Objectively measured physical activity in urban alternative high school students.

Abstract:

INTRODUCTION:Alternative high school (AHS) students are an underserved population of youth at greater risk for poor health behaviors and outcomes. Little is known about their physical activity patterns. PURPOSE:: The purpose of this study was to describe 1) physical activity levels of students attending alternative high schools (AHS) in St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN, and 2) compliance with wearing a physical activity accelerometer. METHODS:Sixty-five students (59% male, 65% <18 yr old, 51% African American, 17% Caucasian, 32% mixed and other) wore an accelerometer during all waking hours for 7 d as part of the baseline assessment for a school-based physical activity and dietary behavior intervention. Accelerometer data were reduced to summary variables using a custom software program. Compliance with wearing the accelerometer was assessed by the number of days with >or=10 h of data. Accelerometer counts per minute and minutes spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were calculated. RESULTS:Students averaged 323 +/- 143.0 counts min(-1) and 51 +/- 25.5 min d(-1) of MVPA. Minutes of MVPA d(-1) were greater on weekdays compared with the weekend (52 +/- 27.3 vs 43 +/- 39.7 min d(-1), respectively; P = 0.05). However, students wore the accelerometer less on the weekends (weekdays = 17.2 +/- 3.0, weekend = 14.9 +/- 6.8 h d(-1)). Expressing minutes of MVPA as a percentage of the number of minutes of available data, students spent approximately 5% of their time in MVPA on weekdays and weekends. Forty-five percent of students had 7 d of data, 51% had 4-6 d, and 5% had fewer than 4 d. On average, students wore the accelerometer for 17 +/- 3.2 h d(-1) (range = 12.0-23.8 h d(-1)). CONCLUSION:Compliance was high (95% of students provided at least 4 d of data), and physical activity was relatively low representing a vulnerable population in need of further study and intervention.

journal_name

Med Sci Sports Exerc

authors

Sirard JR,Kubik MY,Fulkerson JA,Arcan C

doi

10.1249/MSS.0b013e318182092b

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2008-12-01 00:00:00

pages

2088-95

issue

12

eissn

0195-9131

issn

1530-0315

journal_volume

40

pub_type

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