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  • Author: Diana C. Parra x
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Pedro C. Hallal, Diana C. Parra, Mario R. Azevedo, Michael Pratt and Ross C. Brownson

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Cecilia del Campo Vega, Veronica Tutte, Gustavo Bermudez and Diana C. Parra

Background: The aim of the study was to measure the level of physical activity (PA) of the users of an urban park before and after the installation of 2 fitness zones (FZs) and to assess the impact of that intervention on the users’ level of PA. Methods: The System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities method was applied in the urban plaza Liber Seregni in Montevideo (Uruguay): 14 different areas were mapped and then recategorized as fitness (for PAs, including sports), green, and paved zones. Observations were made in the spring (Sep–Oct) of 2011 and 2014, before and after placing 2 FZs. Participation was analyzed by gender, year, mapped areas, and zones, and significant differences were assessed using the χ2 test. Results: In total, 7342 individuals (4091 men and 3251 women) were observed. A greater number of people with intense PA could be seen in the FZ, with significant differences between 2011 (45%) and 2014 (70%; P < .05). Conclusion: This is the first longitudinal study on the impact of an intervention to increase the level of PA in public spaces in Uruguay. Higher intensity levels of PA and fewer sedentary people were observed after the installation of the FZ.

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Janeth Mosquera, Diana C. Parra, Luis Fernando Gomez, Olga Sarmiento, Tom Schmid and Enrique Jacoby

Background:

The health benefits of physical activity are well documented in scientific literature. Bicycling for transportation is a modality of physical activity that people can incorporate easily into their daily lives.

Methods:

A qualitative study using 11 semi-structured individual interviews and 5 focus groups was conducted among 31 male and 13 female adult residents of Bogotá, Colombia in 2006, to explore barriers and facilitators of bicycle use for transportation purposes. People were selected based on socioeconomic status, age, and gender. Thematic analysis complemented with thematic network analysis was used to analyze the data.

Results:

Six main themes emerged from the study: 1) general acknowledgment of individual and collective benefits of bicycle use, 2) built environment conditions were linked with bicycle use, 3) some social factors affect bicycling negatively, 4) people perceived conflicts over public space related to the use of bike-paths, 5) general negative public perception of bicyclists, and 6) gender differences influence patterns of bicycle use.

Conclusion:

The findings from this qualitative study show that various social and physical barriers must be addressed to increase bicycle use as a means of transportation in Bogotá.

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Adriano Akira Ferreira Hino, Rodrigo S. Reis, Isabela C. Ribeiro, Diana C. Parra, Ross C. Brownson and Rogerio C. Fermino

Background:

Open public spaces have been identified as important facilities to promote physical activity (PA) at the community level. The main goals of this study are to describe open public spaces user's characteristics and to explore to what extent these characteristics are associated with PA behavior.

Methods:

A system of direct observation was used to evaluate the PA levels on parks and squares (smaller parks) and users's characteristics (gender and age). The 4 parks and 4 squares observed were selected from neighborhoods with different socioeconomic status and environmental characteristics. The settings were observed 3 times a day, 6 days per week, during 2 weeks.

Results:

More men than women were observed in parks (63.1%) and squares (70.0%) as well as more adults and adolescents than older adults and children. Users were more physically active in parks (men = 34.1%, women = 36.1%) than in squares (men = 25.5%, women 22.8%).

Conclusions:

The characteristics of public open spaces may affect PA in the observed places. Initiatives to improve PA levels in community settings should consider users' characteristics and preferences to be more effective and reach a larger number of people.

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Christine Hoehner, Jesus Soares, Diana C. Parra, Isabela C. Ribeiro, Michael Pratt, Mario Bracco, Pedro C. Hallal and Ross C. Brownson

Background:

This review assessed whether conference abstracts yield useful information on the types and effectiveness of community-based physical activity (PA) interventions in Latin America, beyond that from interventions included in a recent systematic review of peer-reviewed literature.

Methods:

Abstracts from 9 conferences were searched for community-based interventions to promote PA in Latin America and summarized. Three reviewers classified and screened abstracts. Evaluated interventions that were not included in the previous review were assessed.

Results:

Search of abstracts from 31 proceedings of 9 conferences identified 87 abstracts of studies on community-based interventions focused on increasing PA. Only 31 abstracts reported on studies with a control group and an outcome related to PA. Ten of these abstracts represented interventions that had not been included in the previous review of peer-reviewed literature, but the abstracts were insufficient in number or detail to make a practice recommendation for any single intervention.

Conclusions:

This review highlighted the challenges and low added value of including conference abstracts in a systematic review of community PA interventions in Latin America. Stronger evaluation design and execution and more published reports of evaluated interventions are needed to build an evidence base supporting interventions to increase PA in Latin America.

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Pedro C. Hallal, Rodrigo S. Reis, Diana C. Parra, Christine Hoehner, Ross C. Brownson and Eduardo J. Simões

Background:

To evaluate the association between perceived environmental factors and leisure-time and transport-related physical activity.

