[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background:
Few studies have investigated the accuracy of the ActiGraph (AG) GTX3 accelerometer for assessing children's sitting and standing time. The activPAL (aP) has an inclinometer function that enables it to distinguish between sitting/lying and standing; however, its accuracy for assessing sitting and standing in older children is unknown. This study validated the accuracy of these devices for estimating sitting and standing time in a school classroom against a criterion measure of direct observation (DO).
Forty children in grades 5-7 wore both devices while being video recorded during two school lessons. AG and aP data were simultaneously collected in 15-s epochs. Individual participant DO and aP data were recorded as total time spent sitting/lying, standing and stepping. AG data were converted into time spent sitting and standing using previously established cut-points. Compared with DO, the aP underestimated sitting time (mean bias = -1.9 min, 95 % LoA = -8.9 to 5.2 min) and overestimated standing time (mean bias = 1.8 min, 95 % LoA = -9.6 to 13.3 min). The best-performing AG cut-point across both sitting and standing (<75 counts/15 s) was more accurate than the aP, underestimating sitting time (mean bias = -0.8 min, 95 % LoA = -10.5 to 9.9 min) and standing time (mean bias = -0.4 min, 95 % LoA = -9.8 to 9.1 min), but was less precise as evidenced by wider LoAs and poorer correlations with DO (sitting r = 0.86 aP vs 0.80 AG; standing r = 0.78 aP vs 0.60 AG).
The aP demonstrated good accuracy and precision for assessing free-living sitting and standing time in classroom settings. The AG was most accurate using a cut-point of < 75 counts/15 s. Further studies should validate the monitors in settings with greater inter- and intra-individual variation in movement patterns.
Full-text Article · Dec 2016 · International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objectives:
Associations between maternal correlates and young children's physical activity levels across the whole day and the segmented day were examined.
Cross-sectional study METHODS: Participants were 136 mothers and their 1-3 year old children recruited between July 2013 and March 2014. Mothers reported time spent providing physical activity opportunities for their child, co-participating in and modelling physical activity and sedentary behaviours during the morning, afternoon and evening. Participants wore ActiGraph GT3X (mothers) and GT3X+ (children) accelerometers concurrently for seven consecutive days and the time spent in light- (LPA), moderate- to vigorous- (MVPA) and total (LMVPA) physical activity were assessed. Two-level (family; recruitment group) multivariate models examined associations between maternal correlates (including maternal objectively-assessed sedentary time [ST] and physical activity) and children's physical activity.
Maternal self-reported co-participation in sedentary behaviour and provision of child opportunities for physical activity were associated with children's physical activity; associations varied by period and physical activity intensity. During the morning period, mothers' objectively assessed ST was negatively associated with children's MVPA and LMVPA while her LPA was positively associated with children's LPA, MVPA and LMVPA. Mothers' MVPA was negatively associated with children's LPA and LMVPA during the evening period.
Maternal correlates of young children's physical activity may be period- and intensity-specific. Programmes promoting physical activity for families may need to consider incorporating strategies to reduce mother-child co-participation in sedentary behaviour, increase mothers' provision of opportunities to be active and increase mothers' own LPA over ST during certain periods of the day.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objective:
This study sought to ascertain the energy expenditure (EE) associated with different sedentary and physically active free-play activities in primary school-aged children.
Twenty-eight children (13 boys; 11.4 ± 0.3 years; 1.45 ± 0.09 m; 20.0 ± 4.7 kg∙m-2) from 1 primary school in Northwest England engaged in 6 activities representative of children's play for 10 minutes (drawing, watching a DVD, playground games and free-choice) and 5 minutes (self-paced walking and jogging), with 5 minutes rest between each activity. Gas exchange variables were measured throughout. Resting energy expenditure was measured during 15 minutes of supine rest.
Child (Schofield-predicted) MET values for watching a DVD, self-paced jogging and playing reaction ball were significantly higher for girls (P < .05).
