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1.  Calibration and Validation of a Wrist- and Hip-Worn Actigraph Accelerometer in 4-Year-Old Children 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(9):e0162436.
To determine time spent at different physical activity intensities, accelerometers need calibration. The aim of this study was to develop and cross-validate intensity thresholds for the Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer for wrist and hip placement in four-year-old children.
In total 30 children (49 months, SD 3.7) were recruited from five preschools in Stockholm. Equipped with an accelerometer on the wrist and another on the hip, children performed three indoor activities and one free-play session while being video recorded. Subsequently, physical activity intensity levels were coded every 5th second according to the Children’s Activity Rating Scale. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves was used to develop wrist and hip intensity thresholds, the upper threshold for sedentary, and lower threshold for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), for the vertical axis (VA) and for the vector magnitude (VM). A leave-one-out method was used to cross-validate the thresholds.
Intensity thresholds for wrist placement were ≤ 178 (VA) and ≤ 328 (VM) for sedentary and ≥ 871 (VA) and ≥ 1393 (VM) counts/5 seconds for MVPA. The corresponding thresholds for hip placement were ≤ 43 (VA) and ≤ 105 (VM) for sedentary and ≥ 290 (VA) and ≥ 512 (VM) for MVPA. The quadratic weighted Kappa was 0.92 (95% CI 0.91–0.93) (VA) and 0.95 (95% CI 0.94–0.96) (VM) for the wrist-worn accelerometer and 0.76 (98% CI 0.74–0.77) and 0.86 (95% CI 0.85–0.87) for the hip-worn.
Using wrist placement and the VM when measuring physical activity with accelerometry in 4-year-old children is recommended.
PMCID: PMC5019366  PMID: 27617962
2.  Depressive symptoms associated with concerns about falling in Parkinson's disease 
Brain and Behavior  2016;6(10):e00524.
Concerns about falling, a construct related to fear of falling, is increased in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) and is recognized as a barrier for exercise, negatively affecting health‐related quality of life and participation.
To investigate modifiable factors associated with concerns about falling in elderly with mild‐to‐moderate PD.
Eighty‐nine elderly (39 females, mean age 73 years) with mild‐to‐moderate PD were recruited. Concerns about falling were assessed with the Falls Efficacy Scale‐international, that is, the dependent variable in multiple linear regression analysis. Independent variables included both motor (e.g., objective measures of physical activity and gait) and nonmotor aspects such as depressive symptoms.
A model with three significant independent variables explained 33% of the variance in concerns about falling. According to the standardized regression coefficients (β), the strongest contributing factor was depressive symptoms (0.40), followed by balance performance (−0.25), and use of mobility devices (0.24).
The findings imply that factors associated with concerns about falling are a multifactorial phenomenon. For its management in elderly with mild‐to‐moderate PD, one should consider depressive symptoms, balance deficits, and mobility devices.
PMCID: PMC5064336  PMID: 27781138
balance; depression; fear of falling; mobility devices; physical activity
3.  Physical activity in young children and their parents–An Early STOPP Sweden–China comparison study 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:29595.
Understanding about socio-cultural differences in physical activity in children with high and low risk for obesity can help tailor intervention programs in different settings. This study aimed to compare objectively measured physical activity in two-year-olds and their parents, living in Stockholm, Sweden, and Wuhan, China. Data from Early STOPP was used. Children and parents wore an accelerometer in connection with the child’s second birthday. Weekly and hourly patterns were examined. Correlation between child and parental physical activity was assessed. Data on 146 Swedish and 79 Chinese children and their parents was available. Children, mothers and fathers in Stockholm were significantly more active than their counterparts in Wuhan (children; 2989 (SD 702) vs. 1997 (SD 899) counts per minute (CPM), mothers 2625 (SD 752) vs. 2042 (SD 821) CPM; fathers 2233 (SD 749) vs. 1588 (SD 754) CPM). Activity levels were similar over a week for children and parents within both countries. No parental-child correlations, except for a paternal-son correlation in Stockholm, were found. Children, mothers and fathers in Stockholm are more active compared with their counterparts in Wuhan. Interventions to increase physical activity needs to take cultural aspects into account, also when targeting very young children.
