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  • Author: Birgitta L. Baker x
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Andrew J. Mowen and Birgitta L. Baker

Background:

The United States’ first National Physical Activity Plan is now under development. This plan follows the release of new physical activity guidelines and seeks to address the nation’s ongoing physical inactivity and obesity crisis. For this plan to be successful, all facets of American culture need to unify behind its recommendations and action steps. Guidance for this plan involves active participation from a variety of sectors, including the park, recreation, fitness, and sport (PRFS) sector.

Purpose:

In this white paper, we discuss the potential of the PRFS sector in addressing America’s physical inactivity. Specifically, we provide a brief description, history, and scope of the PRFS sector; present evidence concerning linkages between this sector and physical activity; and discuss existing challenges and emerging opportunities for promoting physical activity. We conclude by suggesting PRFS recommendations to promote physical activity based on anticipated effectiveness, reach, scope, and sustainability.

Methods:

Academic articles, professional reports, and physical activity plans were reviewed to summarize the evidence concerning PRFS sector strategies for increasing physical activity. Recommendations: Based on our review, we propose several sector-specific proximity, place, program, partnership, promotion, people, policy, and performance indicator recommendations for improving physical activity in the United States.

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Birgitta L. Baker and Kirsten K. Davison

Background:

This study examined predictors of perceived athletic competence and subsequent physical activity in a longitudinal sample of adolescent girls.

Methods:

A sample of 149 girls was assessed at ages 9, 11, and 13. Perceived athletic competence (PAC) was measured at all ages. Nonaesthetic versus aesthetic sport participation, body fat percentage, and breast development were measured at age 9. Accelerometers were used to measure girls’ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) at age 13.

Results:

Girls who participated in nonaesthetic sports at age 9 reported higher PAC at age 11 than those who participated in only aesthetic sports, while more advanced breast development at age 9 was associated with greater relative declines in PAC between ages 11 and 13. Both age 11 PAC and the relative change in PAC between ages 11 and 13 were significant positive predictors of age 13 MVPA. Results were independent of age 9 socioeconomic status and self-reported physical activity.

Conclusion:

Perceived athletic competence is a suitable target for intervention efforts designed to increase adolescent girls’ physical activity. Particular attention should be focused on girls who are overweight or experiencing puberty. Participation in nonaesthetic sports may be particularly important in the development of PAC.

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Lisa G. Johnson and Birgitta L. Baker

Louisiana State University’s School of Kinesiology has partnered with the Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Fitness Center in Baton Rouge, LA since 2003 offering our fitness studies concentration majors a unique service-learning experience. The center is located in a community with citizens battling many health issues, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, with limited access and resources that promote a heathy lifestyle. Students enrolled in a senior capstone course work with the community members in the Sensational Seniors fitness program. This fitness program addresses some of those needs by providing a variety of group exercise sessions promoting overall health and longevity for the participants. Our students are able to apply theoretical concepts learned in lectures and laboratories to address public health concerns in a real-life setting. The students lead group fitness activities, monitor blood pressures, and disseminate appropriate and updated health and exercise information for the seniors.

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Alex C. Garn, Birgitta L. Baker, Emily K. Beasley and Melinda A. Solmon

Background:

Traditional videogames contribute to sedentary behaviors; in contrast, exergaming is a relatively new concept that uses videogames to promote exercise during game play. Nintendo Wii Fit is a commercially popular exergaming platform geared toward improving fitness, however, limited empirical evidence related to the physical and mental benefits of the Wii Fit platform currently exist. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate possible physical and motivational benefits of Nintendo Wii Fit.

Methods:

A repeated measures design was used with 30 college-aged students to explore physical activity, enjoyment, and future intentions of physical activity associated with Wii Fit exergames.

Results:

Data supported the efficacy of Wii Fit Basic Run to consistently produce moderate to vigorous physical activity across participants. Future intentions were higher for exergaming compared with generic exercise and obese individuals enjoyed exergaming more than generic physical activity.

Conclusions:

The Basic Run Wii Fit game provided opportunities for accumulating moderate to vigorous physical activity that provided motivational benefits to these participants, especially those classified as obese. Future research should examine the ability of Wii Fit exergames to produce physical activity and motivation over time.

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Susan B. Sisson, Stephanie T. Broyles, Birgitta L. Baker and Peter T. Katzmarzyk

Background:

The purposes were 1) to determine if different leisure-time sedentary behaviors (LTSB), such as TV/video/video game viewing/playing (TV), reading for pleasure (reading), and nonschool computer usage, were associated with childhood overweight status, and 2) to assess the social-ecological correlates of LTSB.

Methods:

The analytic sample was 33,117 (16,952 boys and 16,165 girls) participants from the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health. The cut-point for excessive TV and nonschool computer usage was ≥ 2 hr/day. High quantities of daily reading for pleasure were classified as ≥ 31 min/day. Weighted descriptive characteristics were calculated on the sample (means ± SE or frequency). Logistic regression models were used to determine if the LTSB were associated with overweight status and to examine social-ecological correlates.

Results:

Over 35% of the sample was overweight. Odds of being overweight were higher in the 2 to 3 hr/day (OR: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.24, 1.76) and ≥ 4 hr/day (OR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.22, 1.91) daily TV groups compared with none. Reading and nonschool computer usage was not associated with being overweight.

Conclusions:

TV was associated with overweight classification; however, nonschool computer usage and reading were not. Several individual, family, and community correlates were associated with high volumes of daily TV viewing.