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Lisa M. Quintiliani, Marci K. Campbell, J. Michael Bowling, Susan Steck, Pamela S. Haines and Brenda M. DeVellis

Background:

A better understanding of identifying tailoring variables would improve message design. Tailoring to a behavior that a participant selects as one they would like to work on may increase message relevance, and thus effectiveness. This trial compared 3 groups: message tailored to physical activity as a participant-selected topic (choice), message tailored to physical activity as an expert-determined topic (expert), or nontailored message (comparison).

Methods:

408 female college students received web-delivered computer-tailored messages on physical activity. Outcomes were immediate and 1-month follow-up changes in psychosocial, goal-related, and behavioral variables related to physical activity.

Results:

Participants were predominately non-Hispanic White (73.8%). Change in self-efficacy and goal commitment at immediate follow-up and vigorous physical activity at 1-month follow-up was greater in the expert versus comparison group. Change in goal commitment at immediate follow-up was lower in the choice versus expert group. In the expert group, those choosing physical activity as their selected topic perceived the goal to be easier at immediate follow-up compared with those receiving unmatched messages.

Conclusions:

Findings supported tailoring to an expert-determined topic. However, based on the beneficial change in perceived goal difficulty when topics matched, future research should encourage synchrony between participant-selected topics and expert recommendations.

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Andrea Yukie Arikawa, Maureen O’Dougherty and Kathryn H. Schmitz

Background:

The factors influencing exercise adherence are not well characterized in women in their pre-menopausal years.

Methods:

The purpose of this report is to provide an analysis of demographic factors contributing to women’s adherence to a 2-year twice-weekly weight training intervention. Overweight and obese premenopausal women were randomized to a control or intervention group.

Results:

During the supervised period of the intervention (months 1 to 4), adherence was significantly lower among those with a higher level of education and among unmarried women with children aged 6 to 12 compared with married women without children (F = 4.83, P = .004). Overall adherence during the supervised and unsupervised periods was 95.4% and 64.5%, respectively (unadjusted mean). During year 1, white women were significantly more adherent to the intervention (70.3%) than women of color (48.6%). Nonmarried women with children 13 years or older were significantly less adherent than married women with children 5 years or younger (36.3% versus 75.4%, respectively, P < .007). Overall adherence was 51.4% in year 2.

Conclusions:

Interventions and public health recommendations need to further consider how to engage communities to provide effective support for long-term adherence to fitness center based exercise of all women, regardless of demographics.

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Arto Gråstén, Anthony Watt, Jarmo Liukkonen and Timo Jaakkola

Background:

The study examined the effects of school-based program on students’ self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity and physical competence, and associated links to gender, grade, body mass index, and physical education assessments.

Methods:

Participants were 240 middle school students (143 intervention, 97 control) from 3 small cities in North-East Finland. The intervention group received task-involving climate support in physical education classes and additional physical activities during school days across 1 year.

Results:

The intervention group’s physical competence increased, whereas the control group’s competence remained stable across the period. However, physical activity levels were stable in both groups. The findings also showed that body mass index was negatively associated with physical competence and activity in the intervention group at the follow-up measure. Physical education assessments were positively related with only the baseline scores of physical competence in the intervention group. In contrast, the assessments had positive relationships with physical competence and activity of control group students.

Conclusions:

The present program was an effective protocol to increase student’s perceptions of physical competence. Since the quantity of school physical education including recess activities cannot be dramatically increased, positive learning experiences should be provided, and thus, support perceptions of physical competence.

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Brooke J. Cull, Mark. D. Haub, Richard R. Rosenkranz, Thomas Lawler and Sara K. Rosenkranz

Background:

Sedentary time is an independent risk factor for chronic diseases and mortality. It is unknown whether active adults alter their dietary and/or physical activity behaviors in response to imposed sedentary time, possibly modifying risk. The aim of this study was to determine whether imposed sedentary time would alter typical behaviors of active adults.

