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Changes in Perceptions of the Near-Home Walking Environment Among US Adults—2015 and 2020 National Health Interview Survey

Graycie W. Soto, Geoffrey P. Whitfield, Akimi Smith, David Berrigan, and Janet E. Fulton

Background: The built environments in which we work, live, and play can influence physical activity behaviors, and perceptions of these environments are associated with walking behavior. This study’s objective is to compare national-level data on perceptions of the near-home walking environment from the 2015 and 2020 National Health Interview Survey. Methods: Adults in 2015 (n = 30,811) and 2020 (n = 29,636) reported perceptions of walkable supports (roads, sidewalks, paths, or trails; sidewalks on most streets), destinations (shops, stores, or markets; bus or transit stops; movies, libraries, or churches; places that help you relax, clear your mind, and reduce stress), and barriers to walking (traffic; crime; animals). Age-adjusted prevalence estimates, prevalence differences, and 95% confidence intervals were calculated overall and by demographic characteristics. Results: The reported prevalence of roads, sidewalks, paths, or trails for walking increased overall (85.3% in 2015 to 88.0% in 2020) and for many subgroups. Perceived places to walk to for relaxation, to clear your mind, and to reduce stress increased overall (72.1% in 2015 to 77.1% in 2020) and for all subgroups. Perceptions of crime as a barrier to walking decreased overall (12.5% in 2015 to 11.2% in 2020) and for some subgroups. From 2015 to 2020, the proportion of adults perceiving roads, sidewalks, paths, or trails; places to relax; and crime as a barrier to walking improved. Conclusions: Continuing to monitor perceptions of the walking environment could contribute to progress toward national walking and walkability goals in the United States.

Open access

Assessing Support for Policy Actions With Co-Benefits for Climate Change and Physical Activity in Canada

Matthew J. Fagan, Leigh M. Vanderloo, Ananya Banerjee, Leah J. Ferguson, Eun-Young Lee, Norman O’Reilly, Ryan E. Rhodes, John C. Spence, Mark S. Tremblay, and Guy Faulkner

Background: Calls to action addressing the interconnections between physical (in)activity and the climate crisis are increasing. The current study aimed to investigate public support for policy actions that potentially have co-benefits for physical activity promotion and climate change mitigation. Methods: In 2023, a survey through the Angus Reid Forum was completed by 2507 adults living in Canada. Binary logistic regressions were conducted. Separate models were created to reflect support or opposition to the 8 included policy items. Several covariates were included in the models including age, gender, political orientation, physical activity levels, income, urbanicity climate anxiety, and attitudes surrounding physical activity and climate change. The data were weighted to reflect the gender, age, and regional composition of the country. Results: Most individuals living in Canada strongly or moderately supported all actions (ranging from 71% to 85%). Meeting the physical activity guidelines, higher self-reported income, and scoring high on personal experience of climate change were associated with higher odds of supporting the policy actions related to climate actions. Conclusions: Most adults living in Canada support policies that align with the recommended policy actions related to physical activity and climate change. National campaigns enhancing awareness and understanding of the bidirectional relationship between physical activity and climate change are warranted, and these should consider the consistent demographic differences (eg, gender, age, and political orientation) seen in public support for physical activity-related policies.

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Factors That Influence Meeting the Recommended Weekly Physical Activity Target Among Older People With Physical Multimorbidity: Evidence From 6 Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Lee Smith, Dong Keon Yon, Laurie Butler, Karel Kostev, Carol Brayne, Yvonne Barnett, Benjamin R. Underwood, Jae Il Shin, Masoud Rahmati, Sharon A.S. Neufeld, Anya Ragnhildstveit, Guillermo F. López Sánchez, and Ai Koyanagi

Background: There is a scarcity of studies on the association between physical multimorbidity and lower levels of physical activity among older adults from low- and middle-income countries, while the potential mediating variables in this association are largely unknown. Methods: Cross-sectional, community-based, nationally representative data from the World Health Organization Study on global AGEing and adult health were analyzed. Data on 11 chronic physical conditions were collected. Scoring <150 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity physical activity per week was considered low physical activity. Multivariable logistic regression and mediation analysis were done to assess associations and quality of life measures which might influence these associations. Results: Data on 14,585 people aged ≥65 years were analyzed (mean [SD] age 72.6 (11.5) y, maximum age 114 y; 55.0% women). After adjustment for potential confounders, compared with no chronic conditions, ≥3 conditions were associated with a significant 1.59 to 2.42 times higher odds for low physical activity. Finally, mobility mediated the largest proportion of the association between ≥3 chronic physical conditions and low physical activity (mediated percentage 50.7%), followed by activities of daily living disability (30.7%), cognition (24.0%), affect (23.6%), and pain/discomfort (22.0%). Conclusions: Physical multimorbidity was associated with higher odds for low physical activity among older adults residing in low- and middle-income countries. Mobility, disability, cognition, affect, and pain/discomfort explained the largest proportion of this association. Given the universal benefits of regular and sustained participation in physical activity, it would be prudent to implement interventions among older people with physical multimorbidity to increase levels of physical activity. Future studies should assess the impact of addressing the identified potential mediators among people with multimorbidity on physical activity levels.

