Background: Exercise referral schemes in England offer referred participants an opportunity to take part in an exercise prescription in a nonclinical environment. The aim of these schemes is to effect clinical health benefits, yet there is limited evidence of schemes’ effectiveness, which could be due to the heterogeneity in design, implementation, and evaluation. Additionally, there has been no concerted effort to map program characteristics. Objective: To understand what key delivery approaches are currently used within exercise referral schemes in England. Methods: Across England, a total of 30 schemes with a combined total of 85,259 exercise referral scheme participants completed a Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template-guided questionnaire. The questionnaire explored program delivery, nonexercise components, and program management. Results: Results found that program delivery varied, though many schemes were typically 12 weeks in length, offering participants 2 exercise sessions in a fitness gym or studio per week, using a combination of exercises. Adherence was typically measured through attendance, with nonexercise components and program management varying by scheme. Conclusion: This research provides a snapshot of current delivery approaches and supports the development of a large-scale mapping exercise to review further schemes across the whole of the United Kingdom in order to provide evidence of best practice and delivery approaches nationwide.
Nikita Rowley, James Steele, Steve Mann, Alfonso Jimenez, and Elizabeth Horton
Cheryl Cooky, Brenda A. Riemer, James Steele, and Bea Vidacs
Matheus Barbalho, Victor S. Coswig, James Steele, James P. Fisher, Jurgen Giessing, and Paulo Gentil
This article has been retracted at the request of the authors on April 16, 2020. They performed an a posteriori analysis of the data and identified inconsistencies that changed their evaluation of the results. The authors apologize for the inconvenience.
Emily Budzynski-Seymour, Rebecca Conway, Matthew Wade, Alex Lucas, Michelle Jones, Steve Mann, and James Steele
Background: Physical activity (PA) promotes health and well-being. For students, university represents a transitional period, including increased independence over lifestyle behaviors, in addition to new stressors and barriers to engaging in PA. It is, therefore, important to monitor PA trends in students to gain a greater understanding about the role it might play in physical and mental well-being, as well as other factors, such as attainment and employability. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys were conducted in 2016 in Scottish universities and colleges, and in 2017 in universities and colleges across the United Kingdom, and the data were pooled for the present study (N = 11,650). Cumulative ordinal logistic regression was used to model the association between PA levels and mental and personal well-being, social isolation, and perceptions of academic attainment and employability. Results: Only 51% of the respondents met the recommended levels of moderate to vigorous PA per week. There was a linear relationship between PA levels and all outcomes, with better scores in more active students. Conclusions: UK university students are insufficiently active compared with the general population of 16- to 24-year olds. Yet, students with higher PA report better outcomes for mental and personal well-being, social isolation, and perceptions of academic attainment and employability.
Nadja Willinger, James Steele, Lou Atkinson, Gary Liguori, Alfonso Jimenez, Steve Mann, and Elizabeth Horton
Background: Structured physical activity (PA) interventions (ie, intentionally planned) can be implemented in a variety of facilities, and therefore can reach a large proportion of the population. The aim of the authors was to summarize the effectiveness of structured interventions upon PA outcomes, in addition to proportions of individuals adopting and maintaining PA, and adherence and retention rates. Methods: Systematic review with narrative synthesis and exploratory meta-analyses. Twelve studies were included. Results: Effectiveness on PA levels during adoption (pre- to first time point) showed a trivial standardized effect (0.15 [−0.06 to 0.36]); during maintenance (any time point after the first and >6 mo since initiation) the standardized effect was also trivial with a wide interval estimate (0.19 [−0.68 to 1.07]). Few studies reported adoption (k = 3) or maintenance rates (k = 2). Retention at follow-up did not differ between structured PA or controls (75.1% [65.0%–83.0%] vs 75.4% [67.0%–82.3%]), nor did intervention adherence (63.0% [55.6%–69.6%] vs 77.8% [19.4%–98.1%]). Conclusion: Structured PA interventions lack evidence for effectiveness in improving PA levels. Furthermore, though retention is often reported and is similar between interventions and controls, adoption, maintenance, and adherence rates were rarely reported rendering difficulty in interpreting results of effectiveness of structured PA interventions.
