Physical activity (PA) in children/adolescents of both genders from a rural community in Mozambique was estimated by accelerometry and by questionnaire and was compared with PA of Portuguese youth. Total PA, moderate (MPA), vigorous (VPA) and very vigorous (VVPA) were evaluated. Mozambican boys were more active than girls. Intensity of PA declined significantly with age. Survival activities, such as household tasks, were the predominant mode of PA. Compared with Portuguese children/adolescents, Mozambicans had significantly higher total PA; showed less decline of PA with age and engaged in fewer minutes at higher intensity PA. Environmental factors likely explain documented differences.
António Prista, Leonardo Nhantumbo, Silvio Saranga, Vítor Lopes, José Maia, André e Seabra, João Vinagre, Carole A. Conn and Gaston Beunen
Cevdet Cengiz and Mustafa Levent Ince
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.
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.
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.
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.
Matthew J. Taylor, Rachel A. Wamser, Michelle E. Sanchez and Charleanea M. Arellano
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of sports participation and race/ethnicity on violence and victimization among a sample of white, African American, and Hispanic rural-area high school girls. It was hypothesized that girls who participated in sports would report lower rates of violent behavior and fewer incidents of victimization. Using logistic regression and multivariate analysis of variance, evidence for the hypotheses was mixed and appeared to be related to the type of violence and victimization. Sports participants were less likely to engage in general violence and reported less physical and sexual victimization, but did not experience less intimate partner violence victimization. Conversely, sports participants were more likely to engage in verbal and physical reactive violence. While sports participation may have some preventative impact on violence and victimization, this relationship may also be influenced by community characteristics and not a universal outcome.
Chad S.G. Witcher, Nicholas L. Holt, John C. Spence and Sandra O’Brien Cousins
The purpose of this study was to assess rural older adults’ perceptions of leisure-time physical activity and examine these perceptions from a historical perspective. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 inhabitants (mean age 82 years) of Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and subjected to inductive analysis. Member-checking interviews were conducted with 5 participants. Findings indicated that beginning in childhood, participants were socialized into a subculture of work activity. As a result of these historical and social forces, leisure-time physical activity did not form part of the participants’ lives after retirement. Strategies for successful aging involved keeping busy, but this “busyness” did not include leisure-time physical activity. Results demonstrated the importance of developing a broader understanding of how past and present-day contexts can influence participation in leisure-time physical activity.
Russell R. Pate, Stewart G. Trost, Marsha Dowda, Alise E. Ott, Dianne S. Ward, Ruth Saunders and Gwen Felton
This study examined the tracking of selected measures of physical activity, inactivity, and fitness in a cohort of rural youth. Students (N = 181, 54.7% female, 63.5% African American) completed test batteries during their fifth- (age = 10.7 ± 0.7 years), sixth-, and seventh-grade years. The Previous Day Physical Activity Recall (PDPAR) was used to assess 30-min blocks of vigorous physical activity (VPA), moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), TV watching and other sedentary activities, and estimated energy expenditure (EE). Fitness measures included the PWC 170 cycle ergometer test, strength tests, tnceps skinfold thickness, and BMI. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for VPA, MVPA, and after-school EE ranged from 0.63 to 0.78. ICCs ranged from 0.49 to 0.71 for measures of inactivity and from 0.78 to 0.82 for the fitness measures. These results indicate that measures of physical activity, inactivity, and physical fitness tend to track during the transition from elementary to middle school.
Nicole Joy Edwards, Billie Giles-Corti, Ann Larson and Bridget Beesley
Associations between access to environments and levels of physical activity (PA) among adolescents have been established; however the influence of neighborhood design barriers (eg, major roads) on these relationships is less understood.
In 2006, adolescents (n = 1304) in rural Western Australia completed the Up4it Physical Activity Survey measuring frequency and duration of organized and nonorganized physical activity by season. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were used to objectively measure distance to nearest park and beach and busy road barriers en route to these destinations.
Proximity to parks and beaches was associated with use of these environments for PA among adolescents, but this relationship attenuated after adjustment for presence of a major road. Park and beach use was positively associated with achieving recommended levels of PA. Paradoxically, proximity to these environments was not associated with achieving recommended levels of PA. Results suggest access to parks and beaches is necessary but may be insufficient to achieve recommended levels of PA. These relationships varied by season.