Free access

Sport Participation for Academic Success: Evidence From the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children

Katherine B. Owen, Bridget C. Foley, Ben J. Smith, Karine E. Manera, Lucy Corbett, Michelle Lim, Philayrath Phongsavan, Pamela Qualter, Ding Ding, and Philip J. Clare

Background: We aimed to identify long-term patterns of sport participation (overall, team, and individual sport) from childhood into adolescence, and to examine the association between these patterns and academic outcomes. Methods: This cohort study used data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children in wave 3 (4–5 y) to wave 9 (20–21 y). The participants were a nationally representative sample of 4241 children. We conducted latent class analyses to identify sport participation trajectories and assessed the association between these trajectories and academic outcomes. Results: Continued sport participation was associated with lower odds of being absent from school (OR = 0.44; 95% confidence intervals [CIs], 0.26 to 0.74), better performance on attention (B = −0.010; 95% CIs, −0.019 to −0.002) and working memory (B = −0.013; 95% CIs, −0.023 to −0.003), higher numeracy (B = 20.21; 95% CIs, 14.56 to 25.86) and literacy scores (B = 9.42; 95% CIs, 2.82 to 16.02), higher end of school academic performance (B = 3.28; 95% CIs, 1.47 to 5.09), and higher odds of studying at university (OR = 1.78; 95% CIs, 1.32 to 2.40). Team sport participation was associated with reduced absenteeism, better performance on attention and working memory, and being awarded the Higher School Certificate. Whereas individual sport participation was associated with higher literacy scores and end of school academic performance. Conclusions: Team and individual sport participation both benefit academic outcomes, but differently. Given the decline in sport participation during adolescence, these findings highlight the need to develop educational policies to establish an environment that promotes sport participation, which in turn could improve academic outcomes.

Free access

Patterns and Correlates of Participation in a Weekly Mass Participation Physical Activity Event, parkrun, in Australia, 2011–2020

Anne C. Grunseit, Bo-Huei Huang, Dafna Merom, Adrian Bauman, Leonie Cranney, and Kris Rogers

Background: Studying effective interventions already operating at scale is critical to improving physical activity intervention research translation. The free, weekly, timed 5-km run or walk parkrun represents a unique opportunity to examine successful organic dissemination. We conducted an ecological analysis to identify patterns of growth in Australian parkrun participation and their correlates from 2011 to 2020. Method: Outcome variables were (1) weekly counts of walkers/runners and (2) monthly number of new parkrun registrants. We used latent class analysis to characterize growth trajectories followed by logistic regression on class membership. Covariates included parkrun course characteristics (eg, surface type and route), site-level aggregate participant profile (eg, proportion women and mean age), and surrounding area characteristics (eg, population density and physical activity norm). Results: Three hundred and sixty-three parkruns were included (n = 8,388,695 participation instances). Sixty-nine percent followed a low-growth and 31% a high-growth participation pattern. High growth was associated with greater participation by women, concrete/bitumen surface type, lower area socioeconomic status, and greater volunteer heterogeneity. Odds of being in the slow-growth class were higher if the course contained >1 km of repetition, higher average age of participants, better average parkrun performance, and higher running group membership. Two patterns of new registration were identified: high start followed by steep decline; and low start, slow decline with similar correlates to participation. Conclusions: Parkruns with a less competitive social milieu may have more rapid dissemination. As a free and regular event, parkruns in low socioeconomic areas have the potential to improve the activity levels of those with fewer resources.

