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Joan B. Landry and Melinda A. Solmon

Physical inactivity is a major health risk factor in our society, and older women and minority populations are especially at risk in this regard. Many earlier studies that have addressed physical inactivity, however, focused primarily on European-American males. Although recent research has begun to include more diverse populations, there continues to be a need for further study of specific at-risk populations. This study examined self-determination in the regulation of exercise behavior in a sample of 105 African American women. They completed the Stages of Exercise Scale and the Behavior Regulation Exercise Questionnaire. Consistent with theoretical predictions, individuals who had been active over a period of time were more self-determined in their behavior regulation. Exercising to achieve an outcome emerged as the most influential factor in discriminating active participants from inactive ones. This study supports the use of this theoretical approach in gaining an understanding of the types of motivation most likely to contribute to the initiation and maintenance of exercise behavior change in African American women.

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Jeanette M. Garcia, John R. Sirard, Ross Larsen, Meg Bruening, Melanie Wall and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to examine, using structural equation modeling, the associations between nominated friend physical activity (PA), friend social support with individual PA-related psychological factors, and adolescent PA.

Methods:

Data were obtained from EAT 2010 (Eating and Activity Among Teens), a large cross-sectional study conducted in 20 middle and high schools. The sample consisted of 1951 adolescents (mean age: 14.25 ± 1.96, 54% female, 68% ethnic minorities). PA, parent and friend social support (perceived social support for PA from parents and friends), and psychological measures (PA enjoyment, PA self-efficacy, and PA barriers) were assessed by self-report questionnaires. The SEM analysis consisted of 1 observed variable: friend PA, and 2 latent constructs: psychological factors, perceived social support.

Results:

The model was a good fit, indicating that there were significant direct effects of both friend PA (P < .01) and psychological factors (P < .0001) on adolescent PA. In addition, psychological factors mediated the association between friend PA and adolescent PA.

Conclusion:

The results of this model suggest that psychological factors and friend PA are associated with adolescent PA, and that psychological factors may play an important role. Future studies should further examine the association of both friend PA and psychological variables with adolescent PA.

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Tessa M. Pollard and Cornelia Guell

Background:

We assessed the quality of data on physical activity obtained by recall from Muslim women of South Asian origin, and the feasibility of using accelerometer-based physical activity monitors to provide more objective measures of physical activity in this group.

Methods:

In this largely qualitative study, 22 British Pakistani women were asked to wear accelerometers (the GT1M Actigraph and/or the Sensewear Armband) for 4 days, provided 2 24-hour recalls of activities, and were interviewed about their experiences with the monitors.

Results:

Women reported spending most of their time in housework and childcare, activities which generated the majority of recorded bouts of moderate to vigorous physical activity. However, women had difficulty in recalling the timing, and assessing the intensity, of these usually unstructured activities. A significant minority of accelerometer datasets were incomplete and some women reported either forgetting to wear the acceler-ometer or finding it intrusive.

Conclusions:

Questionnaires are unlikely to provide an accurate assessment of physical activity in this group of women. This suggests that accelerometer data will be preferable. However, collecting sufficient data for large-scale studies using activity monitors in this population will be challenging.

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Nick Garrett, Philip J. Schluter and Grant Schofield

Background:

A minority of adults in developed countries engage in sufficient physical activity (PA) to achieve health benefits. This study aims to identify modifiable perceived resources and barriers to PA among New Zealand adults.

Methods:

Secondary analysis of a 2003 nationally representative cross-sectional mail survey, stratified by region, age, and ethnicity, and analyzed utilizing ordinal logistic regression.

Results:

Overall, n = 8038 adults responded to the survey, of whom 49% met updated guidelines for sufficient PA. Perceived accessibility of local resources was associated with PA; however, for some resources there was more awareness among individuals whose predominant activity was not commonly associated with that resource (eg, health clubs and walkers). Perceived local environmental barriers demonstrated negative (steep hills, crime, dogs) and positive (unmaintained footpaths) associations. The absence of perceived environmental barriers was strongly associated with increased activity, suggesting the number of barriers may be a critical factor.

Conclusion:

Complex relationships between perceptions of local environments and activity patterns among adults were found. Although complex, these results demonstrate positive associations between awareness of resources and perceived lack of barriers with being sufficiently physically active for health. Therefore, investments in provision and/or promotion of local resources have the potential to enable active healthy communities.

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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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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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Howard L. Nixon II

Despite the stigma usually attached to disabled people, and the attendant difficulty in picturing disabled people in “normal” societal roles interacting and competing with nondisabled people, a mandate for integrating disabled and nondisabled people in all areas of society has been thrust upon Americans during the past decade through judicial, legal, and social pressures and political action. This paper focuses on the appropriate integration of disabled and nondisabled people in sport. It considers some potentially salient personal attribute and background parameters (i.e., type and severity of disability and amount of sports background) and sports structure parameters (i.e., type of sport, amount of disability adaptation, and degree of competition) that could affect the extent to which integration efforts in sport result in genuine integration and a reduction in the stigmatization and handicapped minority status of disabled people. It is hoped that this paper, and the general hypotheses it proposes about appropriate integration, will serve to guide future research and informed action in program planning and implementation aimed at integrating disabled and nondisabled people in sport.

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Timothy J. Bungum, Melva Thompson-Robinson, Sheniz Moonie and Monica A.F. Lounsbery

Background:

Health behaviors of minority populations, including Hispanics, are important from a public health perspective because this subpopulation is growing and health behaviors of this subgroup are understudied. Physical activity is a component of healthy lifestyles and Hispanics have been shown to be less active than are Caucasians. It will be necessary to know correlates of physical activity to enhance the physical activity of this group. Recently, the importance of environmental and cultural factors has been recognized as correlates of physical activity behavior. The purpose of this study was to identify environmental and cultural correlates of physical activity among Hispanic adults.

Methods:

A 52-item telephone survey was employed to assess physical activity and its potential correlates.

Results:

The sample included 175 females and 156 males. Respondent ages ranged from 18 to 82 years (x = 38.39 ± 15.0). Approximately 20% of respondents were assigned to a “higher physical activity” group. Predictors of being in this group were having supportive environments, being acculturated, attending some college, and age.

Conclusions:

Providing environmental supports may be an effective strategy to enhance physical activity levels of adult Hispanics. Older Hispanics, those with lower educational attainments and those of lower acculturation should be targeted for intervention.

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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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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.