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Michael L. Booth, Adrian Bauman and Neville Owen

In a cross-sectional survey, older Australians (N = 402) were asked to report their physical activity habits and the 3 main barriers to more physical activity. Active and inactive men and women differed only in how many reported being sufficiently active or that their health was too poor to be more active. Six barriers were reported by more than 10% of inactive men and women: “already active enough,” “have an injury or disability,” “poor health,” “too old,” “don't have enough time,” and “I'm not the sporty type.” Insufficient time was identified by significantly fewer respondents as age increased. More respondents 65–70+ years old identified poor health as a barrier than did those 60–64. The proportion who had an injury or disability decreased from 60–64 to 65–69 and increased markedly among those 70+. Programs for older adults should take into account the age of the target group and the limitations imposed by poor health or disability.

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Sherry L. Pagoto, Kristin L. Schneider, Jessica Oleski, Brian Smith and Michael Bauman

Background:

The present feasibility study describes engagement and spread of a Twitter-based core-strengthening challenge.

Methods:

A challenge that entailed completing a core-strengthening exercise using a hashtag (#PlankADay) was circulated via Twitter. This study surveyed users who joined during the first 2 months of the challenge to describe their characteristics, including social support for exercise and to what extent they invited others to join. The study continued to track total users for 10 months.

Results:

Of 407 individuals who joined in the first 2 months, 105 completed surveys. Among these, 81% were female and 86% white and mean age was 35.8. 72% participated for at least 1 month and 47% participated for at least 2 months. Survey participants reported that the challenge increased their enjoyment of abdominal exercise. Of the 68% of participants who invited others to participate, 28% recruited none, 66% recruited 1–5 users, and 6% recruited 10 or more users. Participants reported that online friends provided as much positive social support for exercise as family and in-person friends. In 14 months, 4941 users produced 76,746 tweets and mean total tweets per user was 15.86 (SD = 75.34; range = 1–2888).

Conclusion:

Online social networks may be a promising mechanism to spread brief exercise behaviors.

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Michael L. Booth, Anthony D. Okely, Tien Chey and Adrian E. Bauman

This study examined the pattern of activity energy expenditure (AEE) among New South Wales (NSW) high school students in relation to age, sex, socioeconomic status (SES), place of residence, cultural background, season, participation in moderate- and vigorous-intensity and in organized and non-organized physical activity.

Methods:

Cross-sectional survey of a randomly-selected sample (N = 2026). Respondents self-reported their physical activity participation during a usual week in summer and winter.

Results:

Boys reported greater AEE than girls and, whereas AEE was greater among grade 10 than grade 8 boys, the reverse was true for girls. Boys reported the same AEE for summer and winter, but girls reported less AEE during winter. Both boys and girls reported spending the same proportion of their AEE in vigorous-intensity (72%) compared with moderate-intensity activity (28%) and in non-organized (60%) compared with organized activity. There was no clear association between urban/rural place of residence and AEE. Although AEE tended to be positively associated with SES among girls, there was no association among boys. Girls from Asian cultural backgrounds reported much lower AEE than girls from other cultural backgrounds.

Conclusion:

Patterns of energy expenditure among adolescent boys and girls should be considered in developing interventions to ensure needs are adequately met.

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Adrian Bauman, Barbara E. Ainsworth, Fiona Bull, Cora L. Craig, Maria Hagströmer, James F. Sallis, Michael Pratt and Michael Sjöström

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Michael Pratt, Andrea Ramirez, Rafaela Martins, Adrian Bauman, Gregory Heath, Harold Kohl III, I-Min Lee, Kenneth Powell and Pedro Hallal

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Oanh T.H. Trinh, Nguyen Do Nguyen, Hidde P. van der Ploeg, Michael J. Dibley and Adrian Bauman

Background:

The increasing prevalence of chronic lifestyle diseases in developing countries warrants reliable and valid surveillance of physical activity levels in the population. This study assesses the test-retest repeatability and criterion validity of the WHO-recommended Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ) in Vietnamese adults during the dry and wet seasons.

