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Robert Medairos, Vicky Kang, Carissa Aboubakare, Matthew Kramer and Sheila Ann Dugan

Background:

This study aims to identify patterns of use and preferences related to technology platforms that could support physical activity (PA) programs in an underserved population.

Methods:

A 29-item questionnaire was administered at 5 health and wellness sites targeting low income communities in Chicago. Frequency tables were generated for Internet, cell phone, and social media use and preferences. Chi-squared analysis was used to evaluate differences across age and income groups.

Results:

A total of 291 individuals participated and were predominantly female (69.0%). Majority reported incomes less than $30,000 (72.9%) and identified as African American/Black/Caribbean (49.3%) or Mexican/Mexican American (34.3%). Most participants regularly used smartphones (63.2%) and the Internet (75.9%). Respondents frequently used Facebook (84.8%), and less commonly used Instagram (43.6%), and Twitter (20.0%). Free Internet-based exercise programs were the most preferred method to increase PA levels (31.6%), while some respondents (21.0%) thought none of the surveyed technology applications would help.

Conclusion:

Cell phone, Internet, and social media use is common among the surveyed underserved population. Technology preferences to increase PA levels varied, with a considerable number of respondents not preferring the surveyed technology platforms. Creating educational opportunities to increase awareness may maximize the effectiveness of technology-based PA interventions.

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Bhibha M. Das, Melanie Sartore-Baldwin and Matthew T. Mahar

Background:

A significant literature links race and socioeconomic status with physical inactivity and negative health outcomes. The aim of this study was to explore physical activity (PA) perceptions of an underserved, lower socioeconomic minority sector of the workforce.

Methods:

Two focus groups were conducted to examine university housekeepers’ perceptions of physical activity. Demographic and anthropometric data were also obtained.

Results:

Participants (N = 12; 100% female, 100% African-American) overwhelmingly associated PA with traditional exercise (eg, going to a gym). The most important barrier to PA was the perception of being active on the job, thus not needing to do leisure time PA. The most important perceived benefit to PA was improvement of physical and mental health. Employees perceived that a university investment in employees’ health might improve morale, especially within low-pay employee sectors where low levels of job satisfaction may be present.

Conclusions:

Although perceived benefits to PA in this population are consistent with other employee sectors, perceived barriers to PA may be unique to this sector of the workforce. PA promotion programs should focus on providing resources as well as guidelines that demonstrate the need for PA outside of the workplace setting. Such programs may improve employee health, morale, and productivity.

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Michael B. Edwards and George Cunningham

Background:

Racial health disparities are more pronounced among older adults. Few studies have examined how racism influences health behaviors. This study’s purpose was to examine how opportunities for physical activity (PA) and community racism are associated with older racial minorities’ reported engagement in PA. We also investigated how PA levels influenced health.

Methods:

We analyzed survey data obtained from a health assessment conducted in 3360 households in Texas, USA, which included items pertaining to PA, community characteristics, and health.

Results:

Our sample contained 195 women and 85 men (mean age 70.16), most of whom were African American. We found no direct relationship between opportunities and PA. Results suggested that perceived community racism moderated this association. When community racism was low, respondents found ways to be active whether they perceived opportunities or not. When community racism was high, perceived lack of opportunities significantly impeded PA engagement. We found the expected association between PA and health.

Conclusions:

Results suggested that negative effects of community racism were counteracted through increased opportunities for PA.

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Earl Smith and Angela Hattery

There have been many discussions about diversity and the value that it brings to the workplace (Ely & Thomas, 2001). Although sport has been deemed a model of diversity, where people of different races and ethnicities comingle as participants and spectators, there is a serious disconnect between perceptions of this diversity and the reality that defines the lack of racial diversity in the management (i.e., coaching and leadership) of sport. The purpose of this essay is to provide an exploration and analysis of the varied ways in which race may influence sport management experiences and opportunities. We frame this analysis through race relation theory, symbolic racism theory, social distance theory, and the concepts of segregation and power. The inferences and implications of our essay are centered on the undercurrent of the status of African American men in sport leadership, who are severely under-represented despite their prominent contribution to the financial vitality of the sport industry as players. The essay concludes with several policies and practices for improving racial diversity in sport management.

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Clive C. Pope and Mary O’Sullivan

This study examined the ecology of “free gym” as it occurred in both school lunch hour and after-school community settings. In an effort to understand how urban youth experience sport, an ethnography using multiple methods was conducted to ascertain how urban youth shape their own cultures according to the social forces operating within the gymnasium. A period of sustained observation revealed a student-imposed hierarchy that was dominated by skilled male African American basketball players. Status was gained through what occurred within the free-gym ecology. Students often had to learn the system by “serving time” before they could join a desired level of the hierarchy. While a few students thrived in this environment, most merely survived or were marginalized. Such a setting has implications for how physical education and school culture is subjected to wider societal influences. The presence of socially chronic situations such as free gym require a pedagogy that is more democratic and more enriching, thereby moving from the real toward the ideal.

