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James F. Sallis, Jacqueline Kerr, Jordan A. Carlson, Gregory J. Norman, Brian E. Saelens, Nefertiti Durant and Barbara E. Ainsworth

Background:

Neighborhood environment attributes of walkability and access to recreation facilities have been related to physical activity and weight status, but most self-report environment measures are lengthy. The 17-item PANES (Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Scale) was developed to be comprehensive but brief enough for use in multipurpose surveys. The current study evaluated test-retest and alternate-form reliability of PANES items compared with multi-item subscales from the longer NEWS-A (Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale—Abbreviated).

Methods:

Participants were 291 adults recruited from neighborhoods that varied in walkability in 3 US cities. Surveys were completed twice with a 27-day interval.

Results:

Test-retest ICCs for PANES items ranged from .52 to .88. Spearman correlations for the PANES single item vs NEWS-A subscale comparisons ranged from .27 to .81 (all P < .01).

Conclusions:

PANES items related to land use mix, residential density, pedestrian infrastructure, aesthetic qualities, and safety from traffic and crime were supported by correlations with NEWS-A subscales. Access to recreation facilities and street connectivity items were not supported. The brevity of PANES allows items to be included in studies or surveillance systems to expand knowledge about neighborhood environments.

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Jeanette I. Candelaria, James F. Sallis, Terry L. Conway, Brian E. Saelens, Lawrence D. Frank and Donald J. Slymen

Background:

The study aim was to assess the relation of parent status to physical activity (PA) and the impact of parental roles, age and number of children on PA.

Methods:

Data for 909 women and 965 men, aged 20–57, were analyzed. Mixed Models were used to assess differences in PA between parents and adults without children, with analyses stratified by sex. The primary outcome was accelerometer-measured total daily minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA).

Results:

Parenthood was not related to MVPA, but mothers reported more total PA than nonmothers. For mothers and fathers, self-reported household activity was higher and sitting time lower, compared with nonparents. Both men and women with children aged 0–5 reported the highest household activity and the lowest sitting time, with household PA higher and sitting time lower with more children. There was no evidence that leisure, transport, or occupational activity varied by parenthood.

Conclusions:

Considering the potential impact of child-rearing on parent time demands, there was little difference in parents’ objectively measured MVPA compared with nonparents. Educational interventions or extracurricular programs for students and parents could target families with school-aged children. Development of tools to obtain parent reports of child care-specific PA behaviors would be useful.

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Jordan A. Carlson, James F. Sallis, Nicole Wagner, Karen J. Calfas, Kevin Patrick, Lisa M. Groesz and Gregory J. Norman

Background:

Psychosocial factors have been related to physical activity (PA) and are used to evaluate mediation in PA interventions.

Methods:

Brief theory-based psychosocial scales were compiled from existing measures and evaluated. Study 1 assessed factor structure and construct validity with self-reported PA and accelerometry in overweight/obese men (N = 441) and women (N = 401). Study 2 assessed 2-week reliability and internal consistency in 49 college students.

Results:

Confirmatory factor analysis indicated good fit in men and women (CFI = .90; RMSEA = .05). Construct validity was supported for change strategies (r = .29–.46), self-efficacy (r = .19–.22) and enjoyment (r = .21–.33) in men and women, and for cons in women (r = –.19 to –.20). PA pros (r = –.02 to .11) and social support (r = –.01 to .12) were not supported for construct validity. Test-retest reliability ICCs ranged from .49–.81. Internal consistency alphas ranged from .55–.90. Reliability was supported for most scales with further testing needed for cons (alphas = .55–.63) and enjoyment (ICC = 49).

Conclusions:

Many of the brief scales demonstrated adequate reliability and validity, while some need further development. The use of these scales could advance research and practice in the promotion of PA.

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Noe C. Crespo, Kirsten Corder, Simon Marshall, Gregory J. Norman, Kevin Patrick, James F. Sallis and John P. Elder

Background:

Girls are less physically active than boys, yet no single study has examined the factors that may explain gender differences in children’s physical activity (PA).

