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Ryan D. Burns, Timothy A. Brusseau and James C. Hannon

Background:

Optimal levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) have been shown to improve health and academic outcomes in youth. Limited research has examined MVPA trajectories throughout a daily middle school physical education (PE) curriculum. The purpose of this study was to examine MVPA trajectories over a daily PE curriculum and the modifying effects of sex, body composition, and cardiorespiratory endurance.

Methods:

One hundred 7th- and 8th-grade students participated in daily PE lessons. There were 66 lessons throughout the semester. MVPA was monitored during each lesson using NL-1000 piezoelectric pedometers. Students were classified into FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zones using estimated VO2 Max and Body Mass Index (BMI). A population averaged generalized estimating equation was employed to examine MVPA trajectories.

Results:

On average, students’ MVPA decreased over time (β = –0.35, P < .001). Poor student VO2max classification significantly modified the trajectories (β = –0.14, P < .001), however poor BMI classification did not have a modifying effect (β = 0.03, P = .158).

Conclusions:

MVPA decreased in daily PE over time and cardiorespiratory endurance significantly modified the trajectories. The results support that extra efforts have to be made by teachers and students to sustain MVPA behaviors over a semester.

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Rebecca F. Wiener, Sabrina L. Thurman and Daniela Corbetta

We used eye tracking to investigate where infants and adults directed their gaze on a scene right before reaching. Infants aged 5, 7, 9, and 11 months old and adults looked at a human hand holding an object out of reach for 5 s, then the hand moved the object toward the participant for reaching. We analyzed which part of the scene (the object, the hand, or elsewhere) infants and adults attended the most during those 5 s before reaching. Findings revealed that adults’ visual fixations were majorly focused on the object to reach. Young infants’ looking patterns were more widely distributed between the hand holding the object, the object, and other nonrelevant areas on the scene. Despite distributed looking on the scene, infants increased their amount of time looking at the object between 5 and 11 months. Nine- and 11-month-olds showed overall accumulated looking durations comparable to adults’ for most of the objects; however, 9-month-olds differed in their rate of gaze transition between scene areas. From the age of 5 months old, infants are able to sustain their gaze to the pertinent scene area when the scene contains a central object on which they will later be able to act.

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Mitch J. Duncan, Hannah M. Badland and William Kerry Mummery

Background:

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between occupational category and 3 health-related behaviors: participation in leisure-time physical activity, active transport (AT) and occupational sitting in a sample of employed Australian adults.

Methods:

A random, cross-sectional sample of 592 adults aged 18 to 71 years completed a telephone survey in October/November 2006. Reported occupations were categorized as professional (n = 332, 56.1%), white-collar (n = 181, 30.6%), and blue-collar (n = 79, 13.3%). Relationships between occupational category and AT, sufficient physical activity and occupational sitting were examined using logistic regression.

Results:

White-collar employees (OR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.14−0.95) were less likely to engage in AT and more likely to engage in occupational sitting (OR = 3.10, 95% CI 1.63−5.92) when compared with blue-collar workers. Professionals (OR = 3.04, 95% CI 1.94−4.76) were also more likely to engage in occupational sitting compared with blue-collar workers. No relationship was observed between occupational category and engagement in sufficient physical activity.

Conclusions:

No association between occupational category and sufficient physical activity levels was observed, although white-collar and professionals were likely to engage in high levels of occupational sitting. Innovative and sustainable strategies are required to reduce occupational sitting to improve health.

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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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Catherine J. Vladutiu, Kelly R. Evenson and Stephen W. Marshall

Background:

Although physical activity can provide health benefits to pregnant women, population-based research on the circumstances surrounding injuries from physical activity during pregnancy is lacking.

Methods:

Physical activity and subsequent injuries among a cohort of 1469 pregnant women in North Carolina were examined prospectively from the third phase of the Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition Study between 2001 and 2005. Chi-square analyses were used to compare distributions of maternal characteristics among women who sustained injuries from physical activity and women who reported no injuries during pregnancy. Injury incidence rates were calculated.

Results:

Few pregnant women (N = 34) reported a physical activity-related injury during pregnancy. The rates of physical activity-related and exercise-related injuries during pregnancy were 3.2 per 1000 physical activity hours and 4.1 per 1000 exercise hours, respectively. The most common types of injuries were bruises or scrapes (55%). Among all injuries, 33% resulted from exercise and 67% resulted from nonexercise physical activities. Sixty-four percent of all injuries were due to falls.

