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Striking a Balance: Physical Activity and Planetary Health

Katja Siefken and Karim Abu-Omar

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Biopsychosocial Effects of a Conventional Exercise Program and Culturally Relevant Activities in Older Women From Mozambique

Timóteo Daca, Antônio Prista, Paulo Farinatti, Matheus Maia Pacheco, Ricardo Drews, Taru Manyanga, Albertino Damasceno, and Go Tani

Aim: This randomized controlled trial compared the effects of a Conventional Exercise Program (CEP) and Culturally Relevant Activities (CRA) on body mass, cardiovascular risk, functional fitness (strength, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness, and agility), self-efficacy, and self-esteem in older women dwelling in Mozambique. Methods: Fifty-seven women (67 [7] y) underwent 60-minute sessions of CEP (n = 28) or CRA (n = 29) performed 3 days per week for 12 weeks. CRA included Mozambican traditional dances and games (intensity corresponding to scores 3–4 of BORG-CR10 scale), and CEP included 20-minute stationary cycling (65%–75% heart rate reserve) and a resistance training circuit (8 exercises, 15-repetition maximum). Results: CEP and CRA (P < .05) showed increased percent fat (3.4% and 5.3%), waist circumference (3.3% and 5.8%), and cardiorespiratory fitness (14.4% and 9.4%), and decreased triglycerides (−20.0% and −77.8%). In CEP (P < .05), body mass (2.9%), body mass index (3.2%), and high-density lipoprotein (10.0%) increased, while glycemia (−4.8%) and total cholesterol (−9.8%) decreased. Blood pressure slightly increased in CEP (6.2%, P > .05) and CRA (4.3%, P < .05). Self-efficacy and self-esteem increased to similar levels in both groups (15%, P < .05). Conclusions: CEP and CRA were capable to improve biopsychosocial health-related variables in Mozambican older women. Culturally referenced PA interventions should be considered as an alternative in African countries.

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Cost-Utility of an Exercise Referral Scheme Versus Doing Nothing in Flemish Adults: Exploring the Impact of Key Assumptions

Amber Werbrouck, Masja Schmidt, Koen Putman, Steven Simoens, Nick Verhaeghe, and Lieven Annemans

Background: This health-economic evaluation assessed the cost-effectiveness of an exercise referral scheme (ERS) versus doing nothing in the Flemish region (Belgium), with a particular focus on the impact of several scenarios. Methods: A 14-state Markov model was applied to compare the expected costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) of 2 alternatives: the Flemish ERS (2019 data, mean age 52 y, 69.1% women) and doing nothing. A health care payer perspective was adopted and a lifetime time horizon was applied. A set of 18 scenario analyses is presented. In addition, univariate and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed. Results: Under the assumptions selected for the base-case analysis, the Flemish ERS is moderately cost-effective compared with doing nothing, with an incremental cost-utility ratio of €28,609/QALY. Based on the scenario analyses, the results largely depend on the assumptions regarding the continuation of the intervention effect and the frequency with which the intervention is repeated. The greatest health gains can be made when a sustainable behavioral change is achieved among participants. The probabilistic sensitivity analysis confirmed that the cost-effectiveness results were not robust. Conclusions: If it is possible to induce a sustainable behavioral change with an intervention delivered at 2- or 5-year intervals, then the Flemish ERS is potentially cost-effective compared with doing nothing (given a €40,000/QALY threshold). These results suggest the importance of repeated implementation of the program together with careful monitoring of the adherence and the sustainability of the observed effects in a real-world setting.

