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Scherezade K. Mama, Lorna H. McNeill, Erica G. Soltero, Raul Orlando Edwards and Rebecca E. Lee

Culturally appropriate, innovative strategies to increase physical activity (PA) in women of color are needed. This study examined whether participation in SALSA, an 8-week randomized, crossover pilot study to promote PA, led to improved psychosocial outcomes and whether these changes were associated with changes in PA over time. Women of color (N = 50) completed Internet-based questionnaires on PA, exercise self-efficacy, motivational readiness, stress, and social support at three time points. Women reported high socioeconomic status, decreases in exercise self-efficacy, and increases in motivational readiness for exercise and a number of stressful events (p < .05); changes in motivational readiness for exercise varied by group (p = .043). Changes in psychosocial factors were associated with increases in PA. Latin dance improved motivational readiness for PA. Future studies are needed to determine whether Latin dance improves other psychological measures and quality of life in women of color in an effort to increase PA and reduce health disparities.

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Rebecca E. Lee, Scherezade K. Mama, Kristen P. McAlexander, Heather Adamus and Ashley V. Medina

Background:

In the US, public housing developments are typically located in lower socioeconomic status neighborhoods that may have poorer quality street level conditions, placing residents in neighborhoods that are less supportive for physical activity (PA). This study investigated the relationship of detailed, objectively assessed street-level pedestrian features with self-reported and measured PA in African American public housing residents.

Methods:

Every street segment (N = 2093) within an 800 m radius surrounding each housing development (N = 12) was systematically assessed using the Pedestrian Environment Data Scan (PEDS). Participants completed an interviewer administered International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) Short Form and wore a pedometer for 1 week.

Results:

Women reported significantly less vigorous (mean = 1955 vs. 2896 METs), moderate (mean = 733 vs. 1309 mets), walking (mean = 1080 vs. 1376 METs), and total (mean = 3768 vs. 5581 METs) PA on the IPAQ compared with men (all P <.05). Women took fewer pedometer steps per day (M = 3753 vs. 4589) compared with men, but this was not statistically significant. Regression analyses showed that for women, lower speed limits were associated with vigorous; higher street segment density was associated with more moderate PA; lower speed limits, fewer crossing aids, and more lanes were associated with more walking; and, fewer lanes was associated with more overall PA. For men, fewer sidewalk connections were associated with more moderate PA; lower speed limits were associated with more walking; and, lower speed limits was associated with more overall PA.

Conclusions:

Neighborhood factors influence physical activity; in particular, lower speed limits appear most commonly linked with increased physical activity in both men and women.

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Nathan Parker, Darran Atrooshi, Lucie Lévesque, Edtna Jauregui, Simón Barquera, Juan Lopez y Taylor and Rebecca E. Lee

Background:

Obesity is a critical problem among Mexican youth, but few studies have investigated associations among physical activity (PA) modes and anthropometrics in this population. This study examined associations among active commuting to school (ACS), sports or other organized PA, outdoor play, and body mass index (BMI) percentile and waist circumference (WC) among Mexican youth.

Methods:

Parents of school children (N = 1996, ages 6 to 14 years, 53.1% female) in 3 Mexican cities reported PA participation using the (modified) fourth grade School Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey. Trained assessors measured BMI percentile and WC in person.

Results:

Parents reported that 52.3% of children engaged in ACS, 57.3% participated in sports or organized PA, and a median of 2 days in the previous week with at least 30 minutes of outdoor play. In complete case analyses (n = 857), ACS was negatively associated with BMI percentile, and outdoor play was negatively associated with WC after adjusting for school, age, sex, and income. In analyses incorporating data from multiple imputation (N = 1996), outdoor play was negatively associated with WC (all Ps < . 05).

Conclusions:

ACS and outdoor play are favorably associated with anthropometrics and may help prevent childhood obesity in Mexico. ACS and outdoor play should be priorities for increasing youth PA in Mexico.

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Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel, Rebecca L. Rankin, Chong Lee, Mary E. Charlton, Pamela D. Swan and Barbara E. Ainsworth

Background:

The 400 m walk test has been used in older adults; however, the applicability in middle-aged populations is unknown.

