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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

Ralph Beneke and Renate M. Leithäuser

Open access

Maureen R. Weiss, Lindsay E. Kipp, Alison Phillips Reichter, Sarah M. Espinoza and Nicole D. Bolter

Purpose: Girls on the Run is an after-school physical activity-based positive youth development program designed to enhance girls’ social, psychological, and physical development. We evaluated the effectiveness of the program by employing a longitudinal design and mixed methods. Methods: Girls (N = 203; aged 8–11 y) completed survey measures of positive youth development constructs (competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring), physical activity, and sedentary behavior prior to, at the end of, and 3 months after the season. Subsamples of girls, coaches, caregivers, and school personnel participated in focus groups. Coaches completed information about their team’s community impact project and number of girls who completed the season-ending 5k. Results: The full sample improved in confidence and connection, whereas girls who started below the preseason average showed the greatest gains from preseason to postseason on all measures, and scores were maintained or continued to improve at follow-up. All stakeholders in focus groups corroborated evidence of season-long improvement in social and emotional behaviors and health outcomes. Involvement in the community impact project contributed to girls’ growth in character and empathy skills. Conclusion: Findings provide empirical evidence that Girls on the Run is effective in promoting positive youth development, including season-long and lasting change in competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, and physical activity, especially among girls who exhibited lower preseason scores than their peers.

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.

Open access

Jos J. de Koning and Dionne A. Noordhof