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David W. Brown, David R. Brown, Gregory W. Heath, David G. Moriarty, Lina Balluz and Wayne H. Giles

Background:

Hypertension (HTN), which affects more than 65 million Americans, is associated with poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Regular physical activity (PA) has been shown to reduce blood pressure and is associated with higher levels of HRQOL.

Methods:

Using self-reports from 60,321 hypertensive adults age 18 y or older who participated in the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, we examined the independent relationship between engaging in recommended levels of moderate or vigorous PA and four measures of HRQOL developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Results:

For all age and racial/ethnic groups and both sexes, the proportion of hypertensive adults with 14 or more unhealthy days (physical or mental) in the past month was significantly lower among those who attained recommended levels of PA than among physically inactive adults.

Conclusions:

Participation in regular PA is one of several lifestyle strategies available to control and prevent HTN. These results suggest that PA is associated with higher levels of HRQOL among adults with HTN and highlight the importance of health programs that promote participation in regular PA.

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Kelly R. Evenson, Joan M. Dorn, Ricky Camplain, Russell R. Pate and David R. Brown

Background:

From 1995–2013, an 8-day Physical Activity and Public Health Course for Researchers has been offered yearly in the United States.

Methods:

In 2013, an evaluation quantified time that fellows spent in different course offerings, surveyed fellows on course impact, documented grant funding, and identified fellow participation on leading physical activity-related journals.

Results:

The number of fellows that attended the course ranged from 20 per year to 35 per year. Fellows who participated in the web survey (n = 322) agreed that the course: met their expectations (99%), had a positive impact on the physical activity research or practice work they did (98%), and helped increase their professional networking in the field (93%). Following the course, 73% of fellows had further contact with course faculty and 71% had further contact with other fellows. From the National Institutes of Health, 117 grants were awarded to 82 fellows (21% of eligible fellows). Out of 14 journals reviewed, 11 had at least 1 fellow on their staff as editor, associate editor, or editorial board member.

Conclusion:

The Physical Activity and Public Health Course for Researchers helps address a training need by providing instruction and building capacity in the US and abroad for conducting research on physical activity and public health.

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Eric R. Helms, Caryn Zinn, David S. Rowlands and Scott R. Brown

Caloric restriction occurs when athletes attempt to reduce body fat or make weight. There is evidence that protein needs increase when athletes restrict calories or have low body fat.

Purpose:

The aims of this review were to evaluate the effects of dietary protein on body composition in energy-restricted resistance-trained athletes and to provide protein recommendations for these athletes.

Methods:

Database searches were performed from earliest record to July 2013 using the terms protein, and intake, or diet, and weight, or train, or restrict, or energy, or strength, and athlete. Studies (N = 6) needed to use adult (≥ 18 yrs), energy-restricted, resistance-trained (> 6 months) humans of lower body fat (males ≤ 23% and females ≤ 35%) performing resistance training. Protein intake, fat free mass (FFM) and body fat had to be reported.

Results:

Body fat percentage decreased (0.5–6.6%) in all study groups (N = 13) and FFM decreased (0.3–2.7kg) in nine of 13. Six groups gained, did not lose, or lost nonsignificant amounts of FFM. Five out of these six groups were among the highest in body fat, lowest in caloric restriction, or underwent novel resistance training stimuli. However, the one group that was not high in body fat that underwent substantial caloric restriction, without novel training stimuli, consumed the highest protein intake out of all the groups in this review (2.5–2.6g/kg).

Conclusions:

Protein needs for energy-restricted resistance-trained athletes are likely 2.3–3.1g/kg of FFM scaled upwards with severity of caloric restriction and leanness.

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Russell R. Pate, Jennifer L. Gay, David R. Brown and Michael Pratt

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David R. Bassett, Ray Browning, Scott A. Conger, Dana L. Wolff and Jennifer I. Flynn

Background:

The indoor built environment has the potential to influence levels of physical activity. However, the extent to which architectural design in commercial buildings can influence the percentage of people choosing to use the stairs versus elevators is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine if buildings with centrally located, accessible, and aesthetically pleasing staircases result in a greater percentage of people taking the stairs.

Methods:

Direct observations of stair and elevator use were conducted in 3 buildings on a university campus. One of the buildings had a bank of 4 centrally located elevators and a fire escape stairwell behind a steel door. The other 2 buildings had centrally located staircases and out-of-the-way elevators.

Results:

The percentage of people who ascended the stairs was 8.1% in the elevator-centric building, compared with 72.8% and 81.1% in the 2 stair-centric buildings (P < .001). In addition, the percentage of people who descended the stairs was 10.8% in the first building, compared with 89.5% and 93.7% in the stair-centric buildings (P < .001).

Conclusions:

The results of the current study suggest that if buildings are constructed with centrally located, accessible, and aesthetically pleasing staircases, a greater percentage of people will choose to take the stairs.

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Stephen Harvey, Megan L. Smith, Yang Song, David Robertson, Renee Brown and Lindsey R. Smith

The Tactical Games Model (TGM) prefaces the cognitive components of physical education (PE), which has implications for physical activity (PA) accumulation. PA recommendations suggest students reach 50% moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). However, this criterion does not indicate the contribution from vigorous physical activity (VPA). Consequently, this study investigated: a) the effects of TGM delivery on MVPA/VPA and, b) gender/school level differences. Participants were 78 seventh and 96 fourth/fifth grade coeducational PE students from two different schools. Two teachers taught 24 (middle) and 30 (elementary) level one TGM basketball lessons. Students wore Actigraph GT3× triaxial accelerometers. Data were analyzed using four one-way ANOVAs. Middle school boys had significantly higher MVPA/VPA (34.04/22.37%) than girls (25.14/15.47%). Elementary school boys had significantly higher MVPA/VPA (29.73/18.33%) than girls (23.03/14.33%). While TGM lessons provide a context where students can accumulate VPA consistent with national PA recommendations, teachers need to modify lesson activities to enable equitable PA participation.

