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Dan W. Kennedy

The purpose of this study was to examine the use of the Leisure Activities Blank (McKechnie, 1975) with males who had sustained spinal cord injuries. It was hypothesized that after treatment and time for adjustment, persons with spinal cord injuries would have higher scores on the Leisure Activities Blank (LAB) than they would within 3 months of hospitalization. Also, the male profile derived from persons with spinal cord injuries was compared with the normative male profile established by McKechnie (1975). The t-tests between means of pretest and posttest scores on the Future categories (male profile) of the LAB revealed no significant differences. However, significant differences (p < .01) were found between the nondisabled and disabled groups in 6 of the 8 categories on the Future LAB. No differences were found between the two disability groups (paraplegics and quadriplegics) on the Leisure Activities Blank.

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Frank M. Howell and James A. McKenzie

There is a significant investment by schools and local communities in the athletic programs offered by secondary schools. A growing issue is, to what extent does the functioning of these sports programs coincide with the formal academic goals of the school? Using a structural equations model, we examine one theme within this major issue by estimating the effect of high school sports participation on sport and leisure activity later in adulthood. Further investigated is the process by which these effects are played out over the transition from adolescence to adulthood, as well as gender differences in the pattern of effects. Using the EEO panel of 1955 high school sophomores reinterviewed in 1970, we find that varsity and nonvarsity sports participation in high school increases adult sports involvement. However, whereas high school sports participation does not retard reading or “high-status” leisure pursuits in adulthood, curriculum track placement during high school does enhance these activities later in life. Track effects were also largely independent of completed school level. Finally, gender variations in the model were present but not uniformly so and largely appear to make sport participation and tracking effects significant only among men.

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Y.J. Huang, Stephen H.S. Wong and Jo Salmon

This study aimed to examine the reliability and validity of the modified Children’s Leisure Activities Study Survey (CLASS) Chinese-version questionnaire in assessing physical activity among Hong Kong Chinese Children. Test-retest reliability was examined in 84 boys and 136 girls aged 9–12 years by comparing data from two administrations of the survey conducted one week apart. Validity was determined by comparing data from the second administration with accelerometer estimates. The results suggested that the questionnaire provided reliable and valid estimates in overall physical activity patterns in Hong Kong Chinese children. However, substantial overestimation was observed in vigorous activity.

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Amanda Telford, Jo Salmon, Anna Timperio and David Crawford

The aim of this study was to describe the type, frequency, duration, and intensity of children’s physical activity and to examine differences by sex, age, and SES. Participants consisted of 5- to 6-year-old (n = 291) and 10- to 12-year-old (n = 919) children and their parents taking part in the Children’s Leisure Activities Study (CLASS). Parents completed proxy questionnaires about their child’s activity, and all children wore an accelerometer for 8 days. Accelerometry data showed that younger children accumulated approximately 4 hrs of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) per day, and older children accumulated approximately 2 hrs per day. Fewer than three- quarters of 10- to 12-year-old boys and less than half of 10- to 12-year-old girls recorded 120 min of MVPA per day. Significant differences in the number of activities, as well as the type and frequency of activities performed, were observed by age and sex. The findings indicate that physical activities that appeal to older girls, such as lifestyle, noncompetitive activities, should be considered in the development of physical activity promotion strategies.

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Amanda Telford, Jo Salmon, Damien Jolley and David Crawford

This study aimed to develop a reliable, valid, and feasible method for assessing physical activity among children ages 5–6 and 10–12 years. Test–retest reliability of a parental proxy questionnaire and a children’s self-report questionnaire was assessed in 280 children and parents. The criterion validity of the questionnaires was assessed using accelerometry. The proxy questionnaire provided a reliable measure of the type, frequency, and duration of children’s physical activity. Neither version of the questionnaire provided an accurate estimate of individual children’s physical activity. To assess the type, frequency, intensity, and duration of children’s activity, a combination of questionnaire and objective measures should be employed.

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Catherine J. Vladutiu, Kelly R. Evenson and Stephen W. Marshall

Background:

Although physical activity can provide health benefits to pregnant women, population-based research on the circumstances surrounding injuries from physical activity during pregnancy is lacking.

Methods:

Physical activity and subsequent injuries among a cohort of 1469 pregnant women in North Carolina were examined prospectively from the third phase of the Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition Study between 2001 and 2005. Chi-square analyses were used to compare distributions of maternal characteristics among women who sustained injuries from physical activity and women who reported no injuries during pregnancy. Injury incidence rates were calculated.