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Reducing LGBTQ+ Physical Activity Disparities Through Improved Measurement and Inclusion of Sexual Orientation in US National Data Sets

Keegan T. Peterson and Melissa Bopp

Adequate participation in physical activity (PA) is effective in reducing negative health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, as well as stress, anxiety, and depression. However, 1 in 4 adults meet the PA guidelines, with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons reporting increased rates of inactivity and higher rates of negative health outcomes. Limited research can be conducted on best methods to promote PA among LGBTQ+ adults as there is a lack of standardized measurements for both sexual orientation status and PA used in US national data set methodologies. A call to action is warranted to highlight the lack of uniform methodologies for collecting both sexual orientation and PA data in national data sets, with an overall goal of promoting inclusion and transparency of sexual orientation as a primary, secondary, and tertiary influence on PA. The current societal disconnect of national data sets collecting sexual orientation does not allow for proper extrapolation within the LGBTQ+ classifications. LGBTQ+ identities each report differing PA and health outcomes, promoting the need for proper sexual orientation measures. Without this inclusion, we will continue to see larger health disparities among LGBTQ+ persons due to outdated measurements in current US national data sets. This commentary provides sexual orientation status on health outcomes linked to physical inactivity, the need to include uniform sexual orientation measures in national data sets, and implications of the inclusion of this measure to conduct PA research as it relates to health outcomes.

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Maintenance of Aerobic or Resistance Training After an Exercise Intervention Among Breast Cancer Patients After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

Siri Goldschmidt, Martina E. Schmidt, Friederike Rosenberger, Joachim Wiskemann, and Karen Steindorf

Background: Exercise interventions have been shown to be beneficial for cancer patients regarding various treatment-related side effects and quality of life. For sustainable effects, patients should continue the training. Therefore, we investigated the maintenance of an exercise training in breast cancer patients, reasons for (dis)continuation, and explored possible influencing factors. Methods: The investigation is based on a 3-arm randomized intervention trial comparing aerobic and resistance training (19 [4]) during or after neoadjuvant chemotherapy among breast cancer patients. About 2 years after breast surgery, 68 patients (age 52 [11] y) provided information about training continuation, self-reported reasons of (dis)continuation, sociodemographics, employment status, age, and body mass index. Training continuation was investigated with Kaplan–Meier analyses. Results: The intervention was rated as good or very good by 88.1% of participants. Nevertheless, 52.9% discontinued the training directly, but half of them changed to different types of exercise. Reasons for discontinuation included lack of time and long travel distance to the training facility. The median continuation was 19.0 months (Q1, Q3: 5.5, 36.0) with no statistically significant difference between the intervention groups. Younger, better educated, partnered patients tended toward longer training continuation. Conclusions: The majority of patients continued exercising after the end of intervention. However, a nonnegligible number discontinued training immediately or after few months. Practical, social, and financial support for a transition to an adequate training that is affordable and feasible in the patient’s daily life might foster training maintenance. Especially patients who are less educated, elderly, or living alone may need more support to continue exercising.

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Remembering Steven N. Blair

Harold W. Kohl III, Loretta DiPietro, I-Min Lee, Ding Ding, Pedro C. Hallal, James R. Morrow Jr, and Russell R. Pate

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Racial/Ethnic Differences in Physical Activity in a Low-Income Sample in Texas

Nalini Ranjit, David J. Badillo, Deanna M. Hoelscher, Sarah Macias, Alejandra Gonzalez, and Anna V. Wilkinson

Introduction: National data reveal that the age-adjusted prevalence of leisure-time physical inactivity is higher among Blacks and Hispanics compared with Whites. However, these estimates do not consider nonleisure physical activity (PA). Also, race/ethnicity in these findings may by confounded by socioeconomic status disparities in PA. Here, we examine racial/ethnic differences in multiple measures of PA within a lower socioeconomic status sample. Methods: Participants in the current cross-sectional study (n = 1526 adults, aged ≥ 18 y) were recruited from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education classes (nutrition education classes that target low-income people) in Texas. Self-report data were obtained using survey questionnaires in spring and fall 2018. PA outcomes of 4 different intensities were assessed: mean daily time spent walking, engaging in moderate and vigorous PA, and sitting. Additional PA-related measures included use and awareness of community PA resources. Linear regression models examined racial/ethnic differences in the 4 PA outcomes after adjusting for participant gender, age, household composition measures, and various socioeconomic status measures. Results: In this low-income sample, Hispanic and Black participants spent 6 to 9 more minutes per day walking and engaging in moderate and vigorous PA compared with White/other participants (P < .05 for each measure). Conversely, White/other participants reported spending 82 more minutes sitting per day than Black and Hispanic participants (P < .01). Overall, Black participants were most likely to utilize community PA resources and report ease of engaging in exercise. Discussion: Together, these results reveal greater engagement in PA by racial/ethnic minorities in low-income communities compared with Whites. Our results have implications for tailoring PA programming to these communities.

