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Steriani Elavsky, Lenka Knapova, Adam Klocek and David Smahel

We provide a systematic review of interventions utilizing mobile technology to alter physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep among adults aged 50 years and older. A systematic search identified 52 relevant articles (randomized control trial [RCT], quasi-experimental, pre/post single-group design). Of 50 trials assessing physical activity, 17 out of 29 RCTs and 13 out of 21 trials assessed for pre/post changes only supported the effectiveness of mobile interventions to improve physical activity, and 9 studies (five out of 10 RCTs and all four pre/post studies) out of 14 reduced sedentary behavior. Only two of five interventions improved sleep (one out of two RCTs and one out of three pre/post studies). Text messaging was the most frequently used intervention (60% of all studies) but was usually used in combination with other components (79% of hybrid interventions included SMS, plus either web or app components). Although more high-quality RCTs are needed, there is evidence supporting the effectiveness of mHealth approaches in those aged 50 years and older.

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Tiago V. Barreira, Stephanie T. Broyles, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Mikael Fogelholm, Gang Hu, Rebecca Kuriyan, Estelle V. Lambert, Carol A. Maher, José A. Maia, Timothy Olds, Vincent Onywera, Olga L. Sarmiento, Martyn Standage, Mark S. Tremblay, Peter T. Katzmarzyk and for the ISCOLE Research Group

Background: To determine if children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time varied across levels of household income in countries at different levels of Human Development Index (HDI), consistent with the theory of epidemiological transition. Methods: Data from 6548 children (55% girls) aged 9–11 years from 12 countries at different HDI levels are used in this analysis to assess MVPA and sedentary time (measured using ActiGraph accelerometers) across levels of household income. Least-square means are estimated separately for boys and girls at the estimated 10th, 50th, and 90th percentiles of HDI for the sample. Results: For boys, time in MVPA is negatively associated with income at the 10th and 50th percentiles of HDI (both P < .002). For girls, time in MVPA is negatively associated with income at the 10th and 50th percentiles of HDI (all P < .01) and positively related with income at the 90th percentile (P = .04). Sedentary time is positively associated with income at the 10th percentile of HDI for boys (P = .03), but not for girls. Conclusions: Results support the possibility of an epidemiological transition in physical activity, with lower levels of MVPA observed at opposite levels of income depending on the HDI percentile. This phenomenon was not observed for sedentary time.

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Kazuhiro Harada, Kouhei Masumoto and Narihiko Kondo

Background: Although the beneficial effects of physical activity and exercise on mental health are well known, the optimal conditions for them for benefitting mental health are still unclear. Engaging in exercise with others might have more desirable effects on mental health than engaging in exercise alone. This study examined the associations between exercising alone, exercising with others, and mental health among middle-aged and older adults. Methods: Baseline and 1-year follow-up surveys were conducted with 129 individuals. Time spent exercising alone or with others was measured using a 7-day diary survey. Total physical activity was objectively measured using an accelerometer. Mental well-being was assessed using the simplified Japanese version of the World Health Organization Five Well-Being Index, and mental distress was assessed using the Japanese version of the Kessler Distress Scale (K6). Results: Cross-lagged and simultaneous effects models revealed that exercising with others positively influenced mental well-being. Exercising alone and total physical activity did not significantly influence mental well-being. Neither total physical activity, exercising alone, nor exercising with others was significantly associated with mental distress. Conclusion: Engaging in exercise with others could be effective in improving mental well-being relative to engaging in exercise alone.

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Jennifer Ann McGetrick, Krystyna Kongats, Kim D. Raine, Corinne Voyer and Candace I.J. Nykiforuk

Background: Attitudes and beliefs of policy influencers and the general public toward physical activity policy may support or impede population-level action, requiring improved understanding of aggregate preferences toward policies that promote physical activity. Methods: In 2016, the Chronic Disease Prevention Survey was administered to a census sample of policy influencers (n = 302) and a stratified random sample of the public (n = 2400) in Alberta and Québec. Using net favorable percentages and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics’ intervention ladder framework to guide analysis, the authors examined support for evidence-based healthy public policies to increase physical activity levels. Results: Less intrusive policy options (ie, policies that are not always the most impactful) tended to have higher levels of support than policies that eliminated choice. However, there was support for certain types of policies affecting influential determinants of physical activity such as the built environment (ie, provided they enabled rather than restricted choice) and school settings (ie, focusing on children and youth). Overall, the general public indicated stronger levels of support for more physical activity policy options than policy influencers. Conclusions: The authors’ findings may be useful for health advocates in identifying support for evidence-based healthy public policies affecting more influential determinants of physical activity.

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Brigid M. Lynch, Charles E. Matthews, Katrien Wijndaele and on behalf of the Sedentary Behaviour Council of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health

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Viviene A. Temple, Dawn L. Lefebvre, Stephanie C. Field, Jeff R. Crane, Beverly Smith and Patti-Jean Naylor

This study examined the influence of physical health and well-being vulnerability on participation in physical activities, and whether motor skill proficiency mediated this relationship. Kindergarten children (n = 260) completed the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 and the Children’s Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment survey. A multivariate analysis of covariance was used to compare the motor skills and participation in physical activities of children in schools classified as more or less vulnerable. We also examined whether motor skill proficiency mediated the relationship between vulnerability status and participation. Children in neighborhoods with higher vulnerability demonstrated lower motor skill proficiency and participation. Object control skill proficiency mediated the relationship between vulnerability and participation. Children from more vulnerable schools started their school career with less developed motor skills and a narrower array of recreation participation. Children in vulnerable neighborhoods need more opportunities to master object controls skills and access recreational activities. Fortunately, motor skill proficiency among children considered ‘at risk’ is amenable to improvement and intervention early in the children’s school career may have a beneficial impact on children’s physical activity at school and beyond the school environment.

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Jenny H. Conviser, Amanda Schlitzer Tierney and Riley Nickols

It is estimated that 1.6 million people in the United States are currently diagnosed with an eating disorder. Eating disorders (EDs) have high rates of morbidity and mortality and remain the most severe mental illness. Unfortunately, rates of EDs and disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) among athletes appear to be increasing. In this study, authors summarize ED-related risks that pose compromises in psychological and social functioning, medical health, and overall quality of life. The importance of early detection and formal evaluation in preserving the athlete’s health, well-being and sustaining successful sport participation, and performance are highlighted. Athlete-specific factors, which challenge the ease and accuracy of ED detection and assessment, are noted. The recommended components of effective ED assessment are identified, including use of self-report measures and clinical interviews conducted by ED certified and licensed professionals. The importance of being well informed in tenets of ED awareness, prevention and supporting early detection, and referral for formal ED assessment are noted. Conclusions reflect the vital roles that both the multidisciplinary sport personnel and the sport environment/culture play in reducing the serious health risks of DEBs and EDs. Each is needed to protect an athlete’s well-being while fostering safe and successful sport participation.