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Timothy K. Behrens and Mary K. Dinger

Background:

The purpose of this study was to compare steps·d-1 between an accelerometer and pedometer in 2 free-living samples.

Methods:

Data from 2 separate studies were used for this secondary analysis (Sample 1: N = 99, Male: n = 28, 20.9 ± 1.4 yrs, BMI = 27.2 ± 5.0 kg·m-2, Female: n = 71, 20.9 ± 1.7 yrs, BMI = 22.7 ± 3.0 kg·m-2; Sample 2: N = 74, Male: n = 27, 38.0 ± 9.5 yrs, BMI = 25.7 ± 4.5 kg·m-2, Female: n = 47, 38.7 ± 10.1 yrs, BMI = 24.6 ± 4.0 kg·m-2). Both studies used identical procedures and analytical strategies.

Results:

The mean difference in steps·d-1 for the week was 1643.4 steps·d-1 in Study 1 and 2199.4 steps·d-1 in Study 2. There were strong correlations between accelerometer- and pedometer-determined steps·d-1 in Study 1 (r = .85, P < .01) and Study 2 (r = 0.87, P < .01). Bland-Altman plots indicated agreement without bias between steps recorded from the devices in Study 1 (r = −0.14, P < .17) and Study 2 (r = −0.09, P < .40). Correlations examining the difference between accelerometer–pedometer steps·d-1 and MVPA resulted in small, inverse correlations (range: r = −0.03 to −0.28).

Conclusions:

These results indicate agreement between accelerometer- and pedometer-determined steps·d-1; however, measurement bias may still exist because of known sensitivity thresholds between devices.

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Gena M. Fletcher, Timothy K. Behrens and Lorie Domina

Background:

Work sites offer a productive setting for physical activity (PA) promoting interventions. Still, PA participation remains low. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the reasoning behind commonly reported barriers and enabling factors to participation in PA programs in a work-site setting.

Methods:

Employees from a large city government were recruited to participate in focus groups, stratified by white- and blue-collar occupations. Responses from open-ended questions about factors influencing participation in PA programs were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Resulting data were analyzed with open and axial coding.

Results:

The sample consisted of 60 employees composing 9 focus groups. Although time was the most common barrier between both groups, white-collars workers responded that scheduling and work conflicts were the most common barrier concerning time. Blue-collar workers indicated shift work as their most common barrier. In addition, health was a significant enabling factor for both occupational categories. White-collar workers were much more concerned with appearances and were more highly motivated by weight loss and the hopefulness of quick results than were blue-collar workers.

Conclusions:

These findings are important in the understanding of PA as it relates to the reasoning behind participation in work-site programs in regard to occupational status.

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Karla E. Foster, Timothy K. Behrens, Abigail L. Jager and David A. Dzewaltowski

Background:

This study evaluated the effect of elimination and nonelimination games on objectively measured physical activity and psychosocial responses in children.

Methods:

A total of 29 children in grades 4 to 6 (65.5% male; 10.5 ± 1.0 years old) wore an accelerometer while participating in 2 elimination and 2 nonelimination games. Activity counts were collected using a 30-second epoch and converted to METs to determine minutes spent in sedentary behavior and light, moderate, vigorous, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Self-efficacy, enjoyment, and peer-victimization were assessed on 4 occasions (before and after 2 elimination and 2 nonelimination games).

Results:

Overall, girls spent more time in sedentary behavior compared with boys. Children engaged in significantly more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during nonelimination games compared with elimination games. Furthermore, children significantly increased self-efficacy after playing both game sessions. A significant interaction between type of game and time of measurement in the prediction of enjoyment showed that enjoyment modestly increased after elimination games and slightly decreased after nonelimination games. There were no differences in peer-victimization.

Conclusion:

This study provides preliminary evidence that nonelimination games provide more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity compared with elimination games, but elimination games may be more enjoyable.

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Vanessa J. Harbour, Timothy K. Behrens, Han S. Kim and Connie L. Kitchens

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine whether college students meeting the vigorous physical activity (VPA) recommendation reported less frequent symptoms of depression than those not meeting the recommendation.

Methods:

A secondary analysis of the Utah Higher Education Health Behavior Survey was conducted. Descriptive statistics and unconditional logistic regressions were calculated.

Results:

The final sample included 8621 participants (age = 21.34 ± 2.6 years). There was a difference in the frequency of depressive symptoms and VPA. Those not meeting the VPA recommendation reported having more frequent depressive symptoms than those meeting the VPA recommendation. Results were consistent by gender.

Conclusion:

In this sample, our data suggest VPA may be associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms. These findings might be indicative of a dose–response relationship between VPA and symptoms of depression in college students.

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Barbara E. Ainsworth, Roger C. Mannell, Timothy K. Behrens and Linda L. Caldwell

Public health has historically been concerned with eliminating factors associated with disease, disability, and early mortality, whereas leisure studies has emerged from the need to create and manage recreational opportunities and promote leisure activities and experiences. Coincidently, both fields have progressed toward an appreciation of the role of active leisure in enhancing a population’s health and well-being. Factors associated with making choices to be physically active in leisure time are complex and multidimensional. This paper provides historical perspectives from public health and leisure studies (i.e., parks and recreation), describes models used to understand physically active leisure from both fields, and suggests direction for future collaborative research between public health and parks, recreation, and leisure researchers.

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Christine M. Hoehner, Ross C. Brownson, Diana Allen, James Gramann, Timothy K. Behrens, Myron F. Floyd, Jessica Leahy, Joseph B. Liddle, David Smaldone, Diara D. Spain, Daniel R. Tardona, Nicholas P. Ruthmann, Rachel L. Seiler and Byron W. Yount

Background:

We synthesized the results of 7 National Park Service pilot interventions designed to increase awareness of the health benefits from participation in recreation at national parks and to increase physical activity by park visitors.

Methods:

A content analysis was conducted of the final evaluation reports of the 7 participating parks. Pooled data were also analyzed from a standardized trail-intercept survey administered in 3 parks.

Results:

The theme of new and diverse partnerships was the most common benefit reported across the 7 sites. The 2 parks that focused on youth showed evidence of an increase in awareness of the benefits of physical activity. Many of the other sites found high levels of awareness at baseline (approaching 90%), suggesting little room for improvement. Five of the 7 projects showed evidence of an increase in physical activity that was associated with the intervention activities. Multivariate analyses suggested that the media exposure contributed to a small but significant increase in awareness of the importance of physical activity (6%) and number of active visits (7%).

Conclusions:

Enhancements and replication of these programs represents a promising opportunity for improving partnerships between public health and recreation to increase physical activity.