PMCID: PMC4941726  PMID: 27404563
4.  The Effects of Highly Challenging Balance Training in Elderly With Parkinson’s Disease 
Background. Highly challenging exercises have been suggested to induce neuroplasticity in individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD); however, its effect on clinical outcomes remains largely unknown. Objective. To evaluate the short-term effects of the HiBalance program, a highly challenging balance-training regimen that incorporates both dual-tasking and PD-specific balance components, compared with usual care in elderly with mild to moderate PD. Methods. Participants with PD (n = 100) were randomized, either to the 10-week HiBalance program (n = 51) or to the control group (n = 49). Participants were evaluated before and after the intervention. The main outcomes were balance performance (Mini-BESTest), gait velocity (during normal and dual-task gait), and concerns about falling (Falls Efficacy Scale–International). Performance of a cognitive task while walking, physical activity level (average steps per day), and activities of daily living were secondary outcomes. Results. A total of 91 participants completed the study. After the intervention, the between group comparison showed significantly improved balance and gait performance in the training group. Moreover, although no significant between group difference was observed regarding gait performance during dual-tasking; the participants in the training group improved their performance of the cognitive task while walking, as compared with the control group. Regarding physical activity levels and activities of daily living, in comparison to the control group, favorable results were found for the training group. No group differences were found for concerns about falling. Conclusions. The HiBalance program significantly benefited balance and gait abilities when compared with usual care and showed promising transfer effects to everyday living. Long-term follow-up assessments will further explore these effects.
PMCID: PMC4582836  PMID: 25608520
dual task; exercise; gait; physical activity; postural control
5.  Accelerometer Cut Points for Physical Activity Assessment of Older Adults with Parkinson’s Disease 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(9):e0135899.
To define accelerometer cut points for different walking speeds in older adults with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease.
A volunteer sample of 30 older adults (mean age 73; SD 5.4 years) with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease walked at self-defined brisk, normal, and slow speeds for three minutes in a circular indoor hallway, each wearing an accelerometer around the waist. Walking speed was calculated and used as a reference measure. Through ROC analysis, accelerometer cut points for different levels of walking speed in counts per 15 seconds were generated, and a leave-one-out cross-validation was performed followed by a quadratic weighted Cohen’s Kappa, to test the level of agreement between true and cut point–predicted walking speeds.
Optimal cut points for walking speeds ≤ 1.0 m/s were ≤ 328 and ≤ 470 counts/15 sec; for speeds > 1.3 m/s, they were ≥ 730 and ≥ 851 counts/15 sec for the vertical axis and vector magnitude, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity were 61%–100% for the developed cut points. The quadratic weighted Kappa showed substantial agreement: κ = 0.79 (95% CI 0.70–0.89) and κ = 0.69 (95% CI 0.56–0.82) for the vertical axis and the vector magnitude, respectively.
This study provides accelerometer cut points based on walking speed for physical-activity measurement in older adults with Parkinson’s disease for evaluation of interventions and for investigating links between physical activity and health.
PMCID: PMC4558005  PMID: 26332765
6.  Physical activity promotion in the primary care setting in pre- and type 2 diabetes - the Sophia step study, an RCT 
BMC Public Health  2015;15:647.
Physical activity prevents or delays progression of impaired glucose tolerance in high-risk individuals. Physical activity promotion should serve as a basis in diabetes care. It is necessary to develop and evaluate health-promoting methods that are feasible as well as cost-effective within diabetes care. The aim of Sophia Step Study is to evaluate the impact of a multi-component and a single component physical activity intervention aiming at improving HbA1c (primary outcome) and other metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors, physical activity levels and overall health in patients with pre- and type 2 diabetes.
Sophia Step Study is a randomized controlled trial and participants are randomly assigned to either a multi-component intervention group (A), a pedometer group (B) or a control group (C). In total, 310 patients will be included and followed for 24 months. Group A participants are offered pedometers and a website to register steps, physical activity on prescription with yearly follow-ups, motivational interviewing (10 occasions) and group consultations (including walks, 12 occasions). Group B participants are offered pedometers and a website to register steps. Group C are offered usual care. The theoretical framework underpinning the interventions is the Health Belief Model, the Stages of Change Model, and the Social Cognitive Theory. Both the multi-component intervention (group A) and the pedometer intervention (group B) are using several techniques for behavior change such as self-monitoring, goal setting, feedback and relapse prevention.
