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Shifan Dai, Dianna D. Carroll, Kathleen B. Watson, Prabasaj Paul, Susan A. Carlson and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Information on specific types of physical activities in which US adults participate is important for community and program development to promote physical activity.

Methods:

Prevalence of participation and average time spent for 33 leisuretime aerobic activities and 10 activity categories were calculated using self-reported data from 22,545 participants aged ≥ 18 years in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2006.

Results:

Overall, 38% of US adults reported no leisure-time physical activities, and 43% reported 1 or 2 activities in the past 30 days. Walking was the most frequently reported activity for both men (29%) and women (38%). Among walkers, the average time spent walking was 198 minutes/week for men and 152 minutes/week for women. The most reported activities for men after walking were bicycling and yard work, and for women were aerobics and dance. For most activity categories, participation was lower among adults aged ≥ 65 years than among younger adults, and among Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic blacks than among non-Hispanic whites. Participation in most categories increased with increasing educational attainment.

Conclusions:

Participation in physical activity differs by types of activities and demographic characteristics. Physical activity promotion programs should take these differences into account when developing intervention strategies.

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Kathleen B. Watson, Ginny M. Frederick, Carmen D. Harris, Susan A. Carlson and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

There is little information on national estimates for participation in types of aerobic activities among U.S. adults. Current estimates are important to develop appropriate and effective interventions to promote physical activity and interpret bias for some activities measured with devices.

Methods:

The percentage of adults participating in specific aerobic activities was estimated overall and by demographic subgroups. The 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System respondents (N = 446,216) reported up to 2 aerobic activities they spent the most time doing during the past month.

Results:

Overall, walking (47%) was the most common activity reported and was reported more by women (54%) than men (41%). Participation in most activities declined with increasing age (P < .006). There were a number of differences in participation between race/ethnic subgroups. Participation increased with more education (P for trend < 0.006) for all activities. Participation in most activities was different (P < .002) across BMI subgroups.

Conclusions:

Walking is the most common activity, overall and among most subgroups. Other activity profiles differ by demographic subgroup. Physical activity promotion strategies that focus on identifying and addressing personal and environmental barriers and understanding demographic subgroup differences could lead to more tailored interventions and public health programs.

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Kathleen B. Watson, Susan A. Carlson, Tiffany Humbert-Rico, Dianna D. Carroll and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Less than one-third of U.S. adults walk for transportation. Public health strategies to increase transportation walking would benefit from knowing what adults think is a reasonable distance to walk. Our purpose was to determine 1) what adults think is a reasonable distance and amount of time to walk and 2) whether there were differences in minutes spent transportation walking by what adults think is reasonable.

Methods:

Analyses used a cross-sectional nationwide adult sample (n = 3653) participating in the 2010 Summer ConsumerStyles mail survey.

Results:

Most adults (> 90%) think transportation walking is reasonable. However, less than half (43%) think walking a mile or more or for 20 minutes or more is reasonable. What adults think is reasonable is similar across most demographic subgroups, except for older adults (≥ 65 years) who think shorter distances and times are reasonable. Trend analysis that adjust for demographic characteristics indicates adults who think longer distances and times are reasonable walk more.

Conclusions:

Walking for short distances is acceptable to most U.S. adults. Public health programs designed to encourage longer distance trips may wish to improve supports for transportation walking to make walking longer distances seem easier and more acceptable to most U.S. adults.

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Eric T. Hyde, John D. Omura, Kathleen B. Watson, Janet E. Fulton and Susan A. Carlson

Background: To estimate the proportion of adults’ and parents’ knowledge of the adult aerobic and youth physical activity guidelines, respectively, in the United States. Methods: Data were analyzed from a national sample of adults in the 2017 ConsumerStyles survey. Prevalence of knowledge of the adult aerobic guideline (ie, 150 min/wk of moderate-intensity activity) was estimated among all respondents (n = 3910) and of the youth guideline (ie, 60 min/d of physical activity on 7 d/wk) among parents (n = 1288). Odds ratios were estimated using logistic regression models adjusting for demographic characteristics. Results: Overall, 2.5% (95% confidence interval, 2.0–3.1) of adults and 23.0% (95% confidence interval, 20.5–25.7) of parents were knowledgeable of the adult aerobic and youth guidelines, respectively. After adjustment, odds of knowledge of the adult guideline differed significantly by sex and physical activity level, whereas knowledge of the youth guideline differed by parental education level. Conclusions: Despite the release of the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans nearly a decade ago, most US adults and parents lack knowledge of the adult aerobic and youth physical activity guidelines. Effective communication strategies may help raise awareness of current and future editions of national guidelines for physical activity.