Conclusions:

The incidence of injury from physical activity was low during pregnancy. Women should continue to be encouraged to maintain involvement in physical activity during pregnancy, while being aware of the potential for injury, particularly falls, from these activities.

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Catherine E. Draper, Tracy L. Kolbe-Alexander and Estelle V. Lambert

Background:

The Community Health Intervention Programmes (CHIPs) is a physical activity-based health promotion program operating in disadvantaged communities in the Western Cape, South Africa with primary school learners, adults and senior adults. Program growth, anecdotal evidence and experience of those involved suggest the program has been positively received by communities. The aim of this study was to conduct a qualitative, retrospective process evaluation concerning both factors associated with successful implementation of the programs, and implementation challenges.

Methods:

‘Success’ was defined in consultation with CHIPs staff and stakeholders. Data were gathered through naturalistic observation, structured interviews and focus groups (n = 104), and open-ended questionnaires (n = 81). The sample included CHIPs staff and stakeholders, program members and leaders.

Results:

Factors contributing to the program’s success include: focus on combining social development and exercise science, community development model, scientifically sound program content, appropriate activities, intrapersonal and interpersonal factors, program leadership, encouraging staff, and various contextual factors.

Conclusions:

The findings confirm that CHIPs presents a model of sustainable implementation of physical activity in disadvantaged communities, and that it positively impacts the quality of life, perceptions of the role of physical activity in health, and personal responsibility for health of those involved in its programs.

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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.

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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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Glen Nielsen, Rachael Taylor, Sheila Williams and Jim Mann

Background:

To investigate whether the number of permanent playground facilities in schools influences objectively measured physical activity.

Methods:

Physical activity was measured using Actical accelerometers over 2 to 5 days in 417 children (5–12 years) from 7 schools. The number of permanent play facilities likely to encourage physical activity in individuals or groups of children (eg, adventure playgrounds, swings, trees, playground markings, courts, sandpits) were counted on 2 occasions in each school. The surface area of each playground (m2) was also measured.

Results:

The number of permanent play facilities in schools ranged from 14 to 35 and was positively associated with all measures of activity. For each additional play facility, average accelerometry counts were 3.8% (P < .001) higher at school and 2.7% (P < .001) higher overall. Each additional play facility was also associated with 2.3% (P = .001) or 4 minutes more moderate/vigorous activity during school hours and 3.4% (P < .001) more (9 minutes) over the course of the day. School playground area did not affect activity independent of the number of permanent play facilities. Findings were consistent across age and sex groups.

Conclusion:

Increasing the number of permanent play facilities at schools may offer a cost-effective and sustainable option for increasing physical activity in young children.

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Katie Smith, L. Lanningham-Foster, Amy Welch and Christina Campbell

Background:

Innovative methods are warranted to optimize prenatal outcomes. This study’s objective was to determine if a web-based behavioral intervention (BI) can prevent excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) by increasing physical activity (PA).

Methods:

Participants were randomized to usual care (UC; n = 21) or BI (n = 24) between 10 to 14 weeks gestation. GWG, PA, and diet were assessed at baseline, mid-, and late pregnancy.

Results:

No differences in GWG or adherence to GWG recommendations presented between groups. Total UC MET-minutes significantly decreased from baseline to late-pregnancy (1,234 ± 372 MET-minutes, P = .013). Mid-pregnancy sustained PA was greater for BI than UC (20-minute PA bouts: 122 ± 106 vs. 46 ± 48 minutes/week, P = .005; 30-minute PA bouts: 74 ± 70 vs. 14 ± 24 minutes/week, P < .001), and greater for BI at mid-pregnancy compared with baseline (20-minute PA bouts: 61.3 ± 21.9; 30-minute PA bouts: 39.6 ± 14.8, both P < .05). BI energy intake at mid-pregnancy significantly increased from baseline (336 ± 127 kcals, P = .04) and was significantly greater than UC (2,503 ± 703 vs. 1,894 ± 594, P = .005).

Conclusions:

Sedentary pregnant women should increase PA but may need additional dietary counseling to prevent excessive GWG.