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Leehu Zysberg and Rotem Hemmel

Physical activity (PA) is considered a health-promoting behavior and is associated in the literature with life expectancy, quality of life, well-being, and additional positive health outcomes. 1 – 3 Studies have explored social and environmental aspects shaping PA patterns and levels focusing

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Deirdre Dlugonski, Katrina D. DuBose, Christine M. Habeeb and Patrick Rider

Physical activity is an essential behavior for young children to develop motor skills, enhance health, and maintain a healthy weight ( 28 ). Given the strong evidence to support the wide-ranging benefits of physical activity for children under 6 years of age, the second edition of the Physical

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John Cairney, Brent E. Faught, John Hay, Terrance J. Wade and Laurie M. Corna

Background:

Although physical activity (PA) has been demonstrated to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, research on the mental health benefits of PA in older adults is limited. Moreover, the psychosocial factors that might mediate or moderate the relationship between PA and depression in this population are largely unexplored.

Methods:

Using a sample of adults age 65 and older (N = 2736), we examined whether the major components of the stress process model (stress, social support, mastery, self-esteem) and physical health mediate or moderate the relationship between PA and depressive symptoms.

Results:

Physical health has the single largest effect, accounting for 45% of the effect of PA on depression. The stress process model, with physical health included, accounts for 70% of the relationship between PA and depression.

Conclusions:

Among older adults with above average levels of perceived mastery, greater physical activity is associated with higher levels of depression. Limitations and directions for further research are discussed.

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Stanley Sai-chuen Hui

Promoting regular physical activity has been considered one of the most important aspects of preventive medicine in recent years. This is due to the fact that tremendous evidence has been found about the positive association between increasing physical activity and desirable health effects. Findings have been summarized in a number of review documents; however, most of these reviews emphasize findings retrieved from research conducted in Western countries. Few papers were found to summarize findings in physical activity and health of the Hong Kong Chinese population. Epidemiological studies revealed that there exists distinct diverse health status among different ethnic groups due to culture, beliefs, genetic makeup, health practices, and behaviors in these highly diverse groups. This chapter reviews what is known about the association between physical activity and health in the Chinese population of Hong Kong. Current health issues including coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and so on, that are specific to the Hong Kong situation are reviewed. Moreover, findings in physical activity participation levels of Hong Kong adults and children are introduced. Results indicate that the associations between physical activity and health found in the Chinese population of Hong Kong share similar trends as those reported in Western countries. Three quarters of Hong Kong children and adults are not physically active enough to achieve health benefits. The physical activity level for the Hong Kong Chinese population remains low. The need for promotional and intervention programs on physical activity participation is pressing.

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James Dollman, Rebecca Stanley and Andrew Wilson

Valid measurement of youth physical activity is important and self-report methods provide convenient assessments at the population level. There is evidence that the validity of physical activity self-report varies by weight category. The aim of this study was to assess the validity of the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall (3DPAR), separately between normal weight and overweight/obese Australian youth. Accelerometer-derived physical activity variables were compared with 3DPAR variables in 155 (77 females) 11- to 14-year-olds from Adelaide, South Australia. In the whole sample, validity coefficients for self-reported moderate and moderate to vigorous physical activity were modest (rs = 0.12-0.31) and similar across gender and weight status categories. Validity coefficients for self-reported vigorous physical activity were much stronger (rs = 0.59-0.73) among overweight/obese than among normal weight participants. The validity of the 3DPAR in this study was low in the whole sample but varied according to physical activity intensity and the weight status of the child. Specifically, the 3DPAR may be appropriate for describing vigorous intensity physical activity among overweight and obese youth.

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Nicola Lauzon, Catherine B. Chan, Anita M. Myers and Catrine Tudor-Locke

Background:

Limited process evaluation of pedometer-based interventions has been reported.

Methods:

Feedback via focus groups (n = 38) and exit questionnaires (n = 68) was used to examine participants’ experiences in a group-based, pedometer-based physical activity (PA) program delivered in the workplace.

