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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.

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Barriers and Enablers for Physical Activity Engagement Among Individuals From India With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Mixed-Method Study

Prabhath Matpady, Arun G. Maiya, Pallavi P. Saraswat, Chythra R. Rao, Mamatha Shivananda Pai, Shekarappa D. Anupama, Jeevan K. Shetty, and Shashikiran Umakanth

Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a complex, chronic condition that can cause multiple complications due to poor glycemic control. Self-management plays a crucial role in the management of T2DM. Lifestyle modifications, including physical activity (PA), are fundamental for self-management. This study explored the knowledge, perception, practice, enablers, and barriers of PA among individuals with T2DM. Methods: A mixed-method study was conducted among individuals with T2DM in Udupi taluk, India. A cross-sectional survey (n = 467) followed by an in-depth interview (n = 35) was performed. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis, respectively. Results: About half (48.8%) of the participants engaged in PA of which 28.3% had an adequate score in the practice of PA. Walking was the most preferred mode. Self-realization, Comprehension, perception, and source of information, PA training, Current PA practices, enablers and barriers for PA were 6 themes derived under knowledge, perception, and practice of PA. Conclusion: Despite knowing the importance of PA, compliance with PA was poor. The personal/internal, societal, and external factors constituted the trinity of barriers and enablers in compliance with PA. Behavioral changes, societal changes, policy initiatives, and PA training in health care settings may enhance PA practice among individuals with T2DM.

Open access

Physical Activity Levels, Correlates, and All-Cause Mortality Risk in People Living With Different Health Conditions

Jenny M. Marks-Vieveen, Léonie Uijtdewilligen, Ehsan Motazedi, Dominique P.M. Stijnman, Inge van den Akker-Scheek, Adrie J. Bouma, Laurien M. Buffart, Vincent de Groot, Ellen de Hollander, Judith G.M. Jelsma, Johan de Jong, Helco G. van Keeken, Leonie A. Krops, Marike van der Leeden, Stephan A. Loer, Willem van Mechelen, Femke van Nassau, Joske Nauta, Evert Verhagen, Wanda Wendel-Vos, Lucas H.V. van der Woude, Johannes Zwerver, Rienk Dekker, and Hidde P. van der Ploeg

Background: To better understand physical activity behavior and its health benefits in people living with health conditions, we studied people with and without 20 different self-reported health conditions with regard to (1) their physical activity levels, (2) factors correlated with these physical activity levels, and (3) the association between physical activity and all-cause mortality. Methods: We used a subsample (n = 88,659) of the Lifelines cohort study from the Netherlands. For people living with and without 20 different self-reported health conditions, we studied the aforementioned factors in relation to physical activity. Physical activity was assessed with the Short Questionnaire to Assess Health-Enhancing Physical Activity Questionnaire, and mortality data were obtained from the Dutch death register. Results: People with a reported health condition were less likely to meet physical activity guidelines than people without a reported health condition (odds ratios ranging from 0.55 to 0.89). Higher body mass index and sitting time, and lower self-rated health, physical functioning, and education levels were associated with lower odds of meeting physical activity guidelines across most health conditions. Finally, we found a protective association between physical activity and all-cause mortality in both people living with and without different health conditions. Conclusion: People living with different health conditions are generally less physically active compared with people living without a health condition. Both people living with and without self-reported health conditions share a number of key factors associated with physical activity levels. We also observed the expected protective association between physical activity and all-cause mortality.

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After-School Activities of Japanese Elementary School Children: Comparison of Children Who Attend Lessons and Cram Schools With Those Who Do Not

Yasuo Kojima

Background: This study examined the after-school activities of Japanese elementary school children in which little information is available for understanding the process by which participation in organized activities leads to the decrease in children’s independent mobility. Methods: One thousand eight hundred and twenty-four mothers of elementary school children participated in an online survey. The mothers responded to the questions on the number of lessons (or cram schools) their children attended weekdays, as well as their children’s behavior after classes, and parents providing transportation when their children go out to play. Results: The proportion of children attending lessons and/or cram schools increased as their grades progressed. A significant interaction existed between the degree of parental transportation and grade in terms of whether or not the children attended lessons and/or cram schools. Parental involvement included pick up or drop-off for a large percentage of younger children without lessons, whereas the degree of parental involvement was greater for older children attending lessons. In other words, parents of children without attending lessons or cram schools tended to allow children to engage in independent activities when they reached the higher grades, whereas parents of children who frequently attended lessons and cram schools tended to remain involved in transporting their children, even when they reached the higher grades. Conclusions: The results suggested that the participation of children in organized activities leads to a routine of parental pickup and/or drop-off, which renders difficult the facilitation of opportunities for children to independently participate in play activities.

