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Christian Lackinger, Sandra Haider, Lana Kosi, Juergen Harreiter, Yvonne Winhofer and Alexandra Kautzky-Willer

Background:

Although the infrastructure of Austrians’ sports clubs is well developed, exercise classes for people suffering from type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) do not exist. This feasibility study evaluates factors for participating in target group specific exercise courses (TGSEC) and changes in physical activity.

Methods:

This intervention study was performed in 22 communities of Austria. Initial TGSEC were offered to T2DM patients over 2 months. Participants were surveyed at 4 time points with a questionnaire: before the program, 2, 6 and 12 months after the initial questionnaire.

Results:

881 patients aged 59.0 (SD: 9.6) years took part in TGSEC. At baseline a lack of suitable exercise groups prevented 51% from being active. 58% were encouraged by the medical sector. After 12 months the weekly time spent on exercise training was increased from 1.40 (SD: 2.55) hours to 2.15 (SD: 3.00) hours (P < .001). The dropout rate during the first 2 months was 12.9%. The rate of return for the 12 months questionnaire was 42%.

Conclusion:

TGSEC provided by sports clubs attract people suffering from T2DM and effectively enhance physical activity.

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Philipe de Souto Barreto, Anne-Marie Ferrandez and Bérengère Saliba-Serre

Background:

Participation bias in exercise studies is poorly understood among older adults. This study was aimed at looking into whether older persons who volunteer to participate in an exercise study differ from nonvolunteers.

Methods:

A self-reported questionnaire on physical activity and general health was mailed out to 1000 persons, aged 60 or over, who were covered by the medical insurance of the French National Education System. Among them, 535 answered it and sent it back. Two hundred and thirty-three persons (age 69.7 ±7.6, 65.7% women) said they would volunteer to participate in an exercise study and 270 (age 71.7 ±8.8, 62.2% women) did not.

Results:

Volunteers were younger and more educated than nonvolunteers, but they did not differ in sex. They had less physical function decline and higher volumes of physical activity than nonvolunteers. Compared with volunteers, nonvolunteers had a worse self-reported health and suffered more frequently from chronic pain. Multiple logistic regressions showed that good self-reported health, absence of chronic pain, and lower levels of physical function decline were associated with volunteering to participate in an exercise study.

Conclusions:

Volunteers were fitter and healthier than nonvolunteers. Therefore, caution must be taken when generalizing the results of exercise intervention studies.

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Alex Antonio Florindo, Evelyn Fabiana Costa, Thiago Herick Sa, Taynã Ishii dos Santos, Marília Velardi and Douglas Roque Andrade

Background:

The aim of this study was to describe a methodology for training to provide counseling on physical activity among community health workers working within primary healthcare in Brazil.

Methods:

This was an intervention study conducted with 65 community health workers in the Ermelino Matarazzo district in the São Paulo, Brazil (30 in intervention group). The intervention group received a course of 12 hours (with 4 meetings of 3 hours each in 1 month) that aimed to improve their knowledge and be autonomous with regard to promoting physical activity. For data analysis, focus groups and questionnaires on knowledge and perceptions regarding physical activity were used.

Results:

The average attendance for the 4 meetings was 29 workers (93% of total). There was an improvement in knowledge on physical activity recommendations in comparison with the control (P = .03), and qualitative results revealed that the professionals appreciated the learned content, valued its application based on knowledge construction and felt secure about promoting physical activity. This was seen through high adherence levels and construction collective of proposal for home visits for physical activity promotion.

Conclusion:

The training was effective in improving knowledge and attitudes toward counseling on physical activity among community health workers.

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Menno Slingerland and Lars Borghouts

Background:

Physical education (PE) has the potential of stimulating physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents in a direct and an indirect manner. By providing in-class activity, PE could directly contribute to the accumulation of physical activity. In addition, it is often claimed that PE could have an effect on physical activity by stimulating out-of-class activity, or even physical activity in adult life.

Methods:

We reviewed intervention studies using a PE component that directly or indirectly aimed to increase physical activity in primary and secondary school students. An electronic literature search was conducted and articles’ reference lists were scanned for additional papers.

