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Jennifer L. Gay, Marsha Dowda, Ruth Saunders and Alexandra Evans

Background:

Children in residential children’s homes (RCH) may be at increased risk for physical inactivity due to decreased access to opportunities for activity. Little is known about environmental determinants of physical activity for children in RCH.

Methods:

Thirty-minute blocks of MVPA and Total METs were measured using the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall (3DPAR). A staff interview, based on the Structural Ecologic Model of Health Behavior, assessed physical activity opportunities, structures, characteristics, policies, and social environment. Wilcoxon 2-sample tests were used to examine differences in environment by location and presence of a recreation director. Mixed model ANOVAs assessed the differences in child level activity by environmental variables.

Results:

There were significant correlations between opportunities and characteristics of physical activity, facilities, and equipment with total METS for children. Children in homes with a recreation director and homes in rural locations reported more physical activity. Only rural location had a significant effect on physical activity. Presence of a recreation director was significant in several models.

Conclusions:

Rural location may be conducive for increased physical activity in children at RCH. Employing a recreation director or other trained personnel may be an important policy determinant of physical activity for children.

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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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Robin C. Puett, Dina Huang, Jessica Montresor-Lopez, Rashawn Ray and Jennifer D. Roberts

Background: Sociodemographic and environmental factors play important roles in determining both indoor and outdoor play activities in children. Methods: The Built Environment and Active Play Study assessed neighborhood playability for children (7–12 y), based on parental report of their children’s active play behaviors, neighborhood characteristics, and geographic locations. Simple logistic regression modeling tested the associations between sociodemographic characteristics and the frequency of and access to venues for indoor and outdoor play. Results: Children of higher socioeconomic status were almost 3 times more likely to live more than a 30-minute walk from indoor recreational facilities compared with their less affluent peers (odds ratio [OR] = 2.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–6.8). Non-Hispanic black children were less likely to live more than 30 minutes from indoor facilities (OR = 0.21; 95% CI, 0.08–0.57) and more were likely to engage in indoor activity (OR = 3.40; 95% CI, 1.17–9.88) than were white children. Boys were substantially more likely to play outdoors at a playing fields compared with girls (OR = 5.37; 95% CI, 2.10–13.69). Conclusions: Findings from this study could be used to enhance indoor and outdoor activity spaces for children and to reduce disparities in access to such spaces.

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Eleanor Quested and Joan L. Duda

Grounded in the basic needs mini-theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000), this study examined the interplay among perceptions of the social environment manifested in vocational dance schools, basic need satisfaction, and indices of elite dancers’ well- and ill-being. The hypothesized mediating role of need satisfaction was also tested. Dancers (N = 392) completed a questionnaire tapping the targeted variables. Structural equation modeling supported a model in which perceptions of task-involving dance environments positively predicted need satisfaction. Perceived ego-involving climates negatively corresponded with competence and relatedness. Perceptions of autonomy support were positively related to autonomy and relatedness. Need satisfaction positively predicted positive affect. Competence and relatedness satisfaction corresponded negatively to reported negative affect. Emotional and physical exhaustion was not related to need satisfaction. Partial support emerged for the assumed mediation of the needs. Results highlight the relevance of task-involving and autonomy-supportive dance climates for elite dancers’ need satisfaction and healthful engagement in vocational dance.

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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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Chad Seifried, Brian Soebbing and Kwame J.A. Agyemang

presenting information on the historical/theoretical sample. 18 The subsequent analysis of primary and secondary sources pursued, discovered, analyzed, and organized in this research made use of Oliver’s environmental determinants (i.e., necessity, asymmetry, reciprocity, efficiency, stability, and

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Cora Lynn Craig, Lise Gauvin, Sue Cragg, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Thomas Stephens, Storm J. Russell, Lloyd Bentz and Louise Potvin

Background:

The health benefits of physical activity are substantial; however, the lifetime and environmental determinants of sedentary living are poorly understood. The purpose of this article is to outline the conceptual background and methods of the Physical Activity Longitudinal Study (PALS), a follow-up study of a population- and place-based cohort. A secondary purpose is to report on the success of follow-up procedures.

Methods:

A rationale for conducting a 20-y follow-up of a nationally representative population- and place-based cohort is developed based on the extant literature dealing with socio-environmental determinants of health and on current advancements in thinking about the determinants of involvement in physical activity. Then, methods of the 2002-04 PALS (n = 2511, nonresponse = 29.8%) that began with the 1981 Canada Fitness Survey are described. Descriptive data pertaining to the success of follow-up procedures are outlined.

Results:

There is general consensus around the relevance of examining lifetime and environmental determinants of physical activity involvement. Longitudinal data represent one source of information for disentangling the relative importance of these determinants. Examination of PALS follow-up data show that there was no selection bias for key individual- (physical activity, other lifestyle, health) and area-level (median income, housing) variables, although fewer respondents than nonrespondents smoked or were underweight at baseline. Some demographic groups were under- or over-represented among the eligible cohort, but not among participants.

Conclusions:

The social epidemiological perspective emerging from PALS should help policymakers and public health practitioners make strides in changing socio-environmental factors to curb sedentary lifestyles and promote population health.

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Yu-Tzu Wu, Natalia R. Jones, Esther M.F. van Sluijs, Simon J. Griffin, Nicholas J. Wareham and Andrew P. Jones

We examine the relative importance of both objective and perceived environmental features for physical activity in older English adults. Self-reported physical activity levels of 8,281 older adults were used to compute volumes of outdoor recreational and commuting activity. Perceptions of neighborhood environment supportiveness were drawn from a questionnaire survey and a geographical information system was used to derive objective measures. Negative binominal regression models were fitted to examine associations. Perceptions of neighborhood environment were more associated with outdoor recreational activity (over 10% change per standard deviation) than objective measures (5–8% change). Commuting activity was associated with several objective measures (up to 16% change). We identified different environmental determinants of recreational and commuting activity in older adults. Perceptions of environmental supportiveness for recreational activity appear more important than actual neighborhood characteristics. Understanding how older people perceive neighborhoods might be key to encouraging outdoor recreational activity.

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Mikihiro Sato, Jeremy S. Jordan and Daniel C. Funk

The current study examines whether a distance running event has the capacity to promote participants’ life satisfaction. The construct of psychological involvement was used to investigate the impact of attitude change through event preparation and subsequent activity. Data were collected four times through online surveys from running event participants (N = 211) over a five-month period. Latent growth modeling analyses revealed that participants’ life satisfaction peaked immediately after the event before receding, indicating that event participation exerted a positive impact on participants’ evaluations toward their lives. A positive significant association was also found between change in pleasure in running and change in life satisfaction. Findings from this study provide empirical support that a distance running event can serve as an environmental determinant that enhances participants’ life satisfaction by providing positive experiences through event participation and forming psychological involvement in physical activity.

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Jenna Panter, Andrew Jones, Esther Van Sluijs and Simon Griffin

The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine the associations between active commuting behavior, levels of physical activity and distance to school in 9–10 year old children. Participants were children (n = 1824) who took part in the SPEEDY study (Sport, Physical activity and Eating behavior: Environmental Determinants in Young people). For both boys and girls, significant positive associations were observed between walking to school and physical activity and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during weekday journey times (8–9am and 3–4pm), and the size of association also became stronger with increasing distance from school. Promotion of active commuting to school might be an important way to increase levels of physical activity in school children.