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Anna E. Mathews, Natalie Colabianchi, Brent Hutto, Delores M. Pluto and Steve P. Hooker

Background:

The objectives of this study were to assess (1) pedestrian activity levels among adults, (2) where and why adults engage in pedestrian activity, and (3) what adults consider when deciding where to engage in pedestrian activity.

Methods:

Pedestrian activity was assessed in 12,036 California adults, ≥18 years, using a random digit-dial telephone survey.

Results:

Significant differences were identified by race, sex, age, and physical activity level in the type, location, and purpose of pedestrian activities. Men engage in pedestrian activity at work, and women engage in pedestrian activity while escorting children to school and running errands. Whites primarily engage in leisure-time pedestrian activity, and non-whites are more likely to engage in pedestrian activity for transportation. Older adults were less active than their younger counterparts.

Conclusions:

These findings should be considered by public health agencies and their partners as they continue to increase and promote opportunities for pedestrian activity. Additional research is needed to assess older adults’ physical activity patterns and preferences, barriers, and facilitators to effectively tailor physical activity promotion efforts to this at-risk group.

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Verity Cleland, Marita Sodergren, Petr Otahal, Anna Timperio, Kylie Ball, David Crawford, Jo Salmon and Sarah A. McNaughton

This study aimed to determine whether associations between the perceived environment and physical activity are moderated by urban-rural status among midolder aged adults. Environmental (safety, aesthetics, physical activity environment) and physical activity (total, leisure, transport) data from 3,888 adults (55 to 65 years) from urban and rural areas of Victoria, Australia, were analyzed. Multinomial logistic regression examined interactions between urban-rural status and environments in associations with physical activity. Significant (P < .05) interactions were evident and indicated positive associations only among older rural adults for both safety and aesthetics with total and transport physical activity (e.g., rural adults reporting higher safety were 91% to 118% more likely to have higher activity than rural adults reporting low safety). In contrast, the physical activity environment was positively associated with leisure activity among only urban adults. Findings suggest that some tailoring of physical activity promotion strategies targeting the environment may be required for urban and rural midolder aged adults.

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Ester Cerin, Evie Leslie, Takemi Sugiyama and Neville Owen

Background:

Perceived barriers are modifiable correlates of participation in physical activity. Associations of specific perceived barriers with participation in and level of walking for recreation, and other leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) were examined. Personal, social, and environmental factors associated with these perceived barriers were then examined.

Methods:

From 2003 to 2004, 2 surveys collected data on recreational walking and other LTPA, perceived barriers to participation, and personal, social, and environmental attributes, from 2194 Australian adults. Zero-inflated negative binomial regression models examined associations of perceived barriers with walking and other LTPA. Generalized linear models identified the correlates of these perceived barriers.

Results:

The perceived barriers of lack of motivation and time were associated with level of LTPA, while lack of motivation, poor health, and lack of facilities were associated with the odds of non-participation in LTPA. Personal, social, and environmental factors independently contributed to variations in perceived barriers.

Conclusions:

Level and likelihood of participation in LTPA are associated with different perceived barriers. Perceived barriers are a function of both nonmodifiable personal factors and potentially modifiable personal, social, and environmental factors. These findings suggest that the provision of relevant environmental opportunities and social support may effectively reduce perceived barriers to LTPA.

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José Marmeleira, Luis Laranjo, Olga Marques and Catarina Pereira

The main purpose of our study was to quantify, by using accelerometry, daily physical activity (PA) in adults with visual impairments. Sixty-three adults (34.9% women) who are blind (18–65 years) wore an accelerometer for at least 3 days (minimum of 10 hr per day), including 1 weekend day. Nineteen participants (~30%) reached the recommendation of 30 min per day of PA, when counting every minute of moderate or greater intensity. No one achieved that goal when considering bouts of at least 10 min. No differences were found between genders in PA measures. Chronological age, age of blindness onset, and body mass index were not associated with PA. We conclude that adults who are blind have low levels of PA and are considerably less active compared with the general population. Health promotion strategies should be implemented to increase daily PA for people with visual impairments.

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John T. Foley, Meghann Lloyd and Viviene A. Temple

This study examined temporal trends in body mass index (BMI) among United States adults with intellectual disability (ID) participating in Special Olympics from 2005 to 2010. In addition, the prevalence of obesity was compared with published National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) statistics. After data cleaning, 6,004 height and weight records (male = 57%) were available from the Special Olympics International Healthy Athletes Health Promotion database for the calculation of BMI. Rates of overweight and obesity were very high but generally stable over time. Compared with NHANES statistics, the prevalence of obesity was significantly higher for Special Olympics female participants in each data collection cycle. Integrated efforts to understand the social, environmental, behavioral, and biological determinants of obesity and among Special Olympics participants are needed.

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Eugene C. Fitzhugh and Dixie L. Thompson

Background:

Adults integrate walking into their leisure-time (LT) in a variety of ways, including the use of walking as their only outlet for leisure-time physical activity (LTPA). The purpose of this study was to examine how LT walking relates to compliance with the 2007 ACSM/AHA guidelines for aerobic-related physical activity (PA).

