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1.  Recess physical activity and school-related social factors in Finnish primary and lower secondary schools: cross-sectional associations 
BMC Public Health  2014;14(1):1114.
Background
Participation in physical activities provides students with opportunities for social interaction and social skills development. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations of students’ recess physical activity with school-related social factors.
Methods
Data were collected in 19 schools countrywide in autumn 2010, and 1463 students from grades 4 and 5 (primary school) and from grades 7 and 8 (lower secondary school) completed an anonymous questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to investigate whether self-reported physical activity at recess was associated with peer relationships at school, relatedness to school and school climate. Analyses were adjusted for self-reported overall physical activity and conducted for primary and lower secondary schools. Multi-group analysis was used to test sex differences among the associations.
Results
In primary school, physical activity at recess was positively associated with peer relationships at school (boys: b = 0.17, p = 0.007 and girls: b = 0.21, p <0.001), relatedness to school (boys: b = 0.18, p = 0.002 and girls: b = 0.24, p <0.001) and school climate (girls: b = 0.17, p = 0.001), after adjusting for overall physical activity. In lower secondary school, physical activity at recess was positively associated with peer relationships at school (boys: b = 0.09, p = 0.006 and girls: b = 0.12, p = 0.010) but not with other school-related social factors. No sex differences were observed in these associations.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that students’ participation in physical activities during school recess is positively associated with students’ school-related social factors. In the future, it would be worthwhile to study how physical activity at recess should be organised in order to support the development of school-related social factors.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1114
PMCID: PMC4287531  PMID: 25348014
Physical activity; Recess; School; Social factors; Peer relationships; Relatedness; School climate; Children; Adolescents
2.  The Associations of Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time with Cognitive Functions in School-Aged Children 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e103559.
Low levels of physical activity among children have raised concerns over the effects of a physically inactive lifestyle, not only on physical health but also on cognitive prerequisites of learning. This study examined how objectively measured and self-reported physical activity and sedentary behavior are associated with cognitive functions in school-aged children. The study population consisted of 224 children from five schools in the Jyväskylä school district in Finland (mean age 12.2 years; 56% girls), who participated in the study in the spring of 2011. Physical activity and sedentary time were measured objectively for seven consecutive days using the ActiGraph GT1M/GT3X accelerometer. Self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and screen time were evaluated with the questions used in the “WHO Health Behavior in School-aged Children” study. Cognitive functions including visual memory, executive functions and attention were evaluated with a computerized Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery by using five different tests. Structural equation modeling was applied to examine how objectively measured and self-reported MVPA and sedentary behavior were associated with cognitive functions. High levels of objectively measured MVPA were associated with good performance in the reaction time test. High levels of objectively measured sedentary time were associated with good performance in the sustained attention test. Objectively measured MVPA and sedentary time were not associated with other measures of cognitive functions. High amount of self-reported computer/video game play was associated with weaker performance in working memory test, whereas high amount of computer use was associated with weaker performance in test measuring shifting and flexibility of attention. Self-reported physical activity and total screen time were not associated with any measures of cognitive functions. The results of the present study propose that physical activity may benefit attentional processes. However, excessive video game play and computer use may have unfavorable influence on cognitive functions.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103559
PMCID: PMC4111611  PMID: 25061820
3.  Body mass index and overweight in relation to residence distance and population density: experience from the Northern Finland birth cohort 1966 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:938.
Background
The effect of urban sprawl on body weight in Finland is not well known. To provide more information, we examined whether body mass index (BMI) and the prevalence of overweight are associated with an individual’s distance to the local community centre and population density in his/her resident area.
Methods
The sample consisted of 5363 men and women, members of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC), who filled in a postal questionnaire and attended a medical checkup in 1997, at the age of 31 years. Body mass index (BMI; kg/m2) and the prevalence of overweight (BMI ≥ 25.0 kg/m2) were regressed on each subject’s road distance to the resident commune’s centre and on population density in the 1 km2 geographical grid in which he/she resided, using a generalized additive model. Adjustments were made for sex, marital status, occupational class, education, leisure-time and occupational physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking.
