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How should activity guidelines for young people be operationalised?

Olds, Tim, Ridley, Kate, Wake, Melissa, Hesketh, Kylie, Waters, Elizabeth, Patton, George and Williams, Joanne 2007, How should activity guidelines for young people be operationalised?, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 4, no. 43, pp. 1-6.

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Title How should activity guidelines for young people be operationalised?
Author(s) Olds, Tim
Ridley, Kate
Wake, Melissa
Hesketh, Kylie
Waters, Elizabeth
Patton, George
Williams, Joanne
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 4
Issue number 43
Start page 1
End page 6
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2007
ISSN 1479-5868
Summary Background: If guidelines regarding recommended activity levels for young people are to be meaningful and comparable, it should be clear how they are operationalised. It is usually open to interpretation whether young people are required to meet activity and screen time targets (1) all days of the week, (2) on most days of the week, (3) on average across all days, or (4) whether compliance should be understood as the probability that a randomly selected young person meets the guidelines on a randomly selected day. This paper studies this question using data drawn from the Australian Health of Young Victorians study.


Methods: The subjects for this study were 885 13–19 year olds who recalled four days of activities using a computerised use-of-time instrument, the Multimedia Activity Recall for Children and Adolescents (MARCA). Daily minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and screen time were calculated. The prevalence of compliance to Australian guidelines (≥ 60 min/day of MVPA and ≤ 120 min/day of screen time outside of school hours) was calculated using the four methods.


Results: The four methods resulted in significantly different prevalence estimates for compliance to the MVPA guideline (20–68%), screen guideline (12–42%) and both guidelines (2–26%). Furthermore, different individuals were identified as compliant by the different methods.


Conclusion: Clarification of how compliance to guidelines should be operationalised would assist in comparisons between studies, and in consistency in determining correlates of compliance.
Notes This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 111704 Community Child Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007 Olds et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30007446

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