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Dani M. Moffit, Jamie L. Mansell and Anne C. Russ

Temple University Owls Athletic Training Society (OATS), committed to education and community involvement, formed a relationship with Lanning Square Elementary School (LSE). Located less than 10 miles from campus in Camden, NJ, a high incidence of poverty, violence, and one-parent families is the norm. Through a grant, OATS adopted the fifth-grade classes at LSE for 1 year, beginning with letter exchanges between OATS students and elementary students. OATS traveled to LSE for their holiday party, met their pen pals, and provided healthy snacks. In the spring, the LSE completed a health/wellness unit and visited Temple. Students shared several health activities including learning about bones/muscles in the anatomy laboratory, stretching properly, and exercising. They received lunch and Temple mementos. OATS raised money the following year to continue the project. This allowed OATS and administrators to participate positively in our community, promote diversity, and introduce healthy lifestyles to youngsters.

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Wendy Frisby, Susan Crawford and Therese Dorer

In contrast to traditional approaches to research, participatory action research calls for the active involvement of the community—including both the beneficiaries and providers of sport services—in defining research problems, executing interventions, interpreting results, and designing strategies to change existing power structures. The purpose of this paper was to analyze a participatory action research project designed to increase the access of women living below the poverty line and their families to local physical activity services. A framework developed by Green et al. (1995) formed the basis of the analysis. To place the analysis in context, the historical origins and theoretical assumptions underlying participatory action research were addressed. The case of the Women's Action Project demonstrated how the process can result in a more inclusive local sport system and, at the same time, provide a rich setting for examining organizational dynamics including collaborative decision-making, community partnerships, power imbalances, resource control, resistance to change, and nonhierarchical structures.

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Danny O’Brien and Jess Ponting

This research analyzes a strategic approach to managing surf tourism in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Surf tourists travel to often remote destinations for the purpose of riding surfboards, and earlier research suggests the mismanagement of surf tourism in some destinations has resulted in significant deleterious impacts on host communities. The research question in this study addresses how surf tourism can be managed to achieve sustainable host community benefits in the context of a developing country. Primary data came from semistructured interviews and participant observation. The findings demonstrate how sport governing bodies can engage host communities in a collaborative framework for the sustainable utilization of sport tourism resources. The derived knowledge from this research may decrease host communities’ reliance on less sustainable commercial activities, and inform policy and practice on sustainable approaches to using sport tourism for community building and poverty alleviation.

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Marit L. Bovbjerg, Anna Maria Siega-Riz, Kelly R. Evenson and William Goodnight

Background:

Previous studies report conflicting results regarding a possible association between maternal physical activity (PA) and cesarean delivery.

Methods:

Seven-day PA recalls were collected by telephone from pregnant women (n = 1205) from North Carolina, without prior cesarean, during 2 time windows: 17 to 22 weeks and 27 to 30 weeks completed gestation. PA was treated as a continuous, nonlinear variable in binomial regressions (log-link function); models controlled for primiparity, maternal contraindications to exercise, preeclampsia, pregravid BMI, and percent poverty. We examined both total PA and moderate-tovigorous PA (MVPA) at each time. Outcomes data came from medical records.

Results:

The dose-response curves between PA or MVPA and cesarean risk at 17 to 22 weeks followed an inverse J-shape, but at 27 to 30 weeks the curves reversed and were J-shaped. However, only (total) PA at 27 to 30 weeks was strongly associated with cesarean risk; this association was attenuated when women reporting large volumes of PA (> 97.5 percentile) were excluded.

Conclusion:

We did not find evidence of an association between physical activity and cesarean birth. We did, however, find evidence that associations between PA and risk of cesarean may be nonlinear and dependent on gestational age at time of exposure, limiting the accuracy of analyses that collapse maternal PA into categories.

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Gopal K. Singh, Michael D. Kogan, Mohammad Siahpush and Peter C. van Dyck

Background:

This study examines state and regional disparities in vigorous physical activity levels among US children age 6 to 17 years.

Methods:

The 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health was used to calculate vigorous physical activity (VPA) and no days of vigorous physical activity (NVPA) prevalence by state and geographic region. Logistic and least squares regression were used to analyze geographic disparities.

Results:

Vigorous physical activity levels varied substantially across geographic areas, with the East Southcentral region of the US having the highest NVPA prevalence (13.4%) and the Pacific region the lowest prevalence (9.1%). Children in Georgia and Tennessee had 2.2 to 2.3 times higher odds and children in DC, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Washington (adjusted prevalence >13.4%) had 1.8 to 2.0 times higher odds of NVPA than children in California (adjusted prevalence = 8.4%). Adjustment for race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, social capital, television viewing, sleep behavior, and parental physical activity doubled the magnitude of geographic disparities in vigorous physical activity levels. Area poverty, income inequality, and violent crime rates were independent predictors of VPA and NVPA.

Conclusions:

Although individual and area-level socioeconomic factors are important predictors, substantial geographic disparities remain, with children in several Southern states having particularly high risks of NVPA.

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Tina J. Hall, Lori K. Hicklin and Karen E. French

Purpose:

To examine the relationship between the South Carolina middle school physical education assessment results and the school characteristics. In addition, the relationship between teacher training attendance and student achievement were determined.

