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Julian A. Reed, Steven P. Hooker, Suresh Muthukrishnan and Brent Hutto

Background:

To examine demographic characteristics and physical activity (PA) behaviors of trail users on a newly constructed 2-mile urban rail/trail (ie, abandoned rail line converted to a recreational trail).

Methods:

A systematic evaluation process was initiated to monitor PA behaviors using the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC).

Results:

Slightly more males (n = 2578, 54%) than females (n = 2198, 46%) were observed using the rail/trail since its inception. A significant age group difference (F = 16.68, P < .001) was observed among users with the vast majority being adults (n = 3317, 69%). Women were 2.2 times more likely than men (95% CI 1.7−3.0) to be sedentary rather than vigorously active adjusted for age and race. Whites were 2.8 times more likely than nonwhites (95% CI 2.4−3.2) to engage in vigorous activity rather than walking, adjusted for age and gender. Rail/trail users resided on average 2.89 miles from the trail.

Discussion:

The most frequent users of the rail/trail were male, white adults, and observed PA varied for gender and age. More research is needed to better understand differences in patterns of trail use by various population groups.

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Julian A. Reed, Andrea Morrison and Cheryl-Anne Arant

Background:

The goal of this study was to examine activity behavior differences between users of natural-surface versus paved trails.

Methods:

The System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) direct observation instrument was used to measure activity and demographic information. Survey data were used to compare perception difference and body mass index (BMI) values among trail users.

Results:

Significantly more paved-trail users were female (F = 10.63, P = .001). A larger percentage of paved-trail users reported it to be very safe (F = 4.462, P = .036). Natural-surface-trail users participated in more vigorous activity (F = 83.93, P = .000). Natural-surface-trail users reported participating in longer activity bouts (F = 5.133; P = .024).

Conclusion:

Natural-surface-trail users engaged in more vigorous activity, for a longer duration, and had lower self-reported BMI values.

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Julian A. Reed, Andrea L. Maslow, Savannah Long and Morgan Hughey

Object:

Increased importance on academic achievement has resulted in many school districts focusing on improved academic performance leading to reductions in physical education time. The purpose was to examine the effects of 45 minutes of daily physical education on the cognitive ability, fitness performance and body composition of African American elementary and middle school youth.

Methods:

Participants completing the informed consent in grades 2nd to 8th were included in the study. A pre/posttest design was used with repeated measures analysis of variance. Experimental and control school participants were pretested on the cognitive measures (ie, Fluid Intelligence and Perceptual Speed) and FitnessgramR physical fitness test items (eg, aerobic capacity, muscular strength and muscular endurance, body composition) in September 2009 and posttested in May 2010.

Results:

Experimental elementary and middle school participants observed significantly greater improvements compared with control elementary and middle school participants on 7 of 16 fitness and body composition measures and on 8 of 26 cognitive measures. These fitness, body composition, and cognitive improvement differences were more noticeable among elementary and middle school females.

Conclusions:

Providing 45 minutes of daily physical education can perhaps increase cognitive ability while increasing fitness and decreasing the prevalence of overweight and obese youth.

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Philip J. Troped, Heather A. Whitcomb, Brent Hutto, Julian A. Reed and Steven P. Hooker

Purpose:

This study assessed test-retest reliability of an interviewer-administered trail survey.

Methods:

An intercept survey was conducted with adults using 2 paved trails in Indiana and South Carolina (N = 295; mean age = 46.9 ± 18 y). The survey included items on frequency and duration of trail use for recreation and transportation, other patterns of trail use, and sociodemographic characteristics. Fifty-five adults completed the survey twice (2−16 d apart; mean = 7.4 ± 2.6 d). Test-retest reliability was assessed with Spearman rank correlation coefficients, Kappa coefficients, and percent agreement.

Results:

Kappa coefficients and percent agreement for 9 categorical items ranged from 0.65 to 0.96 and from 64.0% to 98.2%, respectively. Among these items, the lowest Kappas were found for perceived safety (0.65) and reported duration of visits for recreational purposes (0.67). Spearman rank correlation coefficients for travel distance to and on the trail and frequency of trail use during the past 7 days and past 4 weeks ranged from 0.62 to 0.93.