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Sandra L. Hanson and Rebecca S. Kraus

A Critical Feminist perspective and data from the nationally representative National Educational Longitudinal Study are used to explore the relationship between involvement in sports and success in science for a recent cohort of high school aged women. We also consider whether women from different social classes and racial/ethnic groups and with different sport experiences derive similar benefits from sport. Variation in sport experience involves a consideration of type of sport (e.g., basketball vs. track), type of team (e.g., varsity vs. intramural), age of athlete (middle school vs. high school sophomore vs. high school senior), and leadership roles (e.g., captain). Our findings show that sport has mostly positive consequences for young women’s science attainment, although these effects are smaller than for a 1980 cohort of female athletes. These benefits exist across types of sport, teams, and levels of involvement but are their greatest in the sophomore year of high school. In contrast to earlier cohorts, we find that for this recent cohort, sport participation positively affects the science attainment of women from various subgroups—white, Hispanic, upper-ses and lower-ses. However, young African-American women see very little benefit from sport. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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Ya-Wen Hsu, Chih-Ping Chou, Britni R. Belcher, Selena T. Nguyen-Rodriguez, Marc J. Weigensberg, Arianna D. McClain and Donna Spruijt-Metz

While most studies have focused on investigating the preventive effects of physical activity on metabolic risk, the longitudinal impacts of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on activity levels is poorly understood. This study aims to examine the influence of MetS on initial activity levels and the trajectory of activity levels in Latina and African American female children over 12 months (n = 55, 9 ± 1 years). Metabolic measures, including fat and lean tissue mass by BodPod, fasting glucose, lipids, blood pressure, and waist circumference, were collected at baseline. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary behavior by accelerometry were collected on a quarterly basis. There were no significant differences in either initial activity levels by MetS status (Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity: 33 ± 12 mins/day for MetS, 48 ± 28 mins/day for Non-MetS, p = .12; sedentary behavior: 408 ± 57 mins/day for MetS, 421 ± 72 mins/day for Non-MetS, p = .67). Longitudinal declines in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (p = .038) and increases in sedentary behavior (p = .003) were found. Daily sedentary behavior increased by 82.64 more minutes in youth with MetS than in those without over one year (p = .015). This study yields the first evidence of the adverse effect of MetS on sedentary behavior. Targeted intervention strategies to reduce progressive sedentariness evident in minority youth with MetS are warranted.

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Marsha Dowda, Ruth P. Saunders, Lauren Hastings, Jennifer M. Gay and Alexandra E. Evans

Purpose:

Our goal was to describe the types of physical activities and sedentary pursuits reported by children living in residential children’s homes and make comparisons by age, gender, and race/ethnic groups.

Methods:

Participants were 263 children (52% male, 40% 11 to 14 years old, 53% White, 23% African American, and 24% other race/ethnic groups) in 23 residential children’s homes in North and South Carolina. The median length of stay in the homes was 6 months. Physical activities and sedentary pursuits were reported over a 3-day period using the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall (3DPAR).

Results:

Boys reported participating in more basketball (P ≤ .001), football (P ≤ .001), and videogames or surfing the net (P ≤ .001) than did girls. Girls reported more cheerleading, social dance, and homework than did boys (P values ≤ .01). There were few race differences. Fewer older children reported participation in physical education classes, and more reported working part-time than younger children (P values ≤ .001).

Conclusions:

Children in residential homes appear to participate in activities that are similar to children living with their parents, with boys reporting more team activities and girls reporting more individual activities. However, children in residential children’s homes may participate in some physical activities for shorter periods of time than children living with their parents.

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Felipe Lobelo, Marsha Dowda, Karin A. Pfeiffer and Russell R. Pate

Background:

Few investigations have assessed in adolescent girls the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between elevated exposure to electronic media (EM) and activity-related outcomes such as compliance with physical activity (PA) standards or cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF).

Methods:

Four-hundred thirty-seven white and African American girls were assessed at the 8th, 9th, and 12th grades. PA and EM (TV/video watching, electronic games, Internet use) were self-reported, and CRF was estimated using a cycle-ergometer test. Hi EM exposure was defined as ≥four 30-minute blocks/d.

Results:

8th-, 9th-, and 12th-grade girls in the Hi EM group showed lower compliance with PA standards and had lower CRF than the Low EM group (P ≤ .03). Girls reporting Hi EM exposure at 8th and 9th grades had lower vigorous PA and CRF levels at 12th grade than girls reporting less EM exposure (P ≤ .03).

Conclusion:

Girls reporting exposure to EM for 2 or more hours per day are more likely to exhibit and maintain low PA and CRF levels throughout adolescence. These results enhance the scientific basis for current public health recommendations to limit adolescent girls’ daily exposure to television, electronic games, and Internet use to a combined maximum of 2 hours.

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Susan G. Zieff, Claudia M. Guedes and Amy Eyler

Background:

Neighborhood environment and resources affect physical activity. This study examined the relationships between San Francisco residents’ perceived barriers to physical activity and policy-maker perspectives of conditions in neighborhoods that are under-served for physical activity.

Methods:

Nine focus groups comprised of primarily African American, Chinese American, and Latino populations were constructed from 6 low-income neighborhoods to respond to questions based on the social-ecological model about neighborhood recreational opportunities and to offer policy and intervention strategies to increase physical activity. A tenth focus group was conducted with staff members from 7 city departments to respond to neighborhood focus groups outcomes. The transcribed videotaped discussions were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results:

Both residents and policy-makers highlighted neighborhood disparities that reduce physical activity including unsafe and unhealthy environments and difficulty accessing available resources. Residents reported fewer available free or low-cost resources than those identified by policy-makers.

Conclusions:

Findings suggest that policy-makers would benefit from consideration of neighborhood-level affects of policies on physical activity and local residents’ recommendations for policies affecting physical activity. Concordance between residents’ perceptions and policy-maker perceptions of neighborhood conditions for physical activity was greater than reported in previous literature.