Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity


Today┬┐s cell phones increase opportunities for activities traditionally defined as sedentary behaviors (e.g., surfing the internet, playing video games). People who participate in large amounts of sedentary behaviors, relative to those who do not, tend to be less physically active, less physically fit, and at greater risk for health problems. However, cell phone use does not have to be a sedentary behavior as these devices are portable. It can occur while standing or during mild-to-moderate intensity physical activity. Thus, the relationship between cell phone use, physical and sedentary activity, and physical fitness is unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate these relationships among a sample of healthy college students.

Concepts: Obesity, Physical exercise, Exercise, Mobile phone, Internet, Cardiorespiratory fitness, Physical fitness, Cellular network


While physical activity has been shown to improve cognitive performance and well-being, office workers are essentially sedentary. We compared the effects of physical activity performed as (i) one bout in the morning or (ii) as microbouts spread out across the day to (iii) a day spent sitting, on mood and energy levels and cognitive function.

Concepts: Obesity, Mind, Concept


Little is known about how factors within the general family environment are associated with weight and related behaviors among adolescents/young adults.

Concepts: Family


OBJECTIVE: Walking groups are increasingly being set up but little is known about their efficacy in promoting physical activity. The present study aims to assess the efficacy of interventions to promote walking in groups to promoting physical activity within adults, and to explore potential moderators of this efficacy. METHOD: Systematic literature review searches were conducted using multiple databases. A random effect model was used for the meta-analysis, with sensitivity analysis. RESULTS: The effect of the interventions (19 studies, 4 572 participants) on physical activity was of medium size (d = 0.52), statistically significant (95%CI 0.32 to 0.71, p < 0.0001), and with large fail-safe of N = 753. Moderator analyses showed that lower quality studies had larger effect sizes than higher quality studies, studies reporting outcomes over six months had larger effect sizes than studies reporting outcomes up to six months, studies that targeted both genders had higher effect sizes than studies that targeted only women, studies that targeted older adults had larger effect sizes than studies that targeted younger adults. No significant differences were found between studies delivered by professionals and those delivered by lay people. CONCLUSION: Interventions to promote walking in groups are efficacious at increasing physical activity. Despite low homogeneity of results, and limitations (e.g. small number of studies using objective measures of physical activity, publication bias), which might have influence the findings, the large fail-safe N suggests these findings are robust. Possible explanations for heterogeneity between studies are discussed, and the need for more investigation of this is highlighted.

Concepts: Systematic review, Statistical significance, Effectiveness, Efficacy, Effect size, Meta-analysis, Statistical power, Gene V. Glass


BACKGROUND: An evidence-based steps/day translation of U.S. federal guidelines for youth to engage in >=60 minutes/day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) would help health researchers, practitioners, and lay professionals charged with increasing youth’s physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to determine the number of free-living steps/day (both raw and adjusted to a pedometer scale) that correctly classified children (6–11 years) and adolescents (12–17 years) as meeting the 60-minute MVPA guideline using the 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) accelerometer data, and to evaluate the 12,000 steps/day recommendation recently adopted by the President’s Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness Awards Program. METHODS: Analyses were conducted among children (n = 915) and adolescents (n = 1,302) in 2011 and 2012. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve plots and classification statistics revealed candidate steps/day cut points that discriminated meeting/not meeting the MVPA threshold by age group, gender and different accelerometer activity cut points. The Evenson and two Freedson age-specific (3 and 4 METs) cut points were used to define minimum MVPA, and optimal steps/day were examined for raw steps and adjusted to a pedometer-scale to facilitate translation to lay populations. RESULTS: For boys and girls (6–11 years) with >= 60 minutes/day of MVPA, a range of 11,500–13,500 uncensored steps/day for children was the optimal range that balanced classification errors. For adolescent boys and girls (12–17) with >=60 minutes/day of MVPA, 11,500–14,000 uncensored steps/day was optimal. Translation to a pedometer-scaling reduced these minimum values by 2,500 step/day to 9,000 steps/day. Area under the curve was >=84% in all analyses. CONCLUSIONS: No single study has definitively identified a precise and unyielding steps/day value for youth. Considering the other evidence to date, we propose a reasonable ‘rule of thumb’ value of >= 11,500 accelerometer-determined steps/day for both children and adolescents (and both genders), accepting that more is better. For practical applications, 9,000 steps/day appears to be a more pedometer-friendly value.

Concepts: Gender, Receiver operating characteristic, Statistical classification, Accelerometer


Low levels of physical activity and increased participation in sedentary leisure-time activities are two important obesity-risk behaviors that impact the health of today’s youth. Friend’s health behaviors have been shown to influence individual health behaviors; however, current evidence on the specific role of friendship networks in relation to levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior is limited. The purpose of this review was to summarize evidence on friendship networks and both physical activity and sedentary behavior among children and adolescents.