Strategies should be put in place to encourage use of proximate supportive environments. Planning neighborhoods to reduce barriers to access and interventions to overcome seasonal variations in behavior may improve participation levels among adolescents.
Joey C. Eisenmann, R. Todd Bartee and Krystal D. Damori
The purposes of this study were (a) to describe the prevalence of participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and overweight and obesity, and (b) to examine the associations between physical activity and weight status in a sample of university students from a rural university.
Data from a representative sample of 773 (361 women, 412 men) students participating in the National College Health Assessment Survey were examined. MVPA and height and body mass were self-reported. The body-mass index (BMI) was derived and used to classify subjects as normal, overweight, or obese.
Approximately 20% of students were inactive (0 d/wk), and 23% met the recommended amount of MVPA (≥5 d/wk). Prevalence of overweight and obesity was, respectively, 35.7% and 8.5% in men and, respectively, 15.6% and 8.2% in women. Analysis of variance revealed the mean BMI was not significantly different across levels of MVPA. Odds ratios showed higher levels of MVPA were significantly associated with lower risk of obesity in men but not women.
A large percentage of subjects are inactive or insufficiently active, and self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity is significantly related to risk of obesity in men. Future studies should measure habitual physical activity or energy expenditure and body composition. Additional factors affecting obesity, such as television viewing and other sedentary behaviors, dietary intake, and heritability, should also be considered.
Elaine S. Belansky, Nick Cutforth, Ben Kern and Sharon Scarbro
To address childhood obesity, strategies are needed to maximize physical activity during the school day. The San Luis Valley Physical Education Academy was a public health intervention designed to increase the quality of physical education and quantity of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during physical education class.
Elementary school physical education teachers from 17 schools participated in the intervention. They received SPARK curriculum and equipment, workshops, and site coordinator support for 2 years. A pre/post/post within physical education teacher design was used to measure intervention effectiveness. System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) and a physical education teacher survey were collected 3 times.
MVPA increased from 51.1% to 67.3% over the 2-year intervention resulting in approximately 14.6 additional hours of physical activity over a school year and 4662 kcal or 1.33 lbs. of weight gain prevention. More time was spent on skill drills and less time on classroom management and free play.
The San Luis Valley Physical Education Academy succeeded in increasing rural, low-income students’ physical activity. The multicomponent intervention contributed to the program’s success. However, cost-effective approaches are needed to disseminate and implement evidencebased practices aimed at increasing students’ physical activity during the school day.
Peter Hastie, Oleg Sinelnikov and Danielle Wadsworth
This study compares the aerobic fitness status of a sample of rural American and Russian children, and examines these findings in light of their out of school physical activity participation.
Ten and eleven year old (N = 415) children from both countries completed a 15 m Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) fitness test, and following the test, the children scoring beyond the upper limit of the healthy fitness zone were interviewed with regard to their out-of-school participation in physical activity.
The Russian students achieved significantly higher scores than American students (P < .001), and males scored higher than females for both countries (P < .001). After examining the profiles of the students 3 apparent themes begin to emerge: Russian students walk to and from school; the students in both settings who achieve a superior fitness level participate in after school physical activity; after school activities for the American students appear to be more recreational orientated than the Russian students, who participate in structured training in sports clubs.
For the students in this study, it appears that participating in after school activity may have contributed to achieving high levels of aerobic fitness.
Melissa Moore, Jeni Warburton, Paul D. O’Halloran, Nora Shields and Kingsley
The purpose of this systematic review was to assess the characteristics and effectiveness of community-based interventions designed to increase physical activity participation in older adults (aged 65 years or more) living in rural or regional areas. Relevant peer-reviewed literature was obtained, using four primary electronic search engines, in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. The initial search identified 4,690 articles. After removal of duplicates and excluded articles, seven articles were included in the review. Few consistencies existed between intervention types, duration, outcome measures, and follow-up. Results provide some evidence to support the effectiveness of community-based interventions that include low- to moderate-intensity exercise to increase physical activity, physical function, and psychological state. However, without more rigorous studies it is difficult to identify the most critical characteristics of community-based interventions for older adults in rural and regional settings.