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Nicholas Gilson, Jim McKenna and Carlton Cooke

Background:

This study explored the experiences of university employees recruited to a 10-week randomized controlled trial (n = 64). The trial compared “walking routes” with “walking-while-working” on daily step totals, showing that, compared with controls, interventions resulted in around 1000 extra steps per day.

Methods:

A subsample of 15 academic and administrative employees from intervention groups completed interviews at the end of intervention. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and subject to inductive coding within the major themes of benefits/positives and problems/barriers.

Findings:

Both interventions benefited employee health and work productivity but were difficult to implement in the workplace. Involvement in walking routes was challenged by the difficulties of managing time pressures, and individuals assigned to walking-while-working had to deal with local management subcultures favoring physical presence and inactivity.

Conclusions:

Findings highlight the need for further research, advocate the value of walking at work, and provide insights into the challenges that face staff in workplace interventions.

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Po-Wen Ku, Jim McKenna and Kenneth R. Fox

Subjective well-being (SWB) and its relationship with physical activity have not been systematically investigated in older Chinese people. This study explored these issues using qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of 23 community-dwelling Chinese older adults (age 55–78 y, 12 women); 16 were physically active and 7 physically inactive. Using cross-case analyses, 7 dimensions of SWB emerged: physical, psychological, developmental, material, spiritual, sociopolitical, and social. Although elements of SWB may be shared across cultures, specific distinctions were identified. Active respondents reported the unique contributions of physical activity to the physical, psychological, developmental, and social elements of SWB. The findings suggest that physical activity could enhance the quality of life in Chinese older adults.

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Nessan Costello, Jim McKenna, Louise Sutton, Kevin Deighton and Ben Jones

Designing and implementing successful dietary intervention is integral to the role of sport nutrition professionals as they attempt to positively change the dietary behavior of athletes. High-performance sport is a time-pressured environment where immediate results can often supersede pursuit of the most effective evidence-based practice. However, efficacious dietary intervention necessitates comprehensive, systematic, and theoretical behavioral design and implementation, if the habitual dietary behaviors of athletes are to be positively changed. Therefore, this case study demonstrates how the Behaviour Change Wheel was used to design and implement an effective nutritional intervention within a professional rugby league. The eight-step intervention targeted athlete consumption of a high-quality dietary intake of 25.1 MJ each day to achieve an overall body mass increase of 5 kg across a 12-week intervention period. The capability, opportunity, motivation, and behavior model and affordability, practicability, effectiveness/cost-effectiveness, acceptability, safety, and equity criteria were used to identify population-specific intervention functions, policy categories, behavior change techniques, and modes of intervention delivery. The resulting intervention was successful, increasing the average daily energy intake of the athlete to 24.5 MJ, which corresponded in a 6.2 kg body mass gain. Despite consuming 0.6 MJ less per day than targeted, secondary outcome measures of diet quality, strength, body composition, and immune function all substantially improved, supporting sufficient energy intake and the overall efficacy of a behavioral approach. Ultimately, the Behaviour Change Wheel provides sport nutrition professionals with an effective and practical stepwise method to design and implement effective nutritional interventions for use within high-performance sport.

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Adam R. Nicholls, Jim McKenna, Remco C.J. Polman and Susan H. Backhouse

The aim of this study was to explore the perceived factors that contribute to stress and negative affective states during preseason among a sample of professional rugby union players. The participants were 12 male professional rugby union players between 18 and 21 years of age (M age = 19 years, SD = 0.85). Data were collected via semistructured interviews and analyzed using an inductive content analysis procedure. Players identified training (structure and volume), the number of matches played and the recovery period, diet, sleep, and travel as factors that they believed contributed to their experience of stress and negative affective states. The present findings suggest that players may require more time to recover between matches, alongside interventions to help players manage the symptoms of stress and negative affect during times in which players are overtraining.

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Alba Pardo, Jim McKenna, Anna Mitjans, Berenguer Camps, Silvia Aranda-Garcia, Juanjo Garcia-Gil and Mariona Violan

Background:

Physicians’ own Physical Activity (PA) and other health-related habits influence PA promotion. The current study identifies the PA level, according to the current PA recommendations and other health-related habits of physicians from the Catalan Medical Council.

Methods:

2400 physicians (30–55 years) were randomly selected; each received a self-administered mailed questionnaire identifying medical specialization, work setting, health self-perception, body mass index (BMI), PA, and smoking habits.

