As part of the emergence of alternative research paradigms in exercise and sport psychology, we draw upon data from an ethnographic study of 3 individuals with schizophrenia to explore the use of exercise as an adjunct therapy for schizophrenia. A 10-week exercise program of twice-weekly sessions was implemented. Participant observation and interviews with participants and their assigned key-workers were the primary sources of data collection used. The influence of exercise on the lives of participants and their mental health and the underlying mechanisms of change were explored. Our findings indicate that exercise has the potential to help reduce participants’ perceptions of auditory hallucinations, raise self-esteem, and improve sleep patterns and general behavior. The process of exercising, via the provision of distraction and social interaction rather than the exercise itself, was very influential in providing these benefits. In conclusion, we strongly recommend the inclusion of exercise as an adjunct treatment in psychiatric rehabilitation.
Guy Faulkner and Andrew Sparkes
Julia Rudecki, Katie Weatherson and Guy Faulkner
Background: Many studies have attempted to mitigate the negative health consequences of sedentary behavior (SB) in the work environment using standing desks. However, no studies have explored the use of standing desks in the home. Purpose: To evaluate interest, factors influencing desk usage, and acceptability of a low-cost standing desk in the home. Methods: Participants (adults aged 18-65 years living in university residential areas) received a low-cost standing desk, and completed online surveys at baseline and 4 weeks to assess leisure SB. After 4 weeks, participants completed a phone interview to assess level of engagement and acceptability. A follow-up interview was conducted at 6 months. A descriptive content analysis was conducted. Results: A total of 71 participants were recruited, with 55 and 49 participants completing the 4-week and 6-month interview, respectively. At 4 weeks, there was a self-reported decline in weekday leisure SB (P < .05), but not on weekend days. Approximately 75% of interviewed participants reported using the desk every week. After 6 months, 21 participants (30%) were still using the desk. Conclusion: This study indicates interest in using standing desks in the home. Future research could examine the behavioral and health impact of SB interventions in this setting.
Valerie Carson, Michelle Stone and Guy Faulkner
To make robust conclusions regarding the association between accelerometer-measured sedentary time and overweight and obesity among children, several gaps in the literature must be addressed. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between sedentary time, weekday sedentary time, weekend sedentary time, sedentary bouts, sedentary breaks, and BMI z-score among children and by low (bottom 50%) and high (top 50%) moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) participation. Results are based on 787 children aged 11 years living in Toronto, Canada. Children’s physical activity and sedentary time were objectively assessed using ActiGraph accelerometers in 2010/11. Height and weight were measured and BMI z-scores were calculated based on the World Health Organization growth standards. When participants were stratified into low and high MVPA groups, sedentary bouts of 5–9 (β = 0.22 [95% CI: 0.01, 0.43]) and 10–19 (0.30 [−0.05, 0.55]) minutes for total days were associated with BMI z-score in the low MVPA group only. Similar trends were observed with the weekday but not the weekend variables. Therefore, in addition to increasing MVPA, reducing time spent in 5- to 19-min sedentary bouts may have important implications for weight status particularly for children with lower MVPA participation during the week.
Guy Faulkner and Stuart J.H. Biddle
Research continues to support the consideration of exercise as an adjunctive treatment for depression. Adopting a qualitative approach, the aim of this study was to extend our understanding of the motives and barriers to exercise faced by this clinical population, and to explore the role of physical activity in promoting psychological well-being, in a way that encompasses the variability and contextuality of the lives of individuals. Marking a departure from standard content analyses reported in the literature, instrumental case studies are developed that offer a different format for representing qualitative data. Given its longitudinal nature, this study demonstrates the fundamental importance of considering the wider context of participants’ lives in order to understand the relationship between physical activity and psychological well-being. This association is likely to be complex and highly idiosyncratic. Such an understanding may inform a more critical insight into the potential of exercise as an antidepressant in terms of process and effectiveness.
John Cairney, Matthew YW Kwan, Scott Veldhuizen and Guy EJ Faulkner
To examine the prevalence of exercise as a coping behavior for stress, compare this to other coping behaviors, and examine its demographic, behavioral, and health correlates in a nationally representative sample of Canadians.
We used data from the Canadian Community Health Survey 1.2, a cross-sectional survey of 36,984 Canadians aged 15 and over, and conducted univariate and logistic regression analyses to address our objectives.
40% of Canadians reported using exercise for coping with stress (ranked 8th overall). These individuals were more likely to endorse other ‘positive’ coping strategies and less likely to use alcohol or drugs for coping. Being younger, female, unmarried, of high SES, and a nonsmoker were associated with higher likelihoods of using exercise as a coping strategy. High levels of leisure-time physical activity were associated with increased, and heavy physical activity at work with decreased, odds of reporting using exercise for stress coping.
While reported use of exercise for stress coping is common in the general population, it is less so than several other behaviors. Encouraging exercise, particularly in groups identified as being less likely to use exercise for stress coping, could potentially reduce overall stress levels and improve general health and well-being.
