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Salma S.S. Hernández, Paula F. Sandreschi, Franciele C. da Silva, Beatriz A.V. Arancibia, Rudney da Silva, Paulo J.B. Gutierres and Alexandro Andrade

To identify and characterize the scientific literature on the effects of exercise on Alzheimer’s disease, research was conducted in the following databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Scopus. These MeSH terms—“exercise”, “motor activity”, “physical fitness”, “Alzheimer disease”, and its synonyms in English—were used in the initial search to locate studies published between 2003 and 2013. After reading the 12 final articles in their entirety, two additional articles, found by a manual search, were included. Of these, 13 had beneficial results of exercise in Alzheimer’s disease. Given the results discussed here, the exercise may be important for the improvement of functionality and performance of daily life activities, neuropsychiatric disturbances, cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory fitness, functional capacity components (flexibility, agility, balance, strength), and improvements in some cognitive components such as sustained attention, visual memory, and frontal cognitive function in patients with AD.

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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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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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Tamara Vehige Calise and Sarah Martin

Background:

Physical inactivity is one of the top 3 risk factors associated with an increased prevalence of obesity and other chronic diseases. The public health infrastructure positions state health departments to address physical inactivity. To examine preparedness, all 50 health departments were assessed, using the 5 benchmarks developed by CDC for physical activity and public health practice, on their capacity to administer physical activity programs.

Methods:

States were scored on a 5-point scale for each benchmark. The top 2 high and low scores were combined to create 2 categories. Exact Chi-square analyses were performed.

Results:

States with CDC obesity funding scored higher on 4 benchmarks than states without. States with a state physical activity plan scored higher on all benchmarks than states without. States with a physical activity coalition scored higher on 2 benchmarks than states without.

Conclusions:

At the time of the assessment, approximately 20% of state physical activity programs could have improved in the use of evidence-based strategies and planning and evaluation approaches. Furthermore, many programs seemed to have limited sustainability. The findings of this report serve as a baseline of the capacity and infrastructure of state health department physical activity programs.

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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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James A. Dimmock, Marylène Gagné, Lauren Proud, Timothy C. Howle, Amanda L. Rebar and Ben Jackson

Sustained attention has been devoted to studying the factors that support (or thwart) individuals’ enjoyment of, interest in, and value judgments regarding their exercise activities. We employed a resistance-inducing (i.e., inoculation theory) messaging technique with the aim of protecting these desirable perceptions in the face of environmental conditions designed to undermine one’s positive exercise experiences. Autonomously motivated exercisers (N = 146, M age = 20.57, SD = 4.02) performed a 25-min, group-based, instructor-led exercise circuit, in which the activities were deliberately monotonous, and during which the confederate instructor acted in a disinterested, unsupportive, and critical manner. Shortly before the session, participants received either a control message containing general information about the exercise class or an inoculation message containing a forewarning about potential challenges to participants’ enjoyment/interest/value perceptions during the class, as well as information about how participants might maintain positive perceptions in the face of these challenges. Despite there being no between-conditions differences in presession mood or general exercise motives, inoculated (relative to control) participants reported greater interest/enjoyment in the exercise session and higher perceptions of need support from the instructor. Perceptions of need support mediated the relationship between message condition and interest/enjoyment.

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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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Suzie Mudge, Denise Taylor, Oliver Chang and Rosita Wong

Background:

Activity Monitors give an objective measure of usual walking performance. This study aimed to examine the test-retest reliability of the StepWatch Activity Monitor outputs (mean steps/day; peak activity index; sustained activity indices of 1, 5, 20, 30, 60 minutes; steps at high, medium, and low stepping rates).

Methods:

Thirty healthy adults age 18 to 49 years wore the StepWatch for 2 3-day periods at least 1 week apart.

Results:

The intraclass correlation coefficients of the StepWatch outputs ranged from 0.44 to 0.91 over 3 days. The coefficient of variation ranged from 3.0% to 51.3% over the monitoring periods, with higher variation shown for shorter monitoring periods. The most reliable 5 outputs had 95% limits of agreement between 3-day periods that were less than 40%. These were mean steps/day (±39.1%), highest step rate in 1 (±17.3%) and 5 (±37.4%) minutes, peak activity index (±25.6%), and percentage of inactive time (±9.52%).

Conclusions:

Mean steps/day, highest step rate in 1 and 5 minutes, peak activity index, and percentage of inactive time have good test-retest reliability over a 3-day monitoring period, with lower reliability shown by the other StepWatch outputs. Monitoring over 1 or 2 days is less reliable.

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Marj Moodie, Michelle M. Haby, Boyd Swinburn and Robert Carter

Background:

To assess from a societal perspective the cost-effectiveness of a school program to increase active transport in 10- to 11-year-old Australian children as an obesity prevention measure.

Methods:

The TravelSMART Schools Curriculum program was modeled nationally for 2001 in terms of its impact on Body Mass Index (BMI) and Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) measured against current practice. Cost offsets and DALY benefits were modeled until the eligible cohort reached age 100 or died. The intervention was qualitatively assessed against second stage filter criteria (‘equity,’ ‘strength of evidence,’ ‘acceptability to stakeholders,’ ‘feasibility of implementation,’ ‘sustainability,’ and ‘side-effects’) given their potential impact on funding decisions.

Results:

The modeled intervention reached 267,700 children and cost $AUD13.3M (95% uncertainty interval [UI] $6.9M; $22.8M) per year. It resulted in an incremental saving of 890 (95%UI −540; 2,900) BMI units, which translated to 95 (95% UI −40; 230) DALYs and a net cost per DALY saved of $AUD117,000 (95% UI dominated; $1.06M).

Conclusions:

The intervention was not cost-effective as an obesity prevention measure under base-run modeling assumptions. The attribution of some costs to nonobesity objectives would be justified given the program’s multiple benefits. Cost-effectiveness would be further improved by considering the wider school community impacts.

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Nicholas Gilson, Wendy J. Brown, Guy Faulkner, Jim McKenna, Marie Murphy, Andy Pringle, Karin Proper, Anna Puig-Ribera and Aphroditi Stathi

Background:

This paper aimed to use the Delphi technique to develop a consensus framework for a multinational, workplace walking intervention.

Methods:

Ideas were gathered and ranked from eight recognized and emerging experts in the fields of physical activity and health, from universities in Australia, Canada, England, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, and Spain. Members of the panel were asked to consider the key characteristics of a successful campus walking intervention. Consensus was reached by an inductive, content analytic approach, conducted through an anonymous, three-round, e-mail process.

Results:

The resulting framework consisted of three interlinking themes defined as “design, implementation, and evaluation.” Top-ranked subitems in these themes included the need to generate research capacity (design), to respond to group needs through different walking approaches (implementation), and to undertake physical activity assessment (evaluation). Themes were set within an underpinning domain, referred to as the “institution” and sites are currently engaging with subitems in this domain, to provide sustainable interventions that refect the practicalities of local contexts and needs.

Conclusions:

Findings provide a unique framework for designing, implementing, and evaluating walking projects in universities and highlight the value of adopting the Delphi technique for planning international, multisite health initiatives.