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Mindy Millard-Stafford, Jeffrey S. Becasen, Michael W. Beets, Allison J. Nihiser, Sarah M. Lee and Janet E. Fulton

A systematic review of literature was conducted to examine the association between changes in health-related fitness (e.g., aerobic capacity and muscular strength/endurance) and chronic disease risk factors in overweight and/or obese youth. Studies published from 2000–2010 were included if the physical activity intervention was a randomized controlled trial and reported changes in fitness and health outcomes by direction and significance (p < .05) of the effect. Aerobic capacity improved in 91% and muscular fitness improved in 82% of measures reported. Nearly all studies (32 of 33) reported improvement in at least one fitness test. Changes in outcomes related to adiposity, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, metabolic, and mental/emotional health improved in 60%, 32%, 53%, 41%, and 33% of comparisons studied, respectively. In conclusion, overweight and obese youth can improve physical fitness across a variety of test measures. When fitness improves, beneficial health effects are observed in some, but not all chronic disease risk factors.

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Nathan H. Parker, Rebecca E. Lee, Daniel P. O’Connor, An Ngo-Huang, Maria Q.B. Petzel, Keri Schadler, Xuemei Wang, Lianchun Xiao, David Fogelman, Richard Simpson, Jason B. Fleming, Jeffrey E. Lee, Ching-Wei D. Tzeng, Sunil K. Sahai, Karen Basen-Engquist and Matthew H.G. Katz

Background: Physical activity and exercise appear to benefit patients receiving preoperative treatment for cancer. Supports and barriers must be considered to increase compliance with home-based exercise prescriptions in this setting. Such influences have not been previously examined. Methods: The authors used quantitative and qualitative methods to examine potential physical activity influences among patients who were prescribed home-based aerobic and strengthening exercises concurrent with preoperative chemotherapy or chemoradiation for pancreatic cancer. Physical activity was measured using exercise logs and accelerometers. Social support for exercise and perceived neighborhood walkability were measured using validated surveys. Relationships between influences and physical activity were evaluated using linear regression analyses and qualitative interviews. Results: Fifty patients received treatment for a mean of 16 (9) weeks prior to planned surgical resection. Social support from friends and neighborhood esthetics were positively associated with physical activity (P < .05). In interviews, patients confirmed the importance of these influences and cited encouragement from health care providers and desire to complete and recover from treatment as additional motivators. Conclusions: Interpersonal and environmental motivators of exercise and physical activity must be considered in the design of future home-based exercise interventions designed for patients receiving preoperative therapy for cancer.