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Cristina M. Caperchione, Shirley Chau, Gordon J. Walker, W. Kerry Mummery and Cally Jennings

Background:

Gender is a sociocultural factor known to impact the physical activity (PA) behaviors of South Asians. The purpose of this research was to examine gender-associated perceptions of barriers and motivators for PA in a South Asian population living Canada.

Methods:

A random sample (N = 204) of South Asian Punjabi adults (18yrs+) completed a computer assisted telephone interview concerning their perceptions to PA participation. Content analysis was used to identify relevant main themes and chi-square analysis was used to calculate gender differences.

Results:

Results indicated that women more often reported a lack of time due to work and family (χ2 = 7.284, df = 1, P = .007) and a lack of motivation (χ2 = 4.982, df = 1, P = .026), yet men more often reported climate (χ2 = 7.045, df = 1, P = .008) as a barrier. Regarding motivators, men more often reported prevention and reduction of disease (χ2 = 4.451, df = 1, P = .034) and watching others perform (χ2 = 10.827, df = 1, P = .001); however, reducing weight gain (χ2 = 4.806, df = 1, P = .028) and looking like others (χ2 = 4.730, df = 1, P = .029) were reported more often by women.

Conclusions:

Gender-associated differences concerning PA are present in this population and must be considered in the design and implementation of effective interventions.

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Ya-Wen Hsu, Chih-Ping Chou, Selena T. Nguyen-Rodriguez, Arianna D. McClain, Britni R. Belcher and Donna Spruijt-Metz

Background:

A profound decline in physical activity occurs in puberty. This phenomenon is not well understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine associations between family/friend social support for physical activity, negative meanings of physical activity (NMPA), and internal /external barriers to physical activity with moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and sedentary and light behavior (SLB) in youth.

Methods:

A total of 350 participants from 7 Los Angeles County middle schools participated in the study (62% Latina, 79% females). Hypothesized pathways were examined using structural equation modeling. Psychosocial variables and participation in MVPA and SLB were assessed by self-reported questionnaires.

Results:

NMPA were related to lower levels of family/friend social support and greater internal/external barriers. Family social support was the only significant indicator of MVPA (β = 0.79). Low family social support was related to higher SLB (β = −0.25).

Conclusions:

Family social support seems crucial to promote MVPA and reduce SLB in adolescents and might be influenced by child’s feelings about physical activity. Future research should consider the interrelationship between psychosocial correlates of physical activity.

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Jeremy A. Steeves, David R. Bassett, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, Hollie Raynor, Chi Cho and Dixie L. Thompson

Background:

Physical activity (PA) is enjoyable, but there are barriers to participation. TV viewing is highly enjoyable with limited barriers. Exercising while viewing TV may impact enjoyment, exercise self-efficacy, and barriers to PA, compared with exercising without TV.

Methods:

58 sedentary, overweight adults were randomized to 1 of 2 PA prescriptions: one that increased PA during TV viewing (TV Commercial Stepping), and another that focused solely on PA (Walking). Random effects models tested changes in enjoyment of TV and PA, exercise self-efficacy, and barriers to PA across time (baseline, 3, and 6 months) and PA prescription during a 6-month PA intervention.

Results:

At baseline, TV was more enjoyable than PA. Over the 6-month intervention, enjoyment of TV viewing did not change, but enjoyment of PA and exercise self-efficacy significantly increased, while barriers to PA significantly decreased for both groups compared with baseline (P < .05).

Conclusions:

While enjoyment of TV viewing remained constant, PA became more enjoyable, confidence to exercise increased, and barriers to being active were reduced for previously sedentary adults participating in a behavioral PA intervention. These findings highlight the importance of encouraging inactive adults to engage in some form of PA, whether it occurs with or without TV viewing.

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Kazuhiro Harada, Ai Shibata, Euna Lee, Koichiro Oka and Yoshio Nakamura

Background:

Although several studies have examined associations of perceived benefits and barriers with physical activity, no studies have focused on them corresponding to strength-training recommendations for older adults. This study examined the associations among the perceived health benefits of strength training, perceived barriers to strength straining, and stages of change for strength-training behavior in older Japanese adults.

