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Participatory Research to Promote Physical Activity at Congregate-Meal Sites

Paul A. Estabrooks, Elizabeth H. Fox, Shawna E. Doerksen, Michael H. Bradshaw, and Abby C. King

The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of an on-site physical activity (PA) program offered with congregate meals. Study 1 surveyed meal-site users on their likelihood to participate. Study 2 used meal-site-manager interviews and site visits to determine organizational feasibility. Study 3, a controlled pilot study, randomized meal sites to a 12-week group-based social-cognitive (GBSC) intervention or a standard-care control. Studies 1 and 2 indicated that most meal-site users would participate in an on-site PA program, and meal sites had well-suited physical resources and strong organizational support for this type of program. In Study 3, GBSC participants increased their weekly PA over those in the control condition (p < .05, ES = .79). Results indicated that changes in task cohesion might have mediated intervention effectiveness. These studies demonstrate that a PA program offered in this venue is feasible, is effective in promoting PA, and could have a strong public health impact.

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Exploring the Objective and Perceived Environmental Attributes of Older Adults’ Neighborhood Walking Routes: A Mixed Methods Analysis

Mika R. Moran, Perla Werner, Israel Doron, Neta HaGani, Yael Benvenisti, Abby C. King, Sandra J. Winter, Jylana L. Sheats, Randi Garber, Hadas Motro, and Shlomit Ergon

Walking is a central form of physical activity among older adults that is associated with the physical environment at various scales. This mixed-methods study employs a concurrent nested design to explore objective and perceived environmental characteristics of older adults’ local walking routes. This was achieved by integrating quantitative Geographic Information System (GIS) data with qualitative data obtained using the Stanford Discovery Tool (DT). Fifty-nine community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults (14 men and 45 women aged 50+) were recruited in a snowball approach through community centers in the city of Haifa (Israel). Four neighborhood environment themes were identified: pedestrian infrastructure, access to destinations, aesthetics, and environmental quality. Both geometrical traits (i.e., distance, slope) and urban features (i.e., land-uses, greenery) of the route may impact the experience of walking. The findings thus highlight the importance of micro-scale environmental elements in shaping environmental perceptions, which may consequently influence the choice of being active.

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The Scientific Foundation for the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition

Kenneth E. Powell, Abby C. King, David M. Buchner, Wayne W. Campbell, Loretta DiPietro, Kirk I. Erickson, Charles H. Hillman, John M. Jakicic, Kathleen F. Janz, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, William E. Kraus, Richard F. Macko, David X. Marquez, Anne McTiernan, Russell R. Pate, Linda S. Pescatello, and Melicia C. Whitt-Glover

Background: The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report provides the evidence base for the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition. Methods: The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee addressed 38 questions and 104 subquestions selected for their public health relevance, potential to inform public policies and programs, maturity of the relevant science, and applicability to the general US population. Rigorous systematic literature searches and literature reviews were performed using standardized methods. Results: Newly described benefits of physical activity include reduced risk of excessive weight gain in children and adults, incidence of 6 types of cancer, and fall-related injuries in older people. Physical activity is associated with enhanced cognitive function and mental health across the life span, plus improved mental health and physical function. There is no threshold that must be exceeded before benefits begin to accrue; the accrual is most rapid for the least active individuals. Sedentary time is directly associated with elevated risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, incident cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and selected cancer sites. A wide range of intervention strategies have demonstrated success in increasing physical activity. Conclusion: The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report provides compelling new evidence to inform physical activity recommendations, practice, and policy.