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Ronald J. Iannotti, Rusan Chen, Hania Kololo, Gintare Petronyte, Ellen Haug and Chris Roberts

Background:

Although there are substantial international differences in adolescent physical activity (PA), cross-country motivational differences have received limited attention, perhaps due to the lack of measures applicable internationally.

Methods:

Identical self-report measures assessing PA and motivations for PA were used to survey students ages 11, 13, and 15 from 7 countries participating in the 2005−2006 Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study representing 3 regions: Eastern Europe, Western Europe and North America. Multigroup comparisons with Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Structural Equation Modeling examined the stability of factors across regions and regional differences in relations between PA and motives for PA.

Results:

Three PA motivation factors were identified as suitable for assessing international populations. There were significant regional, gender, and age differences in relations between PA and each of the 3 PA motives. Social and achievement motives were positively related to PA. However, the association of PA with health motivations varied significantly by region and gender. The patterns suggest the importance of social motives for PA and the possibility that health may not be a reliable motivator for adolescent PA.

Conclusion:

Programs to increase PA in adolescence need to determine which motives are effective for the particular population being targeted.

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Barbara E. Ainsworth, Carl J. Caspersen, Charles E. Matthews, Louise C. Mâsse, Tom Baranowski and Weimo Zhu

Context:

Assessment of physical activity using self-report has the potential for measurement error that can lead to incorrect inferences about physical activity behaviors and bias study results.

Objective:

To provide recommendations to improve the accuracy of physical activity derived from self report.

Process:

We provide an overview of presentations and a compilation of perspectives shared by the authors of this paper and workgroup members.

Findings:

We identified a conceptual framework for reducing errors using physical activity self-report questionnaires. The framework identifies 6 steps to reduce error: 1) identifying the need to measure physical activity, 2) selecting an instrument, 3) collecting data, 4) analyzing data, 5) developing a summary score, and 6) interpreting data. Underlying the first 4 steps are behavioral parameters of type, intensity, frequency, and duration of physical activities performed, activity domains, and the location where activities are performed. We identified ways to reduce measurement error at each step and made recommendations for practitioners, researchers, and organizational units to reduce error in questionnaire assessment of physical activity.

Conclusions:

Self-report measures of physical activity have a prominent role in research and practice settings. Measurement error may be reduced by applying the framework discussed in this paper.

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Koichiro Oka and Ai Shibata

Background:

Exploring the detailed pattern and correlates of dog walking is crucial to designing effective interventions to increase the proportion of dog walkers. The current study examined the prevalence and pattern of dog walking, the association between dog walking and health-related physical activity, and the correlates of dog walking among dog owners in Japan.

Methods:

Japanese dog owners’ (n = 930) responses to an Internet-based cross-sectional survey were analyzed. A self-reported measure of physical activity, dog walking characteristics, and sociodemographic and dog-specific variables were obtained. Analyses of covariance and multivariate logistic regressions were used.

Results:

Overall, 64.4% of the surveyed dog owners walked their dogs. On an average, they walked their dogs 214.1 ± 189.5 minutes per week. The dog walkers were 3.47 times more likely to meet physical activity recommendations, were significantly less likely to be unmarried (OR = 0.61), and had higher levels of attachment with their dogs (OR = 2.32) than the nondog walkers.

Conclusion:

The findings confirmed that dog walking significantly helps dog owners meet physical activity recommendations for health and revealed that dog-specific factors such as dog attachment might be stronger correlates of dog walking than sociodemographic factors.

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Rob J. Rotunda and Stuart Ryan

The present program consultation and evaluation examines the use of a martial-arts (MA) program in a middle-school physical education (PE) setting. Prior work and anecdotal reports suggest that MA instruction has the potential to produce both physical and psychosocial benefits for adult and adolescent participants, but rarely has a systematic program been implemented in schools. At the impetus of an MA organization, self-report measures of emotional intelligence and behavior of seventy 7th- and 8th-grade boys and girls who participated in a structured 18-session tae kwon do program as a component of their school’s PE curriculum were compared with those of 45 students who received typical PE class instruction. Participant satisfaction with the tae kwon do program and feedback received from the MA instructors and PE teachers suggest that this sport can be successfully integrated into school-based PE classes; this represents an opportunity to provide a novel programming alternative to students that promotes exercise and continued pursuit of physical activities, nonviolence, and respect of self and others. The project content, process, and challenges in working with a client MA organization to develop the curriculum, gaining entry into a public school, and explaining limitations of the research are discussed.

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Jenny H. Conviser, Amanda Schlitzer Tierney and Riley Nickols

It is estimated that 1.6 million people in the United States are currently diagnosed with an eating disorder. Eating disorders (EDs) have high rates of morbidity and mortality and remain the most severe mental illness. Unfortunately, rates of EDs and disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) among athletes appear to be increasing. In this study, authors summarize ED-related risks that pose compromises in psychological and social functioning, medical health, and overall quality of life. The importance of early detection and formal evaluation in preserving the athlete’s health, well-being and sustaining successful sport participation, and performance are highlighted. Athlete-specific factors, which challenge the ease and accuracy of ED detection and assessment, are noted. The recommended components of effective ED assessment are identified, including use of self-report measures and clinical interviews conducted by ED certified and licensed professionals. The importance of being well informed in tenets of ED awareness, prevention and supporting early detection, and referral for formal ED assessment are noted. Conclusions reflect the vital roles that both the multidisciplinary sport personnel and the sport environment/culture play in reducing the serious health risks of DEBs and EDs. Each is needed to protect an athlete’s well-being while fostering safe and successful sport participation.

