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Special Issue "Physical Activity and Health in Children"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 May 2022) | Viewed by 7083

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Timothy A. Brusseau
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Health & Kinesiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
Interests: physical activity surveillance; school-based physical activity promotion; physical activity measurement and assessment; physical activity interventions; health-related fitness assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The benefits of physical activity for children are well established. These benefits highlight the importance of ensuring that children have access and opportunity to participate in physical activity at home, at school, and in their communities. This Special Issue intends to provide authors with a platform to contribute their research specific to how physical activity is benefitting the health and wellbeing of children and how specific programs and interventions are changing behavior and improving health.

Dr. Timothy A. Brusseau
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • physical activity
  • children
  • youth
  • physical fitness
  • school
  • physical education
  • family
  • community

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Impact of Stand-Biased Desks on Afterschool Physical Activity Behaviors of Elementary School Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7689; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137689 - 23 Jun 2022
Viewed by 241
Abstract
The purpose of this secondary analysis was to assess whether students’ use of stand-biased desks during the school day influenced physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviors (SB) during the afterschool period. By using a crossover design consisting of two 9-week intervention periods, 99 [...] Read more.
The purpose of this secondary analysis was to assess whether students’ use of stand-biased desks during the school day influenced physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviors (SB) during the afterschool period. By using a crossover design consisting of two 9-week intervention periods, 99 participants from grades 3, 4, and 6 were randomly assigned by their teacher to either a traditional (Group 1; sit–stand) or stand-biased (Group 2; stand–sit) desk in the classroom. The desk type then switched between intervention periods. Afterschool PA and SB were measured by accelerometry at baseline (fall) and following both intervention periods at post I (winter) and post II (spring). Independent sample t-tests and mixed-effects modeling were applied at a significance value of p < 0.05 to detect differences between groups. No significant differences in afterschool SB, light-intensity PA (LPA), or moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA (MVPA) were found between groups. There were also no significant two- or three-way interaction effects detected between desk assignment, time, and afterschool SB, LPA, or MVPA. Stand-biased desks in the classroom were not detrimental to children’s afterschool PA and SB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health in Children)
Article
Bi-Directionality between Physical Activity within School and Fundamental Movement Skills in School-Aged Students: A Cross-Lagged Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7624; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137624 - 22 Jun 2022
Viewed by 196
Abstract
Background: Evidence has indicated the health importance of fundamental movement skills (FMS) and physical activity (PA) in children and their relationships seems bidirectional. However, their bidirectional relationship has not yet been fully answered in the literature. Aim: This study sought to determine bidirectional [...] Read more.
Background: Evidence has indicated the health importance of fundamental movement skills (FMS) and physical activity (PA) in children and their relationships seems bidirectional. However, their bidirectional relationship has not yet been fully answered in the literature. Aim: This study sought to determine bidirectional relationship between FMS and PA in children using cross-lagged study design. Methods: A total of 183 second-level students (8.8 ± 1.1 years old) from three primary schools in Henan Province, China were selected as subjects. The average number of steps per school day was used as the amount of PA in the school environment; the third edition of the test of gross motor development was used for FMS testing. The baseline data (T1) and tracking data (T2) were collected at the beginning and end of the fall semester, respectively. The two tests were separated by 3 months (11 weeks), and a cross-lag model analysis was performed. Based on the hypothetical model, we tested the cross-lag effect of children’s PA and FMS. Results: The model fit index was χ2/df = 2.861 (p < 0.001, n = 183); goodness of fit index GFI = 0.900; NFI = 0.909; CFI = 0.931 and the 95%CI was between 0.071–0.192. The RMSEA = 0.063, and the standardized residual root mean square SRMR = 0.029. The T1 FMS can be used to predict the number of steps in the T2 teaching days with statistical significance (β = 0.22, 95% CI: 0.07–0.38, p = 0.003). However, the T1 steps cannot be used to predict the T2 FMS (β = 0.05, 95% CI: 0.07–0.13, p = 0.475). Further analysis shows that the main contributor to these relationships are ball skills in the FMS. Conclusions: The relationship between children’s fundamental movement skills and PA is not two-way. Students with higher FMS are expected to reach higher levels of PA after undergoing school PA in a teaching cycle. The PA of the students can be improved by improving their motor skills, which further improves their physical and mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health in Children)
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Article
Influence of Sit-Stand Tables in Classrooms on Children’s Sedentary Behavior and Teacher’s Acceptance and Feasibility: A Mixed-Methods Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6727; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116727 - 31 May 2022
Viewed by 457
Abstract
Children spend over 70% of their school day sitting, most of the time in the classroom. Even when meeting physical activity guidelines but sitting for long uninterrupted periods, children are at risk of poorer health outcomes. With an approach to create an active [...] Read more.
