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Marcella A. Raney, Abbie L. Bowers, and Amanda L. Rissberger

Background: Green schoolyard renovations lead to immediate positive changes in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and social behavior. This pilot study examines whether these benefits are equally distributed across gender and age and maintained 16 months postgreening. Methods: Physical activity and social interactions during recess were recorded at control (n = 389) and experimental (n = 642) Title I urban elementary schools with direct observation and accelerometers. Results: Activity profiles were similar to 4-month postgreening and to baseline for experimental girls and boys, respectively. There was no difference in MVPA minutes between sexes (girls = 11.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 11.1 to 12.5]; boys = 12.8; 95% CI, 12.0 to 13.4) and no difference in sitting minutes between age groups (first to fourth = 2.0; 95% CI, 1.5 to 2.6; fifth to sixth = 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.4) in green areas. Experimental students spent more time in MVPA (11.2 min; 95% CI, 10.6 to 11.8 vs 8.9 min; 95% CI, 8.3 to 9.3), in small groups (10.6 min; 95% CI, 10.2 to 11.0 vs 9.2 min; 95% CI, 8.5 to 9.9), and engaged in more prosocial interactions (5.5; 95% CI, 5.1 to 6.3 vs 3.7; 95% CI, 3.0 to 4.2) than control students. Conclusions: Green schoolyard renovations result in persistent changes to recess behavior that are characteristic of a more collaborative community and counteract age-related declines in MVPA, particularly for girls.

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Genevieve F. Dunton, Daniel Chu, Christine H. Naya, Britni R. Belcher, and Tyler B. Mason

Background: Psychological stress has adverse effects on health-related behaviors, yet longitudinal research is lacking. Research examined how children’s and mothers’ perceived stress are associated with children’s physical activity and sedentary behavior trajectories across 3 years. Methods: Mothers and their children (N = 186 dyads; 8–12 y at baseline, 57% Hispanic) completed 6 assessments across 3 years. Children and mothers self-reported perceived stress using the Stress in Children Scale and Perceived Stress Scale, respectively. Children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior were assessed using accelerometers. Mixed models examined interactions of mothers’ and children’s perceived stress by time elapsed in the study on children’s MVPA and sedentary behavior. Results: The perceived stress × time elapsed interactions were significant for children’s MVPA and sedentary behavior (Ps < .05). Higher average perceived stress in mothers was associated with greater decreases in children’s MVPA and increases in children’s sedentary behavior. The child stress × time elapsed interactions was significant for children’s MVPA (P < .05) but not sedentary behavior. Higher average perceived stress in children was associated with smaller decreases in children’s MVPA. Conclusion: Interventions to promote physical activity and reduce screen time in children should mitigate the effects of psychological stress, especially among mothers, on these behaviors.

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S. Morgan Hughey, Marilyn E. Wende, Ellen W. Stowe, Andrew T. Kaczynski, Jasper Schipperijn, and J. Aaron Hipp

Background: Neighborhood parks are recognized as important spaces for facilitating physical activity (PA); however, it remains unclear how the frequency of park use is associated with PA. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between minutes of moderate to vigorous PA and multiple park use indicators: (1) use of a neighborhood park, (2) unique number of neighborhood parks used, and (3) frequency of neighborhood park use. Methods: Adults were surveyed from 4 US cities (Brooklyn, NY; Greenville County, SC; Raleigh, NC; and Seattle, WA). Using a map-based survey platform, participants indicated all neighborhood parks they used and the frequency of use in the past 30 days. Participants self-reported their weekly moderate to vigorous PA. Quantile regression was used to examine associations between PA and park use indicators. Results: Of all respondents (N = 360), 60% indicated visiting a neighborhood park in the past 30 days, with an average of about 13 total neighborhood park visits (SD = 17.5). Significant, positive associations were found between moderate to vigorous PA and both unique neighborhood park visits and total number of neighborhood parks visits. Conclusions: Frequency of park visitation is associated with PA among US adults. Ensuring equitable and safe access to neighborhood parks has the potential for population-level PA health benefits.

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Russell R. Pate, Marsha Dowda, Ruth P. Saunders, Natalie Colabianchi, Morgan N. Clennin, Kerry L. Cordan, Geena Militello, Agnes Bucko, Dwayne E. Porter, and Wm. Lynn Shirley

Background: The prevalence of childhood obesity is higher in economically and socially deprived areas. Higher levels of physical activity reduce the risk of excessive weight gain in youth, and research has focused on environmental factors associated with children’s physical activity, though the term “physical activity desert” has not come into wide use. Methods: This exploratory study operationalized the term “physical activity desert” and tested the hypothesis that children living in physical activity deserts would be less physically active than children who do not. A cross-sectional study design was applied with 992 fifth-grade students who had provided objectively measured physical activity data. Five of 12 possible elements of the built environment were selected as descriptors of physical activity deserts, including no commercial facilities, no parks, low play spaces, no cohesion, and the presence of incivilities. Results: Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that only the absence of parks was associated with less physical activity in children. Conclusion: Children living in a “no park” zone were less active than their counterparts who lived near a park. This study contributes preliminary conceptual and operational definitions of “physical activity desert.” Future studies of physical activity deserts should be undertaken in larger and more diverse samples.

