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Afroditi Stathi and Simon J. Sebire

Background:

Inner-city schools experience substantial difficulties in providing sufficient physical activity opportunities for their pupils. This study evaluated the Y-Active, an outreach physical activity and well-being program delivered in an inner-city primary school in London, UK by a third-sector partner.

Methods:

A process evaluation focusing on perceived effectiveness and implementation issues was conducted using qualitative case-study methodology. Semistructured interviews and focus groups were conducted with Year 5 and Year 6 pupils (N = 17, age range = 9 to 11 years), Y-Active sports leaders (N = 4), the school head teacher, class teachers (N = 2), and the Y-Active administrator. Transcripts were thematically analyzed and multiple informant and analyst triangulation performed.

Results:

The Y-Active leaders created a positive learning environment supporting autonomy, balancing discipline and structure and providing self-referenced feedback, excellence in tuition and a strong focus on fun and praise. Pupils reported improvements in self-confidence and competence, self-discipline and interpersonal relationships. School staff and Y-Active leaders highlighted that their partnership was built on trust, top-down leadership support and open lines of communication between the provider and the school.

Conclusions:

Collaboration between third sector service providers and inner-city schools represents a promising means of increasing children’s physical activity and well-being.

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Martyn Standage, Simon J. Sebire and Tom Loney

This study examined the utility of motivation as advanced by self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) in predicting objectively assessed bouts of moderate-intensity exercise behavior. Participants provided data pertaining to their exercise motivation. One week later, participants wore a combined accelerometer and heart rate monitor (Actiheart; Cambridge Neurotechnology Ltd) and 24-hr energy expenditure was estimated for 7 days. After controlling for gender and a combined marker of BMI and waist circumference, results showed autonomous motivation to positively predict moderate-intensity exercise bouts of ≥10 min, ≥20 min, and an accumulation needed to meet public health recommendations for moderate-intensity activity (i.e., ACSM/AHA guidelines). The present findings add bouts of objectively assessed exercise behavior to the growing body of literature that documents the adaptive consequences of engaging in exercise for autonomous reasons. Implications for practice and future work are discussed.

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Simon J. Sebire, Martyn Standage and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000) proposes that intrinsic, relative to extrinsic, goal content is a critical predictor of the quality of an individual’s behavior and psychological well-being. Through three studies, we developed and psychometrically tested a measure of intrinsic and extrinsic goal content in the exercise context: the Goal Content for Exercise Questionnaire (GCEQ). In adults, exploratory (N = 354; Study 1) and confrmatory factor analyses (N = 312; Study 2) supported a 20-item solution consisting of 5 lower order factors (i.e., social affliation, health management, skill development, image and social recognition) that could be subsumed within a 2-factor higher order structure (i.e., intrinsic and extrinsic). Evidence for external validity, temporal stability, gender invariance, and internal consistency of the GCEQ was found. An independent sample (N = 475; Study 3) provided further support for the lower order structure of the GCEQ and some support for the higher order structure. The GCEQ was supported as a measure of exercise-based goal content, which may help understand how intrinsic and extrinsic goals can motivate exercise behavior.

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Simon J. Sebire, Martyn Standage and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Grounded in self-determination theory (SDT), this study had two purposes: (a) examine the associations between intrinsic (relative to extrinsic) exercise goal content and cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes; and (b) test the mediating role of psychological need satisfaction in the Exercise Goal Content Outcomes relationship. Using a sample of 410 adults, hierarchical regression analysis showed relative intrinsic goal content to positively predict physical self-worth, self-reported exercise behavior, psychological well-being, and psychological need satisfaction and negatively predict exercise anxiety. Except for exercise behavior, the predictive utility of relative intrinsic goal content on the dependent variables of interest remained significant after controlling for participants’ relative self-determined exercise motivation. Structural equation modeling analyses showed psychological need satisfaction to partially mediate the effect of relative intrinsic goal content on the outcome variables. Our findings support further investigation of exercise goals commensurate with the goal content perspective advanced in SDT.

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Simon J. Sebire, Martyn Standage and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Grounded in self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), the purpose of this work was to examine effects of the content and motivation of adults’ exercise goals on objectively assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). After reporting the content and motivation of their exercise goals, 101 adult participants (M age = 38.79 years; SD = 11.5) wore an ActiGraph (GT1M) accelerometer for seven days. Accelerometer data were analyzed to provide estimates of engagement in MVPA and bouts of physical activity. Goal content did not directly predict behavioral engagement; however, mediation analysis revealed that goal content predicted behavior via autonomous exercise motivation. Specifically, intrinsic versus extrinsic goals for exercise had a positive indirect effect on average daily MVPA, average daily MVPA accumulated in 10-min bouts and the number of days on which participants performed 30 or more minutes of MVPA through autonomous motivation. These results support a motivational sequence in which intrinsic versus extrinsic exercise goals influence physical activity behavior because such goals are associated with more autonomous forms of exercise motivation.

