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Open access

Deborah Salvo, Leandro Garcia, Rodrigo S. Reis, Ivana Stankov, Rahul Goel, Jasper Schipperijn, Pedro C. Hallal, Ding Ding, and Michael Pratt

Background: Many of the known solutions to the physical inactivity pandemic operate across sectors relevant to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Methods: The authors examined the contribution of physical activity promotion strategies toward achieving the SDGs through a conceptual linkage exercise, a scoping review, and an agent-based model. Results: Possible benefits of physical activity promotion were identified for 15 of the 17 SDGs, with more robust evidence supporting benefits for SDGs 3 (good health and well-being), 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 13 (climate action), and 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions). Current evidence supports prioritizing at-scale physical activity-promoting transport and urban design strategies and community-based programs. Expected physical activity gains are greater for low-and middle-income countries. In high-income countries with high car dependency, physical activity promotion strategies may help reduce air pollution and traffic-related deaths, but shifts toward more active forms of travel and recreation, and climate change mitigation, may require complementary policies that disincentivize driving. Conclusions: The authors call for a synergistic approach to physical activity promotion and SDG achievement, involving multiple sectors beyond health around their goals and values, using physical activity promotion as a lever for a healthier planet.

Open access

Paul Mackie, Gary Crowfoot, Heidi Janssen, Elizabeth Holliday, David Dunstan, and Coralie English

Background: Interrupting prolonged sitting acutely lowers blood pressure in nonstroke populations. However, the dose–response effect in stroke survivors is unknown. The authors investigated different doses of light-intensity standing exercises that interrupt prolonged sitting and reduce blood pressure immediately and over 24 hours in stroke survivors. Methods: Within-participant, laboratory-based, dose escalation trial. Conditions (8 h) were prolonged sitting and 2 experimental conditions of standing exercises with increasing frequency (3 cohorts, 2 × 5 min to 6 × 5 min). The primary outcome is the mean systolic blood pressure. Results: Twenty-nine stroke survivors (aged 66 [12] y) participated. Frequent bouts of standing exercises lowered the mean systolic blood pressure following the 4 × 5-minute (−2.1 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval [CI], −3.6 to −0.6) and 6 × 5-minute conditions (−2.3 mm Hg; 95% CI, −4.2 to −0.5) compared with prolonged sitting. Diastolic blood pressure was lowered following the 6 × 5-minute condition (−1.4 mm Hg; 95% CI, −2.7 to −0.2). The 24-hour systolic blood pressure increased following the 2 × 5-minute condition (6.9 mm Hg; 95% CI, 3.1 to 10.6). Conclusions: Interrupting prolonged sitting with more frequent bouts of standing exercises lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure in stroke survivors. However, reductions may only be short term, and investigations on sustained effects are warranted.

Open access

Markus Gerber, Christin Lang, Johanna Beckmann, Jan Degen, Rosa du Randt, Stefanie Gall, Kurt Z. Long, Ivan Müller, Madeleine Nienaber, Peter Steinmann, Uwe Pühse, Jürg Utzinger, Siphesihle Nqweniso, and Cheryl Walter

Background: Little is known whether physical activity (PA)-promoting environments are equally accessible to children with divergent socioeconomic status (SES) in low-/middle-income countries. The authors, therefore, examined whether South African children from poorer versus wealthier families living in marginalized communities differed in moderate to vigorous PA and cardiorespiratory fitness. We also tested associations between family car ownership and PA/cardiorespiratory fitness. Methods: Parents/guardians of 908 children (49% girls, mean age = 8.3 [1.4] y) completed a survey on household SES. PA was assessed via 7-day accelerometry, parental and child self-reports, and cardiorespiratory fitness with the 20-m shuttle run test. Results: Based on accelerometry, most children met current moderate to vigorous PA recommendations (≥60 min/d). About 73% of the children did not engage in structured physical education lessons. Whereas children of the lowest SES quintile accumulated higher levels of device-based moderate to vigorous PA, peers from the highest SES quintile engaged in more sedentary behaviors, but self-reported higher engagement in sports, dance, and moving games after school. Families’ car ownership was associated with higher parent/self-reported leisure-time PA. Conclusions: A deeper understanding is needed about why wealthier children are more sedentary, but simultaneously engage in more leisure-time PA. The fact that access to structural physical education is denied to most children is critical and needs to be addressed.

Open access

Lisa Chaba, Stéphanie Scoffier-Mériaux, Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, and Vanessa Lentillon-Kaestner

This article focuses on two popular sports that can put male athletes at risk of developing an eating disorder: bodybuilding and running. Bodybuilders concentrate on gaining muscle mass and runners on leaning body mass. Based on the trans-contextual model of motivation, this study aimed to better understand the psychological mechanisms underlying eating disorders in these athletes. In all, 272 male bodybuilders and 217 male runners completed measures of sport motivation, theory of planned behavior variables (i.e., attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and intention to gain muscle mass/lean body mass), and eating disorders (dieting, control, and bulimia behaviors). The results revealed satisfactory fit indices for both samples. Autonomous and controlled motivations for sport were positively directly and indirectly related to eating disorders in these athletes. This motivational mechanism needs more in-depth investigation, and motivational profiles might help distinguish athletes with and without eating disorders.

