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Kirsten Krahnstoever Davison

Background.

A comprehensive measure of activity-related support was developed and used to examine gender differences in activity support and links between support and physical activity in a sample of adolescents.

Methods.

Participants included 202 middle school girls and boys. Participants completed the Activity Support Scale and three self-report measures of physical activity.

Results.

Seven sources of support were identified including maternal and paternal logistic support, maternal and paternal modelling, general familial support, sibling support, and peer support; all scales were internally consistent. No gender differences in activity-related support were identified. Adolescents who were more active reported higher levels of activity support from all sources except maternal and paternal modelling of physical activity.

Conclusion.

Results from this study highlight the importance of activity-related support from family and friends as a potential method to promote and sustain physical activity among adolescents.

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Dana Sirota, Dodi Meyer, Andres Nieto, Arlen Zamula, Melissa Stockwell and Evelyn Berger-Jenkins

Background:

School-based physical activity programs can reach large populations of at-risk children however evidence for the sustainability of healthy behaviors as a result of these programs is mixed. Healthy Schools Healthy Families (HSHF) is a physical activity and nutrition program for elementary students in a predominantly minority community. The program includes short teacher led classroom-based physical activities, also known as Transition Exercises (TE). Our aim was to assess whether TE was associated with children’s reported recreational physical activity outside of school.

Methods:

We surveyed HSHF students in grade 5 (n = 383) about their recreational physical activity at the start and end of the school year. Multivariable analysis was used to determine what factors including TE contributed to their reported activity.

Results:

Students were predominantly Hispanic with a mean age of 10 ± .03. There was an increase in reported recreational physical activity from the start to the end of the school year (73.6% to 82.4%, P < .05). Students who participated in more TE had a 2.75 times greater odds of reporting participation in recreational activity than students who participated in less TE.

Conclusions:

For students in HSHF, TE was significantly associated with an increase in recreational physical activity.

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Mohsen Maddah, Zahra Akbarian, Solmaz Shoyooie, Maryam Rostamnejad and Mehdi Soleimani

Background:

Regular exercise is an important aspect of physical activity for people living in urban areas. We examined prevalence of regular exercise in leisure times and some related factors in middle aged men and women in northern Iran.

Method:

A cross-sectional survey was undertaken on 1425 women and 676 men in 2 main cities in northern Iran. Information on exercise habits was collected using a self-administrated questionnaire. Regular exercise was defined as any kind of recreational or sport physical activity other than walking performed three or more days per week for at least 20 minutes. Questions on perceived barriers on regular exercise and walking habit were also included in the questionnaire.

Results:

Findings showed that 11.2% of the participants (9% in women and 12.8% in men P < .05) did exercise regularly. Prevalence of doing regular exercise was inversely related to age in women but not in men. Educated women were more likely to do regular exercise. The most common perceived barrier for regular exercise was time insufficiency.

Conclusion:

Only a small proportion of the study men and women had sustainable regular exercise for 1 year. Regular exercise was more common among young and well educated women than older women and the men.

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Kate Heelan, H. Jason Combs, Bryce M. Abbey, Paul Burger and Todd Bartee

Background:

The decline in active commuting to and from school in the United States is, in part, due to urban design standards and public policies that promote automobile travel and discourage pedestrian activity.

Purpose:

The current investigation examines active commuting at neighborhood schools and how it is altered by distance to school, student age and its potential impact on Body Mass Index.

Methods:

Demographic and transportation datasets were obtained for 5367 elementary students (K−5th grade) and middle school students (6th−8th grade) in 2 Midwestern communities.

Results:

4379 (81.6%) students were successfully geocoded and 21.9% actively commute to school at least half of the time meeting the Healthy People 2010 objective 22−14. Of those students who could potentially actively commute to school (0.5 mile for grades K−5 and 1 mile for grades 6−8) 36.6% are passive commuters. No significant negative associations were found between BMI z-score or BMI percentile with accumulation of activity through active commuting (frequency × distance) for elementary (r = −0.04, P = .27) or middle school students (r = .027, P = .56).