Measurements are made at week 0, 8, 12, 16, month 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24, including metabolic and cardiovascular biomarkers (HbA1c as primary health outcome), accelerometry and daily steps. Furthermore, questionnaires were used to evaluate dietary intake, physical activity, perceived ability to perform physical activity, perceived support for being active, quality of life, anxiety, depression, well-being, perceived treatment, perceived stress and diabetes self- efficacy.
This study will show if a multi-component intervention using pedometers with group- and individual consultations is more effective than a single- component intervention using pedometers alone, in increasing physical activity and improving HbA1c, other metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors, physical activity levels and overall health in patients with pre- and type 2 diabetes.
Trial registration Identifier: NCT02374788. Registered 28 January 2015.
PMCID: PMC4499440  PMID: 26164092
Metabolic health; Pedometer; Adults; HbA1c; Behavior change; Intervention
7.  Objectively measured physical activity in two-year-old children – levels, patterns and correlates 
The aim was to describe levels, patterns and correlates of physical activity and sedentary behavior in a sample of Swedish children, two years of age, with normal weight, overweight and obese parents.
Data from 123 children, 37 with normal-weight parents and 86 with overweight/obese parents, enrolled in the Early Stockholm Obesity Prevention Project study was used. Children wore an Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometer for seven days. Average activity (counts per minute), number of steps and time spent in low and high-intensity physical activity and in sedentary was assessed. Differences between weekdays and weekend days were examined as were correlations with sex, body mass index (BMI), motor skills and family-related factors.
Children were active at high intensity 11% of the day. On average 55% of the day was spent being sedentary. Number of steps and time in low-intensity physical activity differed between weekdays and weekend days: on weekdays, 363 more steps (p = 0.01) and six more minutes in low physical activity (p = 0.04). No differences were found for any physical activity or sedentary behavior variable by sex, BMI, motor skills or any family-related variable (p = 0.07 – 0.95).
Two-year-old children have an intermittent activity pattern, that is almost similar on weekdays and they spend about half of the daytime active. The absence of any association with sex, BMI, motor skills or parental factors indicates that the individual variation in this age group is primarily due to endogenous factors.
Trial registration NCT01198847.
PMCID: PMC4312603  PMID: 25616495
Accelerometer; BMI; Energy expenditure; Motor skills; Toddler
8.  Predictors of validity and reliability of a physical activity record in adolescents 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:1109.
Poor to moderate validity of self-reported physical activity instruments is commonly observed in young people in low- and middle-income countries. However, the reasons for such low validity have not been examined in detail. We tested the validity of a self-administered daily physical activity record in adolescents and assessed if personal characteristics or the convenience level of reporting physical activity modified the validity estimates.
The study comprised a total of 302 adolescents from an urban and rural area in Ecuador. Validity was evaluated by comparing the record with accelerometer recordings for seven consecutive days. Test-retest reliability was examined by comparing registrations from two records administered three weeks apart. Time spent on sedentary (SED), low (LPA), moderate (MPA) and vigorous (VPA) intensity physical activity was estimated. Bland Altman plots were used to evaluate measurement agreement. We assessed if age, sex, urban or rural setting, anthropometry and convenience of completing the record explained differences in validity estimates using a linear mixed model.
Although the record provided higher estimates for SED and VPA and lower estimates for LPA and MPA compared to the accelerometer, it showed an overall fair measurement agreement for validity. There was modest reliability for assessing physical activity in each intensity level. Validity was associated with adolescents’ personal characteristics: sex (SED: P = 0.007; LPA: P = 0.001; VPA: P = 0.009) and setting (LPA: P = 0.000; MPA: P = 0.047). Reliability was associated with the convenience of completing the physical activity record for LPA (low convenience: P = 0.014; high convenience: P = 0.045).
The physical activity record provided acceptable estimates for reliability and validity on a group level. Sex and setting were associated with validity estimates, whereas convenience to fill out the record was associated with better reliability estimates for LPA. This tendency of improved reliability estimates for adolescents reporting higher convenience merits further consideration.
PMCID: PMC3890530  PMID: 24289296
Accelerometers; Convenience; Diary; Ecuador; Low- and middle-income countries; Validity
9.  Perceived neighborhood environment and physical activity in 11 countries: Do associations differ by country? 
Increasing empirical evidence supports associations between neighborhood environments and physical activity. However, since most studies were conducted in a single country, particularly western countries, the generalizability of associations in an international setting is not well understood. The current study examined whether associations between perceived attributes of neighborhood environments and physical activity differed by country.