Nikita Rowley, James Steele, Matthew Wade, Robert James Copeland, Steve Mann, Gary Liguori, Elizabeth Horton, and Alfonso Jimenez
Objectives: To examine if exercise referral schemes (ERSs) are associated with meaningful changes in physical activity in a large cohort of individuals throughout England, Scotland, and Wales from The National Referral Database. Methods: Data were obtained from 5246 participants from 12 different ERSs, lasting 6–12 weeks. The preexercise referral scheme and changes from the preexercise to the postexercise referral scheme in self-reported International Physical Activity Questionnaire scores were examined. A 2-stage individual patient data meta-analysis was used to generate the effect estimates. Results: For the pre-ERS metabolic equivalent (MET) minutes per week, the estimate (95% confidence interval [CI]) was 676 MET minutes per week (539 to 812). For the change in MET minutes per week, the estimate (95% CI) was an increase of 540 MET minutes per week (396 to 684). Changes in the total PA levels occurred as a result of increases in vigorous activity of 17 minutes (95% CI, 9 to 24), increases in moderate activity of 29 minutes (95% CI, 22 to 36), and reductions in sitting of −61 minutes (95% CI, −78 to −43), though little change in walking (−5 min; 95% CI, −14 to 5) was found. Conclusions: Most participants undergoing ERSs are already “moderately active.” Changes in PA behavior associated with participation are through increased moderate to vigorous PA and reduced sitting. However, this was insufficient to change the International Physical Activity Questionnaire category, and the participants were still “moderately active.”
James R. Forsyth, Ryan de la Harpe, Diane L. Riddiford-Harland, John W. Whitting, and Julie R. Steele
To investigate the influence of turns, tube rides, and aerial maneuvers on the scores awarded in elite men’s professional surfing competitions. The successful completion rate and scores associated with different aerial variations were also investigated.
Video recordings from all 11 events of the 2015 World Surf League men’s world championship tour were viewed to classify maneuvers performed by the competitors on each wave as turns, tube rides, and aerials. A 2-way ANOVA was used to determine any main effect or interaction of maneuver type or event location on the wave scores. A 1-way ANOVA was used to determine any main effect of aerial type on successful completion rate.
Aerial maneuvers were scored significantly higher than tube rides and turns. A significant main effect existed for maneuver and completion rate. Aerial maneuvers had the lowest completion rate, 45.4%. During the finals series (quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals heats) aerial-maneuver completion rate was higher, 55.4%. The frontside air reverse was the most commonly performed maneuver and received an average score of 6.77 out of 10.
Professional surfers can optimize their potential single-wave scores during competition by successfully completing aerial maneuvers. However, aerial maneuvers continue to be a high-risk maneuver with a significantly lower completion rate. Our findings suggest that surfers should aim to improve their aerial-maneuver completion rate via surf practice or land-based training drills.
Emily Budzynski-Seymour, Karen Milton, Hayley Mills, Matthew Wade, Charles Foster, Dane Vishnubala, Beelin Baxter, Chloë Williamson, and James Steele
Background: To support the strategy development for communication of the updated physical activity (PA) guidelines, the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Expert Panel for Communication was created. Methods: To help inform this process, a rapid review was performed to identify and describe how other nations are communicating their PA guidelines and PA generally. Elements of the health-enhancing physical activity policy audit tool created by the World Health Organization were used to investigate all 195 countries. Results: Seventy-seven countries had their own guidelines; 53 used the World Health Organization guidelines, and for 65 countries, no guidelines could be found. For the communication, 27 countries used infographics; 56 had government policies/documents, and 11 used a mass media campaign. Only 6 of these had been evaluated. Although many countries used infographics, there were no associated evaluations. As such, any future communication strategies should incorporate an evaluation. Mass media campaigns had the strongest evidence base, proving to be an effective strategy, particularly when incorporating aspects of social marketing. Conclusion: This review provides an insight into strategies countries worldwide have taken to communicate PA guidelines and PA promotion. These should be carefully considered when deciding how best to communicate and promote PA guidelines.