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Genevieve Fridlund Dunton and Margaret Schneider

Background:

Walking short distances provides a convenient opportunity to attain the health benefits of moderate-intensity physical activity. The present study tested the reliability and validity of an instrument designed to assess self-efficacy to overcome barriers to walking for transportation.

Methods:

A sample of 305 undergraduates, ages 18 to 46 y (mean = 20.6 y) (70.3% female), completed self-efficacy measures for travel-related walking and for vigorous exercise. Minutes of moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity were assessed using a MTI accelerometer (n = 85).

Results:

Overall, subjects reported low levels of self-efficacy to overcome barriers to walking for transportation. The eight-item walking for transportation self-efficacy scale demonstrated good reliability, discriminant validity, and expected relations to physical activity criteria.

Conclusion:

The conceptual distinction between self-efficacy for travel-related walking and self-efficacy for vigorous exercise may have important implications for interventions seeking to promote moderate-intensity physical activity through walking for transportation.

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Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Audie A. Atienza, James Tscherne and Daniel Rodriguez

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.

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Yue Liao, Stephen Intille, Jennifer Wolch, Mary Ann Pentz and Genevieve Fridlund Dunton

Background:

Research on children’s sedentary behavior has relied on recall-based self-report or accelerometer methods, which do not assess the context of such behavior.

Purpose:

This study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to determine where and with whom children’s sedentary behavior occurs during their nonschool time.

Methods:

Children (N = 120) ages 9–13 years (51% male, 33% Hispanic) wore mobile phones that prompted surveys (20 total) for 4 days. Surveys measured current activity (eg, exercise, watching TV), physical location (eg, home, outdoors), and social company (eg, family, friends).

Results:

Children engaged in a greater percentage of leisure-oriented (eg, watching TV) than productive (eg, reading, doing homework) sedentary behavior (70% vs 30%, respectively). Most of children’s sedentary activity occurred at home (85%). Children’s sedentary activity took place most often with family members (58%). Differences in physical context of sedentary behavior were found for older vs. younger children (P < .05). Type of sedentary behavior differed by gender, racial/ethnic group, and social context (P < .05).

Conclusion:

Children may prefer or have greater opportunities to be sedentary in some contexts than others. Research demonstrates the potential for using EMA to capture real-time information about children’s sedentary behavior during their nonschool time.

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Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Margaret Schneider, Dan J. Graham and Dan M. Cooper

Cross-sectional research examined whether physical activity or physical fitness was more closely linked to physical self-concept in adolescent females ages 14 to 17 (N = 103, 63% Caucasian). Moderate physical activity and vigorous physical activity were measured through a 3-day physical activity recall. Physical fitness was assessed using highly accurate measures of peak oxygen consumption (via cycle ergometer) and percent body fat (via dual X-ray absorptiometer). The Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) assessed self-concept in 11 domains (e.g., health, endurance, appearance). Pearson’s correlations showed that vigorous physical activity was positively associated with scores on most of the PSDQ scales (p < .005). Peak oxygen consumption was positively related to all of the selfconcept domains (p < .001), and percent body fat was negatively related on most of the PSDQ scales (p < .005). Multiple-regression analyses found that physical fitness (i.e., peak oxygen consumption and percent body fat) was more closely related to physical self-concept than was physical activity. In addition to the possibility that genetically determined fitness levels may influence physical selfconcept, these findings suggest that programs designed to elevate self-perceptions may require physical activity levels sufficient to improve cardiovascular fitness and decrease body fat.

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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.