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The GoPA! Second Set of Country Cards Informing Decision Making for a Silent Pandemic

Andrea Ramírez Varela and Michael Pratt

In 2012, the Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA!) was established to provide information that would enable countries to initiate or improve research capacity, surveillance systems, program development, and policymaking to increase physical activity levels. Findings from the first GoPA! Country Cards showed an unequal distribution of physical activity surveillance, research productivity, and policy development and implementation around the world. Regular global monitoring of these factors, especially in countries with the largest data gaps, was recommended to combat the global pandemic of physical inactivity. After 6 years and using standardized methods, GoPA! is launching the second set of Country Cards based on data up to 2019 from 217 countries. Overall results showed that periodic national surveillance of physical activity was less common in low-income countries, compared with middle- and high-income countries. Large inequities were seen with more than a 50-fold difference in publications between high- and low-income countries and 32% of the countries worldwide had no physical activity policy. GoPA! has a critical role in facilitating evidence-based physical activity promotion building on international guidelines and the World Health Organization Global Action Plan. GoPA! will continue to monitor progress as we battle the global pandemic of physical inactivity.

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Staying on Task: Challenges of Global Physical Activity Surveillance

Michael Pratt and Janet E. Fulton

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A Framework for Physical Activity Policy Research

Thomas L. Schmid, Michael Pratt, and Lindsay Witmer

Background:

Although policy approaches are traditionally an important element of public health efforts to address major health problems, public health policy around physical activity remains poorly defined and developed.

Methods:

After extensive literature searches and reviews of policy frameworks developed for other public health issues such as tobacco control and injury prevention, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hosted a series of workshops and discussions on physical activity policy.

Results:

A simple model describing relationships among policy, the environment, behavior, and health was developed, a framework for organizing and conceptualizing policy interventions was described, and priorities for public health efforts to promote physical activity were proposed.

Conclusions:

An expanded focus on physical activity policy interventions is warranted, and such efforts can complement physical activity promotion efforts at other levels. The addition of researchers with expertise in the policy sciences will enhance the work of existing multidisciplinary teams.

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The Healthcare Sector’s Role in the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan

Kevin Patrick, Michael Pratt, and Robert E. Sallis

Background:

Healthcare professionals are influential sources of health information and guidance for people of all ages. However healthcare providers do not routinely address physical activity (PA). Engaging health professionals in a national plan for physical activity will depend upon whether proven strategies can be found to promote PA within clinical settings.

Methods:

The literature on promoting PA in healthcare settings was reviewed, as were recommendations from healthcare organizations and evidence-gathering entities about whether and how PA should be promoted in healthcare.

Key recommendations:

Evidence is mixed about whether interventions based in healthcare settings and offered by healthcare providers can improve PA behaviors in patients. Brief stand-alone counseling by physicians has not been shown to be efficacious, but office-based screening and advice to be active, followed by telephone or community support for PA has proven effective in creating lasting PA behavior improvement. Healthcare delivery models that optimize the organization of services across clinical and community resources may be very compatible with PA promotion in health care. Because of the importance of PA to health, healthcare providers are encouraged to consider adding PA as a vital sign for each medical visit for individuals aged 6 years and older.

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Understanding Policies and Physical Activity: Frontiers of Knowledge to Improve Population Health

Amy Eyler, Ross Brownson, Tom Schmid, and Michael Pratt

With increasing evidence of the detrimental effects of physical inactivity, there is interest in enhancing research on policies that may influence physical activity in communities. Given the potential policy impact, a framework that organized and conceptualized policy interventions and priorities for public health efforts to promote physical activity was developed. In addition, the Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN) was formed as a way to operationalize the contents of the framework. Recommendations for future work in this area include enhancing transdisciplinary collaborations, raising the priority of policy evaluation, studying policies at all levels, and emphasizing dissemination of findings.

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A Review of the National Physical Activity Plans of Six Countries

Daniel Benjamin Bornstein, Russell R. Pate, and Michael Pratt

Background:

Architects of the United States national physical activity plan can benefit from a thorough understanding of national physical activity plans from other nations. The purpose of this paper was to search for and analyze comprehensive national physical activity plan documents that can best inform the development of the U.S. plan.

Methods:

Electronic databases were searched for national physical activity plan documents, yielding 252 documents from 56 countries. After eliminating documents that were not written in English, did not address physical activity primarily, and did not meet our definition of a national physical activity plan, we were left with physical activity plans from 6 countries—Australia, United Kingdom, Scotland, Sweden, Northern Ireland, and Norway.

