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Robert H. DuRant and Albert C. Hergenroeder

During the 1993 International Consensus Conference on Physical Activity Guidelines for Adolescents, specific recommendations were made concerning the levels and types of physical activity in which adolescents should be encouraged to engage. This paper addresses the promotion of these guidelines by primary health care providers. Based on social cognitive theory, principles for promoting changes in health behaviors are described. Using the GAPS model (gather information, assess further, problem identification, and self-efficacy and solving barriers), methods of implementing these principles in a physician’s office are presented. Promoting physical activity in other health care settings and situations is also discussed. Primary health care providers can be effective promoters of physical activity to their adolescent patients.

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David R. Bassett Jr.

The built environment has profound effects on physical activity and health. Many communities in the US are built around the automobile, with little consideration given to pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. These places tend to have higher rates of physical inactivity (defined as “no leisure time physical activity”) and higher rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. However, in some European countries and selected US cities, communities have been constructed in ways that encourage active modes of transportation. In these places, a large segment of the population meets physical activity guidelines, due in part to the activity they acquire in performing daily tasks. In addition to promoting active transportation, these environments promote recreational walking, jogging, and cycling. Kinesiologists can and should work with urban planners, transportation officials, developers, public health practitioners, and the general public to design cities in ways that enhance physical activity and health.

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Iuliana Hartescu, Kevin Morgan and Clare D. Stevinson

A minimum level of activity likely to improve sleep outcomes among older people has not previously been explored. In a representative UK sample aged 65+ (n = 926), cross-sectional regressions controlling for appropriate confounders showed that walking at or above the internationally recommended threshold of ≥ 150 min per week was significantly associated with a lower likelihood of reporting insomnia symptoms (OR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.45−0.91, p < .05). At a 4-year follow-up (n = 577), higher walking levels at baseline significantly predicted a lower likelihood of reporting sleep onset (OR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.42−0.97, p < .05) or sleep maintenance (OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.41−0.95, p < .05) problems. These results are consistent with the conclusion that current physical activity guidelines can support sleep quality in older adults.

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Collin A. Webster, Diana Mindrila, Chanta Moore, Gregory Stewart, Karie Orendorff and Sally Taunton

Purpose: A comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) is designed to help school-aged youth meet physical activity guidelines as well as develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that foster meaningful lifelong physical activity participation. In this study, we employed a “diffusion of innovations theory” perspective to examine the adoption of CSPAPs in relation to physical education teachers’ domain-specific innovativeness, educational background, demographics, and perceived school support. Methods: Physical education teachers (N = 407) responded to an electronic survey with validated measures for each of the above-mentioned variables. Results: Latent profile analysis classified teachers into three domain-specific innovativeness levels (high, average, and low). CSPAP-related professional training, knowledge, and perceived school support were found to be significant factors in domain-specific innovativeness and CSPAP adoption. Discussion/Conclusion: This study provides novel evidence to inform professional development initiatives so that they can be tailored to physical education teachers who may be less likely to adopt a CSPAP.

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Russell R. Pate, Barbara J. Long and Greg Heath

This paper reviews the descriptive epidemiology of physical activity in adolescents. Large population-based studies were reviewed, along with smaller studies using objective monitoring of physical activity. Estimates showed that adolescents engage in physical activity of any intensity for a mean of one hour per day. Approximately two thirds of males and one quarter of females participate in moderate to vigorous activity for 20 min 3 or more days per week. Activity levels decline with increasing age across adolescence, and this decrease is more marked in females than in males. Comparison of these data to physical activity guidelines for adolescents suggests the vast majority are meeting the guideline of accumulating physical activity. However, a substantial number of males, and the majority of females, are not meeting the guideline for moderate to vigorous physical activity.

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David X. Marquez, Eduardo E. Bustamante, Edward McAuley and Dawn E. Roberts

Background:

Latinos have the lowest leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) rates. However, measurement of only LTPA might underestimate total physical activity. This study compares the objective physical activity of Latinos reporting high or low levels of LTPA and also compares gender differences.

Methods:

Data were obtained from 148 Latinos (n = 83 women, n = 65 men). Freedson cut points were employed to determine daily minutes of activity.