Children spend over 70% of their school day sitting, most of the time in the classroom. Even when meeting physical activity guidelines but sitting for long uninterrupted periods, children are at risk of poorer health outcomes. With an approach to create an active learning environment through the implementation of sit-stand tables, this exploratory mixed-methods study aims to evaluate a holistic concept for reducing sedentary time in schools by implementing sit-stand tables as well as to examine the feasibility and didactic usability in classroom settings. Children from eight German schools aged 7 to 10 in primary schools and 11 to 13 in secondary schools (n = 211), allocated into control and intervention groups, were included in the study, as well as teachers (n = 13). An accelerometer was used as a quantitative measure to assess sitting and standing times and sport motoric tests were taken. Qualitative interviews were performed with teachers regarding feasibility and acceptance of the sit-stand tables. Independent t-test analysis adjusted for age, sex and school type found that sitting times of children in the intervention group could be reduced (by 30.54 min per school day of 6 h, p < 0.001) within all school and age levels. Overall, implementing sit-stand tables in classrooms serves as a feasible and effective opportunity to reduce sedentary behaviour and create an active learning environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health in Children)
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Article
Dimensions of Athlete-Coach Relationship and Sport Anxiety as Predictors of the Changes in Psychomotor and Motivational Welfare of Child Athletes after the Implementation of the Psychological Workshops for Coaches
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(6), 3462; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063462 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 657
Abstract
(1) Background: Coach workshops based on seven principles (inspiration, explanation, expectation, support, reward, appreciation, growth, and winning) enhance the sport experience of adult athletes. Here, we report effects of such workshops with coaches of child athletes and the predictors of those changes. (2) [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Coach workshops based on seven principles (inspiration, explanation, expectation, support, reward, appreciation, growth, and winning) enhance the sport experience of adult athletes. Here, we report effects of such workshops with coaches of child athletes and the predictors of those changes. (2) Methods: Study participants were 8 coaches of 57 children aged between 9 and 12 years old (girls practicing gymnastics and boys practicing football). Three coaches of 28 children attended three workshops over 12 weeks, while a control group of 5 coaches of 29 children attended no workshops. Measures of motivation, relationships, anxiety, and psychomotor performance were taken on children before and after the intervention. (3) Results: There were significant effects of the workshop on motivation and psychomotor performance. The analysis of the predictors the intervention used in this study might be effective for enhancing psychomotor performance and motivation while considering components of Athlete-Coach relationship and anxiety levels as moderators. (4) Conclusions: The beneficial effects of the workshop are encouraging but need to be investigated with higher numbers of coaches and children from various sport disciplines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health in Children)
Article
Reliability Study of the Items of the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) Using Kappa Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1767; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031767 - 04 Feb 2022
Viewed by 569
Abstract
Purpose: We evaluated the interrater and intrarater reliabilities of the Korean version of the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (K-AIMS). Methods: For the interrater reliability test, six raters participated in the K-AIMS evaluation using video clips of 70 infants (aged between 0 and 18 [...] Read more.
Purpose: We evaluated the interrater and intrarater reliabilities of the Korean version of the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (K-AIMS). Methods: For the interrater reliability test, six raters participated in the K-AIMS evaluation using video clips of 70 infants (aged between 0 and 18 months). One rater participated in an intrarater reliability test. Among 70 infants, 46 were born preterm and 24 were born full term. A total of 58 AIMS items were evaluated for supine, prone, sitting, and standing positions. A reliability analysis was conducted using ICC and Fleiss’ kappa. Results: The highest Fleiss’ kappa was found for the 4–7 months group for sitting (K = 0.701–1.000) and standing (K = 0.721–1.000), while the lowest K was the 3 months or under group for standing (K = 0.153–1.000). We found higher Fleiss’ kappa statistics when all infants were evaluated without grouping for the three positions (K = 0.727–1.000), except standing (K = 0.192–1.000), for the interrater analysis. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate the good reliability for the Korean version of the AIMS for Korean infants (preterm and full term). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health in Children)
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Article
Psychometric Properties of the Chinese-Language Attitude toward Physical Activity Scale: A Confirmatory Study on Chinese Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9253; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179253 - 02 Sep 2021
Viewed by 772
Abstract
Background: This study examined the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the Attitude toward Physical Activity Scale (APAS) using a cross-sectional design. Methods: The sample consisted of 692 primary students in China (boy 52.6%, girl 47.4%). The mean age of the participants [...] Read more.
Background: This study examined the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of the Attitude toward Physical Activity Scale (APAS) using a cross-sectional design. Methods: The sample consisted of 692 primary students in China (boy 52.6%, girl 47.4%). The mean age of the participants was 9.4 years (SD = 0.92). Psychometric properties of the 57-item APAS was examined using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Results: The hypothesized seven factors model was supported by CFA (CFI = 0.912, TLI = 0.901, SRMR = 0.041, RMSEA = 0.029) after 22 items were removed and the inclusion of seven residual covariance for items loaded on the same factor. Cronbach’s alphas of the scales ranged between 0.50 and 0.76. The composite reliability (CR) was between 0.50 and 0.75. All inter-factor correlation coefficient was less than 0.85. Conclusions: Findings provided empirical evidence that the Chinese version of the APAS has adequate psychometric properties for assessing attitudes of primary school children in China toward physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health in Children)