Population representative samples from 11 countries on five continents were surveyed using comparable methodologies and measurement instruments. Neighborhood environment × country interactions were tested in logistic regression models with meeting physical activity recommendations as the outcome, adjusted for demographic characteristics. Country-specific associations were reported.
Significant neighborhood environment attribute × country interactions implied some differences across countries in the association of each neighborhood attribute with meeting physical activity recommendations. Across the 11 countries, land-use mix and sidewalks had the most consistent associations with physical activity. Access to public transit, bicycle facilities, and low-cost recreation facilities had some associations with physical activity, but with less consistency across countries. There was little evidence supporting the associations of residential density and crime-related safety with physical activity in most countries.
There is evidence of generalizability for the associations of land use mix, and presence of sidewalks with physical activity. Associations of other neighborhood characteristics with physical activity tended to differ by country. Future studies should include objective measures of neighborhood environments, compare psychometric properties of reports across countries, and use better specified models to further understand the similarities and differences in associations across countries.
PMCID: PMC3663693  PMID: 23672435
Physical activity; Built environment; Neighborhood environment; International; Generalizability; Moderator
10.  Patterns of neighborhood environment attributes related to physical activity across 11 countries: a latent class analysis 
Neighborhood environment studies of physical activity (PA) have been mainly single-country focused. The International Prevalence Study (IPS) presented a rare opportunity to examine neighborhood features across countries. The purpose of this analysis was to: 1) detect international neighborhood typologies based on participants’ response patterns to an environment survey and 2) to estimate associations between neighborhood environment patterns and PA.
A Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was conducted on pooled IPS adults (N=11,541) aged 18 to 64 years old (mean=37.5 ±12.8 yrs; 55.6% women) from 11 countries including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, Japan, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the U.S. This subset used the Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Survey (PANES) that briefly assessed 7 attributes within 10–15 minutes walk of participants’ residences, including residential density, access to shops/services, recreational facilities, public transit facilities, presence of sidewalks and bike paths, and personal safety. LCA derived meaningful subgroups from participants’ response patterns to PANES items, and participants were assigned to neighborhood types. The validated short-form International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) measured likelihood of meeting the 150 minutes/week PA guideline. To validate derived classes, meeting the guideline either by walking or total PA was regressed on neighborhood types using a weighted generalized linear regression model, adjusting for gender, age and country.
A 5-subgroup solution fitted the dataset and was interpretable. Neighborhood types were labeled, “Overall Activity Supportive (52% of sample)”, “High Walkable and Unsafe with Few Recreation Facilities (16%)”, “Safe with Active Transport Facilities (12%)”, “Transit and Shops Dense with Few Amenities (15%)”, and “Safe but Activity Unsupportive (5%)”. Country representation differed by type (e.g., U.S. disproportionally represented “Safe but Activity Unsupportive”). Compared to the Safe but Activity Unsupportive, two types showed greater odds of meeting PA guideline for walking outcome (High Walkable and Unsafe with Few Recreation Facilities, OR= 2.26 (95% CI 1.18-4.31); Overall Activity Supportive, OR= 1.90 (95% CI 1.13-3.21). Significant but smaller odds ratios were also found for total PA.
Meaningful neighborhood patterns generalized across countries and explained practical differences in PA. These observational results support WHO/UN recommendations for programs and policies targeted to improve features of the neighborhood environment for PA.
PMCID: PMC3615945  PMID: 23497187
Built environment; International; Recreation; Surveillance; Exercise
Medicine and science in sports and exercise  2012;44(1 Suppl 1):S68-S76.
The use of physical activity monitors in population-based research has increased dramatically in the past decade. In this report we review the major purpose for using physical activity monitors in different types of population-based study (i.e., surveillance, intervention, association studies) and discuss the strengths and weaknesses for the various behavioral outcomes derived from monitors for each study type. We also update and extend previous recommendations for use of these instruments in large-scale studies, particularly with respect to selecting monitor systems in the context of technological advances that have occurred in recent years. The current state of the science with respect to optimal measurement schedules for use of physical activity monitors is also discussed. A Checklist and Flow Chart are provided so that investigators have more guidance when reporting key elements of monitor use in their studies.