Concepts: Sociology, Activity, Behavior, Human behavior, Friendship, Laelius de Amicitia


BACKGROUND: Slow eating has been associated with enhanced satiation, but also with increased water intake. Therefore, the role of water ingestion in regard to eating rate needs to be discerned. This study examined the influence of eating rate on appetite regulation and energy intake when water intake is controlled. METHODS: In a randomized design, slow and fast eating rates were compared on two occasions, in 30 women (22.7+/-1.2y; BMI=22.4+/-0.4kg/m2) who consumed an ad libitum mixed-macronutrient lunch with water (300 mL). Satiation was examined as the main outcome by measuring energy intake during meals. At designated times, subjects rated hunger, satiety, desire-to-eat, thirst, and meal palatability on visual analogue scales. Paired t-tests were used to compare hypothesis-driven outcomes. Appetite ratings were compared across time points and conditions by repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) using a within-subject model. RESULTS: Energy intake and appetite ratings did not differ between conditions at meal completion. However, subjects rated less hunger and tended to rate lower desire-to-eat and greater satiety at 1 hour following the slow condition. CONCLUSIONS: Results tend to support a role of slow eating on decreased hunger and higher inter-meal satiety when water intake is controlled. However, the lack of significant differences in energy intake under these conditions indicates that water intake may account for the effects of eating rate on appetite regulation.

Concepts: Nutrition, Variance, Water, Eating, Normal distribution, Analysis of variance, Appetite, Food and drink


Children in households of lower socioeconomic status (SES) are more likely to be overweight/obese. We aimed to determine if home physical activity (PA) environments differed by SES and to explore home environment mediators of the relation of family SES to children’s PA and sedentary behavior.

Concepts: Environment, Socioeconomic status, Household


BACKGROUND: Understanding the influences on physical activity is crucial, particularly among important target groups such as adolescent girls. This study describes cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between parenting style and girls' participation in organized sport, walking/cycling trips and objectively assessed moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). METHODS: Data were collected from adolescent girls (n=222) and their parents in 2004 and again in 2006. Parents self-reported their demographic characteristics and parenting style. Girls self-reported their organized sport participation and weekly walking/cycling trips, while MVPA was assessed using accelerometers. Linear regression and interaction analyses were performed. Interactions between socio-demographic factors and parenting style with organized sport, walking/cycling trips and MVPA are presented. RESULTS: There were cross-sectional associations between authoritative (B=-0.45, p=0.042) and indulgent (B=-0.56, p=0.002) parenting and the number of walking/cycling trips, and authoritarian (B=0.27, p=0.033) parenting and frequency of organized sport. Significant interactions included those between: family status, authoritative parenting and daily (p=0.048) and week day (p=0.013) MVPA; education, indulgent parenting and MVPA on weekend days (p=0.006); and, employment, authoritarian parenting and duration and frequency of organized sport (p=0.004), highlighting the complexity of these relationships. Longitudinal analyses revealed significant decreases in organized sport and MVPA, significant increases in walking/cycling trips and no significant associations between parenting and physical activity. CONCLUSION: Parenting styles appear to influence walking and cycling trips among adolescent girls, though not physical activity within other domains. Socio-demographic characteristics interact with the relationships between parenting and physical activity. While these findings can inform the development of family-based interventions to improve child and adolescent health, the direction of the observed associations and the number of associations approaching significance suggest the need to further explore this area.

Concepts: Childhood, Parenting, Parenting styles, Concerted cultivation


BACKGROUND: Reducing sedentary time and increasing lifestyle activities, including light-intensity activity, may be an option to help prevent metabolic syndrome (MetS). The purpose of the present study was to examine whether objectively measured light-intensity lifestyle activity and sedentary time is associated with MetS, independent of moderate–vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA). METHODS: The participants in this cross-sectional study were 483 middle-aged Japanese adults, aged 30–64 years. The participants were divided into those with or without MetS according to the Japanese criteria for MetS. A triaxial accelerometer was used to measure light-intensity lifestyle activity [1.6–2.9 metabolic equivalents (METs)] and sedentary time (<=1.5 METs). Logistic regression was used to predict MetS from the levels of light-intensity lifestyle activity and sedentary time with age, sex, smoking, calorie intake, accelerometer wear time, and MVPA as covariates. RESULTS: The odds ratios (OR) for MetS in the highest and middle tertiles of light-intensity lifestyle activity were 0.44 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.24 to 0.81] and 0.51 (95% CI: 0.29 to 0.89) relative to the lowest tertile, after adjustment for age, sex, smoking, calorie intake, accelerometer wear time and MVPA (Ptrend = 0.012). Sedentary time was also associated with the risk of MetS (Ptrend = 0.018). Among participants in the highest tertile of sedentary time, the risk of MetS was 2.27-times greater than that in the lowest tertile (95% CI: 1.25 to 4.11). The risk of MetS was not significantly increased in subjects in the middle tertile of sedentary time. CONCLUSIONS: We found that light-intensity lifestyle activity and sedentary time were significantly associated with the risk of MetS, independent of MVPA. The results of our study suggest that public health messages and guidelines should be refined to include increases in light-intensity lifestyle activity and/or decreases in sedentary time, alongside promoting MVPA, to prevent MetS.

Concepts: Logit, Epidemiology, Energy, Cross-sectional study, Obesity, Measurement, Logistic function, Metabolic equivalent