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Jennifer L. Gay, Marsha Dowda, Ruth Saunders and Alexandra Evans

Background:

Children in residential children’s homes (RCH) may be at increased risk for physical inactivity due to decreased access to opportunities for activity. Little is known about environmental determinants of physical activity for children in RCH.

Methods:

Thirty-minute blocks of MVPA and Total METs were measured using the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall (3DPAR). A staff interview, based on the Structural Ecologic Model of Health Behavior, assessed physical activity opportunities, structures, characteristics, policies, and social environment. Wilcoxon 2-sample tests were used to examine differences in environment by location and presence of a recreation director. Mixed model ANOVAs assessed the differences in child level activity by environmental variables.

Results:

There were significant correlations between opportunities and characteristics of physical activity, facilities, and equipment with total METS for children. Children in homes with a recreation director and homes in rural locations reported more physical activity. Only rural location had a significant effect on physical activity. Presence of a recreation director was significant in several models.

Conclusions:

Rural location may be conducive for increased physical activity in children at RCH. Employing a recreation director or other trained personnel may be an important policy determinant of physical activity for children.

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Roy J. Shephard and Hughes Lavallée

The influence of 1 hour per day of required physical education upon aerobic fitness was tested in 546 prepubescent children recruited from an urban and a rural school in Québec. Two cohorts of experimental students began the enhanced program in Grade 1, with immediately preceding and succeeding classes as controls. V̇O2 peak (treadmill) and PWC170 were measured each year within 2 weeks of each child’s birthday. The data showed significant effects of sex (M>F) and environment (urban>rural). Experimental students showed a significant advantage of V̇O2 peak from 8 to 11 years (M>F; urban>rural). Many students reached less than a centrally limited V̇O2max, although the quality of peak effort was somewhat better in experimental than in control students. PWC170 values confirmed a training response in the boys but not in the girls. The data illustrate some of the problems of repeated testing of young children, but nevertheless support the value of training in the prepubescent years.

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Mohamed Kanu, Elizabeth Baker and Ross C. Brownson

Objective:

This study tested associations between church-based instrumental and informational social support and meeting physical activity guidelines.

Methods:

Cross-sectional data were analyzed for 1625 rural residents using logistic regression.

Results:

Associations were found between instrumental social support and performing some amount of physical activity but not between the 2 forms of support and meeting physical activity guidelines.

Conclusion:

Instrumental social support might help initiation of physical activity. Given that 54.1% of US adults get no leisure-time physical activity at the recommended minimum level, instrumental social support might be important in considering physical activity programs.

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Leonard Marquart and Jeffery Sobal

This study examined the beliefs and sources of information regarding muscle development among 742 high school athletes in one rural county. About 40% of the athletes stated that muscle development was very important and 50% said it was somewhat important. Most of them recognized the dangers of steroids but still thought these were important in muscle development. A majority also thought nutritional and genetic factors were important. Physicians were seen as providing the most accurate information about muscle development, followed by coaches and trainers. Understanding the athletes’ beliefs and information sources about muscle development may be useful in dispelling misconceptions and providing education on the topic.

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Joanna Kostka, Tomasz Kostka and Ewa Borowiak

Background:

The goal of this study was to assess the physical activity (PA) and its determinants of older people living in the 3 different environments.

Methods:

Three equal (n = 693 each) groups of individuals aged ≥65 years living in urban, rural and institutional environments took part in this study. PA was measured by the Seven Day Recall PA Questionnaire (energy expenditure—PA-EE) and the Stanford Usual Activity Questionnaire (health-related behaviors—PA-HRB).

Results:

PA-EE was highest in the rural environment and lowest in nursing homes. PA-HRB were most common in urban area. Older age, lower education level, several concomitant diseases and the number of systematically used medications were consistently related to lower PA-EE and PA-HRB. Smoking habit, presence of hypertension, musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal disorders had different association to PA-EE and PA-HRB in the 3 environments.

Conclusions:

Subpopulations of older people differ from the general population with regard to their level of PA and its association with sociodemographic data and concomitant diseases. Concomitant serious diseases significantly decrease the level of PA of older subjects. The relationship between PA and nondebilitating disorders may vary depending on the living environment or PA assessment methodology.

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Kathleen Van Royen, Roosmarijn Verstraeten, Susana Andrade, Angélica Ochoa-Avilés, Silvana Donoso, Lea Maes and Patrick Kolsteren

Background:

Physical inactivity levels are increasingly prevalent among Ecuadorian adolescents. School-based interventions can be potentially effective in promoting physical activity but must be informed by cultural-specific factors.

Methods:

Twelve focus groups were carried out with adolescents (n = 80) in rural and urban Ecuador to identify factors influencing physical activity. In addition, 4 focus group discussions with parents (n = 32) and 4 with school staff (n = 32) were conducted. Individual and environmental factors were questioned using the ‘Attitude, Social influences and Self-efficacy’ model and the socioecological model as theoretical frameworks.

