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Christine M. Hoehner, Ross C. Brownson, Diana Allen, James Gramann, Timothy K. Behrens, Myron F. Floyd, Jessica Leahy, Joseph B. Liddle, David Smaldone, Diara D. Spain, Daniel R. Tardona, Nicholas P. Ruthmann, Rachel L. Seiler and Byron W. Yount

Background:

We synthesized the results of 7 National Park Service pilot interventions designed to increase awareness of the health benefits from participation in recreation at national parks and to increase physical activity by park visitors.

Methods:

A content analysis was conducted of the final evaluation reports of the 7 participating parks. Pooled data were also analyzed from a standardized trail-intercept survey administered in 3 parks.

Results:

The theme of new and diverse partnerships was the most common benefit reported across the 7 sites. The 2 parks that focused on youth showed evidence of an increase in awareness of the benefits of physical activity. Many of the other sites found high levels of awareness at baseline (approaching 90%), suggesting little room for improvement. Five of the 7 projects showed evidence of an increase in physical activity that was associated with the intervention activities. Multivariate analyses suggested that the media exposure contributed to a small but significant increase in awareness of the importance of physical activity (6%) and number of active visits (7%).

Conclusions:

Enhancements and replication of these programs represents a promising opportunity for improving partnerships between public health and recreation to increase physical activity.

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Angie L.I. Cradock, Emily M. O'Donnell, Sara E. Benjamin, Elizabeth Walker and Meghan Slining

Background:

As interventions increasingly emphasize early child care settings, it is necessary to understand the state regulatory context that provides guidelines for outdoor physical activity and safety and sets standards for child care environments.

Methods:

Researchers reviewed regulations for child care facilities for 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. We compared state regulations with national standards for 17 physical activity- and safety-related items for outdoor playground settings outlined in Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care Programs (CFOC). State regulations were coded as fully, partially or not addressing the CFOC standard and state-level summary scores were calculated.

Results:

On average, state regulations fully addressed one-third of 17 CFOC standards in regulations for centers (34%) and family child care homes (27%). Data suggest insufficient attention to outdoor play area proximity and size, equipment height, surfacing, and inspections.

Conclusions:

Considerable variation exists among state regulations related to physical activity promotion and injury prevention within outdoor play areas. Many states' regulations do not comply with published national health and safety standards. Enhancing regulations is one component of a policy approach to promoting safe, physically active child care settings.

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Joe Manchin III

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Amy Eyler, Ross Brownson, Tom Schmid and Michael Pratt

With increasing evidence of the detrimental effects of physical inactivity, there is interest in enhancing research on policies that may influence physical activity in communities. Given the potential policy impact, a framework that organized and conceptualized policy interventions and priorities for public health efforts to promote physical activity was developed. In addition, the Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN) was formed as a way to operationalize the contents of the framework. Recommendations for future work in this area include enhancing transdisciplinary collaborations, raising the priority of policy evaluation, studying policies at all levels, and emphasizing dissemination of findings.

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Erin Strutz, Raymond Browning, Stephanie Smith, Barbara Lohse and Leslie Cunningham-Sabo

Background: The purpose of this study was to employ high-frequency accelerometry to explore parent–child physical activity (PA) relationships across a free-living sample. Methods: We recorded 7 days of wrist-mounted accelerometry data from 168 dyads of elementary-aged children and their parents. Using a custom MATLAB program (Natick, MA), we summed child and parent accelerations over 1 and 60 seconds, respectively, and applied published cut points to determine the amount of time spent in moderate–vigorous PA (MVPA). Bivariate and partial correlations examined parent–child relationships between percentage of time spent in MVPA. Results: Weak to moderate positive correlations were observed before school (r = .326, P < .001), after school (r = .176, P = .023), during the evening (r = .213, P = .006), and on weekends (r = .231, P = .003). Partial correlations controlling for parent–child MVPA revealed significant relationships during the school day (r = .185, P = .017), before school (r = .315, P < .001), and on weekends (r = .266, P = .001). In addition, parents of more active children were significantly more active than parents of less active children during the evening. Conclusions: These data suggest that there is some association between parent–child PA, especially before school and on weekends. Future interventions aiming to increase PA among adults and children must consider patterns of MVPA specific to children and parents and target them accordingly.