Results:

Fourteen studies matched our criteria. A review of these studies showed that interventions are able to directly increase activity in PE classes with relatively simple modifications, whereas the evidence for increasing out-of-class PA through interventions utilizing PE as a component is less convincing.

Conclusions:

We propose that evidence-based interventions aimed at increasing PA in children and adolescents through PE should at this moment be aimed at the direct effect of PE. There is a need for high quality PE-based interventions directed at out-of-class activity and long-term active life style.

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Richard Cooke, Helena Trebaczyk, Peter Harris and Alison J. Wright

The present study tests whether a self-affirmation intervention (i.e., requiring an individual to focus on a valued aspect of their self-concept, such as honesty) can increase physical activity and change theory of planned behavior (TPB) variables linked to physical activity. Eighty young people completed a longitudinal intervention study. Baseline physical activity was assessed using the Godin Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire (LTPAQ). Next, participants were randomly allocated to either a self-affirmation or a nonaffirmation condition. Participants then read information about physical activity and health, and completed measures of TPB variables. One week later, participants again completed LTPAQ and TPB items. At follow up, self-affirmed participants reported significantly more physical activity, more positive attitudes toward physical activity, and higher intentions to be physically active compared with nonaffirmed participants. Neither attitudes nor intentions mediated the effects of self-affirmation on physical activity. Self-affirmation can increase levels of physical activity and TPB variables. Self-affirmation interventions have the potential to become relatively simple methods for increasing physical activity levels.

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April Y. Oh, Shannon N. Zenk, JoEllen Wilbur, Richard Block, Judith McDevitt and Edward Wang

Background:

Crime may be a significant barrier to physical activity for urban African American women, yet few studies have examined this relationship in intervention studies. This study examines relationships among neighborhood crime incidents, perceptions of crime and safety, and adherence in a walking intervention among urban, midlife African-American women.

Methods:

The sample includes 148 women living in the City of Chicago. Violent crimes, disorder crimes, gun violence, and crime-related safety were examined. Adherence to walking frequency was measured as the percentage of recommended walks completed.

Results:

Controlling for demographic characteristics and treatment group, multivariate regression analyses showed walking adherence was not associated with any of the crime measures or crime-related safety (R 2 = 0.130 to 0.147). The effect of enhanced treatment did not differ by levels of objective or perceived neighborhood crime or safety. Weak to moderate bivariate correlations were observed between objective crime measures and perceived disorder crime and crime-related safety (r = 0.04 to 0.25).

Conclusions:

Weak correlations between perceived and objective crime measures suggest they are measuring different aspects of the crime environment. Future studies should examine perceived and objective measures in other populations and settings and other neighborhood social factors which may moderate crime and safety effects on outcomes of physical activity interventions.

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Rodrigo A. Lima, Karin Pfeiffer, Lisbeth R. Larsen, Anna Bugge, Niels C. Moller, Lars B. Anderson and David F. Stodden

Background:

The current study evaluated the reciprocal longitudinal relationship between physical activity (PA) and motor competence (MC) and the potential mediation of cardiorespiratory endurance across 7 years.

Methods:

This was a 7-year longitudinal study, the Copenhagen School Child Intervention Study (CoSCIS), with 3 measuring points [mean ages (in years) and respective sample size: 6.75 ± 0.37, n = 696; 9.59 ± 1.07, n = 617; 13.35 ± 0.34, n = 513]. PA was assessed using accelerometers. MC was evaluated by the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder (KTK) test battery. Cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak) was evaluated using a continuous running protocol until exhaustion. Structural equation modeling was performed to evaluate the longitudinal associations.

Results:

Vigorous PA (VPA) and MC presented reciprocal longitudinal association during the 7-year follow-up (VPA → MC; β = 0.18; 95% CI: 0.10, 0.26; MC → VPA; β = 0.14; 95% CI: 0.08, 0.21). In addition, VO2peak mediated the relationship in both directions (VPA → MC; β = 0.09; 95% CI: 0.06, 0.12; MC → VPA; β = 0.06; 95% CI: 0.03, 0.09).

