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Ben J. Smith and Catriona M.F. Bonfiglioli

Background:

Advocacy informed by scientific evidence is necessary to influence policy and planning to address physical inactivity. The mass media is a key arena for this advocacy. This study investigated the perceptions and practices of news media professionals reporting physical activity and sedentariness to inform strategic communication about these issues.

Methods:

We interviewed media professionals working for major television, radio, newspaper and online news outlets in Australia. The interviews explored understandings of physical activity and sedentariness, attributions of causality, assignment of responsibility, and factors affecting news reporting on these topics. Data were thematically analyzed using NVivo.

Results:

Physical inactivity was recognized as pervasive and important, but tended to be seen as mundane and not newsworthy. Sedentariness was regarded as more novel than physical activity, and more likely to require organizational and environment action. Respondents identified that presenting these issues in visual and engaging ways was an ongoing challenge.

Conclusions:

Physical activity researchers and advocates need to take account of prevailing news values and media practices to improve engagement with the news media. These include understanding the importance of novelty, narratives, imagery, and practical messages, and how to use these to build support for environmental and policy action.

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Elizabeth G. Eakin, Ben J. Smith and Adrian E. Bauman

Background:

This article evaluates the extent to which the literature on primary care-based physical activity interventions informs the translation of research into practice and identifies priorities for future research.

Methods:

Relevant databases were searched for: (1) descriptive studies of physician barriers to physical activity counseling (n = 8), and (2) reviews of the literature on primary care-based physical activity intervention studies (n = 9). The RE-AIM framework was used to guide the evaluation.

Results:

Lack of time, limited patient receptiveness, lack of remuneration, and limited counseling skills are the predominant barriers to physical activity counselling. Issues of internal validity (i.e., effectiveness and implementation) have received much more attention in the literature than have issues of external validity (i.e., reach and adoption).

Conclusions:

The research agenda for primary care-based physical activity interventions needs greater attention to the feasibility of adoption by busy primary care staff, generalizability, and dissemination.

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Ben M. Krings, Timothy J. Peterson, Brandon D. Shepherd, Matthew J. McAllister and JohnEric W. Smith

The purpose of this investigation was to examine to the influence of carbohydrate ingestion (CHOI) and carbohydrate mouth rinse (CHOR) on acute repeat maximal sprint performance. Fourteen healthy males (age: 21.7 ± 1.8 years, mass: 82.3 ± 12.3 kg) completed a total of five 15-s maximal repeat sprints on a cycle ergometer against 0.075 kg ・ kg-1 body mass each separated by 4 min of active recovery. Subjects completed four experimental trials and were randomly assigned one of four treatments: (1) CHOI, (2) CHOR, (3) placebo mouth rinse (PLAR), (4) placebo ingestion (PLAI). Subjects rinsed or ingested six 50 mL 10% CHO solutions throughout each trial. Performance variables measured included rating of perceived exertion, peak heart rate, peak and mean power output, fatigue index, and total work. Significant treatment main effects were observed for mean power output (p = 0.026), total work (p = 0.020), fatigue index (p = 0.004), and heart rate (p = 0.013). Overall mean power output and total work were significantly greater with CHOI (659.3 ± 103.0 watts, 9849.8 ± 1598.8 joules) compared with CHOR (645.8 ± 99.7 watts, 9447.5 ± 1684.9 joules, p < .05). CHOI (15.3 ± 8.6 watts/s) significantly attenuated fatigue index compared with CHOR (17.7 ± 10.4 watts/s, p < .05). Based on our findings, CHOI was more likely to provide a beneficial performance effect compared with CHOR, PLAI, and PLAR. Athletes required to complete repeat bouts of high intensity exercise may benefit from CHOI.