Methods:

This study was a cross-sectional analysis of data from 116 caregivers and their children aged 5–8 years who participated in the MOVE study. Caregivers reported various factors that may relate to children’s PA (eg, encouragement for child PA and PA equipment at home). Child PA was measured by 7-day accelerometry. Linear regression tested for the variance in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) explained by gender and several variables. Gender and ethnicity interactions were examined.

Results:

Caregivers were mostly female (97%), mean age 38 ± 6 years, mean BMI 28 ± 6 (kg/m2). Child’s mean age was 8.1 ± 0.7, 54% were female and 40% were overweight/obese. Girls were less physically active than boys (54.1 ± 19.7 vs. 65.2 ± 28.0 daily minutes of MVPA, respectively). Among girls, more days of PE/week was associated with greater MVPA. Among boys, greater parent support for PA, greater parent modeling for PA, and greater number of PA equipment in the home were associated with greater MVPA.

Conclusions:

This study supports that boys and girls have different correlates for MVPA, which may partly explain gender differences in PA.

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Davy Vancampfort, Brendon Stubbs, James F. Sallis, Justine Nabanoba, David Basangwa, Adewale L. Oyeyemi, Sandra S. Kasoma, Marc De Hert, Inez Myin-Germeys and James Mugisha

Background: This study investigated whether reported neighborhood variables explained variance in time spent walking, exercising, and being sedentary, in addition to mental health and demographic variables among Ugandan outpatients with mental illness. Methods: Ninety-nine outpatients (78 men; 31.1 [8.6] y) of the Butabika National Referral Hospital in Uganda completed the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale for Africa, the Simple Physical Activity Questionnaire, and the Brief Symptoms Inventory-18. Multiple regression analyses were performed. Results: Seven percent of the variance in walking time was explained by the variance in anxiety/depression and an additional 13% by the variance in perceived mixed land use and the availability of roads and walking paths. Eight percent of the variance in exercise time was explained by variance in age and an additional 6% by the variance anxiety/depression. The availability of recreational space added 8%. Six percent of variance in time spent sedentary was explained by family income, while availability of roads and walking paths added another 6%. Conclusions: This study shows the relevance of availability of roads and walking paths and recreational space for more physical activity and less sedentary behavior in people with mental illness. This is particularly relevant in low-income countries where a rapid urbanization is taking place.

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James F. Sallis, Thomas L. McKenzie, John P. Elder, Patricia L. Hoy, Todd Galati, Charles C. Berry, Michelle M. Zive and Philip R. Nader

Previous studies have not used both self-report and objective measures to assess sex and ethnic differences in children’s physical activity. In the present study, 187 Mexican American and Anglo American children, aged 11 to 12 years, were assessed by two 7-day physical activity recall interviews and up to 8 days of accelerometer (Caltrac) monitoring over a 6-month period. Compared to Anglo American boys, accelerometer data showed Mexican American boys, Anglo American girls, and Mexican American girls to be 95,81, and 75% as active, respectively. Activity recall data showed that, compared to Anglo American boys, Mexican American boys, Anglo American girls, and Mexican American girls were 95,95, and 90% as active, respectively. The extent of sex and ethnic differences in children’s physical activity depend on the measure used.

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Wendell C. Taylor, James F. Sallis, Emily Lees, Joseph T. Hepworth, Karina Feliz, Devin C. Volding, Andrea Cassels and Jonathan N. Tobin

Background:

Middle age and older (mean = 58.7 y), racial/ethnic minority women report low levels of physical activity. Recommendations to change the social and built environments to promote physical activity in this group are underdeveloped. Two research questions guided this study: What environmental changes are recommended by racial/ethnic minority women? What policies are related to the environmental changes?

Methods:

The findings from nine Nominal Group Technique sessions with 45 subjects were analyzed.

Results:

More police protection, cleaner streets, removal of drugs from streets, more street lights, walking groups, and free gyms were prioritized by subjects as the most important recommendations. The relevant policies included municipal, police department, sanitation department, public works, and transportation department.

