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Sheri J. Brock, Danielle Wadsworth, Shelby Foote, and Mary E. Rudisill

Institutions of higher education have a responsibility to prioritize the needs of society and local communities. One essential need prevalent in all communities is to address the rise of obesity and health risks due to lack of participation in physical activity. In the United States, children spend a small percentage of time engaged in physical activity, and engagement decreases further in adolescence and adulthood. Collaborative partnerships between kinesiology faculty at universities and community organizations are one avenue for engaging children in physical activity. Partnerships must be multilevel and community wide to evoke change and have long-term impact and sustainability. Within the context of community-based research, we propose a three-step framework for establishing collaborative partnerships: (1) determining the needs of partners; (2) discussing expertise, services, and philosophy; and (3) providing a quality product. In addition, we outline and illustrate our experiences when collaborating with community partners to promote physical activity.

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Tiffany Young and Chantelle Sharpe

Background:

Grandparents and the grandchildren they raise may experience stress related to their caregiving relationship that negatively impacts their health. Thus, there is a need to develop intergenerational health promotion interventions for these kinship families.

Methods:

An 8-week intergenerational physical activity intervention for kinship families was developed and implemented. The specific goal was to understand the process of implementing the intervention. Content analysis of observational data provided an in-depth account of the intervention’s process (ie, recruitment, dose delivered, dose received, fidelity, and context).

Results:

Community and support service organizations referred more participants to the study than individual stakeholders. Most participants attended approximately 10 classes, and the grandparents were more engaged than the grandchildren during the classes. Intervention fidelity was confirmed with the fidelity checklist and observational notes. Health emerged as a barrier to participation, while the intergenerational nature of the intervention was a facilitator. Lastly, the context domain described how the grandparents’ complex lives affected their ability to participate, while the dedication of the recreation staff helped the intervention to proceed efficiently.

Conclusion:

The distinct details gleaned from this study can provide guidance on how to develop and implement future intergenerational interventions.

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Coral L. Hanson, Paul Kelly, Lis Neubeck, Jordan Bell, Holly Gibb, and Kai Jin

Background: Physical activity (PA) levels vary across specific population groups, contributing to health inequalities. Little is known about how local authority leisure centers contribute to population PA and whether this differs by age, sex, or socioeconomic group. Methods: The authors calculated weekly leisure center–based moderate/vigorous PA for 20,904 registered adult users of local authority leisure facilities in Northumberland, United Kingdom, between July 2018 and June 2019, using administrative data. The authors categorized activity levels (<30, 30–149, and ≥150 min/wk) and used ordinal regression to examine predictors for activity category achieved. Results: Registered users were mainly female (58.7%), younger (23.9% of users aged 18–29 y vs 10.1% of those aged 70+ y), and from the 2 most affluent socioeconomic quintiles (53.7%). Median weekly moderate/vigorous leisure center–based activity was 55 minutes per week (interquartile range: 30–99). Being female (odds ratio: 2.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.95–2.35), older (odds ratio: 1.14; 95% confidence interval, 1.11–1.16), and using a large facility (odds ratio: 1.21; 95% confidence interval, 1.03–1.42) were positive predictors of leisure center–based PA. Conclusion: Older adults and females were more likely to be active and achieve the recommended PA levels through usage of the centers. Widespread use of this novel measure of leisure center–based activity would improve the understanding of how local authority leisure centers can address physical inactivity and its associated inequalities.

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Sheila A. Dugan, Kelly Karavolos, Elizabeth B. Lynch, Chiquia S. Hollings, Francis Fullam, Brittney S. Lange-Maia, and Lynda H. Powell

Background:

Physical inactivity in midlife women is associated with increased intra-abdominal adipose tissue development. We describe an innovative multimethod study 1) to better understand barriers to physical activity (PA) and 2) to engage midlife women to product test physical activities and identify local community-based providers and sustainable and fun PA experiences.

