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Promoting Lifestyle Activity for Youth. Robert P. Pangrazi Department of Kinesiology Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85287-0701. Greetings from Arizona!. Fitness, Exercise, or Activity?.

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promoting lifestyle activity for youth
Promoting Lifestyle Activity for Youth

Robert P. Pangrazi

Department of Kinesiology

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ 85287-0701

fitness exercise or activity
Fitness, Exercise, or Activity?
  • Fitness: A set of attributes that people have or achieve relating to their ability to perform physical activity (USDHHS, 1996)
  • Exercise: Leisure time physical activity conducted with the intention of developing physical fitness.
  • Physical Activity: Bodily movement that is produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle and that substantially increases energy expenditure (USDHHS, 1996)
are today s youth physically fit
Are Today’s Youth Physically Fit?
  • No, if you listen to many teachers
  • No, if you listen to many parents who remember how fit they were as youth
  • No, if you listen to the least active group (adults) label the most active group (youth)
  • Yes, if you look at research data
u s fitness testing data
U.S. Fitness Testing Data
  • Administered in 1958, 1965, 1975, 1985
  • Sampled entire U.S.
  • Up to 20,000 youngsters tested
  • Conducted by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
  • Evaluated youngsters using the PCPFS physical fitness test
results of u s fitness testing
Results of U.S. Fitness Testing
  • Since 1958, no decreases in fitness scores have been identified (Corbin & Pangrazi, 1992)
  • Test items in each of the four national tests were the pull-up and flexed arm hang.
    • Boys and girls pass rates improved
    • Girls: 50% in 1958 and 53% in 1985
    • Boys: 55% in 1958 and 73% in 1985
presidential award fitness test results
Presidential Award Fitness Test Results
  • To earn the Presidential Award, youngsters must pass test items at the 85%ile
    • If youngsters didn’t meet 85th percentile on all tests, youngsters were labeled unfit
    • Less than one tenth of one percent of students were able to pass all the tests (Corbin & Pangrazi, 1992)
    • Shows that a battery of tests will always fail the majority of people
why little change in fitness levels
Why Little Change in Fitness levels?
  • Elementary school youth show little physiological response to training (Payne & Morrow, 1993)
  • Fitness is strongly influenced by genetics (Bouchard, 1993)
  • Youngsters may be at a satisfactory fitness level because they are more active than any other age group
fitness is controlled by many external factors
Fitness is Controlled by Many External Factors
  • Physical performance is controlled by many factors:
    • Maturation - age differences of 3 months impact performance scores
    • Nutrition
    • Genetic Predisposition
    • Trainability
mass prescription
Mass Prescription
  • Assumes all people need the same workload
  • Assumes one fitness battery measures many different sizes and shapes of people
  • Assumes we know the correct workload for all of our students
  • Takes away exercise independence – the motivation to keep active
is fitness the right goal for inactive youth
Is Fitness the Right Goal for Inactive Youth?
  • Fitness is a product that many can’t reach, no matter how hard they try – so they quit trying
  • Some people are non-responders to fitness activities
  • Many of the tests are not appropriate for obese youngsters
obese youth fitness u s
Obese Youth & Fitness – U.S.
  • Obesity is rapidly increasing among youth in the U.S.
  • Failure on a fitness test discourages obese youth – goals are unrealistic for them
  • Heavy emphasis on fitness has not reduced obesity among youth – It has tripled nationally in the last 20+ years
why lifestyle activity
Why Lifestyle Activity?
  • Inactive people have twice the risk of developing heart disease
  • Inactivity is a primary risk factor for heart disease (so are smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol
  • Reduces risk of cancer and diabetes
  • Improves posture and reduces lower back pain
  • Is as effective as psychotherapy for treating depression
physical activity youth adults differ
Physical Activity: Youth & Adults Differ
  • Adults participate in low volume - high intensity activity (fitness-based activities)
  • Youth participate in high volume - low intensity activity (movement-based activities)
  • Youth don’t like extended bouts of high intensity activity (particularly inactive youth)
  • Youth naturally move in high-low intensity activity patterns (may stimulate growth, Bailey,, 1995)
activity is for all students
Activity Is for All Students
  • Regular activity for youth increases the probability of an active adult lifestyle (Raitakari, et al., 1994; Telama, et al., 1997)
  • Youth who are active at 3 or 4 years of age, are more active as adults (Pate, et al., 1996)
  • Moderate activity offers lifetime benefits
  • Activity helps those who need it most - unskilled and obese youth
our focus fitness or activity
Our Focus: Fitness or Activity?
  • When youth fail fitness tests, they are labeled as unfit; being identified as inactive is less derogatory
  • Fitness is controlled genetically; activity is for all students regardless of ability
  • Fitness is comparative; activity is individual and personal
  • Fitness is short term; activity is long term
our focus fitness or activity1
Our Focus: Fitness or Activity?
  • Activity can be monitored; fitness testing is difficult and inaccurate
  • Activity can be done outside of physical education classes
  • Activity needs to be valued as much as intense exercise or sport related activities
  • Activity is a lifetime activity
what is lifestyle activity
What is Lifestyle Activity?
  • Moderate, intermittent, and success oriented
  • All activity is valued
  • Balance of strength, flexibility, and aerobic activities
  • Assures expenditure of 6 to 8 kcal/kg/day
  • Incorporates everyday activities, i.e., walking, riding bike, etc.
u s sweden and australia youth activity study
U.S., Sweden, and AustraliaYouth Activity Study
  • Data on school age youth in each country
  • Pedometer (Yamax 2000) step counts and BMI
  • Data gathered using the same protocol
  • Data gathered during the fall season in each country
step counts by age country females means for most active ma and least active la tertiles
Step Counts by Age & Country Females – Means for Most Active (MA) and Least Active (LA) Tertiles
stepping out
Stepping Out!
  • Pedometers are a reasonably priced way to evaluate physical activity objectively and be accountable.
  • They measure steps; something every student can accomplish.
  • With youth, they are more accurate than recall inventories of activity.
  • Heaviest tertile of boys and girls get much heavier with age.
  • Lean youth show smaller increases in BMI with age.
  • Active boys stay active while inactive boys become less active
  • Active and inactive girls maintain their initial activity level
thank you my australian colleagues
Thank you, My Australian colleagues…
  • For letting me share with you
  • For caring about youth
  • For your warm and caring spirit
pedometers validity reliability
Pedometers - Validity & Reliability

