Over the past decade, researchers have faced increasing pressure to bridge the gap between the generation of new knowledge and the translation of that knowledge into applications and products that can benefit society. SCI Action Canada is an example of a community-university partnership approach to bridging the research generation-knowledge translation gap. It is an alliance of 30 community-based organizations and university-based researchers working together to increase physical activity participation among people living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). This paper provides an overview of activities undertaken by SCI Action Canada, presented within the framework of key principles of effective knowledge translation. Recommendations are made for the cultivation of successful community-university partnerships to develop, evaluate, and implement physical activity innovations.
Elisa C. Murru and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis
This experiment examined the effects of a possible selves intervention on self-regulatory efficacy and exercise behavior among 19 men and 61 women (M age = 21.43 years, SD = 3.28) who reported exercising fewer than 3 times per week. Participants were randomly assigned to a control condition, a hoped-for possible selves intervention condition, or a feared possible selves intervention condition. The hoped-for and feared possible selves interventions required participants to imagine themselves in the future as either healthy, regular exercisers or as unhealthy, inactive individuals, respectively. Participants in the control condition completed a quiz about physical activity. Measures of self-regulatory efficacy (scheduling, planning, goal setting, and barrier self-efficacy) were taken immediately before and after the intervention. Participants who received either possible selves intervention reported greater exercise behavior 4 weeks and 8 weeks postintervention than participants in the control group. Planning self-efficacy partially mediated the effects of the possible selves intervention on exercise behavior over the first 4 weeks of the study. These findings highlight the effectiveness of possible selves interventions for increasing exercise behavior and the role of self-regulatory processes for explaining such effects.
Tara-Lyn Elston and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis
This experiment compared the effects of self-set versus assigned goals on exercisers’ (N = 50, M age = 23.6) self-efficacy to perform a novel grip-strength task. After their first task attempt, all participants received the same bogus performance feedback. Participants in the self-set condition then set their own goal for their second attempt, whereas those in the assigned condition were given the goal of squeezing 3 more pounds. The assigned condition reported higher task-self efficacy (M = 58.7) than the self-set condition (M = 42.4) prior to their second task attempt (p = .02). These findings suggest that goals assigned by an authority figure can increase self-confidence in beginner exercisers.
Kendra R. Todd and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis
Given profound physical, psychosocial, and environmental barriers to physical activity (PA), people living with spinal cord injury (SCI) are less active than virtually every other segment of the population. Nevertheless, people with SCI are not universally “sedentary.” Many people with SCI live physically active lives, and behavioral interventions have proven effective at increasing and maintaining both PA and fitness. This paper discusses PA and inactivity in the SCI population and reviews the who, what, and how of effective SCI PA-enhancing interventions. The authors conclude with 3 recommendations for increasing PA in other low-active populations: Know your audience and the issues, develop audience-specific messages and tailored interventions, and use behavior-change theory to develop messages and interventions.
Steven R. Bray, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, and Jennifer Woodgate
Self-regulation consumes a form of strength or energy. The authors investigated aftereffects of self-regulation depletion on muscle-endurance performance in older adults. Participants (N = 61, mean age = 71) were randomized to a self-regulation-depletion or control group and completed 2 muscle-endurance performance tasks involving isometric handgrip squeezing that were separated by a cognitive-depletion task. The depletion group showed greater deterioration of muscle-endurance performance than controls, F(1, 59) = 7.31, p = .009. Results are comparable to those of younger adults in a similar study and support Baumeister et al.’s limited-strength model. Self-regulation may contribute to central-nervous-system fatigue; however, biological processes may allow aging muscle to offset depletion of self-regulatory resources affecting muscle-endurance performance.
Adrienne R. Sinden, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, and Jennifer Angove
This study used a between-subjects design to examine the effects of exercise attire on older women’s feelings toward exercise groups and their self-presentational efficacy (SPE). Eighty-one older women (mean age = 70.9 years) watched a 2-min videotape showing an exercise group of older adults who were dressed in either revealing exercise attire (sleeveless T-shirts and shorts) or nonrevealing attire (short-sleeved T-shirts and long trousers). Overall there was no difference in participants’ feelings toward the 2 exercise groups, but women who were more physically active had more positive feelings toward the revealingly attired group than did women who were less active (p < .01). Similarly, there was no main effect for exercise attire on women’s SPE, but after watching the revealingly attired exercisers, women with higher social physique anxiety (SPA) reported lower SPE than did women with lower SPA (p < .05). These results suggest that for some women, the attire worn by an exercise group can affect their feelings about the group, as well as about themselves.
Jessie N. Stapleton, Diane E. Mack, and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis
The aim of this meta-analysis was to examine the magnitude of the relationship between social influence and both PA behavior and PA-related social cognitions among samples of adults with physical disabilities, including those with chronic conditions that can lead to a physical disability. A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify studies involving adults with physical disability, a measure of social influence, and a measure of PA behavior or PA-related social cognitions. A total of 27 studies with 4,768 participants yielded 47 effect sizes to be included for meta-analysis. Significant, small- to medium-sized relationships were identified between social influence and PA behavior, and social influence and PA-related social cognitions. These relationships suggest that social factors positively associate with physical-activity-related social cognitions and should be targeted when promoting physical activity behavior change among adults with a physical disability.
Jacinta O’Brien, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, and David Kirk
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an 8-week body-focused physical and health education module on self-objectification and social physique anxiety (SPA) in a sample of 85 Irish schoolgirls. Classrooms were randomly assigned to receive the experimental module or the standard curriculum. Participants completed pre- and postassessments of the value they placed on objectifying and nonobjectifying physical attributes, along with a measure of SPA. Girls in the experimental condition increased the value they placed on physical health and strength, decreased the value they placed on sex appeal, and showed no change in SPA. Girls in the control condition decreased the value they placed on body weight and physical fitness and experienced a significant increase in SPA. These results suggest that a body-focused module can decrease self-objectification and prevent developmentally linked increases in SPA.
Amy E. Latimer, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, and B. Catherine Craven
Using the theory of planned behavior as a theoretical framework, the present study examined psychosocial predictors of exercise intentions and behavior among 124 men and women with spinal cord injury. Theory of planned behavior constructs were measured using an exercise–specific questionnaire for individuals with spinal cord injury. Exercise behavior was assessed using an adapted version of the Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire. Regression analyses indicated that the theory of planned behavior had limited utility in this population. Among individuals with tetrapelgia, perceived behavioral control was the only determinant of exercise intentions and behavior. Among people with paraplegia, none of the theory of planned behavior constructs predicted exercise intentions or behavior. These results have methodological and practical implications for future research and exercise interventions, respectively.
Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis
This study descriptively measured the universal accessibility of “accessible” fitness and recreational facilities for Ontarians living with mobility disabilities. The physical and social environments of 44 fitness and recreational facilities that identified as “accessible” were assessed using a modified version of the AIMFREE. None of the 44 facilities were completely accessible. Mean accessibility ratings ranged between 31 and 63 out of a possible 100. Overall, recreational facilities had higher accessibility scores than fitness centers, with significant differences found on professional support and training, entrance areas, and parking lot. A modest correlation was found between the availability of fitness programming and the overall accessibility of fitness-center specific facility areas. Overall, the physical and social environments of the 44 fitness and recreational facilities assessed were limited in their accessibility for persons with mobility disabilities. Future efforts should be directed at establishing and meeting universal accessibility guidelines for Canadian physical activity facilities.