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  • Author: Ester Cerin x
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Karin I. Proper, Ester Cerin and Neville Owen

Background:

There is an inverse relationship between individual socio-economic status (SES) and amount of occupational physical activity. The role of the socio-economic environment is, however, less clear. This study examined the independent influences of neighborhood and individual SES on absolute and relative amount of occupational physical activity. It also examined the moderating effects of neighborhood SES on the relationship between individual SES and occupational physical activity.

Methods:

Employees (n = 1236) resident in high or low SES neighborhoods were assessed on socio-demographic factors, including educational attainment and household income, and physical activity.

Results:

Neighborhood SES and individual SES were independently inversely related to absolute and relative amount of occupational physical activity. Significant interactions between neighborhood SES and level of educational attainment in the contribution of total and vigorous occupational physical activity to total physical activity were found.

Conclusions:

Neighborhood SES can function as a moderator in the relationship between individual SES and occupational physical activity.

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Stephanie J. Hanrahan, Rachel Pedro and Ester Cerin

The purpose of this study was to determine if the use of structured self-reflection in community dance classes would influence achievement goal orientations, levels of intrinsic motivation, or perceived dance performance. The Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) and the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) were modified slightly to reflect involvement in salsa dancing rather than sport and then were administered to 139 Latin dance students at the beginning and end of an 11-week term. The dance classes were divided into control and intervention groups, balanced in terms of sample size and level of instruction. The intervention group completed a salsa self-reflection form during or after class for 9 weeks. At the posttest all students rated their salsa performance and the intervention group evaluated the self-reflection process. Results indicate that although achievement goal orientations were not affected, structured self-reflection is perceived to be a positive tool and may be a useful technique to enhance perceived performance and maintain effort and perceived importance. The participants’ perceptions of the self-reflection process were positive, with no negative effects of engaging in the process reported.

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Anthony Barnett, Ester Cerin and Tom Baranowski

Background:

A population level increase in physical activity (PA) is critical to reduce obesity in youth. Video games are highly popular and active video games (AVGs) have the potential to play a role in promoting youth PA.

Method:

Studies on AVG play energy expenditure (EE) and maintenance of play in youth were systematically identified in the published literature and assessed for quality and informational value.

Results:

Nine studies measuring AVG play EE were identified. The meta-analytic estimates of average METs across these studies were 3.1 (95% CI: 2.6, 3.6) to 3.2 (95% CI: 2.7, 3.7). No games elicited an average EE above the 6 MET threshold for vigorous EE. Observed differences between studies were likely due to the different types of games used, rather than age or gender. Four studies related to maintenance of play were identified. Most studies reported AV G use declined over time. Studies were of low-to-medium quality.

Conclusion:

AVGs are capable of generating EE in youth to attain PA guidelines. Few studies have assessed sustainability of AV G play, which appears to diminish after a short period of time for most players. Better-quality future research must address how AV G play could be maintained over longer periods of time.

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Evie Leslie, Ester Cerin and Peter Kremer

Background:

Access to local parks can affect walking levels. Neighborhood environment and park use may influence relationships between neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) and walking.

Methods:

Self-report data on perceived park features, neighborhood environment, park use, neighborhood walking and sociodemographics were obtained from a sample of Australian adults, living in high/low SES areas. Surveys were mailed to 250 randomly selected households within 500m of 12 matched parks. Mediating effects of perceived environment attributes and park use on relationships between area-SES and walking were examined.

Results:

Mean frequency of local park use was higher for high-SES residents (4.36 vs 3.16 times/wk, P < .01), who also reported higher levels of park safety, maintenance, attractiveness, opportunities for socialization, and neighborhood crime safety, aesthetics, and traffic safety. Safety and opportunity for socialization were independently positively related to monthly frequency of visits to a local park which, in turn, was positively associated with walking for recreation and total walking. Residents of higher SES areas reported an average 22% (95% CI: 5%, 37%) more weekly minutes of recreational walking than their low SES counterparts.

Conclusion:

Residents of high-SES areas live in environments that promote park use, which positively contributes to their weekly amounts of overall and recreational walking.

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Ester Cerin, Evie Leslie, Takemi Sugiyama and Neville Owen

Background:

Perceived barriers are modifiable correlates of participation in physical activity. Associations of specific perceived barriers with participation in and level of walking for recreation, and other leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) were examined. Personal, social, and environmental factors associated with these perceived barriers were then examined.

Methods:

From 2003 to 2004, 2 surveys collected data on recreational walking and other LTPA, perceived barriers to participation, and personal, social, and environmental attributes, from 2194 Australian adults. Zero-inflated negative binomial regression models examined associations of perceived barriers with walking and other LTPA. Generalized linear models identified the correlates of these perceived barriers.

Results:

The perceived barriers of lack of motivation and time were associated with level of LTPA, while lack of motivation, poor health, and lack of facilities were associated with the odds of non-participation in LTPA. Personal, social, and environmental factors independently contributed to variations in perceived barriers.

Conclusions:

Level and likelihood of participation in LTPA are associated with different perceived barriers. Perceived barriers are a function of both nonmodifiable personal factors and potentially modifiable personal, social, and environmental factors. These findings suggest that the provision of relevant environmental opportunities and social support may effectively reduce perceived barriers to LTPA.

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Yi-nam Suen, Ester Cerin and Sin-lung Wu

Background:

Regular participation in physical activity (PA) can help reduce the risk of overweight/obesity. Parental practices related to PA are modifiable determinants of preschoolers’ PA that are still not well understood, especially in non-Western cultures. This qualitative explorative study aimed to identify parental practices encouraging or discouraging PA in Hong Kong preschoolers.