Conclusions:

PA and MC presented a positive reciprocal relationship across childhood through early adolescence and VO2peak mediated the association in both directions. Interventions targeting to increase PA in children and adolescents should also address the development of MC skills because of the clear positive feedback loop between PA and MC.

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Barry Lambe, Niamh Murphy and Adrian Bauman

Background:

There is a paucity of intervention studies assessing active travel to school as a mechanism to increase physical activity. This paper describes the impact of a community-wide intervention on active travel to primary schools in 2 Irish towns.

Methods:

This was a repeat cross-sectional study of a natural experiment. Self-report questionnaires were completed by 5th and 6th grade students in 3 towns (n = 1038 students in 2 intervention towns; n = 419 students in 1 control town) at baseline and by a new group of students 2 years later at follow-up. The absolute change in the proportion of children walking and cycling to school (difference in differences) was calculated.

Results:

There was no overall intervention effect detected for active travel to or from school. This is despite an absolute increase of 14.7% (1.6, 27.9) in the proportion of children that indicated a preference for active travel to school in the town with the most intensive intervention (town 2).

Conclusions:

Interventions designed to increase active travel to school hold some promise but should have a high-intensity mix of infrastructural and behavioral measures, be gender-specific, address car dependency and focus on travel home from school initially.

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Jason Moran, Gavin R.H. Sandercock, Rodrigo Ramírez-Campillo, Oliver Todd, Jay Collison and Dave A. Parry

Purpose:

The purpose of this intervention study was to investigate if a low-dose of plyometric training (PT) could improve sprint and jump performance in groups of different maturity status.

Method:

Male youth field hockey players were divided into Pre-PHV (from -1 to -1.9 from PHV; Experimental: n = 9; Control = 12) and Mid-PHV (0 to +0.9 from PHV; Experimental: n = 8; Control = 9) groups. Participants in the experimental groups completed 60 foot contacts, twice-weekly for 6 weeks.

Results:

PT exerted a positive effect (effect size: 0.4 [-0.4–1.2]) on 10 m sprint time in the experimental Mid-PHV group but this was less pronounced in the Pre-PHV group (0.1 [-0.6–0.9]). Sprint time over 30 m (Mid-PHV: 0.1 [-0.8–0.9]; Pre-PHV: 0.1 [-0.7–0.9]) and CMJ (Mid-PHV: 0.1 [-0.8–0.9]; Pre-PHV: 0.0 [-0.7–0.8]) was maintained across both experimental groups. Conversely, the control groups showed decreased performance in most tests at follow up. Between-group analysis showed positive effect sizes across all performance tests in the Mid-PHV group, contrasting with all negative effect sizes in the Pre-PHV group.

Conclusion:

These results indicate that more mature hockey players may benefit to a greater extent than less mature hockey players from a low-dose PT stimulus. Sixty foot contacts, twice per week, seems effective in improving short sprint performance in Mid-PHV hockey players.

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Shreela V. Sharma, Deanna M. Hoelscher, Steven H. Kelder, Pamela M. Diamond, R. Sue Day and Albert C. Hergenroeder

Background:

The purpose of this study was to identify pathways used by psychosocial factors to influence physical activity and bone health in middle-school girls.

Methods:

Baseline data from the Incorporating More Physical Activity and Calcium in Teens (IMPACT) study collected in 2001 to 2003 were used. IMPACT was a 1 1/2 years nutrition and physical activity intervention study designed to improve bone density in 717 middle-school girls in Texas. Structural Equations Modeling was used to examine the interrelationships and identify the direct and indirect pathways used by various psychosocial and environmental factors to influence physical activity and bone health.

Results:

Results show that physical activity self-efficacy and social support (friend, family engagement, and encouragement in physical activity) had a significant direct and indirect influence on physical activity with participation in sports teams as the mediator. Participation in sports teams had a direct effect on both physical activity (β= 0.20, P < .05) and bone health and (β=0.13, P < .05).

Conclusion:

The current study identified several direct and indirect pathways that psychosocial factors use to influence physical activity and bone health among adolescent girls. These findings are critical for the development of effective interventions for promoting bone health in this population.