Conclusion:

Many elementary students living within 0.3−0.4 miles are being driven to school. Promoting pedestrian-friendly communities and making healthy and sustainable transportation choices should be priorities for community leaders and school administrators.

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Pawel Zembura, Aleksandra Goldys and Hanna Nalecz

Background:

Poland’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first assessment of child and youth physical activity (PA) in Poland using the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance grading system. The main goal was to summarize and describe the current state of child and youth PA to increase awareness and surveillance.

Methods:

The systematic methodology that underpins the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card was adapted and applied to the Polish report card. The best available data were consolidated, reviewed by a group of experts, and used to assign the letter grades to 9 core PA indicators on a scale ranging from A (highest) to F (lowest).

Results:

The 9 indicators were graded as such: 1) Overall Physical Activity (D), 2) Organized Sport Participation (C), 3) Active Play (INC), 4) Active Transportation (C), 5) Sedentary Behaviors (D), 6) Family and Peers (C), 7) School (B), 8) Community and the Built Environment (C), and 9) Government Strategies and Investments (C).

Conclusions:

The final grades show a strong role of school in providing PA for children and youth in Poland. However, promotion of school-based sport participation appears to be insufficient by itself to sustainably promote PA in this group.

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Daniel S. Kirschenbaum, David A. Wittrock, Robert J. Smith and William Monson

We propose that training athletes to use certain cognitive-behavioral procedures, “criticism inoculation training” (CIT), could enable them to circumvent the adverse effects of excessively negativistic coaching. This experiment evaluated the efficacy of one potential CIT strategy, positive self-monitoring (systematically observing and recording instances of success). A laboratory paradigm was used in which 60 male college students attempted to learn the underhand free throw basketball technique from one of four undergraduate pseudocoaches. Subjects were randomly assigned to four groups determined by a 2 (negative vs. no feedback) × 2 (positive vs. no self-monitoring) factorial design. Negative feedback was expected to debilitate, while positive self-monitoring was expected to facilitate performance, sustained self-observation of videotapes of performance, and subjective evaluations of the “coach” and the technique. Negative feedback clearly produced extensive adverse effects, but surprisingly, positive self-monitoring also decreased performance. Theories of skilled motor behavior (MacKay, 1982) and self-regulation (Carver, 1979) helped explain why positive self-monitoring failed as a CIT procedure. This interpretation which focuses on the novelty of the task and the development of negative expectancies also led to suggestions of strategies that could more effectively fulfill the promise of the CIT concept.

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Ariane Bélanger-Gravel, Lise Gauvin, Daniel Fuller and Louis Drouin

Background:

Favorable public opinion and support for policies are essential to favor the sustainability of environmental interventions. This study examined public perceptions and support for active living policies associated with implementing a public bicycle share program (PBSP).

Methods:

Two cross-sectional population-based telephone surveys were conducted in 2009 and 2010 among 5011 adults in Montréal, Canada. Difference-in-differences analyses tested the impact of the PBSP on negative perceptions of the impact of the PBSP on the image of the city, road safety, ease of traveling, active transportation, health, and resistance to policies.

Results:

People living closer to docking stations were less likely to have negative perceptions of the effect of the PBSP on the image of the city (OR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4−0.8) and to be resistant to policies (OR = 0.8; 95% CI, 0.6−1.0). The likelihood of perceiving negative effects on road safety increased across time (OR = 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2−1.8). Significant interactions were observed for perceptions of ease of traveling (OR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.4−0.8), active transportation (OR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4−1.0), and health (OR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4−0.8): likelihood of negative perceptions decreased across time among people exposed.

Conclusion:

Findings indicate that negative perceptions were more likely to abate among those living closer to the PBSP.

