Our pilot study investigated if children with Down syndrome engaged in the recommended 60 min of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) every day. Twenty-three children with Down syndrome (7 girls, 16 boys; mean age 11.7 years, SD = 3.1) wore a triaxial accelerometer for 7 consecutive days to measure their activity levels. The average daily MVPA undertaken was 104.5 min (SD = 35.3 min). Only 8 of 19 children (42.1%) completed at least 60 min of MVPA each day. Lower amounts of activity were associated with older children (r = -.67, p < .01). Parents, teachers, and health professionals need to encourage children with Down syndrome to take part in more frequent MVPA.
Nora Shields, Karen J. Dodd, and Casey Abblitt
Hannah Macdougall, Paul O’Halloran, Emma Sherry, and Nora Shields
The well-being needs and strengths of para-athletes in a global and sport-specific context were investigated across subjective psychological, social, and physical health and well-being dimensions. Data were drawn from (a) semistructured interviews with Australian para-athletes (n = 23), (b) a focus group with the Australian Paralympic Committee (n = 9), and (c) a confirmatory para-athlete focus group (n = 8). The well-being needs and strengths of para-athletes differed across gender, sport, level of competition, and nature of impairment. Well-being needs were an interaction between physical pain, emotional regulation, lacking purpose outside of sport, and a lack of self-acceptance, especially for athletes with acquired impairments. Well-being strengths were perceived to increase as athletes increased their level of competition, and included personal growth, optimism, strong social support networks, and contributing to multiple communities. The importance of well-being as a multidimensional concept within the global and sport-specific context for para-athletes is discussed.
Hannah Macdougall, Paul O’Halloran, Nora Shields, and Emma Sherry
This systematic review included 12 studies that compared the well-being of Para and Olympic sport athletes. Meta-analyses revealed that Para athletes, compared with Olympic sport athletes, had lower levels of self-acceptance, indicated by athletic identity, d = -0.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) [-0.77, -0.16], and body-image perceptions, d = -0.33, 95% CI [-0.59, -0.07], and differed from Olympic sport athletes in terms of their motivation, indicated by a greater mastery-oriented climate, d = 0.74, 95% CI [0.46, 1.03]. Given an inability to pool the remaining data for meta-analysis, individual standardized mean differences were calculated for other dimensions of psychological and subjective well-being. The results have implications for professionals and coaches aiming to facilitate the well-being needs of athletes under their care. Future research would benefit from incorporating established models of well-being based on theoretical rationale combined with rigorous study designs.
Melissa Moore, Jeni Warburton, Paul D. O’Halloran, Nora Shields, and Kingsley
The purpose of this systematic review was to assess the characteristics and effectiveness of community-based interventions designed to increase physical activity participation in older adults (aged 65 years or more) living in rural or regional areas. Relevant peer-reviewed literature was obtained, using four primary electronic search engines, in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. The initial search identified 4,690 articles. After removal of duplicates and excluded articles, seven articles were included in the review. Few consistencies existed between intervention types, duration, outcome measures, and follow-up. Results provide some evidence to support the effectiveness of community-based interventions that include low- to moderate-intensity exercise to increase physical activity, physical function, and psychological state. However, without more rigorous studies it is difficult to identify the most critical characteristics of community-based interventions for older adults in rural and regional settings.