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Abdulla S. Al-Mohannadi, Abdulaziz Farooq, Angus Burnett, Mercia Van Der Walt and Mohamed Ghaith Al-Kuwari

Background:

Little is known about the effects that climatic conditions, especially extreme heat, have on physical activity (PA) levels. The aim of this 2-year cohort analysis undertaken in the Arabian Gulf region was to assess changes in objectively-assessed PA as a result of changes in climatic conditions.

Methods:

A total of 2088 adults (1390 men and 698 women) from many regions of the world were enrolled in a community health program in Qatar, were included in this study. For 2 years participants recorded daily step count using an Omron HJ-720 ITC pedometer. Daily climate parameters included temperature, relative humidity and other conditions.

Results:

From linear mixed model analysis it was evident that higher average temperature and humidity, and the Wet bulb Globe Temperature (WbGT), resulted in a reduction of the number of steps taken per day. Analysis of interaction effects also revealed that the effects of heat stress were equivalent across gender, age, and the region participants came from according to a World Health Organization classification scheme.

Conclusions:

Increased temperature and humidity are associated with a reduction in the number of steps taken per day. Community-based PA programs in hot hot/humid climates should consider novel approaches to increase PA levels.

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Daniel Medina, Eduard Pons, Antonio Gomez, Marc Guitart, Andres Martin, Jairo Vazquez-Guerrero, Ismael Camenforte, Berta Carles and Roger Font

Despite approval of the use of electronic performance-tracking systems (EPTSs) during competition by the International Football Association Board, other team-sport organizations and leagues have banned their use due to “safety concerns,” with no evidence to support this assertion. The aim of the current brief report was to provide empirical evidence to support the widespread use of EPTSs across all sports by examining safety issues concerning their use in a multi-team-sport club. Five outdoor football teams (1st team, 2nd team, under 19 [U-19], under 18 [U-18], and 1st team female) and 3 indoor-sport (basketball, futsal, and handball) teams were monitored, accounting for a total of 63,734 h of training and 12,748 h of game time. A questionnaire was sent to all fitness coaches involved, and the clinical history was reviewed for every medical issue reported. Six minor chest contusions were recorded in female football goalkeepers wearing the frontal chest strap (3.17 episodes per 1000 training h). During training, 3 episodes of minor skin abrasion affecting the thoracic area due to wearing vests too tight were recorded in the U-19 football team (0.21 per 1000 h) and 2 episodes in U-18 (0.39 per 1000 h). It must be noted that none of these episodes resulted in lost days of training or games, and none required medical assistance. In conclusion, empirical evidence confirms that EPTSs are safe to use across team sports.

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Brianna Newland, Marlene A. Dixon and B. Christine Green

Background:

The purpose of this study was to provide recommendations to an organization trying to effectively implement nontraditional sport programming to reach a broader range of children and engage them in physical activity.

Methods:

This consultation-based qualitative study used data collected from 7 after-school sport program sites. Data were collected through participant observation and semistructured interviews with program instructors. The data were analyzed in 2 steps. First, descriptive coding was used to group observations and responses from each question, then pattern coding was used to find emerging themes. Researchers then compared both within and across program sites.

Results:

Researchers found that enjoyment, ability, and language influenced interactions; age-appropriateness, engagement, and curriculum design impacted curriculum; and instructor roles and ongoing mentoring impacted effectiveness of training/support. A fundamental disconnect was evident between the program vision and the instructors’ interpretation (and therefore, implementation) of the vision.

Conclusions:

Recommendations offered for practice include continued focus on curriculum design that can engage children at each level of development (grades K–5) and increased training and field support for instructors to ensure intended implementation of the programming.

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Howard Poizner, Olga I. Fookson, Michail B. Berkinblit, Wayne Hening, Gregory Feldman and Sergei Adamovich

A three-dimensional tracking system was used to examine whether subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) would show characteristic performance deficits in an unconstrained pointing task. Five targets were presented in a pyramidal array in space to 11 individuals with mild to moderate PD and 8 age-matched controls. After the target was indicated, subjects closed their eyes and pointed to the remembered target locations without vision. Despite the absence of visual feedback during movement, PD subjects were as accurate overall as controls. However, PD subjects showed greater variable errors, more irregular trajectories, and a vertical endpoint bias in which their endpoints were significantly lower than controls. They also showed deficiencies in the compensatory organization of joint rotations to ensure consistency in azimuthal (horizontal) positioning of the arm endpoint. We concluded that, under appropriate task conditions, PD subjects may not show overall deficits in accuracy even when making targeted movements at normal speed without visual feedback. Nevertheless, our findings indicate that there are certain dimensions of performance which are selectively altered in Parkinson's disease even when overall performance is normal.

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Cevdet Cengiz and Mustafa Levent Ince

Background:

The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of a social-ecologic intervention on health-related fitness (HRF) knowledge and behaviors of students (n = 62) living in rural areas.

Methods:

A prepost test control group design was constructed. In addition, qualitative data were collected by focus group discussions in the experimental group. Physical activity environment of a middle school was changed based on the social-ecologic model (SEM) with a focus on intrapersonal, interpersonal, community level, organizational factors, and public policies related to physical activity behavior. Health related fitness knowledge (HRFK) test, pedometer, and perceived physical activity self-efficacy and social support questionnaires were used for data collection.

Results:

Experimental group had significant improvement in HRF knowledge scores, physical activity levels, and social support compared with the control school students. The focus group results also supported the quantitative findings by indicating a perceived increase in physical activity opportunities; knowledge sources; and support from others.

Conclusions:

This study underlines the importance and positive outcomes of SEM in improving HRF knowledge, physical activity level, and social support of students in rural middle school settings.