Conclusion:

Though further assessments of this survey with different populations and types of trails may be warranted, its overall high reliability indicates it can be used by researchers and practitioners in its current form.

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Julian A. Reed, Dawn K. Wilson, Barbara E. Ainsworth, Heather Bowles and Gary Mixon

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between perceptions of neighborhood sidewalks and race, and walking and physical activity (PA) patterns in a southeastern US community.

Methods:

A telephone survey was administered to a stratified sample of adults (N = 1148). Physical activity was categorized according to the CDC/ACSM recommendations. Respondents were also asked if they walked for at least 10 min at a time for recreation, exercise, transportation, or while at work.

Results:

A greater proportion (44%) of respondents who reported having neighborhood sidewalks were irregular walkers (OR = 1.88; 95% CI = 1.13, 3.11). For whites, (but not for non-whites) the perceived presence of sidewalks increased the odds for meeting recommended PA levels (P < 0.05; OR = 3.59, 95% CI = 1.05, 12.24).

Conclusions:

Presence of neighborhood sidewalks was related to irregular walking levels of respondents. Sidewalk presence was related to PA in whites, but was not related to activity patterns of non-whites.

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Julian A. Reed, Gilles Einstein, Erin Hahn, Steven P. Hooker, Virginia P. Gross and Jen Kravitz

Purpose:

To examine the impact of integrating physical activity with elementary curricula on fluid intelligence and academic achievement.

Methods:

A random sample of 3rd grade teachers integrated physical activity into their core curricula approximately 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week from January 2008 to April 2008. Noninvasive fluid intelligence cognitive measures were used along with State-mandated academic achievement tests.

Results:

Experimental Group children averaged close to 1200 pedometer steps per integration day, thus averaging 3600 steps per week. Children in the Experimental Group performed significantly better on the SPM Fluid Intelligence Test. Children in the Experimental Group also performed significantly better on the Social Studies State mandated academic achievement test. Experimental Group children also received higher scores on the English/Language Arts, Math and Science achievements tests, but were not statistically significant compared with Control Group children. Children classified in Fitnessgram’s Healthy Fitness Zone for BMI earned lower scores on many of the SPM Fluid Intelligence components.

Discussion:

This investigation provides evidence that movement can influence fluid intelligence and should be considered to promote cognitive development of elementary-age children. Equally compelling were the differences in SPM Fluid Intelligence Test scores for children who were distinguished by Fitnessgram’s BMI cut points.

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Anna Elizabeth Price, Julian A. Reed, Savannah Long, Andrea L. Maslow and Steven P. Hooker

Background:

Public health efforts to promote trail use among older adults could be an effective strategy for increasing physical activity among older adults. However, research is needed to better understand factors that influence older adults’ use of trails.

Purpose:

To examine the association between variations in natural elements (ie, season, weather, temperature) and older adults’ overall trail use and physical activity intensity during trail use.

Methods:

A rail-trail in South Carolina was systematically evaluated (2006–2009) using The System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities.

Results:

The majority (74.2%) of the 1053 older trail users observed were walking; 25.9% were observed in vigorous activity. Older adults were most often observed using the trail in the spring (40.1%), sunny weather (76.8%), and moderate temperatures (56.2%). Significant differences in activity type by natural element variables were identified.

Conclusions:

When promoting trail use among older adults, natural elements should be considered.

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Julian A. Reed, Cheryl-Anne Arant, Princess Wells, Katherine Stevens, Sandra Hagen and Holly Harring

Background:

The purpose was to examine 9 adult activity settings in 25 community parks to determine the most and least frequently used by gender, physical-activity (PA) intensity, and ethnicity.

Methods:

All activity settings were identified, measured, and cataloged with GIS measures using the SOPARC direct observation instrument. Each setting was assessed 4 times a day for 7 consecutive days.

Results:

Significantly more male adults were observed at the 25 parks (1598 versus 946; 63% versus 37%). Nine hundred fifty-eight (60%) male adults and 771 (81.1%) female adults used the paved trails. The second most heavily used activity setting for male adults was the softball and baseball fields (n = 239, 14.9%), and female adults chose to use the swimming pools (n = 45, 4.5%). Whites participated in considerably more vigorous PA than minorities.

Conclusions:

Paved trails were only in 5 of the 25 parks but were the most frequently used activity setting.