To identify the most consistent relationships among psychological variables and physical activity in youth (ages 11-21 years), 20 articles on depression, anxiety, stress, self-esteem, self-concept, hostility, anger, intellectual functioning, and psychiatric disorders were reviewed. Physical activity was consistently related to improvements in self-esteem, self-concept, depressive symptoms, and anxiety/stress. The effect sizes were +.12, -.15, and -.38 for self-esteem/self-concept, stress/anxiety, and depression, respectively. The evidence for hostility/anger and academic achievement was inconclusive. No negative effects of physical activity were reported. The literature suggests that physical activity in youth is psychologically beneficial. More research is needed to confirm previous findings. Adolescents should engage in moderate or vigorous aerobic activity approximately three times per week for a total of at least 60 minutes per week.
Karen J. Calfas and Wendell C. Taylor
Dori E. Rosenberg, Gregory J. Norman, Nicole Wagner, Kevin Patrick, Karen J. Calfas, and James F. Sallis
Sedentary behavior is related to obesity, but measures of sedentary behaviors are lacking for adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of the Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire (SBQ) among overweight adults.
Participants were 49 adults for the 2 week test-retest reliability study (67% female, 53% white, mean age = 20) and 401 overweight women (mean age = 41, 61% white) and 441 overweight men (mean age = 44, 81% white) for the validity study. The SBQ consisted of reports of time spent in 9 sedentary behaviors. Outcomes for validity included accelerometer measured inactivity, sitting time (International Physical Activity Questionnaire), and BMI. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) assessed reliability and partial correlations assessed validity.
ICCs were acceptable for all items and the total scale (range = .51–.93). For men, there were significant relationships of SBQ items with IPAQ sitting time and BMI. For women, there were relationships between the SBQ and accelerometer inactivity minutes, IPAQ sitting time, and BMI.
The SBQ has acceptable measurement properties for use among overweight adults. Specific measures of sedentary behavior should be included in studies and population surveillance.
Gregory J. Norman, Sandra K. Nutter, Sherry Ryan, James F. Sallis, Karen J. Calfas, and Kevin Patrick
Neighborhood-level environmental features have been associated with adult physical activity and weight status, but this link has not been established for adolescents.
Community design and access to recreational facilities variables were derived using geographic information systems (GIS) for 799 adolescents (age 11 to 15 y, mean = 12.8 y, 53% girls, 43% ethnic minority). Environment variables were calculated for a 1-mile buffer around each participant’s residence. Accelerometers measured min/d of physical activity.
Number of nearby recreation facilities and number of nearby parks correlated positively with girls’ physical activity, and intersection density inversely related to girls’ physical activity. Retail floor area ratio correlated positively with boys’ physical activity. No community design or access to recreation variables were related to BMI-percentile.
There was limited evidence that both community design and access to recreation facilities variables were associated with adolescent physical activity, but additional built environment variables need to be studied that have particular relevance for youth.
Dori E. Rosenberg, Jacqueline Kerr, James F. Sallis, Gregory J. Norman, Karen Calfas, and Kevin Patrick
The authors tested the feasibility and acceptability, and explored the outcomes, of 2 walking interventions based on ecological models among older adults living in retirement communities. An enhanced intervention (EI) was compared with a standard walking intervention (SI) among residents in 4 retirement facilities (N = 87 at baseline; mean age = 84.1 yr). All participants received a walking intervention including pedometers, printed materials, and biweekly group sessions. EI participants also received phone counseling and environmental-awareness components. Measures included pedometer step counts, activities of daily living, environment-related variables, physical function, depression, cognitive function, satisfaction, and adherence. Results indicated improvements among the total sample for step counts, neighborhood barriers, cognitive function, and satisfaction with walking opportunities. Satisfaction and adherence were high. Both walking interventions were feasible to implement among facility-dwelling older adults. Future studies can build on this multilevel approach.
Jordan A. Carlson, James F. Sallis, Nicole Wagner, Karen J. Calfas, Kevin Patrick, Lisa M. Groesz, and Gregory J. Norman
Psychosocial factors have been related to physical activity (PA) and are used to evaluate mediation in PA interventions.
Brief theory-based psychosocial scales were compiled from existing measures and evaluated. Study 1 assessed factor structure and construct validity with self-reported PA and accelerometry in overweight/obese men (N = 441) and women (N = 401). Study 2 assessed 2-week reliability and internal consistency in 49 college students.
Confirmatory factor analysis indicated good fit in men and women (CFI = .90; RMSEA = .05). Construct validity was supported for change strategies (r = .29–.46), self-efficacy (r = .19–.22) and enjoyment (r = .21–.33) in men and women, and for cons in women (r = –.19 to –.20). PA pros (r = –.02 to .11) and social support (r = –.01 to .12) were not supported for construct validity. Test-retest reliability ICCs ranged from .49–.81. Internal consistency alphas ranged from .55–.90. Reliability was supported for most scales with further testing needed for cons (alphas = .55–.63) and enjoyment (ICC = 49).
Many of the brief scales demonstrated adequate reliability and validity, while some need further development. The use of these scales could advance research and practice in the promotion of PA.