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Karry Dolash, Meizi He, Zenong Yin and Erica T. Sosa

Background:

Park features’ association with physical activity among predominantly Hispanic communities is not extensively researched. The purpose of this study was to assess factors associated with park use and physical activity among park users in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods.

Methods:

Data were collected across 6 parks and included park environmental assessments to evaluate park features, physical activity observations to estimate physical activity energy expenditure as kcal/kg/minute per person, and park user interviews to assess motivators for park use. Quantitative data analysis included independent t tests and ANOVA. Thematic analysis of park user interviews was conducted collectively and by parks.

Results:

Parks that were renovated had higher physical activity energy expenditure scores (mean = .086 ± .027) than nonrenovated parks (mean = .077 ± .028; t = −3.804; P < .01). Basketball courts had a significantly higher number of vigorously active park users (mean = 1.84 ± .08) than tennis courts (mean = .15 ± .01; F = 21.9, η2 = 6.1%, P < .01). Thematic analysis of qualitative data revealed 4 emerging themes—motivation to be physically active, using the play spaces in the park, parks as the main place for physical activity, and social support for using parks.

Conclusion:

Renovations to park amenities, such as increasing basketball courts and trail availability, could potentially increase physical activity among low-socioeconomic-status populations.

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Justin B. Moore, John C. Hanes Jr., Paule Barbeau, Bernard Gutin, Roberto P. Treviño and Zenong Yin

The Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) is a validated self-report measure of physical activity widely used to assess physical activity in children (8-14 years of age). To date, however, the instrument has been validated in largely White Canadian samples. The purpose of the present article is to determine the psychometric properties of the PAQ-C for African American, European American, and Hispanic children. Two studies were conducted in which independent samples were administered the PAQ-C, along with varying indices of cardiovascular fitness, fatness, and psychological measures related to physical activity. Results showed that the reliability and validity of the PAQ-C varied by race and that modifications might be necessary.

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Megan E. Grimstvedt, Jacqueline Kerr, Sara B. Oswalt, Donovan L. Fogt, Tiffanye M. Vargas-Tonsing and Zenong Yin

Background:

This study tested the effectiveness of a stair use promotion strategy in visible and hidden stairwells during intervention and post intervention follow up.

Methods:

A quasi-experimental study design was used with a 1 week baseline, a 3 week intervention, and post intervention at 2 and 4 weeks in 4 university buildings in San Antonio, Texas with stairwells varying in visibility. Participants were students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the 4 buildings. A total of 8431 observations were made. The intervention incorporated motivational signs with direction to nearby stairwells placed by elevators to promote stair use. Stair and elevator use was directly observed and recorded. Logistic regression analyses were used to test whether stair versus elevator use varied by intervention phase and stairwell visibility.

Results:

Stair use increased significantly (12% units) during the intervention period and remained above baseline levels during post intervention follow-up. At baseline, visible stairs were 4 times more likely to be used than hidden stairs; however, the increase in stair use during intervention was similar in both types of stairwells.

Conclusions:

Motivational and directional signage can significantly increase stair use on a university campus. Furthermore, stairwell visibility is an important aspect of stair use promotion.