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Anna E. Price, Sara J. Corwin, Daniela B. Friedman, Sarah B. Laditka, Natalie Colabianchi and Kara M. Montgomery

Physical activity may promote cognitive health in older adults. Popular media play an important role in preventive health communication. This study examined articles discussing associations between physical activity and cognitive health in top-circulating magazines targeting older adults. 42,753 pages of magazines published from 2006 to 2008 were reviewed; 26 articles met inclusion criteria. Explanations regarding the link between physical activity and cognitive health were provided in 57.7% of articles. These explanations were generally consistent with empirical evidence; however, few articles included empirical evidence. Physical activity recommendations were presented in 80.8% of articles; a wide range was recommended (90–300 min of physical activity per wk). Socioeconomic status and education level were not mentioned in the text. Results suggest an opportunity for greater coverage regarding the role of physical activity in promoting cognitive health in popular media. Magazine content would benefit from including more empirical evidence, culturally sensitive content, and physical activity recommendations that are consistent with U.S. guidelines.

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Ralph Maddison, Leila Pfaeffli Dale, Samantha Marsh, Allana G. LeBlanc and Melody Oliver

Background:

This brief report provides grades for the 2014 New Zealand Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. The Report Card presents a review of current evidence across 9 key indicators, including physical activity (PA), organized sport and free play, sedentary behavior, and community and government initiatives across New Zealand.

Methods:

Nationally representative survey data were collated by researchers at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, between June and December 2013. The grade for each indicator is based on the percentage of children and youth meeting a defined benchmark: A is 81%−100%; B is 61%−80%; C is 41%−60%, D is 21%−40%; F is 0%−20%; INC is incomplete data.

Results:

Overall PA received a score of B, as did Organized Sport Participation and Active Play. PA participation in School Environment scored slightly less with a score of B-. Sedentary Behaviors, Family and Peers, and Community and Built Environment scored a grade of C. Active transportation received a score of C-. An inconclusive grade was given for the Government indicator due to a lack of established international criteria for assessment.

Conclusions:

PA participation in New Zealand is satisfactory, but could improve. However, sedentary behavior is high. Of particular concern is the age-related decline in PA participation, particularly among adolescent females, and the increase in sedentary behavior.

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Lisbeth Runge Larsen, Jens Troelsen, Kasper Lund Kirkegaard, Søren Riiskjær, Rikke Krølner, Lars Østergaard, Peter Lund Kristensen, Niels Christian Møller, Bjørn Friis Neerfeldt Christensen, Jens-Ole Jensen, Charlotte Østergård and Thomas Skovgaard

Background:

The first Danish Report Card on Physical Activity (PA) for Children and Youth describes Denmark’s efforts in promoting and facilitating PA and PA opportunities for children and youth.

Methods:

The report card relies primarily on a synthesis of the best available research and policy strategies identified by the Report Card Research Committee consisting of a wide presentation of researchers and experts within PA health behaviors and policy development. The work was coordinated by Research and Innovation Centre for Human Movement and Learning situated at the University of Southern Denmark and the University College Lillebaelt. Nine PA indicators were graded using the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card development process.

Results:

Grades from A (highest) to F (lowest) varied in Denmark as follows: 1) Overall Physical Activity (D+), 2) Organized Sport Participation (A), 3) Active Play (INC; incomplete), 4) Active Transportation (B), 5) Sedentary Behaviors (INC), 6) Family and Peers (INC), 7) School (B), 8) Community and the Built Environment (B+), and 9) Government strategies and investments (A-).

Conclusions:

A large proportion of children in Denmark do not meet the recommendations for PA despite the favorable investments and intensions from the government to create good facilities and promote PA.

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Casey E. Gray, Joel D. Barnes, Jennifer Cowie Bonne, Christine Cameron, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Guy Faulkner, Ian Janssen, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Angela M. Kolen, Stephen R. Manske, Art Salmon, John C. Spence, Brian W. Timmons and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

The Active Healthy Kids Canada (AHKC) Report Card consolidates and translates research and assesses how Canada is being responsible in providing physical activity opportunities for children (3- to 11-years-old) and youth (12- to 17-years-old). The primary aim of this article is to summarize the results of the 2014 AHKC 10th Anniversary Report Card.