Results
The mean BMI among the subjects was 24.7 kg/m2, but it increased by increasing road distance (by 1.3 kg/m2 from 5–10 to 20–184 km) and by decreasing population density (by 1.7 kg/m2 from 1000–19,192 to 1–5 inhabitants/km2). The respective increases in overweight (overall prevalence 41%) were 13 per cent units for distance and 14 per cent units for population density. Adjusted regressions based on continuous explanatory variables showed an inverse L-shaped pattern with a mean BMI of 24.6 kg/m2 at distances shorter than 5 km and a rise of 2.6 kg/m2 at longer distances, and an increase of 2.5 kg/m2 from highest to lowest population density. The associations with road distance were stronger for women than men, while the sex difference in association with population density remained indeterminate.
Conclusions
We conclude that young adults in Northern Finland who live far away from local centres or in the most sparsely populated areas are fatter than those who live close to local centres or in densely populated areas. The likely explanations include variations in everyday physical activity in different residential environments, although causality of the associations remains to be confirmed.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-938
PMCID: PMC3851578  PMID: 24103455
Body mass index; Overweight; Medical geography; Urban/rural; Population density; Finland
4.  Leisure time physical activity in a 22-year follow-up among Finnish adults 
Background
The aim of this study was to explore long-term predictors of leisure time physical activity in the general population.
Methods
This study comprised 718 men and women who participated in the national Mini-Finland Health Survey from 1978–1980 and were re-examined in 2001. Participants were aged 30–80 at baseline. Measurements included interviews, health examinations, and self-administered questionnaires, with information on socioeconomic position, occupational and leisure time physical activity, physical fitness, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical functional capacity. Analyses included persons who were working and had no limitations in functional capacity at baseline.
Results
The strongest predictor of being physically active at the follow-up was participation in physical activity at baseline, with an OR 13.82 (95%CI 5.50-34.70) for 3 or more types of regular activity, OR 2.33 (95%CI 1.22-4.47) for 1–2 types of regular activity, and OR 3.26 (95%CI 2.07-5.15) for irregular activity, as compared to no activity. Other determinants for being physically active were moving upwards in occupational status, a high level of baseline occupational physical activity and remaining healthy weight during the follow-up.
Conclusions
To prevent physical inactivity among older adults, it is important to promote physical activity already in young adulthood and in middle age and to emphasize the importance of participating in many types of physical activity.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-121
PMCID: PMC3502146  PMID: 23031224
Exercise; Health behavior; Occupation; Prospective studies; Socioeconomic position
5.  Physical Activity Attenuates the Influence of FTO Variants on Obesity Risk: A Meta-Analysis of 218,166 Adults and 19,268 Children 
Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O. | Qi, Lu | Brage, Soren | Sharp, Stephen J. | Sonestedt, Emily | Demerath, Ellen | Ahmad, Tariq | Mora, Samia | Kaakinen, Marika | Sandholt, Camilla Helene | Holzapfel, Christina | Autenrieth, Christine S. | Hyppönen, Elina | Cauchi, Stéphane | He, Meian | Kutalik, Zoltan | Kumari, Meena | Stančáková, Alena | Meidtner, Karina | Balkau, Beverley | Tan, Jonathan T. | Mangino, Massimo | Timpson, Nicholas J. | Song, Yiqing | Zillikens, M. Carola | Jablonski, Kathleen A. | Garcia, Melissa E. | Johansson, Stefan | Bragg-Gresham, Jennifer L. | Wu, Ying | van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Jana V. | Onland-Moret, N. Charlotte | Zimmermann, Esther | Rivera, Natalia V. | Tanaka, Toshiko | Stringham, Heather M. | Silbernagel, Günther | Kanoni, Stavroula | Feitosa, Mary F. | Snitker, Soren | Ruiz, Jonatan R. | Metter, Jeffery | Larrad, Maria Teresa Martinez | Atalay, Mustafa | Hakanen, Maarit | Amin, Najaf | Cavalcanti-Proença, Christine | Grøntved, Anders | Hallmans, Göran | Jansson, John-Olov | Kuusisto, Johanna | Kähönen, Mika | Lutsey, Pamela L. | Nolan, John J. | Palla, Luigi | Pedersen, Oluf | Pérusse, Louis | Renström, Frida | Scott, Robert A. | Shungin, Dmitry | Sovio, Ulla | Tammelin, Tuija H. | Rönnemaa, Tapani | Lakka, Timo A. | Uusitupa, Matti | Rios, Manuel Serrano | Ferrucci, Luigi | Bouchard, Claude | Meirhaeghe, Aline | Fu, Mao | Walker, Mark | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Dedoussis, George V. | Fritsche, Andreas | Ohlsson, Claes | Boehnke, Michael | Bandinelli, Stefania | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Ebrahim, Shah | Lawlor, Debbie A. | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Harris, Tamara B. | Sørensen, Thorkild I. A. | Mohlke, Karen L. | Hofman, Albert | Uitterlinden, André G. | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Lehtimäki, Terho | Raitakari, Olli | Isomaa, Bo | Njølstad, Pål R. | Florez, Jose C. | Liu, Simin | Ness, Andy | Spector, Timothy D. | Tai, E. Shyong | Froguel, Philippe | Boeing, Heiner | Laakso, Markku | Marmot, Michael | Bergmann, Sven | Power, Chris | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Chasman, Daniel | Ridker, Paul | Hansen, Torben | Monda, Keri L. | Illig, Thomas | Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Hu, Frank B. | Groop, Leif C. | Orho-Melander, Marju | Ekelund, Ulf | Franks, Paul W. | Loos, Ruth J. F.
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(11):e1001116.
Ruth Loos and colleagues report findings from a meta-analysis of multiple studies examining the extent to which physical activity attenuates effects of a specific gene variant, FTO, on obesity in adults and children. They report a fairly substantial attenuation by physical activity on the effects of this genetic variant on the risk of obesity in adults.
Background
The FTO gene harbors the strongest known susceptibility locus for obesity. While many individual studies have suggested that physical activity (PA) may attenuate the effect of FTO on obesity risk, other studies have not been able to confirm this interaction. To confirm or refute unambiguously whether PA attenuates the association of FTO with obesity risk, we meta-analyzed data from 45 studies of adults (n = 218,166) and nine studies of children and adolescents (n = 19,268).
Methods and Findings
All studies identified to have data on the FTO rs9939609 variant (or any proxy [r2>0.8]) and PA were invited to participate, regardless of ethnicity or age of the participants. PA was standardized by categorizing it into a dichotomous variable (physically inactive versus active) in each study. Overall, 25% of adults and 13% of children were categorized as inactive. Interaction analyses were performed within each study by including the FTO×PA interaction term in an additive model, adjusting for age and sex. Subsequently, random effects meta-analysis was used to pool the interaction terms. In adults, the minor (A−) allele of rs9939609 increased the odds of obesity by 1.23-fold/allele (95% CI 1.20–1.26), but PA attenuated this effect (pinteraction  = 0.001). More specifically, the minor allele of rs9939609 increased the odds of obesity less in the physically active group (odds ratio  = 1.22/allele, 95% CI 1.19–1.25) than in the inactive group (odds ratio  = 1.30/allele, 95% CI 1.24–1.36). No such interaction was found in children and adolescents.
Conclusions
The association of the FTO risk allele with the odds of obesity is attenuated by 27% in physically active adults, highlighting the importance of PA in particular in those genetically predisposed to obesity.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors’ Summary
Background
Two in three Americans are overweight, of whom half are obese, and the trend towards increasing obesity is now seen across developed and developing countries. There has long been interest in understanding the impact of genes and environment when it comes to apportioning responsibility for obesity. Carrying a change in the FTO gene is common (found in three-quarters of Europeans and North Americans) and is associated with a 20%–30% increased risk of obesity. Some overweight or obese individuals may feel that the dice are loaded and there is little point in fighting the fat; it has been reported that those made aware of their genetic susceptibility to obesity may still choose a poor diet. A similar fatalism may occur when overweight and obese people consider physical activity. But disentangling the influence of physical activity on those genetically susceptible to obesity from other factors that might impact weight is not straightforward, as it requires large sample sizes, could be subject to publication bias, and may rely on less than ideal self-reporting methods.
