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Breaking Barriers: An Innovative Tool to Assess the National and City-Level Physical Activity Policy Development to Practice Disconnect

Eugen Resendiz, Andrea Ramírez-Varela, Juliana Mejía-Grueso, Jane Moon, Josef Mitáš, Ross C. Brownson, Deborah Salvo, and Michael Pratt

Background: Population-level physical activity increases are improbable without intersectoral collaboration across government levels and sectors to develop and implement physical activity promotion policies. This study aims to provide information about the development of the Interaction between National and Local Government Levels in Development and Implementation of Physical Activity Policies Tool (INTEGRATE PA-Pol). A framework was created to examine the development and implementation of national and subnational physical activity policies and the (mis)alignment between government levels. Methods: The work was conducted in 3 phases: (1) a scoping review was carried out to identify local government physical activity promotion policies and instruments for assessing them, (2) an expert group designed 6 questionnaires, and (3) cognitive response testing was employed for validity testing and item modification with a panel of research and policy experts. Results: The INTEGRATE PA-Pol Tool consists of 6 questionnaires assessing how national and subnational governments collaborate to develop and implement physical activity promotion policies. Conclusion: This tool can assist in better understanding the development and implementation of a public policy monitoring system that will allow for benchmarking and priority setting to comprehend how physical activity promotion policies are designed and executed.

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Prevalence and Health Associations of Meeting the World Health Organization Guidelines for Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Sleep in Preschool-Aged Children: The SUNRISE Mongolia Pilot and Feasibility Study

Ankhmaa Byambaa, Oyundelger Dechinjamts, Bayasgalan Jambaldorj, Rachel A. Jones, Kar Hau Chong, and Anthony D. Okely

Background: There is a lack of evidence regarding 24-hour movement behaviors of young children from low- and middle-income countries. This study examined Mongolian preschoolers’ adherence to the World Health Organization’s guidelines for physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep; their associations with health indicators, and the feasibility of the SUNRISE International study in Mongolia. Methods: Preschool-aged children were recruited from 5 kindergartens in urban and rural areas of Ulaanbaatar city and Tuv province in Mongolia. Physical activity and sedentary behavior were measured by an ActiGraph accelerometer worn for 5 consecutive days. Screen time and sleep were reported by parents. The National Institute of Health and Early Years Toolboxes were used to assess motor skills and executive function, respectively. Results: One hundred and one children participated in the study (mean age = 4.82 y, boys = 58), with 88% (n = 89) having complete data for analysis. The proportion of children who met the recommendations for physical activity, sedentary screen time, and sleep was 61%, 23%, and 82%, respectively. Only 7% met all recommendations. Meeting the sleep recommendation individually (P = .032) and in combination with the physical activity recommendation was associated with better gross (P = .019) and fine (P = .042) motor skills. Spending more time in physical activity was positively correlated with motor development. Results confirmed that the SUNRISE study protocol was feasible, age-appropriate, and enjoyable for children. Conclusions: The results of the SUNRISE pilot study will help inform the SUNRISE Mongolia main study and lay the groundwork for future research into children’s 24-hour movement behaviors in Mongolia.

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The Legacy of Harold Willis Kohl III

Loretta DiPietro

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Remembering Dr. Harold W. (Bill) Kohl III

Deborah Salvo

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“I Can Do It”: Perceived Competence of Parents of Autistic Children After Participating in a Physical Activity Intervention

Luis Columna, Justin A. Haegele, Ashlyn Barry, and Laura Prieto

Background: Autistic children can benefit from physical activity (PA) in a variety of ways. However, autistic children tend not to meet PA recommendations and, consequently, may not experience the associated benefits. Parental PA support can facilitate PA participation among autistic children, but parents of autistic children may lack the skills to help their child engage in PA. Few studies, to date, have examined the outcomes of parent-mediated PA interventions for autistic children. The purpose of this study was to explore parents’ perceived behavioral control (PBC) to support their autistic children in PA after their participation in a PA intervention. Methods: The theory of planned behavior served as the framework for this descriptive–qualitative investigation. Fifteen parents (each with 1 autistic child in the intervention) participated in semistructured interviews (3 wk after the intervention), which were transcribed and then analyzed using thematic line-by-line analysis. Results: Three themes characterized the changes to parents’ PBC after completing the PA intervention. Those themes were: (1) I learned by son! (2) You are my coach! and (3) I can do it! Conclusions: The results showed that by participating in a parent-mediated PA intervention, parents experienced improved confidence and awareness of their child’s abilities, thus enhancing their PBC. Future research is needed to examine how these improvements in PBC may influence the actual PA behaviors of autistic children.