Methods:

Ten physical activity indicators were graded using the AHKC Report Card development process, which includes a synthesis of the best available research, surveillance, policy and practice findings, and expert consensus.

Results:

Grades assigned were for: ‘Behaviors that Contribute to Overall Physical Activity Levels’ (Overall Physical Activity Levels, D-; Organized Sport Participation, C+; Active Play, INCOMPLETE; Active Transportation, D; Sedentary Behaviors, F), ‘Settings and Sources of Influence’ (Family and Peers, C; School, C+; and Community and the Built Environment, B+), and ‘Strategies and Investments’ (Government Strategies and Investments, C; and Non-Government Strategies and Investments, A-).

Conclusions:

Despite good availability of policies, programs, and infrastructure, the overall physical activity levels of Canadian children and youth remain low while sedentary behavior levels remain high. As with many nations, there is room for improvement in most physical activity behaviors and some sources of influence.

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Jarmo Liukkonen, Timo Jaakkola, Sami Kokko, Arto Gråstén, Sami Yli-Piipari, Pasi Koski, Jorma Tynjälä, Anne Soini, Timo Ståhl and Tuija Tammelin

The Finnish 2014 Report Card on Physical Activity (PA) for Children and Youth is the first assessment of Finland’s efforts in promoting and facilitating PA opportunities for children and youth using the Active Healthy Kids Canada grading system. The Report Card relies primarily on research findings from 6 Research Institutes, coordinated by the University of Jyväskylä. The Research Work Group convened to evaluate the aggregated evidence and assign grades for each of the 9 PA indicators, following the Canadian Report Card protocol. Grades from A (highest) to F (lowest) varied in Finland as follows: 1) Overall physical activity—fulfillment of recommendations (D), 2) Organized sport participation (C), 3) Active play (D), 4) Active transportation (B), 5) Sedentary behaviors (D), 6) Family and peers (C), 7) School (B), 8) Community and the built environment (B), and 9) Government (B). This comprehensive summary and assessment of indicators related to PA in Finnish children and youth indicates that Finland still has many challenges to promote a physically active life style for youth.

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María del Pilar Rodriguez Martinez, Karla I. Galaviz, Edtna Jauregui Ulloa, Ines Gonzalez-Casanova and Juan Ricardo Lopez y Taylor

Background:

The Mexican Report Card on Physical Activity in children and youth was first developed in 2012 as a tool aimed at informing policy and practice. The objective of this paper is to update the Report Card to reflect the current situation in Mexico.

Methods:

A literature search was conducted in Spanish and English using major databases, and complemented with government documents and national health surveys. Information on the 9 indicators outlined in the Global Matrix of Report Card Grades was extracted. Experts from Mexico and Canada met to discuss and assign a grade on each indicator.

Results:

The physical activity indicator was assigned a C+, which was higher than in the previous report card. Sedentary behavior was assigned a D, which was lower than the previous report card. Organized Sports and Active Transportation, which were not graded in the previous report card, were assigned grades of D and B-, respectively. Government and Built Environment were assigned grades of C and F, respectively. Family and Peers and Active Play were not graded (INC).

Conclusions:

Levels of PA and sedentary behaviors among Mexican children and youth were below the respective recommended references. The implementation and effectiveness of current government strategies need to be determined. The Mexican Report Card is a promising knowledge translation tool that can serve to inform policies and programs related to physical activity.

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António Prista, Salazar Picardo, Edmundo Ribeiro, Joel Libombo and Timoteo Daca

Background:

This paper describes the procedures and development of the first Mozambican Report Card on Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents.

Methods:

Comprehensive searches for data related to indicators of physical activity (PA) were completed by a committee of physical activity and sports specialists. Grades were assigned to each indicator consistent with the process and methodology outlined by the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card model.

Results:

Seven indicators of PA were graded. The following grades were assigned: Overall Physical Activity Levels, B; Organized Sport Participation, F; Active Play, C; Active Transportation, B; Schools, C; Community and the Built Environment, F; and Government, C. Sedentary Behaviors and Family and Peers were not graded due to the lack of available information.