Utilizing a field-based protocol to examine children's free-living behaviors, these data contribute to the scarcity of information concerning children's EE during play to update the Compendium of Energy Expenditures for Youth.
Full-text Article · Jun 2016 · Journal of Physical Activity and Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Children spend over 60% of their school day sitting; much of this occurs in the classroom. Emerging research has examined the impact of environmental interventions on classroom sitting. While this research is promising, it has predominantly focused on the primary school setting. This study examined the impact and feasibility of height-adjustable desks on time spent sitting/standing during classroom lessons in a secondary school. Traditional desks in a Melbourne secondary school classroom were replaced with 27 height-adjustable desks (intervention classroom). Forty-three adolescents (51% male; mean age 13.7 ± 1.4 years) from Grades 7, 9 and 10 wore an inclinometer and accelerometer for schooldays and completed a survey after using the desks during lessons for seven weeks. Ten teachers (50% male) completed a survey. Time spent sitting, standing, and the length of sitting bouts were compared between periods when adolescents were in the intervention classroom versus traditional classrooms (matched on teacher and subject). Compared to the traditional classroom, adolescents spent 25% less time sitting and 24% more time standing in the intervention classroom (effect size > 0.8), and had a greater frequency of short sitting bouts and fewer longer bouts. The majority of teachers (71%) and students (70%) reported wanting to continue to use the height-adjustable desks. When standing during lessons, adolescents reported working well (69%); however, a third reported difficulties paying attention (28%) and becoming distracted (36%). Few teachers reported negative influences on adolescents’ ability to work (14%) and concentrate (14%). Half the adolescents reported leg, or back pain with standing. Introducing height-adjustable desks resulted in lower levels of sitting compared with traditional classrooms, was acceptable and had some adverse effects on concentration and discomfort. The study provides preliminary evidence that height-adjustable desks may help reduce prolonged sitting in school among adolescents. Future research should incorporate a control group and explore behavioural and academic outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Sedentary behaviour has emerged as a unique determinant of health in adults. Studies in children and adolescents have been less consistent. We reviewed the evidence to determine if the total volume and patterns (i.e. breaks and bouts) of objectively measured sedentary behaviour were associated with adverse health outcomes in young people, independent of moderate-intensity to vigorous-intensity physical activity. Four electronic databases (EMBASE MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, PubMed and Scopus) were searched (up to 12 November 2015) to retrieve studies among 2- to 18-year-olds, which used cross-sectional, longitudinal or experimental designs, and examined associations with health outcomes (adiposity, cardio-metabolic, fitness, respiratory, bone/musculoskeletal, psychosocial, cognition/academic achievement, gross motor development and other outcomes). Based on 88 eligible observational studies, level of evidence grading and quantitative meta-analyses indicated that there is limited available evidence that the total volume or patterns of sedentary behaviour are associated with health in children and adolescents when accounting for moderate-intensity to vigorous-intensity physical activity or focusing on studies with low risk of bias. Quality evidence from studies with robust designs and methods, objective measures of sitting, examining associations for various health outcomes, is needed to better understand if the overall volume or patterns of sedentary behaviour are independent determinants of health in children and adolescents.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objectives:
To identify the number of hours and days or nights of monitoring required to reliably estimate energy expenditure (EE), steps, waking sedentary time, light- (LPA), moderate- (MPA), vigorous- (VPA), moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), time in bed and total sleep time using the SenseWear Armband.
One hundred and two children (50% boys) aged 8-11 years from six schools wore a SenseWear Armband (BodyMedia Inc, USA) for eight consecutive days (seven consecutive nights). Hourly increments of valid day wear time criteria were examined (days/week; 8h/day-14h/day). Intra-class correlation coefficients estimated the reliability for any individual day for each wear time criteria. The Spearman-Brown prophecy formula was used to determine the number of days/nights of monitoring needed to achieve reliability estimates of 0.7, 0.8 and 0.9.