Methods:

This cross-sectional survey included a random sample of 1144 adults (60–74 years) from the city of Tokorozawa. Stage of change was the independent variable, with perceived health benefits (eg, strength training can reduce body pain) and perceived barriers (eg, facilities are needed for strength training) as dependent variables. Data were analyzed by analysis of covariance and Bonferroni’s multiple comparison.

Results:

After adjusting for demographic variables, the perceived health-benefit score for precontemplation was significantly lower than for the other four stages. The perceived barrier scores in the precontemplation and contemplation stages were significantly higher than those in the preparation and maintenance stages.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that information about the health benefits for older adults and about the recommended type of strength training might be useful for the development of strategies to promote strength training among older adults.

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Shannon N. Zenk, Amy J. Schulz, Angela M. Odoms-Young, JoEllen Wilbur, Stephen Matthews, Cindy Gamboa, Lani R. Wegrzyn, Susan Hobson and Carmen Stokes

Background:

Global positioning systems (GPS) have emerged as a research tool to better understand environmental influences on physical activity. This study examined the feasibility of using GPS in terms of perceived acceptability, barriers, and ease of use in a racially/ethnically diverse sample of lower socioeconomic position (SEP).

Methods:

Data were from 2 pilot studies involving a total of 170 African American, Hispanic, and White urban adults with a mean (standard deviation) age of 47.8 (±13.1) years. Participants wore a GPS for up to 7 days. They answered questions about GPS acceptability, barriers (wear-related concerns), and ease of use before and after wearing the GPS.

Results:

We found high ratings of GPS acceptability and ease of use and low levels of wear-related concerns, which were maintained after data collection. While most were comfortable with their movements being tracked, older participants (P < .05) and African Americans (P < .05) reported lower comfort levels. Participants who were younger, with higher education, and low incomes were more likely to indicate that the GPS made the study more interesting (P < .05). Participants described technical and wear-related problems, but few concerns related to safety, loss, or appearance.

Conclusions:

Use of GPS was feasible in this racially/ethnically diverse, lower SEP sample.

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Mary Chace and Heather Vilvens

Background:

Shared use agreements (SUA) that allow the use of public school facilities by the community are recommended as a key public health strategy for increasing physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to examine the current nature and extent of SUA in Ohio, as well as school administrators’ perceived benefits, barriers and needs.

Methods:

School administrators were recruited to respond to an e-mail survey through the predominant state-level professional membership organization’s listserv in September 2013.

Results:

Respondents (n = 96) were mostly superintendents who reported a lower prevalence of formal SUA (38.5%) than informal (65.6%), with a total of 9.3% reporting neither formal nor informal SUA. The most commonly perceived benefits included improved relationships with taxpayers and community organizations and increased PA options. Top barriers were costs and liability concerns.

Conclusions:

According to this sample of school administrators, their doors are open to some extent, but the majority SUA were informal agreements. Advocacy efforts for SUA should include the passage of a state-level law that provides reasonable immunity from liability. Outreach to the school community should include examples of written formal agreements, innovative cost management examples, and updated research on the connection of PA to learning and academic performance.

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Hee-Tae Roh, Su-Youn Cho, Hyung-Gi Yoon and Wi-Young So

We investigated the effects of aerobic exercise intensity on oxidative–nitrosative stress, neurotrophic factor expression, and blood–brain barrier (BBB) permeability. Fifteen healthy men performed treadmill running under low-intensity (LI), moderate-intensity (MI), and high-intensity (HI) conditions. Blood samples were collected immediately before exercise (IBE), immediately after exercise (IAE), and 60 min after exercise (60MAE) to examine oxidative–nitrosative stress (reactive oxygen species [ROS]; nitric oxide [NO]), neurotrophic factors (brain-derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF]; nerve growth factor [NGF]), and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability (S-100β; neuron-specific enolase). ROS concentration significantly increased IAE and following HI (4.9 ± 1.7 mM) compared with that after LI (2.8 ± 1.4 mM) exercise (p < .05). At 60MAE, ROS concentration was higher following HI (2.5 ± 1.2 mM) than after LI (1.5 ± 0.5 mM) and MI (1.4 ± 0.3 mM) conditions (p < .05). Plasma NO IAE increased significantly after MI and HI exercise (p < .05). Serum BDNF, NGF, and S-100b levels were significantly higher IAE following MI and HI exercise (p < .05). BDNF and S-100b were higher IAE following MI (29.6 ± 3.4 ng/mL and 87.1 ± 22.8 ng/L, respectively) and HI (31.4 ± 3.8 ng/mL and 100.6 ± 21.2 ng/L, respectively) than following LI (26.5 ± 3.0 ng/mL and 64.8 ± 19.2 ng/L, respectively) exercise (p < .05). 60MAE, S-100b was higher following HI (71.1 ± 14.5 ng/L) than LI (56.2 ± 14.7 ng/L) exercise (p < .05). NSE levels were not significantly different among all intensity conditions and time points (p > .05). Moderate- and/or high-intensity exercise may induce higher oxidative-nitrosative stress than may low-intensity exercise, which can increase peripheral neurotrophic factor levels by increasing BBB permeability.

