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Open access

Rodrigo Reis, Ruth F. Hunter, Leandro Garcia, and Deborah Salvo

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.

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Seyyed Mohammadreza Mousavi and Takehiro Iwatsuki

Expectancies for success and autonomy support have been shown to facilitate motor learning and enhance motor performance. The purpose of the study was to examine whether we replicated (a) enhanced expectancies and autonomy support intervention enhanced motor skill learning in children, and (b) identified the underlying psychological mechanism. Sixty children kicked soccer balls with their dominant leg to a squared area target. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the four groups: enhanced expectancies and autonomy support (EE/AS), enhanced expectancies (EE), autonomy support (AS), or control (CON) groups. Participants learning the skill were or were not provided enhanced expectation instructions by making the task success easier and provided an opportunity to choose one of the three colored balls during their practice. Two days later, they performed retention and transfer tests. Results indicated that the EE/AS group had the highest scores, with main effects of autonomy support being significant and enhanced expectancies being marginally significant for the retention test and significant for the transfer test. The EE/AS group had the highest self-efficacy and perceived choice scores. Therefore, having high expectancies for success and being autonomous were important ingredients for facilitating motor skill learning in children.

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Nicole A. Pratt, Michael J. Duncan, Martyn G. Morris, and Samuel W. Oxford

There is a dearth of research in aquatic motor competency, a key requirement for primary physical education in order to become physically literate. This study proposes a new assessment protocol for aquatic motor competence and sets out to examine the validity of the Aquatic Movement Protocol (AMP) in children between 7 and 9 years of age. Testing of Gross Motor Development—second edition was implemented to assess general motor competence, including a composite of 10-m running sprint time and standing long jump distance. Aquatic motor competence was assessed by the AMP. Univariate analyses of covariance were used to examine whether assessment of general motor competence differed as opposed to aquatic motor competence. Process and product measures of dryland motor competence were analyzed using male and female subjects measuring three aquatic motor competences (low, medium, and high). Cronbach’s alpha and exploratory factor analyses were implemented to show both construct and concurrent validity of the AMP. Children classified as high for aquatic motor competence had significantly higher general motor competence (p = .001). Those who achieved a higher composite score for faster sprint speeds and longer jump distances had significantly higher aquatic motor competence (p = .001). Cronbach’s alpha of .908, showed internal consistency of the AMP. Results extracted one factor from analysis with an eigenvalue = 6.2; %variance = 62.1, with loadings higher than 0.5. This data suggests that the items on the AMP measure a single construct that we would call “Aquatic Motor Competence.” This study demonstrates that the AMP is a valid measure of aquatic motor competence in primary aged children.

Open access

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.

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Bong Kil Song, Geon Hui Kim, Jung Woon Kim, Elizabeth C. Lefferts, Angelique G. Brellenthin, Duck-Chul Lee, Yu-Mi Kim, Mi Kyung Kim, Bo Youl Choi, and Yeon Soo Kim

Background: To examine the independent and combined association between relative quadriceps strength and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in older adults. Methods: Among 1441 Korean older adults aged ≥65 years (71 [4.7] y) recruited between 2007 and 2016, 1055 older adults with no history of myocardial infarction, stroke, or cancer were included in the analysis. Cases of T2DM were identified by self-reported physician diagnosis, use antihyperglycemic medication or insulin, or fasting blood glucose ≥126 mg/dL. Logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals of T2DM by quartiles of relative quadriceps strength. Results: There were 162 T2DM cases (15%). Compared with the lowest quartile (weakest), the odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of T2DM were 0.56 (0.34–0.90), 0.60 (0.37–0.96), and 0.47 (0.28–0.80) in the second, third, and fourth quartiles, respectively, after adjusting for possible confounders, including body mass index. In the joint analysis, compared with the “weak and overweight/obese” group, the odds (odds ratios [95% confidence intervals]) of T2DM was only lower in the “strong and normal weight” group (0.36 [0.22–0.60]) after adjusting for possible confounders. Conclusions: Greater relative quadriceps strength is associated with reduced odds of T2DM in older adults after adjusting for potential confounders including body mass index.

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Christopher D. Pfledderer, Ryan D. Burns, Wonwoo Byun, Russell L. Carson, Gregory J. Welk, and Timothy A. Brusseau

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine and compare parent preferences of before and after school physical activity program components in rural and suburban elementary schools. Methods: A discrete choice experiment was conducted to measure parent preferences for components of before/after school programs. A total of 183 parents (age = 37.2 [8.2] y, 155 females) sampled from 15 elementary schools (K–6 grades) in the Western United States took part in the study, half of which were from a rural community (n = 93, 50.8%). Results from the discrete choice experiment were analyzed using hierarchic Bayesian methodology, which estimated utility scores and was used to calculate important scores for program components. Results: The specific goal of the before/after school program was the strongest determinant of parents’ stated choice overall, followed by leaders, time of day, length, and main focus. Learning sports as the physical activity goal was the top-rated attribute. Subgroup analyses revealed discrepancies between suburban and rural parents and parents of boys and girls. Conclusion: This study extends the application of discrete choice experiments to school-based programming, providing a unique way to design empirically based, stakeholder informed school programs, specifically within before and after school settings.

Open access

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.

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James E. Peterman, David R. Bassett Jr, W. Holmes Finch, Matthew P. Harber, Mitchell H. Whaley, Bradley S. Fleenor, and Leonard A. Kaminsky

Background: Active commuting is inversely related with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors yet associations with CVD prevalence in the US population are unknown. Methods: Aggregate data from national surveys conducted in 2017 provided state-level percentages of adults who have/had coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke, and who actively commuted to work. Associations between active commuting and CVD prevalence rates were assessed using Pearson correlations and generalized additive models controlling for covariates. Results: Significant correlations were observed between active commuting and all CVD rates (r range = −.31 to −.47; P < .05). The generalized additive model analyses for active commuting (walking, cycling, or public transport) in all adults found no relationships with CVD rates; however, a significant curvilinear association was observed for stroke within men. The generalized additive model curves when examining commuting via walking or cycling in all adults demonstrated nuanced, generally negative linear or curvilinear associations between coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Conclusion: Significant negative correlations were observed between active commuting and prevalence rates of coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Controlling for covariates influenced these associations and highlights the need for future research to explore the potential of active commuting modes to reduce CVD in the United States.