Methods:

Data were obtained from the Evaluation of Physical Activity Measures in Middle-Aged Women (PAW) Study and included 66 women (52.6 ± 5.4 years). Participants were instructed to walk at a brisk, maintainable pace; time taken to complete the 400 m was recorded in seconds. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were used to assess test-retest reliability. Spearman rank order correlation coefficients were used to examine the concurrent validity of the walk test with cardiorespiratory fitness and associations with physical activity, body composition, flexibility, static balance, and muscular fitness, adjusted for age and body mass index.

Results:

Participants completed the walk at visits 4 and 5 in 248.0 and 245.0 seconds, respectively. The walk test had excellent reproducibility [ICC = 0.95 (95% CI: 0.92, 0.97)] and was significantly associated with estimated (ρ = −0.43; P < 0.0001) and measured (ρ = −0.56; P < 0.001) VO2max. The walk test was also significantly related to physical activity, body composition, flexibility, and balance.

Conclusions:

These findings support the utility of the 400 m walk test to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness and reflect free-living physical activity in healthy, middle-aged women.

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Alejandra Jauregui, Erica Soltero, René Santos-Luna, Lucia Hernández-Barrera, Simon Barquera, Edtna Jáuregui, Lucie Lévesque, Juan López-Taylor, Luis Ortiz-Hernández and Rebecca Lee

Background:

Mexican children often use active commuting to school (ACS). In order to maintain high levels of ACS it is important to understand correlates of ACS in this population. However, most evidence comes from high-income countries (HICs). We examined multilevel correlates of ACS in children attending public schools in 3 Mexican cities.

Methods:

Information on 1191 children (grades 3 to 5) attending 26 schools was retrieved from questionnaires, neighborhood audits, and geographic information systems data. Multilevel logistic modeling was used to explore individual and environmental correlates of ACS at 400-m and 800-m buffers surrounding schools.

Results:

Individual positive correlates for ACS included age (6–8 years vs 9–11 years, odds ratio [OR] = 1.5; 6–8 years vs ≥12 years: OR = 2.1) and ≥ 6 adults at home (OR = 2.0). At the 400-m buffer, more ACS was associated with lower walkability (OR = 0.87), presence of posted speed limits (< 6% vs > 12%: OR = 0.36) and crossing aids (< 6% vs 6–20%: OR = 0.25; > 20%: OR = 0.26), as well as higher sidewalk availability (< 70% vs > 90%: OR = 4.5). Similar relationships with speed limits and crossing aids were observed at the 800m buffer.

Conclusions:

Findings contrast with those reported in HICs, underscoring the importance of considering the local context when developing strategies to promote ACS. Future studies are needed to replicate these relationships and investigate the longitudinal impact of improving active transportation infrastructure and policies.

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Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Damien Clement, Jennifer Jordan Hamson-Utley, Cindra Kamphoff, Rebecca Zakrajsek, Sae-Mi Lee, Brian Hemmings, Taru Lintunen and Scott B. Martin

Context:

Athletes enter injury rehabilitation with certain expectations about the recovery process, outcomes, and the professional providing treatment. Their expectations influence the effectiveness of the assistance received and affect the overall rehabilitation process. Expectations may vary depending on numerous factors such as sport experience, gender, sport type, and cultural background. Unfortunately, limited information is available on athletes’ expectations about sport-injury rehabilitation.

Objective:

To examine possible differences in athletes’ expectations about sport-injury rehabilitation based on their country of residence and type of sport (contact vs noncontact).

Design:

Cross-sectional.

Setting:

Recreational, college, and professional athletes from the US, UK, and Finland were surveyed.

Participants:

Of the 1209 athletes ranging from 12 to 80 y of age (mean 23.46 ± 7.91), 529 US [80%], 253 UK [86%], and 199 Finnish [82%] athletes provided details of their geographical location and were included in the final analyses.

Main Outcome Measures:

The Expectations About Athletic Training (EAAT) questionnaire was used to determine athletes’ expectations about personal commitment, facilitative conditions, and the expertise of the sports-medicine professional (SMP).