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Tina Louisa Cook, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Lea Maes, Leen Haerens, Evangelia Grammatikaki, Kurt Widhalm, Lydia Kwak, Maria Plada, Luis Alberto Moreno, Yannis Tountas, Antonis Zampelas, Yannis Manios and on hehalf of the HELENA group

Background:

The aim was to examine if psychosocial determinants (attitudes, self-efficacy, social support from a sports partner) and perceived environmental barriers (PEB) of physical activity (PA) mediated the effect of a 3-month Internet-based intervention on PA in European adolescents.

Methods:

A sample of 536 adolescents (51% boys) aged 12–17 years were randomly assigned to intervention or control condition. Questionnaires were used to assess different PA behaviors, psychosocial determinants and PEB at baseline and at 3-month follow-up. Mediating effects were assessed with the bootstrapping method.

Results:

PEB regarding neighborhood safety mediated the effect of the intervention on all PA indices. PEB regarding sports facilities availability at neighborhood and PEB regarding sport-related facilities availability at school mediated the effect of the intervention on moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) and moderate PA (in leisure time and at school, respectively). Social support from a sports partner suppressed the effect of the intervention on vigorous PA and MVPA. No other factor had a mediation effect.

Conclusions:

All PEB measures appear to mediate PA behaviors of different intensities and in different contexts. Interventions promoting PA in adolescents should also focus on improving the targeted PEB as mediators of engagement in PA to bring the desired effects in actual behaviors.

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Paul Rainer, Robert Griffiths, Brendan Cropley and Stuart Jarvis

Background:

In light of recent reports, schools must be realistic in that physical activity recommendations cannot be met through curriculum PE alone. However, extracurricular PE and school sport has the potential to further promote physical activity in adolescents. Consequently, the Welsh Government, UK, proposed through its Climbing Higher strategy (2006) for secondary school children to achieve 60 minutes of physical activity a day. This was implemented through Sport Wales and the 5×60 scheme.

Method:

This study aimed to examine the experiences of the 5×60 officers responsible for implementing the program, with a view to gain an understanding of the barriers associated with increasing participation in physical activity. Officers from 14 unitary authorities across Wales were interviewed using a socioecological approach that considered the impact of: personal behaviors, physical environment, social environment, and policy.

Results:

Participants reported a number of challenges affecting the delivery of the program, including: availability of facilities, lack of support from senior management, time, and conflict with PE staff.

Conclusion:

This study suggests that current methods used by personnel to facilitate extracurricular school sport may not be the most appropriate, and future direction should consider the place and contribution of physical activity to young people’s lives.

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Diane E. Whaley and Vicki Ebbeck

This study used a qualitative, feminist perspective to examine issues pertaining to exercise constraints among older adults. Participants were 8 male and 9 female older adults (mean age = 76.7) who chose not to engage in structured exercise classes. Twenty-six self-identified constraints were elicited (mean = four per person). Additionally, four constraints per person from previous research were selected. The most frequently cited self-reported constraints were “get enough exercise elsewhere,” health-related items, and issues related to time. From the constraints most frequently cited in past studies, inconvenience, time, and type of activity were selected most often. Gender differences were apparent in the constraints chosen as well as reasons why a particular constraint inhibited or prohibited activity. Specific suggestions for strategies included having programs with a purpose, building in flexibility, and encouraging men to participate. The influence of gender is explored, especially how expanding our understanding of gender issues might improve program planning.