secular trends in physical activity and sedentary behavior in a large, diverse cohort of adolescents.
Project EAT-II is a 5-year longitudinal study (N = 2516) that includes 2 cohorts that allow for the observation of longitudinal changes from early to midadolescence (junior high to high school; n = 806; mean baseline age: 12.8 +/- 0.8 years) and mid- to late adolescence (high school to post-high school; n = 1710; mean baseline age: 15.8 +/- 0.8 years). EAT-II also examined secular trends in health behavior from 1999 to 2004 in midadolescence. The main outcome measures of the mixed-model regression analyses used in this research were self-reported weekly hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity, television/video viewing, and leisure-time computer use.
Our findings indicate substantial longitudinal changes in moderate to vigorous physical activity, particularly among girls (decreasing 5.9-4.9 hours/week from early to midadolescence and 5.1-3.5 hours/week from mid- to late adolescence), and leisure-time computer use, particularly among boys (increasing 11.4-15.2 hours/week from early to midadolescence and 10.4-14.2 hours/week from mid- to late adolescence). Secular trends further indicate dramatic increases in midadolescent computer use from 1999 to 2004; girls increased from 8.8 to 11.1 hours/week, and boys increased from 10.4 to 15.2 hours/week.
These adolescents experienced unfavorable shifts in activity patterns, such as longitudinal decreases in moderate to vigorous physical activity, coupled with longitudinal and secular increases in leisure-time computer use. Developing effective health promotion strategies that address a wide array of changing behavioral patterns will be important in promoting long-term health and active lifestyles among adolescents and young adults.

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    • "Although both sedentary behaviour and low physical activity may be factors linking obesity and low physical fitness ( Fogelholm et al . , 2008 ; Nelson , Neumark - Stzainer , Hannan , Sirard , & Story , 2006 ) , obesity or high level of BMI by itself could impair physical performance in activities involving moving the body weight ( Malina , 1995 ; Ortega , Ruiz , & Sjöström , 2007 ) . Previous studies have suggested that the leisure - time physical activity has at least not decreased among Finnish young people during last decades ( years 1979 – 2005 ) and girls , especially , have become more active ( Nupponen et al . "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract We investigated changes in cardiorespiratory performance, BMI and leisure-time physical activity among Finnish adolescents from 2003 to 2010. In addition, we compared cardiorespiratory performance levels between normal weight and overweight adolescents, grouped according to their physical activity. Participants were a national representative samples of 15-16-year-old adolescents in their final (ninth) year of comprehensive school in 2003 (n = 2258) and in 2010 (n = 1301). They performed an endurance shuttle run test and reported their height and weight and leisure time physical activity on a questionnaire. Results showed no significant secular changes in cardiorespiratory performance from 2003 to 2010. The mean BMI increased in boys. Leisure-time physical activity increased among normal weight girls. Adolescents of normal weight had better cardiorespiratory performance than those classified as overweight at both assessment points. BMI-adjusted physical activity was a significant determinant for cardiorespiratory performance among overweight adolescents, and very active overweight adolescents had similar cardiorespiratory performance levels as moderately active adolescents of normal weight. The results of the present study support the idea that the physical activity has the great importance for the cardiorespiratory performance in adolescents. Overweight adolescents, in particular, benefit from higher levels of physical activity.
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    • "Ekkekakis et al. [16] recognise that the benefit and risk of exercise must be considered in exercise prescription, but argue that the intensity that is more likely to increase pleasure, thus potentially support motivation and adherence, is of equal importance. This may be particular relevance to adolescents, given the decline in PA that is evident as individuals enter adolescence [2,3]. Allowing adolescents to choose the intensity of their exercise session, and giving them autonomy over it, may be a first step in encouraging adolescent females to be more active and promote enjoyable exercise experiences. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Positive affective responses can lead to improved adherence to exercise. This study sought to examine the affective responses and exercise intensity of self-selected exercise in adolescent girls. Methods An observational study where twenty seven females (Age M = 14.6 ± 0.8 years) completed three 20-minute exercise sessions (2 self-selected and 1 prescribed intensity) and a graded exercise test. The intensity of the prescribed session was matched to the first self-selected session. Intensity, affective responses and ratings of perceived exertion were recorded throughout the sessions and differences examined. Repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted to examine differences. Results There were no significant differences in intensity between the prescribed and self-selected sessions, but affective responses were significantly more positive (p < .01) during the self-selected session. Ratings of perceived exertion were significantly lower (p < .01) during the self-selected session than the prescribed session. On average participants worked at 72% V˙O2 peak; well within the intensity recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine. Conclusion Even though the intensity did not differ between the self-selected and prescribed sessions, there was a significant impact on affective responses, with more positive affective responses being elicited in the self-selected session. This highlights the importance of autonomy and self-paced exercise for affective responses and may have potential long-term implications for adherence.
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    • "Our finding of an increased occurrence of concomitant neck and low back pain and a more constant occurrence of neck pain alone or low back pain alone during the last two decades could be explained by at least partly different underlying aetiologies for the two types of pain. First, the increase in concomitant pain could reflect the changes in the contemporary adolescents’ life, such as an increase in computer use [6], sleep difficulties [10], and a decrease in psychosocial wellbeing [8, 9], all of which have been found risk factors for low back and neck pain [3, 5, 7, 24–28]. The results of Rees et al. [18] support this hypothesis; concomitant neck and low back pain was associated significantly more with mental health problems than single neck and single low back pain. "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies, in late 20th century, suggest an increase in the prevalence of neck pain and low back pain among children and adolescents, when neck and low back pain were studied separately. This study investigated time trends in adolescent spinal pain between 1991 and 2011 by classifying pain into the following three classes: neck pain alone, low back pain alone, and concomitant neck and low back pain. Representative samples of 12 to 18-year-old Finns were sent a questionnaire in 1991, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011. Information was gathered about the frequency of neck and low back pain with a six-month recall period. Statistical methods used included descriptive analysis, and generalized linear models. The total number of respondents in these eight comparable cross-sectional surveys was 51 044 with a response proportion of 64%. The prevalence of concomitant neck and low back pain showed a steady increase from 1991 to 2009/2011; the prevalence almost quadrupled among 12-14-year-olds girls (from 2% to 7.5%), and more than doubled among 12-14-year-old boys (from 1.6% to 3.8%), and among 16-18-year old boys (from 4.2 to 9.9%) and girls (6.9% to 15.9%). The prevalence of neck pain alone only increased in the 1990s (e.g. among 16-18-year-old girls 22.9% in 1991, 29.2% in 1999, and 29.5% in 2011), while the prevalence of low back pain alone remained relatively constant during the last two decades (e.g. among 16-18-year-old girls 4% in 1991, 3.1% in 1999, and 3.7% in 2011). Concomitant neck and low back pain has constantly increased in the last two decades among adolescents, while single neck pain has only increased in the 1990s. Single low back pain has remained relatively constant. Thus, earlier detected increase in low back pain in the 1990s was explained by the increase in concomitant neck and low back pain. Differences in the time trends in the three pain conditions might suggest, at least partly, different risk factors and aetiology for single- and multisite spinal pain among adolescents. This hypothesis needs further investigations.
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