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Claudine Sherrill

The underrepresentation of women in the Paralympics movement warrants attention as the world prepares for Atlanta 1996, when Paralympics (conducted after the Summer Olympics) will attract approximately 3,500 athletes with physical disability or visual impairment from 102 countries. Barriers that confront women with disability, the Paralympic movement, and adapted physical activity as a profession and scholarly discipline that stresses advocacy and attitude theories are presented. Two theories (reasoned action and contact) that have been tested in various contexts are woven together as an approach particularly applicable to women in sport and feminists who care about equal access to opportunity for all women. Women with disability are a social minority that is both ignored and oppressed. Sport and feminist theory and action should include disability along with gender, race/ethnicity, class, and age as concerns and issues.

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Robert Chappell, Daniel Burdsey and Kate Collinson

The main purpose of this study was to investigate the ‘race’ and ethnicity of female netball players in the First and Second Division of the English National Netball League during the 1999/2000 season. The secondary purpose was to compare the ethnicity of players to playing position. Consequently, this research will contribute to a better understanding of female ethnic participation in English netball, and also provide data that will facilitate a comparative analysis of participation rates by ethnic minorities in other sports in England, and with similar research on ethnicity in other countries. Data were collated from team rosters of all teams comprising the First and Second Divisions of the English National Netball League in the 1999/2000 season. The research was conducted over a season, in order to observe all of the teams, and to note the position of each player in the team. The ‘race’ and ethnicity of players (̲N = 150) was established from individual players by administering a self-definition questionnaire at the end of each observed match.

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Robert L. Newton, Hongmei Han, Melinda Sothern, Corby K. Martin, Larry S. Webber and Donald A. Williamson

Background:

To determine if there are differences in time spent in physical activity and sedentary behavior between rural African American and Caucasian children.

Methods:

Children wore accelerometers for 3 weekdays. The students were randomly selected from a larger sample of children participating in a weight gain prevention intervention. Usable data were obtained from 272 of the 310 students who agreed to participate. The outcome data included counts per minute (CPM), time spent in moderate to vigorous (MVPA), light (LPA), and sedentary (SED) activity. The equation and cutoff used to analyze national accelerometry data were used for the current study.

Results:

The sample had an average age of 10.4 (1.1) years and 76% were African American. Lower SES African Americans had more CPM (P = .012) and spent more time in MVPA (P = .008) compared with middle SES African American and lower SES Caucasian children. Lower SES African American children also spent fewer minutes in SED activity (P = .044) compared with middle SES African American children.

Conclusions:

These findings support recent results that also used objective activity measures. Children appeared less active and more sedentary than a national sample, warranting interventions in minority and rural populations.

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Susan A. Carlson, Roxanna Guide, Thomas L. Schmid, Latetia V. Moore, Danielle T. Barradas and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Street-scale urban design policies are recommended to increase physical activity in communities. Our purpose was to examine U.S. public support for local street-scale urban design features and policies.

Methods:

Analysis is based on a cross-sectional national sample of adults (n = 4682) participating in the 2006 HealthStyles mail survey.

Results:

About 57% of adults rated local street-scale urban design as highly important in determining the amount of physical activity they obtain. Adjusted odds of rating neighborhood features as having high importance were higher in people aged ≥65 years versus those <65 and minority racial/ethnic groups versus non-Hispanic whites. Two-thirds of adults were willing to take civic action to support local street-scale urban design policy. Adjusted odds of being willing to take any action versus none was higher in non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics versus non-Hispanic whites, was higher in those with household incomes ≥$60,000 versus ≤$15,000 per year, and increased as education and perceived importance of neighborhood features increased.

Conclusions:

There are high levels of public support for local street-scale urban design policies; however, demographic differences exist in the level of support. These differences are important considerations for policymakers and for those designing community programs targeting street-scale urban design features and policies.

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Paul D. Loprinzi

Background:

We have a limited understanding of the physical activity (PA) and sedentary levels among individuals at risk and not at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which was the purpose of this study.

Methods:

Data from the 2003–2004 NHANES were used, from which 3015 participants were evaluated with 416 indicating a family history of AD. Physical activity and sedentary behavior were assessed via accelerometry with individuals at risk for AD self-reporting a family history of AD.

Results:

For the entire sample, those at risk for AD engaged in more sedentary behavior than those not at risk (494.9 vs. 477.9 min/day, P = .03, respectively). Similarly, those at risk for AD engaged in less total MVPA than those not at risk (22.4 vs. 24.3 min/day, P = .05, respectively). Results were also significant for various subgroups at risk for AD.

Conclusion:

Despite the beneficial effects of PA in preventing AD and prolonging the survival of AD, adults at risk for AD tend to engage in more sedentary behavior and less PA than those not at risk for AD. This finding even persisted among minorities (Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks) who are already at an increased risk of developing AD.