Conclusions:

PA behaviors of children and young people of Mozambique are positively influenced by the rural environment and are largely related to subsistence activities and outdoor play, and absence of motorized transport. In turn, urban areas are declining in active habits and opportunities due largely to rapid urbanization and lack of planning that favors active transport and play.

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Tarun Reddy Katapally, Shifalika Goenka, Jasmin Bhawra, Subha Mani, Ghattu V Krishnaveni, Sarah Helen Kehoe, Anjana Sankhil Lamkang, Manu Raj and Kathleen McNutt

Background:

Physical inactivity in children and youth in India is a major public health problem. The 2016 Indian Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth has been conceptualized to highlight this epidemic by appraising behaviors, contexts, strategies, and investments related to physical activity of Indian children and youth.

Methods:

An international research collaboration resulted in the formation of a Research Working Group (RWG). RWG determined key indicators; identified, synthesized, and analyzed existing evidence; developed criteria for assigning grades; and, finally, assigned grades to indicators based on consensus.

Results:

Overall Physical Activity Levels were assigned a grade of C-. Active Transportation and Sedentary Behaviors were both assigned a grade of C. Government Strategies and Investments was assigned a grade of D. Six other indicators, including the country-specific indicator Physical Fitness, were graded as INC (incomplete) due to the lack of nationally representative evidence.

Conclusions:

Based on existing evidence, it appears that most Indian children do not achieve recommended levels of physical activity and spend most of their day in sedentary pursuits. The report card identifies gaps in both investments and research that need to be addressed before understanding the complete picture of active living in children and youth in India.

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Joel D. Barnes, Christine Cameron, Valerie Carson, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Guy E.J. Faulkner, Katherine Janson, Ian Janssen, Roger Kramers, Allana G. LeBlanc, John C. Spence and Mark S. Tremblay

Background:

The ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the most comprehensive assessment of child and youth physical activity in Canada and provides an update or “state of the nation” that assesses how Canada is doing at promoting and facilitating physical activity opportunities for children and youth. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the results of the 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card.

Methods:

Twelve physical activity indicators were graded by a committee of experts using a process that was informed by the best available evidence. Sources included national surveys, peer-reviewed literature, and gray literature such as government and nongovernment reports and online content.

Results:

Grades were assigned to Daily Behaviors (Overall Physical Activity: D-; Organized Sport and Physical Activity Participation: B; Active Play: D+; Active Transportation: D; Physical Literacy: D+; Sleep: B; Sedentary Behaviors: F), Settings and Sources of Influence (Family and Peers: C+; School: B; Community and Environment: A-), and Strategies and Investments (Government: B-; Nongovernment: A-).

Conclusions:

Similar to previous years of the Report Card, Canada generally received good grades for indicators relating to investment, infrastructure, strategies, policies, and programming, and poor grades for behavioral indicators (eg, Overall Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviors).

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Marcella Burghard, Karlijn Knitel, Iris van Oost, Mark S. Tremblay, Tim Takken and the Dutch Physical Activity Report Card Study Group

Background:

The Active Healthy Kids the Netherlands (AHKN) Report Card consolidates and translates research and assesses how the Netherlands is being responsible in providing physical activity (PA) opportunities for children and youth (<18 years). The primary aim of this article is to summarize the results of the 2016 AHKN Report Card.

Methods:

Nine indicators were graded using the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance report card development process, which includes a synthesis of the best available research, surveillance, policy and practice findings, and expert consensus.

Results:

Grades assigned were: Overall Physical Activity Levels, D; Organized Sport Participation, B; Active Play, B; Active Transportation, A; Sedentary Behaviors, C; Family and Peers, B; School, C; Community and the Built Environment, A; Government Strategies and Investments, INC.

Conclusions:

Sedentary behavior and overall PA levels are not meeting current guidelines. However, the Dutch youth behaviors in sports, active transportation, and active play are satisfactory. Several modifiable factors of influence might be enhanced to improve these indicators or at least prevent regression. Although Dutch children accumulate a lot of daily PA through cycling, it is not enough to meet the current national PA guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA per day.