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Physical Fitness as a Predictor of Disability Retirement: A 9-Year Register Linked Follow-Up Study

Markus Kuusela, Valtteri Pohjola, Katariina Sarttila, Matti Munukka, Riikka Holopainen, Mikko Laaksonen, Annamari Lundqvist, and Jouni Lahti

Background: To prospectively examine the association between physical fitness and risk of disability retirement in a large population-based cohort. Methods: This study utilized data from Health 2011 survey Physical Activity subsample (n = 4898), combined with information on disability retirement derived from 2 national registers. In total, 2455 individuals aged 18–74 years underwent the physical fitness test protocol concerning measures of cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, and balance. The outcome variable was disability retirement, during the follow-up period of 9 years. After excluding those not at risk of disability retirement (ie, age ≥63 y) or who had already been granted disability pension, and those who had not completed the fitness protocol, the analytical sample included 1381 participants. Data were analyzed using Cox regression model with SPSS (version 29). Results: During the 9-year follow-up period, 61 individuals (4.4%) transitioned to a disability retirement. Cox regression analysis showed an association between the various physical fitness subdomains and the risk of disability retirement. In model 1, all fitness tests were associated with the risk of disability retirement, except the one-leg stand test with hazard ratios ranging from 1.69 (95% CI, 0.86–3.34) to 5.75 (95% CI, 1.84–17.90). Further adjustment for sociodemographic, health behavior, and health-related covariates attenuated the associations and statistical significance was lost, except for the vertical jump test (hazard ratio = 4.33; 95% CI, 1.32–14.10) and 6-minute walk test (hazard ratio = 3.81; 95% CI, 1.35–10.70). Conclusion: These findings highlight the importance of physical fitness for preventing work disability.

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Impact of Sport Engagement and Social Support on the Health-Related Quality of Life of Youth Athletes With Physical Disabilities

Myung Ha Sur, Deborah R. Shapiro, and Jeffrey Martin

Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a multidimensional concept focusing on the impact of health status on quality of life. The purpose of this study was to examine if sport engagement and sport-specific social support predicted HRQOL among adolescents with physical disabilities. Sixty-eight participants completed surveys assessing sport engagement, sport-specific social support, and HRQOL. Participants had moderate to high perceptions of sport engagement, social support, and HRQOL supporting the affirmation model of disability. Based on a canonical correlation, esteem, information, and tangible social support and sport engagement—confidence—were the strongest predictor variables of the sport engagement/social support variant, which was linked to the HRQOL variant predicted by emotional, social, and school functioning. The findings support the importance of social support and confidence in the sport context for the HRQOL of youth with physical disabilities.

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Volume 21 (2024): Issue 7 (Jul 2024)

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What’s Your Poison? Is Sitting Always Health Hindering and Moving Always Health Promoting?

Leon Straker, Charlotte Lund Rasmussen, Nidhi Gupta, and Andreas Holtermann

The clear public messaging from international health authorities is that individuals should “sit less and move more.” While it is acknowledged that this guidance needs to be tailored to the age of people and also to their health, and abilities, the guidance is not tailored to their current level of physical behaviors. This opinion piece aims to highlight that although people with excessive sitting and insufficient moderate-to-vigorous physical activity should sit more and move less, for other people their health would be promoted by sitting more and moving less. Thus, physical behaviors are not always “poison” or “medicine,” but rather the health impact of changes in physical behaviors depends on people’s initial levels. Policy, research, and practice implications of this realization are presented. Only tailoring messaging to age and health status could be far from optimal for people with very different current levels of physical behaviors. Policy, research, and practice will be enhanced when the potential for physical behaviors to be either health hindering or health promoting is adequately considered.

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Community Group-Based Physical Activity Programs for Immigrant Older Adults: A Systematic Realist Review

Jordana Salma, Alesia Au, Sonam Ali, Stephanie Chamberlain, John C. Spence, Allyson Jones, Megan Kennedy, Hongmei Tong, Salima Meherali, Philile Mngomezulu, and Rachel Flynn

Physical activity program interventions often lack sensitivity to the needs of older immigrant adults. The objective of this systematic realist review is to explain how, why, for whom, and under which circumstances community group-based physical activity programs work for immigrant older adults. The initial program theory was developed using prior research, team expertise, social cognitive theory, and knowledge user consultations. The program theory was tested and refined via a systematic review of the literature. Database searches were conducted in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Sports Medicine and Education Index, and SPORTDiscus. A total of 22 sources of evidence met inclusion criteria and included intervention studies, systematic reviews, and a discussion paper. Intervention studies were appraised using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. The final program theory constituted eight context–mechanism–outcome configurations that highlight the importance of facilitator characteristics, access to safe spaces, group dynamics, and social support. A limitation was the small number and variable quality of included evidence. Physical activity programs that target immigrant older adults must strengthen physical and psychological safety and maximize opportunities for role modeling and socialization. This research was supported by the Alberta Health Services Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network and is registered in PROSPERO (ID#258179).

