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Beth M. Myers and Nancy M. Wells

Background:

Gardens are a promising intervention to promote physical activity (PA) and foster health. However, because of the unique characteristics of gardening, no extant tool can capture PA, postures, and motions that take place in a garden.

Methods:

The Physical Activity Research and Assessment tool for Garden Observation (PARAGON) was developed to assess children’s PA levels, tasks, postures, and motions, associations, and interactions while gardening. PARAGON uses momentary time sampling in which a trained observer watches a focal child for 15 seconds and then records behavior for 15 seconds. Sixty-five children (38 girls, 27 boys) at 4 elementary schools in New York State were observed over 8 days. During the observation, children simultaneously wore Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometers.

Results:

The overall interrater reliability was 88% agreement, and Ebel was .97. Percent agreement values for activity level (93%), garden tasks (93%), motions (80%), associations (95%), and interactions (91%) also met acceptable criteria. Validity was established by previously validated PA codes and by expected convergent validity with accelerometry.

Conclusions:

PARAGON is a valid and reliable observation tool for assessing children’s PA in the context of gardening.

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Luis Columna, Denzil A. Streete, Samuel R. Hodge, Suzanna Rocco Dillon, Beth Myers, Michael L. Norris, Tiago V. Barreira and Kevin S. Heffernan

Despite having the desire to become physically active as a family, parents of children with visual impairments often lack the skills and resources needed to provide appropriate physical activities (PAs) for their children. The purpose of this study was to explore the intentions of parents of children with visual impairments toward including their children in PAs after participating in a PA program. In this descriptive qualitative study, the participants were 10 parents of children with visual impairments. A series of workshops were designed to provide parents with the skills and resources needed to promote PA for their family. Upon completion of the workshops, parents took part in one-on-one semistructured interviews that were subsequently transcribed and analyzed using a thematic line-by-line process. Two interdependent themes emerged from the data analyses: (a) eye-opening experiences and (b) transformed, more hopeful, and optimistic outlook. The results revealed that through the PA intervention, parents learned teaching strategies that were intended to increase their PA opportunities and garnered resources that allowed them to teach their children to participate in PA.