Results:

Factors influencing physical activity varied between groups. In the rural area farming and norms for girls impeded leisure-time physical activity, whereas urban groups emphasized traffic and crime concerns. Groups from a low socioeconomic status more frequently mentioned a fear of injuries and financial constraints. Several factors were common for all groups including preferences for sedentary activities, poor knowledge, time constraints and laziness, as well as a lack of opportunities at home and school, unsupportive parental rules and lack of role models.

Conclusion:

A conceptual framework including the identified factors emerged to inform the design of a cultural-sensitive school-based intervention to improve physical activity among Ecuadorian adolescents. Future interventions should be tailored to each setting.

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Tyler G. Johnson, Timothy A. Brusseau, Susan Vincent Graser, Paul W. Darst and Pamela H. Kulinna

Background:

The purpose of this study was to conduct a secondary analysis by combining 2 pedometer data sets to describe and analyze pedometer-determined steps/day of children by ethnicity and metropolitan status.

Methods:

Participants were 582 children (309 girls, 273 boys; 53% Hispanic, 26% Caucasian, 21% African American) age 10 to 11 years (M = 10.37 ± 0.48) attending 1 of 10 schools located in urban, suburban, and rural settings. Participants wore a research grade pedometer for at least 3 week/school days. Mean steps/ day were analyzed by gender, ethnicity, and metropolitan status.

Results:

Statistical analyses indicated 1) boys (12,853 ± 3831; P < .001) obtained significantly more steps/day than girls (10,409 ± 3136); 2) African American (10,709 ± 3386; P < .05) children accumulated significantly less steps/day than Hispanic (11,845 ± 3901) and Caucasian (11,668 ± 3369) children; and 3) urban (10,856 ± 3706; P < .05) children obtained significantly less steps/day than suburban (12,297 ± 3616) and rural (11,934 ± 3374) children.

Conclusions:

Findings support self-report data demonstrating reduced physical activity among African American children and youth, especially girls, and among children and youth living in urban areas. Possible reasons for these discrepancies are explored.

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Carlos J. Crespo, Mario R. Garcia-Palmieri, Ellen Smit, I-Min Lee, Daniel McGee, Paola Muti, Nayda R. Figueroa Valle, Farah A. Ramirez-Marrero, Jo L. Freudenheim and Paul Sorlie

Studies on the association between physical activity and fatal prostate cancer have produced inconclusive results. The Puerto Rico Heart Health Program was a cohort study of a randomly selected sample of 9824 men age 35 to 79 years at baseline who were followed for mortality until 2002. Multiple examinations collected information on lifestyle, diet, body composition, exercise, urban-rural residence, and smoking habits. Physical activity status was measured using the Framingham Physical Activity Index, an assessment of occupational, leisure-time, and other physical activities measured as usual activity over the course of a 24-hour day. Physical activity was strati-fed into quartiles. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association of physical activity with prostate cancer mortality. Other covariates included age, education, urban-rural residence, smoking, and body mass index. Compared with the lowest level of physical activity (Q1), the risk of prostate cancer mortality was OR = 0.99 (95% CI = 0.64–1.55) for Q2, OR = 1.34 (95% CI = 0.88–2.05) for Q3, and OR = 1.19 (95% CI = 0.75–1.90) for Q4. Further analyses by age group, overweight status, or vigorous physical activity also did not show a significant association between physical activity and prostate cancer mortality. Physical activity did not predict prostate cancer mortality in this group of Puerto Rican men.

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P. Margaret Grant, Malcolm H. Granat, Morag K. Thow and William M. Maclaren

This study measured objectively the postural physical activity of 4 groups of older adults (≥65 yr). The participants (N = 70) comprised 3 patient groups—2 from rehabilitation wards (city n = 20, 81.8 ± 6.7 yr; rural n = 10, 79.4 ± 4.7 yr) and the third from a city day hospital (n = 20, 74.7 ± 7.9 yr)—and a healthy group to provide context (n = 20, 73.7 ± 5.5 yr). The participants wore an activity monitor (activPAL) for a week. A restricted maximum-likelihood-estimation analysis of hourly upright time (standing and walking) revealed significant differences between day, hour, and location and the interaction between location and hour (p < .001). Differences in the manner in which groups accumulated upright and sedentary time (sitting and lying) were found, with the ward-based groups sedentary for prolonged periods and upright for short episodes. This information may be used by clinicians to design appropriate rehabilitation interventions and monitor patient progress.

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Jamie E. L. Spinney and Hugh Millward

This research uses four nationally representative samples of time diary data, spanning almost 30 yr, that are fused with energy expenditure information to enumerate the median daily duration of moderate or vigorous-effort activity, quantify the prevalence of Canadians age 65 yr and older who are meeting recommended daily levels of physical activity, and explore the factors affecting rates of active living. Results indicate that 41.1% of older Canadians met recommended levels of physical activity in 1992, 40.6% in 1998, 43.5% in 2005, and 39.6% in 2010. Both rates of active living and daily duration of aerobic activity exhibit significant differences among sociodemographic groups, with age, sex, activity limitation, urban-rural, and season exhibiting the most significant influences. This study illustrates the potential for time diary data to provide detailed surveillance of physical activity patterns, active aging research, and program development, as well.