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Marcus K. Taylor, Ricardo Pietrobon, Deng Pan, Michael Huff and Laurence D. Higgins

Background:

Physical inactivity is a risk factor for poor mental health. The present study evaluates the association between mental health and physical activity levels according to the Healthy People 2010 guidelines in a large national sample.

Methods:

Participants (N = 41,914) were selected from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Primary predictor variable was physical activity level, and primary outcome measure was frequency of mental distress. Specific outcomes of anxiety and depressive symptoms were also measured.

Results:

Compared with those meeting the Healthy People 2010 guidelines, sedentary participants were 1.31 times more likely to experience 14 or more days of mental distress during the past 30 days (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.16, 1.48), 1.34 times more likely to experience anxiety symptoms (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.21, 1.49), and 1.22 times more likely to experience depressive symptoms (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.10, 1.36). Comparing those participants falling short of the Healthy People 2010 recommendation with those meeting the guideline, no significant group differences were demonstrated relative to frequency of mental distress. Those meeting the recommendation were more likely to have 14 or more days of anxiety symptoms during the past 30 days (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02, 1.17).

Conclusions:

Our results suggest that being sedentary is clearly associated with more aversive psychological symptoms. However, performing enough physical activity to meet the Healthy People 2010 guideline may not be associated with better psychological status than minimal amounts of physical activity.

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Richard Lowry, Sarah M. Lee, Janet E. Fulton and Laura Kann

Background:

To help inform policies and programs, a need exists to understand the extent to which Healthy People 2010 objectives for physical activity, physical education (PE), and television (TV) viewing among adolescents are being achieved.

Methods:

As part of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 5 national school-based surveys were conducted biennially from 1999 through 2007. Each survey used a 3-stage cross-sectional sample of students in grades 9 to 12 and provided self-reported data from approximately 14,000 students. Logistic regression models that controlled for sex, race/ethnicity, and grade were used to analyze secular trends.

Results:

During 1999 to 2007, prevalence estimates for regular participation in moderate and vigorous physical activity, participation in daily PE classes, and being physically active in PE classes did not change significantly among female, male, white, black, or Hispanic students. In contrast, the prevalence of TV viewing for 2 or fewer hours on a school day increased significantly among female, male, white, black, and Hispanic students and among students in every grade except 12th grade.

Conclusions:

Among US adolescents, no significant progress has been made toward increasing participation in physical activity or school PE classes; however, improvements have been made in reducing TV viewing time.

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Fleetwood Loustalot, Susan A. Carlson, Janet E. Fulton, Judy Kruger, Deborah A. Galuska and Felipe Lobelo

Background:

Accurate surveillance data on physical activity prevalence is important for U.S. states and territories as they develop programs and interventions to increase physical activity participation.

Methods:

Using 2007 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we estimated the percentage of U.S. adults in each U.S. state and territory who met minimum aerobic activity criteria using the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2008 Guidelines) and the Healthy People 2010 criteria for physical activity. SUDAAN was used to calculate prevalence estimates and 95% confidence intervals.

Results:

The estimated prevalence of recommended aerobic activity in U.S. states and territories ranged from 44.5% to 73.3% according to 2008 Guidelines and from 30.8% to 60.0% according to Healthy People 2010 criteria. Absolute percent differences in prevalence among U.S. states and territories ranged from 11.7% to 19.1%, and relative percent differences ranged from 20.8% to 44.6%.

Conclusions:

In all U.S. states and territories, a larger proportion of U.S. adults met minimum aerobic activity criteria in the 2008 Guidelines than met corresponding criteria in Healthy People 2010. This difference, however, does not reflect an actual change in the amount of aerobic activity, but a change to the criteria for meeting 2008 Guidelines.

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Jeffery P. Hughes, Margaret A. McDowell and Debra J. Brody

Background:

We examined leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) in US adults 60 or more years of age. After determining the prevalence of 3 levels of LTPA (no LTPA, <150 minutes LTPA/wk, and ≥150 minutes of LTPA/wk), we examined the association of demographic variables and current health status with LTPA.

Methods:

Self-reported LTPA was examined by gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, family poverty income ratio, marital status, and self-reported health. Multiple logistic regression methods were used in the adjusted model.

Results:

Walking was the most frequently reported LTPA. Overall, 27% of adults achieved LTPA levels of 150 minutes or more per week. Male gender, younger age, non-Hispanic white race/ethnicity, higher education attainment, higher income status, being married, and excellent self-reported health were associated with higher LTPA. The prevalence of no LTPA (52.5%) exceeded the Healthy People 2010 objective target of 20%.

Conclusions:

Our findings show that more than half of adults 60 or more years of age reported no LTPA and that levels of LTPA in the older population vary by demographic and health characteristics.

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Susan A. Carlson, Dianna Densmore, Janet E. Fulton, Michelle M. Yore and Harold W. Kohl III

Background:

Three U.S. surveillance systems—National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)—estimate physical activity prevalence.

