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  • Author: Gregory J. Norman x
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Gregory J. Norman, Sandra K. Nutter, Sherry Ryan, James F. Sallis, Karen J. Calfas and Kevin Patrick

Background:

Neighborhood-level environmental features have been associated with adult physical activity and weight status, but this link has not been established for adolescents.

Methods:

Community design and access to recreational facilities variables were derived using geographic information systems (GIS) for 799 adolescents (age 11 to 15 y, mean = 12.8 y, 53% girls, 43% ethnic minority). Environment variables were calculated for a 1-mile buffer around each participant’s residence. Accelerometers measured min/d of physical activity.

Results:

Number of nearby recreation facilities and number of nearby parks correlated positively with girls’ physical activity, and intersection density inversely related to girls’ physical activity. Retail floor area ratio correlated positively with boys’ physical activity. No community design or access to recreation variables were related to BMI-percentile.

Conclusions:

There was limited evidence that both community design and access to recreation facilities variables were associated with adolescent physical activity, but additional built environment variables need to be studied that have particular relevance for youth.

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Dori E. Rosenberg, Gregory J. Norman, Nicole Wagner, Kevin Patrick, Karen J. Calfas and James F. Sallis

Background:

Sedentary behavior is related to obesity, but measures of sedentary behaviors are lacking for adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of the Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire (SBQ) among overweight adults.

Methods:

Participants were 49 adults for the 2 week test-retest reliability study (67% female, 53% white, mean age = 20) and 401 overweight women (mean age = 41, 61% white) and 441 overweight men (mean age = 44, 81% white) for the validity study. The SBQ consisted of reports of time spent in 9 sedentary behaviors. Outcomes for validity included accelerometer measured inactivity, sitting time (International Physical Activity Questionnaire), and BMI. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) assessed reliability and partial correlations assessed validity.

Results:

ICCs were acceptable for all items and the total scale (range = .51–.93). For men, there were significant relationships of SBQ items with IPAQ sitting time and BMI. For women, there were relationships between the SBQ and accelerometer inactivity minutes, IPAQ sitting time, and BMI.

Conclusions:

The SBQ has acceptable measurement properties for use among overweight adults. Specific measures of sedentary behavior should be included in studies and population surveillance.

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Nefertiti Durant, Jacqueline Kerr, Sion Kim Harris, Brian E. Saelens, Gregory J. Norman and James F. Sallis

Few studies have explored barriers to physical activity in parks and streets among children, adolescents, and their parents. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the psychometric properties of a new survey of barriers to physical activity in neighborhood parks and streets. Adolescents and parents of children and adolescents completed surveys twice. Two barrier subscales (environment and safety) emerged that applied to both locations and all participant groups. Results generally supported acceptable, internal consistency as well as construct validity, but test-retest reliabilities were lower than desired. These scales may be used to improve understanding of perceptions of barriers to physical activity in neighborhood parks and streets, but further development is needed.

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Dori E. Rosenberg, Jacqueline Kerr, James F. Sallis, Gregory J. Norman, Karen Calfas and Kevin Patrick

The authors tested the feasibility and acceptability, and explored the outcomes, of 2 walking interventions based on ecological models among older adults living in retirement communities. An enhanced intervention (EI) was compared with a standard walking intervention (SI) among residents in 4 retirement facilities (N = 87 at baseline; mean age = 84.1 yr). All participants received a walking intervention including pedometers, printed materials, and biweekly group sessions. EI participants also received phone counseling and environmental-awareness components. Measures included pedometer step counts, activities of daily living, environment-related variables, physical function, depression, cognitive function, satisfaction, and adherence. Results indicated improvements among the total sample for step counts, neighborhood barriers, cognitive function, and satisfaction with walking opportunities. Satisfaction and adherence were high. Both walking interventions were feasible to implement among facility-dwelling older adults. Future studies can build on this multilevel approach.

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Jordan A. Carlson, James F. Sallis, Nicole Wagner, Karen J. Calfas, Kevin Patrick, Lisa M. Groesz and Gregory J. Norman

Background:

Psychosocial factors have been related to physical activity (PA) and are used to evaluate mediation in PA interventions.

Methods:

Brief theory-based psychosocial scales were compiled from existing measures and evaluated. Study 1 assessed factor structure and construct validity with self-reported PA and accelerometry in overweight/obese men (N = 441) and women (N = 401). Study 2 assessed 2-week reliability and internal consistency in 49 college students.

Results:

Confirmatory factor analysis indicated good fit in men and women (CFI = .90; RMSEA = .05). Construct validity was supported for change strategies (r = .29–.46), self-efficacy (r = .19–.22) and enjoyment (r = .21–.33) in men and women, and for cons in women (r = –.19 to –.20). PA pros (r = –.02 to .11) and social support (r = –.01 to .12) were not supported for construct validity. Test-retest reliability ICCs ranged from .49–.81. Internal consistency alphas ranged from .55–.90. Reliability was supported for most scales with further testing needed for cons (alphas = .55–.63) and enjoyment (ICC = 49).

Conclusions:

Many of the brief scales demonstrated adequate reliability and validity, while some need further development. The use of these scales could advance research and practice in the promotion of PA.

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Marc A. Adams, Sherry Ryan, Jacqueline Kerr, James F. Sallis, Kevin Patrick, Lawrence D. Frank and Gregory J. Norman

Background:

Concurrent validity of Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) items was evaluated with objective measures of the built environment using geographic information systems (GIS).