Review

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Review
Interventions to Improve Child Physical Activity in the Early Childhood Education and Care Setting: An Umbrella Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 1963; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19041963 - 10 Feb 2022
Viewed by 823
Abstract
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services are a key setting to support improvements in the physical activity of young children. This umbrella review gathered and synthesised systematic review evidence of the effectiveness of interventions in the ECEC setting on the physical activity [...] Read more.
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services are a key setting to support improvements in the physical activity of young children. This umbrella review gathered and synthesised systematic review evidence of the effectiveness of interventions in the ECEC setting on the physical activity levels of children aged 0–6. We also mapped the current evidence to the existing ECEC sector-specific physical activity practice recommendations. Five electronic databases were searched to identify systematic reviews that evaluated the impact of any ECEC-based interventions on the physical activity levels (e.g., moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, total physical activity) of children aged 0–6. One reviewer extracted data on intervention effectiveness and quality of the reviews, checked by a second reviewer. Ten reviews were included. Overall, the majority of the reviews found interventions delivered in ECEC improved child physical activity. Across reviews, the impact of six intervention strategies were identified, mapped to four (of eight) broad recommendations (i.e., providing opportunity, offering educator training, educators promoting the benefits of physical activity, creating a physical activity-promoting environment). The impact of the majority of recommendations, however, did not have systematic review evidence. Further investigation of the effectiveness of ECEC-based physical activity strategies is required to demonstrate support for the existing recommended practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health in Children)
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Other

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Systematic Review
Correlations between Physical Activity Participation and the Environment in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Using Ecological Frameworks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9080; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179080 - 28 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1259
Abstract
Physical activity (PA) and sports are efficient ways to promote the young generation’s physical and mental health and development. This study expected to demonstrate the complexity of correlates associated with children’s and adolescents’ non-organized PA participation. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic [...] Read more.
Physical activity (PA) and sports are efficient ways to promote the young generation’s physical and mental health and development. This study expected to demonstrate the complexity of correlates associated with children’s and adolescents’ non-organized PA participation. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Protocols (PRISMA), a systematic review and meta-analysis were applied. Seven electronic databases were systematically searched to identify eligible articles based on a series of inclusion and exclusion criteria. The internal validity of the systematic reviews thus identified was evaluated using a validated quality instrument. Calculations were produced in SPSS 27.0 and Comprehensive Meta-Analysis 3.3. Thirty-nine eligible studies (N = 324,953) with moderate to high quality were included. No potential publication bias was detected using statistical analyses. The meta-analysis revealed that the overall ecological factors correlated positively with children and adolescents’ PA; the meta-analytic average of the correlations was (′r = 0.32, p < 0.001). Results from subgroup analysis indicated that theory-based influence factors achieved moderate effect with boys (′r = 0.37, p < 0.001) and girls (′r = 0.32, p < 0.001) in PA participation. Interestingly, higher correlations were found between ecological factors and twins’ PA participation (′r = 0.61, p = 0.001). Further, individual (′r = 0.32, p < 0.001), macro-, and chronosystems factors (′r = 0.50, p < 0.001) appeared slightly more influential than microsystems factors (′r = 0.28, p < 0.001) on children and adolescents’ PA participation. Although findings from the included studies covered were to some extent heterogeneous, it is possible to identify consistent correlates of PA in children and adolescents. The results supported that PA is a complex and multi-dimensional behavior, which is determined by numerous biological, psychological, sociocultural, and environmental factors. Future studies that focus on the integration effect of macrosystem and chronosystem environmental factors, and apply longitudinal designs and objective measurements are encouraged to further unfold the complexity of the ecological system and its implications in promoting children and adolescents’ PA participation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health in Children)
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Study Protocol
Physical Activity Participation and the Environment in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocol
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6187; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126187 - 08 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1460
Abstract
Physical activity (PA) and sports are efficient ways to promote the younger generation’s health and wellbeing. However, evidence is limited due to heterogeneous samples and measurements. This study aims to identify promoting and inhibiting correlates associated with children’s and adolescents’ non-organized PA participation [...] Read more.
Physical activity (PA) and sports are efficient ways to promote the younger generation’s health and wellbeing. However, evidence is limited due to heterogeneous samples and measurements. This study aims to identify promoting and inhibiting correlates associated with children’s and adolescents’ non-organized PA participation and further demonstrate the complexity of PA and ecological factors. A systematic review and meta-analysis will be applied by following the preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols (PRISMA-P). Seven bibliographic databases (PubMed, SPORTDiscus, PsycInfo, MEDLINE Complete, ERIC, Dimensions, and Academic Search Complete) will be systematically searched to identify eligible articles based on a series of inclusion and exclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria are that the study: (a) is not classified as a systematic review with or without meta-analysis; (b) is published in last 20 years; (c) includes children and adolescents; (d) quantitively measures PA; (e) includes review of ecological factors. The internal validity will be evaluated using a validated quality instrument. Calculations will be produced in SPSS 27.0 and Comprehensive Meta-Analysis 3.3. This study will provide evidence and address the questions regarding the factors that significantly impact children’s PA participation and limitations regarding the design, sampling, and measurement in currently selected studies. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42021244918. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health in Children)
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