PMCID: PMC3543867  PMID: 22157777
behavior; energy expenditure; sedentary; measurement; health
12.  A participatory and capacity-building approach to healthy eating and physical activity – SCIP-school: a 2-year controlled trial 
Schools can be effective settings for improving eating habits and physical activity, whereas it is more difficult to prevent obesity. A key challenge is the “implementation gap”. Trade-off must be made between expert-driven programmes on the one hand and contextual relevance, flexibility, participation and capacity building on the other. The aim of the Stockholm County Implementation Programme was to improve eating habits, physical activity, self-esteem, and promote a healthy body weight in children aged 6–16 years. We describe the programme, intervention fidelity, impacts and outcomes after two years of intervention.
Nine out of 18 schools in a middle-class municipality in Sweden agreed to participate whereas the other nine schools served as the comparison group (quasi-experimental study). Tailored action plans were developed by school health teams on the basis of a self-assessment questionnaire called KEY assessing strengths and weaknesses of each school’s health practices and environments. Process evaluation was carried out by the research staff. Impacts at school level were assessed yearly by the KEY. Outcome measures at student level were anthropometry (measured), and health behaviours assessed by a questionnaire, at baseline and after 2 years. All children in grade 2, 4 and 7 were invited to participate (n=1359) of which 59.8% consented. The effect of the intervention on health behaviours, self-esteem, weight status and BMIsds was evaluated by unilevel and multilevel regression analysis adjusted for gender and baseline values.
Programme fidelity was high demonstrating feasibility, but fidelity to school action plans was only 48% after two years. Positive and significant (p<.05) impacts were noted in school health practices and environments after 2 years. At student level no significant intervention effects were seen for the main outcomes.
School staff has the capacity to create their own solutions and make changes at school level on the basis of self-assessment and facilitation by external agents. However these changes were challenging to sustain over time and had little impact on student behaviours or weight status. Better student outcomes could probably be attained by a more focused and evidence-based approach with stepwise implementation of action plans.
PMCID: PMC3545832  PMID: 23245473
Children; Eating habits; Exercise; Fidelity; Health promotion; Obesity prevention; Process evaluation; Quasi-experimental study; Self-esteem
13.  A novel conceptual framework for balance training in Parkinson’s disease-study protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:111.
There is increasing scientific knowledge about the interaction between physiological (musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cognitive and sensory) systems and their influence on balance and walking impairments in Parkinson’s disease. We have developed a new conceptual framework for balance training, emphasising specific components of balance control related to Parkinson’s disease symptoms by using highly challenging, progressive and varying training conditions. The primary aim of this proposed randomised controlled trial will be to investigate the short-term and long-term effects of a 10-week balance training regime in elderly with Parkinson’s disease.
Eighty participants with mild to moderate idiopathic Parkinson’s disease will be recruited and randomly allocated to an intervention group receiving balance training or a control group whose participants will continue to receive their usual care. The intervention will consist of a 10-week group training regime (1-hour training, three times per week), which will be led by two physiotherapists to ensure training progression and safety. The conceptual framework will be applied by addressing specific balance components (sensory integration, anticipatory postural adjustments, motor agility, stability limits) through varying training conditions and structured progression. Assessment will be conducted through a multi-dimensional battery of outcomes, prior to and immediately after the 10-week intervention, and at 9 and 15 months’ follow-up after entering the study. Primary outcome measures will be balance performance (assessed using the Mini Balance Evaluation Systems Test), change in gait velocity (m/s) between single and dual task walking, and fear of falling (evaluated using the Fall Efficacy Scale International).
This study has the potential to provide new insight and knowledge of the effects of specific, varied and challenging balance training on a wide health spectrum in elderly with PD. If found to be effective, this pragmatic approach with translation of theory into practice, can be implemented in existing outpatient care.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3482553  PMID: 23017069
14.  A randomised controlled trial for overweight and obese parents to prevent childhood obesity - Early STOPP (STockholm Obesity Prevention Program) 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:336.
Overweight and obesity have a dramatic negative impact on children's health not only during the childhood but also throughout the adult life. Preventing the development of obesity in children is therefore a world-wide health priority. There is an obvious urge for sustainable and evidenced-based interventions that are suitable for families with young children, especially for families with overweight or obese parents. We have developed a prevention program, Early STOPP, combating multiple obesity-promoting behaviors such unbalanced diet, physical inactivity and disturbed sleeping patterns. We also aim to evaluate the effectiveness of the early childhood obesity prevention in a well-characterized population of overweight or obese parents. This protocol outlines methods for the recruitment phase of the study.