Results:

A 3 × 2 MANCOVA revealed significant main effects for country (P = .0001, ηp 2 = .055) and sport type (P = .0001, ηp 2 = .023). Specifically, US athletes were found to have higher expectations of personal commitment and facilitative conditions than their UK and Finnish counterparts. Athletes participating in contact sports had higher expectations of facilitative conditions and the expertise of the SMP than did athletes participating in noncontact sports.

Conclusions:

SMPs, especially those in the US, should consider the sport and environment when providing services. In addition, SMPs need to highlight and demonstrate their expertise during the rehabilitation process, especially for those who compete in contact sports.

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Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Damien Clement, Jennifer J. Hamson-Utley, Rebecca A. Zakrajsek, Sae-Mi Lee, Cindra Kamphoff, Taru Lintunen, Brian Hemmings and Scott B. Martin

Context:

Existing theoretical frameworks and empirical research support the applicability and usefulness of integrating mental skills throughout sport injury rehabilitation.

Objective:

To determine what, if any, mental skills athletes use during injury rehabilitation, and by who these skills were taught. Cross-cultural differences were also examined.

Design:

Cross-sectional design.

Setting:

College athletes from 5 universities in the United States and a mixture of collegiate, professional, and recreational club athletes from the United Kingdom and Finland were recruited for this study.

Participants:

A total of 1283 athletes from the United States, United Kingdom, and Finland, who participated in diverse sports at varying competitive levels took part in this study.

Main Outcome Measures:

As part of a larger study on athletes’ expectations of injury rehabilitation, participants were asked a series of open-ended and closed-ended questions concerning their use of mental skills during injury rehabilitation.

Results:

Over half (64.0%) of the sample reported previous experience with athletic training, while 27.0% indicated that they used mental skills during injury rehabilitation. The top 3 mental skills reported were goal setting, positive self-talk/positive thoughts, and imagery. Of those athletes that used mental skills, 71.6% indicated that they felt mental skills helped them to rehabilitate faster. A greater proportion of athletes from the United States (33.4%) reported that they used mental skills during rehabilitation compared with athletes from the United Kingdom (23.4%) and Finland (20.3%). A small portion (27.6%) of the participants indicated that their sports medicine professional had taught them how to use mental skills; only 3% were taught mental skills by a sport psychologist.

Conclusions:

The low number of athletes who reported using mental skills during rehabilitation is discouraging, but not surprising given research findings that mental skills are underutilized by injured athletes in the 3 countries examined. More effort should be focused on educating and training athletes, coaches, and sports medicine professionals on the effectiveness of mental training in the injury rehabilitation context.

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Nathan H. Parker, Rebecca E. Lee, Daniel P. O’Connor, An Ngo-Huang, Maria Q.B. Petzel, Keri Schadler, Xuemei Wang, Lianchun Xiao, David Fogelman, Richard Simpson, Jason B. Fleming, Jeffrey E. Lee, Ching-Wei D. Tzeng, Sunil K. Sahai, Karen Basen-Engquist and Matthew H.G. Katz

Background: Physical activity and exercise appear to benefit patients receiving preoperative treatment for cancer. Supports and barriers must be considered to increase compliance with home-based exercise prescriptions in this setting. Such influences have not been previously examined. Methods: The authors used quantitative and qualitative methods to examine potential physical activity influences among patients who were prescribed home-based aerobic and strengthening exercises concurrent with preoperative chemotherapy or chemoradiation for pancreatic cancer. Physical activity was measured using exercise logs and accelerometers. Social support for exercise and perceived neighborhood walkability were measured using validated surveys. Relationships between influences and physical activity were evaluated using linear regression analyses and qualitative interviews. Results: Fifty patients received treatment for a mean of 16 (9) weeks prior to planned surgical resection. Social support from friends and neighborhood esthetics were positively associated with physical activity (P < .05). In interviews, patients confirmed the importance of these influences and cited encouragement from health care providers and desire to complete and recover from treatment as additional motivators. Conclusions: Interpersonal and environmental motivators of exercise and physical activity must be considered in the design of future home-based exercise interventions designed for patients receiving preoperative therapy for cancer.