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Shelby Borowski, Jyoti Savla, and Anisa M. Zvonkovic

Background: Little is known about the link between flexible work arrangements and health behaviors, such as physical activity. This study aimed to explore how self-efficacy and daily barriers to physical activity influence daily levels of physical activity on workdays when university staff members used a flexible work arrangement (flextime or telework). Methods: Full-time university staff employees (N = 61, mean age = 41; 89% female) participated in this daily diary study. Participants completed an initial survey followed by daily surveys over the course of one workweek, resulting in 281 diary days. Results: The most frequently reported barriers to physical activity were as follows: lack of time, feeling tired, and not enough motivation. Multilevel models revealed that as the number of barriers increased, minutes of physical activity significantly decreased. Self-efficacy was not significantly related to daily physical activity. Participants reported fewer minutes of physical activity on flextime workdays compared to days when a flexible work arrangement was not used (ie, traditional workday). Daily use of a flexible work arrangement did not moderate the association between barriers and physical activity. Conclusions: This study illustrated the influence of daily barriers and flextime workdays on physical activity levels, which can inform workplace health programs for university staff.

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Matthew Hobbs, Stuart J.H. Biddle, Andrew P. Kingsnorth, Lukas Marek, Melanie Tomintz, Jesse Wiki, John McCarthy, Malcolm Campbell, and Simon Kingham

Background: This study investigates the association between television (TV) viewing and child adiposity and if parental education and child ethnicity moderate this association. Method: Cross-sectional, pooled (2013/2014–2016/2017) adult and child New Zealand Health Survey were matched resulting in 13,039 children (2–14 y) and parent dyads. Child TV viewing was estimated using self-reported time for each weekday and weekend. The height (in centimeters), weight (in kilograms), and waist circumference of parents and children were measured. Childhood body mass index and obesity were defined using the International Obesity Task Force cutoff values. Effect modification was assessed by interaction and then by stratifying regression analyses by parent education (low, moderate, and high) and child ethnicity (Asian, European/other, Māori, and Pacific). Results: Overall, watching ≥2 hours TV on average per day in the past week, relative to <2 hours TV viewing, was associated with a higher odds of obesity (adjusted odds ratio = 1.291 [1.108–1.538]), higher body mass index z score (b = 0.123 [0.061–0.187]), and higher waist circumference (b = 0.546 [0.001–1.092]). Interactions considering this association by child ethnicity and parent education revealed little evidence of effect modification. Conclusion: While TV viewing was associated with child adiposity, the authors found little support for a moderating role of parental education and child ethnicity.

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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.