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Rebecca E. Hasson

Racial/ethnic disparities in access to social and environmental supports for physical activity (PA) exist at each level of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological-systems model. African American and Latino youth are less likely to have PA equipment at home, more likely to have access to electronic-media devices, and more likely to attend schools with insufficient PA programming (microsystem). Parents of African American and Latino youth tend to have lower involvement at schools, resulting in fewer opportunities to provide social support for their children’s PA (mesosystem). African American and Latino youth also lack safe places to exercise in their neighborhoods (exosystem) and may experience socioeconomic and cultural barriers to engaging in PA (macrosystem). Yet, there are vast opportunities to intervene—policy approaches, developing school- and family-based programming, and altering the built environment can foster the adoption and maintenance of health-enhancing PA in ethnic-minority youth. This review highlights prominent disparities in PA supports for African American and Latino children and adolescents, as well as current strategies used to reduce disparities in youth PA.

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Matthew Nagy, Molly O’Sullivan, Shannon Block, and Rebecca E. Hasson

Purpose: To investigate the acute effects of intermittent activity performed at varying intensities on the perceptions of exercise-related fatigue in children. Methods: A total of 30 children completed 4 experimental conditions in random order, which consisted of 8 hours of sitting interrupted with 20 two-minute low-, moderate-, or high-intensity activity breaks or 20 two-minute sedentary breaks. The perceptions of exercise-related fatigue were determined via the Subjective Exercise Experience Scale at the beginning (0 breaks), middle (after 10 breaks), and end (after 20 breaks) of each condition. Results: The average heart rate was significantly higher with increasing exercise intensity (sedentary: 89.6 ± 1.2 beats/min, low: 114.6 ± 1.8 beats/min, moderate: 147.2 ± 1.8 beats/min, and high: 172.3 ± 1.8 beats/min, P < .0001). There was no significant main effect of condition (sedentary: −0.5 ± 0.6, low: −1.0 ± 0.7, moderate: −0.2 ± 0.5, and high: −0.6 ± 1.2; P = .86) and time (10–0 breaks: −0.7 ± 0.5 and 20–0 breaks: −0.5 ± 0.5; P = .45), nor time by condition interaction (P = .99) on change in exercise-related fatigue. Conclusions: Incorporating intermittent activity into physical activity programs may help to reduce barriers to regular exercise by minimizing perceptions of exercise-related fatigue in children.

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Rebecca E. Hasson, Kirsten E. Granados, David Xavier Marquez, Gary Bennett, Patty Freedson, and Barry Braun


Racial differences in psychological determinants of exercise exist between non-Hispanic blacks (blacks) and non-Hispanic whites (whites). To date, no study has examined racial differences in the psychological responses during and after exercise. The objective of this study was to compare psychological outcomes of single exercise bouts in blacks and whites.


On 3 separate occasions, sedentary black (n = 16) and white (n = 14) participants walked on a treadmill at 75%max HR for 75 minutes. Questionnaires assessing mood, state anxiety, and exercise task self-efficacy were administered before and after each exercise bout. In-task mood and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured every 5 minutes during exercise.


Exercise self-efficacy and psychological distress significantly improved in both blacks and whites. However during exercise blacks reported more positive in-task mood and lower RPE compared with whites.


These data suggest that racial differences exist in psychological responses during exercise. Further research should confirm these findings in a larger, free-living population.

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Matthew R. Nagy, Molly P. O’Sullivan, Shannon S. Block, Trevor R. Tooley, Leah E. Robinson, Natalie Colabianchi, and Rebecca E. Hasson

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of intermittent physical activity (2-min bouts of varying intensities) on psychological mood and enjoyment in elementary school-age children and to examine the effect of weight status on these psychological outcomes. Methods: A total of 39 children (healthy weight, n = 26; overweight/obese, n = 13) completed 4 experimental conditions in random order, which consisted of 8 hours of sitting interrupted with 20 two-minute low­-, moderate-, or high-intensity activity breaks or 20 two-minute screen-time breaks. Mood was assessed using the Feeling Scale immediately following each break. Enjoyment was assessed using the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale immediately following 10 and 20 breaks. Results: Mood was significantly higher during the sedentary versus active conditions (P < .01). Overweight/obese children reported lower mood scores compared with healthy weight children at the initiation of the low- (P < .05) and high-intensity conditions (P < .001) but experienced improvements in mood throughout the day in all 3 active conditions (P = .02). Enjoyment was significantly higher after completing the active versus sedentary conditions (P = .02). Conclusion: These findings suggest that both healthy weight and overweight/obese children felt better immediately after engaging in screen-time breaks but subsequently rated the activity breaks as more enjoyable compared with screen-time breaks.