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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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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.

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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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The Physical Activity Advice Continuum—A Guide for Physical Activity Promotion in Health Care

Nicole Freene, Stephen Barrett, Emily R. Cox, Jessica Hill, Roger Lay, Jessica Seymour, Kimberley Szeto, and Sjaan R. Gomersall

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Volume 21 (2024): Issue 2 (Feb 2024)

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The Legacy of Dr. Harold W. (Bill) Kohl III From the Perspective of His Mentees

Gregory Knell, Kathryn Burford, Tammy Calise, Erin E. Dooley, Augusto Ferreira de Moraes, Leigh Ann Ganzar, Ho Han, Natalia Heredia, Alejandra Jáuregui, Ashleigh Johnson, Kevin Lanza, Eileen Nehme, Hildi Nicksic, Abiodun O. Oluyomi, Anna Porter, Andrea Ramirez Varela, Michael Robertson, Deborah Salvo, Timothy Walker, and Yuzi Zhang

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Erratum. Patterns and Correlates of Participation in a Weekly Mass Participation Physical Activity Event, parkrun, in Australia, 2011–2020

Journal of Physical Activity and Health