Conclusions:

Racial/ethnic minority women living in low income, urban areas recommend improvements that affect overall quality of life. Meeting basic needs may be a prerequisite for use of physical activity resources.

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Christina M. Thornton, Kelli L. Cain, Terry L. Conway, Jacqueline Kerr, Brian E. Saelens, Lawrence D. Frank, Karen Glanz and James F. Sallis

Background:

The after-school period provides an opportune context for adolescent physical activity. This study examined how characteristics of after-school recreation environments related to adolescent physical activity.

Methods:

Participants were 889 adolescents aged 12 to 17 (mean = 14.1, SD = 1.4) from 2 US regions. Adolescents reported on whether their school offered after-school supervised physical activity, access to play areas/fields, and presence of sports facilities. Outcomes were accelerometer-measured after-school physical activity, reported physical activity on school grounds during nonschool hours, attainment of 60 minutes of daily physical activity excluding school physical education, and BMI-for-age z-score. Mixed regression models adjusted for study design, region, sex, age, ethnicity, vehicles/licensed drivers in household, and distance to school.

Results:

School environment variables were all significantly associated with self-reported physical activity on school grounds during non-school hours (P < .001) and attainment of 60 minutes of daily physical activity (P < .05). Adolescents’ accelerometer-measured after-school physical activity was most strongly associated with access to supervised physical activity (P = .008).

Conclusions:

Policies and programs that provide supervised after-school physical activity and access to play areas, fields, and sports facilities may help adolescents achieve daily physical activity recommendations.

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Kavita A. Gavand, Kelli L. Cain, Terry L. Conway, Brian E. Saelens, Lawrence D. Frank, Jacqueline Kerr, Karen Glanz and James F. Sallis

Background: To examine relations between parents’ perceived neighborhood recreation environments and multiple measures of adolescent physical activity (PA). Methods: Participants (N = 928; age 14.1 [1.4] y, 50.4% girls, and 33.4% nonwhite/Hispanic) and their parents were recruited. Teen moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) was assessed with 7-day accelerometry. Self-reported total PA, PA near home, and PA at recreation locations were also assessed. Proximity of home to 8 types of recreation facilities was reported by parents. Mixed-model linear regressions relating environments to various measures of PA were adjusted for demographics and neighborhood clustering. Results: Perceiving more availability of recreation facilities around home was related to higher reports of days per week with 60+ minutes of PA (b = 0.153; P < .05), reported PA time near home (b = 0.152; P < .001), PA time at recreation facilities (b = 0.161; P < .001), accelerometer-measured total MVPA (b = 1.741; P < .05), and nonschool MVPA (b = 1.508; P < .01). Adolescents living in lowest quintile of recreation facility availability averaged 27.6 (3.2) minutes per day of total MVPA versus 49.8 (3.5) minutes per day for those living in highest quintile. Conclusions: Adolescents living in neighborhoods that parents reported having more availability of recreation facilities around homes had higher activity across 5 indicators of PA.

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Ding Ding, James F. Sallis, Gregory J. Norman, Lawrence D. Frank, Brian E. Saelens, Jacqueline Kerr, Terry L. Conway, Kelli Cain, Melbourne F. Hovell, C. Richard Hofstetter and Abby C. King

Some attributes of neighborhood environments are associated with physical activity among older adults. This study examined whether the associations were moderated by driving status. Older adults from neighborhoods differing in walkability and income completed written surveys and wore accelerometers (N = 880, mean age = 75 years, 56% women). Neighborhood environments were measured by geographic information systems and validated questionnaires. Driving status was defined on the basis of a driver’s license, car ownership, and feeling comfortable to drive. Outcome variables included accelerometer-based physical activity and self-reported transport and leisure walking. Multilevel generalized linear regression was used. There was no significant Neighborhood Attribute × Driving Status interaction with objective physical activity or reported transport walking. For leisure walking, almost all environmental attributes were positive and significant among driving older adults but not among nondriving older adults (five significant interactions at p < .05). The findings suggest that driving status is likely to moderate the association between neighborhood environments and older adults’ leisure walking.