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Connie L. Tompkins, Timothy Flanagan, John Lavoie II and David W. Brock

Background:

Compared with structured/organized activities, unstructured, self-selected physical activity (PA) may be more appealing for children in particular obese (OB) children. We examined whether both healthy-weight (HW) and OB children would engage in moderate to vigorous intensity PA during an unstructured PA program and compared heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) between the children.

Methods:

Twenty-one children [9 OB (≥95th BMI percentile, 12 HW (5th – <85th), 8.6 ± 0.8 years; 9 males, 12 females] participated in before-school (7:30 AM to 8:15 AM) PA for 18 weeks, 3 consecutive days/week. Each child wore a Polar E600 HR monitor and was provided a vigorous, age-targeted heart rate (THR) of 70%.

Results:

Mean HR ≥ vigorous THR for all children in 65.3% of the sessions and exceeded moderate intensity in 100%. Over the 18-weeks, no significant difference was observed in the overall mean HR between the HW (171.4 ± 12.0) and OB (169.3 ± 13.0), however the OB reported significantly lower RPEs than the HW (16.9 ± 2.6 vs. 17.6 ± 1.5, respectively; P < .05).

Conclusions:

Both the HW and OB children consistently sustained PA of moderate and vigorous intensity. The current study provides insight regarding the physiological capabilities and perceptual responses of HW and OB children participating in PA programs.

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Catherine E. Draper, Tracy L. Kolbe-Alexander and Estelle V. Lambert

Background:

The Community Health Intervention Programmes (CHIPs) is a physical activity-based health promotion program operating in disadvantaged communities in the Western Cape, South Africa with primary school learners, adults and senior adults. Program growth, anecdotal evidence and experience of those involved suggest the program has been positively received by communities. The aim of this study was to conduct a qualitative, retrospective process evaluation concerning both factors associated with successful implementation of the programs, and implementation challenges.

Methods:

‘Success’ was defined in consultation with CHIPs staff and stakeholders. Data were gathered through naturalistic observation, structured interviews and focus groups (n = 104), and open-ended questionnaires (n = 81). The sample included CHIPs staff and stakeholders, program members and leaders.

Results:

Factors contributing to the program’s success include: focus on combining social development and exercise science, community development model, scientifically sound program content, appropriate activities, intrapersonal and interpersonal factors, program leadership, encouraging staff, and various contextual factors.

Conclusions:

The findings confirm that CHIPs presents a model of sustainable implementation of physical activity in disadvantaged communities, and that it positively impacts the quality of life, perceptions of the role of physical activity in health, and personal responsibility for health of those involved in its programs.

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Joanne Butt, Robert S. Weinberg, Jeff D. Breckon and Randal P. Claytor

Background:

Physical activity (PA) declines as adolescents get older, and the motivational determinants of PA warrant further investigation. The purposes of this study were to investigate the amount of physical and sedentary activity that adolescents participated in across age, gender, and race, and to investigate adolescents’ attraction to PA and their perceived barriers and benefits across age, gender, and race.

Methods:

High school students (N = 1163) aged between 13 and 16 years completed questionnaires on minutes and intensity of physical and sedentary activity, interests in physical activity, and perceived benefits and barriers to participating in PA.

Results:

A series of multivariate analyses of variance were conducted and followed up with discriminant function analysis. PA participation decreased in older females. In addition, fun of physical exertion was a primary attraction to PA for males more than females. Body image as an expected outcome of participating in PA contributed most to gender differences.

Conclusion:

There is a need to determine why PA drops-off as females get older. Findings underscore the importance of structuring activities differently to sustain interest in male and female adolescents, and highlights motives of having a healthy body image, and making PA fun to enhance participation.

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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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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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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.

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Ryan D. Burns, Timothy A. Brusseau and James C. Hannon

Background:

Optimal levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) have been shown to improve health and academic outcomes in youth. Limited research has examined MVPA trajectories throughout a daily middle school physical education (PE) curriculum. The purpose of this study was to examine MVPA trajectories over a daily PE curriculum and the modifying effects of sex, body composition, and cardiorespiratory endurance.

Methods:

One hundred 7th- and 8th-grade students participated in daily PE lessons. There were 66 lessons throughout the semester. MVPA was monitored during each lesson using NL-1000 piezoelectric pedometers. Students were classified into FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zones using estimated VO2 Max and Body Mass Index (BMI). A population averaged generalized estimating equation was employed to examine MVPA trajectories.

Results:

On average, students’ MVPA decreased over time (β = –0.35, P < .001). Poor student VO2max classification significantly modified the trajectories (β = –0.14, P < .001), however poor BMI classification did not have a modifying effect (β = 0.03, P = .158).

Conclusions:

MVPA decreased in daily PE over time and cardiorespiratory endurance significantly modified the trajectories. The results support that extra efforts have to be made by teachers and students to sustain MVPA behaviors over a semester.

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Pawel Zembura, Aleksandra Goldys and Hanna Nalecz

Background:

Poland’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first assessment of child and youth physical activity (PA) in Poland using the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance grading system. The main goal was to summarize and describe the current state of child and youth PA to increase awareness and surveillance.

Methods:

The systematic methodology that underpins the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card was adapted and applied to the Polish report card. The best available data were consolidated, reviewed by a group of experts, and used to assign the letter grades to 9 core PA indicators on a scale ranging from A (highest) to F (lowest).

Results:

The 9 indicators were graded as such: 1) Overall Physical Activity (D), 2) Organized Sport Participation (C), 3) Active Play (INC), 4) Active Transportation (C), 5) Sedentary Behaviors (D), 6) Family and Peers (C), 7) School (B), 8) Community and the Built Environment (C), and 9) Government Strategies and Investments (C).

Conclusions:

The final grades show a strong role of school in providing PA for children and youth in Poland. However, promotion of school-based sport participation appears to be insufficient by itself to sustainably promote PA in this group.

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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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Katie Smith, L. Lanningham-Foster, Amy Welch and Christina Campbell

Background:

Innovative methods are warranted to optimize prenatal outcomes. This study’s objective was to determine if a web-based behavioral intervention (BI) can prevent excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) by increasing physical activity (PA).

Methods:

Participants were randomized to usual care (UC; n = 21) or BI (n = 24) between 10 to 14 weeks gestation. GWG, PA, and diet were assessed at baseline, mid-, and late pregnancy.

Results:

No differences in GWG or adherence to GWG recommendations presented between groups. Total UC MET-minutes significantly decreased from baseline to late-pregnancy (1,234 ± 372 MET-minutes, P = .013). Mid-pregnancy sustained PA was greater for BI than UC (20-minute PA bouts: 122 ± 106 vs. 46 ± 48 minutes/week, P = .005; 30-minute PA bouts: 74 ± 70 vs. 14 ± 24 minutes/week, P < .001), and greater for BI at mid-pregnancy compared with baseline (20-minute PA bouts: 61.3 ± 21.9; 30-minute PA bouts: 39.6 ± 14.8, both P < .05). BI energy intake at mid-pregnancy significantly increased from baseline (336 ± 127 kcals, P = .04) and was significantly greater than UC (2,503 ± 703 vs. 1,894 ± 594, P = .005).

Conclusions:

Sedentary pregnant women should increase PA but may need additional dietary counseling to prevent excessive GWG.