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Eva-Carin Lindgren, Ulla Tebelius and Bengt Fridlund

Sport participation or regular physical activity is often seen as a factor, which leads to better health and well being. Sport also has a social function, as most of the activities are performed together with other people. However, while club sports in Sweden have a stimulating effect on young men, there is a risk that they do not provide enough scope for young women. In particular, early specialization and a high level of seriousness do not suit all young sportswomen. The purpose of this study was to develop a theoretical understanding of the ways in which sport has influenced young women’s lifestyles in terms of their attitudes to physical activity in adult life. The data were collected using strategic interviews and analyzed using the grounded theory method. Based upon the results, young women’s physically active lifestyles varied depending on how they valued their sport in combination with how they handled their sport. Sport was regarded as having a positive effect on health and well being. This led to the young women studied intending to pursue a physically active lifestyle also in adult life. They enjoyed participating in sport, but not particularly sport with a high level of seriousness or a high level of vigor, which is what characterizes most club sports today.

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Ines Pfeffer

Targeted communication about health behaviors seems to be more effective than mass communication in which undifferentiated audiences receive identical messages. Regulatory focus is psychological variable that can be used to build two target groups: promotion-focused or prevention-focused people. It is hypothesized that targeting messages to an individual’s regulatory focus creates regulatory fit and is more successful to promote a physically active lifestyle than nonfit messages. Two different print messages promoting a physically active lifestyle derived from regulatory focus theory (promotion message vs. prevention message) were randomly assigned to N = 98 participants after measuring their regulatory focus. It was examined whether regulatory fit between the regulatory focus and the assigned print message would lead to more positive evaluations in the dependent variables inclination toward the message (preference for the message), intention to perform the behavior, prospective and retrospective feelings associated with the behavior (positive and negative), and perceived value of the behavior directly after reading the message. Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed that regulatory fit led to stronger intentions in the prevention-message condition and more prospective positive and retrospective positive feelings associated with the behavior in the promotion-message condition in contrast to the nonfit conditions. Prospective positive feelings associated with the behavior mediated the effect of regulatory fit on intention. The results partly provided support for the regulatory fit concept. Matching print messages to the regulatory focus of individuals seems to be a useful approach to enhance physical activity motivation. Future studies should include an objective measure of physical activity behavior.

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Samara Boisen, Chris Krägeloh, Daniel Shepherd, Clare Ryan, Jonathan Masters, Sue Osborne, Rod D. MacLeod, Marion Gray and Justin W. Keogh

Men with prostate cancer experience many side effects and symptoms that may be improved by a physically active lifestyle. It was hypothesized that older men with prostate cancer who were physically active would report significantly higher levels of quality of life (QOL) as assessed by the WHOQOL-BREF and the WHOQOL-OLD. Of the 348 prostate cancer survivors who were invited to participate in the present postal survey, 137 men returned the questionnaires. Those who were physically active had significantly lower prostate specific antigen (PSA) scores and higher social participation than those insufficiently active. These findings offer some support for the benefits of physical activity (PA) within the prostate cancer population in managing the adverse side effects of their treatments on aspects of their QOL. Future research should more closely examine what types of PA best promote improvements in varying aspects of QOL and psychological well-being for prostate cancer survivors.

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Kathleen A. Martin and Adrienne R. Sinden

This study examined exercise-adherence rates and their predictors across 21 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving older adults (age ≥ 55 years). On average, participants completed 78% of their prescribed exercise bouts. Adherence tended to be greater in strength- and flexibility-exercise training programs (M = 87%) than in aerobic-exercise training programs (M = 75%). The best adherers were individuals who were fitter at baseline, had a history of a physically active lifestyle, were nonsmokers, and had higher exercise self-efficacy. Different variables predicted adherence (a) at different time points in a RCT. (b) to different types of exercise, and (c) to different aspects of the exercise prescription (i.e., frequency, intensity, and duration). The findings suggest that older adults might be more adherent to exercise prescriptions than younger adults are. There is also a need for more theory-based research to examine predictors of adherence to various aspects of the exercise prescription.

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Catrine Tudor-Locke and Stephanie Broyles

The focus of a physically active lifestyle for older adults is to preserve functional mobility and delay losses associated with decrepitude in later years. Since ambulation is of utmost importance to older adults’ mobility, the purpose of this nonexhaustive review is to consider older adults’ walking behaviors objectively captured as steps/day and the factors that shape them. Summarized evidence currently indicates that apparently healthy older adults accumulate between 2,000–9,000 steps/day and that older adults living with disabilities and/or chronic conditions average approximately 1,200–8,800 steps/day. The scientific body of objectively monitored knowledge focused on potential individual, program, and contextual factors that shape older adults’ walking behaviors expressed as steps/day (i.e., their ability to and practice of getting “out and about”) is infantile at this time. We provide a simple research agenda to spark scholarly efforts to address research gaps and opportunities in the collective knowledge base.

