Richard R. Suminski, W.S.C. Poston and Melissa L. Hyder
Basic information is needed to develop strategies for promoting physical activity (PA) in small business. This preliminary study described small business policies encouraging PA.
Interviews were completed at 98 small businesses (5–100 employees) in 2003. Business policies encouraging PA participation by employees and the public were assessed. Stage of Change was used to describe intentions to develop such policies.
A total of 53 PA policies (12 employee; 41 public) existed. The most common employee policy was incentives for gym memberships (41.7%). The most popular public policy was sport team sponsorships (60.1%). Most businesses (60.2%) were not thinking about creating a policy for PA while 33.7% had a policy in place (20.4% > 6 months).
Small businesses have few PA policies and most are not thinking about such policies. Research should determine why this is the case and what approaches could stimulate the development of PA policies.
Richard R. Suminski, Rick L. Petosa, Walker C.S. Poston, Emily Stevens and Laura Katzenmoyer
Methods are needed to assess the impact of walk-to-school programs on behavior. This study developed an observation method for counting the number of children and adults walking/biking to school.
Two elementary schools located in different urban, US census tracts were chosen for this study. Six walking/biking routes to each school were observed for 30 min before and after school. Strict guidelines were followed for determining whether a child/adult was counted.
Levels of agreement between observers were over 97% for children and adults. Reliability coefficients (R) for two days of observations exceeded 0.90 for children and adults walking. No differences were seen between days of the week or before and after school observation periods (P > 0.05). The number seen walking did depend on the route observed (P < 0.01).
This study presents a reliable observation method for determining the number of children and adults walking and biking to/from school.
Richard R. Suminski, Larry T. Wier, Walker Poston, Brian Arenare, Anthony Randles and Andrew S. Jackson
Nonexercise models were developed to predict maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max). While these models are accurate, they don’t consider smoking, which negatively impacts measured VO2max. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of smoking on both measured and predicted VO2max.
Indirect calorimetry was used to measure VO2max in 2,749 men and women. Physical activity using the NASA Physical Activity Status Scale (PASS), body mass index (BMI), and smoking (pack-y = packs·day * y of smoking) also were assessed. Pack-y groupings were Never (0 pack-y), Light (1–10), Moderate (11–20), and Heavy (>20). Multiple regression analysis was used to examine the effect of smoking on VO2max predicted by PASS, age, BMI, and gender.
Measured VO2max was significantly lower in the heavy smoking group compared with the other pack-y groups. The combined effects of PASS, age, BMI, and gender on measured VO2max were significant. With smoking in the model, the estimated effects on measured VO2max from Light, Moderate, and Heavy smoking were –0.83, –0.85, and –2.56 ml·kg−1·min−1, respectively (P < .05).
Given that 21% of American adults smoke and 12% of them are heavy smokers, it is recommended that smoking be considered when using nonexercise models to predict VO2max.