Fewer monitoring days were needed as the valid day criteria became more stringent. For example, at least 12h of wear time on at least 2 days was required to achieve a reliability of 0.7 for EE. In contrast, at least 8h/day on 5 days resulted in reliable estimates (0.7) for MPA, VPA and MVPA. Between 6 and 7 nights of monitoring were required to reliably estimate children's time in bed and total sleep time, respectively.
A 7-day monitoring protocol in primary school-aged children would provide acceptable reliability for the assessment of EE, waking sedentary time, LPA, MPA, VPA, MVPA, time in bed and total sleep time, as assessed by the SenseWear Armband.
Full-text Article · Feb 2016 · Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background
Gross motor competence confers health benefits, but levels in children and adolescents are low. While interventions can improve gross motor competence, it remains unclear which correlates should be targeted to ensure interventions are most effective, and for whom targeted and tailored interventions should be developed.
The aim of this systematic review was to identify the potential correlates of gross motor competence in typically developing children and adolescents (aged 3–18 years) using an ecological approach.
Motor competence was defined as gross motor skill competency, encompassing fundamental movement skills and motor coordination, but excluding motor fitness. Studies needed to assess a summary score of at least one aspect of motor competence (i.e., object control, locomotor, stability, or motor coordination). A structured electronic literature search was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. Six electronic databases (CINAHL Complete, ERIC, MEDLINE Complete, PsycINFO®, Scopus and SPORTDiscus with Full Text) were searched from 1994 to 5 August 2014. Meta-analyses were conducted to determine the relationship between potential correlates and motor competency if at least three individual studies investigated the same correlate and also reported standardized regression coefficients.
A total of 59 studies were identified from 22 different countries, published between 1995 and 2014. Studies reflected the full range of age groups. The most examined correlates were biological and demographic factors. Age (increasing) was a correlate of children’s motor competence. Weight status (healthy), sex (male) and socioeconomic background (higher) were consistent correlates for certain aspects of motor competence only. Physical activity and sport participation constituted the majority of investigations in the behavioral attributes and skills category. Whilst we found physical activity to be a positive correlate of skill composite and motor coordination, we also found indeterminate evidence for physical activity being a correlate of object control or locomotor skill competence. Few studies investigated cognitive, emotional and psychological factors, cultural and social factors or physical environment factors as correlates of motor competence.
This systematic review is the first that has investigated correlates of gross motor competence in children and adolescents. A strength is that we categorized correlates according to the specific ways motor competence has been defined and operationalized (object control, motor coordination, etc.), which enables us to have an understanding of what correlates assist what types of motor competence. Indeed our findings do suggest that evidence for some correlates differs according to how motor competence is operationalized.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objectives: This study examined whether children with special needs (SN) achieve current physical activity (PA) guidelines and identify whether habitual PA levels, recess PA and play behaviours differed between different SN’s. Methods: Twenty-five children (aged 11.16 ± 2.37) had PA monitored over 7-days using accelerometry. Recess behaviours were observed using the System for Observing Children’s Activity and Relationships during Play (SOCARP). Participants’ SN(s) were categorised as either autism (AUS), behavioural and emotional needs (BEN) or any other SN (OTH). Results: Children took part in 46.88 minutes ± 9.10 of MVPA. BEN children (65.55 min ± 20.50) were more active than AUS (43.40 minutes ± 27.50). AUS children spent more time playing alone and less time in groups then the BEN and OTH groups (p≤ 0.05). Conclusions: Only 3 children met PA guidelines, with all 3 having BEN. PA levels and play behaviours differ by SN.