Methods:

A sample of 878 parents of children 10 to 16 years old (mean age 43.5 years, SD = 6.8, 34.8% non-White, 63.8% overweight) completed NEWS and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. GIS was used to develop 1-mile street network buffers around participants’ residences. GIS measures of the built environment within participants’ buffers included percent of commercial and institutional land uses; number of schools and colleges, recreational facilities, parks, transit stops, and trees; land topography; and traffic congestion.

Results:

Except for trees and traffic, concordance between the NEWS and GIS measures were significant, with weak to moderate effect sizes (r = −0.09 to −0.36, all P ≤ 01). After participants were stratified by physical activity level, stronger concordance was observed among active participants for some measures. A sensitivity analysis of self-reported distance to 15 neighborhood destinations found a 20-minute (compared with 10- or 30-minute) walking threshold generally had the strongest correlations with GIS measures.

Conclusions:

These findings provide evidence of the concurrent validity of self-reported built environment items with objective measures. Physically active adults may be more knowledgeable about their neighborhood characteristics.

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Rachel A. Millstein, Joe Strobel, Jacqueline Kerr, James F. Sallis, Gregory J. Norman, Nefertiti Durant, Sion Harris and Brian E. Saelens

This study examined the contributions of home, school, and neighborhood factors related to youth physical activity (PA). Adolescents (ages 12–18; N = 137) and parents of younger children (ages 5–11; N = 104) from three US metropolitan areas completed surveys. Youth PA was estimated from six items assessing overall physical activity. Bivariate analyses between environment factors and PA

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James F. Sallis, Jacqueline Kerr, Jordan A. Carlson, Gregory J. Norman, Brian E. Saelens, Nefertiti Durant and Barbara E. Ainsworth

Background:

Neighborhood environment attributes of walkability and access to recreation facilities have been related to physical activity and weight status, but most self-report environment measures are lengthy. The 17-item PANES (Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Scale) was developed to be comprehensive but brief enough for use in multipurpose surveys. The current study evaluated test-retest and alternate-form reliability of PANES items compared with multi-item subscales from the longer NEWS-A (Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale—Abbreviated).

Methods:

Participants were 291 adults recruited from neighborhoods that varied in walkability in 3 US cities. Surveys were completed twice with a 27-day interval.

Results:

Test-retest ICCs for PANES items ranged from .52 to .88. Spearman correlations for the PANES single item vs NEWS-A subscale comparisons ranged from .27 to .81 (all P < .01).

Conclusions:

PANES items related to land use mix, residential density, pedestrian infrastructure, aesthetic qualities, and safety from traffic and crime were supported by correlations with NEWS-A subscales. Access to recreation facilities and street connectivity items were not supported. The brevity of PANES allows items to be included in studies or surveillance systems to expand knowledge about neighborhood environments.

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Noe C. Crespo, Kirsten Corder, Simon Marshall, Gregory J. Norman, Kevin Patrick, James F. Sallis and John P. Elder

Background:

Girls are less physically active than boys, yet no single study has examined the factors that may explain gender differences in children’s physical activity (PA).

Methods:

This study was a cross-sectional analysis of data from 116 caregivers and their children aged 5–8 years who participated in the MOVE study. Caregivers reported various factors that may relate to children’s PA (eg, encouragement for child PA and PA equipment at home). Child PA was measured by 7-day accelerometry. Linear regression tested for the variance in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) explained by gender and several variables. Gender and ethnicity interactions were examined.

Results:

Caregivers were mostly female (97%), mean age 38 ± 6 years, mean BMI 28 ± 6 (kg/m2). Child’s mean age was 8.1 ± 0.7, 54% were female and 40% were overweight/obese. Girls were less physically active than boys (54.1 ± 19.7 vs. 65.2 ± 28.0 daily minutes of MVPA, respectively). Among girls, more days of PE/week was associated with greater MVPA. Among boys, greater parent support for PA, greater parent modeling for PA, and greater number of PA equipment in the home were associated with greater MVPA.

Conclusions:

This study supports that boys and girls have different correlates for MVPA, which may partly explain gender differences in PA.

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Ding Ding, James F. Sallis, Gregory J. Norman, Lawrence D. Frank, Brian E. Saelens, Jacqueline Kerr, Terry L. Conway, Kelli Cain, Melbourne F. Hovell, C. Richard Hofstetter and Abby C. King

Some attributes of neighborhood environments are associated with physical activity among older adults. This study examined whether the associations were moderated by driving status. Older adults from neighborhoods differing in walkability and income completed written surveys and wore accelerometers (N = 880, mean age = 75 years, 56% women). Neighborhood environments were measured by geographic information systems and validated questionnaires. Driving status was defined on the basis of a driver’s license, car ownership, and feeling comfortable to drive. Outcome variables included accelerometer-based physical activity and self-reported transport and leisure walking. Multilevel generalized linear regression was used. There was no significant Neighborhood Attribute × Driving Status interaction with objective physical activity or reported transport walking. For leisure walking, almost all environmental attributes were positive and significant among driving older adults but not among nondriving older adults (five significant interactions at p < .05). The findings suggest that driving status is likely to moderate the association between neighborhood environments and older adults’ leisure walking.