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Katelyn Barnes, Lauren Ball and Ben Desbrow

Personal trainers are well placed to provide nutrition care in line with their recommended scope of practice. However, providing nutrition care beyond their recommended scope of practice has been identified as an industry risk. The International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs) have international standards for nutrition knowledge and skills that are recommended for all fitness professionals, including personal trainers. This study investigates whether the ICREPs standards align with i) national nutrition education standards and ii) national nutrition occupational standards and scopes of practice for personal trainers within ICREPs affiliated countries. Content analysis of each standard and/or scope of practice was undertaken to extract nutrition statements. Extracted statements were matched with nutrition components of the ICREPs standards to result in a score based on the number of aligned ICREPs knowledge and skills criteria. Ten countries, with 16 organizations, were identified as being involved in the development of national education standards, occupational standards, or scopes of practice for personal trainers. The educational and occupational standards varied widely among countries and had minimal alignment with the ICREPs standards. As such, the expected role of personal trainers in providing nutrition care appeared to differ between countries. Further work is required to support personal trainers to develop a level of knowledge and skills that enables the provision of safe, consistent, and effective nutrition care.

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Richard R. Rosenkranz, Greg J. Welk and David A. Dzewaltowski

Background:

Active recreation sessions taking place within after-school programs (ASP) present an opportunity for attending children to attain part of the recommended 60 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). This cross-sectional study’s purpose was to assess relationships between microlevel ASP environmental characteristics and physical activity and sedentary behavior (SED).

Methods:

During 161 ASP active recreation sessions, 240 children from 7 schools wore Actigraph GT1M accelerometers and were observed up to 6 times per year, over 3 years. To provide microlevel environmental data, trained observers recorded session times, location, duration, organization, equipment, and number of children and staff. Unadjusted bivariate correlations and multivariable regression analyses were used to assess the influence of microlevel environmental variables on MVPA and SED, with regression models controlling for relevant covariates.

Results:

Across all ASP active recreation sessions, children spent 39 ± 15% in MVPA and 16 ± 11% in SED. Session location, boy-to-girl ratio, and duration were significantly related to MVPA in the regression model. For SED, location and duration were significant influences in the model.

Conclusions:

Both location and duration appear to be modifiable correlates of group physical activity level, which may serve to inform intervention efforts to promote physical activity in ASP.

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Jeff Vallance, Susanne L. Lesniak, Lisa J. Belanger and Kerry S. Courneya

Background:

We report the development and assessment of a physical activity (PA) guidebook called Step Up to the Challenge that is being used to support a PA behavior change intervention in a randomized trial examining PA and disease-free survival in colon cancer survivors.

Methods:

Content for the PA guidebook was constructed based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). Expert judges (N = 51) included oncologists, rehabilitation practitioners, colon cancer survivors, and TPB researchers. All expert judges completed the Maine Area Health Education Center checklist for evaluating written health information. A subset of TPB expert judges (n = 11) also assessed the degree of match between the guidebook content and TPB constructs.

Results:

Expert judges indicated that the PA guidebook achieved desirable attributes for organization, writing style, appearance, appeal, feasibility, and appropriateness. For the TPB assessment, all mean item-content relevance ratings indicated at least a “very good match” between the PA guidebook content and the TPB constructs.

Conclusions:

Our guidebook successfully targets the TPB constructs known to influence PA behavior change and contains suitable and appropriate written health information. This guidebook will be an integral component of the behavioral support program designed to determine the effects of PA on disease-free survival in colon cancer survivors.

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Stephan Swinnen, Joost Vandenberghe and Erik Van Assche

This study sought to determine the relationships between the cognitive styles field dependence-independence and reflection-impulsivity and the acquisition of a gross motor skill in an unstructured learning environment. In reference to the first cognitive style construct, it was hypothesized that field-independent subjects perform better than field-dependent subjects because they provide organization when the material to be learned lacks structure, leading them to rely on their analyzing and restructuring ability. The second construct refers to cognitive inhibition required for response uncertainty tasks as well as motor impulse inhibition. Subjects (57 boys, 65 girls) were 13-year-old junior high school students. Several visual perceptual tests were administered and gymnastic performance scores were measured at pretest, during the learning session, and posttest. The hypothesis that field-independent subjects are more successful in an unstructured learning environment than field-dependent subjects was confirmed for boys only. The correlations between the reflection-impulsivity variables and gymnastic performance were generally low, and no support could be found for the hypothesis that reflective subjects are more successful in learning the skill than impulsive subjects.

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Eloise Elliott, Emily Jones and Sean Bulger

Background:

Modeled after the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP), ActiveWV 2015: The West Virginia Physical Activity Plan was developed to provide strategic direction for physical activity promotion within the state. The purpose of this manuscript is to describe the systematic approach taken in developing ActiveWV.

Method:

Plan development began with establishing capacity and leadership among key stakeholders representing all societal sectors. A multiphase, statewide decision-making process allowed for input across sectors and geographic regions. The process results identified five priority areas that served as the conceptual framework for ActiveWV. Sector teams, comprised of key organization stakeholders across the eight sectors, finalized the sector-specific strategies and tactics using the NPAP evidence-based recommendations, results from a formalized strategic process, and the teams’ expertise and experience.

Results:

ActiveWV was officially released on January 19, 2012 at the State Capitol in Charleston, West Virginia. Community events throughout the state surrounded the release and celebrated West Virginia Physical Activity Day. Ongoing implementation and dissemination efforts are underway at state and local levels.

Conclusions:

As the NPAP calls for states and communities to develop plans that meet the needs of their particular context, other states may find the lessons learned from West Virginia helpful in the development process.