Results:

762 physicians responded (52% female). Almost 1 in 2 (49.3%) exercised sufficiently, nearly all selfperceived good health, while 80.5% were nonsmokers. Almost 6 in 10 males reported overweight or obesity (56.9%) versus 18.2% of females. Active physicians dominated specific groups: (1) aged 45–55 years, (2) specializing either in primary care or surgery, (3) working in the private sector, (4) BMI < 25kg/m2, (5) perceiving themselves in good health, or (6) having free leisure time.

Conclusions:

Only half of Catalan physicians met current PA recommendations; male physicians were particularly at risk for overweight/obesity. Overweight and under-exercise were associated with private workplaces and positive health perceptions, meaning that it is it is now possible to target inactive and/or overweight Catalan physicians in future interventions.

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Nicholas Gilson, Wendy J. Brown, Guy Faulkner, Jim McKenna, Marie Murphy, Andy Pringle, Karin Proper, Anna Puig-Ribera and Aphroditi Stathi

Background:

This paper aimed to use the Delphi technique to develop a consensus framework for a multinational, workplace walking intervention.

Methods:

Ideas were gathered and ranked from eight recognized and emerging experts in the fields of physical activity and health, from universities in Australia, Canada, England, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, and Spain. Members of the panel were asked to consider the key characteristics of a successful campus walking intervention. Consensus was reached by an inductive, content analytic approach, conducted through an anonymous, three-round, e-mail process.

Results:

The resulting framework consisted of three interlinking themes defined as “design, implementation, and evaluation.” Top-ranked subitems in these themes included the need to generate research capacity (design), to respond to group needs through different walking approaches (implementation), and to undertake physical activity assessment (evaluation). Themes were set within an underpinning domain, referred to as the “institution” and sites are currently engaging with subitems in this domain, to provide sustainable interventions that refect the practicalities of local contexts and needs.

Conclusions:

Findings provide a unique framework for designing, implementing, and evaluating walking projects in universities and highlight the value of adopting the Delphi technique for planning international, multisite health initiatives.

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Jade L. Morris, Andy Daly-Smith, Margaret A. Defeyter, Jim McKenna, Steve Zwolinsky, Scott Lloyd, Melissa Fothergill and Pamela L. Graham

Purpose: To assess physical activity outcomes of a pedometer-based physically active learning (PAL) intervention in primary school children. Methods: Six paired schools were randomly allocated to either a 6-week teacher-led pedometer-based physically active learning intervention or a control (n = 154, female = 60%, age = 9.9 [0.3] y). Accelerometers assessed total daily sedentary time, light physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Preintervention mean daily MVPA minutes grouped participants as Low Active (<45 min/d) and High Active (≥45 min/d). Results: From the final sample size, the intervention (n = 52) significantly improved LPA versus control (n = 31, P = .04), by reducing sedentary time. More intervention (+10%) than control (+3%) pupils met the 60 minutes per day guidelines. In both intervention subgroups, pupils spent less time in LPA (P < .05) versus control. The greatest nonsignificant increase was found in the Low Active pupils MVPA levels. Conclusions: Improvements in LPA were statistically significant in the intervention versus control group. In subgroup analysis, Low Active pupils in the intervention showed the greatest beneficial effects and the Most Active pupils may have replaced MVPA and sedentary time with LPA. The intervention group housed clusters of pupils showing variable responsiveness, justifying routine examination of subgroup variability in future studies.

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Karen Hind, David Torgerson, Jim McKenna, Rebecca Ashby, Andy Daly-Smith, John Truscott, Heather MacKay and Andrew Jennings

Background:

Developing Interventions for Children’s Exercise (DICE) is an initiative aimed at determining effective schoolbased exercise programs. To assess feasibility, we conducted a pilot study of exercise sessions which varied in duration and frequency.

Methods:

Exercise interventions were delivered to Year 3 pupils (age 7–8 years; n = 73) in primary schools within Yorkshire, UK. Evaluations were conducted using focus group sessions, questionnaires and observations.

Results:

The study revealed positive aspects of all interventions, including favorable effects on children’s concentration during lessons and identified the value of incorporation of the DICE concept into curriculum lessons. Children appeared enthused and reported well-being and enjoyment. Areas requiring attention were the need for appropriate timetabling of sessions and ensuring the availability of space.

Conclusion:

The concept and sessions were well-accepted by teachers who confirmed their full support of any future implementation There appears to be potential for the encouragement and empowerment of teachers to support physical activity and healthy school environments, and to take an interest in the health of their pupils. Ultimately, these findings should assist in the design of successful exercise interventions in the school setting.