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Kelly S. Silva, Markus V. Nahas, Adriano F. Borgatto, Elusa S. Oliveira, Giovâni F. Del Duca and Adair S. Lopes

Background:

Active commuting has decreased substantially in recent decades and has been more frequent in specific demographic and socioeconomic profiles. The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence of active trips and the possible associations with demographic and socioeconomic variables.

Methods:

A questionnaire on lifestyle and risk behavior was administered to a sample population of 5028 adolescents, ages 15 to 19 years, attending public high schools in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Logistic regressions (odds ratio—OR; 95% confidence interval) were used to test associations.

Results:

Active commuting to school was reported for 56.7% of students, and active commuting to work was reported for 70.0%. The likelihood of commuting passively was greater among girls (school: OR = 1.27; 1.10−1.45), older adolescents (school: OR = 1.17; 1.02−1.33; work: OR = 1.49; 1.22−1.82), those who lived in rural areas (school: OR = 12.1; 9.91−14.8), those who spent more time in commuting (school: OR = 2.33; 2.01−2.69; work: OR = 4.35; 3.52−5.38), and those from high-income families (school: OR = 1.40; 1.21−1.62; work: OR = 1.69; 1.37−2.08).

Conclusions:

The proportion of students taking active trips was higher when going to work than to school. All indicators were associated with the mode of commuting, except gender and place of residence for commuting to work.

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Kim Jose and Emily Hansen

Background:

Leisure-time physical activity is a term used by physical activity researchers to describe physical activity undertaken during nonwork time. In this study we explore how young people speak about physical activity in relation to leisure.

Methods:

Eight focus groups and one group interview were conducted with 50 participants aged 16−26 years. Participants included males and females, rural and urban dwellers, and a mixture of active/inactive young people. Focus group transcripts underwent an iterative thematic analysis.

Results:

Participants found it difficult to recognize leisure time activities in their day to day lives and only rarely mentioned their physical activity involvement when asked about leisure time activities. When discussing physical activity study participants commonly focused on high intensity physical activity such as sport and gym use. Three major themes relating to leisure and physical activity were identified: the meanings ascribed to physical activity, the experience of physical activity, and routines of participation.

Conclusion:

These findings suggest that the relationship between physical activity and leisure is complex and the term leisure with its associated concepts of satisfaction, relaxation and pleasure may not accurately reflect the way young people view their participation in physical activity.

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Euna Han, Lisa Powell, Sandy Slater and Christopher Quinn

Background:

Secondary data are often necessary to assess the availability of commercial physical activity (PA) facilities and examine its association with individual behaviors and outcomes, yet the validity of such sources has been explored only in a limited number of studies.

Methods:

Field data were collected on the presence and attributes of commercial PA facilities in a random sample of 30 urban, 15 suburban, and 15 rural Census tracts in the Chicago metropolitan statistical area and surrounding area.

Results:

Approximately 40% of PA establishments in the field data were listed for both urban and nonurban tracts in both lists except for nonurban tracts in D&B (35%), which was significantly improved in the combined list of D&B and InfoUSA. Approximately one-quarter of the PA facilities listed in D&B were found on the ground, whereas 40% to 50% of PA facilities listed in InfoUSA were found on the ground. PA establishments that offered instruction programs or lessons or that had a court or pool were less likely to be listed, particularly in the nonurban tracts.

Conclusions:

Secondary commercial business lists on PA facilities should be used with caution in assessing the built environment.

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Bill Reger-Nash, Adrian Bauman, Linda Cooper, Tien Chey, Kenneth J. Simon, Maria Brann and Kevin M. Leyden

Background:

WV Walks replicated the Wheeling Walks community-wide campaign methodology to promote physical activity.

Methods:

A social marketing intervention promoted walking among insufficiently active 40- to 65-year-olds throughout the television media market in north-central West Virginia. The intervention included participatory planning, an 8-week mass media-based campaign, and policy and environmental activities. Pre and post random-digit-dial cohort telephone surveys were conducted at baseline and immediately postcampaign in intervention and comparison regions.

Results:

The campaign resulted in maximal message awareness in north-central WV and demonstrated a significant increase in walking behavior represented by an absolute shift of 12% of the target population from insufficiently active to active (≥30 minutes, 5 days per week), versus the comparison community (adjusted odds ratio 1.82, CI: 1.05−3.17). Policy and environmental changes were also evident.

Conclusions:

This replication study increases our confidence that the initial effects observed in the Wheeling Walks intervention are generalizable to other similar rural communities.

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Ana Henderson and Christine R. Fry

Background:

Improving parks in low income and minority neighborhoods may be a key way to increase physical activity and decrease overweight and obesity prevalence among children at the greatest risk. To advocate effectively for improved recreation infrastructure, public health advocates must understand the legal and policy landscape in which public recreation decisions are made.

Methods:

In this descriptive legal analysis, we reviewed federal, state, and local laws to determine the authority of each level of government over parks. We then examined current practices and state laws regarding park administration in urban California and rural Texas.

Results:

We identified several themes through the analysis: (1) multiple levels of governments are often involved in parks offerings in a municipality, (2) state laws governing parks vary, (3) local authority may vary substantially within a state, and (4) state law may offer greater authority than local jurisdictions use.

Conclusions:

Public health advocates who want to improve parks need to (1) think strategically about which levels of government to engage; (2) identify parks law and funding from all levels of government, including those not typically associated with local parks; and (3) partner with advocates with similar interests, including those from active living and school communities.