Why Was This Study Done?
The public health ramifications of understanding the interaction between genetic susceptibility to obesity and physical activity are considerable. Tackling the rising prevalence of obesity will inevitably include interventions principally aimed at changing dietary intake and/or increasing physical activity, but the evidence for these with regards to those genetically susceptible has been lacking to date. The authors of this paper set out to explore the interaction between the commonest genetic susceptibility trait and physical activity using a rigorous meta-analysis of a large number of studies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The authors were concerned that a meta-analysis of published studies would be limited both by the data available to them and by possible bias. Instead of this more widely used approach, they took the literature search as their starting point, identified other studies through their collaborators’ network, and then undertook a meta-analysis of all available studies using a new and standardized analysis plan. This entailed an extremely large number of authors mining their data afresh to extract the relevant data points to enable such a meta-analysis. Physical activity was identified in the original studies in many different ways, including by self-report or by using an external measure of activity or heart rate. In order to perform the meta-analysis, participants were labeled as physically active or inactive in each study. For studies that had used a continuous scale, the authors decided that the bottom 20% of the participants were inactive (10% for children and adolescents). Using data from over 218,000 adults, the authors found that carrying a copy of the susceptibility gene increased the odds of obesity by 1.23-fold. But the size of this influence was 27% less in the genetically susceptible adults who were physically active (1.22-fold) compared to those who were physically inactive (1.30-fold). In a smaller study of about 19,000 children, no such effect of physical activity was seen.
What Do these Findings Mean?
This study demonstrates that people who carry the susceptibility gene for obesity can benefit from physical activity. This should inform health care professionals and the wider public that the view of genetically determined obesity not being amenable to exercise is incorrect and should be challenged. Dissemination, implementation, and ensuring uptake of effective physical activity programs remains a challenge and deserves further consideration. That the researchers treated “physically active” as a yes/no category, and how they categorized individuals, could be criticized, but this was done for pragmatic reasons, as a variety of means of assessing physical activity were used across the studies. It is unlikely that the findings would have changed if the authors had used a different method of defining physically active. Most of the studies included in the meta-analysis looked at one time point only; information about the influence of physical activity on weight changes over time in genetically susceptible individuals is only beginning to emerge.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001116.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Lennert Veerman
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides obesity-related statistics, details of prevention programs, and an overview on public health strategy in the United States
A more worldwide view is given by the World Health Organization
The UK National Health Service website gives information on physical activity guidelines for different age groups, while similar information can also be found from US sources
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001116
PMCID: PMC3206047  PMID: 22069379
6.  Is insufficient quantity and quality of sleep a risk factor for neck, shoulder and low back pain? A longitudinal study among adolescents 
European Spine Journal  2009;19(4):641-649.
The quantity and quality of adolescents’ sleep may have changed due to new technologies. At the same time, the prevalence of neck, shoulder and low back pain has increased. However, only a few studies have investigated insufficient quantity and quality of sleep as possible risk factors for musculoskeletal pain among adolescents. The aim of the study was to assess whether insufficient quantity and quality of sleep are risk factors for neck (NP), shoulder (SP) and low back pain (LBP). A 2-year follow-up survey among adolescents aged 15–19 years was (2001–2003) carried out in a subcohort of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (n = 1,773). The outcome measures were 6-month period prevalences of NP, SP and LBP. The quantity and quality of sleep were categorized into sufficient, intermediate or insufficient, based on average hours spent sleeping, and whether or not the subject suffered from nightmares, tiredness and sleeping problems. The odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for having musculoskeletal pain were obtained through logistic regression analysis, adjusted for previously suggested risk factors and finally adjusted for specific pain status at 16 years. The 6-month period prevalences of neck, shoulder and low back pain were higher at the age of 18 than at 16 years. Insufficient quantity or quality of sleep at 16 years predicted NP in both girls (OR 4.4; CI 2.2–9.0) and boys (2.2; 1.2–4.1). Similarly, insufficient sleep at 16 years predicted LBP in both girls (2.9; 1.7–5.2) and boys (2.4; 1.3–4.5), but SP only in girls (2.3; 1.2–4.4). After adjustment for pain status, insufficient sleep at 16 years predicted significantly only NP (3.2; 1.5–6.7) and LBP (2.4; 1.3–4.3) in girls. Insufficient sleep quantity or quality was an independent risk factor for NP and LBP among girls. Future studies should test whether interventions aimed at improving sleep characteristics are effective in the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal pain.
