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R. Glenn Weaver, Michael W. Beets, Collin Webster and Jennifer Huberty

Background:

Frontline-staff are critical to achieving policies related to child physical activity and nutrition (PAaN) in out-of-school-time programs (OSTP). Recent policies call upon staff to demonstrate behaviors related to PAaN. Currently, no instrument exists to measure these behaviors. This study fills the gap between policy mandates and staff behaviors by describing the development of the System for Observing Staff Promotion of Activity and Nutrition (SOSPAN) in OSTP.

Methods:

SOSPAN items were aligned with existing OSTP policies. Reliability and validity data of SOSPAN were collected across 8 OSTP: 4 summer day camps and 4 afterschool programs. Validity of SOSPAN staff behaviors/management of PA was established using the percent of children active measured concurrently via direct observation.

Results:

A total of 6437 scans were performed. Interrater percent agreement ranged from 74%–99% across PAaN behaviors. Children’s activity was associated with staff facilitative behaviors/management, such as playing with the children and providing 2 or more activities for children to choose, while prohibitive behaviors/management, such as waiting in line were related to increased sedentary behavior. Staff nutrition behaviors were observed in less than 0.6% of scans.

Conclusion:

SOSPAN is a reliable and valid tool to assess staff behaviors/management of PAaN in OSTPs.

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Amy A. Eyler, Elizabeth Budd, Gabriela J. Camberos, Yan Yan and Ross C. Brownson

Background:

Strategies to improve physical activity prevalence often include policy and environmental changes. State-level policies can be influential in supporting access and opportunities for physical activity in schools and communities. The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of state legislation related to physical activity and identify the correlates of enactment of this legislation.

Methods:

An online legislative database was used to collect bills from 50 states in the U.S. from 2006 to 2012 for 1010 topics related to physical activity. Bills were coded for content and compiled into a database with state-level variables (eg, obesity prevalence). With enactment status as the outcome, bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted.

Results:

Of the 1,542 bills related to physical activity introduced, 30% (N = 460) were enacted. Bills on public transportation and trails were more likely to be enacted than those without these topics. Primary sponsorship by the Republican Party, bipartisan sponsorship, and mention of specific funding amounts were also correlates of enactment.

Conclusion:

Policy surveillance of bills and correlates of enactment are important for understanding patterns in legislative support for physical activity. This information can be used to prioritize advocacy efforts and identify ways for research to better inform policy.

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Lindsey Turner, Jamie F. Chriqui and Frank J. Chaloupka

Background:

Active transportation to school provides an important way for children to meet physical activity recommendations. The “walking school bus” (WSB) is a strategy whereby adults walk with a group of children to and from school along a fixed route. This study assessed whether school-organized WSB programs varied by school characteristics, district policies, and state laws.

Methods:

School data were gathered by mail-back surveys in nationally representative samples of U.S. public elementary schools during the 2008−2009 and 2009−2010 school years (n = 632 and 666, respectively). Corresponding district policies and state laws were obtained.

Results:

Nationwide, 4.2% of schools organized a WSB program during 2008−2009, increasing to 6.2% by 2009−2010. Controlling for demographic covariates, schools were more likely to organize a WSB program where there was a strong district policy pertaining to safe active routes to school (OR = 2.14, P < .05), or a state law requiring crossing guards around schools (OR = 2.72, P < .05).

Conclusions:

WSB programs are not common but district policies and state laws are associated with an increased likelihood of elementary schools organizing these programs. Policymaking efforts may encourage schools to promote active transportation.

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Jay Johnson, Michelle D. Guerrero, Margery Holman, Jessica W. Chin and Mary Anne Signer-Kroeker

investigate hazing in Canada ( Hamilton, Scott, O’Sullivan, & LaChapelle, 2013 ), questions still remain regarding hazing practices, athletes’ attitudes toward hazing, and athletes’ knowledge of hazing policies. Thus, the present study sought to quantitatively examine hazing among university athletes in

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Wendell C. Taylor, James F. Sallis, Emily Lees, Joseph T. Hepworth, Karina Feliz, Devin C. Volding, Andrea Cassels and Jonathan N. Tobin

Background:

Middle age and older (mean = 58.7 y), racial/ethnic minority women report low levels of physical activity. Recommendations to change the social and built environments to promote physical activity in this group are underdeveloped. Two research questions guided this study: What environmental changes are recommended by racial/ethnic minority women? What policies are related to the environmental changes?

Methods:

The findings from nine Nominal Group Technique sessions with 45 subjects were analyzed.

Results:

More police protection, cleaner streets, removal of drugs from streets, more street lights, walking groups, and free gyms were prioritized by subjects as the most important recommendations. The relevant policies included municipal, police department, sanitation department, public works, and transportation department.

Conclusions:

Racial/ethnic minority women living in low income, urban areas recommend improvements that affect overall quality of life. Meeting basic needs may be a prerequisite for use of physical activity resources.