Methods:

Sixteen physically active, young adults were randomized to the no-intervention control (CON, n = 8) group or the sedentary-intervention (SIT, n = 8) group. SIT participants attended monitored sedentary sessions (8 wk, 10 h/wk). Assessments including diet and physical activity occurred at baseline, week 4, and week 9.

Results:

There were no differences (P > .05) between CON and SIT groups for step counts or time spent in sedentary, light, moderate, or vigorous physical activity when comparing a week during imposed sedentary time (week 4) to baseline and week 9. At week 4, caloric intake was not different from baseline (P > .05) in either group. Caloric intake decreased significantly (P > .05) in SIT from baseline to week 9.

Conclusions:

Active adults did not alter physical activity or dietary behaviors during the imposed sedentary intervention. However, SIT reduced caloric intake from baseline to week 9, indicating a possible compensatory response to imposed sitting in active adults.

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Patrick Abi Nader, Evan Hilberg, John M. Schuna, Deborah H. John and Katherine B. Gunter

Background: Classroom-based physical activity (CBPA) breaks are a cost-effective strategy to promote physical activity (PA) at school. Despite teachers’ critical roles in sustained implementation of CBPA breaks, few studies examined the association of teacher-level factors with student PA levels, and none focused on rural schools. Methods: We monitored children’s PA levels over 4 consecutive school days at 6 rural Oregon elementary schools with Walk4Life pedometers. During the same week, teachers recorded all student PA opportunities (recess, PE, and CBPA breaks) and answered a 26-item questionnaire about factors influencing their use of CBPA breaks. Mixed-effects models were used to associate teacher-level factors and PA opportunities with children’s moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA; in minutes per day), controlling for child-level covariates. Results: When teachers valued PA, students accumulated more MVPA (1.07 min/d; P < .01) than students of teachers reporting low PA value. Students did more MVPA (1 min/d; P < .001) when teachers agreed the school operating conditions posed barriers to providing PA than when teachers disagreed that barriers existed. PE classes contributed significantly to student’s PA levels. Conclusion: Provision of PE, increasing teacher value for PA, and further investigation of how teacher-level factors relate to students’ MVPA levels during CBPA breaks at rural elementary schools are warranted.

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Hiroshi Shibata

In 1991 the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology launched a new longitudinal interdisciplinary study on aging (TMIG-LISA). The study is designed to run until at least 2001 and includes both an observation and an intervention component. The intervention component was started in 1996 and was designed to assess the extent to which it might be possible to retard the rate of the aging process and prevent geriatric diseases and chronic conditions. In this article, a brief overview of the aims, objectives, and design and some preliminary outcomes from the TMIG-LISA are presented.

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Bronagh McGrane, Sarahjane Belton, Stuart J. Fairclough, Danielle Powell and Johann Issartel

Background: Multicomponent, school-based interventions are considered to be an effective method for improving fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency levels and physical activity (PA) among youth. This study aimed to evaluate if the youth-physical activity toward health intervention can improve FMS proficiency in a randomized controlled trial among adolescents. Methods: Participants were 482 adolescents aged 12–13 years from 20 schools. For an academic year, participants in 10 schools received the youth-physical activity toward health intervention. The remaining 10 schools received their regular weekly physical education lessons. Fifteen FMS were assessed using validated tools; their PA was assessed using accelerometers; their height, weight, and cardiorespiratory fitness were also recorded. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, postintervention, and 3 months later at retention. Multilevel analysis was performed using MLwiN 2.35 software. Results: Significant intervention effects across time were observed for total object control (P < .0001; β = 2.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.16 to 2.92) and total locomotor (P < .0001; β = 2.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.44 to 2.82), with the greatest improvements evident for total FMS score (P < .0001; β = 4.04; 95% confidence interval, 2.39 to 5.69). The effects of the intervention were significant and positive for all children in the intervention group regardless of gender, weight status, or PA level (P = .03 to < .0001). Conclusions: Youth-physical activity toward health has the potential to improve FMS proficiency among adolescents regardless of gender, weight status, and activity levels.