doi:10.1007/s00586-009-1215-2
PMCID: PMC2899838  PMID: 19936804
Musculoskeletal pain; Adolescent; Sleep; Risk factors; Prospective study
7.  Suspected Motor Problems and Low Preference for Active Play in Childhood Are Associated with Physical Inactivity and Low Fitness in Adolescence 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e14554.
Background
This prospective longitudinal study investigates whether suspected motor problems and low preference for active play in childhood are associated with physical inactivity and low cardiorespiratory fitness in adolescence.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The study sample consisted of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (NFBC 1986) composed of 5,767 children whose parents responded to a postal inquiry concerning their children's motor skills at age 8 years and who themselves reported their physical activity at age 16 years. Cardiorespiratory fitness was measured with a cycle ergometer test at age 16 years. Odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the level of physical activity and fitness were obtained from multinomial logistic regression and adjusted for socio-economic position and body mass index. Low preference for active play in childhood was associated with physical inactivity (boys: OR 3.31, 95% CI 2.42–4.53; girls: OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.36–2.36) and low cardiorespiratory fitness (boys: OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.27–2.74; girls: OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.09–2.11) in adolescence. Suspected gross (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.33–3.49) and fine (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.35–2.60) motor problems were associated with physical inactivity among boys. Children with suspected motor problems and low preference for active play tended to have an even higher risk of physical inactivity in adolescence.
Conclusions/Significance
Low preference for active play in childhood was associated with physical inactivity and low cardiorespiratory fitness in adolescence. Furthermore, children with suspected motor problems and low preference for active play tended to have an even higher risk of physical inactivity in adolescence. Identification of children who do not prefer active play and who have motor problems may allow targeted interventions to support their motor learning and participation in active play and thereby promote their physical activity and fitness in later life.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014554
PMCID: PMC3022627  PMID: 21267447
8.  Life-Course Analysis of a Fat Mass and Obesity-Associated (FTO) Gene Variant and Body Mass Index in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Using Structural Equation Modeling 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2010;172(6):653-665.
The association between variation in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene and adulthood body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)2) is well-replicated. More thorough analyses utilizing phenotypic data over the life course may deepen our understanding of the development of BMI and thus help in the prevention of obesity. The authors used a structural equation modeling approach to explore the network of variables associated with BMI from the prenatal period to age 31 years (1965–1997) in 4,435 subjects from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. The use of structural equation modeling permitted the easy inclusion of variables with missing values in the analyses without separate imputation steps, as well as differentiation between direct and indirect effects. There was an association between the FTO single nucleotide polymorphism rs9939609 and BMI at age 31 years that persisted after controlling for several relevant factors during the life course. The total effect of the FTO variant on adult BMI was mostly composed of the direct effect, but a notable part was also arising indirectly via its effects on earlier BMI development. In addition to well-established genetic determinants, many life-course factors such as physical activity, in spite of not showing mediation or interaction, had a strong independent effect on BMI.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwq178
PMCID: PMC2938267  PMID: 20702506
body mass index; molecular epidemiology; structural equation model
9.  The effects of adolescence sports and exercise on adulthood leisure-time physical activity in educational groups 
Background
Physical inactivity has become a major public health problem and clear educational differences in physical activity have been reported across Europe and USA. The origins of adulthood physical activity are suggested to be in childhood and adolescence physical activity. Hardly any studies have, however, examined if the educational differences in physical activity might also be due to educational differences in early experiences in physical activity. Thus, our aim was to examine how competitive sports in youth, and exercise in late adolescence, and opinions on physical education (PE) in childhood determined adulthood leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) in different educational groups.
