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António Prista, Salazar Picardo, Edmundo Ribeiro, Joel Libombo and Timoteo Daca

Background:

This paper describes the procedures and development of the first Mozambican Report Card on Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents.

Methods:

Comprehensive searches for data related to indicators of physical activity (PA) were completed by a committee of physical activity and sports specialists. Grades were assigned to each indicator consistent with the process and methodology outlined by the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card model.

Results:

Seven indicators of PA were graded. The following grades were assigned: Overall Physical Activity Levels, B; Organized Sport Participation, F; Active Play, C; Active Transportation, B; Schools, C; Community and the Built Environment, F; and Government, C. Sedentary Behaviors and Family and Peers were not graded due to the lack of available information.

Conclusions:

PA behaviors of children and young people of Mozambique are positively influenced by the rural environment and are largely related to subsistence activities and outdoor play, and absence of motorized transport. In turn, urban areas are declining in active habits and opportunities due largely to rapid urbanization and lack of planning that favors active transport and play.

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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.

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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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Leanne C. Findlay, Rochelle E. Garner and Dafna E. Kohen

Background:

Few longitudinal studies of physical activity have included young children or used nationally representative datasets. The purpose of the current study was to explore patterns of organized physical activity for Canadian children aged 4 through 17 years.

Methods:

Data from 5 cycles of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth were analyzed separately for boys (n = 4463) and girls (n = 4354) using multiple trajectory modeling.

Results:

Boys' and girls' organized physical activity was best represented by 3 trajectory groups. For boys, these groups were labeled: high stable, high decreasing, and low decreasing participation. For girls, these groups were labeled: high decreasing, moderate stable, and low decreasing participation. Risk factors (parental education, household income, urban/rural dwelling, and single/dual parent) were explored. For boys and girls, having a parent with postsecondary education and living in a higher income household were associated with a greater likelihood of weekly participation in organized physical activity. Living in an urban area was also significantly associated with a greater likelihood of weekly participation for girls.

Conclusions:

Results suggest that Canadian children's organized physical activity is best represented by multiple patterns of participation that tend to peak in middle childhood and decline into adolescence.

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Melinda Jane Craike, Remco Polman, Rochelle Eime, Caroline Symons, Jack Harvey and Warren Payne

Background:

This study investigated the association between the different types of behavior regulation and competence on sport and physical activity (PA) and perceived health, and the influence of school year level (ie, year 7 and year 11) and setting (ie, metropolitan and rural) on these relationships.

Methods:

A cross sectional self-complete survey was conducted. Competence was measured using the 5-item perceived competence subscale of the 21-item Athletic Identity Questionnaire (AIQ); behavior regulation was measured using a modified version of the Behavior Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ-2); PA was measured using an item to assess if adolescents are meeting recommended levels of PA; and perceived health was measured using the Short Form 1 (SF-1).

Results:

This study included 732 participants, 71.2% from metropolitan schools, and 66.8% in year 7. Self-determined behavior regulation and competence were positively associated with PA and health. Intrinsic motivation was more strongly related to older adolescents’ PA than it was for younger adolescents. Behavior regulators and competence were more strongly associated with health than PA.

Conclusions:

The findings of this study suggest that strategies that enhance intrinsic motivation and PA competence may improve the health of adolescent females; enhancing these may lead to greater health regardless of level of PA.

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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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José Joaquín Muros, Mikel Zabala, María Jesús Oliveras-López, Paula Rodríguez Bouzas, Emily Knox, José Ángel Rufián-Henares and Herminia López-García de la Serrana

Background:

The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nutritional education and vigorous physical activity on health-related parameters.

Methods:

The sample group consisted of 134 children from 5 rurally located schools. Participants were divided between 5 different experimental groups: control group (CG), physical activity group (PA), nutritional education group (NE), combined intervention group (PA+NE), and a combined intervention group with additional substitution of normally used oil for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO; PA+NE+EVOO). The intervention consisted of 60 minute sessions of physical activity held twice a week as well as nutritional education sessions held over 6 months.

Results:

Students in the groups receiving physical activity reduced their fat percentage and increased their muscle mass post intervention. At posttest the lipid profile improved in all intervention groups. The proportion of macronutrients and dietary cholesterol improved in the groups receiving nutritional education. The posttest comparison showed significantly lower fat percentage, sum of skinfolds and waist circumference in NE relative to CG and PA relative to CG. Diastolic blood pressure and glycaemia were significantly lower in PA+NE+EVOO relative to CG.

Conclusion:

A school-based program consisting of nutritional education or nutritional education plus a physical activity program showed a positive effect on health-related parameters in children.

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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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Fiona C. Bull, Tahlia S. Maslin and Timothy Armstrong

Purpose:

Instruments to assess physical activity are needed for (inter)national surveillance systems and comparison.

Methods:

Male and female adults were recruited from diverse sociocultural, educational and economic backgrounds in 9 countries (total n = 2657). GPAQ and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) were administered on at least 2 occasions. Eight countries assessed criterion validity using an objective measure (pedometer or accelerometer) over 7 days.

Results:

Reliability coefficients were of moderate to substantial strength (Kappa 0.67 to 0.73; Spearman's rho 0.67 to 0.81). Results on concurrent validity between IPAQ and GPAQ also showed a moderate to strong positive relationship (range 0.45 to 0.65). Results on criterion validity were in the poor-fair (range 0.06 to 0.35). There were some observed differences between sex, education, BMI and urban/rural and between countries.

Conclusions:

Overall GPAQ provides reproducible data and showed a moderate-strong positive correlation with IPAQ, a previously validated and accepted measure of physical activity. Validation of GPAQ produced poor results although the magnitude was similar to the range reported in other studies. Overall, these results indicate that GPAQ is a suitable and acceptable instrument for monitoring physical activity in population health surveillance systems, although further replication of this work in other countries is warranted.

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Divya Rajaraman, Natasha Correa, Zubin Punthakee, Scott A. Lear, Krishnaswamy G. Jayachitra, Mario Vaz and Sumathi Swaminathan

Objectives:

The purpose of this study was to understand perceived benefits, facilitators, disadvantages, and barriers for physical activity among South Asian adolescents in India and Canada.

Methods:

Thirteen focus group discussions with South Asian (origin) adolescent boys and girls of different nutritional status and socioeconomic status in rural and urban India and urban Canada.

Results:

Across the groups, fitness and ‘energy’ were perceived to be major benefits of physical activity. In India, better academic performance was highlighted, while health benefits were well detailed in Canadian groups. In all settings, friends, family, and teachers were perceived as facilitators of as well as barriers to physical activity. Lack of a safe space to play was a major concern for urban adolescents, while academic pressures and preference for other sedentary recreational activities were common barriers across all groups. Girls were less likely than boys to be interested in physical activity, with girls’ participation in India further limited by societal restrictions.

Conclusions:

The study suggests key areas for promotion of physical activity among South Asian adolescents: balance between academic pressure and opportunities for physical activity, especially in India; urban planning for a built environment conducive to physical activity; and gender-sensitive programming to promote girls’ activity which also addresses culture-specific barriers.