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Gavin McCormack and Billie Giles-Corti

Background:

The influence of participating in vigorous-intensity physical activity and associated compensatory declines in other types of physical activity in the general population has not been studied well; hence, it is unknown if participation in recommended levels of vigorous-intensity physical activity influence the likelihood of participating in recommended levels of moderate-intensity physical activity.

Methods:

Face-to-face interviews were conducted on healthy adults (n = 1803), 18 to 59 years of age, recruited from the top and lower quintiles of socioeconomic status within Perth, Western Australia. Data on television watching, vigorous-intensity activity, moderate-intensity activity, and walking for recreation and transport were used in the analysis. Logistic regression was used to determine whether participation in recommended levels of vigorous-intensity activity predicted participation in recommended levels of other types of physical activity and television watching.

Results:

After controlling for age, gender, education, and social advantage, participating in recommended levels of vigorous-intensity physical activity (≥90 min/week) was not found to be associated with walking for transport (≥150 min/week) but was found to be significantly associated (OR = 1.38, 95%CI = 1.04–1.82) with recommended levels of recreational walking (≥150 min/week). Participation in recommended levels of vigorous-intensity physical activity was associated with a reduced likelihood of watching television more than 10 hours per/week (OR = 0.71, 95%CI = 0.57–0.89).

Conclusion:

In those who participate in recommended levels of vigorous-intensity physical activity, there appears to be no compensatory response in other moderate-intensity activities. Given the added health benefits associated with vigorous-intensity activity, concurrent promotion of moderate and vigorous-intensity physical activity guidelines is warranted, with no evidence that participation in vigorous-intensity activity will negatively influence participation in recommended levels of moderate-intensity activity.

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Kenda C. Swanson and Gavin R. McCormack

Background:

Evidence regarding the relative contributions of physical activity (PA) and driving behavior on weight status is limited. This study examined the associations between driving and PA behavior and weight status among Canadian adults.

Methods:

A random cross-section of Calgarian adults (n = 1026) completed a telephone-interview and a self-administered questionnaire. Weekly physical activity time, daily driving time, BMI, motor vehicle access, and demographic characteristics were captured. Logistic regression was used to estimate associations between driving minutes (0−209, 219−419, 420−839, 840−1679, and ≥ 1680 min/week), motor vehicle access, sufficient PA (210 min/week of moderate-intensity PA or 90 min/week of vigorous-intensity PA), and the likelihood of being 1) overweight/obese vs. healthy weight and 2) obese only vs. healthy/ overweight.

Results:

Compared with driving ≤ 209 min/week, driving 840 to 1679 min/week significantly (P < .05) increased the likelihood of being overweight/obese (OR 2.08). Insufficient PA was positively associated with being overweight/obese (OR 1.43). Each hour/week of driving was associated with a 1.6% reduction in the odds of achieving sufficient PA. A 3-fold increase (OR 3.73) in the likelihood of overweight was found among insufficiently active individuals who drove 210 to 419 min/week compared with sufficiently active individuals who drove ≤ 209 min/week.

Conclusion:

Interventions that decrease driving time and increase PA participation may be important for reducing weight among Canadian adults.

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Gavin R. McCormack, Billie Giles-Corti and Max Bulsara

Background:

This study examines the relationships between the availability and use of recreational destinations and physical activity.

Methods:

Analysis included n = 1355 respondents. Associations between the density of free and pay-for-use recreational destinations, demographics, and use of free and pay-for-use recreational destinations within the neighborhood were examined, followed by associations with sufficient moderate and vigorous physical activity using generalized estimating equations.

Results:

The likelihood of using a local pay recreational destination increased for each additional local pay facility (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.32 to 1.73) and was lower for those with motor vehicle access (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.26 to 0.99). The likelihood of using a local free destination increased for each additional local free facility (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.20) and was higher among women (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.11 to 2.44). Destination use was associated with both moderate and vigorous-intensity physical activity.

Conclusions:

Increasing the density of neighborhood recreational destinations is associated with the use of facilities and participation in sufficient levels of physical activity.

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Gavin R. McCormack, Christine M. Friedenreich, Billie Giles-Corti, Patricia K. Doyle-Baker and Alan Shiell

Background:

The built and social environments may contribute to physical activity motivations and behavior. We examined the extent to which the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) mediated the association between neighborhood walkability and walking.

Methods:

Two random cross-sectional samples (n = 4422 adults) completed telephone interviews capturing walking-related TPB variables (perceived behavioral control (PBC), attitudes, subjective norm, intention). Of those, 2006 completed a self-administered questionnaire capturing walkability, social support (friends, family, dog ownership), and neighborhood-based transportation (NTW) and recreational walking (NRW). The likelihood of undertaking 1) any vs. none and 2) sufficient vs. insufficient levels (≥150 vs. <150 minutes/week) of NTW and NWR, in relation to walkability, social support, and TPB was estimated.

Results:

Any and sufficient NTW were associated with access to services, connectivity, residential density, not owning a dog (any NTW only), and friend and family support. Any and sufficient NRW were associated with neighborhood aesthetics (any NRW only), dog ownership, and friend and family support. PBC partially mediated the association between access to services and NTW (any and sufficient), while experiential attitudes partially mediated the association between neighborhood aesthetics and any NRW.

Conclusions:

Interventions that increase positive perceptions of the built environment may motivate adults to undertake more walking.

