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Sara Wilcox, Patricia A. Sharpe, Brent Hutto and Michelle L. Granner

Background:

Self-efficacy is a consistent correlate of physical activity, but most self-efficacy measures have not been validated in diverse populations. This study examined the construct, criterion-related, and convergent validity and internal consistency of the Self-Efficacy for Exercise Questionnaire.

Methods:

African American and Caucasian adults (N = 1919) from two adjacent counties in South Carolina were identified through a list-assisted random digit-dialed telephone survey. Psychometric properties of the measure were assessed by gender, race, age, education, and body weight subgroups.

Results:

Across all subgroups, a single-factor solution explained 93 to 98% of the common variance in an exploratory factor analysis, and all 14 items had factor loadings exceeding 0.40. Higher exercise self-efficacy was significantly associated with greater physical activity, younger age, male gender, higher education, and lower body weight, as predicted. Internal consistency was high for all subgroups (α = 0.90 to 0.94).

Conclusion:

The Self-Efficacy for Exercise Questionnaire appears to be a valid and reliable measure for use with diverse populations.

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Julian A. Reed, Steven P. Hooker, Suresh Muthukrishnan and Brent Hutto

Background:

To examine demographic characteristics and physical activity (PA) behaviors of trail users on a newly constructed 2-mile urban rail/trail (ie, abandoned rail line converted to a recreational trail).

Methods:

A systematic evaluation process was initiated to monitor PA behaviors using the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC).

Results:

Slightly more males (n = 2578, 54%) than females (n = 2198, 46%) were observed using the rail/trail since its inception. A significant age group difference (F = 16.68, P < .001) was observed among users with the vast majority being adults (n = 3317, 69%). Women were 2.2 times more likely than men (95% CI 1.7−3.0) to be sedentary rather than vigorously active adjusted for age and race. Whites were 2.8 times more likely than nonwhites (95% CI 2.4−3.2) to engage in vigorous activity rather than walking, adjusted for age and gender. Rail/trail users resided on average 2.89 miles from the trail.

Discussion:

The most frequent users of the rail/trail were male, white adults, and observed PA varied for gender and age. More research is needed to better understand differences in patterns of trail use by various population groups.

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Sara Wilcox, Melinda Forthofer, Patricia A. Sharpe and Brent Hutto

Background:

Walking interventions delivered by lay leaders have been shown to be effective. Knowing the characteristics of individuals who volunteer to be group leaders in walking programs could facilitate more efficient and effective recruitment and training.

Methods:

Walking group leaders were recruited into a community-based program and formed walking groups from existing social networks. Leaders and members completed a survey, participated in physical measurements, and wore an accelerometer. Regression models (adjusting for group clustering and covariates) tested psychosocial and behavioral differences between leaders and members.

Results:

The sample included 296 adults (86% women, 66% African American). Leaders (n = 60) were similar to members (n = 236) with respect to most sociodemographic and health characteristics, but were significantly older and more likely to report arthritis and high cholesterol (P-values < .05). Although leaders and members were similar in sedentary behavior and physical activity, leaders reported higher levels of exercise self-regulation, self-efficacy, and social support (P-values < .01). Leaders also reported greater use of outdoor trails (P = .005) and other outdoor recreation areas (P = .003) for physical activity than members.

Conclusion:

Although walking group leaders were no more active than members, leaders did display psychosocial characteristics and behaviors consistent with a greater readiness for change.

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Anna E. Mathews, Natalie Colabianchi, Brent Hutto, Delores M. Pluto and Steve P. Hooker

Background:

The objectives of this study were to assess (1) pedestrian activity levels among adults, (2) where and why adults engage in pedestrian activity, and (3) what adults consider when deciding where to engage in pedestrian activity.

Methods:

Pedestrian activity was assessed in 12,036 California adults, ≥18 years, using a random digit-dial telephone survey.