Design and methods
This randomized controlled trial (RCT) targets overweight and/or obese parents with infants, recruited from the Child Health Care Centers (CHCC) within the Stockholm area. The intervention starts when infants are one year of age and continues until they are six and is regularly delivered by a trained coach (dietitian, physiotherapist or a nurse). The key aspects of Early STOPP family intervention are based on Swedish recommendations for CHCC, which include advices on healthy food choices and eating patterns, increasing physical activity/reducing sedentary behavior and regulating sleeping patterns.
The Early STOPP trial design addresses weaknesses of previous research by recruiting from a well-characterized population, defining a feasible, theory-based intervention and assessing multiple measurements to validate and interpret the program effectiveness. The early years hold promise as a time in which obesity prevention may be most effective. To our knowledge, this longitudinal RCT is the first attempt to demonstrate whether an early, long-term, targeted health promotion program focusing on healthy eating, physical activity/reduced sedentary behaviors and normalizing sleeping patterns could be effective. If proven so, Early STOPP may protect children from the development of overweight and obesity.
Trial registration
The protocol for this study is registered with the clinical trials registry, ID: ES-2010)
PMCID: PMC3121630  PMID: 21592388
15.  Relationship between self-reported dietary intake and physical activity levels among adolescents: The HELENA study 
Evidence suggests possible synergetic effects of multiple lifestyle behaviors on health risks like obesity and other health outcomes. Therefore it is important to investigate associations between dietary and physical activity behavior, the two most important lifestyle behaviors influencing our energy balance and body composition. The objective of the present study is to describe the relationship between energy, nutrient and food intake and the physical activity level among a large group of European adolescents.
The study comprised a total of 2176 adolescents (46.2% male) from ten European cities participating in the HELENA (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence) study. Dietary intake and physical activity were assessed using validated 24-h dietary recalls and self-reported questionnaires respectively. Analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were used to compare the energy and nutrient intake and the food consumption between groups of adolescents with different physical activity levels (1st to 3rd tertile).
In both sexes no differences were found in energy intake between the levels of physical activity. The most active males showed a higher intake of polysaccharides, protein, water and vitamin C and a lower intake of saccharides compared to less active males. Females with the highest physical activity level consumed more polysaccharides compared to their least active peers. Male and female adolescents with the highest physical activity levels, consumed more fruit and milk products and less cheese compared to the least active adolescents. The most active males showed higher intakes of vegetables and meat, fish, eggs, meat substitutes and vegetarian products compared to the least active ones. The least active males reported the highest consumption of grain products and potatoes. Within the female group, significantly lower intakes of bread and cereal products and spreads were found for those reporting to spend most time in moderate to vigorous physical activity. The consumption of foods from the remaining food groups, did not differ between the physical activity levels in both sexes.
It can be concluded that dietary habits diverge between adolescents with different self-reported physical activity levels. For some food groups a difference in intake could be found, which were reflected in differences in some nutrient intakes. It can also be concluded that physically active adolescents are not always inclined to eat healthier diets than their less active peers.
PMCID: PMC3045277  PMID: 21294914
16.  Promoting a healthy diet and physical activity in adults with intellectual disabilities living in community residences: Design and evaluation of a cluster-randomized intervention 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:761.
Many adults with intellectual disabilities have poor dietary habits, low physical activity and weight disturbances. This study protocol describes the design and evaluation of a health intervention aiming to improve diet and physical activity in this target group. In Sweden, adults with intellectual disabilities often live in community residences where the staff has insufficient education regarding the special health needs of residents. No published lifestyle interventions have simultaneously targeted both residents and staff.