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Heidi Skantz, Timo Rantalainen, Laura Karavirta, Merja Rantakokko, Lotta Palmberg, Erja Portegijs, and Taina Rantanen

The authors examined whether accelerometer-based free-living walking differs between those reporting walking modifications or perceiving walking difficulty versus those with no difficulty. Community-dwelling 75-, 80-, or 85-year-old people (N = 479) wore accelerometers continuously for 3–7 days, and reported whether they perceived no difficulties, used walking modifications, or perceived difficulties walking 2 km. Daily walking minutes, walking bouts, walking bout intensity and duration, and activity fragmentation were calculated from accelerometer recordings, and cut points for increased risk for perceiving walking difficulties were calculated using receiver operating characteristic analysis. The authors’ analyses showed that accumulating ≤83.1 daily walking minutes and walking bouts duration ≤47.8 s increased the likelihood of reporting walking modifications and difficulties. Accumulating walking bouts ≤99.4 per day, having walking bouts ≤0.119 g intensity, and ≥0.257 active to sedentary transition probability fragmented activity pattern were associated only with perceiving walking difficulties. The findings suggest that older people’s accelerometer-based free-living walking reflects their self-reported walking capability.

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Maureen R. Weiss

I adopt an autobiographical approach to chronicle the contexts, experiences, and individuals that shaped my academic and career choices, which resulted in finding kinesiology and, specifically, sport and exercise psychology. Consistent with the developmental perspective I employ in my research and practical applications, I trace my life’s work in youth development through sport using transitional career stages. My academic path has been strongly influenced by hardworking and caring mentors and a commitment to balancing theoretical knowledge, applied research, and professional practice. Based on my many years in higher education, I conclude with some reflections on the future of kinesiology given past and present trends in the field.

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Jay Coakley

This article is organized around the idea that a person can be a part of kinesiology without being in kinesiology. Trained as a sociologist and never having a faculty appointment outside of a sociology department, I am an outsider in kinesiology. However, my participation in kinesiology and relationships with scholars in kinesiology departments have fostered my professional growth and my appreciation of interdisciplinary approaches to studying sports, physical activities, and the moving human body. The knowledge produced by scholars in kinesiology subdisciplines has provided a framework for situating and assessing my research, teaching, and professional service as a sociologist. The latter half of this article focuses on changes in higher education and how they are likely to negatively impact the social sciences and humanities subdisciplines in kinesiology. The survival of these subdisciplines will depend, in part, on how leaders in the field respond to the question, Kinesiology for whom?

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Cheng Li, Christy Hullings, Wei Wang, and Debra M. Palmer Keenan

Background: Low-income adolescents’ physical activity (PA) levels fall below current recommendations. Perceived barriers to physical activity (PBPA) are likely significant predictors of PA levels; however, valid and reliable measures to assess PA barriers are lacking. This manuscript describes the development of the PBPA Survey for Low-Income Adolescents. Methods: A mixed-method approach was used. Items identified from the literature and revised for clarity and appropriateness (postcognitive interviews) were assessed for test–retest reliability with 74 adolescents using intraclass correlation coefficient. Items demonstrating low intraclass correlation coefficients or floor effects were removed. Both exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis analyses (n = 1914 low-income teens) were used to finalize the scale; internal consistency was assessed by Cronbach’s alpha. Concurrent validity was established by correlating the PBPA with the PA questionnaire for adolescents using a Spearman correlation. Results: The exploratory factor analysis yielded a 38-item, 7-factor solution, which was cross-validated by confirmatory factor analysis (comparative-fit index, nonnormed fit index = .90). The scale’s Cronbach’s alpha was .94, with subscales ranging from .70 to .88. The PBPA Survey for Low-Income Adolescents’ concurrent validity was supported by a negative PA questionnaire for adolescents’ correlation values. Conclusion: The PBPA Survey for Low-Income Adolescents can be used to better understand the relationship between PBPA among low-income teens. Further research is warranted to validate the scale with other adolescent subgroups.

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Rainer Martens

Learn how sport influenced Rainer Martens’s life and his epiphany to become a physical educator and coach, which led him to study sport psychology. The author briefly recounts his work in sport psychology and coaching education. Next, the author describes how he stumbled into publishing, founding Human Kinetics, and describes how this company helped define kinesiology and influence the broad field of physical activity. The author concludes by reporting on his continued involvement in sport and the development of two community centers that focus on sport and physical activity.