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Karin Pfeiffer, Natalie Colabianchi, Marsha Dowda, Dwayne Porter, James Hibbert and Russell R. Pate

Background:

In adults, associations between church attendance and positive health behaviors exist; however, similar evidence among children and youth is lacking. The purposes of this investigation were to examine the associations between physical activity (PA) and church attendance, PA and use of church as a PA facility, and PA and proximity to churches among those who use church as a PA facility (while addressing racial and geographical differences).

Methods:

High school girls (N = 915, age = 17.7 ± 0.6 years, 56% African American) completed the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall and surveys including demographics and use of PA facilities. Geographic Information Systems data were used to spatially examine the number of churches within a 0.75-mile street network buffer around girls’ homes. Associations were examined using mixed model analyses controlling for demographic factors.

Results:

For the overall sample, total METs (56 versus 52) and proportion of girls meeting PA guidelines (62% vs. 52%) were significantly higher in church attendees versus nonattendees. Among participants who used facilities, having more churches close to home was associated with more PA.

Conclusions:

Church attendance and use are correlates of physical activity that should be further explored and addressed in future intervention research with adolescent girls.

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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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Melissa Bopp, Sara Wilcox, Marilyn Laken, Steven P. Hooker, Deborah Parra-Medina, Ruth Saunders, Kimberly Butler, Elizabeth A. Fallon and Lottie McClorin

Background:

Physical activity (PA) participation offers many benefits especially among ethnic groups that experience health disparities. Partnering with faith-based organizations allows for a more culturally tailored approach to changing health behaviors.

Methods:

8 Steps to Fitness was a faith-based behavior-change intervention promoting PA among members of African American churches. A quasi-experimental design was used to examine differences between the intervention group (n=72) and comparison group (n = 74). Health (resting blood pressure, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, fasting blood glucose), psycho-social (PA self-efficacy, social support, enjoyment, self-regulation, depression), and behavioral variables (PA, diet) were assessed at baseline, 3- and 6-months. Repeated measures ANCOVAs tested changes across time between groups.

Results:

At 3-months, the intervention group showed significantly more favorable changes in body mass index, waist circumference and social support than the control group. At 6-months, the intervention group showed significantly more favorable changes in hip circumference, waist to hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, and depressive symptoms. There was notable attrition from both the intervention (36%) and the comparison group (58%).

Conclusions:

This study was conducted in a real-world setting, and provided insight into how to deliver a culturally-tailored PA intervention program for African Americans with a potential for dissemination.

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Stewart G. Trost, Rebecca Tang and Paul D. Loprinzi

Background:

This study evaluated the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a church-based intervention to promote physical activity (PA) in children.

Methods:

The study was conducted in 4 churches located in 2 large metropolitan areas and 2 regional towns in Kansas. Churches in the intervention condition implemented the “Shining Like Stars” physical activity curriculum module during their regularly scheduled Sunday school classes. Churches in the control condition delivered the same content without integrating physical activity into the lessons. In addition to the curriculum, the intervention churches completed a series of weekly family devotional activities designed to promote parental support for PA and increase PA outside of Sunday school.

Results:

Children completing the Shining Like Stars curriculum exhibited significantly greater amounts of MVPA than those in the control condition (20 steps/min vs. 7 steps/min). No intervention effects were observed for PA levels outside of Sunday school or parental support for PA; however, relative to controls, children in the intervention churches did exhibit a significant reduction in screen time.

Conclusion:

The findings confirm that the integration of physical activity into Sunday school is feasible and a potentially effective strategy for promoting PA in young children.

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Michelle C. Kegler, Deanne W. Swan, Iris Alcantara, Louise Wrensford and Karen Glanz

Background:

This study examines the relative contribution of social (eg, social support) and physical (eg, programs and facilities) aspects of worksite, church, and home settings to physical activity levels among adults in rural communities.

Methods:

Data are from a cross-sectional survey of 268 African American and Caucasian adults, ages 40–70, living in southwest Georgia. Separate regression models were developed for walking, moderate, vigorous, and total physical activity as measured in METs-minutes-per-week.

Results:

Social support for physical activity was modest in all 3 settings (mean scores 1.5–1.9 on a 4-point scale). Participants reported limited (<1) programs and facilities for physical activity at their worksites and churches. An interaction of physical and social aspects of the home setting was observed for vigorous and moderate physical activity and total METs. There were also interactions between gender and social support at church for vigorous activity among women, and between race and the physical environment at church for moderate physical activity. A cross-over interaction was found between home and church settings for vigorous physical activity. Social support at church was associated with walking and total METs.

