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Tina Lankford, Jana Wallace, David Brown, Jesus Soares, Jacqueline N. Epping and Fred Fridinger

Background:

Mass media campaigns are a necessary tool for public health practitioners to reach large populations and promote healthy behaviors. Most health scholars have concluded that mass media can significantly influence the health behaviors of populations; however the effects of such campaigns are typically modest and may require significant resources. A recent Community Preventive Services Task Force review on stand-alone mass media campaigns concluded there was insufficient evidence to determine their effectiveness in increasing physical activity, partly due to mixed methods and modest and inconsistent effects on levels of physical activity.

Methods:

A secondary analysis was performed on the campaigns evaluated in the Task Force review to determine use of campaign-building principles, channels, and levels of awareness and their impact on campaign outcomes. Each study was analyzed by 2 reviewers for inclusion of campaign building principles.

Results:

Campaigns that included 5 or more campaign principles were more likely to be successful in achieving physical activity outcomes.

Conclusion:

Campaign success is more likely if the campaign building principles (formative research, audience segmentation, message design, channel placement, process evaluation, and theory-based) are used as part of campaign design and planning.

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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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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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Whitney B. Curry, Symeon Dagkas and Marcia Wilson

Background:

The Newman’s Every Child a Sports Person (NECaSP) intervention aspires to increase sport and physical activity (PA) participation among young people in the United Kingdom. The aims of this article are to report on a summative process evaluation of the NECaSP and make recommendations for future interventions.

Methods:

Seventeen schools provided data from students aged 11 to 13 years (n = 1226), parents (n = 192), and teachers (n = 14) via direct observation and questionnaires. Means, SDs, and percentages were calculated for sociodemographic data. Qualitative data were analyzed via directed content analysis and main themes identified.

Results:

Findings indicate further administrative, educational, and financial support will help facilitate the success of the program in improving PA outcomes for young people and of other similar intervention programs globally. Data highlighted the need to engage parents to increase the likelihood of intervention success.

Conclusions:

One main strength of this study is the mixed-methods nature of the process evaluation. It is recommended that future school-based interventions that bridge sports clubs and formal curriculum provision should consider a broader approach to the delivery of programs throughout the academic year, school week, and school day. Finally, changes in the school curriculum can be successful once all parties are involved (community, school, families).

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Javier Molina-García and Ana Queralt

Background:

This paper analyzes changes in the frequency of cycling to school and helmet wearing after the introduction of a mandatory helmet law, and attempts to identify factors associated with the acceptance of helmet use.

Methods:

A mixed-method study was designed with a 7-month follow-up period (April 2014 to November 2014). The initial sample included 262 students (aged 12 to 16 years) from Valencia, Spain. The data were collected by questionnaire and 2 focus-group interviews were conducted.

Results:

No significant changes in cyclingto-school behavior were found during the study period. Cycle helmet use improved, especially among boys, those who used their own bike, and among adolescents who lived within 2 km of school (P < .05 in all cases). The most common reasons given for not using a helmet were social factors. Peer-group pressure had a negative influence on helmet use among adolescents. Participants also indicated that helmet use is inconvenient, in particular among students who used the public bicycle-sharing program.

Conclusions:

The implementation of the helmet-use law did not have a negative impact on the frequency of cycling to school. Our findings provide an empirical basis for designing educational interventions and programs to increase helmet use among adolescents.

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Amanda J. Visek, Sara M. Achrati, Heather M. Mannix, Karen McDonnell, Brandonn S. Harris and Loretta DiPietro

Background:

Children cite “fun” as the primary reason for participation in organized sport and its absence as the number-one reason for youth sport attrition. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a theoretical framework of fun using a novel mixed-method assessment of participants in sport (FUN MAPS) via concept mapping.

Methods:

Youth soccer players (n = 142), coaches (n = 37), and parents (n = 57) were stratified by age, sex, and competition level and contributed their ideas through (a) qualitative brainstorming, identifying all of the things that make playing sports fun for players; (b) sorting of ideas; and (c) rating each idea on its importance, frequency, and feasibility.

Results:

The FUN MAPS identify the 4 fundamental tenets of fun in youth sport within 11 fun-dimensions composed of 81 specific fun-determinants, while also establishing the youth sport ethos.

Conclusion:

The FUN MAPS provide pictorial evidence-based blueprints for the fun integration theory (FIT), which is a multitheoretical, multidimensional, and stakeholder derived framework that can be used to maximize fun for children and adolescents to promote and sustain an active and healthy lifestyle through sport.

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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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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.