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Ariane Bélanger-Gravel, Lise Gauvin, Daniel Fuller and Louis Drouin

Background:

Favorable public opinion and support for policies are essential to favor the sustainability of environmental interventions. This study examined public perceptions and support for active living policies associated with implementing a public bicycle share program (PBSP).

Methods:

Two cross-sectional population-based telephone surveys were conducted in 2009 and 2010 among 5011 adults in Montréal, Canada. Difference-in-differences analyses tested the impact of the PBSP on negative perceptions of the impact of the PBSP on the image of the city, road safety, ease of traveling, active transportation, health, and resistance to policies.

Results:

People living closer to docking stations were less likely to have negative perceptions of the effect of the PBSP on the image of the city (OR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4−0.8) and to be resistant to policies (OR = 0.8; 95% CI, 0.6−1.0). The likelihood of perceiving negative effects on road safety increased across time (OR = 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2−1.8). Significant interactions were observed for perceptions of ease of traveling (OR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4−0.8), active transportation (OR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4−1.0), and health (OR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4−0.8): likelihood of negative perceptions decreased across time among people exposed.

Conclusion:

Findings indicate that negative perceptions were more likely to abate among those living closer to the PBSP.

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Emily L. Mailey, Deirdre Dlugonski, Wei-Wen Hsu and Michelle Segar

Background: Many parents are insufficiently active. Further research is needed to understand the goals that drive sustained exercise participation among parents. The purpose of this study was to use self-determination theory derived constructs to examine the relationship between parents’ exercise goals and their autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and exercise behavior across 1 year. Methods: Mothers (n = 226) and fathers (n = 70) of children less than 16 years completed the Exercise Motivations Inventory-2 and, 1 year later, the Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire-2 and Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire. Linear mixed effects models were used to examine the longitudinal relationships between exercise goals and autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and leisure-time exercise. Results: All goals except weight management were significantly associated with autonomous motivation, whereas only weight and appearance goals predicted controlled motivation. Exercising for stress management and revitalization, but not health- or appearance-related goals, was significantly related to exercise behavior over 1 year. Conclusions: Only goals related to immediate affective outcomes were associated with both autonomous motivation and exercise behavior over time. These findings support recent calls to “rebrand exercise” as a means to improve daily well-being. Such goals may drive parents to prioritize exercise because they value the immediate benefits it provides.

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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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Cheryl B. Anderson

One’s athletic identity, developed and maintained by others as well as the self, is likely important in sustaining long-term physical activity over many years. The 21-item Athletic Identity Questionnaire (AIQ) is presented as a multidimensional measure of the components of athletic identity that reflects an attribute all people possess to varying degrees and encompasses exercise, sports, and physical activity. Confirmatory factor analyses in two samples of young adults (n = 446 and 485) supported a first-order model of four correlated factors: athletic appearance; importance of exercise/ sports/ physical activity; competence; and encouragement from others. A latent factor of physical activity with two indicators—stage of exercise behavior and exercise frequency per week—correlated significantly with the four athletic identity factors in both samples (r = 0.57–0.89 in Sample 1, r = 0.56–0.90 in Sample 2), and this 5-factor measurement model also represented an adequate fit. Results provide support for the reliability and validity of the AIQ.

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Daniel S. Kirschenbaum and Robert J. Smith

In this study, experimenters (pseudo-coaches) provided feedback that varied in valence, sequence, and amount to 50 male college students. A laboratory analogue paradigm was used that included a basketball-like underhand free throw task in which subjects first were instructed on proper technique and then took 10 baseline shots (trials) followed by 2 blocks of 20 trials each. Subjects were randomly assigned. Some interacted with a pseudo-coach who made no comments during the two experimental trial blocks (control), while others received feedback (6-8 comments per trial block) that was response-specific, emotionally oriented, and provided in one of four sequences: positive-positive, negative-negative, positive-negative, or negative-positive. Based on prior research on coach behavior and social psychological studies of interpersonal behavior, we hypothesized that both of the continuous feedback groups would show performance decrements and associated reactions to the coach and the task. These predictions were supported regarding performance and, to some extent, regarding a measure of sustained self-observation. Discussion includes interpretation of the nominally superior performance of the control group, the nonsignificant results on the subjective evaluation measures, and implications of these findings in view of external validity criteria and prior analyses in the emerging behavioral technology of coaching.

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Suzie Mudge, Denise Taylor, Oliver Chang and Rosita Wong

Background:

Activity Monitors give an objective measure of usual walking performance. This study aimed to examine the test-retest reliability of the StepWatch Activity Monitor outputs (mean steps/day; peak activity index; sustained activity indices of 1, 5, 20, 30, 60 minutes; steps at high, medium, and low stepping rates).

Methods:

Thirty healthy adults age 18 to 49 years wore the StepWatch for 2 3-day periods at least 1 week apart.

Results:

The intraclass correlation coefficients of the StepWatch outputs ranged from 0.44 to 0.91 over 3 days. The coefficient of variation ranged from 3.0% to 51.3% over the monitoring periods, with higher variation shown for shorter monitoring periods. The most reliable 5 outputs had 95% limits of agreement between 3-day periods that were less than 40%. These were mean steps/day (±39.1%), highest step rate in 1 (±17.3%) and 5 (±37.4%) minutes, peak activity index (±25.6%), and percentage of inactive time (±9.52%).