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Natural play occurs when children explore and enjoy the natural environment through their freely chosen play (Natural England 2014). This chapter will discuss natural play as an approach to outdoor learning and examine its role in children’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development using examples from research. The chapter will acknowledge the current decline in natural play opportunities for children in the UK, compared with that of previous generations, and describe how promoting natural play through Forest Schools has been shown as a promising strategy to resolve this issue. Forest Schools offer “all ages regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence through hands-on learning in a woodland environment” (Murray and O’Brien 2005). The ethos, implementation, and outcomes of Forest Schools in the UK are outlined with supporting evidence. Finally, future directions will be described for natural play within Forest Schools as an approach for facilitating children’s engagement with the natural environment. Reflections on recent programs and recommendations for future delivery strategies and implications for research will be also discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objectives: The Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence (PMSC) assesses young children's perceptions of movement skill competence: 12 perceived Fundamental Movement skills (FMS; based on the Test of Gross Motor Development 2nd edition TGMD-2) and six Active Play activities (e.g. cycling). The main study purpose was to assess whether children's movement perception scores fit within the imposed constructs of Active Play and FMS by testing the latent structure and construct validity of the PMSC. Design: Construct validation study. Methods: Participants were part of the Melbourne Infant Feeding, Activity and Nutrition Trial (InFANT). The latent structure of the PMSC responses was tested through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Bayesian Structural Equation Modeling (BSEM). Internal consistency was conducted using polychoric correlation-based alphas. Results: The 303 children (boys 53.1%, n = 161) were aged 4-5 years (M = 4.7, SD = 0.46). The final model had an 18 item 3-factor solution with good fit indices (using CFA and BSEM). Factors were: Active Play (Bike, Board Paddle, Climb, Skate/Blade, Scooter, and Swim), Object Control - Hand Skills (Bounce, Catch, Hit, Throw), and FMS skills with a leg action (Gallop, Hop, Jump, Leap, Run, Step Slide, Kick, Roll). Alpha reliability values were: Active Play (0.78), Object Control-Hand Skills (0.76) and FMS-Dynamic Leg (0.84). Conclusion: Young children can distinguish between movement perceptions. The factors reflect the hypothesized structure in terms of FMS being distinguished from Active Play. Further research should investigate how and if these constructs change in children over time.
Article · Jan 2016 · Psychology of Sport and Exercise
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: -Active video games (AVGs) may be useful for movement skill practice. This study examined children's skill execution while playing Xbox Kinect™ and during movement skill assessment. Nineteen children (10 boys, 9 girls; M age = 7.9 yr., SD = 1.4) had their skills assessed before AVG play and then were observed once a week for 6 wk. while playing AVGs for 50 min. While AVG play showed evidence of correct skill performance (at least 30-50% of the time when playing table tennis, tennis, and baseball), nearly all skills were more correctly performed during skill assessment (generally more than 50% of the time). This study may help researchers to better understand the role AVGs could play in enhancing real life movement skills.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Children spend between 50 and 70 % of their time sitting while at school. Independent of physical activity levels, prolonged sitting is associated with poor health outcomes in adulthood. While there is mixed evidence of health associations among children and adolescents, public health guidelines in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada now recommend young people should break up long periods of sitting as frequently as possible. A potentially effective approach for reducing and breaking up sitting throughout the day is changing the classroom environment. This paper presents an overview of a relatively new area of research designed to reduce youth sitting time while at school by changing the classroom environment (n = 13 studies). Environmental changes included placement of height-adjustable or stand-biased standing desks/workstations with stools, chairs, exercise balls, bean bags or mats in the classroom. These 13 published studies suggest that irrespective of the approach, youth sitting time was reduced by between ~44 and 60 min/day and standing time was increased by between 18 and 55 min/day during classroom time at school. Other benefits include increased energy expenditure and the potential for improved management of students' behaviour in the classroom. However, few large trials have been conducted, and there remains little evidence regarding the impact on children's learning and academic achievement. Nevertheless, with an increasing demand placed on schools and teachers regarding students' learning outcomes, strategies that integrate moving throughout the school day and that potentially enhance the learning experience and future health outcomes for young people warrant further exploration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background:
Physical activity reduces cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends children engage in 60 min daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The effect of compliance with this recommendation on childhood cardiovascular risk has not been empirically tested. To evaluate whether achieving recommendations results in reduced composite-cardiovascular risk score (CCVR) in children, and to examine if vigorous PA (VPA) has independent risk-reduction effects.