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Exploring the Relationship of Declarative Tactical Knowledge With Participation, Football Competence, and Potentiality in a Professional Club (Real Sociedad)

Rubén Sánchez-López, Ibon Echeazarra, Jon Mikel Arrieta, and Julen Castellano

We compared the declarative tactical knowledge (DTK) of 196 male and female players (16.9 ± 2.4 years) belonging to the academy of a Spanish professional football club with their participation (minutes played), football competence (coaching staff assessment), and future potential (technical direction prediction). The DTK had no correlation with the minutes played (%) by the participants during the 2021–22 season (r = −.162, p = .045). Student’s t test for independent samples compared the football competence of the participants with high DTK (n = 74) and low DTK (n = 76), proving a small impact (p = .021, d = 0.39) in favor of the first group. Although the high-DTK group showed a better average of potentiality, the technical direction identified more potential players for the first team in the low-DTK group. In conclusion, no solid evidence was found to justify that participants with higher DTK in each team were those who played more minutes and showed greater football competence and potentiality.

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How Can We Equitably Scale-Up Physical Activity Interventions to Ensure Everyone Has Opportunities to Thrive?

Gabriella M. McLoughlin and Jo Salmon

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The Secret Sauce? Taking the Mystery Out of Scaling-Up School-Based Physical Activity Interventions

Heather A. McKay, Sarah G. Kennedy, Heather M. Macdonald, Patti-Jean Naylor, and David R. Lubans

Over the last 4 decades, physical activity researchers have invested heavily in determining “what works” to promote healthy behaviors in schools. Single and multicomponent school-based interventions that target physical education, active transportation, and/or classroom activity breaks effectively increased physical activity among children and youth. Yet, few of these interventions are ever scaled-up and implemented under real-world conditions and in diverse populations. To achieve population-level health benefits, there is a need to design school-based health-promoting interventions for scalability and to consider key aspects of the scale-up process. In this opinion piece, we aim to identify challenges and advance knowledge and action toward scaling-up school-based physical activity interventions. We highlight the key roles of planning for scale-up at the outset, scale-up pathways, trust among partners and program support, program adaptation, evaluation of scale-up, and barriers and facilitators to scaling-up. We draw upon our experience scaling-up effective school-based interventions and provide a solid foundation from which others can work toward bridging the implementation-to-scale-up gap.

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How Does the University Environment Relate to Student’s Physical Activity Patterns in Ireland

Joey Murphy, Ciaran MacDonncha, Marie H. Murphy, Niamh Murphy, and Catherine B. Woods

Background: Identifying factors related to physical activity in university students can aid the development of health promotion interventions, but there is limited research regarding the influence of university environments. This study examined the relationship between level of provision for university environments that aim to promote physical activity and self-reported physical activity patterns of students. Methods: An environmental audit tool was completed by universities (n = 28) on the island of Ireland to acquire information about physical activity opportunities, resources, and supports offered. Students (N = 6951; 50.7% male; 21.51 [5.55] y) completed an online survey, providing responses about their active transport and recreational physical activity behaviors. Binary logistic regressions were used to examine the associations between environmental factors that support physical activity and clustered physical activity patterns, while controlling for gender, age, and university size. Results: Universities with a high provision for organizational structures and internal partnerships, indoor facilities, and sport clubs increase the odds of their students having more active physical activity patterns. Increased provision of investment and personnel was seen to have a mixed relationship with students’ physical activity engagement, highlighting the need to understand where resources are needed and not just increase them. Conclusions: It is important for universities to have adequate organizational structures with internal partnerships to understand how resources can be maximized to support physical activity engagement across the whole student population. University campuses hold the potential for increasing student engagement in physical activity, and these findings can help inform campus-wide initiatives that foster active student populations for improving overall long-term health.

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Measuring Active Transportation on National Health Surveys in Canada From 1994 to 2020

Parya Borhani, Kathryn L. Walker, Gregory P. Butler, Valérie Lavergne, Gisèle Contreras, and Stephanie A. Prince

Background: Active transportation (AT), described as self-powered modes of travel (eg, walking and cycling), is an important source of health-promoting physical activity. While AT behaviors have been measured on national health surveys in Canada for over 2 decades, historic prevalence has not been previously reported. We aimed to document the measures of AT on Canada’s various national health surveys, examine AT over time, and interpret them within the context of evolving methods of assessment. Methods: We compiled and summarized the questions used to measure AT among Canadians on 4 national health surveys: National Population Health Survey (1994–1998), Canadian Community Health Survey (2000–2020), Canadian Health Measures Survey (2007–2019), and the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study (2010–2018). Among youth and adults (12+ y), we summarized over time: (1) the prevalence of AT participation and (2) time spent in AT (in hours per week) among those who report any AT participation. Where possible, we reported separate estimates of walking and cycling and produced an aggregate estimate of total AT. We stratified results by age group and sex. Results: Changes in AT survey questions over time and between surveys limit the interpretation and comparability of temporal trends. Nevertheless, a consistently higher proportion of females report walking, while a higher proportion of males report cycling. Irrespective of mode, males report spending more total time in AT. Participation in AT tends to decrease with age, with youth reporting the highest rates of AT and young adults often spending the most time in AT. Conclusions: Monitoring trends in AT can help assess patterns of behavior and identify whether promotion strategies are needed or whether population interventions are effective. Our evaluation of AT over time is limited by questions surveyed; however, consistent differences in AT by age and sex are evident over time. Moving forward, ensuring consistency of AT measurement over time is essential to monitoring this important behavior.