Methods:

The study sample (N = 14,470 adults, 20+ years of age) came from the 1999 to 2004 NHANES. PA Interviews (past month) allowed each LT active subject to be classified by walking behavior (LTPA Active-No Walking, Walking-Only, Walking-Plus other LTPA). Walking prevalence, frequency (bouts per week), duration (minutes per bout), and compliance with ACSM/AHA recommendations were examined in SUDAAN.

Results:

Overall, 34.4% of adults in the U.S. walk in their LT. Among these active LT walkers, 34.8% were Walking-Only and 65.2% were Walking-Plus adults. Related to compliance with PA recommendations, Walking-Only (29.4%; 95% CI = 26.3 to 32.5) adults were significantly less likely than Walking-Plus (74.6%; 95% CI = 72.6 to 76.7) adults to be compliant with guidelines. The frequency of LTPA explains this difference in compliance (3.4 vs. 7.6 bouts/week, respectively).

Conclusions:

Walking-Only adults should be targeted for increased compliance with PA recommendations by promoting walking frequency and added variety among LTPAs.

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Nick Garrett, Philip J. Schluter and Grant Schofield

Background:

A minority of adults in developed countries engage in sufficient physical activity (PA) to achieve health benefits. This study aims to identify modifiable perceived resources and barriers to PA among New Zealand adults.

Methods:

Secondary analysis of a 2003 nationally representative cross-sectional mail survey, stratified by region, age, and ethnicity, and analyzed utilizing ordinal logistic regression.

Results:

Overall, n = 8038 adults responded to the survey, of whom 49% met updated guidelines for sufficient PA. Perceived accessibility of local resources was associated with PA; however, for some resources there was more awareness among individuals whose predominant activity was not commonly associated with that resource (eg, health clubs and walkers). Perceived local environmental barriers demonstrated negative (steep hills, crime, dogs) and positive (unmaintained footpaths) associations. The absence of perceived environmental barriers was strongly associated with increased activity, suggesting the number of barriers may be a critical factor.

Conclusion:

Complex relationships between perceptions of local environments and activity patterns among adults were found. Although complex, these results demonstrate positive associations between awareness of resources and perceived lack of barriers with being sufficiently physically active for health. Therefore, investments in provision and/or promotion of local resources have the potential to enable active healthy communities.

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Jack R. Engsberg, Joanne M. Wagner, Angela K. Reitenbach, Kevin W. Hollander and John W. Standeven

This investigation developed a measure of motor control for the knee extensors in adults with cerebral palsy (CP). Four adults with CP and 4 able-bodied (AB) adults participated. A KinCom dynamometer rotated the knee from approximately 90º of knee flexion to 10º/s less than the participant’s maximum knee extension at a speed of 10º/s, while the participant attempted to match a 44.5-N “target” force. The average, standard deviation, and median frequency of the force-time data were used to describe the test results. The individual force values for the AB group were near the target force and clustered together. The values for the CP group were also near the target force, but displayed greater variation. The average standard deviation for the CP group was more than three times larger than that of the AB group. The average median frequency for the CP group was less than that of the AB group. Results pointed to differing strategies for each group as they attempted to match the target force. The AB group attempted to match the target force with frequent small-magnitude force changes, while the CP group attempted to match the target force with fewer oscillations of greater magnitude. The methods employed in the present investigation are initial attempts to quantify one aspect of motor control, a visually guided tracking task.

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Patricia A. Collins and Daphne Mayer

Background:

Individuals that engage in active transportation (AT) have healthier weights and fitness levels. Most AT research has focused on work- or school-based destinations. Meanwhile, little is known about the differences between individuals that engage in the most common forms of AT—walking and cycling—and how these AT patterns vary by destination, duration, and season.

Methods:

We recruited 1400 randomly sampled adults (350 per season) in Kingston, Ontario, Canada to complete a cross-sectional telephone survey. The survey captured the prevalence, destinations, and duration of AT, and we examined the observed differences by mode.

Results:

The majority (72%) of respondents were AT-users; walking constituted 93% of overall mode share. Cyclists were more likely to be male, younger, and employed than walkers. Walkers tended to access neighborhood-based destinations, while cyclists were more likely to use AT to get to work. AT duration was comparable by mode, ranging from approximately 8 to 20 minutes. Overall rates of AT were lowest in the winter, but walking rates were reasonably high year-round.

Conclusions:

Beyond commuting to work and school, policy-makers and planners should consider the breadth of destinations accessed by different modes when aiming to increase physical activity through AT in their communities.

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Dalia Mickeviciene, Renata Rutkauskaite, Dovile Valanciene, Diana Karanauskiene, Marius Brazaitis and Albertas Skurvydas

adaptation involves two memory processes: (a) a fast process whereby motor output both adapts and decays quickly and (b) a slow process whereby it adapts and decays more gradually ( Smith, Ghazizadeh, & Shadmehr, 2006 ; Ungerleider, Doyon, & Karni, 2002 ). Older adults usually exhibit impairments in