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Alessandra de Carvalho Bastone, Eduardo Ferriolli, Claudine Patricia Teixeira, João Marcos Domingues Dias and Rosângela Corrêa Dias

Background:

Self-reported measures of decreased aerobic fitness and low physical activity are criteria of frailty. However, research assessing aerobic fitness and physical activity levels associated with frailty is limited. Therefore, the aims of this study were to objectively assess the aerobic fitness and the physical activity level of frail and nonfrail elderly, and to examine the association between frailty, aerobic fitness and habitual physical activity.

Methods:

This study included 26 elderly (66 to 86 years), randomly selected. The groups (frail/nonfrail) were age and sex paired. Peak oxygen consumption, maximal walking distance and speed were assessed during the incremental shuttle walk test (ISWT). Average daily time spent in sedentary, light, moderate and hard activity, counts, number of steps and energy expenditure were measured by accelerometry.

Results:

All variables measured by the ISWT and accelerometer differed significantly between the groups (P < .02). All aerobic fitness and physical activity variables were significantly associated with frailty, independent of the number of chronic health conditions (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Frailty is associated with low peak oxygen consumption and low physical activity level. These findings could guide future clinical trials designed to evaluate the efficacy of aerobic exercises in the prevention and treatment of frailty.

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Meghan L. Butryn, Danielle Arigo, Greer A. Raggio, Alison Infield Kaufman, Stephanie G. Kerrigan and Evan M. Forman

Background:

Physical activity (PA) is essential for health, but many adults find PA adherence challenging. Acceptance of discomfort related to PA may influence an individual’s ability to begin and sustain a program of exercise. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Physical Activity Acceptance Questionnaire (PAAQ).

Methods:

The PAAQ was administered to 3 distinct samples (N = 418). Each sample completed additional self-report measures; 1 sample also wore accelerometers for 7 days (at baseline and 6 months later).

Results:

The PAAQ demonstrated high internal validity for its total score (α = .89) and 2 subscales (Cognitive Acceptance α = .86, Behavioral Commitment α = .85). The PAAQ also showed convergent validity with measures of mindfulness, self-reported physical activity levels, and accelerometer-verified levels of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA; P-values < .05). The Cognitive Acceptance subscale showed predictive validity for objectively-verified PA levels among individuals attempting to increase PA over 6 months (P = .05). Test-retest reliability for a subset of participants (n = 46) demonstrated high consistency over 1 week (P < .0001).

Conclusions:

The PAAQ demonstrates sound psychometric properties, and shows promise for improving the current understanding of PA facilitators and barriers among adults.

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Maureen R. Weiss and Carl T. Hayashi

The purpose of this study was to examine parent-child influences associated with highly competitive gymnastics participation. Athletes (n = 24) responded to self-report measures of perceived parental influences, and the athletes’ parents (n = 39) responded to interview questions regarding the influence of their child’s gymnastics involvement on their own behaviors. Descriptive analyses of gymnasts’ responses revealed that parents (a) frequently attended meets, (b) encouraged their child’s participation extensively, (c) demonstrated positive affect toward their child’s involvement, and (d) held positive beliefs and realistic expectations about their child’s competence. Parents’ responses indicated large time and financial investments as a result of their child’s involvement and indicated that their child’s participation positively influenced such behaviors as (a) attendance at gymnastics meets, (b) reading sports-related literature, (c) watching sports on television, (d) participating in fitness-related activities, and (e) parenting in general. These findings support theory and research that advocate the reciprocal nature of parent-child socialization effects in sport.

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Margina Ruiter, Charly Eielts, Sofie Loyens and Fred Paas

Background: Although active workstations, such as desk bikes, have proven to be beneficial for health, there is limited information regarding their effects on children’s acute cognitive performance during self-paced exercise. Methods: This study used a within-subjects, fully counterbalanced design with a sample of 38 preadolescent children (mean age = 12.50 y, SD = 0.62; 43% male), who performed cognitive tests while being seated or while cycling for 45 minutes with a 7-day interval. Effects of using a desk bike were evaluated on cognitive control: verbal and visuospatial working memory capacities were tested, and inhibition was assessed using a modified flanker task. In addition, subjective task experience was explored using self-report measures. Results: Cognitive control performance was not degraded but also not improved with the short-term use of desk bikes. Because of the null effects, there is no direction and magnitude of the outcomes to discuss. Conclusions: These findings suggest that schools can successfully implement desk bikes to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary time among children without compromising cognitive control processes necessary for academic achievement.

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Gavin Breslin, Diana Gossrau-Breen, Naomi McCay, Gillian Gilmore, Lindsay MacDonald and Donncha Hanna

Background:

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between physical activity and wellbeing in children, and to further explore the extent to which this may vary by gender and weight status.

Method:

A representative sample of 1424 9- to 11-year-olds completed a self-report measure of physical activity, the Child Health and Illness Profile, KIDSCREEN, and a self-esteem scale. Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements were also obtained.

Results:

24% of children achieved the recommended level of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) per day, with more boys than girls achieving this level. Children achieving the recommended level of MVPA scored significantly higher on measures of the Child Health and Illness Profile (F(5, 1354) = 5.03; P < .001), KIDSCREEN (F(3, 1298) = 4.68; P = .003), and self-esteem (F(1, 1271) = 18.73; P = .003) than less active children although the effect sizes were small (ηp 2 ≈ .01). Substantial gender differences in wellbeing were found reflecting gender specific behaviors and socialization. Weight status had negligible influence on wellbeing.

Conclusions:

Children who meet the recommended guidelines of MVPA were more likely to have better wellbeing. When attempting to raise children’s physical activity levels consideration should be given to the specific relationships between wellbeing and physical activity.