Lauren White, Zlata Volfson, Guy Faulkner and Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos
Research often characterizes children and youth with physical disabilities as less physically active than their typically developing peers. To inform the development and evaluation of future interventions, it is important to identify the most accurate methods for assessing physical activity behavior in this population. The objectives of this review were 1) to identify the self-report and objective instruments used to examine habitual physical activity behavior within this population and 2) to determine the reliability and validity of these instruments. Following a standardized protocol, a systematic review was conducted using six electronic databases and a range of search terms. Fifty studies (N = 2,613; M age = 11.3 ± 2.6 years; 53% male) were included. Seven disability groups were examined, with the majority of studies focused on cerebral palsy (64%) and juvenile arthritis (20%). Poor to good reliablity and weak validity were found among the self-report instruments such as questionnaires and activity diaries. Good to excellent reliability and validity were established for the objective instruments such as activity monitors (e.g., accelerometers, pedometers). Further research is warranted among physical disability groups other than cerebral palsy, and in establishing reliability and validity of self-report physical activity instruments specific to these target groups.
Guy Faulkner, Sara-Jane Finlay and Stephannie C. Roy
News media may play a critical role in disseminating research about physical activity and health. This study examined how much physical activity research gets reported in the media and its prominence and credibility.
A content analysis was conducted of the reporting of physical activity research in Canadian national and local newspapers from November 2004 to April 2005.
Physical activity research was given some prominence and treated as news through the use of several devices to infer credibility. However, newspapers appeared to invest little in the production of physical activity research as news and information about research methodology was infrequent.
While stories reporting physical activity research were given some prominence and credibility, the lack of significant investment and the limited reporting on research methodology suggests that important aspects of research related to physical activity may not be well represented in newspaper coverage.
Katie Weatherson, Lira Yun, Kelly Wunderlich, Eli Puterman and Guy Faulkner
Background: Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is a method of collecting behavioral data in real time. The purpose of this study was to examine EMA compliance, identify factors predicting compliance, assess criterion validity of, and reactivity to, using EMA in a workplace intervention study. Methods: Forty-five adults (91.1% female, 39.7 [9.6] y) were recruited for a workplace standing desk intervention. Participants received 5 surveys each day for 5 workdays via smartphone application. EMA items assessed current position (sitting/standing/stepping). EMA responses were time matched to objectively measured time in each position before and after each prompt. Multilevel logistic regression models estimated factors influencing EMA response. Cohen kappa measured interrater agreement between EMA-reported and device-measured position. Reactivity was assessed by comparing objectively measured sitting/standing/stepping in the 15 minutes before and after each EMA prompt using multilevel repeated-measures models. Results: Participants answered 81.4% of EMA prompts. Differences in compliance differed by position. There was substantial agreement between EMA-reported and device-measured position (κ = .713; P < .001). Following the EMA prompt, participants sat 0.87 minutes more than before the prompt (P < .01). Conclusion: The use of EMA is a valid assessment of position when used in an intervention to reduce occupational sitting and did not appear to disrupt sitting in favor of the targeted outcome.
Fiona J. Moola, Guy E.J. Faulkner and Jane E. Schneiderman
Although physical activity may reduce lung function decline in youth with cystic fibrosis (CF), most patients are inactive. Little is known about why youth with CF are inactive or how to facilitate physical activity. This study explored perceptions toward physical activity in 14 youth with CF at a Canadian Hospital. Qualitative interviews were conducted and a grounded theory analysis was undertaken. The participants demonstrated positive or negative perceptions toward physical activity and different experiences—such as parental support and illness narratives—influenced youths’ perceptions. In addition, the participants experienced physical activity within the context of reduced time. Recommendations for developing physical activity interventions, including the particular need to ensure that such interventions are not perceived as wasteful of time, are provided.
Richard Larouche, Travis John Saunders, Guy Edward John Faulkner, Rachel Colley and Mark Tremblay
The impact of active school transport (AST) on daily physical activity (PA) levels, body composition and cardiovascular fitness remains unclear.
A systematic review was conducted to examine differences in PA, body composition and cardiovascular fitness between active and passive travelers. The Medline, PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, and ProQuest databases were searched and 10 key informants were consulted. Quality of evidence was assessed with GRADE and with the Effective Public Health Practice Project tool for quantitative studies.
Sixty-eight different studies met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies found that active school travelers were more active or that AST interventions lead to increases in PA, and the quality of evidence is moderate. There is conflicting, and therefore very low quality evidence, regarding the associations between AST and body composition indicators, and between walking to/from school and cardiovascular fitness; however, all studies with relevant measures found a positive association between cycling to/from school and cardiovascular fitness; this evidence is of moderate quality.
These findings suggest that AST should be promoted to increase PA levels in children and adolescents and that cycling to/from school is associated with increased cardiovascular fitness. Intervention studies are needed to increase the quality of evidence.