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Follow the Arrows: Using a Co-Created Causal Loop Diagram to Explore Leverage Points to Strengthen Population Physical Activity Promotion in British Columbia, Canada

Lori Baugh Littlejohns, Geoffrey McKee, Drona Rasali, Daniel Naiman, Jennafer Mee, Tanya Osborne, Phuc Dang, Meghan Winters, Scott A. Lear, Diane Nelson, Steve McGinley, and Guy Faulkner

Background: Population physical activity promotion (PPAP) is one of the most effective noncommunicable disease prevention strategies, yet coordination is lacking around the world. Whole-of-system approaches and complex systems methods are called for to advance PPAP. This paper reports on a project which (1) used an Attributes Framework with system mapping (group model building and causal loop diagramming of feedback loops) and (2) identified potential leverage points to address the challenge of effective coordination of multisectoral PPAP in British Columbia. Methods: Key findings from stakeholder interviews and workshops described the current system for PPAP in terms of attributes and dimensions in the framework. These were translated into variables and used in group model building. Participants prioritized the importance of variables to address the coordination challenge and then created causal loop diagrams in 3 small groups. One collective causal loop diagram was created, and top priority variables and associated feedback loops were highlighted to explore potential leverage points. Results: Leverage points included the relationships and feedback loops among priority variables: political leadership, visible policy support and governance, connectivity for knowledge translation, collaborative multisector grants, multisector collaboration, and integrating co-benefits. Leveraging and altering “vicious” cyclical patterns to increase coordinated multisector PPAP are key. Conclusions: The Attributes Framework, group model building and causal loop diagrams, and emergent feedback loops were useful to explore potential leverage points to address the challenge of multisectoral coordination of PPAP. Future research could apply the same methods in other jurisdictions and compare and contrast resultant frameworks, variables, feedback loops, and leverage points.

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Is It Possible to Decolonize the Field of Physical Activity and Health?

Alan G. Knuth, Giulia Salaberry Leite, Sueyla Ferreira da Silva dos Santos, and Inácio Crochemore-Silva

Is it possible to decolonize the field of physical activity and health? Decoloniality presupposes a body-geopolitical location, such as in the Brazilian and Latin American context, where it is crucial to use social identity lenses related to race, gender, sexuality, and other social markers that affect the body. Understanding health and physical activity from a decolonial perspective would bring the oppressions that connect capitalism, patriarchy, and racism to the center of the discussion. For a “physical activity other,” we challenged the general recommendation of physical activity in the 4 domains. Physical activity should be understood as an end in itself, as a right, and as human development. Approaches that advocate physical activity at work, at home, and while commuting use other human activities to relate these domains to health without considering the inequalities and oppressions that constitute them in most parts of the world. Is it fair to apply “global recommendations” for physical activity to scenarios such as Brazil and Latin America, using models that are inappropriate to the context and history of these places, people, and cultures? Perhaps it is time to socially reorient and reposition physical activity from a decolonial perspective. We need Black, Indigenous, Latino, African, and other people from the Global South to move the research agenda, recommendations, and policies on physical activity from “any” health to a fair health.

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Physical Activity at Different Life Stages and Its Consequence on the Initial Immunization and Inflammatory Response Against COVID-19

Priscila Almeida Queiroz Rossi, Regis Gomes, Teresa Cristina do Nascimento Salazar, Esmeralda Maria Lustosa Barros, Silvia Vasconcelos, Adalberto Socorro da Silva, Ester Miranda Pereira, Vitoria Braga Melo, Marcela Helena Gambin Fonseca, Clarissa Romero Teixeira, Gilvan Pessoa Furtado, Larissa Queiroz Pontes, Ricardo Khouri, Beatriz Vasconcelos, Sandro Soares de Almeida, Guilherme Loureiro Werneck, Fabrício Eduardo Rossi, and Marcos Antonio Pereira dos Santos

