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  • Author: Chih-Ping Chou x
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Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Jennifer Wolch, Chih-Ping Chou, Michael Jerrett, Jason Byrne, Susan Weaver and Kim D. Reynolds

Background:

Efforts to increase community levels of physical activity through the development of multiuse urban trails could be strengthened by information about factors predicting trail use. This study examined whether reasons for trail use predict levels of physical activity on urban trails.

Methods:

Adults (N = 335) living within a 1-mile buffer zone of urban trails in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles completed a self-report measure assessing demographics, reason for trail use, and physical activity on the trail. Accelerometers measured total daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Environmental features of the urban trail were assessed with the Systematic Pedestrian and Cyclist Environmental Scan for trails measure. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted that accounted for clustering of individuals within trail segments.

Results:

After controlling for demographic and environmental factors and total daily MVPA, reasons for trail use significantly predicted recreational but not transportation activity. Recreational trail activity was greater for participants who reported exercise and health reasons for trail use as compared with other reasons (ie, social interaction, enjoying nature, walking pets) for recreational trail use.

Conclusions:

To increase the use of urban trails, it may be useful to promote the health and exercise benefits of recreational trail use.

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Ya-Wen Hsu, Chih-Ping Chou, Selena T. Nguyen-Rodriguez, Arianna D. McClain, Britni R. Belcher and Donna Spruijt-Metz

Background:

A profound decline in physical activity occurs in puberty. This phenomenon is not well understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine associations between family/friend social support for physical activity, negative meanings of physical activity (NMPA), and internal /external barriers to physical activity with moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and sedentary and light behavior (SLB) in youth.

Methods:

A total of 350 participants from 7 Los Angeles County middle schools participated in the study (62% Latina, 79% females). Hypothesized pathways were examined using structural equation modeling. Psychosocial variables and participation in MVPA and SLB were assessed by self-reported questionnaires.

Results:

NMPA were related to lower levels of family/friend social support and greater internal/external barriers. Family social support was the only significant indicator of MVPA (β = 0.79). Low family social support was related to higher SLB (β = −0.25).

Conclusions:

Family social support seems crucial to promote MVPA and reduce SLB in adolescents and might be influenced by child’s feelings about physical activity. Future research should consider the interrelationship between psychosocial correlates of physical activity.

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Ya-Wen Hsu, Chih-Ping Chou, Britni R. Belcher, Selena T. Nguyen-Rodriguez, Marc J. Weigensberg, Arianna D. McClain and Donna Spruijt-Metz

While most studies have focused on investigating the preventive effects of physical activity on metabolic risk, the longitudinal impacts of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on activity levels is poorly understood. This study aims to examine the influence of MetS on initial activity levels and the trajectory of activity levels in Latina and African American female children over 12 months (n = 55, 9 ± 1 years). Metabolic measures, including fat and lean tissue mass by BodPod, fasting glucose, lipids, blood pressure, and waist circumference, were collected at baseline. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary behavior by accelerometry were collected on a quarterly basis. There were no significant differences in either initial activity levels by MetS status (Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity: 33 ± 12 mins/day for MetS, 48 ± 28 mins/day for Non-MetS, p = .12; sedentary behavior: 408 ± 57 mins/day for MetS, 421 ± 72 mins/day for Non-MetS, p = .67). Longitudinal declines in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (p = .038) and increases in sedentary behavior (p = .003) were found. Daily sedentary behavior increased by 82.64 more minutes in youth with MetS than in those without over one year (p = .015). This study yields the first evidence of the adverse effect of MetS on sedentary behavior. Targeted intervention strategies to reduce progressive sedentariness evident in minority youth with MetS are warranted.

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Christopher Johansen, Kim D. Reynolds, Jennifer Wolch, Jason Byrne, Chih-Ping Chou, Sarah Boyle, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Brianna A. Lienemann, Susan Weaver and Michael Jerrett

Background: Urban trails are a useful resource to promote physical activity. This study identified features of urban trails that correlated with trail use. Methods: Multiuse urban trails were selected in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles. An audit of each trail was completed using the Systematic Pedestrian and Cyclist Environmental Scan for Trails instrument, identifying built environmental features. A self-report of trail use was obtained from trailside residents (N = 331) living within 1 mile of each trail. Univariate and multivariate Poisson regressions controlled for trail time from home and motivation for physical activity. Results: Positive associations with the past month’s hours on the trail were observed for the presence of distance signs, vegetation height, vegetation maintenance, and trail crowding, and a negative association was observed for the presence of crossings on the trail. Positive associations with dichotomous trail use were observed for the presence of distance signs, vegetation height, and vegetation maintenance, and a negative association was observed for the presence of crossings on the trail. Conclusions: These correlates should be confirmed in other studies and, if supported, should be considered in the promotion and design of urban trails.