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Stephen S. Cheung

potentially vital spice in the overall appeal of sports for the general public. But despite the competitions happening in the heat of summer every year, the Australian Open’s extreme heat policy is brief to the point of being meaningless, with any and all decisions left completely to the referee’s discretion

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Kristiann C. Heesch and Jennifer L. Han

Background:

Policies that encourage physical activity are recommended to increase physical activity rates. Few studies have examined public support for such policies. The aim of this study was to assess support for policies that may increase active transport and correlates of this support.

Methods:

A telephone survey was administered to 460 Oklahoma residents.

Results:

Most respondents supported policies that may encourage walking and bicycling for transport. Most favored the improvement of public transportation over building new roads to address transportation concerns. In multivariate models, a positive attitude toward walking was the only variable significantly associated with support for most policy outcomes (p < 0.05). Participation in active commuting and a positive attitude toward bicycling were correlates of strong support for the creation of bike ways (p < 0.05).

Conclusions:

Experience with active commuting and positive attitudes toward walking and bicycling are associated with support for policies that may encourage walking and bicycling for transport.

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Erin M. Smith, Grace Wilburn and Paul A. Estabrooks

Background:

Since the adoption of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, many researchers have examined changes in the school nutrition environment; however, far less research has focused on the evaluation of physical activity (PA) policies within public schools.

Methods:

School district wellness policies (n = 144) of Virginia and Maryland were coded using a previously validated audit tool with a scale of 0 (weakest, least comprehensive) to 1 (strongest, most comprehensive).

Results:

Mean policy strength was weak (.20 ± .15), and, on average, policies were moderately comprehensive (.40 ± .22). The strongest (.73 ± .44) and most comprehensive (.79 ± .40) policy subgroup addressed daily recess in elementary schools. Virginia had significantly higher scores in 9 policy groups, while Maryland had higher significant policy scores in the 2 following groups: (1) the strength and comprehensiveness of a written physical education (PE) curriculum for each grade level (Ps < .05) and (2) the strength and comprehensiveness of addressing the use of PE waivers (Ps < .05).

Conclusions:

PA wellness policies in Maryland and Virginia are extremely weak and only moderately comprehensive; it is unlikely that these policies will significantly influence school-based PA.

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Michael W. Beets, Rohan Shah, Robert Glenn Weaver, Jennifer Huberty, Aaron Beighle and Justin B. Moore

Background:

After-school programs (ASPs) across the nation have been asked to increase the amount of activity children accumulate during such programs. Policies/standards that benchmark the amount of total activity (light-to-vigorous physical activity, LVPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) accumulated in an ASP have been developed. Little is known about the prevalence of children meeting these goals.

Methods:

Children (N = 812, 6 to 12 y old) attending 19 ASPs wore accelerometers for 4 days while attending an ASP. LVPA and MVPA were dichotomized according to existing ASP policies/standards. Data on whether a policy/standard was met were compared between gender, age, BMI, race/ethnicity, and ASP-type (faith-, school-, community-based) using mixed-model logistic-regression.

Results:

The prevalence of meeting an LVPA policy/standard ranged from 75.4% (National Afterschool Association [NAA], 20% of program time spent in LVPA) to 97.8% (NAA, 20% of time in attendance spent in LVPA), and meeting an MVPA policy/standard ranged from 0.3% (California, 60 min MVPA/d) to 26.9% (North Carolina, 20% of attendance spent in MVPA). Boys, younger children, nonwhites, and children attending faithor community-based ASPs were more likely to meet any policy/standard.

Conclusion:

Current practice in ASPs is sufficient to meet LVPA policies/standards but insufficient to meet MVPA policy/standards. Efforts must be directed toward identifying the most appropriate policy/standard and strategies to meet it.

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Amy Eyler, Ross Brownson, Tom Schmid and Michael Pratt

With increasing evidence of the detrimental effects of physical inactivity, there is interest in enhancing research on policies that may influence physical activity in communities. Given the potential policy impact, a framework that organized and conceptualized policy interventions and priorities for public health efforts to promote physical activity was developed. In addition, the Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN) was formed as a way to operationalize the contents of the framework. Recommendations for future work in this area include enhancing transdisciplinary collaborations, raising the priority of policy evaluation, studying policies at all levels, and emphasizing dissemination of findings.

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Susan G. Zieff, Claudia M. Guedes and Amy Eyler

Background:

Neighborhood environment and resources affect physical activity. This study examined the relationships between San Francisco residents’ perceived barriers to physical activity and policy-maker perspectives of conditions in neighborhoods that are under-served for physical activity.

