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James F. Sallis and Kevin Patrick

The International Consensus Conference on Physical Activity Guidelines for Adolescents convened to review the effects of physical activity on the health of adolescents, to establish age-appropriate physical activity guidelines, and to consider how these guidelines might be implemented in primary health care settings. Thirty-four invited experts and representatives of scientific, medical, and governmental organizations established two main guidelines. First, all adolescents should be physically active daily or nearly every day as part of their lifestyles. Second, adolescents should engage in three or more sessions per week of activities that last 20 min or more and that require moderate to vigorous levels of exertion. Available data suggest that the vast majority of U.S. adolescents meet the first guideline, but only about two thirds of boys and one half of girls meet the second guideline. Physical activity has important effects on the health of adolescents, and the promotion of regular physical activity should be a priority for physicians and other health professionals.

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James F. Sallis and Jacqueline Kerr

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Nick Cavill, Stuart Biddle, and James F. Sallis

An expert consensus development process was initiated to make public health recommendations regarding young people (5–18 years) and physical activity. Eight commissioned review papers were discussed at a meeting of over 50 academics and experts from a range of disciplines from the UK and overseas. Participants agreed on a consensus statement that summarized the research evidence and made two core recommendations. First, to optimize current and future health, all young people should participate in physical activity of at least moderate intensity for 1 hour per day. Young people who currently do little activity should participate in physical activity of at least moderate intensity for at least half an hour per day. The subsidiary recommendation is that, at least twice a week, some of these activities should help to enhance and maintain muscular strength and flexibility and bone health. A second aspect of the consensus process, which was based on extensive consultation, outlined the practical ways in which key organizations can work together to implement these recommendations. The resultant consensus statement provides a strong basis for the planning of future policies and programs to enhance young people’s participation in health-enhancing physical activity

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Mindy Fullilove, Chanam Lee, and James F. Sallis

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Julie A. Sarkin, Thomas L. McKenzie, and James F. Sallis

Boys are typically more physically active than girls, but schools have the potential to promote health-related physical activity for all children. This study investigated gender differences in children’s physical activity levels during physical education (PE) classes and unstructured recess periods. The activity levels of 91 fifth-grade children were assessed by accelerometer (Caltrac) on 3 days. Results indicated that children’s activity levels were low to moderately stable from day to day in both environments. Boys and girls had similar activity levels during PE, t(89) = 1.49, p = .140, but boys were significantly more active than girls during recess, t(89) = 3.27, p = .002. Girls were significantly more active during PE than they were at recess, t(51) = 2.08, p = .043. The results suggest that structured PE classes may provide similar amounts of physical activity for both genders.

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Nicola W. Burton, Gavin Turrell, Brian Oldenburg, and James F. Sallis

Introduction:

This study assessed the relative contributions of psychological, social, and environmental variables to walking, moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity.

Methods:

A questionnaire was mailed to a random sample (57% response rate). Analyses used a backwards elimination logistic regression model, removing and replacing individual variables, and adjusting for age, gender, household composition, and education (N = 1827).

Results:

The sociodemographic and correlate variables collectively accounted for 43% of the variation in total activity, 26% of walking, 22% of moderate-intensity activity and 45% of vigorous-intensity activity (Nagelkerke R2). Individually, the correlates accounted for 0.0 to 4.0% of unique variation, with habit, efficacy, and support having higher values. Physical health, discouragement, competition, and time management contributed more to vigorous-intensity activity. Anticipated benefits of social interactions and weight management contributed more to moderate-intensity activity. Neighborhood aesthetics contributed more to walking.

Conclusion:

Walking, moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity might be associated with different correlates.

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Thomas L. McKenzie, James F. Sallis, Paul Rosengard, and Kymm Ballard

SPARK [Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids], in its current form, is a brand that represents a collection of exemplary, research-based, physical education and physical activity programs that emphasize a highly active curriculum, on-site staff development, and follow-up support. Given its complexity (e.g., multiple school levels, inclusion of both physical education and self-management curricula), SPARK features both diverse instructional and diverse curricular models. SPARK programs were initially funded by the NIH as two separate elementary and middle school intervention studies, and the curriculum and instructional models used in them embody the HOPE (Health Optimizing Physical Education) model. This paper reviews background information and studies from both the initial grants (1989–2000) and the dissemination (1994-present) phases of SPARK, identifies program evolution, and describes dissemination efforts and outcomes. Procedures used in SPARK may serve as models for others interested in researching and disseminating evidence-based physical education and physical activity programs.

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Javier Molina-García, James F. Sallis, and Isabel Castillo

Background:

Commuting to university represents an opportunity to incorporate physical activity (walking or biking) into students’ daily routines. There are few studies that analyze patterns of transport in university populations. This cross-sectional study estimated energy expenditure from active commuting to university (ACU) and examined sociodemographic differences in findings.

Methods:

The sample included 518 students with a mean age of 22.4 years (59.7% female) from 2 urban universities in Valencia, Spain. Time spent in each mode of transport to university and sociodemographic factors was assessed by self-report.

Results:

Nearly 35% of the students reported walking or biking as their main mode of transport. ACU (min/wk) were highest for walkers (168) and cyclists (137) and lowest for motorbike riders (0.0) and car drivers (16). Public transport users, younger students, low socioeconomic status students, and those living ≤ 2 km from the university had higher energy expenditure from active commuting than comparison groups. Biking was highest among those living 2–5 km from the university.

Conclusions:

Our findings suggest that active commuting and public transit use generated substantial weekly energy expenditure, contributed to meeting physical activity recommendations, and may aid in obesity prevention.