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Kleverton Krinski, Daniel G. S. Machado, Luciana S. Lirani, Sergio G. DaSilva, Eduardo C. Costa, Sarah J. Hardcastle and Hassan M. Elsangedy

In order to examine whether environmental settings influence psychological and physiological responses of women with obesity during self-paced walking, 38 women performed two exercise sessions (treadmill and outdoors) for 30 min, where oxygen uptake, heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, affect, attentional focus, enjoyment, and future intentions to walk were analyzed. Physiological responses were similar during both sessions. However, during outdoor exercise, participants displayed higher externally focused attention, positive affect, and lower ratings of perceived exertion, followed by greater enjoyment and future intention to participate in outdoor walking. The more externally focused attention predicted greater future intentions to participate in walking. Therefore, women with obesity self-selected an appropriate exercise intensity to improve fitness and health in both environmental settings. Also, self-paced outdoor walking presented improved psychological responses. Health care professionals should consider promoting outdoor forms of exercise to maximize psychological benefits and promote long-term adherence to a physically active lifestyle.

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Bernard Gutin and Scott Owens

The purposes of this article were to (1): review recent studies of relations between physical activity and cardiometabolic biomarkers of youths (2); highlight areas in which additional research is needed; and (3) make recommendations for preventive interventions. Observational studies show that youths who engage in high amounts of moderate-vigorous physical activity display a more favorable cardiometabolic biomarker profile than youths who engage in lesser amounts of moderate-vigorous physical activity. Intervention studies in obese youths show that favorable changes in biomarkers are produced by moderate-vigorous physical activity doses of 150–180 min/week. However, for nonobese youths, intervention studies suggest that such doses are not effective; higher moderate-vigorous physical activity doses of approximately 300 min/week seem necessary. Continuing a physically active lifestyle from childhood into the adult years will enable people to maintain less end-organ damage and lower rates of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

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Zan Gao and Ping Xiang

Background:

Exergaming has been considered a fun solution to promoting a physically active lifestyle. This study examined the impact of an exergaming-based program on urban children’s physical activity participation, body composition and perceptions of the program.

Methods:

A sample of 185 children’s physical activity was measured in August 2009 (pretest), and percent body fat was used as index of body composition. Fourth graders were assigned to intervention group engaging in 30 minutes exergaming-based activities 3 times per week, while third and fifth graders were in comparison group. Measurements were repeated 9 months later (posttest). Interviews were conducted among 12 intervention children.

Results:

ANCOVA with repeated measures revealed a significant main effect for intervention, F(1, 179) = 10.69, P < .01. Specifically, intervention children had significantly greater increased physical activity levels than comparison children. Logistic regression for body composition indicated intervention children did not differ significantly in percent body fat change from comparison children, Chi square = 5.42, P = .14. Children interviewed reported positive attitudes toward the intervention.

Conclusions:

The implementation of exergaming-based program could have a significantly positive effect on children’s physical activity participation and attitudes. Meanwhile, long-term effect of the program on children’s body composition deserves further investigation.

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Robert M. Kaplan, Alison K. Herrmann, James T. Morrison, Laura F. DeFina and James R. Morrow Jr.

Background:

Despite benefits of physical activity (PA), exercise is also associated with risks. Musculoskeletal injury (MSI) risk increases with exercise frequency/intensity. MSI is associated with costs including medical care and time lost from work.

Purpose:

To evaluate the economic costs associated with PA-related MSIs in community-dwelling women.

Method:

Participants included 909 women in the Women’s Injury Study reporting PA behaviors and MSI incidence weekly via the Internet for up to 3 years (mean follow-up 1.89 years). Participants provided consent to obtain health records. Costs were estimated by medical records and self-reports of medical care. Components included physician visits, medical facility contacts, medication costs, and missed work.

Results:

Of 909 participants, 243 reported 323 episodes of expenditure or contact with the health care system associated with PA. Total costs of episodes ranged from $0–$18,934. Modal cost was $0 (mean = $433 ± $1670). Costs were positively skewed with nearly all participants reporting no or very low costs.

Conclusions:

About 1 in 4 community-dwelling women who are physically active experienced a PA-related MSI. The majority of injuries were minor, and large expenses associated with MSI were rare. The long-term health benefits and costs savings resulting from PA likely outweigh the minor costs associated with MSI from a physically-active lifestyle.

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Timothy A. Brusseau, Pamela H. Kulinna, Catrine Tudor-Locke and Matthew Ferry

Background:

Embracing a physically active lifestyle is especially important for American Indian (AI) children who are at a greater risk for hypokinetic diseases, particularly Type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this study was to describe AI children’s pedometer-determined physical activity (PA) segmented into prominent daily activity patterns.

Methods:

Participants included 5th- and 6th-grade children (N = 77) attending school from 1 Southwestern US AI community. Children wore a pedometer (Yamax Digiwalker SW-200) for 7 consecutive days.

Results:

Boys accumulated 12,621 (±5385) steps/weekday and girls accumulated 11,640 (±3695) steps/weekday of which 38% (4,779 ± 1271) and 35% (4,027 ± 1285) were accumulated at school for boys and girls, respectively. Physical education (PE) provided the single largest source of PA during school for both boys (25% or 3117 steps/day) and girls (23% or 2638 steps/day). Lunchtime recess provided 1612 (13%) and 1241 (11%) steps/day for boys and girls, respectively. Children were significantly less active on weekend days, accumulating 8066 ± 1959 (boys) and 6676 ± 1884 (girls).

Conclusions:

Although children accumulate a majority of their steps outside of school, this study highlights the important contribution of PE to the overall PA accumulation of children living in AI communities. Further, PA programming during the weekend appears to be important for this population.