Results:

Significant differences were identified by race, sex, age, and physical activity level in the type, location, and purpose of pedestrian activities. Men engage in pedestrian activity at work, and women engage in pedestrian activity while escorting children to school and running errands. Whites primarily engage in leisure-time pedestrian activity, and non-whites are more likely to engage in pedestrian activity for transportation. Older adults were less active than their younger counterparts.

Conclusions:

These findings should be considered by public health agencies and their partners as they continue to increase and promote opportunities for pedestrian activity. Additional research is needed to assess older adults’ physical activity patterns and preferences, barriers, and facilitators to effectively tailor physical activity promotion efforts to this at-risk group.

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Philip J. Troped, Heather A. Whitcomb, Brent Hutto, Julian A. Reed and Steven P. Hooker

Purpose:

This study assessed test-retest reliability of an interviewer-administered trail survey.

Methods:

An intercept survey was conducted with adults using 2 paved trails in Indiana and South Carolina (N = 295; mean age = 46.9 ± 18 y). The survey included items on frequency and duration of trail use for recreation and transportation, other patterns of trail use, and sociodemographic characteristics. Fifty-five adults completed the survey twice (2−16 d apart; mean = 7.4 ± 2.6 d). Test-retest reliability was assessed with Spearman rank correlation coefficients, Kappa coefficients, and percent agreement.

Results:

Kappa coefficients and percent agreement for 9 categorical items ranged from 0.65 to 0.96 and from 64.0% to 98.2%, respectively. Among these items, the lowest Kappas were found for perceived safety (0.65) and reported duration of visits for recreational purposes (0.67). Spearman rank correlation coefficients for travel distance to and on the trail and frequency of trail use during the past 7 days and past 4 weeks ranged from 0.62 to 0.93.

Conclusion:

Though further assessments of this survey with different populations and types of trails may be warranted, its overall high reliability indicates it can be used by researchers and practitioners in its current form.

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Michelle L. Granner, Patricia A. Sharpe, Brent Hutto, Sara Wilcox and Cheryl L. Addy

Background:

Few studies have explored associations of individual, social, and environmental factors with physical activity and walking behavior.

Methods:

A random-digit-dial questionnaire, which included selected individual, social, and environmental variables, was administered to 2025 adults, age 18 y and older, in two adjacent counties in a southeastern state. Logistic regressions were conducted adjusting for age, race, sex, education, and employment.

Results:

In multivariate models, somewhat different variables were associated with physical activity versus regular walking. Self-efficacy (OR = 19.19), having an exercise partner (OR = 1.47), recreation facilities (OR = 1.54), and safety of trails from crime (OR = 0.72) were associated with physical activity level; while self-efficacy (OR = 4.22), known walking routes (OR = 1.54), recreation facilities (OR = 1.57-1.59), and safety of trails from crime (OR = 0.69) were associated with regular walking behavior.

Conclusions:

Physical activity and walking behaviors were associated with similar variables in this study.

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Brent Hutto, Patricia A. Sharpe, Michelle L. Granner, Cheryl L. Addy and Steven Hooker

Background:

Question order might affect self-reported regular physical activity (PA) measured with items from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) PA module.

Methods:

A telephone survey was conducted using 2 forms (N = 1004, N = 212) with varying PA question order. The standard form presented moderate-PA, vigorous-PA, and walking questions, in that order, whereas the alternate form presented walking questions, followed by moderate-PA, and then vigorous-PA questions. Weighted, adjusted rates of vigorous PA, walking, meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation for moderate or vigorous PA, and moderate PA from each form were compared.

Results:

Vigorous PA and walking were similar regardless of question order. Meeting the CDC recommendation for moderate or vigorous PA was reported less often with the alternate form among 18- to 34-year-olds. Less moderate PA was reported with the alternate form overall and among 18- to 34-year-olds, women, whites, and those with a high school education or less.

Conclusion:

Estimating PA and walking across sociodemographic strata with differing patterns of PA requires asking moderate-PA and vigorous-PA questions before walking questions. Asking walking questions first might lead to bias, especially for moderate PA. Walking, added to a survey with BRFSS moderate and vigorous PA items, should be placed after moderate and vigorous PA. Walking questions first may cause bias, especially for moderate PA.

