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Kelly R. Evenson, Fang Wen, Sarah M. Lee, Katie M. Heinrich and Amy Eyler

Background:

A Healthy People 2010 developmental objective (22-12) was set to increase the proportion of the nation's public and private schools that provide access to their physical activity spaces and facilities for all persons outside of normal school hours. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of indoor and outdoor facilities at schools and the availability of those facilities to the public in 2000 and 2006.

Methods:

In 2000 and 2006, the School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) was conducted in each state and in randomly selected districts, schools, and classrooms. This analysis focused on the school level questionnaire from a nationally representative sample of public and nonpublic elementary, middle, and high schools (n = 921 in 2000 and n = 984 in 2006).

Results:

No meaningful changes in the prevalence of access to school physical activity facilities were found from 2000 to 2006, for youth or adult community sports teams, classes, or open gym.

Conclusions:

These national data indicate a lack of progress from 2000 and 2006 toward increasing the proportion of the nation's public and private schools that provide access to their physical activity facilities for all persons outside of normal school hours.

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Maressa P. Krause, Renata S.B. Januário, Tatiane Hallage, Luke Haile, Cristiane P. Miculis, Mirnaluci P.R. Gama, Fredric L. Goss and Sergio G. da Silva

The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to generate a functional-fitness profile for older women from the south of Brazil and to compare their functional profile with an age-matched cohort of American women. The Fullerton Functional Fitness Test (body-mass index, 6-min-walk test, chair sit-and-reach, chair stand, arm curl, and 8-ft up-and-go) was administered to 1,033 participants. Z scores indicate that older American women performed better in all functional tests than age-matched Brazilians. This fact could be explained by the delayed establishment of specific health policies for older adults in Brazil. In conclusion, the findings provide guidelines about the normal variation of functional fitness in older women from the southern region of Brazil. In addition, these data can be used to help identify older women with functional losses, thereby assisting in the diagnosis of early disability.

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Leigh Ann Ganzar, Nalini Ranjit, Debra Saxton and Deanna M. Hoelscher

student physical activity behavior in fourth-grade students. The results show an overall positive association between the number of school health policies and the average number of days per week with at least 30 minutes of physical activity. In addition, this relation differs based on the geographic

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Paddy C. Dempsey, Chuck E. Matthews, S. Ghazaleh Dashti, Aiden R. Doherty, Audrey Bergouignan, Eline H. van Roekel, David W. Dunstan, Nicholas J. Wareham, Thomas E. Yates, Katrien Wijndaele and Brigid M. Lynch

whether , how , and why sedentary behavior is causally related to chronic disease. Advances in these areas will allow for more meaningful conclusions on the relationship between sedentary behavior and chronic disease and assist in refining both clinical and public health policies and recommendations in

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Katerina Maresova

Background:

Several scientific studies estimate the burden of physical inactivity in different countries, yet in the Czech Republic, this kind of research is still missing. This paper represents one of the first attempts to quantify the costs of physical inactivity in the Czech Republic for 2008.

Methods:

The analysis, based on scientific literature review, uses the comparative risk assessment methodology and applies it on data available in the Czech Republic.

Results:

In 2008, the financial cost of physical inactivity to public health insurance companies was almost 700 million Kč, or 0.4%, of total healthcare costs. Furthermore, physical inactivity caused 2442, or 2.3%, of all deaths in 2008 and 18,065, or 1.2%, of all disability-adjusted life years in 2004.

Conclusions:

The costs of physical inactivity in the Czech Republic are considerable, yet slightly smaller than in other comparable studies. The obtained results could be used as an argument for policymakers when conceiving public or private health policy.

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Thomas L. Schmid, Michael Pratt and Lindsay Witmer

Background:

Although policy approaches are traditionally an important element of public health efforts to address major health problems, public health policy around physical activity remains poorly defined and developed.

Methods:

After extensive literature searches and reviews of policy frameworks developed for other public health issues such as tobacco control and injury prevention, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hosted a series of workshops and discussions on physical activity policy.

