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Open access

Meera Sreedhara, Karin Valentine Goins, Christine Frisard, Milagros C. Rosal and Stephenie C. Lemon

Background: Local health departments (LHDs) are increasingly involved in Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs), a collaborative planning process that represents an opportunity for prioritizing physical activity. We determined the proportion of LHDs reporting active transportation strategies in CHIPs and associations between LHD characteristics and such strategies. Methods: A national probability survey of US LHDs (<500,000 residents; 30.2% response rate) was conducted in 2017 (n = 162). LHDs reported the inclusion of 8 active transportation strategies in a CHIP. We calculated the proportion of LHDs reporting each strategy. Multivariate logistic regression models determined the associations between LHD characteristics and inclusion of strategies in a CHIP. Inverse probability weights were applied for each stratum. Results: 45.6% of US LHDs reported participating in a CHIP with ≥1 active transportation strategy. Proportions for specific strategies ranged from 22.3% (Safe Routes to School) to 4.1% (Transit-Oriented Development). Achieving national accreditation (odds ratio [OR] = 3.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11–12.05), pursuing accreditation (OR = 3.40; 95% CI, 1.25–9.22), using credible resources (OR = 5.25; 95% CI, 1.77–15.56), and collaborating on a Community Health Assessment (OR = 4.48; 95% CI, 1.23–16.29) were associated with including a strategy in a CHIP after adjusting for covariates. Conclusions: CHIPs are untapped tools, but national accreditation, using credible resources, and Community Health Assessment collaboration may support strategic planning efforts to improve physical activity.

Open access

Natalie M. Golaszewski and John B. Bartholomew

Research suggests 5 forms of social support: companionship, emotional, informational, instrumental, and validation. Despite this, existing measures of social support for physical activity are limited to emotional, companionship, and instrumental support. The purpose was to develop the Physical Activity and Social Support Scale (PASSS) with subscales that reflected all 5 forms. Participants (N = 506, mean age = 34.3 yr) who were active at least twice per week completed a 235-item questionnaire assessing physical activity behaviors, social support for physical activity, general social support, and other psychosocial questions. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to develop and validate the PASSS. Exploratory factor analysis supported a 5-factor, 20-item model, χ2(100) = 146.22, p < .05, root mean square error of approximation = .05. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated good fit, Satorra–Bentler χ2(143) = 199.57, p < .001, root mean square error of approximation = .04, comparative-fit index = .97, standardized root mean square residual = .06. Findings support the PASSS to measure all 5 forms for physical activity.

Open access

Dawn C. Mackey, Alexander D. Perkins, Kaitlin Hong Tai, Joanie Sims-Gould and Heather A. McKay

We conducted Men on the Move, a 12-week randomized controlled feasibility trial of a scalable, choice-based, physical activity (PA) and active transportation intervention. Participants were community-dwelling men aged 60 years and older (n = 29 intervention [INT] and n = 29 waitlist control [CON]). Trained activity coaches delivered: (a) one-on-one participant consultations to develop personal action plans for PA and active transportation, (b) monthly group-based motivational meetings, (c) weekly telephone support, (d) complimentary recreation and transit passes, and (e) pedometers and diaries for self-monitoring. Men on the Move demonstrated high rates of recruitment, retention, and intervention adherence. INT chose a variety of group-based and individual PAs and destinations for their personal action plans. At 12 weeks, INT achieved more steps, moderate–vigorous PA, and energy expenditure than CON. INT was also more likely to take transit and meet national guideline levels of PA. At 24 weeks follow-up, INT benefits were sustained for moderate–vigorous PA and energy expenditure.

Open access

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.