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Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Richard F. MacLehose, Allison W. Watts, Marla E. Eisenberg, Melissa N. Laska and Nicole Larson

Background: Yoga may provide a strategy for healthy weight management in young adults. This study examined prevalence and characteristics of young adults’ yoga practice and associations with changes in body mass index. Methods: Surveys were completed by 1830 young adults (31.1 ± 1.6 y) participating in Project EAT-IV. Cross-sectional and 5-year longitudinal analyses were conducted stratified by initial weight status. Results: Two-thirds (66.5%) of nonoverweight women and 48.9% of overweight women reported ever doing yoga, while 27.2% of nonoverweight women and 16.4% of overweight women practiced regularly (≥30 min/wk). Fewer men practiced yoga. Among young adults practicing regularly (n = 294), differences were identified in intensity, type, and location of yoga practice across weight status. Young adults who were overweight and practiced yoga regularly showed a nonsignificant 5-year decrease in their body mass index (−0.60 kg/m2; P = .49), whereas those not practicing regularly had significant increases in their body mass index (+1.37 kg/m2; P < .01). Frequency of yoga was inversely associated with weight gain among both overweight and nonoverweight young adults practicing yoga regularly. Conclusions: Young adults of different body sizes practice yoga. Yoga was associated with less weight gain over time, particularly in overweight young adults. Practicing yoga on a regular basis may help with weight gain prevention.

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Ariane Bélanger-Gravel, Marilie Laferté, Frédéric Therrien, François Lagarde and Lise Gauvin

Background: Evidence regarding the impact of physical activity (PA) communication campaigns among children is scarce. This study was aimed at examining the reach of the WIXX campaign and its impact on children’s PA beliefs and behaviors. Methods: This study adopted a pre–posttest design. Children (9–13 y old) were recruited using a random digit dialing procedure. Self-reported outcomes included PA beliefs, trying new PAs, and meeting PA guidelines. WIXX awareness and survey periods were the treatment variables. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the main effect of treatment variables and the time-specific impact of WIXX. Results: The campaign reached 80.3% of the children. Fully adjusted results showed that girls with high (odd ratio = 1.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.0–2.0) and moderate (odd ratio = 1.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.0–1.8) awareness were more likely to have tried new PAs. Results from the sensitivity analyses suggested that this positive result was due to strategies implemented during the second year of the campaign. No other significant association between exposure and outcomes was observed. Conclusions: The WIXX campaign was successful in reaching a significant proportion of children. Although some encouraging results were observed among girls, WIXX awareness was not associated with changes on the examined outcomes among boys.

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Jamie Zoellner, Carol Connell, Alicia Powers, Amanda Avis-Williams, Kathy Yadrick and Margaret L. Bogle

Background:

Race/ethnic-specific physical activity patterns and biological responses to physical activity is one of the most understudied, yet critical aspects related to the development and adoption of physical activity recommendations.

Methods:

In this 6-month community walking intervention targeting African Americans, participants wore a pedometer and maintained a pedometer diary for the study duration. Outcome measures included height, weight, percent body fat, waist circumference, blood pressure, lipids and glucose. ANOVA, Pearson Correlations, and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to examine changes in steps/day over each month of the intervention and explore associations among pedometer-determined physical activity and anthropometric/biological change scores from month 1 to 6.

Results:

The 83 participants were primarily African American (98%) women (94%). There was a significant increase in the average step/day beginning with 6665 (SD = 3,396) during month 1 and increasing to 9232 (SD = 3670) steps/day during month 6 (F = 4.5, P < .0001). Associations among step counts and anthropometric/biological change scores were not significant.

Conclusions:

While this intervention resulted in significant increases in steps/day; it exemplifies that physical activity standards may be unachievable for some vulnerable, minority communities. Methodological considerations for exploring associations between changes in pedometer-determined step counts and anthropometric/biological outcomes are emphasized through this study.