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Gavin R. McCormack, Alan Shiell, Patricia K. Doyle-Baker, Christine Friedenreich, Bev Sandalack and Billie Giles-Corti

Background:

Capturing neighborhood-specific physical activity is necessary to advance understanding of the relations between neighborhood walkability and physical activity. This study examined the test–retest reliability of previously developed items (from the Neighborhood Physical Activity Questionnaire) for capturing setting-specific physical activity among Canadian adults.

Methods:

Randomly sampled adults (N = 117) participated in 2 telephone interviews 2 to 5 days apart. Respondents were asked a series of items capturing frequency and duration of transportation-related walking, recreational walking, and moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity undertaken inside and outside the neighborhood in a usual week. The test–test reliability of reported physical activity levels were then examined using intraclass and Spearman’s rank correlations, kappa coefficients, and overall agreement.

Results:

Participation, frequency, and the duration of transportation-related and recreational walking and vigorous-intensity physical activity inside and outside the neighborhood showed moderate to excellent test–retest reliability. Moderate reliability was found for moderate-intensity physical activity undertaken inside (k = .48; ICC frequency = .38; ICC duration = .39) and outside (k = .51; ICC frequency = .79; ICC duration = .31) the neighborhood.

Conclusions:

Neighborhood-specific physical activity items administered by telephone interview are reliable and are therefore appropriate for use in future studies examining neighborhood walk-ability and physical activity.

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Gavin R. McCormack, John C. Spence, Tanya Berry and Patricia K. Doyle-Baker

Background:

Research regarding the pathways via which the environment influences physical activity is limited. This study examined the role of perceived behavioral control (PBC) in mediating the relationship between perceptions of neighborhood walkability and frequency of moderate (MODPA) and vigorous physical activity (VIGPA).

Methods:

Data were collected through a province-wide survey of physical activity. Telephone-interviews were conducted with 1207 adults and captured information about perceptions of neighborhood walkability, physical activity, PBC and demographics. Gender-stratified regression analyses were conducted to test PBC mediation of the built environment-physical activity association.

Results:

Among women easy access to places for physical activity was positively associated with MODPA and VIGPA. Having many shops and places within walking distance of homes was also positively associated with MODPA among women however; reporting sidewalks on most neighborhood streets, and crime rate in the neighborhood were negatively correlated with MODPA. Among men, easy access to places for physical activity was positively associated and crime rate in the neighborhood negatively associated, with VIGPA. After adjusting for PBC, the association between easy access to places for physical activity and VIGPA and MODPA attenuated for men and women suggesting mediation of this association by PBC.

Conclusions:

PBC mediated the relationship between easy access to places for physical activity and physical activity, but not for other perceived environmental attributes.

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Georgina Trapp, Billie Giles-Corti, Hayley Christian, Anna Timperio, Gavin McCormack, Max Bulsara and Karen Villanueva

This study investigated whether being driven to school was associated with lower weekday and weekend step counts, less active out-of-school leisure pursuits, and more sedentary behavior. Boys aged 10–13 years (n = 384) and girls aged 9–13 years (n = 500) attending 25 Australian primary schools wore a pedometer and completed a travel diary for one week. Parents and children completed surveys capturing leisure activity, screen time, and sociodemographics. Commute distance was objectively measured. Car travel was the most frequent mode of school transportation (boys: 51%, girls: 58%). After adjustment (sociodemographics, commute distance, and school clustering) children who were driven recorded fewer weekday steps than those who walked (girls: −1,393 steps p < .001, boys: −1,569 steps, p = .009) and participated in fewer active leisure activities (girls only: p = .043). There were no differences in weekend steps or screen time. Being driven to and from school is associated with less weekday pedometer-determined physical activity in 9- to 13-year-old elementary-school children. Encouraging children, especially girls, to walk to and from school (even for part of the way for those living further distances) could protect the health and well-being of those children who are insufficiently active.

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Levi Frehlich, Christine Friedenreich, Alberto Nettel-Aguirre, Jasper Schipperijn and Gavin R. McCormack

Despite continued interest in neighborhood correlates of physical activity, few self-report questionnaires exist that capture neighborhood-based physical activity. Furthermore, there is little evidence about the measurement validity of self-report measures of neighborhood-based physical activity. Notably, self-reported neighborhood physical activity has not been validated against combined accelerometer and global positioning system (GPS)–assessed physical activity. Thus, the purpose of this study was to estimate the concurrent validity of a recently adapted tool for capturing self-reported neighborhood-based physical activity (i.e., the Neighborhood International Physical Activity Questionnaire; N-IPAQ). Adults (n = 75) from four Calgary (Alberta, Canada) neighborhoods wore an accelerometer and GPS monitor for 7 consecutive days after which they self-reported their physical activity from the past week using the N-IPAQ. Bland-Altman plots and Spearman correlations estimated the concurrent validity between N-IPAQ and accelerometer/GPS physical activity (estimated for the administrative boundary, 400-m and 800-m radial buffers). The mean (95% Confidence Interval [CI]) difference between the N-IPAQ and accelerometer/GPS estimated total daily minutes of physical activity differed for the 400-m (1.9 min, −26.2 to 29.9), 800-m (10.6 min, −16.0 to 37.1), and administrative boundary buffers (14.7 min, −11.5 to 41.0). The strongest Spearman correlations were found between the N-IPAQ and 800-m radial buffer accelerometer-captured vigorous-intensity physical activity (r = .41 [95% CI: .18 to .60]), and the N-IPAQ and administrative boundary accelerometer-captured vigorous-intensity physical activity (r = .43 [95% CI: .20 to .62]). Our findings suggest that the N-IPAQ provides good estimates of neighborhood-based physical activity and could be used when investigating neighborhood correlates of physical activity.