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Associations Between Changes in 24-Hour Movement Behaviors in Children and Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review and Mediation-Based Meta-Analysis

Ross D. Neville, William G. Hopkins, Brae Anne McArthur, Catherine E. Draper, and Sheri Madigan

Background: Although 24-hour movement behaviors are known to be interconnected, limited knowledge exists about whether change in one behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic (eg, increased screen time) was associated with change in another (eg, reduced physical activity or sleep). This review estimates mediational associations between changes in children’s physical activity, screen time, and sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We included studies published between January 1, 2020 and June 27, 2022, in the PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science databases. Summary data were extracted from included studies and analyzed with random-effects meta-regression. Results: This review included 26 studies representing 18,959 children across 18 mid-high-income countries (53% male; mean age, 11.5 [2.9] y). There was very good evidence of decreased total daily physical activity (factor change, 0.62; 90% CI, 0.47–0.81) and strong evidence of increased screen time (1.56; 90% CI, 1.38–1.77). There was very good evidence of decreased moderate to vigorous physical activity (0.75; 90% CI, 0.62–0.90) and weak evidence of increased sleep (1.02; 90% CI, 1.00–1.04). Mediational analysis revealed strong evidence that most of the reduction in total daily physical activity from before, to during, the pandemic was associated with increased screen time (0.53; 90% CI, 0.42–0.67). We observed no further mediational associations. Conclusion: Increased reliance on and use of screen-based devices during the COVID-19 pandemic can be linked with reduced child and adolescent physical activity. This finding links COVID-related restrictions to potential displacement effects within child and adolescent 24-hour movement behavior.

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Physical Literacy in the Context of Climate Change: Is There a Need for Further Refinement of the Concept?

Johannes Carl, Karim Abu-Omar, Paquito Bernard, Julia Lohmann, Peta White, Jacqui Peters, Shannon Sahlqvist, Jiani Ma, Michael Duncan, and Lisa M. Barnett

The concept of physical literacy (PL) has witnessed enormous popularity in recent years and has undergone substantial theoretical evolvement during the last 2 decades. However, the research field pertaining to PL has not yet initiated discussions around the challenges of climate change and the alignment with conceptualizations of planetary health. Therefore, we argue that the consideration of an “ecological domain” for individual physical activity, in the form of ecological awareness, would further evolve the concept. We illustrate how to potentially integrate adjustments within the most frequent PL definitions of the field (eg, those in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, the United States, or by the International Physical Literacy Association) without questioning the entire integrity of these elaborate conceptualizations. An ecological domain of PL would not only interact with the postulated physical, cognitive, psychological/affective, and social domains of PL but also have important implications for the (re)design of interventions and practices in physical activity contexts. We call the scientific community, both on national and international scales, to intensify the discussions and initiate a research agenda involving an “ecological domain” of PL.

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Correlates of Active School Transportation During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Canadian 7- to 12-Year-Olds: A National Study

Richard Larouche, Mathieu Bélanger, Mariana Brussoni, Guy Faulkner, Katie Gunnell, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background: Active school transportation (AST) is an important source of physical activity for children and a potentially important climate change mitigation strategy. However, few studies have examined factors associated with AST in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We used baseline data from a longitudinal survey to investigate correlates of AST during the second wave of COVID-19 (December 2020). We collected survey data from 2291 parents of 7- to 12-year-olds across Canada and linked this information with data on neighborhood walkability and weather from national databases. We assessed potential correlates representing multiple levels of influence of the social–ecological model. We used gender-stratified binary logistic regression models to determine the correlates of children’s travel mode to/from school (dichotomized as active vs motorized), while controlling for household income. We examined the correlates of travel mode for both the morning and afternoon trips. Results: Consistent correlates of AST among Canadian children during the COVID-19 pandemic included greater independent mobility, warmer outdoor temperature, having a parent who actively commuted to work or school, living in a household owning fewer vehicles, and living in a more walkable neighborhood. These findings were largely consistent between boys and girls and between morning and afternoon school trips. Conclusions: Policymakers, urban planners, and public health workers aiming to promote AST should focus on these correlates while ensuring that neighborhoods are safe for children. Future research should monitor the prevalence and correlates of AST as COVID-19 restrictions are removed.

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Volume 21 (2024): Issue 1 (Jan 2024)

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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.