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Mikihiro Sato, James Du and Yuhei Inoue

Background:

Although previous studies supported the health benefits of physical activity, these studies were limited to individual-level research designs. Building upon a social-ecological model, we examined the relationship between physical activity and community health—the health status of a defined group of people—while accounting for the potential endogeneity of physical activity to health.

Methods:

We obtained U.S. county-level data from the 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey and the 2014 County Health Ranking Database. We first conducted an ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis to examine the relationship between the rate of physical activity and community health measured by the average perceived health score for each county. We then conducted a 2-stage least squares (2SLS) regression analysis to investigate this relationship after accounting for potential endogeneity.

Results:

Results from the OLS analysis indicated that the rate of physical activity was positively associated with community health. Results from the 2SLS analysis confirmed that the physical activity rate remained positively associated with community health.

Conclusions:

In line with the social-ecological model, our findings provide the first evidence for the health benefits of county-level physical activity. Our results support extant research that has shown relationships between physical activity and individual-level, health-related outcomes.

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Mikihiro Sato, Jeremy S. Jordan and Daniel C. Funk

Limited research has examined psychological involvement change using a longitudinal design. This study explored stability and change in the three facets of psychological involvement—pleasure, centrality, and sign—that occurred over a 2-year period and examined key behavioral correlates of the observed change. Data were collected three times through online surveys from participants (N = 482) of an annual 10-mile running event in the United States. Latent growth modeling analyses revealed that, on average, the levels of pleasure, centrality, and sign in running slightly decreased over time. Growth mixture modeling analyses offer evidence that different patterns of change exist within each facet of psychological involvement. The findings further indicate that changes in the number of events participated in each year are the most important behavioral correlates of psychological involvement change. The results provide sport managers with implications for promoting long-term engagement with the activity through event participation and postevent phases.

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Mikihiro Sato, Jeremy S. Jordan and Daniel C. Funk

The current study examines whether a distance running event has the capacity to promote participants’ life satisfaction. The construct of psychological involvement was used to investigate the impact of attitude change through event preparation and subsequent activity. Data were collected four times through online surveys from running event participants (N = 211) over a five-month period. Latent growth modeling analyses revealed that participants’ life satisfaction peaked immediately after the event before receding, indicating that event participation exerted a positive impact on participants’ evaluations toward their lives. A positive significant association was also found between change in pleasure in running and change in life satisfaction. Findings from this study provide empirical support that a distance running event can serve as an environmental determinant that enhances participants’ life satisfaction by providing positive experiences through event participation and forming psychological involvement in physical activity.

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Yuhei Inoue, Mikihiro Sato, Kevin Filo, James Du and Daniel C. Funk

Elite and professional sport events have been recognized as potential mechanisms to enhance well-being. This multicountry study investigates how engagement in such events, behaviorally through live spectating and psychologically through team identification, is associated with life satisfaction. Data from Australia (N = 268) revealed a positive association between live spectating and life satisfaction through a two-wave design measuring live spectating and life satisfaction in separate surveys. Data from the United States (N = 564) confirmed the live spectating–life satisfaction relationship found in Study 1. Additionally, Study 2 revealed individuals with higher levels of team identification perceived greater emotional support from other fans, and this perception, in turn, predicted life satisfaction. Our findings provide sport managers with implications for positioning appeals in support of sport programs and designing events that facilitate engagement to promote life satisfaction in the community.