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Jesus Soares, Jacqueline N. Epping, Chantelle J. Owens, David R. Brown, Tina J. Lankford, Eduardo J. Simoes and Carl J. Caspersen

Background:

We aimed to determine the likelihood that adult dog owners who walk their dogs will achieve a healthy level of moderate-intensity (MI) physical activity (PA), defined as at least 150 mins/wk.

Methods:

We conducted a systematic search of 6 databases with data from 1990–2012 on dog owners’ PA, to identify those who achieved MIPA. To compare dog-walkers’ performance with non-dog walkers, we used a random effects model to estimate the unadjusted odds ratio (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results:

We retrieved 9 studies that met our inclusion criterion and allowed OR calculations. These yielded data on 6980 dog owners aged 18 to 81 years (41% men). Among them, 4463 (63.9%) walked their dogs. Based on total weekly PA, 2710 (60.7%) dog walkers, and 950 (37.7%) non-dog walkers achieved at least MIPA. The estimated OR was 2.74 (95% CI 2.09–3.60).

Conclusion:

Across 9 published studies, almost 2 in 3 dog owners reported walking their dogs, and the walkers are more than 2.5 times more likely to achieve at least MIPA. These findings suggest that dog walking may be a viable strategy for dog owners to help achieve levels of PA that may enhance their health.

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Lauren A. Brown, Eric E. Hall, Caroline J. Ketcham, Kirtida Patel, Thomas A. Buckley, David R. Howell and Srikant Vallabhajosula

Context: Sports often involve complex movement patterns, such as turning. Although cognitive load effects on gait patterns are well known, little is known on how it affects biomechanics of turning gait among athletes. Such information could help evaluate how concussion affects turning gait required for daily living and sports. Objective: To determine the effect of a dual task on biomechanics of turning while walking among college athletes. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: Fifty-three participants performed 5 trials of a 20-m walk under single- and dual-task conditions at self-selected speed with a 180° turn at 10-m mark. The cognitive load included subtraction, spelling words backward, or reciting the months backward. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Turn duration, turning velocity, number of steps, SD of turn duration and velocity, and coefficient of variation of turn duration and velocity. Results: Participants turned significantly slower (155.99 [3.71] cm/s vs 183.52 [4.17] cm/s; P < .001) and took longer time to complete the turn (2.63 [0.05] s vs 2.33 [0.04] s; P < .001) while dual tasking, albeit taking similar number of steps to complete the turn. Participants also showed more variability in turning time under the dual-task condition (SD of turn duration = 0.39 vs 0.31 s; P = .004). Conclusions: Overall, college athletes turned slower and showed more variability during turning gait while performing a concurrent cognitive dual-task turning compared with single-task turning. The slower velocity increased variability may be representative of specific strategy of turning gait while dual tasking, which may be a result of the split attention to perform the cognitive task. The current study provides descriptive values of absolute and variability turning gait parameters for sports medicine personnel to use while they perform their concussion assessments on their college athletes.

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Diane K. King, Peg Allen, Dina L. Jones, David X. Marquez, David R. Brown, Dori Rosenberg, Sarah Janicek, Laila Allen and Basia Belza

Background:

Midlife and older adults use shopping malls for walking, but little research has examined mall characteristics that contribute to their walkability.

Methods:

We used modified versions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Healthy Aging Research Network (HAN) Environmental Audit and the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) tool to systematically observe 443 walkers in 10 shopping malls. We also observed 87 walkers in 6 community-based nonmall/nongym venues where older adults routinely walked for physical activity.

Results:

All venues had public transit stops and accessible parking. All malls and 67% of nonmalls had wayfinding aids, and most venues (81%) had an established circuitous walking route and clean, well-maintained public restrooms (94%). All venues had level floor surfaces, and one-half had benches along the walking route. Venues varied in hours of access, programming, tripping hazards, traffic control near entrances, and lighting.

Conclusions:

Despite diversity in location, size, and purpose, the mall and nonmall venues audited shared numerous environmental features known to promote walking in older adults and few barriers to walking. Future research should consider programmatic features and outreach strategies to expand the use of malls and other suitable public spaces for walking.

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Basia Belza, Christina E. Miyawaki, Peg Allen, Diane K. King, David X. Marquez, Dina L. Jones, Sarah Janicek, Dori Rosenberg and David R. Brown

Mall walking has been a popular physical activity for decades. However, little is known about why mall managers support these programs or why adults choose to walk. Our study aim was to describe mall walking programs from the perspectives of walkers, managers, and leaders. Twenty-eight walkers, 16 walking program managers, and six walking program leaders from five states participated in a telephone or in-person semi-structured interview (N = 50). Interview guides were developed using a social-ecological model. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically. All informants indicated satisfaction with their program and environmental features. Differences in expectations were noted in that walkers wanted a safe, clean, and social place whereas managers and leaders felt a need to provide programmatic features. Given the favorable walking environments in malls, there is an opportunity for public health professionals, health care organizations, and providers of aging services to partner with malls to promote walking.