Eston, Rowlands, & Ingledew, 1998

  • Regression analysis

- Tritrac R2 = .825 - Heart Rate R2 = .638

- Pedometer R2 = .650 - WAM (CSA) R2 = .609

  • Had .921 correlation with VO2 during unregulated play activities

Kilanowski, Consalvi, & Epstein, 1999

  • Had high correlations with the Tritrac and direct observation measures during recreational activities (.98 & .97, respectively)
advantages limitations
Advantages & Limitations


  • Unobtrusive & convenient.
  • Cost effective - $20 for one, $11 to $15 depending on quantity purchased.
  • Measures movement.


  • Unable to measure intensity, duration, or frequency.
  • Unable to store information other than total counts.
ways to use pedometers in schools
Ways to Use Pedometers in Schools
  • Teacher and class members wear pedometer during school day.
  • Accumulated steps are discussed each day for 5 days.
  • Goals are set for all students.
  • Goals are set in a healthy zone format (similar to Fitnessgram standards).
ways to use pedometers in schools1
Ways to Use Pedometers in Schools
  • Youngsters are asked to monitor one of his parents or significant adult for one day.
  • Handout sent home discussing pedometers and the 10,000 step criteria for adults.
  • Results are discussed by students in class.
  • Creates parental interest in regular physical activity.
ways to use pedometers in schools2
Ways to Use Pedometers in Schools
  • Students wear pedometers for a 24 hour period to check their free time activity.
  • Comparison of student data to parent’s data.
  • Goals set for students based on baseline data gathered by each student.
ways to use pedometers in schools3
Ways to Use Pedometers in Schools
  • Students chart their activity as a class project.
  • Goals are set for the class-at-large, i.e., a walk across Arizona or the U.S.
  • Based on the assumption that 2500 steps equals a mile.
ways to use pedometers in schools4
Ways to Use Pedometers in Schools
  • Students wear pedometers and time how long it takes them to walk a certain number of steps.
  • For example, for adults, a 30-minute walk is comparable to 4,000 steps.
  • Determine time for different activities.
  • Students then set their goals in terms of minutes (meet the P.L.A.Y. standards.
ways to use pedometers in schools5
Ways to Use Pedometers in Schools
  • Students calculate caloric expenditure based on the number of steps taken during a 24 hour period.
  • Convert how many extra calories they would have to burn to lose one pound of weight in one month.
  • Compare how many calories are consumed when eating candy, pastries, and other high calorie foods.
ways to use pedometers in schools6
Ways to Use Pedometers in Schools
  • Compare different types of physical activity.
  • Use a set amount of time (30 minutes) in different activities and see how many steps are accumulated.
  • For example, taking a walk, playing soccer, playing baseball, doing chores around the house.
  • Make a chart showing the activity levels of selected activities.
ways to use pedometers in schools7
Ways to Use Pedometers in Schools
  • Chart and evaluate activity data using a spreadsheet.
  • Students can input their data in the computer lab and then compare different times and distances.
  • Complete a one-week log of steps accumulated each day. Compute the average daily count and see if they are adequate amounts of activity on a daily basis.
understanding the limitations of pedometers
Understanding the Limitations of Pedometers

Rowlands, Eston & Ingledew, 1997.

  • When taking into consideration the intermittent activity patterns of youth and the recent emphasis on promoting total physical activity as opposed to focusing on intensity, duration and frequency these limitations seem to be acceptable.
  • Pedometers give a total count that can be evaluated for each child based on normal patterns of activity in the population.
research questions
Research Questions
  • 10,000 steps per day is recommended dosage for adults, therefore…
  • What is recommended dosage for youth as they mature? Parents/teachers would have data for assuring adequate activity in youth
  • How does BMI impact activity level?
  • How does self-esteem impact activity level?