Background: To evaluate the influence of previous physical activity (PA) during childhood, adolescence, and current PA practice on the production of antibodies and inflammatory response between the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Methods: Fifty-nine men and 56 women were evaluated before the first vaccine, and 12 weeks later, blood samples were taken to quantify production of anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 immunoglobulin G antibodies and cytokines. Previous PA during childhood and adolescence was self-referred, and current PA was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Results: A positive and significant association was observed only between PA practice during adolescence and an increase in antibody production in adulthood (β = 2012.077, 95% confidence interval, 257.7953–3766.358, P = .025). Individuals who practiced PA during adolescence showed higher production of antibodies between the first and second vaccine dose compared to nonpractitioners (P = .025) and those that accumulated ≥150 minutes per week of current moderate–vigorous PA (MVPA), and presented higher antibody production in relation to who did <150 minutes per week of MVPA (P = .046). Individuals that were practitioners during childhood produced higher G-CSF (P = .047), and those that accumulated ≥150 minutes per week of current MVPA demonstrated lower IP-10 levels (P = .033). However, PA practitioners during adolescence presented higher G-CSF (P = .025), IL-17 (P = .038), IL-1RA (P = .005), IL-1β (P = .020), and IL-2 (P = .026) levels. Conclusion: Our results suggest that adults that accumulated at least 150 minutes of MVPA per week or practiced PA during adolescence developed an improved immune and inflammatory response against COVID-19 vaccination.

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Barriers to Participation in Organized Physical Activity Among LGBTQ+ Youth: Differences by Sexual, Gender, and Racial Identities

Benjamin Parchem, Jonathan Poquiz, Ryan L. Rahm-Knigge, Elizabeth Panetta, Ryan J. Watson, and G. Nic Rider

Background: LGBTQ+ youth engage in organized physical activity to a lesser degree than their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts. Existing literature on this organized physical activity disparity is limited, particularly with LGBTQ+ youth samples. The current analysis examined individual and systemic barriers to organized physical activity for LGBTQ+ youth across sexual, gender, and racial identities. Methods: A subsample of LGBTQ+ students (N = 4566) from the 2021 Dane County Youth Assessment completed items that measured barriers to organized physical activity and systemic factors (ie, family money problems and bias-based bullying) associated with access to organized physical activity. Latent class analysis discerned patterns of individual and systemic barriers to organized physical activity. Latent class regression modeling tested gender, sexual, and racial identities as correlates of latent class membership. Results: More than half of the sample did not participate in organized physical activity. Four profiles of LGBTQ+ youth were discerned based on self-reported barriers: high barrier (8%), bullied (16%), low interest or perceived skills (28%), and low barrier (48%). The low-barrier class included a greater proportion of LGBTQ+ youth who identified as White, or cisgender, or heterosexual as well as youth self-reporting higher organized physical activity. The high-barrier and bullied classes comprised more marginalized gender and sexual identities. Conclusions: LGBTQ+ youth experience individual and systemic barriers to organized physical activity, including inequitable access and bullying, and barriers are uniquely experienced across sexual, gender, and racial identities. Physical activity promotion among LGBTQ+ youth would be strengthened by policies that address inequitable access to opportunities and bias-based bullying.

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Walking Activity and Physical Function Among Mexican American Older Adults Over 9 Years of Follow Up

Nicholas Tahmassi and Soham Al Snih

Background: Walking activity has been associated with reduction in the development of chronic disease, cognitive and physical function impairment, disability, and mortality. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between walking activity and physical function over 9 years of follow-up among Mexican Americans aged 78 years and older. Methods: Participants (N = 998) were from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly (2007–2016). Measures included walking activity duration and frequency, socio-demographics, body mass index, medical conditions, pain, depressive symptoms, limitation in activities of daily living, and the Mini-Mental State Examination. Low physical function was defined as scoring <7 on the Short Physical Performance Battery. At baseline, participants were grouped into nonwalkers (n = 653), walked <150 minutes/week (n = 144), and walked 150 minutes/week or more (n = 201). A Generalized Estimating Equation model was used to estimate the odds ratio and 95% CI of low physical performance as a function of walking activity status. Results: Compared with nonwalkers, participants walking < 150 minutes/week had lower odds (odds ratio = 0.66, 95% CI, 0.51–0.86) of low physical function over time, after controlling for all covariates, as did those walking ≥ 150 minutes/week (odds ratio = 0.54, 95% CI, 0.41–0.71). Conclusions: Mexican American older adults who engage in any walking activity are at reduced risk of low physical function, even those with disability. Interventions at the individual and community level are recommended to reduce physical function impairment, even in those with preexisting medical conditions or disability.