The intervention is designed to suit the ordinary work routines of community residences. It is based on social cognitive theory and takes 12-15 months to complete. The intervention includes three components: 1) Ten health education sessions for residents in their homes; 2) the appointment of a health ambassador among the staff in each residence and formation of a network; and 3) a study circle for staff in each residence. The intervention is implemented by consultation with managers, training of health educators, and coaching of health ambassadors. Fidelity is assessed based on the participation of residents and staff in the intervention activities. The study design is a cluster-randomised trial with physical activity as primary outcome objectively assessed by pedometry. Secondary outcomes are dietary quality assessed by digital photography, measured weight, height and waist circumference, and quality of life assessed by a quality of life scale. Intermediate outcomes are changes in work routines in the residences assessed by a questionnaire to managers. Adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities living in community residences in Stockholm County are eligible for inclusion. Multilevel analysis is used to evaluate effects on primary and secondary outcomes. The impact of the intervention on work routines in community residences is analysed by ordinal regression analysis. Barriers and facilitators of implementation are identified in an explorative qualitative study through observations and semi-structured interviews.
Despite several challenges it is our hope that the results from this intervention will lead to new and improved health promotion programs to the benefit of the target group.
Trial registration number
PMCID: PMC3020685  PMID: 21144033
17.  Effect of a primary health-care-based controlled trial for cardiorespiratory fitness in refugee women 
BMC Family Practice  2010;11:55.
Refugee women have a high risk of coronary heart disease with low physical activity as one possible mediator. Furthermore, cultural and environmental barriers to increasing physical activity have been demonstrated. The aim of the study was to evaluate the combined effect of an approximate 6-month primary health care- and community-based exercise intervention versus an individual written prescription for exercise on objectively assessed cardiorespiratory fitness in low-active refugee women.
A controlled clinical trial, named "Support for Increased Physical Activity", was executed among 243 refugee women recruited between November 2006 and April 2008 from two deprived geographic areas in southern Stockholm, Sweden. One geographic area provided the intervention group and the other area the control group. The control group was on a higher activity level at both baseline and follow-up, which was taken into consideration in the analysis by applying statistical models that accounted for this. Relative aerobic capacity and fitness level were assessed as the two main outcome measures.
The intervention group increased their relative aerobic capacity and the percentage with an acceptable fitness level (relative aerobic capacity > 23 O2ml·kg·min-1) to a greater extent than the control group between baseline and the 6-month follow-up, after adjusting for possible confounders (P = 0.020).
A combined primary health-care and community-based exercise programme (involving non-profit organizations) can be an effective strategy to increase cardiorespiratory fitness among low-active refugee women.
Trial Registration ID: NCT00747942
PMCID: PMC2921106  PMID: 20678219
18.  The association between health enhancing physical activity and neighbourhood environment among Swedish adults – a population-based cross-sectional study 
This study examines the relationship of neighbourhood environment factors with walking and total health enhancing physical activity.
A population-based cross-sectional study. The short self-administered version of the validated International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was used to assess health enhancing physical activity including walking. The neighbourhood environment was assessed using a 17-item environmental module. A principal component analysis among the environmental variables was conducted. The factor scores were divided into tertiles and independent associations between factor tertiles and physical activity categories and walking were studied by multinomial logistic regression with adjustment for confounders.
In adjusted models, a lower odds ratio (OR) for reaching the middle, OR: 0.66 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.47–0.98), and upper, OR: 0.65 (0.45–0.95), tertile of walking was observed among those in the lowest tertile of the degree of urbanisation. A higher OR for reaching the middle, OR: 1.84 (1.28–1.64), and upper tertile, OR: 1.64 (1.14–2.36), of walking was observed among those in the lowest tertile of fear of crime. A higher OR for reaching the high category of total health enhancing physical activity was observed among those in the lowest, OR: 2.01 (1.32–3.05), and middle tertile, OR: 1.52 (1.02–2.25), of the factor degree of urbanisation.
The findings suggest that the environment is differentially related to walking and total health enhancing physical activity. This should be explored in future research to disentangle the complex relationship between different levels and aspects of physical activity and their relationship with the environment.
PMCID: PMC2647520  PMID: 19203354
19.  Adherence to physical activity recommendations and the influence of socio-demographic correlates – a population-based cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:367.
Current physical activity guidelines acknowledge the importance of total health enhancing physical activity (HEPA) compared to leisure time physical activity or exercise alone. Assessing total HEPA may result in different levels of adherence to these as well as the strength and/or direction of associations observed between total HEPA and socio-demographic correlates. The aim of this study was to estimate the proportion of the population adhering to the recommendation of at least 30 minutes of HEPA on most days, and to examine the influences of socio-demographic correlates on reaching this recommendation.
Swedish adults aged 18–74 years (n = 1470) were categorized, based on population data obtained using the IPAQ, into low, moderately and highly physically active categories. Independent associations between the physical activity categories and socio-demographic correlates were studied using a multinomial logistic regression.
