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Analysis of Changes in Physical Fitness in Children and Adolescents (11–15 Years) From Kraków (Poland) During COVID-19 Pandemic

Paulina Artymiak, Magdalena Żegleń, and Łukasz Kryst

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has posed a threat to society worldwide. The aim of the study was to analyze changes in the physical fitness of 11- to 15-year-olds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Cross-sectional research was conducted in randomly selected schools in Kraków (Poland) during the years 2020 and 2022. The study group included 1635 adolescents aged 11–15 years. The results of fitness tests such as flexibility, standing broad jump, handgrip strength, overhead medicine ball throw, shuttle run (10 × 5 m), and 30-second sit-ups were analyzed. Body height and weight measurements were also taken. The standing broad jump and handgrip strength were normalized. A statistical analysis was performed to compare the differences between groups using 2-way analysis of variance with the Tukey HSD post hoc test or Kruskal–Wallis test. Results: The test results revealed a deterioration decrease in sit-ups, standing broad jump, shuttle run, and normalized standing broad jump in both sexes. Furthermore, the test results among girls showed a decrease in overhead medicine ball throw and flexibility. An increase in test results of both sexes was noticed in handgrip strength of the right and left hand. Among boys in 2022, the results were better in the flexibility test and overhead medicine ball throw compared with their peers from 2020. Conclusion: This study indicates a decrease in overall physical fitness in adolescents. The observed results may be associated with a decrease in physical activity, changes in nutrition, and restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Cultural, Linguistic, and Geographical Diversity of Participants in Australian Physical Activity Research Studies: A Systematic Review

Stephen Gilbert, Alastair Jordan, Ding Ding, Anne Tiedemann, Catherine Sherrington, and Marina De Barros Pinheiro

Background: The Australian population is highly diverse in terms of cultural heritage, languages spoken, and geographical dispersion. Health outcomes are often worse among these culturally, linguistically, and geographically diverse populations, and this is reflected in rates of physical activity participation, with people from these groups often engaging in insufficient physical activity for health benefits. This research aimed to investigate if physical activity intervention studies conducted in Australia were (1) designed to recruit culturally, linguistically, and geographically diverse participants and (2) recruiting culturally, linguistically, and geographically diverse participants. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of physical activity intervention studies conducted in adults in Australia between 2015 and November 2022. Information relevant to inclusivity in study recruitment methods and diversity of recruited participants was extracted. Results: We identified and extracted data from 371 studies, of which 98 were protocol papers for which no follow-up data was available. Only 26 studies (7%) included methods to recruit culturally or linguistically diverse participants. Most studies (189, 51%) recruited participants from major city locations, with few studies recruiting from more remote locations. No studies included recruitment from very remote regions. Information on cultural, linguistic, or geographic diversity of participants recruited to physical activity studies was provided by 109 studies (40% of studies including results) with the majority recruiting White, English-speakers from major cities. Conclusions: Few Australian physical activity studies are designed to recruit culturally, linguistically, and geographically diverse participants. Due to limited reporting of the diversity of participants, comparisons with population-representative data are unreliable.

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Increasing Health Equity for Postpartum Women Through Physical Activity

Corliss Bean and Iris Lesser

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Physical Activity, Long-COVID, and Inactivity: A Detrimental Endless Loop

Giuseppe Lippi, Camilla Mattiuzzi, and Fabian Sanchis-Gomar

The risk of developing medium- and long-term sequelae after recovery from COVID-19 is validated. Long-COVID burden represents a major health care issue, thus paving the way to effective prevention and/or treatment measures. Physical activity prevents many human pathologies, including COVID-19. Being physically active before and immediately after a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection substantially lowers the risk of developing long-COVID. In addition, long-COVID is an important cause of physical inactivity. Physically inactive individuals are at increased risk of developing long-COVID, while patients with long-COVID are more likely to reduce their physical activity levels after recovering from the acute infection, with the risk of generating a continuous loop. This harmful interaction needs to be recognized by public health institutions, and the adoption of physical activity as a routine clinical practice in all individuals after a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection needs to be proactively promoted.

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The Impact of Removing the 10-Minute Bout Requirement and of Different Survey Administration Methods on National Physical Activity Estimates in Austria

Sylvia Titze, Tessa Strain, Philipp Wagner, Anna Schuster, Jasmin Karner, and Thomas E. Dorner

Background: Monitoring survey methods, as well as movement recommendations, evolves over time. These changes can make trend observations over time difficult. The aim of this study was to examine the differences between 2 computer-assisted survey administration methods and the effect of the omission of the 10-minute minimum bout requirement in physical activity (PA) questions on PA outcomes. Methods: We used data from the second Austrian PA Surveillance System for 2998 adults (18–64 y), applying computer-assisted personal interviewing and computer-assisted web interviewing. Within the computer-assisted web interviewing sample only, we added PA questions without the 10-minute requirement. Quantile and logistic regressions were applied. Results: Between computer-assisted web interviewing and computer-assisted personal interviewing, within the computer-assisted personal interviewing sample, we found lower PA estimates in the leisure domain and work and household domain, but not in the travel domain, and no significant difference in the proportion of people meeting the PA recommendations. In all 3 PA domains, the median minutes did not differ when assessed with or without the 10-minute requirement. However, the percentage participation in the travel domain and work and household domain performing >0 minutes per week PA was higher when there was no 10-minute requirement. The proportion of people meeting the Austrian aerobic recommendation for adults when computed with or without the 10-minute requirement did not differ. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the omission of the 10-minute requirement does not seem to result in marked differences in PA estimates or the proportion of adults meeting the recommendations.

