This study describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of a structured physical activity intervention designed for high school students (years 11 and 12). A sample of 78 students was randomly allocated to control or intervention conditions for a period of ten weeks. Students in the control group (n = 40) participated in unstructured physical activity in a health and fitness center. Students in the intervention group (n = 38) participated in a ten-week structured health and exercise program based on Banduraʼs social learning theories. At the initial posttest, a number of statistically significant group differences were found using analysis of covariance. The intervention group reported more physical activity and improved exercise self-efficacy in comparison to the control group. At the 3-month follow-up, no statistically significant differences in physical activity were found. Results from this study suggest that a well-organized exercise-based program can be effective in increasing physical activity behavior of adolescents on a short-term basis.
David R. Lubans, Chris M. Mundey, Nicole J. Lubans and Chris C. Lonsdale
The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and feasibility of a resistancetraining (RT) and lifestyle-activity program for sedentary older adults. Eligible participants (N = 44) were randomized to an 8-wk intervention or a control group. The primary outcome was lower body muscle strength, and participants completed a range of secondary outcomes. There was a significant group-by-time interaction for lower body muscle strength (difference = 3.9 repetitions [reps], 95% CI = 2.0–5.8 reps; p < .001; d = 1.0). Changes in secondary outcomes were generally small and not statistically significant. Attendance and program satisfaction were both high. A combined elastic-tubing RT and lifestyle-activity program delivered in the community setting is an efficacious and feasible approach to improve health in sedentary older adults.
Ronald C. Plotnikoff, Klaus Gebel and David Revalds Lubans
According to social-cognitive theory (SCT), self-efficacy affects health behavior both directly and indirectly by influencing how individuals perceive their environment. This study examines whether perceptions of home and school environment mediate the association between self-efficacy and physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior in adolescent girls.
Baseline data from the Nutrition and Enjoyable Activity for Teen Girls (NEAT) was used for this study. Grade 8 female students (n = 357) were recruited from 12 secondary schools located in low-income communities in the Hunter Region, New South Wales, Australia. PA was assessed using accelerometers, and sedentary behavior by self-report and accelerometers. Self-reported measures were used for perceived home and school environment and self-efficacy. Multilevel regression models were calculated to determine if the perceived environment mediated the relationship between self-efficacy with both PA and sedentary behavior.
The perceptions of the school and home environment did not mediate the relationship between PA self-efficacy and PA behavior or sedentary behavior.
The mediated models were not supported for PA or sedentary behavior. However, other results of this paper may be helpful for future theory development and practice. More research is needed to understand behaviors in unique populations such as this.
Nicholas Riley, David R. Lubans, Kathryn Holmes and Philip J Morgan
To evaluate the impact of a primary school-based physical activity (PA) integration program delivered by teachers on objectively measured PA and key educational outcomes.
Ten classes from 8 Australian public schools were randomly allocated to treatment conditions. Teachers from the intervention group were taught to embed movement-based learning in their students’ (n = 142) daily mathematics program in 3 lessons per week for 6 weeks. The control group (n = 98) continued its regular mathematics program. The primary outcome was accelerometer-determined PA across the school day. Linear mixed models were used to analyze treatment effects.
Significant intervention effects were found for PA across the school day (adjusted mean difference 103 counts per minute [CPM], 95% confidence interval [CI], 36.5–169.7, P = .008). Intervention effects were also found for PA (168 CPM, 95% CI, 90.1–247.4, P = .008) and moderate-to-vigorous PA (2.6%, 95% CI, 0.9–4.4, P = .009) in mathematics lessons, sedentary time across the school day (–3.5%, 95% CI, –7.0 to –0.13, P = .044) and during mathematics (–8.2%, CI, –13.0 to –2.0, P = .010) and on-task behavior (13.8%, 95% CI, 4.0–23.6, P = .011)—but not for mathematics performance or attitude.
Integrating movement across the primary mathematics syllabus is feasible and efficacious.
Lisa M. Barnett, David R. Lubans, Anna Timperio, Jo Salmon and Nicola D. Ridgers
This study aimed to examine the contribution of objective measures of physical fitness (musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory), physical activity, and motor skill to motor perception. A total of 122 children (63 boys) aged 8–11 years were assessed. Independent t-tests assessed sex differences in all variables. Two linear mixed models adjusted for sex and age were performed with perceived object control and locomotor skills (Pictorial Scale of the Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children) as outcomes. Aerobic (multi-stage fitness test) and muscular fitness (long jump, grip strength), moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (ActiGraph accelerometry), movement skill (Test of Gross Motor Development-2), age, and sex were predictors. Boys had higher object control skills (actual and perceived) and fitness. Age (decreasing) and long jump distance (positive) explained 16% of locomotor skill perception variance. Sex (boys) explained 13% of object control skill perception variance. Children’s skill self-perception may be influenced by fitness attributes as these are more evident to them. The fact that girls have lower actual object control competence and fitness than boys suggests girls may be an intervention target.
Deborah L. Dewar, David Revalds Lubans, Philip James Morgan and Ronald C. Plotnikoff
This study aimed to develop and evaluate the construct validity and reliability of modernized social cognitive measures relating to physical activity behaviors in adolescents.