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Daniel S. Kirschenbaum and Robert J. Smith

In this study, experimenters (pseudo-coaches) provided feedback that varied in valence, sequence, and amount to 50 male college students. A laboratory analogue paradigm was used that included a basketball-like underhand free throw task in which subjects first were instructed on proper technique and then took 10 baseline shots (trials) followed by 2 blocks of 20 trials each. Subjects were randomly assigned. Some interacted with a pseudo-coach who made no comments during the two experimental trial blocks (control), while others received feedback (6-8 comments per trial block) that was response-specific, emotionally oriented, and provided in one of four sequences: positive-positive, negative-negative, positive-negative, or negative-positive. Based on prior research on coach behavior and social psychological studies of interpersonal behavior, we hypothesized that both of the continuous feedback groups would show performance decrements and associated reactions to the coach and the task. These predictions were supported regarding performance and, to some extent, regarding a measure of sustained self-observation. Discussion includes interpretation of the nominally superior performance of the control group, the nonsignificant results on the subjective evaluation measures, and implications of these findings in view of external validity criteria and prior analyses in the emerging behavioral technology of coaching.

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Sarah M. Camhi, Susan B. Sisson, William D. Johnson, Peter T. Katzmarzyk and Catrine Tudor-Locke

Background:

Objective physical activity data analyses focus on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) without considering lower intensity lifestyle-type activities (LA). We describe 1) quantity of LA (minutes and steps per day) across demographic groups, 2) proportion of LA to total physical activity, and 3) relationships between LA and MVPA using NHANES 2005−2006 accelerometer adult data (n = 3744).

Methods:

LA was defined as 760 to 2019 counts per minute (cpm) and MVPA as ≥2020 cpm. LA was compared within gender, ethnicity, age, and BMI groups. Regression analyses examined independent effects. Correlations were evaluated between LA and MVPA. All analyses incorporated sampling weights to represent national estimates.

Results:

Adults spent 110.4 ± 1.6 minutes and took 3476 ± 54 steps per day in LA. Similar to MVPA, LA was highest in men, Mexican Americans, and lowest in adults ≥60 years or obese. When LA was held constant, ethnic differences no longer predicted MVPA minutes, and age no longer predicted MVPA steps. LA and MVPA minutes (r = .84) and steps per day (r = .72) were significantly correlated, but attenuated with MVPA modified bouts (≥10 minutes sustained activity).

Conclusions:

LA accumulation differs between demographic subgroups and is related to MVPA: adults who spend more minutes and steps in MVPA also spend them in LA.

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Connie L. Tompkins, Timothy Flanagan, John Lavoie II and David W. Brock

Background:

Compared with structured/organized activities, unstructured, self-selected physical activity (PA) may be more appealing for children in particular obese (OB) children. We examined whether both healthy-weight (HW) and OB children would engage in moderate to vigorous intensity PA during an unstructured PA program and compared heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) between the children.

Methods:

Twenty-one children [9 OB (≥95th BMI percentile, 12 HW (5th – <85th), 8.6 ± 0.8 years; 9 males, 12 females] participated in before-school (7:30 AM to 8:15 AM) PA for 18 weeks, 3 consecutive days/week. Each child wore a Polar E600 HR monitor and was provided a vigorous, age-targeted heart rate (THR) of 70%.

Results:

Mean HR ≥ vigorous THR for all children in 65.3% of the sessions and exceeded moderate intensity in 100%. Over the 18-weeks, no significant difference was observed in the overall mean HR between the HW (171.4 ± 12.0) and OB (169.3 ± 13.0), however the OB reported significantly lower RPEs than the HW (16.9 ± 2.6 vs. 17.6 ± 1.5, respectively; P < .05).

Conclusions:

Both the HW and OB children consistently sustained PA of moderate and vigorous intensity. The current study provides insight regarding the physiological capabilities and perceptual responses of HW and OB children participating in PA programs.