Methods:

In 2007 a representative sample of 169 adults (25-64 years) was recruited to determine the GPAQ reliability and validity. GPAQ assesses time and intensity of physical activities spent during a usual week. To assess short and long term reliability, participants completed the GPAQ twice during the dry season 2 weeks apart and again 2 months later during the wet season. For validation purposes, participants wore an accelerometer during the 7 days before the first and last GPAQ assessments.

Results:

The total GPAQ score showed repeatability correlations of 0.69 after 2 weeks and of 0.55 after 2 months. Total GPAQ score and accelerometer data showed validity correlations of 0.34 and 0.20 in the dry and wet season, respectively. There was a difference in physical activity patterns between the dry and wet seasons.

Conclusions:

GPAQ is suitable for surveillance of physical activity among adults in Vietnam.

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Andrea Ramirez Varela, Michael Pratt, Kenneth Powell, I-Min Lee, Adrian Bauman, Gregory Heath, Rafaela Costa Martins, Harold Kohl and Pedro C. Hallal

Background:

The Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA!) was launched in response to the physical inactivity pandemic. The aim of this article is to present current information about surveillance, policy, and research on physical activity (PA) and health worldwide.

Methods:

Information was collected for 217 countries. For 139 of these nations we identified a contact who confirmed information’s accuracy and completeness. Associations were calculated among surveillance, policy and research categories.

Results:

Of the 139 countries, 90.6% reported having completed 1 or more PA survey, but less than one-third had 3 or more. 106 included PA on a national plan, but only one-quarter of these were PA-specific. At least 1 peer reviewed publication was identified for 63.3% of the countries. Positive associations (P < .001) were found between research and policy (ρ = 0.35), research and surveillance (ρ = 0.41), and surveillance and policy (ρ = 0.31). Countries with a standalone plan were more likely to have surveillance. Countries with more research were more likely to have a standalone plan and surveillance.

Conclusions:

Surveillance, policy, and research indicators were positively correlated, suggesting that action at multiple levels tends to stimulate progress in other areas. Efforts to expand PA-related surveillance, policy, and research in lower income countries are needed.

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Jacqueline Kerr, James F. Sallis, Neville Owen, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Ester Cerin, Takemi Sugiyama, Rodrigo Reis, Olga Sarmiento, Karel Frömel, Josef Mitáš, Jens Troelsen, Lars Breum Christiansen, Duncan Macfarlane, Deborah Salvo, Grant Schofield, Hannah Badland, Francisco Guillen-Grima, Ines Aguinaga-Ontoso, Rachel Davey, Adrian Bauman, Brian Saelens, Chris Riddoch, Barbara Ainsworth, Michael Pratt, Tom Schmidt, Lawrence Frank, Marc Adams, Terry Conway, Kelli Cain, Delfien Van Dyck and Nicole Bracy

Background:

National and international strategies to increase physical activity emphasize environmental and policy changes that can have widespread and long-lasting impact. Evidence from multiple countries using comparable methods is required to strengthen the evidence base for such initiatives. Because some environment and policy changes could have generalizable effects and others may depend on each country’s context, only international studies using comparable methods can identify the relevant differences.

Methods:

Currently 12 countries are participating in the International Physical Activity and the Environment Network (IPEN) study. The IPEN Adult study design involves recruiting adult participants from neighborhoods with wide variations in environmental walkability attributes and socioeconomic status (SES).

Results:

Eleven of twelve countries are providing accelerometer data and 11 are providing GIS data. Current projections indicate that 14,119 participants will provide survey data on built environments and physical activity and 7145 are likely to provide objective data on both the independent and dependent variables. Though studies are highly comparable, some adaptations are required based on the local context.

Conclusions:

This study was designed to inform evidence-based international and country-specific physical activity policies and interventions to help prevent obesity and other chronic diseases that are high in developed countries and growing rapidly in developing countries.