Open access

Arlette C. Perry, Emily W. Flanagan, Carolina Velasquez, Kara D. Bolon, Gina C. Zito, and Soyeon Ahn

Background: This study evaluated the effects of a novel nutrition and movement science after-school program integrating laboratory experiences for minority children. Laboratory experiences demonstrated how the body moves, functions, and performs in response to exercise and healthy nutrition. Methods: A total of 76 children from 4 after-school programs that were primarily Latino and black were randomly assigned to either an experimental translational health in nutrition and kinesiology (THINK; n = 46) or standard curriculum that served as the control group (CON; n = 30). An analysis of covariance controlling for baseline values was used to compare differences between THINK and CON after the 4-month intervention. Results: Following the program, THINK participants evidenced lower triceps and subscapular skinfold thickness (P < .01 and <.05, respectively). THINK students showed greater improvements in aerobic fitness, grip strength, and agility than CON (P < .01, <.01, and <.05, respectively). Participants in THINK also demonstrated higher scores on their nutrition habits/behaviors questionnaire (P < .01), nutrition science (P < .05), and exercise fitness tests (P < .001) than CON. Conclusion: An innovative curriculum featuring nutrition and kinesiology education interfaced with hands-on laboratory experiences and physical activities can improve physical outcomes and health-related behaviors in after-school programs serving minority children.

Open access

David Sánchez-Oliva, Antonio L. Palmeira, Eliana V. Carraça, Pedro J. Teixeira, David Markland, and Marlene N. Silva

Background: Using self-determination theory as a framework, the aim of this study was 2-fold: (1) identify different profiles of motivational strategies used by exercise professionals and (2) examine associations of these motivational profiles with work-related variables: measures, perceived job pressures, need satisfaction/frustration, and perceived exercisers’ motivation. Methods: Participants were 366 exercise professionals (193 males; experience = 7.7 [5.8] y) currently working in health and fitness settings. Results: Latent profile analysis identified a 3-profile model: (1) most need-supportive and least controlling (NS+; n = 225), (2) less need-supportive and slightly controlling (NS−; n = 42), and (3) most controlling and slightly need-supportive (mixed; n = 99). Professionals working less than 20 hours per week, more experienced, and female were more likely to integrate NS+, which was also associated with higher levels of work-related need satisfaction and clients’ perceived self-determination, and lower levels of job pressures and need-frustration. Conversely, NS− displayed the most maladaptive pattern of associations. Conclusions: The present findings highlight the importance of analyzing the correlates of different professional profiles, namely to help health and fitness organizations to provide high-quality motivational practices within an appropriate environment both for professionals and clients.

Open access

Jessica Murphy, Karen A. Patte, Philip Sullivan, and Scott T. Leatherdale

The mental health benefits of physical activity may relate more to the context of the behavior, rather than the behavior of being active itself. The association between varsity sport (VS) participation, depression, and anxiety symptoms was explored using data from 70,449 high school students from the Cannabis use, Obesity, Mental health, Physical activity, Alcohol use, Smoking, and Sedentary behavior study. The model adjusted for potential covariates; interactions by sex and participation in outside of school sport (OSS) were explored. Overall, 70% and 24% of respondents met or exceeded cutoff values for depression and anxiety, respectively. Students participating in VS had lower symptoms of anxiety and depression compared with nonparticipants. Results were consistent regardless of OSS participation; associations were strongest among students who participated in both VS and OSS and males. Participation in VS may prove beneficial for the prevention and/or management of depression or anxiety symptoms, particularly among males. An additive beneficial effect of OSS on depression and anxiety scores may exist.

Open access

Gavin Thomas, Jaime Guinan, and Győző Molnár

Strength and conditioning (S&C) has become a chief part of athletes’ physiological preparation. Despite S&C’s growing presence across sports, women coaches have been generally marginalized and underrepresented. This study explores female S&C coaches’ experiences and coping mechanisms in a male-dominated industry. Semi-structured interviews with 15 female S&C coaches were conducted. The main themes identified from interview data are organizational politics, impression management, and humor. The findings suggest that women S&C coaches are often in subservient positions and have to adopt some traditional, male-generated subcultural practices to fit in. They carefully manage their coaching front stage to generate an impression that is expected and accepted in the given milieu. In their efforts to fit in, women often find themselves in a multiplicity of power matrices that involve a continuous negotiation of gender identity, internal politics, and sexist banter.