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Ross C. Brownson, Cheryl M. Kelly, Amy A. Eyler, Cheryl Carnoske, Lisa Grost, Susan L. Handy, Jay E. Maddock, Delores Pluto, Brian A. Ritacco, James F. Sallis and Thomas L. Schmid

Background:

Environmental and policy approaches are promising strategies to raise population-wide rates of physical activity; yet, little attention has been paid to the development and prioritization of a research agenda on these topics that will have relevance for both researchers and practitioners.

Methods:

Using input from hundreds of researchers and practitioners, a research agenda was developed for promoting physical activity through environmental and policy interventions. Concept mapping was used to develop the agenda.

Results:

Among those who brainstormed ideas, 42% were researchers and 33% were practitioners. The data formed a concept map with 9 distinct clusters. Based on ratings by both researchers and practitioners, the policy research cluster on city planning and design emerged as the most important, with economic evaluation second.

Conclusions:

Our research agenda sets the stage for new inquiries to better understand the environmental and policy influences on physical activity.

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Jennifer L.J. Heaney, Douglas Carroll and Anna C. Phillips

The present study examined the relationship between habitual physical activity, life events stress, the diurnal rhythms of cortisol and DHEA, and the cortisol:dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) ratio in older adults. Thirty-six participants aged ≥ 65 reported their habitual physical activity, and indicated if a particular event happened to them in the past year (stress incidence) and how stressful they perceived the event to be (stress severity). Older adults with higher stress severity demonstrated a significantly higher cortisol:DHEA ratio. Individuals with higher stress incidence scores and who did not participate in aerobic exercise had a significantly higher cortisol:DHEA ratio and flatter DHEA diurnal rhythm compared with those who regularly participated in aerobic exercise. In conclusion, life events stress may have a negative impact on the cortisol:DHEA ratio in older adults. Under conditions of high stress exposure, exercise may protect older adults from an increased cortisol:DHEA ratio and flatter DHEA diurnal rhythm.

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Constantinos A. Loucaides

Background:

A number of studies indicate higher prevalence of overweight and obesity among rural school children. The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in personal, social, and environmental correlates of physical activity between school location (urban versus rural) and gender.

Methods:

Middle school children (N = 676) from different districts in Cyprus completed questionnaires assessing physical activity and potential correlates.

Results:

Children from rural schools reported higher friend support for physical activity and more ease of walk to a bus station from their home. Urban school children reported higher presence of sidewalks in their neighborhood. Boys reported more hours per day playing outside and higher enjoyment and friend support for physical activity than girls, whereas girls reported higher means in the variable ‘I see a lot of people walking or being physically active in my neighborhood’. Significant two-way interactions between gender and school location were noted with rural school girls having less favorable scores in a number of correlates of physical activity.

Conclusions:

More studies are needed to further understand the higher incidence of overweight and obesity observed among rural youth. Girls from rural areas may be targeted as a priority group for promoting physical activity.

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Jiri Mudrak, Pavel Slepicka and Steriani Elavsky

We tested a social cognitive model of physical activity (PA) in the cultural context of the Czech Republic, a postcommunist central European country. In total, 546 older Czech adults (mean age = 68 years, data collected in 2013) completed a battery of questionnaires assessing indicators of PA and related social cognitive constructs, including self-efficacy, social support, and self-regulation strategies. Subsequently, a structural equation model was used to test the relationship between the social cognitive constructs and PA. Our analyses indicated an acceptable fit of the proposed model (CFI = .911; SRMR = .046; RMSEA = .073). Self-regulation was predicted by self-efficacy (β = .67) and social support (β = .23), which predicted PA (β = .45). The model explained 60.4% of the variance in PA self-regulation and 20.5% of the variance in PA participation. The results provide further evidence for the role of self-efficacy and social support in enabling PA in older adults, and suggest that this relationship is partially mediated by self-regulation.

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Helen M. Milne, Karen E. Wallman, Andrew Guilfoyle, Sandy Gordon and Kerry S. Courneya

The study aim was to examine constructs of autonomy support and competence as well as the motivation continuum from the self-determination theory (SDT) as a framework for understanding physical activity (PA) motivation and behavior in breast cancer survivors. Questionnaires assessing demographics, medical factors, PA, motivation continuum, perceived autonomy support, and competence were completed by 558 breast cancer survivors. Results showed that lymphedema (X2 = 7.9, p < .01) and income (X2 = 4.6, p < .05) were associated with meeting PA guidelines. Moreover, survivors meeting PA guidelines reported more identified regulations and intrinsic motivation (p < .01), autonomy support (p < .01), and competence (p < .01). Forced entry hierarchical regression analysis showed that SDT constructs explained 20.2% (p < .01) of the PA variance. Significant independent SDT predictors included identified regulation (ß = .14, p < .05) and competence (ß = .23, p < .01), with autonomy support approaching significance (ß = .9, p = .057). SDT may be a useful model for understanding PA motivation and behavior in breast cancer survivors.