Results:

The pedometer was described as a useful tool for increasing awareness of PA, providing motivation and visual feedback, and encouraging conversation and support among participants and others such as family and friends. Group meetings provided motivation and social support, as did participation by coworkers. Self-selected goals, self-selected PA strategies, and recording of steps/d were also important.

Conclusions:

Given the importance of social support as a mediating variable in changing PA behavior, future pedometer-based programs might benefit from including a group-based component.

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Chien-Yu Pan and Georgia C. Frey

Background:

Youth age, parent modeling and support, and time spent in sedentary pursuits influence physical activity (PA) in youth without disabilities, but have not been explored in youth with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Therefore, these were selected as variables of interest to examine as PA determinants in this population.

Methods:

Parents (n = 48) and youth (n = 30) wore an accelerometer for 7 d and parents completed a PA support questionnaire. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate the influence of selected variables on youth PA.

Results:

Youth age (r22 = -0.59, P < 0.01) and sedentary pursuits (r22 = -0.47, P < 0.05) were negatively correlated with and accounted for 30% and 13% of the variance in youth PA, respectively. Parent variables did not significantly contribute to the explained variance.

Conclusion:

Contrary to findings in youth without disabilities, parent PA and support were not predictors of PA in youth with ASD.

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Casey Mace, Ngaire Kerse, Ralph Maddison, Timothy Olds, Santosh Jatrana, Carol Wham, Mere Kepa, Anna Rolleston, Ruth Teh and Joanna Broad

Background:

Little is known about the physical activity levels and behaviors of advanced age New Zealanders.

Methods:

A cross-sectional analysis of data from Life and Living in Advanced Age: A Cohort Study in New Zealand (LiLACS NZ), Te Puāwaitanga O Nga Tapuwae Kia ora Tonu, measures of physical activity (PASE) (n = 664, aged 80–90 [n = 254, Māori, aged 82.5(2), n = 410 non-Māori, aged 85(.5)]) was conducted to determine physical activity level (PAL). A substudy (n = 45) was conducted to attain detailed information about PAL and behaviors via the Multimedia Activity Recall for Children and Adults (MARCA) and accelerometry. The main study was analyzed by sex for Māori and non-Māori.

Results:

Men consistently had higher levels of physical activity than women for all physical activity measures. Sex was significant for different domains of activity.

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Pamela E. Toto, Ketki D. Raina, Margo B. Holm, Elizabeth A. Schlenk, Elaine N. Rubinstein and Joan C. Rogers

This single-group repeated-measures pilot study evaluated the effects of a 10-wk, multicomponent, best-practice exercise program on physical activity, performance of activities of daily living (ADLs), physical performance, and depression in community-dwelling older adults from low-income households (N = 15). Comparison of pretest and posttest scores using a one-tailed paired-samples t test showed improvement (p < .05) for 2 of 3 ADL domains on the Activity Measure–Post Acute Care and for 6 physical-performance measures of the Senior Fitness Test. Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed significant main effects for 3 of 8 physical activity measures using the Yale Physical Activity Scale. Retention rate was 78.9%, and the adherence rate for group sessions was 89.7%. Results suggest that participation in a multicomponent, best-practice physical activity program may positively affect sedentary, community-dwelling older adults’ physical activity, ADL performance, and physical performance.

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Fuzhong Li and K. John Fisher

Objectives:

This study examined the relationship between physical activity and self-rated health in older adults at both the neighborhood level and the resident level.

Methods:

A multilevel design was used that involved neighborhoods as the primary sampling unit and residents nested within each neighborhood. Residents (N = 582, mean age = 73.99 years, SD = 6.26) from 56 neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon, were surveyed on neighborhood physical activity and health status.

Results:

Multilevel path analysis showed a positive relationship between physical activity and health status at the neighborhood level. In addition, perceptions of neighborhood social cohesion, proximity to physical activity facilities, safety for walking, and importance of physical activity involvement, were positively related to high levels of physical activity. At the resident level, education and walking efficacy were positively associated with physical activity.

Conclusions:

The results provide evidence that neighborhood-level physical activity is positively linked to neighborhood-level self-rated health in older adults.