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Wallace B. Salter and George Graham

The effects of three disparate styles of teaching were examined to determine their influence on motor skill acquisition, cognitive learning related to the performance of a motor skill, and students’ ratings of self-efficacy. The subjects were third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade children (N = 244) in two rural elementary schools. The three instructional methodologies employed were Command, Guided Discovery, and No Instruction. The criterion lesson was a 20-minute experimental teaching unit using a novel golf task. Results revealed no significant differences between the groups taught by the three instructional approaches on skill improvement or self-efficacy. Cognitive understanding improved significantly for the groups taught by the command and guided discovery approaches, however, as compared to the no-instruction groups. Students in the no-instruction groups had a significantly higher number of skill attempts (M = 29.56) as compared to the command (M = 18.56) and guided discovery (M = 20.63) groups. This finding served as a plausible explanation for the lack of significant difference in skill improvement between the three groups on the criterion skill.

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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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Kelly Samara Silva, Adair da Silva Lopes, Carla Meneses Hardman, Luciana Gatto Azevedo Cabral, Shana Ginar da Silva and Markus Vinicius Nahas

Background:

Commuting reflects an important opportunity for youth to engage in physical activity. This study aimed to compare modes of commuting to school and to work and to identify sociodemographic factors associated with various modes of transportation.

Methods:

Epidemiologic study with a repeated cross-sectional design. Participants included high school students (15–19 years of age) from Santa Catarina state, Brazil, in 2001 (n = 5028) and 2011 (n = 6529). A questionnaire containing information on the type of transport used to commute to school and to work was administered.

Results:

Walking/bicycling and the use of the bus to commute to school and to work remained stable after a decade; however, the use of car/motorcycle to school (6.4% versus 12.6%) and to work (10.2% versus 19.7%) increased significantly. In both cases, females more frequently used buses, whereas males commuted to work by car/bus. Students from rural areas more commonly commuted to school by car/motorcycle, whereas those from urban areas traveled to work more by bus. There was a greater use of cars/motorcycles by young people from higher-income families.

Conclusions:

The use of cars/motorcycles to commute to school/work has almost doubled in the last decade. Sex, residential area and income were associated with passive commuting.

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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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António Prista, Timoteo Daca, Francisco Tchonga, Eduardo Machava, Cremildo Macucule and Edmundo Ribeiro

Background:

This article describes the procedures and development of the 2016 Mozambican Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Adolescents.

Methods:

Following the procedures adopted in 2014 for that year’s report card, comprehensive searches on new data related to indicators of physical activity (PA) were done. A committee composed of physical activity and sports specialists graded each indicator consistent with the process and methodology outlined by the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card model.

Results:

Nine indicators of PA were graded. Compared with 2014 there were several differences which were caused by changes in the country as well as a more effective evaluation from the committee. The following grades were assigned: Overall Physical Activity Levels, C; Organized Sport Participation, F; Active Play, D; Active Transportation, C; Schools, D; Community and the Built Environment, F; and Government, F. Sedentary Behaviors and Family and Peers were graded Incomplete due to the lack of available information.

Conclusions:

The decline of the PA habits in urban centers reported in 2014 are accentuated and is influencing the rural areas in several ways. At present, there is no strategy or effective action from authorities to reverse this negative trend.

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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.

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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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Helen J. Moore, Catherine A. Nixon, Amelia A. Lake, Wayne Douthwaite, Claire L. O’Malley, Claire L. Pedley, Carolyn D. Summerbell and Ashley C. Routen

Background:

Evidence suggests that many contemporary urban environments do not support healthy lifestyle choices and are implicated in the obesity pandemic. Middlesbrough, in the northeast of England is one such environment and a prime target for investigation.

Methods:

To measure physical activity (PA) levels in a sample of 28 adolescents (aged 11 to 14 years) and describe the environmental context of their activity and explore where they are most and least active over a 7-day period, accelerometry and Global Positioning System (GPS) technology were used. Twenty-five of these participants also took part in focus groups about their experiences and perceptions of PA engagement.

Results:

Findings indicated that all participants were relatively inactive throughout the observed period although bouts of moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were identified in 4 contexts: school, home, street, and rural/urban green spaces, with MVPA levels highest in the school setting. Providing access to local facilities and services (such as leisure centers) is not in itself sufficient to engage adolescents in MVPA.

Conclusion:

Factors influencing engagement in MVPA were identified within and across contexts, including ‘time’ as both a facilitator and barrier, perceptions of ‘gendered’ PA, and the social influences of peer groups and family members.

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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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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.