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Assessing the Role of Sports Participation on Depression, Suicide Ideation, and Suicide Behaviors Among Adolescents Before and During COVID-19

Philip Veliz and Massy Mutumba

Purpose: To assess the association between sports participation, depression, suicide ideation, and suicide behaviors in a nationally representative sample of US adolescents before COVID-19 and during COVID-19. Methods: Data from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (n = 13,526) and the 2021 Adolescent Behaviors and Experiences Survey (n = 7677) were used to analyze the association between past-year depression/suicide ideation/suicide behaviors and past-year sports participation. Results: The analysis found that 57.4% of adolescents indicated participating in at least 1 sport in 2019; this dropped to 47.7% in 2021. Furthermore, 36.7% of adolescents indicated feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for 2 weeks or more in a row in 2019; this increased to 44.2% in 2021. The percentage of adolescents who indicated considering suicide, making a suicide plan, attempting suicide, and attempted suicide that lead to an injury was similar during 2019 and 2021. Multivariable analysis found that participation in 2 or more sports in 2019 was associated with lower odds of each of the outcomes for depression, suicide ideation, and suicide behaviors, whereas in 2021, participation in 2 or more sports was only associated with lower odds of indicating being sad or hopeless (an indicator for depression) for a 2-week period (adjusted odds ratios = 0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.58–0.85). Conclusions: Participation in 2 or more sports lowered the risk of feeling sad or hopeless, suicide ideation, and suicide behaviors in 2019, but this effect was absent in 2021. Given the presence of multiple stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic, sports participation alone may not offer sufficient protective effects against suicide behaviors as it did pre pandemic.

Free access

Future Directions for Movement Behavior Research in the Early Years

Valerie Carson, Catherine E. Draper, Anthony Okely, John J. Reilly, and Mark S. Tremblay

Free access

Data Coaching: A Strategy to Address Youth Physical Behavior, Motor Competence, and Out-of-School Time Leader Evidence-Based Practices

Peter Stoepker and David A. Dzewaltowski

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Examination of Physical Activity, Organized Sport, and Sitting Time Among Women and Mothers From Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds

Susan Paudel, Gita D. Mishra, Jenny Veitch, Gregore I. Mielke, and Kylie D. Hesketh

Background: Little evidence is available from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities on the association between motherhood and physical activity (PA). This study aimed to examine independent and joint associations of cultural background and motherhood with meeting PA guidelines, participation in organized sports, and high sitting time (>8 h/d). Methods: We used self-reported cross-sectional data from survey 8 of the 1973–1978 cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. PA was measured using the Active Australia Survey while organized sport and sitting time were measured using single items. CALD was defined as being born in a non-English speaking country or primarily speaking a non-English language at home. Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression analyses were used to examine independent and joint associations. Results: Data from 5967 women (mean age 42.4 [SD 1.5] y, 6.9% CALD, 81.2% mothers) were analyzed. Women of CALD background had lower odds of meeting PA guidelines (odds ratio; 95% confidence interval: 0.80; 0.64–0.98) and participation in organized sports (0.68; 0.54–0.86), but no statistically significant association with sitting time (0.90; 0.72–1.14). Mothers had lower odds of meeting PA guidelines (0.75; 0.64–0.87) and high sitting time (0.42; 0.36–0.49). Compared with non-CALD women without children, mothers (irrespective of cultural background) were less likely to meet PA guidelines and have high sitting time. The association of “cultural background and motherhood” with organized sports participation was only significant for CALD mothers. Conclusions: Increased efforts and investments are needed to ensure that sports and other PA promotion interventions are culturally sensitive and engaging for CALD women and those with children.

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A Systematic Review of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Patterns in an Osteoarthritic Population

Zoe E. Dawson, Alexander J. Beaumont, and Sophie E. Carter

Objective: To explore physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviors (SB) in individuals with lower limb (LL) Osteoarthritis (OA) and the influence of age, sex, and body mass index (BMI) on these behaviors. Design: Systematic review search: PubMed, Cochrane Library, ScienceDirect, and CINAHL databases were searched from inception until July 2023. Study criteria: Studies that reported quantifiable device-based or self-reported data for PA and SB variables in adults clinically diagnosed with LL OA were included. Data synthesis: A synthesis of PA and SB levels for those diagnosed with LL OA and the influence age, sex, and BMI have on these behaviors. Results: From the 1930 studies identified through the electronic search process, 48 met the inclusion criteria. PA guidelines were met by 33% of the sample population that measured moderate and moderate to vigorous PA. No studies reported 75 minutes per week or more of vigorous PA. Additionally, 58% of the population reporting SB were sedentary for 8 hours per day or more. Also, increasing age, BMI, and the female sex were identified as negative influences on PA levels. There were numerous methodological inconsistencies in how data were collected and reported, such as various activity monitor cut points for PA and SB bout duration. Conclusion: Adults with LL OA may be at an increased risk of noncommunicable diseases due to low PA and high SB levels. It is important to consider age, sex, and BMI when investigating behavior patterns in those with LL OA.