Key recommendations:

Architects of the U.S. plan can learn as much from what was present in many documents as from what was absent. Examples of recommended components of national plans have been identified and highlighted for each of the 6 countries. Missing from all but 1 national plan document was a detailed process for accountability. Providing a clear path and detailed process of accountability will assist greatly in measuring short- and long-term success of the U.S. plan.

Free access

The Physical Activity Policy to Practice Disconnect

Michael Pratt, Andrea Ramirez Varela, and Adrian Bauman

Free access

Celebrating 10 Years of the Global Observatory for Physical Activity—GoPA!

Michael Pratt, Andrea Ramírez Varela, and Pedro C. Hallal

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Carbohydrate and Protein Hydrolysate Coingestion’s Improvement of Late-Exercise Time-Trial Performance

Michael J. Saunders, Rebecca W. Moore, Arie K. Kies, Nicholas D. Luden, and Casey A. Pratt

This study examined whether a carbohydrate + casein hydrolysate (CHO+ProH) beverage improved time-trial performance vs. a CHO beverage delivering ~60 g CHO/hr. Markers of muscle disruption and recovery were also assessed. Thirteen male cyclists (VO2peak = 60.8 ± 1.6 ml · kg−1 · min−1) completed 2 computer-simulated 60-km time trials consisting of 3 laps of a 20-km course concluding with a 5-km climb (~5% grade). Participants consumed 200 ml of CHO (6%) or CHO+ProH beverage (6% + 1.8% protein hydrolysate) every 5 km and 500 ml of beverage immediately postexercise. Beverage treatments were administered using a randomly counterbalanced, double-blind design. Plasma creatine phosphokinase (CK) and muscle-soreness ratings were assessed immediately before and 24 hr after cycling. Mean 60-km times were 134.4 ± 4.6 and 135.0 ± 4.0 min for CHO+ProH and CHO beverages, respectively. All time differences between treatments occurred during the final lap, with protein hydrolysate ingestion explaining a significant (p < .05) proportion of betweentrials differences over the final 20 km (44.3 ± 1.6, 45.0 ± 1.6 min) and final 5 km (16.5 ± 0.6, 16.9 ± 0.6 min). Plasma CK levels and muscle-soreness ratings increased significantly after the CHO trial (161 ± 53, 399 ± 175 U/L; 15.8 ± 5.1, 37.6 ± 5.7 mm) but not the CHO+ProH trial (115 ± 21, 262 ± 88 U/L; 20.9 ± 5.3, 32.2 ± 7.1 mm). Late-exercise time-trial performance was enhanced with CHO+ProH beverage ingestion compared with a beverage containing CHO provided at maximal exogenous oxidation rates during exercise. CHO+ProH ingestion also prevented increases in plasma CK and muscle soreness after exercise.

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Associations of Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Children and Adolescents With Physical Activity, Active Commuting to School, and Screen Time

Luisa Aires, Michael Pratt, Felipe Lobelo, Rute Marina Santos, Maria Paula Santos, and Jorge Mota

Background:

The objective of this study was to analyze associations of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) with physical activity, time spent watching television and using computer, mode of commuting to school (CS), and adiposity, by gender.

Methods:

Participants were 1708 students (53.8% girls), aged 11 to 19 years. CRF was evaluated with a 20-meter shuttle-run test using VO2max by previously published equation. Maturation stages determined by Tanner’s criteria, body mass index, and skinfolds were measured, and a questionnaire used to assess socioeconomic status, PA, television and computer time, and mode of CS. We conducted a regression analysis using CRF as the dependent variable.

Results:

CRF was independent and positively associated with physical activity [β = 0.338 (95% CI = 0.119; 0.188); P < .001] and with maturation [β = −0.876 (95% CI = 0.666; 1.087); P < .001]; independent and negatively associated with television time [β = −0.003 (95% CI = −0.005; −0.002); P < .001] and adiposity [β = −0.068 (95% CI = −0.076; −0.060); P < .001]. CRF was positively associated with CS [β = 0.337; (95% CI = 0.014; 0.741); P = .014]. No associations were found for computer time.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that increasing overall physical activity levels through interventions in different domains such as active CS, reducing sedentary activities, such as television time, might be effective strategies for improving CRF in youth.