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The Legacy of an All-Around Physical Activity and Health Scientist: Harold W. (Bill) Kohl III

Ashley Cathro, Deanivea Mendes Felix, Otávio Amaral de Andrade Leão, Susana Lopez, Zijian Lu, Pedro Gustavo Machado, Diana Morales, Francisco Timbó de Paiva Neto, Ana Selzer, Anne Tang, Rafael Miranda Tassitano, Maria Cecilia Marinho Tenório, Kaiyue Zhang, Wenbo Zhao, and Pedro C. Hallal

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Volume 21 (2024): Issue 3 (Mar 2024)

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Association Between Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Occupation Activity Level, National Health Interview Survey—United States, 2020

Jasmine Y. Nakayama, Miriam E. Van Dyke, Tyler D. Quinn, and Geoffrey P. Whitfield

Background: Physical activity for any purpose counts toward meeting Physical Activity Guidelines (PAG). However, national surveillance systems traditionally focus on leisure-time physical activity. There is an incomplete understanding of the association between meeting PAG in leisure time and occupation activity level among US workers. Methods: We used cross-sectional 2020 National Health Interview Survey data to examine US adults aged 18–64 years who worked the week before the survey (n = 14,814). We estimated the proportion meeting aerobic and muscle-strengthening PAG in leisure time by occupation activity level (low, intermediate, and high). Using logistic regression, we examined the association between meeting PAG in leisure time and occupation activity level, adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics and stratified by hours worked. We compared the sociodemographic characteristics of adults working ≥40 hours (the previous week) in high-activity occupations to those in low- or intermediate-activity occupations. Results: Adults working in high-activity occupations were less likely to meet PAG in leisure time (26.1% [24.3–28.1]) versus those in low-activity (30.6% [29.1–32.2], P < .01) or intermediate-activity (32.4% [30.8–34.2]) occupations. In stratified, adjusted models, adults working ≥40 hours in low- and intermediate-activity occupations were 13% and 20%, respectively, more likely to meet PAG in leisure time versus those in high-activity occupations. Among those working ≥40 hours, adults in high-activity occupations were more likely to be Hispanic or Latino, male, younger, and have a high school education or lower compared with those in less active occupations. Conclusion: Traditional surveillance may underestimate meeting PAG among people working in high-activity occupations, potentially disproportionately affecting certain groups.

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Psychosocial Outcomes Associated With Types and Intensities of Physical Activity in People With Spinal Cord Injury: The Mediating Role of Self-Efficacy and Functionality

Alex Castan, Iván Bonilla, Andrés Chamarro, and Joan Saurí

Background: Low rates of participation and quality of life (QoL) and high rates of psychological distress are common in spinal cord injury (SCI) population. Research has supported the mediating role of self-efficacy and functionality in improving psychosocial outcomes. Furthermore, evidence supports the impact of physical activity (PA) on psychosocial variables, but little is known about the types and intensities of PA. The objective of this study was to determine whether functionality and/or general self-efficacy (GSE) mediate the relationships between the various types of PA: (1) lifestyle and (2) leisure-time physical activity (LTPA); and various intensities of PA: (1) mild, (2) moderate, and (3) heavy PA with participation, psychological distress, and perception of QoL. Methods: The Physical Activity Recall Assessment for SCI, and measures of functionality, GSE, participation, psychological distress, and perception of QoL were administered to 159 participants. Path analysis was performed using Jeffrey’s Amazing Statistics Program. Results: GSE significantly mediated, and functionality partially significantly mediated, the relationship between LTPA and psychosocial outcomes. GSE and functionality did not mediate the relationship between lifestyle activity and psychosocial outcomes. Conclusions: It is recommended that people with SCI perform LTPA on a regular basis to achieve psychosocial benefits. These programs should be accompanied by strategies to improve GSE.

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An Overview of Physical Activity Research Evolution in Africa: The Global Observatory for Physical Activity—GoPA!

Adewale L. Oyeyemi, Andrea Ramirez Varela, Estelle V. Lambert, Eduardo Ribes Kohn, Pedro C. Hallal, and Michael Pratt

Objective: To describe the evolution of physical activity (PA) research in Africa, examine income and gender inequalities, and discuss future possibilities. Methods: A secondary analyses of the Global Observatory for Physical Activity data on PA research in Africa (1950–2019). Results: We identified 514 PA articles from 47 African countries in the past 70 years. Majority (83.1%) of the articles were published between 2012 and 2019. Fifteen countries had no publications. Six countries (South Africa [n = 156], Nigeria [n = 85], Ethiopia [n = 44], Ghana [n = 41], Kenya [n = 39], and Cameroon [n = 20]) accounted for about 75% of the publications. Most articles were observational (92.4%), single-country studies (78.4%), with male first (58.4%) and last authors (68%), and were classified as surveillance studies (45.1%). Few studies addressed interventions (5.8%) and policy (3.5%) or used device-based PA measurement (14.0%). The number of articles per country was positively related to human population level (r = .552, P = .000) and gross domestic product % spent on research and development (r = .301, P = .040). The publication rate per 100,000 people was positively related with the human development index (r = .349, P = .016) and negatively with the gender inequality index (r = −.360, P = .019). Conclusions: Our results provide an overview and status of PA research in Africa, highlighting country differences and gender inequalities in authorship. The findings may be used to benchmark the evolution of research in the region and to inform areas for improvement. There is an urgent need for more PA interventions and policy studies in Africa.