Results:

Few pregnant women (N = 34) reported a physical activity-related injury during pregnancy. The rates of physical activity-related and exercise-related injuries during pregnancy were 3.2 per 1000 physical activity hours and 4.1 per 1000 exercise hours, respectively. The most common types of injuries were bruises or scrapes (55%). Among all injuries, 33% resulted from exercise and 67% resulted from nonexercise physical activities. Sixty-four percent of all injuries were due to falls.

Conclusions:

The incidence of injury from physical activity was low during pregnancy. Women should continue to be encouraged to maintain involvement in physical activity during pregnancy, while being aware of the potential for injury, particularly falls, from these activities.

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Kathleen Bachtel Watson, Shifan Dai, Prabasaj Paul, Susan A. Carlson, Dianna D. Carroll and Janet Fulton

Background:

Previous studies have examined participation in specific leisure-time physical activities (PA) among US adults. The purpose of this study was to identify specific activities that contribute substantially to total volume of leisure-time PA in US adults.

Methods:

Proportion of total volume of leisure-time PA moderate-equivalent minutes attributable to 9 specific types of activities was estimated using self-reported data from 21,685 adult participants (≥ 18 years) in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2006.

Results:

Overall, walking (28%), sports (22%), and dancing (9%) contributed most to PA volume. Attributable proportion was higher among men than women for sports (30% vs. 11%) and higher among women than men for walking (36% vs. 23%), dancing (16% vs. 4%), and conditioning exercises (10% vs. 5%). The proportion was lower for walking, but higher for sports, among active adults than those insufficiently active and increased with age for walking. Compared with other racial/ethnic groups, the proportion was lower for sports among non-Hispanic white men and for dancing among non-Hispanic white women.

Conclusions:

Walking, sports, and dance account for the most activity time among US adults overall, yet some demographic variations exist. Strategies for PA promotion should be tailored to differences across population subgroups.

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Robert H. Friis, Wendy L. Nomura, Christine X. Ma and James H. Swan

Walking for exercise might counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. We examined the demographic and health-related predictors of walking 1 mile per week or more among the elderly. Data were from the 1984 Longitudinal Study of Aging. Participants were 7,527 adults age 70 years or older. Demographic factors related to walking were younger age, college-level education, being unmarried, and higher income. Health-related variables associated with walking included positive self-perception of health, internal health locus of control, and absence of activity limitations. The prevalence of regular walking for exercise was low in the study population (38% and 26% for men and women, respectively). Interventions that increase the internal health locus of control might be effective in increasing walking among the elderly.

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Lilian G. Perez, Elva M. Arredondo, Thomas L. McKenzie, Margarita Holguin, John P. Elder and Guadalupe X. Ayala

Background:

Greater neighborhood social cohesion is linked to fewer depressive symptoms and greater physical activity, but the role of physical activity on the relationship between neighborhood social cohesion and depression is poorly understood. The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of physical activity on the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms.

Methods:

Multivariate logistic regression tested the moderation of self-reported leisure-time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (LTMVPA) and active use of parks or recreational facilities on the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms among 295 randomly selected Latino adults who completed a face-to-face interview.

Results:

After adjusting for age, gender, and income, neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms were inversely related (OR = 0.8; 95% CI: 0.5–1.2). Active use of parks or recreational facilities moderated the association between neighborhood social cohesion and depressive symptoms but meeting the recommendations for LTMVPA did not. Latinos who reported active use of parks or recreational facilities and higher levels of neighborhood social cohesion had fewer depressive symptoms than peers who did not use these spaces.

Conclusions:

Future studies are needed to test strategies for promoting active use of parks or recreational facilities to address depression in Latinos.

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Edward W. Gregg, Andrea M. Kriska, Kathleen M. Fox and Jane A. Cauley

Self-rated health has been related to functional status, disability, and mortality in a variety of populations. This study examined whether self-rated health was related to physical activity levels independent of functional status in a population of older women. For this study, 9,704 women aged 65-99 rated their health on a scale ranging from excellent to very poor. Physical activity and functional status questionnaires and physical function tests were administered to evaluate levels of physical activity, strength, and function. Comparisons between women in three groups of self-rated health (good and excellent; fair; poor and very poor) indicated that higher self-rated health was strongly related to physical activity independent of physical strength, functional status, and co-morbidity. These findings suggest that physical activity is an important determinant of self-rated health in older women regardless of functional status.