Methods:

A random-digit-dialing telephone cross-sectional survey in Recife, Brazil, was conducted among individuals aged 16 years or older (n = 2046). Leisure-time and transport-related physical activity were measured using the long version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Three outcome variables were used: leisure-time physical activity (min/wk), transport-related physical activity (min/wk), and walking for leisure (min/wk). A cutoff of 150 min/wk was used for all outcome variables. The environmental module of the questionnaire was based on the short version of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (A-NEWS), and included 12 environmental items.

Results:

The proportions of subjects reaching the 150-minutes per week threshold were 30.6% for leisure-time physical activity, 26.6% for transport-related physical activity and 18.2% for walking for leisure. Lack of sidewalks and low access to recreational facilities were associated with a lower likelihood of performing 150 minutes per week or more of leisure-time physical activity. Lack of sidewalks was associated with low levels of walking for leisure. Neighborhood aesthetics was inversely associated with transport-related physical activity.

Conclusions:

Lack of sidewalks and low access to recreational facilities were predictors of low levels of leisure-time physical activity, suggesting that policy strategies aimed at improving these environmental features may be warranted.

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Carlos Mario Arango, Diana C. Parra, Amy Eyler, Olga Sarmiento, Sonia C. Mantilla, Luis Fernando Gomez and Felipe Lobelo

Background:

Active school transport (AST) is a recommended strategy to promote physical activity (PA) and prevent overweight (OW) in school-aged children. In many developing countries, such as Colombia, this association has not been well characterized.

Objective:

To determine the association between AST and weight status in a representative sample of adolescents from Montería, Colombia.

Methods:

Participants were 546 adolescents (278 boys) aged 11 to 18 years old from 14 randomly selected schools in Montería, Colombia in 2008. The PA module of the Global School Health Survey (GSHS-2007) was used to determine the prevalence of AST. To identify OW, participants were classified according to CDC 2000 criteria (BMI ≥85th percentile). Association between AST and OW was determined by binomial logistic regression.

Results:

Odds ratios adjusted for age, sex, location of school, compliance with PA, and screen time recommendations showed that adolescents who reported AST had a significantly lower likelihood to be OW compared with adolescents who reported nonactive transportation (OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3−0.8, P < .05).

Conclusions:

These results support the importance of AST as a useful PA domain with potential implications for overweight prevention, in rapidly developing settings. Further epidemiologic and intervention studies addressing AST are needed in the region.

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Rodrigo S. Reis, Pedro C. Hallal, Diana C. Parra, Isabela C. Ribeiro, Ross C. Brownson, Michael Pratt, Christine M. Hoehner and Luiz Ramos

Background:

Community programs have been suggested to be an important and promising strategy for physical activity (PA) promotion. Limited evidence is available regarding knowledge of and participation in these programs in Latin America.

Objective:

To describe participation in and knowledge of community PA programs and to explore associations with leisure-time PA in the city of Curitiba, Brazil.

Methods:

A cross sectional telephone survey was conducted among adults in Curitiba, Brazil (n = 2097). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to determine levels of PA, and specific questions were used to evaluate the extent to which respondents knew about or participated in the programs conducted by the municipality. Logistic regression was used to assess the meeting of PA recommendations in leisure time based on program knowledge and participation.

Results:

Knowledge of PA programs was high (91.6%) and 5.6% of population participated in the programs. After adjusting for individual characteristics, exposure to Curitiba's PA community programs was associated with leisure-time PA (POR = 2.9, 95% CI = 2.9−3.0) and walking for leisure (POR = 2.4; 95% CI = 2.3−2.4). The associations were stronger among men than among women.

Conclusions:

Knowledge and participation in Curitiba's community PA programs were associated with meeting recommended levels of PA in leisure time.

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Isabela C. Ribeiro, Andrea Torres, Diana C. Parra, Rodrigo Reis, Christine Hoehner, Thomas L. Schmid, Michael Pratt, Luiz R. Ramos, Eduardo J. Simões and Ross C. Brownson

Background:

The Guide for Useful Interventions for Activity in Brazil and Latin America (GUIA), a systematic review of community-based physical activity (PA) interventions in Latin American literature, selected the CuritibAtiva program for a comprehensive evaluation. We describe the process of developing logic models (LM) of PA community interventions from Curitiba, Brazil, and discuss influential factors.

Methods:

The year-long process included engaging stakeholders involved in the promotion of PA in Curitiba, working with stakeholders to describe the programs and their goals, and developing LMs for the 2 main secretaries promoting PA in the city.

Results & Conclusions:

As a result of stakeholder interviews and discussion and the development of the LMs, local officials are coordinating programming efforts and considering ways the programs can be more complementary. The process has prompted program managers to identify overlapping programs, refine program goals, and identify gaps in programming. It also helped to frame evaluation questions, identify data sources, describe realistic outcomes, and reinforce the importance of intersectoral alliances for public health impact. Developing LMs proved to be feasible in the Latin American context, therefore adaptable and useful for other PA promotion programs in the region.

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Michael Pratt, Ross C. Brownson, Luiz Roberto Ramos, Deborah Carvalho Malta, Pedro C. Hallal, Rodrigo S. Reis, Diana C. Parra and Eduardo J. Simões