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Jennifer L. Gay, Harold W. Kohl III, Jennifer J. Salinas, Joseph B. McCormick and Susan P. Fisher-Hoch

Background:

The association between light-intensity activity and cardiovascular disease risk is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to determine the association of light-intensity activity with census-based occupational activity classifications and cardiovascular risk factors among Mexican American adults.

Methods:

118 Mexican American adults (68.6% female) provided cross-sectional accelerometer and biological data. Self-reported occupations were classified by activity level (sedentary, low, moderate). Participants were classified as At-Risk for BMI, glucose, triglycerides, HDL, blood pressure, waist circumference, and percent body fat.

Results:

Participants engaged in > 5 hours of light-intensity activity on average, and those in sedentary occupations engaged in fewer light-intensity activity minutes than low-active or moderately active workers (P < .001). Self-reported occupation explained 14% of the variation in light-intensity activity (P < .001). Participants in moderately active occupations were at increased risk for high %body fat than other workers (P = .01), but no other associations between occupation and cardiovascular risk were detected.

Conclusion:

Early work in physical activity underscored the importance of occupational activity. This study presents evidence of a dose-response association for light-intensity activity by occupational category such that workers in sedentary occupations had less light-intensity activity than employees in more active occupations. Future research on how light-intensity activity derived from occupation may reduce the risk of chronic disease will contribute to improved interventions as light-intensity activity participation may be more feasible than meeting current physical activity guidelines.

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Mohamad Al-Tannir, Samer Kobrosly, Taha Itani, Mariam El-Rajab and Sawsan Tannir

Background:

This survey aims to assess the prevalence of physical activity among adult Lebanese, and to report the relationship between sociodemographic variables and physical activity behavior, highlighting the correlates discouraging people to carry out physical activity.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study using an anonymous self-reported questionnaire was conducted on 346 adults from four Lebanese districts. Demographic characteristics, physical activity, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and medical history were obtained.

Results:

Prevalence of physical activity among Lebanese adults was 55.5% (192/346). Age, BMI, marital status, medical history, occupation, educational level, and smoking were significantly associated with physical activity (P < .05). Inactive obese participants were about three times more likely to report hypertension and diabetes than inactive normal weight participants (P = .013). BMI was significantly higher among inactive participants (P = .014).

Conclusion:

Physical activity among Lebanese adults was comparable to other populations. Married, non–office workers, and smokers were the main correlates of physical inactivity in Lebanese adulthood.

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Hannah M. Badland, Grant M. Schofield and Philip J. Schluter

Background:

Little is known about the relationships between objectively measured commute distance with actual and perceived transport-related physical activity (TPA) engagement.

Methods:

A telephone survey assessed travel behaviors to place of work/study within an adult sample (n = 772) residing in New Zealand.

Results:

Overall, 50% of respondents perceived they could, and 10% of the sample actually did, use TPA modes to commute to their occupation for distances less than 5 km. Differences between TPA perceptions and engagement existed for all distance classifications, and prevalence declined as distances increased.

Conclusions:

Differences between TPA engagement and perceptions were evident. Actual and perceived TPA engagement levels declined as commute distance increased.

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Gena M. Fletcher, Timothy K. Behrens and Lorie Domina

Background:

Work sites offer a productive setting for physical activity (PA) promoting interventions. Still, PA participation remains low. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the reasoning behind commonly reported barriers and enabling factors to participation in PA programs in a work-site setting.

Methods:

Employees from a large city government were recruited to participate in focus groups, stratified by white- and blue-collar occupations. Responses from open-ended questions about factors influencing participation in PA programs were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Resulting data were analyzed with open and axial coding.

Results:

The sample consisted of 60 employees composing 9 focus groups. Although time was the most common barrier between both groups, white-collars workers responded that scheduling and work conflicts were the most common barrier concerning time. Blue-collar workers indicated shift work as their most common barrier. In addition, health was a significant enabling factor for both occupational categories. White-collar workers were much more concerned with appearances and were more highly motivated by weight loss and the hopefulness of quick results than were blue-collar workers.

Conclusions:

These findings are important in the understanding of PA as it relates to the reasoning behind participation in work-site programs in regard to occupational status.

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Patt Dodds, Judith H. Placek, Sarah Doolittle, Kathy M. Pinkham, Thomas A. Ratliffe and Penelope A. Portman

Within a social-systems framework, this study described teacher/coach recruits’ (TCs) personal attributes, sport-participation social situation backgrounds, being influenced by significant others on occupational choice, and other occupational decision factors. TCs were compared on these variables with recruits into other sport-related occupations (ORs). TCs and ORs shared some similar personal attributes but had different gender proportions and high school academic backgrounds. Both groups had extensive backgrounds in sport, but TCs participated more during high school and college. The two groups’ most influential significant others differed, as did their ranked lists of occupational attractors. Other occupational decision factors (age of decision, firmness of decision, career maps) were similar. These results are explained with reference to social-systems theory.

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Evangelos Pappas, Karl F. Orishimo, Ian Kremenic, Marijeanne Liederbach and Marshall Hagins

Retrospective studies have suggested that dancers performing on inclined (“raked”) stages have increased injury risk. One study suggests that biomechanical differences exist between flat and inclined surfaces during bilateral landings; however, no studies have examined whether such differences exist during unilateral landings. In addition, little is known regarding potential gender differences in landing mechanics of dancers. Professional dancers (N = 41; 14 male, 27 female) performed unilateral drop jumps from a 30 cm platform onto flat and inclined surfaces while extremity joint angles and moments were identified and analyzed. There were significant joint angle and moment effects due to the inclined flooring. Women had significantly decreased peak ankle dorsiflexion and hip adduction moment compared with men. Findings of the current study suggest that unilateral landings on inclined stages create measurable changes in lower extremity biomechanical variables. These findings provide a preliminary biomechanical rationale for differences in injury rates found in observational studies of raked stages.

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Marie Hardin, Stacie Shain and Kelly Shultz-Poniatowski

In the first part of a longitudinal study to explore the factors that impact career longevity of women in sports journalism, women who have worked in the field for less than two years were interviewed about barriers and opportunities in regard to their career success. Three general themes emerged during the interviews: (a) being a woman is not a barrier but is instead an (unfair) advantage; (b) the world of sports is a man’s world; and (c) family responsibilities will likely change, or perhaps end, their careers. The outlook of participants is grounded in the belief that gender roles, which will force these women from their careers, are natural. These interviews suggest that it no longer takes locker-room harassment to turn women away from practicing sports journalism; it simply takes the prospect of having a family.

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Taina Rantanen, Pertti Era, Markku Kauppinen and Eino Heikkinen

This study analyzes the associations of socioeconomic status (SES), health, and physical activity with maximal isometric strength in 75-year-old men (n = 104) and women (n = 191). Maximal isometric strength was measured with dynamometers; the forces were adjusted using body weight. The maximal forces for women varied from 66% (trunk flexion) to 73% (knee extension) of those of the men. SES was not associated with muscle force. For men the trunk forces and elbow flexion force correlated negatively with the number of chronic diseases, index of musculoskeletal pain, and self-rated health. For women all the strength test results correlated with self-rated health; the other health indicators showed significant correlation with trunk extension force only. For both sexes the physically more active exhibited greater strength. The index of musculoskeletal symptoms explained the variance on trunk force factor in both sexes. It was concluded that a higher level of everyday physical activity and good values in the state-of-health indicators were the most important variables explaining greater strength among the elderly.