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Jorge Mota, José Carlos Ribeiro, Joana Carvalho, Maria Paula Santos and Júlio Martins

The aim of this study was twofold (1), to examine the prospective relationship of baseline TV viewing with BMI and CRF both at baseline and over a 2-year period, and (2) to examine the prospective relationship of baseline TV viewing and changes (Δ) on BMI and CRF over a 2-year period. Data were collected in a sample of 135 (64 girls) rural children ages 7 yr-old from elementary schools in Fundao, Portugal. Obesity status was obtained by the age-sex specific BMI cut points and CRF by a 9 min run test. TV viewing was also analyzed and children were assigned as one of two groups: the low TV watching (LTV), and high TV watching (HTV), users based upon them reported to spend less or more than 2 h/day watching TV, respectively. Logistic regression showed that those who were assigned to HTV group were 2.4 times (OR = 2.48; p = .04) more likely to be classified as unfit at time 1. Further the data showed that the LTV were more likely (OR = 0.36; p = .02) to be classified in high ΔCRF change over time. The findings of this study suggest that there was a significant inverse association between times spent watching TV and CRF but not BMI over a 2-yr period.

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Karla I. Galaviz, Deena Zytnick, Michelle C. Kegler and Solveig A. Cunningham

Background:

We examined the relationship between parents’ perception of neighborhood safety and children’s physical activity and use of recreation facilities in a US nationally representative sample of fifth grade children.

Methods:

We used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten cohort, fifth grade sample (N = 9827). Multivariate logistic and linear regression models were used to examine associations between parents’ perception of neighborhood safety for outside play and number of days children engage in physical activity, as well as children’s use of recreational facilities for physical activity.

Results:

Children who used recreational facilities engaged in physical activity on more days of the week compared with children who did not use a facility (3.3 days vs. 3.8 days, P < .0001). Children from neighborhoods perceived as unsafe by parents engaged in almost 1 less day per week in physical activity (β = –.89, P < .0001). Children from neighborhoods perceived as unsafe were less likely to use recreational facilities compared with children from neighborhoods perceived as safe (odds ratio = 0.72, P < .0001). Children from less affluent families across rural and urban areas had half the odds of using recreational facilities compared with children from the wealthiest families living in urban areas.

Conclusions:

Parents’ perception of neighborhood safety for outside play can deter or promote children’s physical activity and use of recreational facilities. Children from less affluent families are less likely to use facilities than children from wealthy families, regardless of place of residence.

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Roy J. Shephard and François Trudeau

This article looks retrospectively at lessons learned from the Trois-Rivières physical education study. A brief review of the experimental design shows 546 students assigned by class cohort to either an additional 5 hours of quality physical education per week in grades 1 through 6, or a control treatment (minimal physical education by the homeroom teacher). Strengths of the study include a quasi-experimental design, a prolonged and well-defined intervention, assessment of compensation for the program, continuation of observations into middle age, collection of data in urban and rural environments, consistency of teaching staff and technical personnel, documentation of changes in academic achievement, assessment of bone maturation, a carefully constructed database, and control for cross-contamination. Limitations include some secular change, limited information on pubertal stages, difficulty in generalizing findings to an English-speaking environment, and some rigidity in the statistical design. The study demonstrates that cardiorespiratory function, muscle strength, and field performance can all be enhanced in primary school with no negative impact on academic work. Further, attitudes, behavior, and function are favorably influenced in adults. Future studies should seek out stable populations, define interventions closely, contract with participants for a long-term follow-up, and assess the immediate and long-term impact on health and function. Above all, there is a need for a dedicated principal investigator who will devote his or her entire career to the longitudinal study.

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James E. Curtis and Jack S. Birch

A conventional wisdom in the lay sociology of sport journalism is that North American professional ice hockey players are disproportionately recruited from smaller communities and rural areas. One explanation given for this is that avenues for social mobility are more limited in such communities and that sport is heavily pursued as one of the few areas of opportunity. Sections of the sociological literature would suggest, though, that the opposite relationship may occur because larger cities have better opportunity structures for developing and expressing sport skills. These alternative expectations are tested for Canadian-born players in three professional leagues and for players on the last three Olympic teams. In addition, data for U.S. Olympic teams are presented. In interpreting the results, we also employ Canadian national survey data on mass participation of male youths in hockey. The findings show that the largest cities are underrepresented as birthplaces of players at each elite level, whereas small towns are overrepresented. Yet, community size does not appear related to the general population of male youths’ rate of participation in hockey. Emphasized are interpretations concerning how amateur hockey is organized.

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Michael L. Booth, Anthony D. Okely, Tien Chey and Adrian E. Bauman

This study examined the pattern of activity energy expenditure (AEE) among New South Wales (NSW) high school students in relation to age, sex, socioeconomic status (SES), place of residence, cultural background, season, participation in moderate- and vigorous-intensity and in organized and non-organized physical activity.

Methods:

Cross-sectional survey of a randomly-selected sample (N = 2026). Respondents self-reported their physical activity participation during a usual week in summer and winter.

Results:

Boys reported greater AEE than girls and, whereas AEE was greater among grade 10 than grade 8 boys, the reverse was true for girls. Boys reported the same AEE for summer and winter, but girls reported less AEE during winter. Both boys and girls reported spending the same proportion of their AEE in vigorous-intensity (72%) compared with moderate-intensity activity (28%) and in non-organized (60%) compared with organized activity. There was no clear association between urban/rural place of residence and AEE. Although AEE tended to be positively associated with SES among girls, there was no association among boys. Girls from Asian cultural backgrounds reported much lower AEE than girls from other cultural backgrounds.

Conclusion:

Patterns of energy expenditure among adolescent boys and girls should be considered in developing interventions to ensure needs are adequately met.