Results:

Latinos reporting high LTPA engaged in more daily minutes of vigorous and very vigorous activity than Latinos reporting low LTPA (P values < .05). There was no difference in daily minutes of moderate-intensity activity (P = .12), with both groups of Latinos meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/American College of Sports Medicine guidelines. Men engaged in more daily minutes of moderate activity than women (P < .01).

Conclusions:

Many Latinos met physical activity guidelines even when reporting low levels of LTPA. Future studies should determine whether equivalent health benefits are achieved by meeting guidelines through LTPA and non-LTPA.

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Jennifer L. Gay, Harold W. Kohl III, Jennifer J. Salinas, Joseph B. McCormick and Susan P. Fisher-Hoch

Background:

The association between light-intensity activity and cardiovascular disease risk is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to determine the association of light-intensity activity with census-based occupational activity classifications and cardiovascular risk factors among Mexican American adults.

Methods:

118 Mexican American adults (68.6% female) provided cross-sectional accelerometer and biological data. Self-reported occupations were classified by activity level (sedentary, low, moderate). Participants were classified as At-Risk for BMI, glucose, triglycerides, HDL, blood pressure, waist circumference, and percent body fat.

Results:

Participants engaged in > 5 hours of light-intensity activity on average, and those in sedentary occupations engaged in fewer light-intensity activity minutes than low-active or moderately active workers (P < .001). Self-reported occupation explained 14% of the variation in light-intensity activity (P < .001). Participants in moderately active occupations were at increased risk for high %body fat than other workers (P = .01), but no other associations between occupation and cardiovascular risk were detected.

Conclusion:

Early work in physical activity underscored the importance of occupational activity. This study presents evidence of a dose-response association for light-intensity activity by occupational category such that workers in sedentary occupations had less light-intensity activity than employees in more active occupations. Future research on how light-intensity activity derived from occupation may reduce the risk of chronic disease will contribute to improved interventions as light-intensity activity participation may be more feasible than meeting current physical activity guidelines.

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Darla E. Kendzor, Marlyn Allicock, Michael S. Businelle, Lona F. Sandon, Kelley Pettee Gabriel and Summer G. Frank

Background:

The current study evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of a diet and physical activity intervention for homeless adults.

Methods:

Shelter residents (N = 32) were randomly assigned to a 4-week diet and physical activity intervention (n = 17) or an assessment-only control group (n = 15). Intervention participants received tailored educational newsletters, pedometers with step goals, and twice daily fruit/vegetable snacks. Key measures included 24-hour dietary recall interviews and accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA).

Results:

At baseline, 68.8% of participants were overweight or obese, 93.8% reported food insecurity, and 43.8% reported activity levels below physical activity guidelines. Baseline dietary recall interviews indicated low fruit/vegetable consumption, and elevated intake of added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium relative to current dietary recommendations. During the 4-week study period, intervention participants engaged in significantly greater accelerometer-measured daily MVPA (P < .001) than controls (median = 60 daily minutes p vs. 41 daily minutes). Between groups differences in fruit/vegetable consumption at the end of treatment did not reach statistical significance. Most participants reported that the intervention was helpful for increasing fruit/vegetable intake and physical activity.

Conclusions:

Findings highlight the potential to improve dietary quality and increase physical activity among sheltered homeless adults.

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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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Andrew J. Mowen and Birgitta L. Baker

Background:

The United States’ first National Physical Activity Plan is now under development. This plan follows the release of new physical activity guidelines and seeks to address the nation’s ongoing physical inactivity and obesity crisis. For this plan to be successful, all facets of American culture need to unify behind its recommendations and action steps. Guidance for this plan involves active participation from a variety of sectors, including the park, recreation, fitness, and sport (PRFS) sector.

Purpose:

In this white paper, we discuss the potential of the PRFS sector in addressing America’s physical inactivity. Specifically, we provide a brief description, history, and scope of the PRFS sector; present evidence concerning linkages between this sector and physical activity; and discuss existing challenges and emerging opportunities for promoting physical activity. We conclude by suggesting PRFS recommendations to promote physical activity based on anticipated effectiveness, reach, scope, and sustainability.

Methods:

Academic articles, professional reports, and physical activity plans were reviewed to summarize the evidence concerning PRFS sector strategies for increasing physical activity. Recommendations: Based on our review, we propose several sector-specific proximity, place, program, partnership, promotion, people, policy, and performance indicator recommendations for improving physical activity in the United States.