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Physical Inactivity Prevalence in the Islamic World: An Updated Analysis of 47 Countries

David Kahan

Background: Physical inactivity prevalence estimates for youth and adults have been published on a global scale and for various geographical and geopolitical permutations. Only one such study has presented estimates for adults in Muslim countries, and it is nearly 10 years old. I conducted an update of this study by incorporating newer data, refining methods, and including youth estimates. Methods: I identified 47 Muslim countries with physical inactivity data for youth, adults, or both. Data were extracted by country primarily from global estimates reported by Guthold et al in 2018 and 2020 and from World Health Organization surveillance data repositories. Weighted prevalence calculations for total prevalence and by sex, ethnicity (Arab vs non-Arab), and country income group accounted for country population, study sample size, and a country’s proportion of Muslims. Z tests and chi-square tests, and follow-up odds ratios and percentage deviations, respectively, were used to determine differences by sex, ethnicity, and country income group. Results: Overall physical inactivity prevalence was 84.2% (youth) and 29.6% (adults). Gaps favoring males over females were observed for youth (5.6% lower prevalence) and adults (9.6% lower prevalence). Gaps favoring non-Arabs over Arabs were observed for youth (3.9% lower) and adults (3.8% lower). No pattern emerged for country income group for youth; however, prevalence for adults trended upward across income groups from low (22.7%) to high (62.0%). Conclusions: Gaps by sex and ethnicity have narrowed since the original report and prevalence values are somewhat higher than current global estimates.

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Outcomes Associated With Translating Evidence-Based Research Into Practice: The Physical Activity for Lifelong Success Program

Erin E. Eggert, Will Palmer, Lourdes I. Shanjani, Kimberlee Gretebeck, and Jane E. Mahoney

Background: Few programs assess for outcomes once translated into practice. The Physical Activity for Lifelong Success program was developed as a center-based public health intervention and shown to improve walking speed and distance among older adults with type 2 diabetes. We adapted the program for community-based delivery by lay leaders to physically inactive older adults. Methods: We followed the Replicating Effective Programs framework to identify community stakeholders, adapt, implement, and evaluate fidelity of delivery in community settings, and plan for maintenance and evolution. Sixteen community sites enrolled 184 adults (mean age 73.5 y, 85% female, 93% White) in 21 workshops. Baseline and postworkshop measures assessed participants’ health-related quality of life, physical function, and physical fitness. Data were analyzed using Fisher exact tests, Student t test, and paired linear regression with fixed effects. Results: Fidelity testing indicated leader training was sufficient to maintain key elements with delivery. Data from 122 participants showed improvements in chair stands (P < .001), arm curls (P < .001), 2-minute step test (P < .001), sit-and-reach (P = .001), 8-foot up-and-go (P < .001), and 10-m walk (P < .001). Conclusions: Adaptation of Physical Activity for Lifelong Success for implementation by community organizations for physically inactive older adults demonstrates that fidelity and effectiveness can be maintained after program translation.

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Why Do Romantic Relationships Affect Physical Activity? An Analysis of the Time Use of Couples and Singles Over a 3-Day Period

Ingmar Rapp, Jonathan Gruhler, and Benjamin Ambiel

Background: Several studies have found that individuals with a partner were less physically active than those without. To better understand the reasons for this association, we examine whether the existence of a relationship or the current presence of a partner influences physical activity (PA). Methods: We use data from the most recent German Time Use Survey 2012/13 to examine leisure-time PA. All leisure-time activities reported in the time diaries are classified according to their metabolic equivalent of task (MET) to calculate the mean MET scores. First, we use ordinary least square regressions and logistic regressions to examine the effects of living together with a partner or not on mean daily MET scores and on exercise. Second, we apply person-day fixed effects models to estimate the impact of current partner presence on current PA levels. Results: Having a partner is negatively associated with exercising but is not correlated with mean leisure-time MET scores for both women and men. For those with a partner, current MET levels are substantially lower when the partner is present than when the partner is absent. When partners spend leisure-time activities apart, their MET levels are higher than those of individuals without a partner. Conclusions: The results suggest that it is not the mere existence of a romantic relationship but the current copresence with a partner that affects PA behavior. Therefore, interventions to increase PA may be promising if they can encourage couples to be active together.