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Stephanie Kneeshaw-Price, Brian Saelens, James Sallis, Karen Glanz, Lawrence Frank, Jacqueline Kerr, Peggy Hannon, David Grembowski, KC Gary Chan and Kelli Cain

Knowledge of where children are active may lead to more informed policies about how and where to intervene and improve physical activity. This study examined where children aged 6–11 were physically active using time-stamped accelerometer data and parent-reported place logs and assessed the association of physical-activity location variation with demographic factors. Children spent most time and did most physical activity at home and school. Although neighborhood time was limited, this time was more proportionally active than time in other locations (e.g., active 42.1% of time in neighborhood vs. 18.1% of time at home). Children with any neighborhood-based physical activity had higher average total physical activity. Policies and environments that encourage children to spend time outdoors in their neighborhoods could result in higher overall physical activity.

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Phillip M. Gray, Marie H. Murphy, Alison M. Gallagher and Ellen E. A. Simpson

This study explored motives and barriers to physical activity (PA) among older adults of differing socioeconomic status (SES) utilizing a self-determination theory and self-efficacy theory framework. Focus groups (n = 4) were conducted with older adults (n = 28) from two SES groups, using thematic analysis to identify motives and barriers. Integrated and identified regulations and, to a lesser extent, intrinsic motives, were evident across SES groups. Verbal persuasion and affective and physiological states emerged as prominent efficacy sources regardless of SES. More barriers were reported by the low SES group, with health conditions, neighborhood safety, and PA guidelines knowledge emerging as most salient. Time emerged as a prominent barrier for the high SES group. Integrated and identified regulations should be fostered in future interventions and policy regardless of SES. Barriers to PA varied across SES groups; thus future interventions and policy should account for such differences.

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Dino G. Costanzo, David M. Rustico and Linda S. Pescatello

The preparedness of community facilities offering exercise programs to older adults is unknown. On-site evaluations were conducted by trained professionals to assess compliance of community older adult exercise programs with fitness-industry standards. Fourteen facilities were evaluated whose clientele (N = 2,172) were predominantly White (98%) women (87%) over 75 years of age (66%). Few of the 14 facilities required exercise participants to complete preactivity health questionnaires (n = 5), 3 administered informed consents, and none adhered to a medical-clearance policy. Only 2 facilities had defined emergency policies, and none conducted emergency drills. One site conducted exercise programs with instructors trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Professionally certified exercise instructors leading all exercise programs were observed in 1 facility. Most facilities evaluated were noncompliant with existing professional health and fitness standards. The practicality of imposing such standards on community exercise programs for older adult requires further examination.

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Barth B. Riley, James H. Rimmer, Edward Wang and William J. Schiller

Access to fitness and recreation facilities is an important issue for people with disabilities. Although policy and legislation have helped to remove various environmental barriers, there remain a substantial number of inaccessible features in fitness and recreation facilities. This article presents an approach for improving the accessibility of fitness and recreation environments that enables participation and input from members of the community, as well as persons with expertise in accessibility. Through a collaboration between facilities, persons with disabilities and accessibility consultants, the approach provides a process of incremental change through readily achievable barrier removal and by providing an information and educational resource concerning barrier removal, disability awareness, and economic and information resources. Technology is incorporated to facilitate accessibility assessment, interaction between various stakeholders, and the creation of an accessibility solutions database. Policy implications of this approach are discussed.

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Michael W. Beets, Aaron Beighle, Matteo Bottai, Laura Rooney and Fallon Tilley

Background:

Policies to require afterschool programs (ASPs, 3 PM to 6 PM) to provide children a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) exist. With few low-cost, easy-to-use measures of MVPA available to the general public, ASP providers are limited in their ability to track progress toward achieving this policy-goal. Pedometers may fill this gap, yet there are no step-count guidelines for ASPs linked to 30 minutes of MVPA.

Methods:

Steps and accelerometer estimates of MVPA were collected concurrently over multiple days on 245 children (8.2 years, 48% boys, BMI-percentile 68.2) attending 3 community-based ASPs. Random intercept logit models and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were used to identify a threshold of steps that corresponded with attaining 30 minutes of MVPA.

Results:

Children accumulated an average of 2876 steps (standard error [SE] 79) and 16.1 minutes (SE0.5) of MVPA over 111 minutes (SE1.3) during the ASP. A threshold of 4600 steps provided high specificity (0.967) and adequate sensitivity (0.646) for discriminating children who achieved the 30 minutes of MVPA; 93% of the children were correctly classified. The total area under the curve was 0.919. Children accumulating 4600 steps were 25times more likely to accumulate 30 minutes of MVPA.

Conclusions:

This step threshold will provide ASP leaders with an objective, low-cost, easy-to-use tool to monitor progress toward policy-related goals.