We are experiencing a planetary tipping point with global warming, environmental degradation, and losses in biodiversity. The burdens of these changes fall disproportionately on poor and marginalized populations. Physical activity promotion strategies need to be aligned with climate action commitments, incorporating the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenarios in physical activity action plans. The promotion strategies must consider equity a core value and promote physical activity to the most vulnerable populations so that they are protected from the ill-health impacts of a changing climate.
Rodrigo Reis, Ruth F. Hunter, Leandro Garcia, and Deborah Salvo
Alan L. Smith and Jeffrey T. Fairbrother
Peter Gelius, Antonina Tcymbal, Stephen Whiting, Sven Messing, Karim Abu-Omar, Wolfgang Geidl, Anne Kerstin Reimers, Klaus Pfeifer, Romeu Mendes, Nino Berdzuli, and Joao Breda
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge for societies and governments around the world that severely affects all aspects of health promotion. This study assesses the potential influence of the first wave of the pandemic on national physical activity promotion policy in the European Union (EU). Methods: Data were collected using an online survey among members of the EU Physical Activity Focal Point Network, which consists of government officials from all EU member states. Results: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected physical activity promotion across the EU. In particular, experts indicated that it has negatively impacted opportunities for physical activity in their countries. There have, however, been positive effects of the crisis on public awareness of physical activity. While almost all countries were able to issue physical activity recommendations during quarantine, opinions varied regarding the overall impact of the pandemic on governmental capacities for physical activity promotion and policy. Conclusions: This study shows that the COVID-19 crisis has had both negative and positive effects on physical activity promotion in the EU. The positive experiences reported by some members of the Focal Point Network may assist other countries in identifying potential policy windows and strategies for the ongoing pandemic.
Jacqueline L. Mair, Lawrence D. Hayes, Amy K. Campbell, and Nicholas Sculthorpe
Researchers, practitioners, and public health organizations from around the world are becoming increasingly interested in using data from consumer-grade devices such as smartphones and wearable activity trackers to measure physical activity (PA). Indeed, large-scale, easily accessible, and autonomous data collection concerning PA as well as other health behaviors is becoming ever more attractive. There are several benefits of using consumer-grade devices to collect PA data including the ability to obtain big data, retrospectively as well as prospectively, and to understand individual-level PA patterns over time and in response to natural events. However, there are challenges related to representativeness, data access, and proprietary algorithms that, at present, limit the utility of this data in understanding population-level PA. In this brief report we aim to highlight the benefits, as well as the limitations, of using existing data from smartphones and wearable activity trackers to understand large-scale PA patterns and stimulate discussion among the scientific community on what the future holds with respect to PA measurement and surveillance.
Katja Siefken, Andrea Ramirez Varela, Temo Waqanivalu, and Nico Schulenkorf
Since 2020, the world has been navigating an epidemiologic transition with both infectious diseases (COVID-19) and noncommunicable diseases intertwined in complex and diverse ways. In fact, the pandemics of physical inactivity, noncommunicable diseases, and COVID-19 coincide in a tragically impactful ménage à trois with their detrimental long-term health consequences yet to be determined. We know that people in low- and middle-income countries not only have the highest risk of developing chronic diseases, they also develop the diseases at a younger age, they suffer longer, and they die earlier than people in high-income countries. This commentary features 5 compelling reasons for putting physical activity in low- and middle-income countries high up on the public health research agenda and calls for more commitment to inclusive and context-specific public health practices that are paired with locally relevant promotion and facilitation of PA practice, research, and policymaking.
Mahin Aghdaei, Alireza Farsi, Maryam Khalaji, and Jared Porter
Much research has been executed to investigate how altering focus of attention impacts performance and feelings of fatigue. Using a within-participant design, the present study examined how an associative and dissociative attentional in addition to an internal and external attentional dimension influenced the running economy of nonprofessional runners. Twelve women (aged 18–30 years old) ran on a treadmill at 70% of their predetermined maximum velocity. Participants ran in four counterbalanced conditions (dissociative-external, dissociative-internal, associative-external, and associative-internal). Average oxygen volume, respiration volume and breathing frequency, heart rate, blood lactate level, and Borg rating of perceived exertion were measured. Our findings revealed when participants adopted a dissociative-external focus of attention, they consumed less oxygen, had lower blood lactate, and a lower rating of perceived exertion compared with trials completed using an associative attention strategy. The findings of this study demonstrate that running economy is improved and feelings of fatigue are lowest when using a combination of a dissociative-external focus of attention.
Joseph J. Murphy, Fiona Mansergh, Marie H. Murphy, Niamh Murphy, Benny Cullen, Sarah O’Brien, Stephen Finn, Grainne O’Donoghue, Niamh Barry, Shirley O’Shea, Kevin M. Leyden, Peter Smyth, Jemima Cooper, Enrique G. Bengoechea, Nick Cavill, Andrew J. Milat, Adrian E. Bauman, and Catherine B. Woods
Physical activity (PA) promotion is a complex challenge, with the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA) endorsing a systems approach and recommending countries assess existing areas of progress which can be strengthened. This paper reports a process facilitating a systems approach for identifying current good practice and gaps for promoting PA in Ireland. Elements of participatory action research were enabled through 3 stages: (1) aligning examples of actions from Irish policy documents (n = 3) to the GAPPA, (2) workshop with stakeholders across multiple sectors, and (3) review of outputs. Data collected through the workshop were analyzed using a deductive thematic analysis guided by the GAPPA. The policy context in Ireland aligns closely to the GAPPA with the creation of Active Systems the most common strategic objective across policy documents. Forty participants (50% male) took part in the systems approach workshop, which after revision resulted in 80 examples of good practice and 121 actions for greater impact. A pragmatic and replicable process facilitating a systems approach was adopted and showed current Irish policy and practices align with the GAPPA “good practices.” The process provides existing areas of progress which can be strengthened, as well as the policy opportunities and practice gaps.
Bridget C. Foley, Mathew McLaughlin, Sarah Edney, Sheikh Mohammed Shariful Islam, Jessica Seymour, Louisa R. Peralta, Angela Douglas, Simon Rosenbaum, Holly Thorpe, Janice Atkin, Tim Olds, and Ding Ding
The Australasian Society for Physical Activity aims to advance the science and practice of physical activity in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Fun, enjoyment, and cross-disciplinary discourse are important to ensure the network of physical activity professionals and our collective voice continues to grow. In May 2021, Australasian Society for Physical Activity’s Early Career Network curated an engaging online Physical Activity Debate attended by 206 professionals. This commentary provides a synopsis of the debate and the central arguments presented by the affirmative and negatives teams. The authors describe the debate format and interactive design of the online Physical Activity Debate to provide insights for future online events that aim to boost interaction among physical activity professionals from various disciplines.