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How Societal Forces of Change Are Transforming Youth Physical Activity Promotion in North America

Jacob Szeszulski, Jamie M. Faro, Rodney P. Joseph, Kevin Lanza, Lucie Lévesque, Courtney M. Monroe, Elsa A. Pérez-Paredes, Erica G. Soltero, and Rebecca E. Lee

Background: Climate change, increasing recognition of institutionalized discrimination, and the COVID-19 pandemic are large-scale, societal events (ie, forces of change) that affect the timing, settings, and modes of youth physical activity. Despite the impact that forces of change have on youth physical activity and physical activity environments, few studies consider how they affect physical activity promotion. Methods: The authors use 2 established frameworks, the ecological model of physical activity and the youth physical activity timing, how, and setting framework, to highlight changes in physical activity patterns of youth in North America that have resulted from contemporary forces of change. Results: North American countries—Canada, Mexico, and the United States—have faced similar but contextually different challenges for promoting physical activity in response to climate change, increasing recognition of institutionalized discrimination, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Innovative applications of implementation science, digital health technologies, and community-based participatory research methodologies may be practical for increasing and sustaining youth physical activity in response to these forces of change. Conclusions: Thoughtful synthesis of existing physical activity frameworks can help to guide the design and evaluation of new and existing physical activity initiatives. Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers are encouraged to carefully consider the intended and unintended consequences of actions designed to respond to forces of change.

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Unseating the Sedentary Threat: A Vital Strategy for Curbing Cardiovascular Disease in Young Adults

Robert J. Kowalsky, Gregory J. Grosicki, Marco Meucci, Erik D. Hanson, Justin B. Moore, and Lee Stoner

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Echocardiographic Parameters Associated With Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Physical Activity in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Survivors

Maxime Caru, Pierre Dubois, Daniel Curnier, Gregor Andelfinger, Maja Krajinovic, Caroline Laverdière, Daniel Sinnett, and Delphine Périé

Background: Children’s exposure to chemotherapeutic agents causes several long-term adverse effects but physical activity has been evidenced to be an effective strategy to improve cardiac function. This cross-sectional study aimed to explore the association between physical activity levels, cardiorespiratory fitness, and cardiac parameters measured by echocardiography. Methods: Participants were 216n childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia survivors who underwent a maximal cardiopulmonary exercise test and self-reported their daily minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. They underwent a complete transthoracic echocardiographic assessment. Systolic and diastolic function analysis and strain images analysis were performed. The associations were studied through the preventive fraction (examined with univariate crude and adjusted logistic regression models) of regular physical activity (≥150 min·wk−1) and adequate cardiorespiratory fitness levels (above the median ≥ 32.0 mL·kg−1·min−1) on cardiac parameters. Results: Crude analysis shows that regular physical activity was associated with a significant preventive fraction in mitral E/A ratio (56%; P = .013), while adjusted analyses highlighted a nonsignificant reduction of 74% to 37% in the prevalence of cardiac parameters associated with physical activity. Similar associations of adequate cardiorespiratory fitness on cardiac parameters were observed. Adjusted analyses revealed a nonsignificant reduction of 7% to 86% in the prevalence of cardiac parameters associated with cardiorespiratory fitness. Conclusion: This study reports that regular physical activity and adequate cardiorespiratory fitness were associated with a higher preventive fraction. Thus, engaging in physical activity prevents childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia survivors’ cardiac dysfunctions. These findings are novel and clinically relevant in pediatric cardiooncology and provide additional evidence to strengthen the benefits of exercise as long-term care in childhood cancer survivors.