Results:

A simple model describing relationships among policy, the environment, behavior, and health was developed, a framework for organizing and conceptualizing policy interventions was described, and priorities for public health efforts to promote physical activity were proposed.

Conclusions:

An expanded focus on physical activity policy interventions is warranted, and such efforts can complement physical activity promotion efforts at other levels. The addition of researchers with expertise in the policy sciences will enhance the work of existing multidisciplinary teams.

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Shlomit Radom-Aizik and Dan M. Cooper

In this review, we highlight promising new discoveries that may generate useful and clinically relevant insights into the mechanisms that link exercise with growth during critical periods of development. Growth in childhood and adolescence is unique among mammals and is a dynamic process regulated by an evolution of hormonal and inflammatory mediators, age-dependent progression of gene expression, and environmentally modulated epigenetic mechanisms. Many of these same processes likely affect molecular transducers of physical activity. How the molecular signaling associated with growth is synchronized with signaling associated with exercise is poorly understood. Recent advances in “omics”—namely genomics and epigenetics, metabolomics, and proteomics—now provide exciting approaches and tools that can be used for the first time to address this gap. A biologic definition of “healthy” exercise that links the metabolic transducers of physical activity with parallel processes that regulate growth will transform health policy and guidelines that promote optimal use of physical activity.

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Catherine Elliot, Christin Lang, Serge Brand, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler, Uwe Pühse and Markus Gerber

This study examines how students who met the current recommendations for vigorous physical activity (VPA) of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) differ from peers who did not reach these standards with regard to self-reported burnout, before and after controlling for light physical activity and moderate physical activity. A sample of 144 vocational students (M age = 16.2 years, SD = 1.13, 98 males) completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure, and the School Burnout Inventory. Bivariate correlations revealed that only VPA was associated with reduced burnout. Both the ACSM and CDC guidelines were useful to identify significant differences in burnout symptoms between students who met versus did not meet the standards. Health policy makers should develop strategies to integrate more VPA into the lives of adolescent students so as to reach a minimum of 60 min per week.

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Roy J. Shephard

The Journal of Physical Activity and Health seems likely to develop as a vehicle for practical, evidence-based answers to problems concerning physical activity and health, issues that have important implications for public health policy. There is strong epidemiological evidence for an association between the regular practice of physical activity and preventive or therapeutic benefit in a wide range of chronic health conditions,1-4 and already many professional groups have been eager to pre¬pare position statements, indicating their assessments of an appropriate minimum weekly dose of physical activity to maintain health.5 Unfortunately, there have been substantial discrepancies between successive recommendations, and uncertainties in the message are one probable factor, limiting its acceptance by both the general public and immediate health-care providers.6,7 The purpose of this brief commentary is to suggest some areas of investigation that would help in formulating a clear and consistent message. Topics discussed include the desired health outcome, the shape of the dose–response relationship, the impact of confounding variables, the quality of the evidence accepted, the basis for shaping the message, and the need for multiple messages.

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Katja Siefken, Grant Schofield and Nico Schulenkorf

Background:

The Pacific region has experienced rapid urbanization and lifestyle changes, which lead to high rates of noncommunicable disease (NCD) prevalence. There is no information on barriers and facilitators for healthy lifestyles in this region. In response, we present the first stage of a rigorous development of an urban Pacific health intervention program. This paper describes formative work conducted in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The objective of this paper was to understand cultural barriers and facilitators in Pacific women to lifestyle change and use the findings to inform future health interventions.

Methods:

Semistructured focus groups with 37 female civil servants divided into 6 groups were held verbally to understand barriers and facilitators for healthy lifestyles.

Results:

Several perceived barriers and facilitators were identified. Inter alia, barriers include financial limitations, time issues, family commitments, environmental aspects, and motivational hindrances that limit time and opportunities for healthy lifestyle behavior. Facilitators include more supportive environments, social support mechanisms, and the implementation of rigorous health policies.

Conclusions:

Formative work is essential in designing health intervention programs. Uncovered barriers and facilitators help inform the development of culturally relevant health interventions.