Methods
We used cross-sectional population-based National FINRISK 2002 data for 1918 men and 2490 women aged 25 to 64 years. Competitive sports in youth, exercise in late adolescence, and opinions on PE in childhood were assessed retrospectively via self-reports. Adulthood LTPA was collected with 12-month recall. In 2008, we calculated structural equation models including latent variables among the low- (<12 years) and high- (≥12 years) educated.
Results
Men more often than women reported that their experience of PE was interesting and pleasant as well as having learned useful skills during PE classes. Men, compared to women, had also been more active in the three selected competitive sports in youth and exercised in late adolescence. Participation in competitive sports in youth among the low-educated and exercise in late adolescence among the high-educated had a direct effect on adulthood LTPA. Among the low-educated, opinions on PE in childhood had an indirect effect on adulthood LTPA through participation in competitive sports in youth whereas among the high-educated, the indirect effect went through exercise in late adolescence. The effects were mainly similar between genders.
Conclusions
Our study answers to a strong need to assess the determinants of leisure-time physical activity to promote physical activity in low-educated individuals. The pathways of physical activity from childhood to adulthood LTPA may be different depending on the pursued educational career. Further prospective studies are needed to confirm our results.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-7-27
PMCID: PMC2873576  PMID: 20384984
10.  Birth Weight in Relation to Leisure Time Physical Activity in Adolescence and Adulthood: Meta-Analysis of Results from 13 Nordic Cohorts 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(12):e8192.
Background
Prenatal life exposures, potentially manifested as altered birth size, may influence the later risk of major chronic diseases through direct biologic effects on disease processes, but also by modifying adult behaviors such as physical activity that may influence later disease risk.
Methods/Principal Findings
We investigated the association between birth weight and leisure time physical activity (LTPA) in 43,482 adolescents and adults from 13 Nordic cohorts. Random effects meta-analyses were performed on categorical estimates from cohort-, age-, sex- and birth weight specific analyses. Birth weight showed a reverse U-shaped association with later LTPA; within the range of normal weight the association was negligible but weights below and above this range were associated with a lower probability of undertaking LTPA. Compared with the reference category (3.26–3.75 kg), the birth weight categories of 1.26–1.75, 1.76–2.25, 2.26–2.75, and 4.76–5.25 kg, had odds ratios of 0.67 (95% confidence interval: 0.47, 0.94), 0.72 (0.59, 0.88), 0.89 (0.79, 0.99), and 0.65 (0.50, 0.86), respectively. The shape and strength of the birth weight-LTPA association was virtually independent of sex, age, gestational age, educational level, concurrent body mass index, and smoking.
Conclusions/Significance
The association between birth weight and undertaking LTPA is very weak within the normal birth weight range, but both low and high birth weights are associated with a lower probability of undertaking LTPA, which hence may be a mediator between prenatal influences and later disease risk.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008192
PMCID: PMC2790716  PMID: 20016780
11.  Infant Motor Development Predicts Sports Participation at Age 14 Years: Northern Finland Birth Cohort of 1966 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(8):e6837.
Background
Motor proficiency is positively associated with physical activity levels. The aim of this study is to investigate associations between the timing of infant motor development and subsequent sports participation during adolescence.
Methods
Prospective observational study. The study population consisted of 9,009 individuals from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. Motor development was assessed by parental report at age 1 year, using age at walking with support and age at standing unaided. At follow up aged 14 years, data were collected on the school grade awarded for physical education (PE). Self report was used to collect information on the frequency of sports participation and number of different sports reported.
Principal Findings
Earlier infant motor development was associated with improved school PE grade, for age at walking supported (p<0.001) and standing unaided (p = <0.001). Earlier infant motor development, in terms of age at walking supported, was positively associated with the number of different sports reported (p = 0.003) and with a greater frequency of sports participation (p = 0.043). These associations were independent of gestational age and birth weight, as well as father's social class and body mass index at age 14 years.
Conclusions
Earlier infant motor development may predict higher levels of physical activity as indicated by higher school PE grade, participation in a greater number of different types of sports and increased frequency of sports participation. Identification of young children with slower motor development may allow early targeted interventions to improve motor skills and thereby increase physical activity in later life.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006837
PMCID: PMC2729394  PMID: 19718258

Results 1-11 (11)