Despite the benefits of physical activity for youth with congenital heart disease (CHD), most patients are inactive. Although literature has addressed medical and psychological barriers to participation, little is known about the social barriers that youth encounter. This qualitative study explored sociocultural barriers to physical activity from the perspective of 17 youth with CHD. The main theme, “what I wish you knew,” was related to all other themes-youths’ efforts to resolve “disclosure dilemmas,” the barriers they encounter during physical education, and their struggle to understand themselves as normal. The participants’ narratives illuminate the centrality of their sociocultural world to physical activity. The findings call on researchers and educators to attend to the social and cultural environments where these youth live and play.
Fiona Moola, Caroline Fusco and Joel A. Kirsh
Fiona J. Moola, Moss E. Norman, LeAnne Petherick and Shaelyn Strachan
While interdisciplinary knowledge is critical to moving beyond categorical ways of knowing, this comes with its own set of pedagogical challenges. We contend that acknowledging existing knowledge hierarchies and epistemological differences, recognizing the ideological baggage that students’ bring to the classroom in terms of their understandings of health, embracing intellectual uncertainty, and encouraging learning-as-witnessing, are fundamental to fostering an interdisciplinary pedagogy that opens up a space for dialogue between psychology and sociology. We draw on the case of obesity and physical inactivity in the Canadian context as an exemplar of a kinesiology dilemma in which both psychology and sociology have important, albeit different, roles to play. We suggest that the anxiety provoked by such an approach is not only necessary but productive to forge an intellectual space where psychologists and sociologists may better hear one another.
Fiona J. Moola, Guy E.J. Faulkner and Jane E. Schneiderman
Although physical activity may reduce lung function decline in youth with cystic fibrosis (CF), most patients are inactive. Little is known about why youth with CF are inactive or how to facilitate physical activity. This study explored perceptions toward physical activity in 14 youth with CF at a Canadian Hospital. Qualitative interviews were conducted and a grounded theory analysis was undertaken. The participants demonstrated positive or negative perceptions toward physical activity and different experiences—such as parental support and illness narratives—influenced youths’ perceptions. In addition, the participants experienced physical activity within the context of reduced time. Recommendations for developing physical activity interventions, including the particular need to ensure that such interventions are not perceived as wasteful of time, are provided.
Fiona Moola, Guy E.J. Faulkner, Joel A. Kirsh and Jennifer Kilburn
This study explored perceptions toward physical activity and sport in the lives of youth with congenital heart disease. Thirteen cardiac participants were interviewed in the presence of their parents, and a process of inductive analysis was conducted. Sport was not considered a valued pursuit despite the belief that it is essential for the attainment of good health. Low-self efficacy and fatigue were influenced by covert fears and exclusion and further decreased the value ascribed to sport and physical activity. Nontraditional activities, support from others, and perceptions of mastery played a crucial role in enabling participation and facilitated the journey toward recovery. Findings are discussed within the context of self-efficacy theory and may inform the design of safe and enjoyable physical activity opportunities for this population.
Danielle R. Bouchard, Shaelyn Strachan, Leslie Johnson, Fiona Moola, Radhika Chitkara, Diana McMillan, Semone Myrie and Gordon Giesbrecht
Our objective was to test the feasibility of sharing treadmill workstations among office workers to reduce time spent at low intensity and explore changes in health outcomes after a 3-month intervention.
Twenty-two office workers were asked to walk 2 hours per shift on a shared treadmill workstation for 3 months. Physical activity levels (ie, low, light, moderate, and vigorous), health-related measures (eg, sleep, blood pressure), treadmill usage information, and questions regarding participants’ expectation and experiences were collected.
Physical activity time at low intensity during workdays was reduced by 20.1% (P = .007) in the 71% of participants completing the study. Participants were 70% confident that they would keep using the treadmill workstations. Interestingly, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and sleep quality scores were significantly improved (P < .05).
The use of such equipment to replace a few hours of sitting is feasible and might offer important health benefits.