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Relationships among Religiosity, Physical Activity, and Sedentary Behavior in Jewish Adolescents

David Kahan

Because the effects of religion or religiosity on physical activity (PA) and sedentary activity (SA) are unknown, weekend accrual of PA and SA was measured among Jewish adolescents (N = 437) attending religious day schools in two large cities in the western United States. Participants completed the Self-Administered Physical Activity Checklist and demographic and religious questionnaire items. Orthodox respondents accrued less PA and SA on Saturday than the non-Orthodox; no differences on Sunday were found. Factor analysis of the religiosity items yielded three factors: observance, devotion, and doctrinal consonance. Correlation of factor scores with PA and SA revealed that observance was most strongly associated with accrual of PA and SA.

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Evaluation of a Redesigned Outdoor Space on Preschool Children’s Physical Activity During Recess

Virginie Nicaise, David Kahan, Karen Reuben, and James F. Sallis

This study investigated the impact of renovation and redesign of a university preschool’s outdoor space on children’s sedentary behavior, light activity, and moderate-to-vigorous-physical-activity (MVPA) during unstructured recess. Physical activity was measured by accelerometry and direct observation in two independent samples of 50 (baseline) and 57 (postintervention) children (M age=4.4 yrs ± 0.5). Controlling for gender, age, BMI and recess length, observational data, but not accelerometry, revealed a significant decrease in intervals spent sedentary (-26.5%) and increases in light physical activity (+11.6%) and MVPA (+14.9%). Higher levels of MVPA were associated with specific environmental changes (new looping cycle path, OR = 2.18; increased playground open space, OR = 7.62; and new grass hill, OR = 3.27). Decreased sedentary behavior and increased light activity and MVPA may be realized with environmental changes that promote continuous and novel movement experiences in more expansive spaces.