Methods:

Nominal Group Technique (NGT) sessions (n = 45; 6 to 9/group), complemented by a focus group (n = 6) and individual interviews (n = 12), were conducted with primary caregivers (mainly parents) of Hong Kong preschoolers to investigate what parents do to encourage (4 groups) and discourage (2 groups) PA in children. The groups were stratified by low and high neighborhood socioeconomic status. Results: Participants generated 21 and 16 items describing practices encouraging and discouraging preschoolers’ PA, respectively. Parental provision of instrumental, motivational, and conditional support were thought to encourage child’s PA, while parental safety concerns, focus on academic achievement, lack of time and resources, and promotion of sedentary behaviors were thought to discourage child’s PA.

Conclusions:

Several parental practices that were deemed to encourage or discourage Hong Kong preschoolers’ PA were identified. These can assist with development of a culturally sensitive scale of PA parenting practices and inform future quantitative research.

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Anthony Barnett, Ester Cerin, Man-chin Cheung and Wai-man Chan

Walking is a suitable activity for older adults and has physical and mental health benefits. To devise interventions that impact levels of walking it is necessary to first understand the purposes for which people walk and the destinations to which they walk. Using a 7-day diary and accelerometry, this study investigated destinations and purposes of walking in older adult residents of an ultra-dense Asian city. Participants reported an average of 17.1 walking trips per week and total weekly accelerometer/diary determined trip walking time averaged 735 min per week; much higher than reported for older adults in non-Asian settings. The most common destinations were within the neighborhood: parks and streets for recreation walking and shops and eating places for transport-related walking. Errands and eating were the most common purposes for transportation trips. The study results can help inform urban design to encourage walking.

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Eva Leslie, Ester Cerin, Christopher J. Gore, Alexis St. George, Adrian Bauman and Neville Owen

Background:

Participation in regular vigorous physical activity could confer health benefits additional to those derived from moderate-intensity physical activities that are currently the focus of public health strategies.

Methods:

Sociodemographic differences in reported participation in vigorous sporting and fitness activities over the past 2 weeks were examined using cross-sectional data from an Australian urban population sample.

Results:

Participation at least once in any form of vigorous physical activity and regular participation (six or more sessions) both decreased across successive age groups and from high to low levels of education. The most frequently reported types of vigorous physical activity were cycling (13.3%), jogging (10.1%), swimming (8.4%) for men; and swimming (8.9%), cycling (8.8%) and aerobics (8.6%) for women.

Conclusion:

Rates of regular participation in vigorous activities were low. Interventions might focus on ways to encourage younger adults to engage more regularly in these activities and to maintain participation through the lifespan.

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Jason A. Mendoza, Kathy Watson, Nga Nguyen, Ester Cerin, Tom Baranowski and Theresa A. Nicklas

Background:

Walking or bicycling to school (ie, active commuting) has shown promise for improving physical activity and preventing obesity in youth. Our objectives were to examine, among US youth, whether active commuting was inversely associated with adiposity and positively associated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). We also examined whether MVPA mediated the relationships between active commuting and adiposity.

Methods:

Using data of participants aged 12 to 19 years from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2004 (n = 789 unweighted), we constructed multiple linear regression models that controlled for dietary energy intake and sociodemographics. The main exposure variable was active commuting. The outcomes were BMI z-score, waist circumference, skinfolds and objectively measured MVPA. The product-of-coefficients method was used to test for mediation.

Results:

Active commuting was inversely associated with BMI z-score (β = −0.07, P = .046) and skinfolds (β = −0.06, P = .029), and positively associated with overall daily (β = 0.12, P = .024) and before- and after-school (β = 0.20, P < .001) MVPA. Greater before- and after-school MVPA explained part of the relationship between active commuting and waist circumference (Sobel z = −1.98, P = .048).

Conclusions:

Active commuting was associated with greater MVPA and lower measures of adiposity among US youth. Before- and after-school MVPA mediated the relationships between active commuting and waist circumference.

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Yi-nam Suen, Ester Cerin, Anthony Barnett, Wendy Y.J. Huang and Robin R. Mellecker

Background:

Valid instruments of parenting practices related to children’s physical activity (PA) are essential to understand how parents affect preschoolers’ PA. This study developed and validated a questionnaire of PA-related parenting practices for Chinese-speaking parents of preschoolers in Hong Kong.

Methods:

Parents (n = 394) completed a questionnaire developed using findings from formative qualitative research and literature searches. Test-retest reliability was determined on a subsample (n = 61). Factorial validity was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis. Subscale internal consistency was determined.

Results:

The scale of parenting practices encouraging PA comprised 2 latent factors: Modeling, structure and participatory engagement in PA (23 items), and Provision of appropriate places for child’s PA (4 items). The scale of parenting practices discouraging PA scale encompassed 4 latent factors: Safety concern/overprotection (6 items), Psychological/behavioral control (5 items), Promoting inactivity (4 items), and Promoting screen time (2 items). Test-retest reliabilities were moderate to excellent (0.58 to 0.82), and internal subscale reliabilities were acceptable (0.63 to 0.89).

Conclusion:

We developed a theory-based questionnaire for assessing PA-related parenting practices among Chinese-speaking parents of Hong Kong preschoolers. While some items were context and culture specific, many were similar to those previously found in other populations, indicating a degree of construct generalizability across cultures.