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Melinda Forthofer, Sara Wilcox, Deborah Kinnard, Brent Hutto and Patricia A. Sharpe

Background: Social network–driven approaches have promise for promoting physical activity in community settings. Yet, there have been few direct investigations of such interventions. This study tested the effectiveness of a social network–driven, group-based walking intervention in a medically underserved community. Methods: This study used a quasi-experimental pretest–posttest design with 3 measurement time points to examine the effectiveness of Sumter County on the Move! in communities in Sumter County, SC. A total of 293 individuals participated in 59 walking groups formed from existing social networks. Participants were 86% females, 67% black, and 31% white, with a mean age of 49.5 years. Measures included perceptions of the walking groups; psychosocial factors such as self-regulation, self-efficacy, and social support; and both self-reported and objectively measured physical activity. Results: The intervention produced significant increases in goal setting and social support for physical activity from multiple sources, and these intervention effects were sustained through the final measurement point 6 months after completion of the intervention. Nonetheless, few of the desired changes in physical activity were observed. Conclusion: Our mixed results underscore the importance of future research to better understand the dose and duration of intervention implementation required to effect and sustain behavior change.

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Steven P. Hooker, Anna Feeney, Brent Hutto, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Kerry McIver, Daniel P. Heil, John E. Vena, Michael J. LaMonte and Steven N. Blair

Purpose:

This study was designed to validate the Actical activity monitor in middle-aged and older adults of varying body composition to develop accelerometer thresholds to distinguish between light and moderate intensity physical activity (PA).

Methods:

Nonobese 45 to 64 yr (N = 29), obese 45 to 64 yr (N = 21), and ≥65 yr (N = 23; varying body composition) participants completed laboratory-based sitting, household, and locomotive activities while wearing an Actical monitor and a portable metabolic measurement system. Nonlinear regression analysis was used to identify activity count (AC) cut-points to differentiate between light intensity (<3 METs) and moderate intensity (≥3METs) PA.

Results:

Using group-specific algorithms, AC cut points for 3 METs were 1634, 1107, and 431 for the obese 45 to 64 yr group, nonobese 45 to 64 yr group, and ≥65 yr group, respectively. However, sensitivity and specificity analysis revealed that an AC cut-point of 1065 yielded similar accuracy for detecting an activity as less than or greater than 3 METs, regardless of age and body composition.

Conclusion:

For the Actical activity monitor, an AC cut-point of 1065 can be used to determine light and moderate intensity PA in people ≥45 years of age.

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Robin P. Shook, Nicole C. Gribben, Gregory A. Hand, Amanda E. Paluch, Gregory J. Welk, John M. Jakicic, Brent Hutto, Stephanie Burgess and Steven N. Blair

Background:

Subjective measures of moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) rely on relative intensity whereas objective measures capture absolute intensity; thus, fit individuals and unfit individuals may perceive the same activity differently.

Methods:

Adults (N = 211) wore the SenseWear Armband (SWA) for 10 consecutive days to objectively assess sedentary time and MVPA. On day 8, participants completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) to subjectively assess sitting time and MVPA. Fitness was assessed via a maximal treadmill test, and participants were classified as unfit if the result was in the bottom tertile of the study population by sex or fit if in the upper 2 tertiles.

Results:

Overall, estimates of MVPA between the IPAQ and SWA were not significantly different (IPAQ minus SWA, 67.4 ± 919.1 MVPA min/wk, P = .29). However, unfit participants overestimated MVPA using the IPAQ by 37.3% (P = .02), but fit participants did not (P = .99). This between-group difference was due to overestimation, using the IPAQ, of moderate activity by 93.8 min/wk among the unfit individuals, but underestimation of moderate activity among the fit participants by 149.4 min/wk.

Conclusion:

Subjective measures of MVPA using the IPAQ varied by fitness category; unfit participants overestimated their MVPA and fit participants accurately estimated their MVPA.