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Susan A. Carlson, Kathleen B. Watson, Prabasaj Paul, Thomas L. Schmid and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Information about how presence and usefulness of neighborhood supports for walking differs by demographic characteristics can help guide community strategies to promote walking.

Methods:

Reported presence and usefulness of neighborhood supports (shops, transit stops, sidewalks, parks, interesting things to look at, well-lit at night, low crime rate, and cars following speed limit) were examined in 3973 U.S. adults who completed the 2014 SummerStyles survey.

Results:

Percentage reporting neighborhood supports as present ranged from 25.3% (SE = 0.8) for interesting things to 55.8% (SE = 1.0) for low crime rate. Percentage who reported a support as useful ranged from 24.6% (SE = 1.4) for transit stops to 79.0% (SE = 1.1) for sidewalks among those with the support. This percentage ranged from 13.4% (SE = 0.8) for transit stops to 52.8% (SE = 1.1) for shops among those without the support. One or more demographic differences were observed for the presence of each support, and the presence of all supports differed by education and metro status. Demographic patterns were less clear when examining usefulness and patterns often differed by support type and presence.

Conclusions:

Presence and usefulness of neighborhood supports for walking can differ by type and demographic characteristics. Recognizing these difference can help communities plan and implement strategies to promote walking.

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Louise C. Mâsse, Janet E. Fulton, Kathleen B. Watson, Susan Tortolero, Harold W. Kohl III, Michael C. Meyers, Steven N. Blair and William W. Wong

Background:

The purpose of this study was to compare the validity of 2 physical activity questionnaire formats—one that lists activities (Checklist questionnaire) and one that assesses overall activities (Global questionnaire) by domain.

Methods:

Two questionnaire formats were validated among 260 African-American and Hispanic women (age 40–70) using 3 validation standards: 1) accelerometers to validate activities of ambulation; 2) diaries to validate physical activity domains (occupation, household, exercise, yard, family, volunteer/church work, and transportation); and 3) doubly-labeled water to validate physical activity energy expenditure (DLW-PAEE).

Results:

The proportion of total variance explained by the Checklist questionnaire was 38.4% with diaries, 9.0% with accelerometers, and 6.4% with DLW-PAEE. The Global questionnaire explained 17.6% of the total variance with diaries and about 5% with both accelerometers and with DLW-PAEE. Overall, associations with the 3 validation standards were slightly better with the Checklist questionnaire. However, agreement with DLW-PAEE was poor with both formats and the Checklist format resulted in greater overestimation. Validity results also indicated the Checklist format was better suited to recall household, family, and transportation activities.

Conclusions:

Overall, the Checklist format had slightly better measurement properties than the Global format. Both questionnaire formats are better suited to rank individuals.

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Karin A. Pfeiffer, Kathleen B. Watson, Robert G. McMurray, David R. Bassett, Nancy F. Butte, Scott E. Crouter, Stephen D. Herrmann, Stewart G. Trost, Barbara E. Ainsworth, Janet E. Fulton, David Berrigan and For the CDC/NCI/NCCOR Research Group

Purpose: This study compared the accuracy of physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) prediction using 2 methods of accounting for age dependency versus 1 standard (single) value across all ages. Methods: PAEE estimates were derived by pooling data from 5 studies. Participants, 6–18 years (n = 929), engaged in 14 activities while in a room calorimeter or wearing a portable metabolic analyzer. Linear regression was used to estimate the measurement error in PAEE (expressed as youth metabolic equivalent) associated with using age groups (6–9, 10–12, 13–15, and 16–18 y) and age-in-years [each year of chronological age (eg, 12 = 12.0–12.99 y)] versus the standard (a single value across all ages). Results: Age groups and age-in-years showed similar error, and both showed less error than the standard method for cycling, skilled, and moderate- to vigorous-intensity activities. For sedentary and light activities, the standard had similar error to the other 2 methods. Mean values for root mean square error ranged from 0.2 to 1.7 youth metabolic equivalent across all activities. Error reduction ranged from −0.2% to 21.7% for age groups and −0.23% to 18.2% for age-in-years compared with the standard. Conclusions: Accounting for age showed lower errors than a standard (single) value; using an age-dependent model in the Youth Compendium is recommended.