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Erratum. Quantifying Area-Level Physical Activity Offerings in Social Context: A Novel Concept That Goes Beyond Walkability and Access to Open Spaces

Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Quantifying Area-Level Physical Activity Offerings in Social Context: A Novel Concept That Goes Beyond Walkability and Access to Open Spaces

Dafna Merom, Drew Meehan, Philayrath Phongsavan, and Ori Gudes

Background: Social support is a crucial factor influencing the sustainability of physical activity (PA). This proof-of-concept study presents the development of a Social Physical Activity Index for Area (SPAIFA) an indicator reflecting opportunities for individuals to actively participate as part of a group within which opportunities for social interaction can be developed. Methods: Six government councils in the state of New South Wales, Australia, were selected encompassing 174 suburbs. Using 2 search engines’ map tools, we identified PA venues for each suburb (eg, park, studios, etc). To enumerate activities per suburb, we used (1) venue websites, (2) New South Wales Office of Sport website, (3) national websites of grassroots PA for nonorganized activity (eg, parkrun, meetup, etc), and (4) social media. The database was linked to the suburb demographic profile, the area disadvantage score, walkability and open space scores, and the proportion of insufficiently active residents. Spatial analysis techniques were used to identify SPAIFA clusters. Results: SPAIFA councils’ average was 9.9 activities per 10,000 people (ranging from 6.6/10,000 to 16.2/10,000). SPAIFA-Old (ie, activities specific to older adults) varied significantly (ranging from 11.7/10,000 to 0.8/10,000 seniors). Disadvantaged areas and a high proportion of insufficiently active residents were associated with being classified as low SPAIFA (P < .01). Three clusters of low SPAIFA were identified, and 17 high-risk areas where low SPAIFA was compounded by poor environmental support. Conclusions: SPAIFA can be used by councils and policymakers as an indicator for monitoring and intervening in areas where natural and/or urban design is not conducive for PA.

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Physical Activity Policies at National and Subnational Levels: A Study in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mexico

Juliana Mejía Grueso, Michael Pratt, Eugen Resendiz, Deborah Salvo, Gloria Isabel Niño Cruz, Nubia Yaneth Ruiz Gómez, Rafael Alexander Leandro Gómez, Inés Revuelta Sánchez, Gerardo Alonso Araya Vargas, Angélica María Ochoa Avilés, Raúl Francisco Pérez Tasigchana, Alejandra Jáuregui, Pedro C. Hallal, and Andrea Ramírez Varela

Background: National physical activity (PA) policy processes are only beginning to be studied in Latin America, and little attention has focused at the subnational level. This study examined national–subnational relations in the policy process (agenda setting, policy formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation) in selected Latin American countries. Methods: The Global Observatory for Physical Activity’s (GoPA!) INTEGRATE-PA-Pol tool was applied in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mexico. Data were collected in matched pairs of the capital plus one noncapital city among national and subnational policymakers (n = 27), previously identified by the GoPA! Country Contacts. PA policy development and implementation were assessed using descriptive statistics. Results: Twenty-three (response rate = 85.2%) informants provided data, mainly from the health sector (52.2%), followed by the sport (26.1%), transport (13.0%), and education (8.7%) sectors. Most informants reported that their countries had a current PA policy embedded within noncommunicable diseases prevention plans (46.2%), other plans (46.2%), or obesity prevention/management/control plans (7.7%). Respondents at the subnational level rated PA promotion as central (64.3%), while the national-level role was important but not central (75.0%). National and subnational policymakers indicated low-to-little involvement in the other level’s PA policy processes across the 5 policy stages. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that collecting national and subnational PA policy data across countries with the active collaboration of the GoPA! network was feasible. We also successfully identified governmental interactions throughout the PA policy process, suggesting suboptimal engagement between national and subnational levels.

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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning—Powerful Yet Underutilized Tools and Algorithms in Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Research

Vahid Farrahi and Philip Clare

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A Mobile Health Resistance Training Intervention Using Outdoor Gym Equipment: Process Evaluation of the Ecofit Effectiveness Randomized Controlled Trial

Anna K. Jansson, Mitch J. Duncan, Adrian Bauman, Jordan J. Smith, David R. Lubans, John Attia, and Ronald C. Plotnikoff

Background: Few mobile health resistance-based physical activity interventions have targeted community-dwelling adults. “Ecofit” is a multicomponent intervention that promotes resistance and aerobic activities using smartphone technology, outdoor gyms, and social support. This study evaluated process evaluation outcomes of the ecofit randomized controlled trial: (1) the acceptability and usability of the ecofit smartphone app and app user workouts; (2) perceptions of factors influencing outdoor gym use; and (3) the fidelity, reach, recruitment, and dose received of the ecofit program. Methods: Process data were collected through program evaluation surveys at 3 months, and app usage data were collected via the intervention platform for up to 3 months. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: The survey was completed by 57% (n = 69) of eligible participants. The majority (93%) believed the app provided them with sufficient information to perform muscle-strengthening activities. Approximately half (51%) agreed that the goal-setting function encouraged them to complete their workouts, and 42% agreed that the self-assessment helped them monitor progress. “Proximity” to outdoor gyms emerged as the most important factor for choosing locations to workout (mean = 5.5, SD = 1.1). Participants logged a median of 5.5 (interquartile range = 19) workouts and 1 (interquartile range = 1) upper- and lower-body muscular fitness self-assessment. Conclusions: The ecofit app provided participants with sufficient skills to perform unsupervised resistance training exercises using mobile health. Only half of the participants regarded self-assessments and goal setting as useful, suggesting a need for modifications to how these are implemented. Mobile health remains a promising delivery platform to promote unsupervised resistance training, although more research is needed to improve uptake.