Methods:

Formative research on PA barriers from the Chicago site Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) ancillary study of midlife women was used to develop a pilot testing measure. Feasibility, acceptability and sustainability of the PA activities were determined using the measure.

Results:

Desirable locations and/or instructors were identified. The first 2 groups identified, pilot tested, and then ranked activities for their ability to promote sustained PA. The 6 top-ranked were: circuit training, total body fitness, kickboxing, Zumba, Pilates, and pedometer. The final group pilot tested highly ranked PA in 2-week blocks, and ranked pedometer and Zumba in their top 3.

Conclusion:

Consensus was reached regarding activities that could be valuable in promoting sustained PA in midlife women. Choosing convenient sites and popular instructors further facilitates sustainability. Building relationships with key community partners is essential for sustainability. Community-based participant involvement in study design is a critical element in developing a healthy living intervention.

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Melinda Forthofer, Sara Wilcox, Deborah Kinnard, Brent Hutto, and Patricia A. Sharpe

Background: Social network–driven approaches have promise for promoting physical activity in community settings. Yet, there have been few direct investigations of such interventions. This study tested the effectiveness of a social network–driven, group-based walking intervention in a medically underserved community. Methods: This study used a quasi-experimental pretest–posttest design with 3 measurement time points to examine the effectiveness of Sumter County on the Move! in communities in Sumter County, SC. A total of 293 individuals participated in 59 walking groups formed from existing social networks. Participants were 86% females, 67% black, and 31% white, with a mean age of 49.5 years. Measures included perceptions of the walking groups; psychosocial factors such as self-regulation, self-efficacy, and social support; and both self-reported and objectively measured physical activity. Results: The intervention produced significant increases in goal setting and social support for physical activity from multiple sources, and these intervention effects were sustained through the final measurement point 6 months after completion of the intervention. Nonetheless, few of the desired changes in physical activity were observed. Conclusion: Our mixed results underscore the importance of future research to better understand the dose and duration of intervention implementation required to effect and sustain behavior change.

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Megan E. Grimstvedt, Jacqueline Kerr, Sara B. Oswalt, Donovan L. Fogt, Tiffanye M. Vargas-Tonsing, and Zenong Yin

Background:

This study tested the effectiveness of a stair use promotion strategy in visible and hidden stairwells during intervention and post intervention follow up.

Methods:

A quasi-experimental study design was used with a 1 week baseline, a 3 week intervention, and post intervention at 2 and 4 weeks in 4 university buildings in San Antonio, Texas with stairwells varying in visibility. Participants were students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the 4 buildings. A total of 8431 observations were made. The intervention incorporated motivational signs with direction to nearby stairwells placed by elevators to promote stair use. Stair and elevator use was directly observed and recorded. Logistic regression analyses were used to test whether stair versus elevator use varied by intervention phase and stairwell visibility.

Results:

Stair use increased significantly (12% units) during the intervention period and remained above baseline levels during post intervention follow-up. At baseline, visible stairs were 4 times more likely to be used than hidden stairs; however, the increase in stair use during intervention was similar in both types of stairwells.

Conclusions:

Motivational and directional signage can significantly increase stair use on a university campus. Furthermore, stairwell visibility is an important aspect of stair use promotion.

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Mark Swanson, Nancy E. Schoenberg, Heather Erwin, and Rian E. Davis

Background:

Most children in the United States receive far less physical activity (PA) than is optimal. In rural, under resourced areas of Appalachian Kentucky, physical inactivity rates are significantly higher than national levels. We sought to understand children’s perceptions of PA, with the goal of developing culturally appropriate programming to increase PA.

Methods:

During 11 focus groups, we explored perspectives on PA among 63 Appalachian children, ages 8−17. Sessions were tape recorded, transcribed, content analyzed, and subjected to verification procedures.

Results:

Several perspectives on PA emerged among these rural Appalachian youth, including the clear distinction between PA (viewed as positive) and exercise (viewed as negative) and an emphasis on time and resource factors as barriers to adequate PA. Additional PA determinants expressed in the focus groups are similar to those of other populations. We include children’s recommendations for appealing PA programs.

