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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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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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Jay E. Maddock, Bill Reger-Nash, Katie Heinrich, Kevin M. Leyden and Thomas K. Bias

Background:

The U.S. Community Guide to Preventive Services strongly recommends changes in urban design, land use and accessibility to increase physical activity. To achieve these goals, policy change is often needed. This study assessed attitudes of decision makers in Hawaii to determine if physical activity related issues are among their priorities.

Methods:

State and county officials (n = 179) were mailed surveys. Respondents listed the three most important problems (open-ended) in Hawaii and rated the importance of 23 specified problems, of which six directly related to physical activity.

Results:

The survey was completed by 126 (70.4%) respondents. The most frequently mentioned categories for the open-ended questions were affordable housing, environment/sustainability, sprawl/traffic/population growth, and healthcare. Among the closed-ended physical activity related items, increasing traffic was ranked highest (43.9%) and fourth overall. Less than 12% of decision makers rated other physical activity issues as important.

Conclusions:

Future work is needed to increase the visibility and importance of physical activity related issues among policymakers.

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Fiona Iredale, Frank Bell and Myra Nimmo

Fourteen sedentary 50- to 55-year-old men were exercised to exhaustion using an incremental treadmill protocol. Mean (±SEM) peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak) was 40.5 ± 1.19 ml · kg1 · min−1, and maximum heart rate was 161 ± 4 beats · min−1. Blood lactate concentration was measured regularly to identify the lactate threshold (oxygen consumption at which blood lactate concentration begins to systematically increase). Threshold occurred at 84 ± 2% of V̇O2peak. The absolute lactate value at threshold was 2.9 ± 0.2 mmol · L−1. On a separate occasion, 6 subjects exercised continuously just below their individual lactate thresholds for 25 min without significantly raising their blood lactate levels from the 10th minute to the 25th. The absolute blood lactate level over the last 20 min of the steady-state test averaged 3.7 ± 1.2 mmol · L−1. This value is higher than that elicited at the threshold in the incremental test because of the differing nature of the protocols. It was concluded that although the lactate threshold occurs at a high percentage of V̇O2peak, subjects are still able to sustain exercise at that intensity for 25 min.

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Kyra Hamilton and Katherine M. White

Background:

Parents are at risk for physical inactivity; however, few studies have designed physical activity (PA) interventions specifically applied to individuals with young children. To ensure the effectiveness of interventions, it may be useful to first elicit the needs from the target population and incorporate salient strategies identified to the design and delivery of a resultant intervention. We aimed to explore strategies for what to include in and how to best deliver a program designed to increase parental PA.

Methods:

Twelve parents (6 mothers, 6 fathers) of children younger than 5 years participated in focus group discussions exploring strategies for an intervention program designed to increase parental PA.

Results:

A range of themes such as Focus on the Children and Flexible Life/Family Plans imbedded in strategies such as persuasion and information, problem-solving, skill building, and environmental approaches were identified. In addition, a range of strategies for how to best deliver a parental PA intervention evidenced in emerging themes such as Diverse and Brief and Individualized Approach was discussed.

Conclusions:

Future research should continue to adopt a ground up, community-based approach to the development and implementation of interventions for this at-risk group to ensure sustained involvement in regular PA.

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Meghan Baruth and Sara Wilcox

Background:

Understanding who is most and least likely to remain active after the completion of physical activity (PA) interventions can assist in developing more targeted and effective programs to enhance prolonged behavior change. The purpose of this study was to examine predictors of meeting PA recommendations 6 months postintervention in participants enrolled in Active for Life.

Methods:

Participants from 2 behavioral PA programs [158 Active Choices (AC); 1025 Active Living Every Day (ALED)] completed surveys 6 months after completion of the active intervention. Analyses examined predictors of meeting PA recommendations at follow-up.

Results:

The following were significant predictors: In ALED: self-report health status, satisfaction with body function, and self-efficacy at baseline; PA status at posttest; changes in self-efficacy, perceived stress, and satisfaction with body function and appearance from baseline to posttest. In AC: PA status at posttest.

Conclusions:

The ultimate goal of health promotion programs is to teach the behavioral skills necessary to sustain behavior change once an active intervention is complete. The findings from this study suggest that predicting PA behavior after cessation of PA interventions may not be straightforward, and predictor variables may operate differently in different intervention approaches.

