258429 Measuring compliance with IOM guidelines for preschoolers' physical activity: Complications and solutions

Monday, October 29, 2012

Daniel Bornstein, Doctoral candidate , Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Michael W. Beets, PhD , Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Background: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently released PA recommendations for preschool-age children (3-5yrs), which if followed, should yield improvements across a myriad of health outcomes over time. IOM's recommendation is preschoolers' spend 15 minutes/hour (25% of waking hours) being physically active (light-vigorous, total PA). This represents the first known national-level recommendation to employ evidence from studies using accelerometers to measure PA. Hence, this recommendation offers researchers, practitioners, and policy makers a single, evidence-based objective benchmark for assessing preschoolers' PA.

Complication: Objective measurement of preschoolers' PA via accelerometry produces vastly different estimates of PA due to differences in cutpoints used to define PA intensity levels. The majority (4/6) of studies informing IOM's 15min/hr guideline used a single set of cutpoints. This creates confusion, since there are currently 6 cutpoints used with this population.

Solutions: When collecting accelerometer-based PA to evaluate compliance with IOM's PA guideline, both researchers and practitioners need to: 1) use the same Reilly et al cutpoints as used by IOM to distill accelerometer data into estimates of total PA; 2) develop conversion equations that allow comparisons among estimates of total PA across different cutpoints; and 3) consider comparing additional measures of time spent physically active, such as pedometers, to total PA estimates derived from accelerometry.

Conclusion: The IOM's recommendations represent a major step forward in establishing PA guidelines from studies employing state-of-the-art measures. However, this is not without complications. These solutions will help unify approaches for monitoring preschoolers' PA.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
- Explain IOM's newly developed guideline for preschoolers' PA. - Demonstrate how different instruments for measuring preschoolers' PA complicate assessing compliance with IOM's guideline. - Identify the best methods for assessing compliance with IOM's guideline.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Youth at Work

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have authored, co-authored, and peer reviewed over 20 manuscripts related to physical activity measurement of youth. The research group in which I work, the Children's Physical Activity Research Group is a World-leading authority on children's physical activity, and contributed to development of the IOM guidelines addressed in this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.