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Kristen Day, Lawrence Loh, Ryan Richard Ruff, Randi Rosenblum, Sean Fischer and Karen K. Lee

Background:

Cities across the U.S. and internationally are adopting Bus Rapid Transit to improve transit services for residents. Features of Bus Rapid Transit include fewer stops, dedicated bus lanes, and expedited systems for boarding busses, compared with regular bus service. This study examines whether Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) ridership is associated with increased rates of walking, because of the greater distance between BRT stops compared with regular bus service.

Methods:

Surveys were conducted with riders of local and BRT buses for New York City’s M15 Select Bus Service line. Surveys examined bus ridership, health status and physical activity, walking rates, and demographic information.

Results:

BRT riders reported walking approximately half a block more than did local bus riders. The average number of blocks walked decreased for BRT riders who previously used the subway before the implementation of the BRT.

Conclusions:

BRT may be a useful tool to support walking for some groups. Depending on where it is implemented, BRT may also be associated with reduced walking among users who switch to BRT from other active transportation modes. Future research should examine associations between walking and BRT ridership with a larger sample and more sites.

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M. Renée Umstattd, Stephanie L. Baller, Gina H. Blunt and Michelle L. Darst

Background:

The objective of this pilot study was to examine demographic, health, behavioral, and social cognitive correlates of perceived worksite environmental support for physical activity (PA) in middle-age adults.

Methods:

A convenience sample (N = 173) of University employees in the Southeastern U.S. (mean age = 45) was surveyed using an internet-based questionnaire. Measures included perceived worksite environmental support for PA, self-reported minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA, self-regulation, self-efficacy for walking transportation, PA social support, health status, and sociodemographic items. Bivariate and hierarchical regression analyses were computed to examine correlates of perceived worksite environmental support for PA.

Results:

Bivariate analyses revealed male gender, self-reported moderate-to-vigorous PA, self-regulation use, self-efficacy for walking transportation, and PA social support from friends and family as independent, positive correlates of perceived worksite environmental support for PA (P ≤ .05). Hierarchical regression analyses revealed self-regulation use and PA social support from friends as independent, positive correlates of perceived worksite environmental support for PA (final model R 2 = 20.30%, P ≤ .0001).

Conclusions:

Although causality cannot be determined, these pilot findings support a social cognitive approach. Further exploration of these relationships is warranted and health educators should consider perceptions of physical and social environments in planning future worksite PA promotion programs.

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Eino Heikkinen

This paper provides a detailed description of the experimental design and chronology of the Evergreen Project, the aims of which were to profile the health and functional capacity of the elderly population of Jyväskylä, Finland, to examine changes in health and functional capacity over time, and to identify the factors related to living conditions and lifestyle that predict changes in functional capacity and health. Residents of Jyväskylä were invited to participate in a series of interviews and laboratory testing sessions. The interviews focused on (a) illnesses, the use of drugs, perceived health, symptoms, and psychosocial well-being, (b) physical and mental capacity and ADL functional capacity, (c) social togetherness and community activity, and (d) living conditions. lifestyle, and life history. The laboratory examinations assessed health status and drug use. anthropometric status, physical performance. sensory functions, perceptual-motor coordination, cognitive capacity and metacognitions. and neuropsychological functioning. A detailed breakdown of the participation and attrition rates, demographic characteristics, and normative data for each age cohort is provided.

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Shamly Austin, Haiyan Qu and Richard M. Shewchuk

Objective:

To examine whether age bias exists in physicians’ recommendations for physical activity among individuals with arthritis.

Methods:

A cross-sectional sample with 33,071 U.S. adults, 45 years or older with physician-diagnosed arthritis was obtained from 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey. We used logistic regression to examine physicians’ recommendations for physical activity as a function of age controlling for gender, race, education, marital status, employment, income, health insurance, personal physician, emotional support, body mass index, activity limitations, health status, and comorbidities.

Results:

Majority of individuals were females (65%), White (85%), had annual household income < $50,000 (67%), and with comorbidities (86%). Respondents were approximately equal across age groups: middle-aged group (53%) and older group (47%). About 36% were obese and 44% had activity limitations, and 44% did not receive any physicians’ recommendations for physical activity. Results from logistic regression indicated older adults (≥ 65 years old) were less likely (OR = 0.87; 95% CI, 0.82−0.92) to receive physicians’ recommendations for physical activity compared with the middle-aged group (45−64 years old).

Conclusions:

This study indicates that although the benefits associated with the physical activity is well recognized, there is age bias in physicians’ recommendations for physical activity.

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Jeffery P. Hughes, Margaret A. McDowell and Debra J. Brody

Background:

We examined leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) in US adults 60 or more years of age. After determining the prevalence of 3 levels of LTPA (no LTPA, <150 minutes LTPA/wk, and ≥150 minutes of LTPA/wk), we examined the association of demographic variables and current health status with LTPA.

Methods:

Self-reported LTPA was examined by gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, family poverty income ratio, marital status, and self-reported health. Multiple logistic regression methods were used in the adjusted model.

Results:

Walking was the most frequently reported LTPA. Overall, 27% of adults achieved LTPA levels of 150 minutes or more per week. Male gender, younger age, non-Hispanic white race/ethnicity, higher education attainment, higher income status, being married, and excellent self-reported health were associated with higher LTPA. The prevalence of no LTPA (52.5%) exceeded the Healthy People 2010 objective target of 20%.

Conclusions:

Our findings show that more than half of adults 60 or more years of age reported no LTPA and that levels of LTPA in the older population vary by demographic and health characteristics.