Conclusions:

Mean steps/day, highest step rate in 1 and 5 minutes, peak activity index, and percentage of inactive time have good test-retest reliability over a 3-day monitoring period, with lower reliability shown by the other StepWatch outputs. Monitoring over 1 or 2 days is less reliable.

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Teun Remmers, Ester F.C. Sleddens, Stef P.J. Kremers and Carel Thijs

Background:

Physical activity (PA) enjoyment may be an important determinant of long-term habitual, self-sustained PA behavior in children. The objective of the current study was to contribute toward a better understanding of how children’s PA enjoyment is associated with PA behavior by examining the influence of age, gender, BMI, and impulsivity as theoretically hypothesized moderators of this relationship.

Methods:

PA was measured in 171 children (77 boys, 91 girls) using accelerometers, and PA enjoyment was assessed with the validated Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale in 9-year-old children from the KOALA Birth Cohort Study, the Netherlands. Linear regressions were fitted. Moderation was tested by adding interaction terms between PA enjoyment and the potential moderators.

Results:

We found a significant 3-way interaction (PA enjoyment × gender × impulsivity) for all intensities of PA behavior. In boys, impulsivity strengthened the relationship between PA enjoyment and PA behavior, whereas in girls impulsivity weakened this relationship.

Conclusion:

In girls, this may be explained by the relative automatic occurrence of PA behavior in impulsive girls (independent of PA enjoyment). In boys, the possibility that impulsivity is associated with hyperactivity may explain this moderation. The current study may encourage researchers to investigate these interactions in future studies.

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Viviene Temple, Ryan Rhodes and Joan Wharf Higgins

Background:

Walking has been identified as a low resourced yet effective means of achieving physical activity levels required for optimal health. From studies conducted around the world, we know that dog owners walk more than nondog owners. However, this evidence is largely self-reported which may not accurately reflect dog-owners’ behaviors.

Method:

To address this concern, we systematically observed the use of 6 different public parks in Victoria, British Columbia during fair and inclement weather. Using a modified version of the SOPARC tool, we documented visitors’ types of physical activity, and the presence or absence of dogs. The Physical Activity Resource Assessment was used to consider park features, amenities, and incivilities.

Results:

More people without dogs (73%) visited the parks than those with dogs (27%), largely because of attendance at the multiuse sport parks during the summer months. Despite the opportunities to engage in multiple sports, most people used the parks to walk. However, when inclement weather struck, dog owners continued visiting parks and sustained their walking practices significantly more than nondog owners.

Conclusion:

Our observational snapshot of park use supports earlier work that dogs serve as a motivational support for their owners’ walking practices through fair and foul weather.

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Jeanne M. Gabriele, Diane L. Gill and Claire E. Adams

Background:

Several theories and models have been proposed to explain decisions in changing and adopting behavior but few address the intricacies of behavioral maintenance. The current study assesses the utility of the Investment Model, which identifies satisfaction, investments, and involvement alternatives as predictors of commitment and continued behavior, in predicting physical activity behavior.

Methods:

Participants (N = 267) completed questionnaires about physical activity and commitment. Structural equation modeling assessed relationships among 2 types of exercise commitment (want to or enthusiastic commitment, have to or obligatory commitment), 3 commitment determinants (satisfaction, investments, and alternatives), and physical activity (minutes of physical activity, stage of behavior change).

Results:

Want to commitment, but not have to commitment, was related to stage of exercise behavior change and time spent in physical activity. Satisfaction and investments were positively related to want to commitment; whereas, satisfaction, investments, and alternatives were positively related to have to commitment. The model explained 68% and 23% of the variance in time spent in physical activity and stage of behavior change, respectively.

Conclusions:

This study provides support for the application of the Investment Model to physical activity and suggests that want to commitment may be important for explaining and predicting sustained physical activity behavior.

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Andrew J. Mowen and Birgitta L. Baker

Background:

The United States’ first National Physical Activity Plan is now under development. This plan follows the release of new physical activity guidelines and seeks to address the nation’s ongoing physical inactivity and obesity crisis. For this plan to be successful, all facets of American culture need to unify behind its recommendations and action steps. Guidance for this plan involves active participation from a variety of sectors, including the park, recreation, fitness, and sport (PRFS) sector.

Purpose:

In this white paper, we discuss the potential of the PRFS sector in addressing America’s physical inactivity. Specifically, we provide a brief description, history, and scope of the PRFS sector; present evidence concerning linkages between this sector and physical activity; and discuss existing challenges and emerging opportunities for promoting physical activity. We conclude by suggesting PRFS recommendations to promote physical activity based on anticipated effectiveness, reach, scope, and sustainability.

Methods:

Academic articles, professional reports, and physical activity plans were reviewed to summarize the evidence concerning PRFS sector strategies for increasing physical activity. Recommendations: Based on our review, we propose several sector-specific proximity, place, program, partnership, promotion, people, policy, and performance indicator recommendations for improving physical activity in the United States.