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Deborah R. Smith, Ben Jones, Louise Sutton, Roderick F.G.J. King and Lauren C. Duckworth

Good nutrition is essential for the physical development of adolescent athletes, however data on dietary intakes of adolescent rugby players are lacking. This study quantified and evaluated dietary intake in 87 elite male English academy rugby league (RL) and rugby union (RU) players by age (under 16 (U16) and under 19 (U19) years old) and code (RL and RU). Relationships of intakes with body mass and composition (sum of 8 skinfolds) were also investigated. Using 4-day diet and physical activity diaries, dietary intake was compared with adolescent sports nutrition recommendations and the UK national food guide. Dietary intake did not differ by code, whereas U19s consumed greater energy (3366 ± 658 vs. 2995 ± 774 kcal·day-1), protein (207 ± 49 vs. 150 ± 53 g·day-1) and fluid (4221 ± 1323 vs. 3137 ± 1015 ml·day-1) than U16s. U19s consumed a better quality diet than U16s (greater intakes of fruit and vegetables; 4.4 ± 1.9 vs. 2.8 ± 1.5 servings·day-1; nondairy proteins; 3.9 ± 1.1 vs. 2.9 ± 1.1 servings·day-1) and less fats and sugars (2.0 ± 1. vs. 3.6 ± 2.1 servings·day-1). Protein intake vs. body mass was moderate (r = .46, p < .001), and other relationships were weak. The findings of this study suggest adolescent rugby players consume adequate dietary intakes in relation to current guidelines for energy, macronutrient and fluid intake. Players should improve the quality of their diet by replacing intakes from the fats and sugars food group with healthier choices, while maintaining current energy, and macronutrient intakes.

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Ben M. Krings, Brandon D. Shepherd, Hunter S. Waldman, Matthew J. McAllister and JohnEric W. Smith

Carbohydrate mouth rinsing has been shown to enhance aerobic exercise performance, but there is limited research with resistance exercise (RE). Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of carbohydrate mouth rinsing during a high-volume upper body RE protocol on performance, heart rate responses, ratings of perceived exertion, and felt arousal. Recreationally experienced resistance-trained males (N = 17, age: 21 ± 1 years, height: 177.3 ± 5.2 cm, mass: 83.5 ± 9.3 kg) completed three experimental sessions, with the first serving as familiarization to the RE protocol. During the final two trials, the participants rinsed a 25-ml solution containing either a 6% carbohydrate solution or an artificially flavored placebo in a randomized, counterbalanced, and double-blinded fashion. The participants rinsed a total of nine times immediately before beginning the protocol and 20 s before repetitions to failure with the exercises bench press, bent-over row, incline bench press, close-grip row, hammer curls, skull crushers (all completed at 70% one-repetition maximum), push-ups, and pull-ups. Heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, and felt arousal were measured at the baseline and immediately after each set of repetitions to failure. There were no differences for the total repetitions completed (carbohydrate = 203 ± 25 repetitions vs. placebo = 201 ± 23 repetitions, p = .46, Cohen’s d = 0.10). No treatment differences were observed for heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, or felt arousal (p > .05). Although carbohydrate mouth rinsing has been shown to be effective in increasing aerobic performance, the results from this investigation show no benefit in RE performance in resistance-trained males.

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Heather R. Bowles, Dafna Merom, Tien Chey, Ben J. Smith and Adrian Bauman

Background:

The aim of this study was to examine the associations between characteristics of recreational activity and total physical activity (PA).

Methods:

Recreational activity type and number were assessed for 3,385 adult respondents to the population-based Exercise Recreation and Sport Survey and categorized as “no recreational activity,” “walking only,” “sport only,” or “combined walking and sport.” Total PA was assessed by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and categorized as “low,” “moderate,” or “high.”

Results:

Odds of high total PA were 1.7 times greater among walking-only participants, 2.9 times greater among sport-only participants, and 3.3 times greater among participants in combined walking and sport compared to no recreational activity participants. Greater number of recreational activities related to increased odds of high total PA. Similar associations were observed between recreational activity and moderate total PA.

Conclusion:

Participants in more than one type of recreational activity were less likely to have a low-active lifestyle.