Methods:

Survey differences were examined qualitatively. Prevalence estimates by sex, age, and race/ethnicity were assessed for comparable survey periods. Trends were examined from NHIS 1998 to 2007, NHANES 1999 to 2006, and BRFSS 2001 to 2007.

Results:

Age-adjusted prevalence estimates appeared most similar for NHIS 2005 (physically active: 30.2%, inactive: 40.7%) and NHANES 2005 to 2006 (physically active: 33.5%, inactive: 32.4%). In BRFSS 2005, prevalence of being physically active was 48.3% and inactive was 13.9%. Across all systems, men were more likely to be active than women; non-Hispanic whites were most likely to be active; as age increased, overall prevalence of being active decreased. Prevalence of being active exhibited a significant increasing trend only in BRFSS 2001 to 2007 (P < .001), while prevalence of being inactive decreased significantly in NHANES 1999 to 2006 (P < .001) and BRFSS 2001 to 2007 (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Different ways of assessing physical activity in surveillance systems result in different prevalence estimates. Before comparing estimates from different systems, all aspects of data collection and data analysis should be examined to determine if comparisons are appropriate.

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Diane E. Mack, Philip M. Wilson, Virginia Lightheart, Kristin Oster and Katie E. Gunnell

Background:

The primary purpose of this investigation was to examine the frequency and type of self-reported physical activity behavior in postsecondary students with reference to Healthy Campus 2010 objectives. The secondary purpose was to explore the role of information provision in terms of promoting physical activity behavior in postsecondary students.

Methods:

Postsecondary students were assessed (N = 127360). Employing a trend survey design, the frequency and type of physical activity behavior was assessed along with physical activity/fitness information provision across a five year period between 2000 to 2004.

Results:

In 2004, respondents meeting Healthy Campus 2010 objectives for self-reported moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was 42.20% (95% CI = 41.75 to 42.65) and 48.60% (95% CI = 48.14 to 49.06) for strength (STRENGTH) training behavior. Progress quotients demonstrated that 12.93% and 7.87% of target objective for MVPA and STRENGTH respectively had been achieved from baseline. Those who received information reported engaging in more frequent physical activity behavior compared with those who did not (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Results suggest the need for continued commitment to increasing physical activity behavior. The provision of physical activity/fitness information may be one mechanism through which this can be achieved.

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Patricia A. Hageman, Susan Noble Walker, Carol H. Pullen, Linda S. Boeckner and Maureen K. Oberdorfer

This study investigated physical activity and fitness of midlife and older rural women. Random-digit dialing was used to recruit 225 women (57.9 ± 5.6 years old). Self-reported activity (moderate activity, flexibility, and strength) and fitness (body composition, flexibility, strength, and estimated VO2max) were assessed. The women demonstrated low daily energy expenditure (30.74 ± 10.63 kcal · kg−1 · day−1) and estimated VO2max (20.12 ± 7.81 ml · kg−1 · min−1), with 51.5% reporting fair or poor health. Few women reported meeting Healthy People 2010 targets for moderate activity (43.1%), flexibility (28.9%), or strength (14.2%). When classified by estimated VO2max into three categories, differences were observed for body-mass index, percent body fat, sit and reach, and timed chair stands, with the poorest performance by those with low cardiorespiratory fitness. Adherence to Healthy People 2010 targets for moderate activity and strengthening was associated with higher cardiorespiratory fitness. These rural women are targets for physical activity interventions because of their sedentary behaviors and low cardiorespiratory fitness.

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Bik C. Chow, Thomas L. McKenzie and Lobo Louie

Physical activity (PA) during physical education is important for health purposes and for developing physical fitness and movement skills. To examine PA levels and how PA was influenced by environmental and instructor-related characteristics, we assessed children’s activity during 368 lessons taught by 105 physical education specialists in 42 randomly selected schools in Hong Kong. Trained observers used SOFIT in randomly selected classes, grades 4–6, during three climatic seasons. Results indicated children’s PA levels met the U.S. Healthy People 2010 objective of 50% engagement time and were higher than comparable U.S. populations. Multiple regression analyses revealed that temperature, teacher behavior, and two lesson characteristics (subject matter and mode of delivery) were significantly associated with the PA levels. Most of these factors are modifiable, and changes could improve the quantity and intensity of children’s PA.

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Bik C. Chow, Thomas L. McKenzie and Lobo Louie

Physical activity engagement during physical education is important for many reasons, including developing physical fitness and movement skills and promoting health. Much more is known about physical activity in elementary than secondary schools. We examined physical activity and how it was influenced by instructor-related and environmental characteristics during 238 lessons taught by 65 physical education specialists in 30 randomly selected secondary schools in Hong Kong. Trained observers used SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time) in randomly selected grade 7–12 classes over a 6-month period. Results showed students engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) about 35% of lesson time, a level similar to that found in U.S. elementary schools and short of the U.S. Healthy People 2010 objective of 50% engagement time. Multiple regression analyses found that six potentially modifiable variables contributed to 35% of the variability in lesson MVPA percent.