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How the Daily Smartphone is Associated With Daily Travel, Physical Activity, and Self-Perceived Health: Evidence From 2017 National Household Travel Survey

Yong Yang, Sheng Li, Kai Zhang, Xiaoling Xiang, Zhigang Li, SangNam Ahn, and James Murphy

Knowledge of how smartphone use in daily life, rather than in the context of intervention, may influence people’s behaviors and health is limited and mixed. The 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data were used to examine the associations between daily smartphone use and several outcomes, including engaging in vigorous physical activity, self-perceived being healthy, and the adjusted mean differences for total trips and active travels among older adults (≥65 years) as well as among young and middle-aged groups (18–64 years), respectively. The prevalence of daily smartphone use declined with increasing age. Daily smartphone use was associated with increased total trips and active travel, a higher likelihood of engaging in vigorous physical activity, and in self-perceived being healthy status. The associations were stronger among older adults than young and middle-aged adults. More studies are needed to address the complex pathways among daily smartphone use and other outcomes. Daily smartphone use has the potential to address the unmet daily needs of older adults and bridge health disparities for this disadvantaged group.

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Experiences, Perspectives, and Barriers to Physical Activity Parenting Practices for Chinese Early Adolescents

Youjie Zhang, Ruohong Cao, Cheng Li, Ziying Shi, Hui Sheng, and Yong Xu

Background: Parents play an important role in shaping youth’s lifestyle behaviors. This study aimed to investigate physical activity parenting practices (PAPP) for Chinese early adolescents and compare reporting discrepancies between parents and adolescent boys and girls. Methods: Fifty-five adolescent–parent dyads participated in 16 paired focus group interviews, and an additional 122 dyads completed questionnaire surveys with open-ended questions. Participants were recruited from 3 public middle schools in Suzhou, China. Qualitative data were analyzed inductively using an open-coding scheme. Frequencies of codes were compared by parent–child role and adolescent gender using chi-square tests. Results: Eighteen types of PAPP were identified and grouped into 6 categories: goals/control, structure, parental physical activity participation, communication, support, and discipline. These PAPP were viewed as promotive, preventive, or ineffective. Participants had mixed opinions on the effects of 11 PAPP and identified parental, adolescent, and environmental barriers for parents to promote youth physical activity. Compared with parents, adolescents were more likely to value the effects of setting expectation, scheduling, and coparticipation as well as dislike pressuring, restriction, and punishment. Girls were more likely to favor coparticipation and were more sensitive about negative communication than boys. Parents paid more attention to environmental barriers, whereas adolescents, especially girls, focused more on personal issues. Conclusions: Future studies need to address both positive and negative PAPP as well as perception discrepancies by child–parent role and adolescent gender to generate more evidence to promote parents as favorable socialization agents of youth physical activity.