PA was measured using accelerometry in 182 children (9-11 years). Subjects were grouped according to achievement of 60 min daily MVPA (active) or not (inactive). CCVR was calculated (sum of z-scores: DXA body fat %, blood pressure, VO2peak, flow mediated dilation, left ventricular diastolic function; CVR score ≥1SD indicated 'higher risk'). The cohort was further split into quintiles for VPA and odds ratios (OR) calculated for each quintile.
Active children (92 (53 boys)) undertook more MVPA (38 ± 11 min, P < 0.001), had greater VO2peak (4.5 ± 0.8 ml/kg/min P < 0.001), and lower fat % (3.9 ± 1.1 %, P < 0.001) than inactive. No difference were observed between active and inactive for CCVR or OR (P > 0.05). CCVR in the lowest VPA quintile was significantly greater than the highest quintile (3.9 ± 0.6, P < 0.05), and the OR was 4.7 times higher.
Achievement of current guidelines has positive effects on body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness, but not CCVR. Vigorous physical activity appears to have beneficial effects on CVD risk, independent of moderate PA, implying a more prescriptive approach may be needed for future VPA guidelines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine the associations between firefighters’ physical activity levels
across consecutive shifts during a multi-day emergency wildfire and to determine whether sleep
duration moderated these associations. Forty volunteer firefighters (31 males, 9 females) wore an
activity monitor to concurrently measure physical activity and sleep duration. Sedentary time and time
spent in light- (LPA), moderate- (MPA), and vigorous-intensity physical activity (VPA) during each
shift were determined using monitor-specific cut points. During any given shift, every additional 60
min spent in LPA was associated with 7.2 min more LPA and 27.6 min MPA the following shift.
There were no other significant positive or negative associations. No significant moderating effect of
total sleep time was observed. Firefighters are able to maintain and/or increase their physical activity
intensity between consecutive shifts. Further research is needed to understand firefighters pacing and
energy conservation strategies during emergency wildfire deployments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Objective:
To determine whether the amount of time spent in screen-based behaviors (SBBs; television viewing, computer use, and playing electronic games) is independently associated with individual and clustered cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among elementary school children.
Baseline data were used from 264 children (age 7-10 years) participating in the Transform-Us! cluster-randomized controlled trial. Time (h/d) spent in SBBs was obtained using a parent proxy-report questionnaire. Anthropometrics, blood pressure (BP), and lipids were measured using standard techniques. A clustered CVD risk score was calculated as the average of the standardized values of the subcomponents (waist circumference [WC], systolic BP, diastolic BP, and lipids).
After adjusting for sex, parent education, physical activity (accelerometry), diet, and WC (when adiposity was not the outcome), television viewing time was positively associated with body mass index z-score (P = .002), WC (P = .02), and systolic BP (P = .05). Electronic games was positively associated with low density lipoprotein levels (P = .05), and total screen-time was positively associated with body mass index (P = .02).
Differential associations were observed between types of SBBs and CVD risk factors, indicating that not all SBBs are adversely associated with obesity and CVD risk. There is a need to differentiate between types of SBBs when evaluating the CVD risk associated with screen behaviors in children.
International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial: ISRCTN83725066; Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12609000715279.
Full-text Article · Oct 2015 · The Journal of pediatrics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background:
The objective of this study was to examine whether increased levels of sitting time and physical activity in one period (within-day) or on one day (between-day) were predictive of lower levels in these behaviours in the following period or day among children.
Children aged 8-11 years from 8 primary schools located in Melbourne, Australia, wore an activPAL for 7 consecutive days (n = 235; 53 % boys). Sitting, standing and stepping time were derived for each day and for specific periods on weekdays and weekend days. Multilevel analyses were conducted using generalised linear latent and mixed models to estimate associations between temporally adjacent values (i.e. pairs of days; pairs of periods within-days) between the outcome variables.