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Yolanda Barrado-Martín, Michelle Heward, Remco Polman and Samuel R. Nyman

Exercise is effective in preventing falls among older adults. However, few studies have included people living with dementia and their carers and explored their experiences. The aim of this study is to explore what affects the acceptability of exercise interventions to better meet the needs of people with dementia and their carers as a dyad. Observations, field notes containing participant’s and instructor’s feedback, and focus groups with 10 dyads involved in Tai Chi classes for 3 or 4 weeks in two sites in the South of England were thematically analyzed to understand their experiences. Findings suggest that dyads’ determination to achieve the benefits of Tai Chi facilitated their adherence, whereas a member of the dyad’s low sense of efficacy performing the movements during classes was a barrier. Simplifying class content and enhancing the clarity of instructions for home-based practice will be key to support the design of future exercise interventions.

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Recep Gorgulu, Andrew Cooke and Tim Woodman

Five experiments that examined Wegner’s theory of ironic processes of mental control in reactive motor performance under pressure are presented for the first time. In Experiments 1, 2, and 4, the authors conducted specific examinations of the incidence of an ironic error using a reactive motor task. In Experiments 3 and 5, they provided the first tests of whether task instruction moderates the incidence of ironic errors. The task required participants to react to a series of three primary-colored balls as they rolled down a chute under low- and high-anxiety conditions. Measures of anxiety, heart rate, heart-rate variability, and muscle activity confirmed the effectiveness of the anxiety manipulation. Experiments 1, 2, and 4 revealed that anxiety increased the number of ironic errors. In Experiments 3 and 5, the authors provided the first evidence that instructional interventions can reduce the incidence of anxiety-induced ironic performance errors in reactive motor tasks.

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Mette Rørth, Tine Tjørnhøj-Thomsen, Prue Cormie, John L. Oliffe and Julie Midtgaard

Although football training may be a potent strategy for health promotion in older men, the considerable risk of injuries may constitute a barrier for referral of clinical populations. The current study explored the attitudes of men with prostate cancer on risk in the context of injuries related to participating in a community-based football program. Four videotaped focus group interviews and three individual in-depth telephone interviews were carried out with men with prostate cancer (n = 35; mean age = 68.8). The thematic networks technique was used to derive the global theme Injury-induced reinforced masculinity comprising five subthemes: “part of the game,” “a good story to tell,” “like boys again,” “an old, carefree body,” and “camaraderie.” Collectively, these themes explained how football injuries may reflect masculine ideals in some men with prostate cancer. The study indicates that injuries are largely acceptable to men with prostate cancer, especially those in search of a means for expressing their masculinity.

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Philippa M. Dall, Dawn A. Skelton, Manon L. Dontje, Elaine H. Coulter, Sally Stewart, Simon R. Cox, Richard J. Shaw, Iva Čukić, Claire F. Fitzsimons, Carolyn A. Greig, Malcolm H. Granat, Geoff Der, Ian J. Deary, Sebastien F.M. Chastin and On behalf of the Seniors USP Team

The Seniors USP (Understanding Sedentary Patterns) study measured sedentary behavior (activPAL3, 9-day wear) in older adults. The measurement protocol had three key characteristics: enabling 24-hour wear (monitor location, waterproofing), minimizing data loss (reducing monitor failure, staff training, communication), and quality assurance (removal by researcher, confidence about wear). Two monitors were not returned; 91% (n = 700) of returned monitors had seven valid days of data. Sources of data loss included monitor failure (n = 11), exclusion after quality assurance (n = 5), early removal for skin irritation (n = 8), or procedural errors (n = 10). Objective measurement of physical activity and sedentary behavior in large studies requires decisional trade-offs between data quantity (collecting representative data) and utility (derived outcomes that reflect actual behavior).