Conclusions:

Homes and churches may be important behavioral settings for physical activity among adults in rural communities.

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Catrine Tudor-Locke, John M. Schuna Jr, Damon L. Swift, Amber T. Dragg, Allison B. Davis, Corby K. Martin, William D. Johnson and Timothy S. Church

was not an exclusion criteria. As detailed in the Clinical Trials registration (ClinicalTrials.gov; NCT01519583), the initial methods-based paper, 22 and as overseen as our medical director (T. Church), exclusion criteria focused on significant cardiovascular disease/disorders or other significant

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Geoffrey D. Broadhead and Gable E. Church

Intact classes of mentally retarded and nonhandicapped children were administered the Physical Dexterity scales of the System of Multicultural Pluralistic Assessment and the short form of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency. Separate discriminant analyses of each data set revealed that the subjects comprised four distinct levels of motor performance. Although overall predicted correct classification was above 65%, misclassifications occurred in each class. Differences resulting from the separate analyses suggest differential program placement for physical education. There is a tendency for the Physical Dexterity data to predict higher levels of motor functioning than the Motor Proficiency data for half of the mentally retarded children.

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Jerry R. Thomas, Jack K. Nelson and Gabie Church

Data for the analysis were the health related fitness scores, anthropometric measures, and physical activity information from the National Children and Youth Fitness Study. The subjects were 6,800 boys and 6,523 girls, ages 6 through 18. Multiple regression produced linear composites that were used as covariates to evaluate physical and environmental characteristics that relate to gender differences. The distance runs, chin-ups, and sit-ups displayed similar patterns in gender differences across age. Before puberty the important covariates are mainly physical, namely skinfolds. Following puberty the major factors that reduce gender differences are skinfolds and the amount of exercise done outside of school time.

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Louisa Beale, Neil S Maxwell, Oliver R Gibson, Rosemary Twomey, Becky Taylor and Andrew Church

Background:

The purpose of this study was to characterize the physiological demands of a riding session comprising different types of recreational horse riding in females.

Methods:

Sixteen female recreational riders (aged 17 to 54 years) completed an incremental cycle ergometer exercise test to determine peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) and a 45-minute riding session based upon a British Horse Society Stage 2 riding lesson (including walking, trotting, cantering and work without stirrups). Oxygen consumption (VO2), from which metabolic equivalent (MET) and energy expenditure values were derived, was measured throughout.

Results:

The mean VO2 requirement for trotting/cantering (18.4 ± 5.1 ml·kg-1·min-1; 52 ± 12% VO2peak; 5.3 ± 1.1 METs) was similar to walking/trotting (17.4 ± 5.1 ml·kg-1·min-1; 48 ± 13% VO2peak; 5.0 ± 1.5 METs) and significantly higher than for work without stirrups (14.2 ± 2.9 ml·kg-1·min-1; 41 ± 12% VO2peak; 4.2 ± 0.8 METs) (P = .001).

Conclusion:

The oxygen cost of different activities typically performed in a recreational horse riding session meets the criteria for moderate intensity exercise (3-6 METs) in females, and trotting combined with cantering imposes the highest metabolic demand. Regular riding could contribute to the achievement of the public health recommendations for physical activity in this population.

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Timothy S. Church, Thomas M. Gill, Anne B. Newman, Steven N. Blair, Conrad P. Earnest and Marco Pahor

Background:

The authors sought to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of maximal fitness testing in sedentary older individuals at risk for mobility disability.

Methods:

Maximal cycle-ergometer testing was performed at baseline and 6 and 12 months later in a subset of LIFE-P study participants at the Cooper Institute site. The mean age of the 20 participants (80% female) tested was 74.7 ± 3.4 years. The following criteria were used to determine whether participants achieved maximal effort: respiratory-exchange ratio (RER) ≥1.1, heart rate within 10 beats/min of the maximal level predicted by age, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) >17.

Results:

Participants’ mean peak VO2 was 12.1 (3.7) mL · kg–1 · min–1. At baseline testing, only 20% of participants attained an RER ≥1.10, only 35% achieved a peak heart rate within 10 beats of their age-predicted maximum, and 18% had an RPE of >17. Subsequent testing at 6 and 12 months produced similar results.

Conclusions:

In this pilot study of sedentary older persons at risk for mobility disability, very few participants were able to achieve maximal effort during graded cycle-ergometer testing.