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Simon J. Sebire, Martyn Standage, Fiona B. Gillison and Maarten Vansteenkiste

Goals are central to exercise motivation, although not all goals (e.g., health vs. appearance goals) are equally psychologically or behaviorally adaptive. Within goal content theory (Vansteenkiste, Niemiec, & Soenens, 2010), goals are adaptive to the extent to which they satisfy psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. However, little is known about what exercisers pursuing different goals are feeling, doing, thinking, and paying attention to that may help to explain the association between goal contents and need satisfaction. Using semistructured interviews and interpretative phenomenological analysis, we explored experiences of exercise among 11 adult exercisers who reported pursuing either predominantly intrinsic or extrinsic goals. Four themes emerged: (a) observation of others and resulting emotions, (b) goal expectations and time perspective, (c) markers of progress and (d) reactions to (lack of) goal achievement. Intrinsic and extrinsic goal pursuers reported divergent experiences within these four domains. The findings illuminate potential mechanisms by which different goals may influence psychological and behavioral outcomes in the exercise context.

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Maria E. Hermosillo-Gallardo, Russell Jago and Simon J. Sebire

Background:

Approximately 17.4% of people in Mexico self-report physical activity levels below the World Health Organization’s guidelines and an average sedentary time of 16 hours per day.1 Low physical activity has been associated with noncommunicable disease risk factors and previous research suggests that urbanicity might be an important determinant of physical activity. The aim of this study was to measure urbanicity in Mexico and assess if it is associated with physical activity and sitting time.

Methods:

A sample of 2880 men and 4211 women aged 20 to 69 was taken from the 2012 Mexico National Health and Nutrition Survey and multivariable linear regression models were used to examine the association between physical activity, sitting time and urbanicity; adjusting for sex, education level, socioeconomic status and Body Mass Index. The urbanicity score and the 7 urbanicity subscores were estimated from the CENSUS 2010.

Results:

The subscores of demographic, economic activity, diversity and communication were negatively associated with physical activity. Sitting time was positively associated with the overall urbanicity, and the demographic and health subscores.

Conclusions:

There was evidence of associations between urbanicity and physical activity in Mexico.

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Simon J. Sebire, Anne M. Haase, Alan A. Montgomery, Jade McNeill and Russ Jago

Background:

The current study investigated cross-sectional associations between maternal and paternal logistic and modeling physical activity support and the self-efficacy, self-esteem, and physical activity intentions of 11- to 12-year-old girls.

Methods:

210 girls reported perceptions of maternal and paternal logistic and modeling support and their self-efficacy, self-esteem and intention to be physically active. Data were analyzed using multivariable regression models.

Results:

Maternal logistic support was positively associated with participants’ self-esteem, physical activity self-efficacy, and intention to be active. Maternal modeling was positively associated with self-efficacy. Paternal modeling was positively associated with self-esteem and selfefficacy but there was no evidence that paternal logistic support was associated with the psychosocial variables.

Conclusions:

Activity-related parenting practices were associated with psychosocial correlates of physical activity among adolescent girls. Logistic support from mothers, rather than modeling support or paternal support may be a particularly important target when designing interventions aimed at preventing the age-related decline in physical activity among girls.

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Alun Williams, Lucy Whitman, Yve Le Page, Colin Le Page, Graham Chester and Simon J. Sebire

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Tom Loney, Martyn Standage, Dylan Thompson, Simon J. Sebire and Sean Cumming

Background:

To examine the agreement between self-reported and objectively assessed physical activity (PA) according to current public health recommendations.

Methods:

One-hundred and fourteen British University students wore a combined accelerometer and heart rate monitor (Actiheart; AHR) to estimate 24-hour energy expenditure over 7 consecutive days. Data were extracted based on population-based MET-levels recommended to improve and maintain health. On day 8, participants were randomly assigned to complete either the short-form International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) or the Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (LTEQ). Estimates of duration (IPAQ; N = 46) and frequency (LTEQ; N = 41) of PA were compared with those recorded by the AHR.

Results:

Bland-Altman analysis showed the mean bias between the IPAQ and AHR to be small for moderate-intensity and total PA, however the 95% limits of agreement (LOA) were wide. The mean number of moderate bouts of PA estimated by the LTEQ was similar to those derived by the AHR but the 95% LOA between the 2 measures were large.

Conclusions:

Although self-report questionnaires may provide an approximation of PA at a population level, they may not determine whether an individual is participating in the type, intensity, and amount of PA advocated in current public health recommendations.