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A Quick Guide for Becoming a Better Peer Reviewer

Ding Ding, Pedro C. Hallal, Loretta DiPietro, and Harold W. (Bill) Kohl III

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Time Reallocations From Sedentary Behavior to Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review

Leonardo Alex Volpato, Julio Cesar Costa, Wendell Arthur Lopes, Jeffer Eidi Sasaki, Catiana Leila Possamai Romanzini, Enio Ricardo Vaz Ronque, and Marcelo Romanzini

Background: Recent statistical approaches have allowed consideration of the integrated relationships between sedentary behavior (SB) and physical activity (PA) with different health outcomes. The present paper aimed to systematically review the literature and synthesize evidence about associations between hypothetical reallocations from SB to different PA intensities and cardiovascular risk factors in youth. Methods: A systematic search of 8 databases was performed. Observational studies with a population of children and/or adolescents and based on statistical analysis that investigated the associations between time reallocations from SB to PA and cardiovascular risk factors were included. Results: Twenty-eight studies met the inclusion criteria. Level of evidence (derived from cross-sectional studies) indicated that the reallocation from SB to moderate to vigorous PA was beneficially associated with adiposity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and cardiometabolic biomarkers in youth. Reallocation from SB to light PA was not associated with the analyzed outcomes. Associations derived from longitudinal studies were mostly inconclusive. Conclusion: Cardiovascular risk factors could be improved by increasing moderate to vigorous PA at the expense of time spent in SB in pediatric populations. Prospective studies or studies investigating the effects of reallocating sedentary bouts to PA are needed.

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Volume 20 (2023): Issue 9 (Sep 2023): Special Issue: Life Course Epidemiology Applied to Physical Activity Research

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The Effect of a Physical Activity Intervention on Burden and Depressive Symptoms in Depressed Family Caregivers of Patients With Schizophrenia: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Kerime Bademli, Neslihan Lök, and Sefa Lök

Background: The study aimed to investigate the efficacy of a 12-week physical activity intervention for caregivers of patients with schizophrenia. Method: Family caregivers of patients with schizophrenia were recruited and randomized into either a physical activity group (n = 31) or a control group (n = 31). The 12-week “Physical Activity Program” consisted of 10 minutes of warm-up activities as the initial segment, 20 minutes of rhythmic exercises as the activity segment, 10 minutes of cool-down exercises as the final segment, and 40 minutes of free walking. The physical activity program was designed to accommodate the ergonomics and physiological structure of the caregiver. The program consisted of 12 sessions. The Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory were used to the physical activity and control groups before the program’s implementation. Results: A total of 62 caregivers were randomized to the intervention (n = 31) or control group (n = 31). Postintervention measurement was completed by 61 caregivers, and all the caregivers completed the intervention. Mean scores of Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale score and Beck Depression Inventory score in the physical activity group of caregivers at postintervention, significantly reduced at <.05 level than their mean baseline scores. Conclusions: Engagement in a 12-week physical activity intervention can improve the perceived burden of caregiving and symptoms of depression. Future research should examine with larger sample groups, carry out interventions, and apply the physical activity intervention by targeting caregivers, along with different interventions.

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Effect of Gender and Celebrity Status of Models in Printed Advertisements Promoting Physical Activity

Ho Keat Leng, Denise Yap, Lishanth Thangavelu, and Yi Xian Philip Phua

Public health organizations have embarked on various campaigns to increase the level of physical activity in the population. The aim of this study is to examine whether printed advertisements promoting physical activity can be made more effective by manipulating the model used in advertisements. Two experiments were conducted. The aim of the first experiment was to examine whether the gender of the model affects the effectiveness of the advertisement. Seventy-five respondents were randomly split into a control group featuring no model, experimental group 1 featuring a female model, and experimental group 2 featuring a male model. The study found that while respondents spend more time looking at advertisements with models, male respondents in the male model group reported an intent to participate in higher levels of physical activity compared with the other 2 groups. The aim of the second experiment was to examine whether the celebrity status of the model affects the effectiveness of the advertisement. Fifty-nine respondents were randomly split either into a group featuring a sports celebrity or an unknown athlete. The results show that while the sports celebrity was more attractive, it was respondents in the noncelebrity group that reported an intent to participate in higher levels of physical activity. The findings from this study suggest that noncelebrity male models in printed advertisements promoting physical activity are more effective.

