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Tarek Tawfik Amin, Waseem Suleman, Ayub Ali, Amira Gamal and Adel Al Wehedy

Objectives:

To determine patterns of physical activity (PA) along domains of work-transport-leisure among adult Saudis, sociodemographic correlates of PA and perceived personal barriers to leisure-time-related physical inactivity in Al-Hassa, KSA.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study in which 2176 adult Saudis attending urban and rural Primary Health centers were selected using multistage proportionate sampling method. Participants were personally interviewed to gather information regarding sociodemographics, PA pattern using Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ), and perceived barriers toward recreation-related PA. Analysis was carried out along GPAQ protocol.

Results:

Median total physical activity was 2304 METs-minutes/week. Fifty-two percent of subjects were sufficiently active meeting the minimum recommendations when considering total PA and 21% of the subjects were sufficiently active in leisure-time-related activity with ≥ 5 days of any combination of walking, moderate or vigorous-intensity activities with a total of at least 600 METs-minutes/ week. Regression analyses showed that females, higher educational and occupational status were negative predictors to total and leisure-related PA. Barriers perceived toward leisure-related PA included weather, traditions, lack of facilities and time.

Conclusion:

A low PA pattern along the 3 domains of PA may impose a refection toward more sedentary life style in Saudi Arabia.

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Rafael Monge-Rojas, Tamara Fuster-Baraona, Carlos Garita-Arce, Marta Sánchez-López, Uriyoán Colon-Ramos and Vanessa Smith-Castro

Background:

In Latin America, more than 80% of adolescent girls are physically inactive. Inactivity may be reinforced by female stereotypes and objectification in the Latin American sociocultural context.

Methods:

We examined the influence of objectification on the adoption of an active lifestyle among 192 adolescents (14 and 17 years old) from urban and rural areas in Costa Rica. Analyses of 48 focus-groups sessions were grounded in Objectification Theory.

Results:

Vigorous exercises were gender-typed as masculine while girls had to maintain an aesthetic appearance at all times. Adolescents described how girls were anxious around the prospect of being shamed and sexually objectified during exercises. This contributed to a decrease in girls’ desire to engage in physical activities. Among males, there is also a budding tolerance of female participation in vigorous sports, as long as girls maintained a feminine stereotype outside their participation.

Conclusion:

Self-objectification influenced Costa Rican adolescent girls’ decisions to participate in physical activities. Interventions may include: procuring safe environments for physical activity where girls are protected from fear of ridicule and objectification; sensitizing boys about girl objectification and fostering the adoption of a modern positive masculine and female identities to encourage girls’ participation in sports.

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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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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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Rochelle Eime, Jack Harvey and Warren Payne

Background:

To examine the dose-response relationship between health related quality of life (HRQoL) and life satisfaction (outcomes) and duration of recreational physical activity (exposure). Further, to explore whether these relationships depend on type of physical activity (PA).

Methods:

793 Australian rural-living women self-reported on duration of recreational PA; HRQoL via SF-36 Mental Component Summary (MCS) and Physical Component Summary (PCS); and a life satisfaction scale. ANOVAs and ANCOVAs investigated differences in outcomes (MCS, PCS, and life satisfaction) between tertiles of exposure to recreational PA, and types of PA (club sport, gymnasium, walking), with adjustment for potential confounders.

Results:

A significant positive dose-response relationship was found between PCS and level of PA. Furthermore, this relationship depended on type of PA, with club-sport participants recording higher PCS than non-club-sport participants in all but the highest tertile of exposure. Life satisfaction and MCS were not significantly related to level of PA.

Conclusion:

Physical health was positively associated with level of recreational PA, with club sport participation contributing greater benefits at low to moderate exposures than participation in gymnasium or walking activities.

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Masamitsu Kamada, Jun Kitayuguchi, Kuninori Shiwaku, Shigeru Inoue, Shimpei Okada and Yoshiteru Mutoh

Background:

Physical activity contributes to maintaining functional ability later in life. Specific relationships between walking for particular purposes (eg, recreation or transport) and functional ability are not clear. It is useful for planning health promotion strategies to clarify whether walking time for recreation, or walking time for transport has the stronger relationship with maximum walking speed (MWS), a determinant of functional ability later in life in the elderly.

Methods:

A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2007 using a sample of 372 community-dwelling elderly people aged 60 to 87 years in Mitoya Town, Unnan City, rural Japan. Associations with MWS were examined for self-reported weekly times of walking for recreation and for transport using multiple linear regression analyses.

Results:

Both in men and women, walking time for recreation was significantly associated with MWS after controlling for age, height, weight, hip and knee pain, and a number of chronic diseases (men: β = 0.18, P = .024; women: β = 0.17, P < .01). However, walking time for transport was not significantly associated with MWS (men: β = −0.094, P = .24; women: β = −0.040, P = .50).

Conclusions:

Walking for recreation may contribute to maintaining functional abilities such as MWS in the elderly.

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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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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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Vincent Ochieng Onywera, Kristi B. Adamo, Andrew W. Sheel, Judith N. Waudo, Michael Kipsugut Boit and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

Comparable data to examine the physical activity (PA) transition in African countries such as Kenya are lacking.

Methods:

We assessed PA levels from urban (UKEN) and rural (RKEN) environments to examine any evidence of a PA transition. Nine- to twelve-year-old children participated in the study: n = 96 and n = 73 children from UKEN and RKEN, respectively. Pedometers were used to estimate children’s daily step count. Parental perception regarding their child’s PA patterns was collected via questionnaire (n = 172).

Results:

RKEN children were more physically active than their UKEN counterparts with a mean average steps per day (± SE) of 14,700 ± 521 vs. 11,717 ± 561 (P < .0001) for RKEN vs. UKEN children respectively. 62.5% of the UKEN children spent 0 hours per week playing screen games compared with 13.1% of UKEN children who spent more than 11 hours per week playing screen games. Seventy percent of UKEN and 34% of RKEN parents reported being more active during childhood than their children respectively.

Conclusions:

Results of this study are indicative of a PA transition in Kenya. Further research is needed to gather national data on the PA patterns of Kenyan children to minimize the likelihood of a public health problem due to physical inactivity.

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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.