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Sofie Martien, Christophe Delecluse, Jan Seghers, and Filip Boen

The primary purpose of this study was to assess the validity of two motion sensors in measuring steps in institutionalized older adults during daily life activities. Sixty-eight nursing home residents (85.8 ± 5.6 years) were equipped with a hip-worn and ankle-worn piezoelectric pedometer (New Lifestyles 2000) and with an arm-mounted multisensor (SenseWear Mini). An investigator with a hand counter tallied the actual steps. The results revealed that the multisensor and hip- and ankle-worn pedometer significantly underestimated step counts (89.6 ± 17.2%, 72.9 ± 25.8%, and 20.8 ± 24.6%, respectively). Walking speed accounted for 41.6% of the variance in percent error of the ankle-worn pedometer. The threshold value for accurate step counting was set at 2.35 km/hr, providing percent error scores within ± 5%. The ankle-worn piezoelectric pedometer can be useful for accurate quantification of walking steps in the old and old-old (> 85 years) walking faster than 2.35 km/hr.

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Anass Arrogi, Astrid Schotte, An Bogaerts, Filip Boen, and Jan Seghers

Background: This study evaluated the effects of a 3-month workplace physical activity (PA) intervention on employees’ health-related fitness and well-being. Moreover, mediational pathways were examined. Methods: A longitudinal, quasi-experimental trial was evaluated in Belgian employees. The intervention group (IG: n = 246) received 3-months individualized, tailored PA counseling, consisting of face-to-face counseling and follow-up e-mail and telephone contacts. The reference group (n = 54) received no PA counseling. Outcome measures (assessed at baseline, 3 mo [short term], and 9 mo [long term]) included body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, well-being, and step-based PA. Results: With no changes in the reference group, the IG showed short-term improvements in body mass index (−0.24 kg/m2, P < .001), body fat (−0.88%, P < .001), waist circumference (−1.47 cm, P < .001), and muscle percentage (+0.47%, P < .001). Moreover, with respect to cardiorespiratory fitness, IG participants improved on perceived exertion, both in the short term (−0.91, P < .001) and long term (−0.83, P < .001). Furthermore, perceived physical well-being increased in the IG, both in the short term (+0.57, P < .001) and long term (+0.57, P < .001). The observed intervention effects on body composition, perceived exertion, and well-being were mediated by (increases in) step-based PA. Conclusions: Workplace PA counseling programs have the potential to enhance employees’ health-related fitness and well-being. Importantly, step-based PA behavior change was found to contribute to the postintervention improvements.

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Evelien Van Roie, Christophe Delecluse, Joke Opdenacker, Katrien De Bock, Eva Kennis, and Filip Boen

Two groups of sedentary older adults, participating in either a lifestyle physical activity intervention (LIFE, n = 60) or a structured exercise intervention (STRU, n = 60), were compared with a control group (CO, n = 66) in terms of physical fitness and cardiovascular risk factors. Participants in LIFE were stimulated to integrate physical activity into their daily routines and received an individualized home-based program. Participants in STRU completed 5 supervised training sessions every 2 wk in a fitness center. Both interventions lasted 11 months and focused on endurance, strength, flexibility, and postural/balance exercises. The results revealed that the interventions were equally effective in improving functional performance. STRU was more effective than LIFE in improving cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness. Limited effects emerged on cardiovascular risk, with STRU improving in total cholesterol and HDL. Consequently, interventions aiming at reducing cardiovascular risks among sedentary elderly should focus on long-term changes in physical activity behavior.

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Yves Vanden Auweele, Filip Boen, Annick De Geest, and Jos Feys

The purpose of this experiment was to determine whether the open feedback system used in synchronized swimming (i.e., the judges hear and see each others’ scores after having rated each performance) leads to unwanted (i.e., nonperformance-based) conformity in the scoring by judges. Twenty judges in synchronized swimming were randomly divided into four panels of five judges. They had to rate 60 performances of the same imposed figure, the barracuda twirl: 30 performances in Phase 1 and 30 in Phase 2. Two independent variables were orthogonally manipulated: feedback (or none) during Phase 1 and feedback (or none) during Phase 2. In line with the hypotheses, the variation of scores given in Phase 1 was significantly smaller when the judges had received feedback than when they had not received feedback. Moreover, the variation of the scores given in Phase 2 remained significantly smaller among the judges who had received feedback in Phase 1 but not in Phase 2, compared with judges who had not received feedback in either phase. These results indicate that the scoring of judges in synchronized swimming is strongly and lastingly influenced by immediate feedback.

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Gert Vande Broek, Filip Boen, Manu Claessens, Jos Feys, and Tanja Ceux

This study investigated the decision-making process of three instructional groups (i.e., teacher-centered, student-centered with tactical questioning and student-centered without tactical questioning) in practical courses in volleyball among university students. All students (N = 122) performed a Tactical Awareness task on the correctness of the decision-making process at three testing phases (i.e., pretest, posttest and retention test). The results revealed that the tactical awareness of all students ameliorated after five lessons (posttest) and this effect persisted over time after six weeks (retention test). However, the tactical knowledge of the student-centered instructional group with tactical questioning improved significantly more than the two other instructional groups. These findings highlight the importance of a student-centered approach with an active involvement of students in evaluative skills to enhance the tactical decision-making process.