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Efficacy of Yoga for COVID-19 Stress Prophylaxis

Sudeep Mitra, Mousumi Mitra, Purna Nandi, Madhumita Pandey, Mousumi Chakrabarty, Mantu Saha, and Dilip Kumar Nandi

Background: The global COVID-19 lockdown restricted daily routines due to the psychological fear of infection, which imposed an unknown universal threat on female college students, affecting physiological health and well-being. However, scant information concerning the efficacy of yogic practice on female college students during the stressful COVID-19 pandemic situation is available. Methods: In a randomized controlled trial (n = 74, age = 21.65 [4.05] y), a study was conducted with a well-conceptualized yogic module for 5 days/week for 3 months (40 min daily in the morning) among yogic volunteers. Pre–post analysis of anthropometric, physiological, and biochemical indices in pandemic-stressed female college students was done for the control and yoga groups. Results: After 3 months of yogic practice, significant reduction (P < .05) in heart rate (d = 0.64, meandiff = 5.43), systolic blood pressure (d = 0.59, meandiff = 5.32), cortisol (d = 0.59, meandiff = 6.354), and triglycerides (P < .01, d = 0.45, meandiff = 13.95) was observed. After yogic follow-up significant improvement (P < .01) in high-frequency (d = 0.56, meandiff = −7.3), total power (d = 0.46, meandiff = −1150) and time domain parameters of heart rate variability led to ameliorate the stress index. Superoxide dismutase (P < .01, d = 0.78, meandiff = 0.69), catalase (P < .05, d = 0.48, meandiff = −7.37), glutathione (P < .001, d = 0.83, meandiff = −4.15), high-density lipoprotein (P < .05, d = 0.48, meandiff = −11.07), and dopamine (P < .001, d = 0.97, meandiff = −135.4) values along with inflammatory markers (P < .001) significantly improved among yogic volunteers after regular practice. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a 3-month well-conceptualized yogic intervention during COVID-19 may be considered as a prophylactic tool to improve female college students’ universal psychophysiological health by ameliorating autonomic functions, cardiometabolic risk factors, and immune metabolisms in an economical and environment-friendly manner.

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Effects of a School-Based Physical Activity Intervention on Adolescents’ Mental Health: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

Kazi Rumana Ahmed, Sharon Horwood, and Asaduzzaman Khan

Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a school-based multicomponent physical activity intervention on mental health of adolescents. Methods: A clustered, randomized, controlled trial was employed in 8 high schools in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which were randomly assigned to either an intervention or control group; 40 students in grades 8 and 9 from each school took part in the trial (n = 160/group). Students in the intervention schools participated in a 12-week physical activity intervention with multiple components (eg, supervised circuits, lunchtime sports, health education, infographics), while control schools received no intervention. Participants completed baseline and postintervention surveys measuring depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) and life satisfaction (Cantril Ladder), along with other sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics. Linear mixed-effects modeling was used to evaluate the intervention effects. Results: Depressive symptoms in the intervention group decreased at postintervention, but remained stable in the control group. There was an increase in life satisfaction in the intervention group and a decrease in the control group. Multivariable modeling showed that students in the intervention group had a significantly lower level of depressive symptoms (β = −4.60; 95% confidence interval, −5.76 to −3.46) and higher level of life satisfaction (β = 1.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.77 to 2.10) compared with their counterparts in the control group. Sensitivity analyses supported the positive effects of the intervention. Conclusions: Our school-based, multicomponent physical activity intervention is effective in improving mental health indicators in adolescents. Future trials should be ramped up to include schools in rural and regional settings, using robust measures  of mental well-being.