Significant associations were observed between temporally adjacent days and periods of the day. On any given day, an additional 10 min of stepping was associated with fewer minutes of stepping (~9 min; 95 % CI: -11.5 to -6.2 min) and standing (15 min; 95 % CI: -18.8 to -11.1 min) the following day. Greater time spent sitting during one period, regardless of being a weekday or weekend day, was associated with less time sitting and more time standing and stepping in the following period.
The direction of the results suggest that children appeared to compensate for increased sitting, standing, and stepping time both within- and between-days. The implications of such associations for the design and delivery of interventions require consideration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Physical Activity is important for maintaining healthy lifestyles. Recommendations for physical activity levels are issued by most governments as part of public health measures. As such, reliable measurement of physical activity for regulatory purposes is vital. This has lead research to explore standards for achieving this using wearable technology and artificial neural networks that produce classifications for specific physical activity events. Applied from a very early age, the ubiquitous capture of physical activity data using mobile and wearable technology may help us to understand how we can combat childhood obesity and the impact that this has in later life. A supervised machine learning approach is adopted in this paper that utilizes data obtained from accelerometer sensors worn by children in free-living environments. The paper presents a set of activities and features suitable for measuring physical activity and evaluates the use of a Multilayer Perceptron neural network to classify physical activities by activity type. A rigorous reproducible data science methodology is presented for subsequent use in physical activity research. Our results show that it was possible to obtain an overall accuracy of 96 % with 95 % for sensitivity, 99 % for specificity and a kappa value of 94 % when three and four feature combinations were used.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: This cross-sectional study examined fundamental movement skill competency among deprived preschool children in Northwest England and explored sex differences. A total of 168 preschool children (ages 3-5 yr.) were included in the study. Twelve skills were assessed using the Children's Activity and Movement in Preschool Motor Skills Protocol and video analysis. Sex differences were explored at the subtest, skill, and component levels. Overall competence was found to be low among both sexes, although it was higher for locomotor skills than for object-control skills. Similar patterns were observed at the component level. Boys had significantly better object-control skills than girls, with greater competence observed for the kick and overarm throw, while girls were more competent at the run, hop, and gallop. The findings of low competency suggest that developmentally appropriate interventions should be implemented in preschool settings to promote movement skills, with targeted activities for boys and girls.
Full-text Article · Aug 2015 · Perceptual and Motor Skills
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background:
To investigate the impact of playing sports Active Video Games on children's actual and perceived object control skills.
Intervention children played Active Video Games for 6 weeks (1 h/week) in 2012. The Test of Gross Motor Development-2 assessed object control skill. The Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence assessed perceived object control skill. Repeated measurements of object control and perceived object control were analysed for the whole sample, using linear mixed models, which included fixed effects for group (intervention or control) and time (pre and post) and their interaction. The first model adjusted for sex only and the second model also adjusted for age, and prior ball sports experience (yes/no). Seven mixed-gender focus discussions were conducted with intervention children after programme completion.
Ninety-five Australian children (55% girls; 43% intervention group) aged 4 to 8 years (M 6.2, SD 0.95) participated. Object control skill improved over time (p = 0.006) but there was no significant difference (p = 0.913) between groups in improvement (predicted means: control 31.80 to 33.53, SED = 0.748; intervention 30.33 to 31.83, SED = 0.835). A similar result held for the second model. Similarly the intervention did not change perceived object control in Model 1 (predicted means: control: 19.08 to 18.68, SED = 0.362; intervention 18.67 to 18.88, SED = 0.406) or Model 2. Children found the intervention enjoyable, but most did not perceive direct equivalence between Active Video Games and 'real life' activities.
Whilst Active Video Game play may help introduce children to sport, this amount of time playing is unlikely to build skill.
Full-text Article · Aug 2015 · Preventive Medicine Reports