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Robert Eley, Robert Bush and Wendy Brown

Background:

Interventions addressing chronic disease through physical activity are hampered by the low evidence base from rural areas. The purpose of the study was to provide information which may contribute to the development of future policy and strategy applicable to rural Queensland.

Methods:

Six diverse rural shires were chosen. A mixed-method design included more than 100 interviews with community representatives; surveys to 3000 community members; audits of facilities, amenities, and other relevant resources in each shire; and detailed observation during repeated site visits.

Results:

Half the respondents failed to meet Australian physical activity guidelines and 1 in 5 reported no activity. Queensland’s rural communities offer good access to a wide variety of structured and nonstructured activities. Some barriers to physical activity (eg, family commitments) are similar to those reported from urban areas; however, others including climate, culture of exercise, and community leadership are unique to the rural environment.

Conclusions:

Unique characteristics of rural environments and populations affect engagement in physical activity. Promotion of healthy lifestyle in rural environments need to be informed by local context and not merely extrapolated from urban situations. Attention must be paid to specific local circumstances which may affect implementation, adoption and participation.

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Jennifer L. Huberty, Diane Ehlers, Jason Coleman, Yong Gao and Steriani Elavsky

Background:

Ideal approaches to increasing long-term physical activity (PA) adherence in women remain unclear. This study used a longitudinal mixed-methods approach to 1) determine the effectiveness of an 8-month book club intervention for increasing PA participation and self-worth, and reducing barriers at 1-year follow-up; and 2) identify reasons why completers and noncompleters did or did not maintain PA.

Methods:

One year after the cessation of Women Bound to be Active (WBA), completers (participated in posttesting; n = 30) and noncompleters (did not participate in posttesting; n = 22) responded to questionnaires and interviews assessing their body mass index (BMI), current PA participation, barriers, and global self-worth.

Results:

Compared with noncompleters, completers reported decreases in BMI, higher motivation for PA, higher ratio of benefits to barriers, and more consistent PA. Both groups still reported barriers to PA, especially time; however, completers more often reported strategies for overcoming these barriers. Completers more directly discussed the impact of their improved self-worth on their PA participation.

Conclusions:

In the future, a greater focus on time management and self-regulation strategies should be emphasized in PA interventions, specifically those that focus on women. This may help to prevent program and long-term PA attrition.

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Maureen R. Weiss, Lindsay E. Kipp, Alison Phillips Reichter, Sarah M. Espinoza and Nicole D. Bolter

Purpose: Girls on the Run is an after-school physical activity-based positive youth development program designed to enhance girls’ social, psychological, and physical development. We evaluated the effectiveness of the program by employing a longitudinal design and mixed methods. Methods: Girls (N = 203; aged 8–11 y) completed survey measures of positive youth development constructs (competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring), physical activity, and sedentary behavior prior to, at the end of, and 3 months after the season. Subsamples of girls, coaches, caregivers, and school personnel participated in focus groups. Coaches completed information about their team’s community impact project and number of girls who completed the season-ending 5k. Results: The full sample improved in confidence and connection, whereas girls who started below the preseason average showed the greatest gains from preseason to postseason on all measures, and scores were maintained or continued to improve at follow-up. All stakeholders in focus groups corroborated evidence of season-long improvement in social and emotional behaviors and health outcomes. Involvement in the community impact project contributed to girls’ growth in character and empathy skills. Conclusion: Findings provide empirical evidence that Girls on the Run is effective in promoting positive youth development, including season-long and lasting change in competence, confidence, connection, character, caring, and physical activity, especially among girls who exhibited lower preseason scores than their peers.

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Catherine E. Dorwart

Though physical inactivity can lead to increased health problems in older adults, few places actually encourage this population to be active by implementing choices that allow the built and natural environment to be accessed by foot or bicycle. In addition, little research has examined older adults’ perceptions of design and the relationship between greenways and improving public health, a topic that is receiving popular attention. The objective of this mixed-methods study was therefore to evaluate elements in a greenway’s design that the aging population found important and which afforded physical activity. Using a combination of survey questions, photo elicitation, and interviews, data were collected from a sample of older adults aged 65 and over that used a greenway trail. Results of this study indicated that older adults may prefer certain elements on a trail, namely those elements that afforded their choice of activity. Although there will always be limitations to understanding behavioral responses to the built environment, this should not disqualify the benefits of greenways on older adults’ physical activity.

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M. Renée Umstattd, Stephanie L. Baller, Erin Hennessy, David Hartley, Christina D. Economos, Raymond R. Hyatt, Anush Yousefian and Jeffrey S. Hallam

Background:

Evidence supports the role of physical and social environments in active living, including perception of environment. However, measurement of perceived environments in rural settings is lacking. This study describes the development of the Rural Active Living Perceived Environmental Support Scale (RALPESS).

Methods:

Premised on social ecological and cognitive perspectives, 85 initial items were generated through a literature review and a mixed-methods investigation of “activity-friendly” environments. Items were organized by resource areas—town center, indoor and outdoor physical activity areas, schools, churches, and areas around the home/neighborhood—and submitted for expert panel review. In 2009, a revised questionnaire was disseminated to adolescents, parents, public school staff, and older adults in 2 rural southeastern United States counties. Principal component analysis with varimax rotation was used to explore factor structure (n = 542).

