This study examined the associations between physical environment, social environment, and walking for transportation and recreation among older adults in Hong Kong. Cross-sectional data from 450 older adults (79 years or younger [71.9%], female [79.7%]) from 18 districts in Hong Kong were used. The participants’ perceptions of their physical and social environments were collected, and their walking behaviors were self-reported. The results revealed that positive physical environment facilitators and social environments were associated with increased total walking. Only positive physical environment facilitators were associated with increased walking for transportation, and physical and social environments had no notable effect on walking for recreation. These findings suggest that policy makers and walking intervention designers should develop strategies to enhance physical and social environments to promote total walking and walking for transportation.
Ka Man Leung and Pak-Kwong Chung
Pak-Kwong Chung and Ka-Man Leung
This study examined the psychometric properties of the eight-item Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES) in Hong Kong older adults. Study 1 assessed the scale’s factor validity and test–retest reliability, whereas Study 2 examined its convergent validity in Hong Kong older adults. A total of 168 (Study 1) older adults completed the PACES twice over a 2-week interval, and 57 (Study 2) older adults completed both the eight-item PACES and a measure of quality of life. The results of both studies showed that the eight-item PACES had a high degree of internal consistency. Both the composite reliability and average variance extracted from Study 1 were high, suggesting that as a set, the eight items of the PACES reliably measured the construct. The observed test–retest reliability was satisfactory over a 2-week interval. This eight-item PACES is an expedited and reliable instrument for assessing physical activity enjoyment in Chinese older adults.
Yanan Zhao, Pak-Kwong Chung and Tomas K. Tong
This study evaluated the effectiveness of the community-based Exercise for Balance Improvement Program (ExBP) in improving dynamic balance (DB) and static balance with compromised sensations and reducing fear of falling (FF) among older nonfallers. Sixty-one participants (70 ± 3 years) at risk for falling were randomly allocated to receive ExBP practice for 16 weeks, Tai Chi (TC), or no treatment (CON) with an 8-week follow-up. The ExBP group exhibited significant improvements in DB (2.18, 95% CI = 1.16–3.19), static balance with compromised vision and somatosensation (ECSS; 0.46, 95% CI = 0.06–0.85), and FF (8.65, 95% CI = 0.52–16.8). After the intervention, the ExBP group showed significantly more improvement than did the CON group in DB, static balance with compromised somatosensation, and ECSS. No significant difference was observed between the ExBP and TC groups. Therefore, the ExBP can be applied as an effective alternative exercise regimen for improving balance and fall efficacy for older nonfallers.
Yanping Duan, Walter Brehm, Petra Wagner, Pak-Kwong Chung, Sebastian Graf, Ru Zhang and Gangyan Si
A successful transition from late adolescence to adulthood is essential. Physical activity (PA) can support this process and lead to positive health outcomes. The change in PA from inactive to active stages is influenced by psychosocial correlates, and as such, this study tested the relationships among psychosocial correlates, stages of change for PA and health outcomes in university students from Hong Kong (n = 404) and Germany (n = 366).
The questionnaire contained (1) PA and stages of change; (2) 10 psychosocial correlates including outcome expectations, affective attitude, barriers, self-efficacy, body-concept, plans, intrinsic motivation, activity emotions, assessment of activity situation, and social support; and (3) 5 health outcomes, including fitness, subjective well-being, health satisfaction, physical complaints, and BMI.
Barriers and intrinsic motivation were the critical psychosocial variables related to stages of change. Specific planning was more important for Hong Kong students’ stage progression within inactive stages. Competitive or enjoyable PA programs were more effective for male students moving from inactive to active stages. The link between stages of change for PA and health outcomes (ie, fitness, health satisfaction) was well established.
Public health researchers should conduct effective psychosocial interventions that motivate young adults to engage in PA for positive health outcomes.
Ka-Man Leung, Pak-Kwong Chung, Tin-Lok Yuen, Jing Dong Liu and Donggen Wang
This study evaluated the psychometric properties of a Chinese version of the 24-item Social Environment Questionnaire (SEQ-C). Confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine the factor validity and measurement invariance (Purpose 1) of the SEQ-C in 453 older adults in Hong Kong. Convergent validity (Purpose 2) and test–retest reliability (Purpose 3) were also measured. The results of the confirmatory factor analysis and measurement invariance supported the four-factor structure (representing companionship, encouragement, neighborhood social cohesion, and role models) of the SEQ-C, in a 15-item model that closely fitted the data. The SEQ-C was also found to have acceptable to satisfactory internal consistency, test–retest reliability, composite reliability, and moderate convergent validity in correlating perceived social support. This study showed that the SEQ-C is a suitable means of measuring the social environments of older adults in Hong Kong.
Stephen H.S Wong, Oi Won Chan, Ya Jun Chen, Heng Long Hu, Ching Wan Lam and Pak Kwong Chung
This study examined the effect of consuming carbohydrate- (CHO) electrolyte solution on running performance after different-glycemic-index (GI) meals.
Nine men completed 3 trials in a randomized counterbalanced order, with trials separated by at least 7 days. Two hours before the run after an overnight fast, each participant consumed a high-GI (GI = 83) or low-GI (GI = 36) CHO meal or low-energy sugar-free Jell-O (GI = 0, control). The 2 isocaloric GI meals provided 1.5 g available CHO/kg body mass. During each trial, 2 ml/kg body mass of a 6.6% CHO-electrolyte solution was provided immediately before exercise and every 2.5 km after the start of running. Each trial consisted of a 21-km performance run on a level treadmill. The participants were required to run at 70% VO2max during the first 5 km of the run. They then completed the remaining 16 km as fast as possible.
There was no difference in the time to complete the 21-km run (high-GI vs. low-GI vs. control: 91.1 ± 2.0 vs. 91.8 ± 2.2 vs. 92.9 ± 2.0 min, n.s.). There were no differences in total CHO and fat oxidation throughout the trials, despite differences in preexercise blood glucose, serum insulin, and serum free-fatty-acid concentrations.
When a CHO-electrolyte solution is consumed during a 21-km run, the GI of the preexercise CHO meal makes no difference in running performance.