Conclusions:

Appalachian and other rural residents contend with the loss of rural health advantages (due to declines in farming/other occupational and avocational transitions). At the same time, Appalachian residents have not benefitted from urban PA facilitators (sidewalks, recreational facilities, clubs and organized leisure activities). Addressing low PA levels requires extensive community input and creative programming.

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Viviene Temple, Ryan Rhodes, and Joan Wharf Higgins

Background:

Walking has been identified as a low resourced yet effective means of achieving physical activity levels required for optimal health. From studies conducted around the world, we know that dog owners walk more than nondog owners. However, this evidence is largely self-reported which may not accurately reflect dog-owners’ behaviors.

Method:

To address this concern, we systematically observed the use of 6 different public parks in Victoria, British Columbia during fair and inclement weather. Using a modified version of the SOPARC tool, we documented visitors’ types of physical activity, and the presence or absence of dogs. The Physical Activity Resource Assessment was used to consider park features, amenities, and incivilities.

Results:

More people without dogs (73%) visited the parks than those with dogs (27%), largely because of attendance at the multiuse sport parks during the summer months. Despite the opportunities to engage in multiple sports, most people used the parks to walk. However, when inclement weather struck, dog owners continued visiting parks and sustained their walking practices significantly more than nondog owners.

Conclusion:

Our observational snapshot of park use supports earlier work that dogs serve as a motivational support for their owners’ walking practices through fair and foul weather.

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Yasuhiko Kubota, Alvaro Alonso, Amil M. Shah, Lin Y. Chen, and Aaron R. Folsom

Background: There is no research on the association of television (TV) watching with atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods: From 1987 to 1989, the authors obtained information on the frequency of TV watching in 14,458 participants, aged 45–64 years, without a history of AF. The authors used the Cox proportional hazards model to estimate hazard ratios and their 95% confidence intervals of AF according to the frequency of TV watching (“never or seldom,” “sometimes,” “often,” or “very often”). Results: During the 294,553 person-years of follow-up, the authors identified 2,476 AF events. Adjustment for other potential confounding factors, including physical activity, did not change the associations, in which “very often” watching TV carried 1.28 (95% confidence interval, 1.09–1.50) times AF risk compared with “never or seldom” watching TV (P for trend = .002). Even among individuals who met a recommended level of physical activity, watching TV “very often” carried 1.36 (1.02–1.82) times AF risk, compared with watching TV “never or seldom.” Conclusion: Greater frequency of TV watching was independently associated with increased risk of AF even after adjusting for physical activity. Moreover, a recommended level of physical activity did not eliminate the increased risk of frequent TV watching for AF. Avoiding frequent TV watching might be beneficial for AF prevention.

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Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Donna Spruijt-Metz, Jennifer Wolch, Chih-Ping Chou, Michael Jerrett, Jason Byrne, Susan Weaver, and Kim D. Reynolds

Background:

Efforts to increase community levels of physical activity through the development of multiuse urban trails could be strengthened by information about factors predicting trail use. This study examined whether reasons for trail use predict levels of physical activity on urban trails.

Methods:

Adults (N = 335) living within a 1-mile buffer zone of urban trails in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles completed a self-report measure assessing demographics, reason for trail use, and physical activity on the trail. Accelerometers measured total daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Environmental features of the urban trail were assessed with the Systematic Pedestrian and Cyclist Environmental Scan for trails measure. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted that accounted for clustering of individuals within trail segments.

Results:

After controlling for demographic and environmental factors and total daily MVPA, reasons for trail use significantly predicted recreational but not transportation activity. Recreational trail activity was greater for participants who reported exercise and health reasons for trail use as compared with other reasons (ie, social interaction, enjoying nature, walking pets) for recreational trail use.

Conclusions:

To increase the use of urban trails, it may be useful to promote the health and exercise benefits of recreational trail use.