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Emily L. Mailey, Deirdre Dlugonski, Wei-Wen Hsu and Michelle Segar

Background: Many parents are insufficiently active. Further research is needed to understand the goals that drive sustained exercise participation among parents. The purpose of this study was to use self-determination theory derived constructs to examine the relationship between parents’ exercise goals and their autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and exercise behavior across 1 year. Methods: Mothers (n = 226) and fathers (n = 70) of children less than 16 years completed the Exercise Motivations Inventory-2 and, 1 year later, the Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire-2 and Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire. Linear mixed effects models were used to examine the longitudinal relationships between exercise goals and autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and leisure-time exercise. Results: All goals except weight management were significantly associated with autonomous motivation, whereas only weight and appearance goals predicted controlled motivation. Exercising for stress management and revitalization, but not health- or appearance-related goals, was significantly related to exercise behavior over 1 year. Conclusions: Only goals related to immediate affective outcomes were associated with both autonomous motivation and exercise behavior over time. These findings support recent calls to “rebrand exercise” as a means to improve daily well-being. Such goals may drive parents to prioritize exercise because they value the immediate benefits it provides.

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Cindy Lentino, Amanda J. Visek, Karen McDonnell and Loretta DiPietro

Background:

An innovative strategy for helping people achieve recommended levels of daily physical activity is dog walking. We assessed differences in physical activity and risk indicators between dog owners who 1) walk their dog (n = 399) and 2) do not walk their dog (n = 137) and compared them with adults who do not own dogs (n = 380).

Methods:

Participants (39 ± 13 years) were recruited online and completed an electronic questionnaire. Healthy People 2010 risk indicators included physical activity, overweight status, tobacco use, nutrition behaviors, chronic conditions, depressive symptoms, and social support.

Results:

Compared with dog walkers, those who did not own or walk their dog reported less physical activity (MET-min·week−1) and a higher body mass index (P < .01). Moreover, after adjusting for age and moderate to high physical activity, those who did not own dogs had significantly greater odds of self-reported diabetes [OR = 2.53; 95%CI (1.17−5.48)], hypertension [OR = 1.71; 95%CI (1.03−2.83)], hypercholesterolemia [OR = 1.72; 95%CI (1.06−2.81)], and depression [OR = 1.49; 95%CI (1.09−2.05)] compared with participants who regularly walked their dogs.

Conclusions:

Because of the health benefits associated with dog walking, this activity should be encouraged within communities as a method of promoting and sustaining a healthy lifestyle.

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Jeanne M. Gabriele, Diane L. Gill and Claire E. Adams

Background:

Several theories and models have been proposed to explain decisions in changing and adopting behavior but few address the intricacies of behavioral maintenance. The current study assesses the utility of the Investment Model, which identifies satisfaction, investments, and involvement alternatives as predictors of commitment and continued behavior, in predicting physical activity behavior.

Methods:

Participants (N = 267) completed questionnaires about physical activity and commitment. Structural equation modeling assessed relationships among 2 types of exercise commitment (want to or enthusiastic commitment, have to or obligatory commitment), 3 commitment determinants (satisfaction, investments, and alternatives), and physical activity (minutes of physical activity, stage of behavior change).

Results:

Want to commitment, but not have to commitment, was related to stage of exercise behavior change and time spent in physical activity. Satisfaction and investments were positively related to want to commitment; whereas, satisfaction, investments, and alternatives were positively related to have to commitment. The model explained 68% and 23% of the variance in time spent in physical activity and stage of behavior change, respectively.

Conclusions:

This study provides support for the application of the Investment Model to physical activity and suggests that want to commitment may be important for explaining and predicting sustained physical activity behavior.

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Jason Duvall

Background:

This study investigated the effectiveness of enhanced cognitive awareness as a means of encouraging outdoor walking. An intervention using engagement-based strategies was compared with a more traditional walking intervention focused on developing and committing to a personalized walking schedule.

Methods:

117 adults were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatments—Standard Care (schedule setting, commitment) or Engagement (awareness plans)—and asked to take at least 3, 30 minute outdoor walks each week for 2 weeks. During the study period, self-report and objective measures were used to collect data on walking behavior.

Results:

Individuals in both treatment conditions reported significant increases (P < .05) in walking behavior. Participants in both treatments failed to sustain these increases at a follow-up measure 4 weeks later. However, the Engagement condition was particularly effective for those individuals who had less prior experience maintaining a walking routine.

Conclusion:

Overall, the findings suggest it may be beneficial to incorporate engagement-based strategies into existing walking interventions. Results of this study also raise the possibility that efforts to encourage cognitive awareness may make the outdoor walking experience more interesting and enjoyable.