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Lindsey M. Russo, Megan W. Harvey, Penelope Pekow and Lisa Chasan-Taber

gestational age infants have been associated with an increased risk of cesarean delivery. 8 Because physical activity during pregnancy reduces risk of these adverse maternal outcomes, 9 it thereby may be associated with a decreased risk for cesarean delivery. In addition, physical activity has a positive

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David X. Marquez, Eduardo E. Bustamante, Edward McAuley and Dawn E. Roberts

Background:

Latinos have the lowest leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) rates. However, measurement of only LTPA might underestimate total physical activity. This study compares the objective physical activity of Latinos reporting high or low levels of LTPA and also compares gender differences.

Methods:

Data were obtained from 148 Latinos (n = 83 women, n = 65 men). Freedson cut points were employed to determine daily minutes of activity.

Results:

Latinos reporting high LTPA engaged in more daily minutes of vigorous and very vigorous activity than Latinos reporting low LTPA (P values < .05). There was no difference in daily minutes of moderate-intensity activity (P = .12), with both groups of Latinos meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/American College of Sports Medicine guidelines. Men engaged in more daily minutes of moderate activity than women (P < .01).

Conclusions:

Many Latinos met physical activity guidelines even when reporting low levels of LTPA. Future studies should determine whether equivalent health benefits are achieved by meeting guidelines through LTPA and non-LTPA.

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Stewart G. Trost, Rebecca Tang and Paul D. Loprinzi

Background:

This study evaluated the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a church-based intervention to promote physical activity (PA) in children.

Methods:

The study was conducted in 4 churches located in 2 large metropolitan areas and 2 regional towns in Kansas. Churches in the intervention condition implemented the “Shining Like Stars” physical activity curriculum module during their regularly scheduled Sunday school classes. Churches in the control condition delivered the same content without integrating physical activity into the lessons. In addition to the curriculum, the intervention churches completed a series of weekly family devotional activities designed to promote parental support for PA and increase PA outside of Sunday school.

Results:

Children completing the Shining Like Stars curriculum exhibited significantly greater amounts of MVPA than those in the control condition (20 steps/min vs. 7 steps/min). No intervention effects were observed for PA levels outside of Sunday school or parental support for PA; however, relative to controls, children in the intervention churches did exhibit a significant reduction in screen time.

Conclusion:

The findings confirm that the integration of physical activity into Sunday school is feasible and a potentially effective strategy for promoting PA in young children.

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Marcus K. Taylor, Ricardo Pietrobon, Deng Pan, Michael Huff and Laurence D. Higgins

Background:

Physical inactivity is a risk factor for poor mental health. The present study evaluates the association between mental health and physical activity levels according to the Healthy People 2010 guidelines in a large national sample.

Methods:

Participants (N = 41,914) were selected from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Primary predictor variable was physical activity level, and primary outcome measure was frequency of mental distress. Specific outcomes of anxiety and depressive symptoms were also measured.

Results:

Compared with those meeting the Healthy People 2010 guidelines, sedentary participants were 1.31 times more likely to experience 14 or more days of mental distress during the past 30 days (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.16, 1.48), 1.34 times more likely to experience anxiety symptoms (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.21, 1.49), and 1.22 times more likely to experience depressive symptoms (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.10, 1.36). Comparing those participants falling short of the Healthy People 2010 recommendation with those meeting the guideline, no significant group differences were demonstrated relative to frequency of mental distress. Those meeting the recommendation were more likely to have 14 or more days of anxiety symptoms during the past 30 days (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02, 1.17).

Conclusions:

Our results suggest that being sedentary is clearly associated with more aversive psychological symptoms. However, performing enough physical activity to meet the Healthy People 2010 guideline may not be associated with better psychological status than minimal amounts of physical activity.

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Steve Amireault, John M. Baier and Jonathan R. Spencer

Physical activity is one of the most effective strategies to promote healthy aging. Regular engagement in physical activity is associated with reduced risk of falls and chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, breast and colon cancers); heightened mitigation