Of the subjects, 63% (95% CI: 60.5–65.4) adhered to the HEPA recommendation. Most likely to reach the highly physical active category were those aged < 35 years (OR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.1–3.3), living in small towns (OR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.1–2.7) and villages (OR = 2.4; 95% CI: 1.6–3.7), having a BMI between 25.0–29.9 kg/m2 (OR = 2.7; 95% CI: 1.4–5.3) having a BMI < 25 kg/m2 (OR = 2.5; 95% CI: 1.3–4.9), or having very good (OR = 2.1; 95% CI: 1.3–3.3) or excellent self-perceived health (OR = 4.1; 95% CI: 2.4–6.8). Less likely to reach the high category were women (OR = 0.6; 95% CI: 0.5–0.9) and those with a university degree (OR = 0.5; 95% CI: 0.3–0.9). Similar, but less pronounced associations were observed for the moderate group. Gender-specific patterns were also observed.
Almost two-thirds of the Swedish adult population adhered to the physical activity recommendation. Due to a large diversity in levels of physical activity among population subgroups, social-ecological approaches to physical activity promotion may be warranted.
PMCID: PMC2576236  PMID: 18945354
20.  Validity of two physical activity questionnaires (IPAQ and PAQA) for Vietnamese adolescents in rural and urban areas 
Although physical activity is recognised to be an important determinant of health and nutritional status, few instruments have been developed to assess physical activity in developing countries. The aim of this study was to compare the validity of the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and a locally adapted version of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQA) for use in school going adolescents in rural and urban areas in Vietnam.
Sixteen year old adolescents from rural areas (n = 137) and urban areas (n = 90) completed the questionnaires in 2006. Test-retest reliability was assessed by comparing registrations after 2 weeks. Criterion validity was assessed by comparison with 7 days continuous accelerometer logging. Validity of the two methods was assessed using Spearman correlation coefficient, intra class correlation coefficients (ICC) and Kappa statistics.
Reliability of both questionnaires was poor for both the IPAQ (ICC = 0.37) and the PAQA (ICC = 0.40). Criterion validity of both questionnaires was acceptable and similar for the IPAQ (ρ = 0.21) and the PAQA (ρ = 0.27) but a significantly lower validity was observed in rural areas. Both forms poorly estimated time spent on light, moderate and vigorous physical activity. Agreement of both questionnaires to classify individuals was also low but the IPAQ performed better than the PAQA.
Both questionnaires have a similar and overall poor validity to be used as a population instrument in Vietnam. Low reliability and classification properties in rural areas call for further research for specific use in such settings.
PMCID: PMC2494550  PMID: 18616798
21.  Patterns in sedentary and exercise behaviors and associations with overweight in 9–14-year-old boys and girls - a cross-sectional study. 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:16.
Before starting interventions addressing energy-balance related behaviors, knowledge is needed about the prevalence of sedentary behaviors and low physical exercise, their interrelationships, possible gender differences. Therefore this study aimed to describe gender differences in sedentary and physical exercise behaviors and their association with overweight status in children from nine European countries. Additionally, to identify clusters of children sharing the same pattern regarding sedentary and physical exercise behavior and compare these groups regarding overweight status.
Cross-sectional study among 11-year-old children in nine countries (n = 12538). Self-administered questionnaires assessed the time spent on TV viewing during dinner and during the day, PC use and on physical exercise. The parents reported children's weight and height. Descriptive statistics, cluster analyses, and logistic regression analyses were used for data analyses.
Boys spent more time on sedentary behaviors but also more on physical exercise than girls. High TV viewing and low exercise behavior independently increased the risk of being overweight. Based on the behaviors, five clusters were identified. Among boys, clear associations with being overweight were found, with the most unhealthy behavior pattern having the highest risks of being overweight. Among girls, high TV viewers and high PC users had increased risk of being overweight. In girls sedentary behaviors seemed more important than physical exercise with regard to overweight status.
Despite selective non-response on BMI and reliance on self-reports, the associations between clusters and overweight in boys were clear, and differences between boys and girls regarding the behaviors and risks for overweight are noteworthy. These differences need to be considered when developing tailored intervention strategies for prevention of overweight.
PMCID: PMC1800840  PMID: 17266745

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