Method:

Student performance on four physical education indicators in 63 middle schools (and 116 teachers) were reported to the South Carolina Physical Education Assessment Program. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationships between school characteristics as predictors of the performance indicator. ANOVAs were conducted to determine the relationship to teacher training and the performance indicators.

Results:

Statewide averages of student performance indicated that slightly over 50% of middle school students were rated as competent in all physical education indicators except health-related fitness (31.2%). The variability was high among all indicators. The correlations between the poverty index and the physical education indicators were significant and low. Teachers who attended data collection training sessions scored higher on all performance indicators, particularly health-related fitness knowledge. Teachers who attended professional development had significantly higher scores on motor skills, health-related fitness knowledge, and the overall weighted scores and approached significance on the health-related fitness performance.

Discussion/Conclusion:

This study suggests that teachers and the programs they deliver have a greater impact on student learning than do school characteristics. Teacher training and professional development is warranted. Most compelling is that the results of this study provide a strong argument against the practice of using student scores from other academic content areas to evaluate teacher effectiveness in physical education.

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Stephanie B. Jilcott Pitts, Michael B. Edwards, Justin B. Moore, Kindal A. Shores, Katrina Drowatzky DuBose and David McGranahan

Background:

Little is known about the associations between natural amenities, recreation facility density, and obesity, at a national level. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to examine associations between county-level natural amenities, density of recreation facilities, and obesity prevalence among United States counties.

Methods:

Data were obtained from a compilation of sources within the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service Food Environment Atlas. Independent variables of interest were the natural amenities scale and recreation facilities per capita. The dependent variable was county-level obesity prevalence. Potential covariates included a measure of county-level percent Black residents, percent Hispanic residents, median age, and median household income. All models were stratified by population loss, persistent poverty, and metro status. Multilevel linear regression models were used to examine the association between obesity and natural amenities and recreation facilities, with “state” as a random effects second level variable.

Results:

There were statistically significant negative associations between percent obesity and 1) natural amenities and 2) recreation facilities per capita.

Conclusions:

Future research should examine environmental and policy changes to increase recreation facilities and enhance accessible natural amenities to decrease obesity rates.

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Jennifer Zdroik and Philip Veliz

Background:

School districts in the United States are turning toward new sources of revenue to maintain their interscholastic sports programs. One common revenue generating policy is the implementation of participation fees, also known as pay-to-play. One concern of the growing trend of participation fees is how it impacts student participation opportunities. This study looks at how pay-to-play fees are impacting participation opportunities and participation rates in the state of Michigan.

Methods:

Through merging 3 school-level data sets, Civil Rights Data Collection, the Common Core of Data, and participation information from MHSAA (Michigan High School Athletic Association), bivariate analysis and ordinary least squares regression were used in our analysis.

Results:

Our findings indicate that certain types of schools are able to support pay-to-play fees: relatively large schools that are located in suburban, white communities, with relatively low poverty rates. We also found that participation fees are not decreasing the number of sport opportunities for students, participation opportunities are higher in schools with fees; but participation rates are similar between schools with and without participation fees.

Conclusions:

Participation fee policy implications are discussed and we offer suggestions for future research.

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Jeffery P. Hughes, Margaret A. McDowell and Debra J. Brody

Background:

We examined leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) in US adults 60 or more years of age. After determining the prevalence of 3 levels of LTPA (no LTPA, <150 minutes LTPA/wk, and ≥150 minutes of LTPA/wk), we examined the association of demographic variables and current health status with LTPA.

Methods:

Self-reported LTPA was examined by gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, family poverty income ratio, marital status, and self-reported health. Multiple logistic regression methods were used in the adjusted model.

Results:

Walking was the most frequently reported LTPA. Overall, 27% of adults achieved LTPA levels of 150 minutes or more per week. Male gender, younger age, non-Hispanic white race/ethnicity, higher education attainment, higher income status, being married, and excellent self-reported health were associated with higher LTPA. The prevalence of no LTPA (52.5%) exceeded the Healthy People 2010 objective target of 20%.

Conclusions:

Our findings show that more than half of adults 60 or more years of age reported no LTPA and that levels of LTPA in the older population vary by demographic and health characteristics.

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Hyo Lee, Bradley J. Cardinal and Paul D. Loprinzi

Background:

Socioeconomic status (SES) and acculturation are potential contributors of adolescent physical activity disparity among ethnic groups in the U.S. However, studies relying on self-report physical activity measures have reported inconsistent findings regarding sociocultural predictors of physical activity. Therefore, the current study examined the main and interactive effects of SES and acculturation on accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) among Mexican American adolescents.

Methods:

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2004 was analyzed. Samples of 153 and 169 Mexican American boys and girls, respectively, were analyzed. SES was indicated by poverty-to-income ratio (PIR); and acculturation was measured by 5-item English preference scales and adolescent and parental country of birth. Regression models were tested separately for boys and girls.

Results:

U.S.-born boys compared with immigrants did more MVPA (β = .48, P < .01). On the contrary, the effect of English preference on MVPA in boys was negative (β = –.05, P < .01) and amplified by higher SES (β = –.02, P < .01). For girls, none of the tested variables were significant.

Conclusions:

Higher SES was a risk factor for physical inactivity in Mexican American adolescents, by a moderating mechanism. In addition, physical activity promotion efforts need to consider English speaking and immigrant Mexican American adolescent boys as a target population.