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Associations Between Demographic, Perceptual, and Behavioral Factors and Support for Policies Encouraging Active Transport

Kristiann C. Heesch and Jennifer L. Han

Background:

Policies that encourage physical activity are recommended to increase physical activity rates. Few studies have examined public support for such policies. The aim of this study was to assess support for policies that may increase active transport and correlates of this support.

Methods:

A telephone survey was administered to 460 Oklahoma residents.

Results:

Most respondents supported policies that may encourage walking and bicycling for transport. Most favored the improvement of public transportation over building new roads to address transportation concerns. In multivariate models, a positive attitude toward walking was the only variable significantly associated with support for most policy outcomes (p < 0.05). Participation in active commuting and a positive attitude toward bicycling were correlates of strong support for the creation of bike ways (p < 0.05).

Conclusions:

Experience with active commuting and positive attitudes toward walking and bicycling are associated with support for policies that may encourage walking and bicycling for transport.

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The Influence of Physical Fitness and Exercise upon Cognitive Functioning: A Meta-Analysis

Jennifer L. Etnier, Walter Salazar, Daniel M. Landers, Steven J. Petruzzello, Myungwoo Han, and Priscilla Nowell

Nearly 200 studies have examined the impact that either acute or long-term exercise has upon cognition. Subsets of these studies have been reviewed using the traditional narrative method, and the common conclusion has been that the results are mixed. Therefore, a more comprehensive review is needed that includes all available studies and that provides a more objective and reproducible review process. Thus, a meta-analytic review was conducted that included all relevant studies with sufficient information for the calculation of effect size (N = 134). The overall effect size was 0.25, suggesting that exercise has a small positive effect on cognition. Examination of the moderator variables indicated that characteristics related to the exercise paradigm, the participants, the cognitive tests, and the quality of the study influence effect size. However, the most important finding was that as experimental rigor decreased, effect size increased. Therefore, more studies need to be conducted that emphasize experimental rigor.

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Impact of Park Renovations on Park Use and Park-Based Physical Activity

Deborah A. Cohen, Bing Han, Jennifer Isacoff, Bianca Shulaker, Stephanie Williamson, Terry Marsh, Thomas L. McKenzie, Megan Weir, and Rajiv Bhatia

Background:

Given the concerns about low rates of physical activity among low-income minority youth, many communitybased organizations are investing in the creation or renovation of public parks to encourage youth to become more physically active. To what degree park renovations accomplish this goal is not known.

Methods:

We used the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) to measure park users and their physical activity levels before and after 2 parks were renovated. We compared findings with 4 parks: 2 that were unrenovated parks and 2 that were undergoing renovation. We also surveyed park users and local residents about their use of the parks.

Results:

Compared with parks that had not yet been renovated, the improved parks saw more than a doubling in the number of visitors and a substantial increase in energy expended in the parks. Increased park use was pronounced in adults and children, but was not seen in teens and seniors. Park renovations were associated with a significantly increased perception of park safety.

Conclusions:

Park improvements can have a significant impact on increasing park use and local physical activity.

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The Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy: Development of a Model of Children’s Capacity for a Healthy, Active Lifestyle Through a Delphi Process

Claire E. Francis, Patricia E. Longmuir, Charles Boyer, Lars Bo Andersen, Joel D. Barnes, Elena Boiarskaia, John Cairney, Avery D. Faigenbaum, Guy Faulkner, Beth P. Hands, John A. Hay, Ian Janssen, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Han C. G. Kemper, Duane Knudson, Meghann Lloyd, Thomas L. McKenzie, Tim S. Olds, Jennifer M. Sacheck, Roy J. Shephard, Weimo Zhu, and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

The Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL) was conceptualized as a tool to monitor children’s physical literacy. The original model (fitness, activity behavior, knowledge, motor skill) required revision and relative weights for calculating/interpreting scores were required.

Methods:

Nineteen childhood physical activity/fitness experts completed a 3-round Delphi process. Round 1 was open-ended questions. Subsequent rounds rated statements using a 5-point Likert scale. Recommendations were sought regarding protocol inclusion, relative importance within composite scores and score interpretation.

Results:

Delphi participant consensus was achieved for 64% (47/73) of statement topics, including a revised conceptual model, specific assessment protocols, the importance of longitudinal tracking, and the relative importance of individual protocols and composite scores. Divergent opinions remained regarding the inclusion of sleep time, assessment/scoring of the obstacle course assessment of motor skill, and the need for an overall physical literacy classification.

Conclusions:

The revised CAPL model (overlapping domains of physical competence, motivation, and knowledge, encompassed by daily behavior) is appropriate for monitoring the physical literacy of children aged 8 to 12 years. Objectively measured domains (daily behavior, physical competence) have higher relative importance. The interpretation of CAPL results should be reevaluated as more data become available.