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Mhairi MacDonald, Samantha G. Fawkner and Ailsa Niven

Background:

It is currently not known how much walking should be advocated for good health in adolescent girls. The aim of this study was therefore to recommend health referenced standards for step defined physical activity relating to appropriate health criterion/indicators in a group of adolescent girls.

Method:

Two hundred and thirty adolescent girls aged between 12 to 15 years volunteered to take part in the study. Each participant undertook measurements (BMI, waist circumference, % body fat, and blood pressure) to define health status. Activity data were collected by pedometer and used to assess daily step counts and accumulated daily activity time over 7 consecutive days.

Results:

Individuals classified as ‘healthy’ did not take significantly more steps·day–1 nor spend more time in moderate intensity activity than individuals classified as at health risk or with poor health profiles.

Conclusion:

‘Healthy’ adolescent girls do not walk significantly more in term of steps·day–1 or time spent in activity than girls classified as ‘unhealthy.’ This could suggest that adolescent girls may not walk enough to stratify health and health related outcomes and as a result the data could not be used to inform an appropriate step guideline for this population.

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Valéria Cristina Provenza Paschoal and Olga Maria Silverio Amancio

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the body composition, dietary intake, use of nutritional supplements, and biochemical status of 8 Brazilian male elite swimmers, aged 18–21 years, participants at a national swimming competition. Data from the athletes were obtained through a 4-day food record, a fasting blood sample, and anthropometric measurements. The anthropometric results showed that body composition was compatible with sport category. The dietary assessment showed an adequate ingestion of calories, vitamins, and mineral, with the exception of calcium, for which only half of the sample reached the recommendation. The results also indicated low carbohydrate and high protein and cholesterol intakes. Of the swimmers, 62.5% and 25% consumed synthetic aminoacids and antioxidants supplements, respectively. The biochemical indices of the nutritional status were within normal limits in all swimmers, with the exception of creatine-kinase, which was above the recommended level, indicating muscle degradation probably due to poor carbohydrate intake. In conclusion, the results suggest the importance of nutritional education to promote a balanced intake, provide all nutrients in optimal amounts, inhibit unnecessary ingestion of nutritional supplements, maintain ideal performance, and improve the swimmers’ health status.

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Lauren Waters, Marina Reeves, Brianna Fjeldsoe and Elizabeth Eakin

Background:

Several recent physical activity intervention trials have reported physical activity improvements in control group participants. Explanations have been proposed, but not systematically investigated.

Methods:

A systematic review of physical activity intervention trials was conducted to investigate the frequency of meaningful improvements in physical activity among control group participants (increase of ≥ 60 minutes [4 MET·hours] of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week, or a 10% increase in the proportion of participants meeting physical activity recommendations), and possible explanatory factors. Explanatory factors include aspects of behavioral measurement, participant characteristics, and control group treatment.

Results:

Eight (28%) of 29 studies reviewed reported meaningful improvements in control group physical activity, most of which were of similar magnitude to improvements observed in the intervention group. A number of factors were related to meaningful control group improvements in physical activity, including the number of assessments, mode of measurement administration, screening to exclude active participants, and preexisting health status.

Conclusions:

Control group improvement in physical activity intervention trials is not uncommon and may be associated with behavioral measurement and participant characteristics. Associations observed in this review should be evaluated empirically in future research. Such studies may inform minimal contact approaches to physical activity promotion.

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Paul D. Loprinzi, Bradley J. Cardinal, Carlos J. Crespo, Gary R. Brodowicz, Ross E. Andersen and Ellen Smit

Background:

The exclusion of participants with invalid accelerometry data (IAD) may lead to biased results and/or lack of generalizability in large population studies. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether demographic, behavioral, and biological differences occur between those with IAD and valid accelerometry data (VAD) among adults using a representative sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population.

Methods:

Ambulatory participants from NHANES (2003−2004) who were 20−85 years of age were included in the current study and wore an ActiGraph 7164 accelerometer for 7 days. A “valid person” was defined as those with 4 or more days of at least 10+ hrs of monitoring per day. Among adults (20−85 yrs), 3088 participants provided VAD and 987 provided IAD. Demographic, behavioral, and biological information were obtained from the household interview or from data obtained in a mobile examination center.

Results:

Differences were observed in age, BMI, ethnicity, education, smoking status, marital status, use of street drugs, current health status, HDL-cholesterol, C-reactive protein, self-reported vigorous physical activity, and plasma glucose levels between those with VAD and IAD.

Conclusions:

Investigators should take into consideration the potential cut-off bias in interpreting results based on data that excludes IAD participants.

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John T. Parsons and Alison R. Snyder

Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a broad, multidimensional concept that refers to a synthesis of several health domains including the physical, psychological, and social domains, all of which are affected by individual experiences, expectations, beliefs, and perceptions. HRQOL also shares a well-established connection with contemporary disablement models, which enhances its utility for identifying individual experience, expectations, and values, which can also influence the way a person views his or her health status. However, the routine evaluation of HRQOL in clinical research and patient care in the field of sport rehabilitation remains limited. HRQOL has implications for both athletes who suffer sport-related injury (SRI) and those who care for them. The purpose of this article is to help clinicians and researchers understand HRQOL as a primary outcome in sport rehabilitation. First, the article provides a definition of HRQOL and explains its relationship to contemporary disablement models. Next, research demonstrating that HRQOL is sensitive to both athletic participation and to SRI in athletes at both secondary school and college levels is reviewed. Finally, several important clinical tools that can be used to measure HRQOL by both clinicians and clinical researchers are presented. Criteria to be used in selecting these tools are also presented.