Research sought to identify combinations of risk and protective factors predicting change in physical activity (PA) over one year in high school students. Adolescents (N = 344; M = 15.7 years) participated in a longitudinal study with assessment of demographics, substance use/smoking exposure, height and weight, psychological factors, and PA in 10th and 11th grade. PA participation in 11th grade was greatest for adolescents who engaged in PA and had high sports competence (78%), and least for adolescents who did not engage in or enjoy PA (13%) in 10th grade. Identifying adolescent subgroups at risk for decreasing PA can inform the development of tailored interventions.
Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Audie A. Atienza, James Tscherne and Daniel Rodriguez
Kelly R. Evenson, Semra A. Aytur, Sara B. Satinsky, Zachary Y. Kerr and Daniel A. Rodríguez
We surveyed North Carolina (NC) municipalities to document the presence of municipal walking- and bicycling-related projects, programs, and policies; to describe whether prevalence of these elements differed if recommended in a plan; and to characterize differences between urban and rural municipalities.
We surveyed all municipalities with ≥ 5000 persons (n = 121) and sampled municipalities with < 5000 persons (216/420), with a response rate of 54% (183/337). Responses were weighted to account for the sampling design.
From a list provided, staff reported on their municipality’s use of walking- and bicycling-related elements (8 infrastructure projects, 9 programs, and 14 policies). The most commonly reported were projects on sidewalks (53%), streetscape improvements (51%), bicycle/walking paths (40%); programs for cultural/recreational/health (25%), general promotional activities (24%), Safe Routes to School (24%), and law enforcement (24%); and policies on maintenance (64%), new facility construction (57%), and restricted automobile speed or access (45%). Nearly all projects, programs, or policies reported were more likely if included in a plan and more prevalent in urban than rural municipalities.
These results provide cross-sectional support that plans facilitate the implementation of walking and bicycling elements, and that rural municipalities plan and implement these elements less often than urban municipalities.
Aileen P. McGinn, Kelly R. Evenson, Amy H. Herring, Sara L. Huston and Daniel A. Rodriguez
Crime is one aspect of the environment that can act as a barrier to physical activity. The goals of this study were to (1) compare measures of perceived crime with observed crime and (2) examine the association between the independent and combined effects of objective and perceived crime on physical activity.
Perceived crime and physical activity were assessed in 1659 persons via telephone survey. Crime was objectively measured in a subset of 303 survey participants.
For all types of crime, there was low agreement between objective and perceived measures. Both perceived and objectively measured crime were independently associated with leisure activities.
This study suggests that perceptions and objective measures of crime are both important correlates of leisure physical activity. Evaluating both measures is necessary when examining the relationship between crime and physical activity to develop interventions that will most influence leisure physical activity levels.
Jennifer G. Walker, Kelly R. Evenson, William J. Davis, Philip Bors and Daniel A. Rodríguez
This comparative case study investigates 2 successful community trail initiatives, using the Active Living By Design (ALBD) Community Action Model as an analytical framework. The model includes 5 strategies: preparation, promotion, programs, policy, and physical projects.
Key stakeholders at 2 sites participated in in-depth interviews (N = 14). Data were analyzed for content using Atlas Ti and grouped according to the 5 strategies.
Preparation: Securing trail resources was challenging, but shared responsibilities facilitated trail development. Promotions: The initiatives demonstrated minimal physical activity encouragement strategies. Programs: Community stakeholders did not coordinate programmatic opportunities for routine physical activity. Policy: Trails’ inclusion in regional greenway master plans contributed to trail funding and development. Policies that were formally institutionalized and enforced led to more consistent trail construction and safer conditions for users. Physical Projects: Consistent standards for wayfinding signage and design safety features enhanced trail usability and safety.
Communities with different levels of government support contributed unique lessons to inform best practices of trail initiatives. This study revealed a disparity between trail development and use-encouragement strategies, which may limit trails’ impact on physical activity. The ALBD Community Action Model provided a viable framework to structure cross-disciplinary community trail initiatives.
Daniel A. Rodriguez, Gi-Hyoug Cho, John P. Elder, Terry L. Conway, Kelly R. Evenson, Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar, Elizabeth Shay, Deborah Cohen, Sara Veblen-Mortenson, Julie Pickrell and Leslie Lytle
Studies that have combined accelerometers and global positioning systems (GPS) to identify walking have done so in carefully controlled conditions. This study tested algorithms for identifying walking trips from accelerometer and GPS data in free-living conditions. The study also assessed the accuracy of the locations where walking occurred compared with what participants reported in a diary.
A convenience sample of high school females was recruited (N = 42) in 2007. Participants wore a GPS unit and an accelerometer, and recorded their out-of-school travel for 6 days. Split-sample validation was used to examine agreement in the daily and total number of walking trips with Kappa statistics and count regression models, while agreement in locations visited by walking was examined with geographic information systems.
Agreement varied based on the parameters of the algorithm, with algorithms exhibiting moderate to substantial agreement with self-reported daily (Kappa = 0.33−0.48) and weekly (Kappa = 0.41−0.64) walking trips. Comparison of reported locations reached by walking and GPS data suggest that reported locations are accurate.
The use of GPS and accelerometers is promising for assessing the number of walking trips and the walking locations of adolescent females.