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Cassandra J. de Lacy-Vawdon, Ruth Klein, Joanna Schwarzman, Genevieve Nolan, Renee de Silva, David Menzies and Ben J. Smith

This review examines program features that influence attendance and adherence to group-based physical activity (PA) by older adults. Medline, PubMed, CINAHL plus, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library were searched for studies published from 1995–2016. Quantitative and qualitative studies investigating factors related to PA group attendance or adherence by persons aged 55 years and over were included. Searching yielded eight quantitative and 13 qualitative studies, from 2,044 titles. Quantitative findings identified social factors, instructor characteristics, PA types, class duration and frequency, and perceived PA outcomes as important for attendance and adherence, whilst qualitative studies identified settings, leadership, PA types, observable benefits, and social support factors. Studies were predominantly low- to moderate-quality. This review identified design and delivery considerations for group-based PA programs to inform best-practice frameworks and industry capacity building. Future research should use longitudinal and mixed-methods designs to strengthen evidence about facilitators of program reach and engagement.

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Tracy Nau, Karen Lee, Ben J. Smith, William Bellew, Lindsey Reece, Peter Gelius, Harry Rutter and Adrian Bauman

Background: The value of a systems thinking approach to tackling population physical inactivity is increasingly recognized. This study used conceptual systems thinking to develop a cognitive map for physical activity (PA) influences and intervention points, which informed a standardized approach to the coding and notation of PA-related policies in Australia. Methods: Policies were identified through desktop searches and input from 33 nominated government representatives attending 2 national PA policy workshops. Documents were audited using predefined criteria spanning policy development, strategic approaches to PA, implementation processes, and evaluation. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: The audit included 110 policies, mainly led by the health or planning/infrastructure sectors (n = 54, 49%). Most policies purporting to promote PA did so as a cobenefit of another objective that was not focused on PA (n = 63, 57%). An intention to monitor progress was indicated in most (n = 94, 85%); however, fewer than half (n = 52, 47%) contained evaluable goals/actions relevant to PA. Descriptions of resourcing/funding arrangements were generally absent or lacked specific commitment (n = 67, 61%). Conclusions: This study describes current PA-relevant policy in Australia and identifies opportunities for improving coordination, implementation, and evaluation to strengthen a whole-of-system and cross-agency approach to increasing population PA.

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Ruth M. Hobson, Roger C. Harris, Dan Martin, Perry Smith, Ben Macklin, Kirsty J. Elliott-Sale and Craig Sale

The ability to buffer H+ could be vital to exercise performance, as high concentrations of H+ contribute to the development of fatigue.

Purpose:

The authors examined the effect of sodium bicarbonate (SB) supplementation on 2000-m rowing-ergometer performance.

Methods:

Twenty male rowers (age 23 ± 4 y, height 1.85 ± 0.08 m, mass 82.5 ± 8.9 kg, 2000-m personal-best time 409 ± 16 s) completed two 2000-m rowing-ergometer time trials, separated by 48 h. Participants were supplemented before exercise with 0.3 g/kg body mass of SB or a placebo (maltodextrin; PLA). The trials were conducted using a double-blinded, randomized, counterbalanced crossover study design. Time to complete the 2000-m and time taken for each 500-m split were recorded. Blood lactate, bicarbonate, pH, and base excess were determined preexercise, immediately postexercise, and 5 min postexercise. Performance data were analyzed using paired t tests, as well as magnitude-based inferences; hematological data were analyzed using a repeated-measures ANOVA.

Results:

Using paired t tests, there was no benefit of SB over PLA (P = .095). However, using magnitude-based inferences there was a likely beneficial effect of SB compared with PLA (PLA 412.0 ± 15.1 s, SB 410.7 ± 14.9 s). Furthermore, SB was 0.5 ± 1.2 s faster than PLA in the third 500 m (P = .035; possibly beneficial) and 1.1 ± 1.7 s faster in the fourth 500 m (P = .004; very likely beneficial). All hematological data were different between SB and PLA and were different from preexercise to postexercise.

Conclusion:

SB supplementation is likely to be beneficial to the performance of those competing in 2000-m rowing events, particularly in the second half of the event.