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Johan Pelssers, Christophe Delecluse, Joke Opdenacker, Eva Kennis, Evelien Van Roie, and Filip Boen

This study evaluated “Every Step Counts!”—a 10-wk, structured walking intervention in a community-based senior organization—on promoting physical activity participation, fitness, and well-being among older adults (age ≥ 55 yr). The intervention prescribed pedometer-defined walks in weekly walking schedules. These were fitness-tailored and structured in walking load (intensity/volume) according to the principles of training progression. This intervention was offered as a social activity at meeting points of a community-based senior organization. Twenty-nine meeting points (n = 432) constituted the intervention condition. Ten meeting points (n = 148) formed the wait-list control condition. Measurements were organized at intervention start (pretest) and end (posttest). Intention-to-treat linear mixed models showed small positive intervention effects on physical activity, fitness, and aspects of well-being. These results confirm the effectiveness of structured walking interventions with systematic training progression and underscore the value of community-based senior organizations as intervention settings for older adults.

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Johan Pelssers, Emalie Hurkmans, Jeroen Scheerder, Norbert Vanbeselaere, Steven Vos, Tim Smits, and Filip Boen

Background: The social identity approach proposes that the more older adults identify with the social group of “older adults,” the more they will conform to what they perceive as being normative exercising for their group. However, so far, it remains unclear why older adults adhere to these norms. Objective: This study evaluated whether perceived exercise norms are associated with higher levels of autonomous motivation according to the self-determination theory and actual exercise participation. Methods: A cross-sectional survey, either by regular mail or online, was conducted among 409 older adults in Flanders (Belgium). Results: Our analyses revealed that older adults who perceived more positive older adult norms for exercising were more autonomously motivated to exercise. In explaining 24% of their exercise motivation, older adults’ perceptions of the exercise norms for older adults predicted 6% of their exercise participation. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that social identity approach and self-determination theory can be meaningfully integrated.

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Katrien Fransen, Norbert Vanbeselaere, Bert De Cuyper, Pete Coffee, Matthew J. Slater, and Filip Boen

Research on the effect of athlete leadership on precursors of team performance such as team confidence is sparse. To explore the underlying mechanisms of how athlete leaders impact their team’s confidence, an online survey was completed by 2,867 players and coaches from nine different team sports in Flanders (Belgium). We distinguished between two types of team confidence: collective efficacy, assessed by the CEQS subscales of effort, persistence, preparation, and unity; and team outcome confidence, measured by the ability subscale. The results demonstrated that the perceived quality of athlete leaders was positively related to participants’ team outcome confidence. The present findings are the first in sport settings to highlight the potential value of collective efficacy and team identification as underlying processes. Because high-quality leaders strengthen team members’ identification with the team, the current study also provides initial evidence for the applicability of the identity based leadership approach in sport settings.

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Jan Seghers, Ann-Sophie Van Hoecke, Astrid Schotte, Joke Opdenacker, and Filip Boen

Background:

Self-efficacy has been found to be an important precondition for behavioral change in sedentary people. The current study examined the effectiveness and added value of including a 15-minute selfefficacy coaching at the start of a 12-week lifestyle physical activity (PA) program.

Methods:

Participants were randomly assigned to a standard-intervention group (without additional self-efficacy coaching, N = 116) or extra-intervention group (with additional self-efficacy coaching, N = 111). Body mass index (BMI), cardiovascular fitness, self-reported PA, and self-efficacy beliefs were assessed at baseline and immediately after the intervention period. Perceived adherence to the PA program was assessed postintervention.

Results:

At posttest, a significant increase in cardiovascular fitness and decrease in BMI were found in both groups. Significant intervention effects emerged on PA behavior, self-efficacy, and program adherence, in favor of the extra-intervention group. Self-efficacy mediated the intervention effect on program adherence whereas no evidence was found for its role as mediator of PA change.

Conclusions:

Adding a 15-minute self-efficacy coaching at the start of a lifestyle PA program is a promising strategy to enhance the intervention effects on PA behavior, self-efficacy beliefs, and program adherence. However, the role of self-efficacy as mediator of the intervention effect on in PA was not fully supported.

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Katrien Fransen, Stef Van Puyenbroeck, Todd M. Loughead, Norbert Vanbeselaere, Bert De Cuyper, Gert Vande Broek, and Filip Boen

This research aimed to introduce social network analysis as a novel technique in sports teams to identify the attributes of high-quality athlete leadership, both at the individual and at the team level. Study 1 included 25 sports teams (N = 308 athletes) and focused on athletes’ general leadership quality. Study 2 comprised 21 sports teams (N = 267 athletes) and focused on athletes’ specific leadership quality as a task, motivational, social, and external leader. The extent to which athletes felt connected with their leader proved to be most predictive for athletes’ perceptions of that leader’s quality on each leadership role. Also at the team level, teams with higher athlete leadership quality were more strongly connected. We conclude that social network analysis constitutes a valuable tool to provide more insight in the attributes of high-quality leadership both at the individual and at the team level.