Methods:

Nine focus groups comprised of primarily African American, Chinese American, and Latino populations were constructed from 6 low-income neighborhoods to respond to questions based on the social-ecological model about neighborhood recreational opportunities and to offer policy and intervention strategies to increase physical activity. A tenth focus group was conducted with staff members from 7 city departments to respond to neighborhood focus groups outcomes. The transcribed videotaped discussions were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results:

Both residents and policy-makers highlighted neighborhood disparities that reduce physical activity including unsafe and unhealthy environments and difficulty accessing available resources. Residents reported fewer available free or low-cost resources than those identified by policy-makers.

Conclusions:

Findings suggest that policy-makers would benefit from consideration of neighborhood-level affects of policies on physical activity and local residents’ recommendations for policies affecting physical activity. Concordance between residents’ perceptions and policy-maker perceptions of neighborhood conditions for physical activity was greater than reported in previous literature.

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Cora L. Craig, Christine A. Cameron and Adrian Bauman

Background:

There are several well-known risk factor monitoring systems, but few examples of comprehensive surveillance systems designed specifically to inform physical activity (PA) policy. This paper examines the utility of Canada`s Physical Activity and Sport Monitoring System in guiding policy and practice.

Methods:

Indicators were determined in conjunction with government, nongovernmental associations and academics. Serial measures were collected from representative population (telephone interviews, n = 4000 to 11,000) and setting-based (postal surveys, n = 1425 to 4304) surveys.

Results:

Adult PA was higher in 2014 (47%) than 1998 (37%). The prevalence of knowledge about sufficient PA to meet national guidelines increased (31% to 57%). Most adults (66%) reported having many safe places to walk locally. Having policies to encourage walking and cycling when redeveloping communities increased by community size (5% to 37%). PA promotion was available in 10% to 15% of workplaces. Most parents (64%) provided transportation to support their child’s PA. The prevalence of policies mandating daily PE increased 2001 to 2011 (36% to 55%), as did having no policy to hire qualified PE teachers (25% to 34%).

Conclusions:

Canada’s surveillance system has provided information for guiding policy planning, resource allocation, setting and tracking national goals, assessing changes in PA determinants, and evaluating national campaigns, naturally occurring experiments, and innovative policies.

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Signe B. Daugbjerg, Sonja Kahlmeier, Francesca Racioppi, Eva Martin-Diener, Brian Martin, Pekka Oja and Fiona Bull

Background:

Over the past years there has been increasing interest in physical activity promotion and the development of appropriate policy. So far, there has been no comprehensive overview of the activities taking place in Europe in this area of public health policy.

Methods:

Using different search methods, 49 national policy documents on physical activity promotion were identified. An analysis grid covering key features was developed for the analysis of the 27 documents published in English.

Results:

Analysis showed that many general recommendations for policy developments are being followed, for example: general goals were formulated, an implementation plan was included, a timeframe and a responsible body for the implementation was often specified. However, limited evidence for intersectoral collaboration was found. Quantified goals for physical activity were the exception. Population groups most in need such as people with low levels of physical activity were rarely specifically targeted. Most policies emphasized the importance of an evaluation. However, only about half of them indicated a related intention or requirement.

Conclusion:

In recent years there has been a noticeable development of national policy documents on physical activity promotion. Following principles for policy development more closely could increase the effectiveness of their preparation and implementation further.

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Nisha Botchwey, Myron F. Floyd, Keshia Pollack Porter, Carmen L. Cutter, Chad Spoon, Tom L. Schmid, Terry L. Conway, J. Aaron Hipp, Anna J. Kim, M. Renee Umstattd Meyer, Amanda L. Walker, Tina J. Kauh and Jim F. Sallis

spend large amounts of time, such as schools, child-care facilities, and parks, as well as changes to local, state, and federal policies, have the potential to reduce sedentary behavior and increase PA. Environment and policy changes are recommended by the Institute of Medicine and others as critical

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Ross C. Brownson, Cheryl M. Kelly, Amy A. Eyler, Cheryl Carnoske, Lisa Grost, Susan L. Handy, Jay E. Maddock, Delores Pluto, Brian A. Ritacco, James F. Sallis and Thomas L. Schmid

Background:

Environmental and policy approaches are promising strategies to raise population-wide rates of physical activity; yet, little attention has been paid to the development and prioritization of a research agenda on these topics that will have relevance for both researchers and practitioners.

Methods:

Using input from hundreds of researchers and practitioners, a research agenda was developed for promoting physical activity through environmental and policy interventions. Concept mapping was used to develop the agenda.

Results:

Among those who brainstormed ideas, 42% were researchers and 33% were practitioners. The data formed a concept map with 9 distinct clusters. Based on ratings by both researchers and practitioners, the policy research cluster on city planning and design emerged as the most important, with economic evaluation second.

Conclusions:

Our research agenda sets the stage for new inquiries to better understand the environmental and policy influences on physical activity.