An instrument was developed based on constructs from Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory and included the following scales: self-efficacy, situation (perceived physical environment), social support, behavioral strategies, and outcome expectations and expectancies. The questionnaire was administered in a sample of 171 adolescents (age = 13.6 ± 1.2 years, females = 61%). Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to examine model-fit for each scale using multiple indices, including chi-square index, comparative-fit index (CFI), goodness-of-fit index (GFI), and the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA). Reliability properties were also examined (ICC and Cronbach’s alpha).
Each scale represented a statistically sound measure: fit indices indicated each model to be an adequate-to-exact fit to the data; internal consistency was acceptable to good (α = 0.63−0.79); rank order repeatability was strong (ICC = 0.82−0.91).
Results support the validity and reliability of social cognitive scales relating to physical activity among adolescents. As such, the developed scales have utility for the identification of potential social cognitive correlates of youth physical activity, mediators of physical activity behavior changes and the testing of theoretical models based on Social Cognitive Theory.
Adam B. Lloyd, David R. Lubans, Ronald C. Plotnikoff and Philip J. Morgan
This study examined potential parenting-related mediators of children’s physical activity and dietary behavior change in the Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids (HDHK) community program.
A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 45 overweight/obese (mean [SD] age = 39.8 [5.4] years; BMI = 32.4 [3.8]) fathers and their children (n = 77; 58% boys; mean [SD] age = 7.7 [2.5] years). Families were randomized to either the HDHK program or wait-list control group. The program involved 7 sessions. Fathers and their children were assessed at baseline and at 14 weeks for physical activity (pedometery) and core food intake (Questionnaire). Fathers’ lifestyle-related parenting practices included; self-efficacy, beliefs, modeling, logistic support, rules, cophysical activity, shared mealtime frequency and intentions.
Significant intervention effects were found for cophysical activity and modeling physical activity. Cophysical activity mediated children’s physical activity in the intervention (‘mediated effect,’ AB = 653, 95% CI = 4–2050) and was responsible for 59.5% of the intervention effect. Fathers’ beliefs mediated children’s percent energy from core foods (AB = 1.51, 95% CI = 0.05–5.55) and accounted for 72.9% of the intervention effect.
Participation in the HDHK program positively impacted on fathers’ cophysical activity with their child and beliefs about healthy eating which mediated changes in children’s diet and physical activity behaviors.
Ryan M. Hulteen, Lisa M. Barnett, Philip J. Morgan, Leah E. Robinson, Christian J. Barton, Brian H. Wrotniak and David R. Lubans
Participation in lifelong physical activities, such as yoga, golf, tennis, or running, are common endeavors in adolescence and adulthood. However, there is a lack of understanding of how competent individuals are in the skills needed for these activities and how competency in these skills relates to physical activity and fitness. This study aimed to determine the initial predictive validity of the Lifelong Physical Activity Skills Battery related to physical activity and health-related fitness. One-hundred and nine adolescents from four schools (55 males, 54 females; Mage = 15.82 years, SD = 0.37 years) completed: demographic information (survey), height (stadiometer), weight (digital scale), motor skill assessment (jog, grapevine, squat, push-up, upward dog, warrior one, tennis forehand, golf swing), health-related fitness (standing long jump, back-saver sit and reach, 3-min submaximal step test, 90° push-up test), and physical activity (GENEActiv accelerometers). Correlations and multiple regression models were conducted in SPSS version 24.0. Motor competence was associated with muscular fitness (standing long jump, β = 0.24, p = .002; push-ups, β = 0.42, p < .001), cardiorespiratory fitness (β = 0.21, p = .031), and flexibility (β = 0.23, p = .025), but not physical activity (β = 0.17, p = .154) or body mass index (β = −0.05, p = .622). Motor competence has a stronger association with health-related fitness parameters rather than physical activity.
Natasha K. Schranz, Timothy Olds, Roslyn Boyd, John Evans, Sjaan R. Gomersall, Louise Hardy, Kylie Hesketh, David R. Lubans, Nicola D. Ridgers, Leon Straker, Stewart Vella, Jenny Ziviani and Grant R. Tomkinson
Two years on from the inaugural Active Healthy Kids Australia (AHKA) Physical Activity Report Card, there has been little to no change with the majority of Australian children still insufficiently active.
The 2016 AHKA Report Card was developed using the best available national- and state-based physical activity data, which were evaluated by the AHKA Research Working Group using predetermined weighting criteria and benchmarks to assign letter grades to the 12 Report Card indicators.
In comparison with 2014, Overall Physical Activity Levels was again assigned a D- with Organized Sport and Physical Activity Participation increasing to a B (was B-) and Active Transport declining to a C- (was C). The settings and sources of influence again performed well (A- to a C+), however Government Strategies and Investments saw a decline (C+ to a D). The traits associated with physical activity were also graded poorly (C- to a D).
Australian youth are insufficiently active and engage in high levels of screen-based sedentary behaviors. While a range of support structures exist, Australia lacks an overarching National Physical Activity Plan that would unify the country and encourage the cultural shift needed to face the inactivity crisis head on.