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Accelerometer-Based Estimates of Physical Activity and Sedentary Time Among Samoan Adults

Nicola L. Hawley, Parmida Zarei, Scott E. Crouter, Mayur M. Desai, Alysa Pomer, Anna C. Rivara, Take Naseri, Muagututia Sefuiva Reupena, Satupaitea Viali, Rachel L. Duckham, and Stephen T. McGarvey

Background: The prevalence of obesity-related cardiometabolic disease in Samoa is among the highest globally. While physical activity is a modifiable risk factor for obesity-related disease, little is known about physical activity levels among adult Samoans. Using wrist-worn accelerometer-based devices, this study aimed to characterize physical activity among Samoan adults. Methods: Samoan adults (n = 385; 55% female, mean [SD] age 52 [10] y) wore Actigraph GT3X+ devices for 7 to 10 days. General linear models were used to examine mean daily minutes of sedentary time, light physical activity, and moderate to vigorous physical activity by various participant characteristics. Results: Time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity did not differ statistically between men (88 [5] min; 95% confidence interval [CI], 80–97) and women (78 [4] min; 95% CI, 70–86; P = .08). Women, however, spent more time than men in light physical activity: 380 (7) minutes (95% CI, 367–393) versus 344 (7) minutes (95% CI, 329–358; P < .001). While there were no differences in physical activity by census region, education, or occupation among women, men in urban areas spent significantly less time in moderate to vigorous physical activity than those in peri-urban and rural areas (P = .015). Women with class II/III obesity spent more time in sedentary activities than those with healthy weight or overweight/class I obesity (P = .048). Conclusions: This study characterizes physical activity among Samoan adults and highlights variation by sex, urbanicity, and weight status. In providing initial device-measured estimates of physical activity in Samoa, this analysis establishes a baseline from which the success of future attempts to intervene on physical activity may be assessed.

Free access

Celebrating 10 Years of the Global Observatory for Physical Activity—GoPA!

Michael Pratt, Andrea Ramírez Varela, and Pedro C. Hallal

Free access

Erratum. Comparison of High-Intensity Training Versus Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training on Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Body Fat Percentage in Persons With Overweight or Obesity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Erratum. Pandemic-Related Life Events and Physical Inactivity During COVID-19 Among Israeli Adults: The Smoking and Lifestyles in Israel Study

Journal of Physical Activity and Health

Free access

Perceived Barriers to Physical Activity Among Youth Living in Rural and Urban Canadian Communities: A Nationally Representative Cross-Sectional Study

Taru Manyanga, Nicole White, Larine Sluggett, Annie Duchesne, David Anekwe, and Chelsea Pelletier

Background: We used nationally representative data to explore associations among location of residence (rural/urban) and perceived barriers to physical activity (PA) in Canadian youth. Methods: We analyzed the 2017 Canadian Community Health Survey, Barriers to Physical Activity Rapid Response data for 12- to 17-year-old youth. Nine items from the survey assessing perceived barriers to PA were combined into 3 barrier domains: resources, motivational, and socioenvironmental. The likelihood of reporting barriers to PA based on rural–urban location was examined using survey-weighted binary logistic regression following a model fitting approach. Sociodemographic factors were modeled as covariates and tested in interaction with location. For each barrier domain, we derived the best-fitting model with fewest terms. Results: There were no location-specific effects related to reporting any barrier or motivation-related PA barriers. We found a sex by location interaction predicting the likelihood of reporting resource-related barriers. Rural boys were less likely to report resource-related barriers compared with urban boys (odds ratio [OR] = 0.42 [0.20, 0.88]). Rural girls were more likely to report resource-related barriers compared with boys (OR = 3.72 [1.66, 8.30]). Regarding socioenvironmental barriers, we observed a significant body mass index by location interaction demonstrating that rural youth with body mass index outside the “normal range” showed a higher likelihood of reporting socioenvironmental barriers compared with urban youth (OR = 2.38 [1.32, 4.30]). For urban youth, body mass index was unrelated to reporting socioenvironmental barriers (OR = 1.07 [0.67, 1.71]). Conclusion: PA barriers are not universal among Canadian youth. Our analyses highlight the importance of testing interactions in similar studies as well as considering key sociodemographic characteristics when designing interventions.