Results:

The final analysis yielded 33 items with 7 factors: 1) church facilities, 2) town center connectivity, 3) indoor areas, 4) around the home/neighborhood, 5) town center physical activity resources, 6) school grounds, and 7) outdoor areas.

Conclusions:

The RALPESS is a valid, internally consistent, and practically useful instrument to measure perceptions of rural environments in the context of physical activity across the lifespan. Confirmatory factor analysis is recommended to validate factor structure.

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Virginie de Bressy de Guast, Jim Golby, Anna Van Wersch and Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville

This study presents a complete psychological skills training (PST) program with a wheelchair athlete and examines the program effectiveness using a mixed-method approach. After initial testing, the athlete followed a two-month program of self-confidence building, motivational, visualization/relaxation, and injury management techniques. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to examine the impacts on performance and psychological abilities. The triangulated results suggest that the PST program was perceived as effective by the athlete in terms of his sporting performances and mental skills. The characteristics and implications of a PST program with this wheelchair athlete are discussed, as well as the study limitations and the perspectives for future research.

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Rob Duffield, Alistair Murphy, Aaron Kellett and Machar Reid

Purpose:

To investigate the effects of combining cold-water immersion (CWI), full-body compression garments (CG), and sleep-hygiene recommendations on physical, physiological, and perceptual recovery after 2-a-day on-court training and match-play sessions.

Methods:

In a crossover design, 8 highly trained tennis players completed 2 sessions of on-court tennis-drill training and match play, followed by a recovery or control condition. Recovery interventions included a mixture of 15 min CWI, 3 h of wearing full-body CG, and following sleep-hygiene recommendations that night, while the control condition involved postsession stretching and no regulation of sleeping patterns. Technical performance (stroke and error rates), physical performance (accelerometry, countermovement jump [CMJ]), physiological (heart rate, blood lactate), and perceptual (mood, exertion, and soreness) measures were recorded from each on-court session, along with sleep quantity each night.

Results:

While stroke and error rates did not differ in the drill session (P > .05, d < 0.20), large effects were evident for increased time in play and stroke rate in match play after the recovery interventions (P > .05, d > 0.90). Although accelerometry values did not differ between conditions (P > .05, d < 0.20), CMJ tended to be improved before match play with recovery (P > .05, d = 0.90). Furthermore, CWI and CG resulted in faster postsession reductions in heart rate and lactate and reduced perceived soreness (P > .05, d > 1.00). In addition, sleep-hygiene recommendations increased sleep quantity (P > .05, d > 2.00) and maintained lower perceived soreness and fatigue (P < .05, d > 2.00).

Conclusions:

Mixed-method recovery interventions (CWI and CG) used after tennis sessions increased ensuing time in play and lower-body power and reduced perceived soreness. Furthermore, sleep-hygiene recommendations helped reduce perceived soreness.

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William J. Harvey, Greg Reid, Gordon A. Bloom, Kerri Staples, Natalie Grizenko, Valentin Mbekou, Marina Ter-Stepanian and Ridha Joober

Physical activity experiences of 12 age-matched boys with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were explored by converging information from Test of Gross Motor Development-2 assessments and semistructured interviews. The knowledge-based approach and the inhibitory model of executive functions, a combined theoretical lens, enabled the description of similarities and differences in experiences that emerged during interviews. Skill assessments indicated boys with ADHD were not as proficient movers as their peers without ADHD. Thematic analysis revealed that boys with ADHD reported playing with friends, paid little attention to detail, possessed superficial knowledge about movement skills, and expressed many negative feelings about physical activity. Task-specific interventions and a wider range of mixed methods research are recommended for future research studies in ADHD.

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Nicole Dubuc-Charbonneau and Natalie Durand-Bush

Background:

The purpose of this study was to implement and assess the impact of a person-centered, feel-based self-regulation intervention on the stress, burnout, well-being, and self-regulation capacity of eight university student-athletes experiencing burnout. This was warranted given the negative outcomes associated with athlete burnout, the scarcity of burnout research focusing on student-athletes, and the lack of intervention research addressing burnout in sport.

Method:

A mixed methods design including questionnaires administered at four time points during the athletic season, pre- and postintervention interviews, and multiple intervention sessions was used.

Results:

Repeated-measures ANOVAs revealed that stress and burnout levels significantly decreased, and well-being and self-regulation capacity levels significantly increased as the intervention progressed. The qualitative data supported these findings.

Conclusion:

It appears that university student-athletes participating in this type of intervention can learn to effectively manage themselves and their environment to reduce adverse symptoms and improve optimal functioning.

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Tracey J. Devonport and Andrew M. Lane

The present study used a mixed methods approach to evaluate the usage and perceived effectiveness of a 12-month coping intervention. Twelve junior national netball players followed an intervention that had two objectives: 1) to encourage the use of future-oriented coping across goal-oriented contexts and 2) to facilitate resource accumulation and maintenance by developing coping related competencies. Mentors and players maintained reflective diaries throughout the intervention and were contacted via telephone or e-mail every 2–3 months. In addition, players completed the Brief COPE measure at 1, 6, and 12 months. Eight players and 8 mentors completed postintervention interviews. Data indicated that following completion of the intervention, players perceived themselves to have a better understanding of when and how to use future-oriented coping. They also perceived enhanced psychosocial resources, and a more flexible approach toward goal pursuits. Recommendations for future research developments and the evaluation of coping interventions are presented.