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Lisa A. Cadmus Bertram, Gina Chung, Herbert Yu, Peter Salovey and Melinda Irwin

Background:

The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using a tumor registry to recruit newly diagnosed survivors into a randomized controlled exercise trial and to discuss issues related to this recruitment strategy.

Methods:

A tumor registry-based rapid ascertainment system was used to recruit breast cancer survivors into a 6-month home-based, telephone-administered intervention of moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise or a usual care group.

Results:

468 newly diagnosed cases were identified. Of these, 50 women (15.4% of those for which screening calls were made) were enrolled in the study. Women were randomized, on average, 11 weeks after diagnosis (SD = 4.8). Sixty-four percent were randomized before beginning treatment or within the first week of treatment. Time required to obtain physician consent was the primary determinant of diagnosis-to-randomization latency. Enrolled women were more likely than nonenrolled women to be non-Hispanic White and to have a college degree (P < .05).

Conclusion:

Tumor registries present a feasible means of recruiting breast cancer survivors before or early in adjuvant treatment. The success of recruiting survivors promptly after diagnosis is largely dependent on ability to rapidly obtain physician consent. Specific effort is needed to counteract self-selection effects that may lead to under-representation of minorities.

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Lorna H. McNeill, Karolina Murguia, Nga Nguyen and Wendell C. Taylor

Background:

Walking trails are positively associated with physical activity; however, few studies have been conducted among diverse communities. We sought to describe trail use and the physical and social environmental correlates of trail use in a racially/ethnically diverse sample.

Methods:

We administered an on-site trail intercept survey to walkers on a trail (N = 175). We assessed frequency/duration of trail use, reasons for using the trail, perceptions of the trail, demographics and BMI.

Results:

Walkers were primarily young (mean age = 37.8 years, SD = 11.8) and overweight (mean BMI = 25.2 kg/m2, SD = 4.2). Time spent on the trail and frequency of trail use differed significantly by age (P = .004) but not race/ethnicity. Perceptions of the trail differed significantly by sex and race/ethnicity (P-values = .001, .014, respectively). In regression models, different factors predicted time spent on the trail and frequency of trail use.

Conclusions:

Walkers were frequent users of the trail and cited many favorable features of the trail that encouraged their use. Duration and frequency of trail use did not differ by race/ethnicity or sex, thereby indicating that when provided with safe access, racial/ethnic minorities and women may be likely to use trails at rates similar to those of Whites and men.

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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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Dan J. Graham, Katherine W. Bauer, Sarah Friend, Daheia J. Barr-Anderson and Dianne Nuemark-Sztainer

Background:

Physical activity (PA) declines sharply and rapidly during adolescence, especially among girls, posing a risk for inactivity and obesity in adulthood. This study identified personal, behavioral, and socioenvironmental correlates of concurrent and 6-month longitudinal PA among adolescent girls.

Methods:

Data were gathered from 356 adolescent girls (mean age 15.8 ± 1.2 years; > 75% racial/ethnic minorities) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in 2007–2009. Linear regression analyses controlling for age, race/ethnicity, and school were conducted predicting baseline and follow-up levels of total PA and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) assessed via 3-Day Physical Activity Recall. Models were fit for each correlate individually and for all correlates together, mutually adjusted.

Results:

For concurrent PA, significant positive predictors when adjusting for the influence of all other variables included self-efficacy, support from friends and teachers, and friends’ PA. Total screen time and distance from school to PA resources related inversely to concurrent PA. In mutually-adjusted models, 6-month PA was positively related to self-worth, family support, and parent PA and inversely related to total screen time.

Conclusions:

PA interventions with adolescent girls might be enhanced by involving adolescents’ social networks and also by helping adolescents feel better about their self-worth and athletic abilities.

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Lauren Ashleigh Waters, Benedicte Galichet, Neville Owen and Elizabeth Eakin

Background:

Taking a representative snapshot of physical activity intervention trial findings published between 1996 and 2006, we empirically evaluated participant characteristics, response and retention rates, and their associations with intervention settings.

Methods:

A structured database search identified 5 representative health behavior journals, from which 32 research reports of physical activity intervention trials were reviewed. Interventions settings were categorized as workplace, healthcare, home- or community-based. Information on participant and intervention characteristics was extracted and reviewed.

Results:

The majority of participants were Caucasian (86%), women (66%), healthy but sedentary (63%), and middle-aged (mean age = 51 years). Intervention response rates ranged from 20% to 89%, with the greatest response rate for healthcare and home-based interventions. Compared with nonparticipants, study participants tended to be women, Caucasian, tertiary-educated, and middle-class. Participants in workplace interventions were younger, more educated, and healthier; in community-based interventions, participants were older and more ethnically diverse. Reporting on education and income was inconsistent. The mean retention rate was 78%, with minimal differences between intervention settings.

Conclusions:

These results emphasize the need for physical activity interventions to target men, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and ethnic minority populations. Consistent reporting of response rate and retention may enhance the understanding of which intervention settings best recruit and retain large, representative samples.