exclude household chores. This is especially relevant in developing countries, where household chores can involve significant physical activity.) Physical environment features—the absence or poor quality of sidewalks, parks, nearby destinations, etc—are one possible source of inactivity in developing
Ka Man Leung and Pak-Kwong Chung
engagement in health behaviors, such as physical activity and walking. The model highlights the dynamic interactions between the individual environment (sociodemographic variables including education, gender, and age), social environment (e.g., social support), physical environment (natural and built
Allison Ross, Ja Youn Kwon, Pamela Hodges Kulinna and Mark Searle
responsibility in children, 24 , 25 which could lead to parents entrusting their children to walk or bike. Physical Environment Distance from school has been reported as a key barrier, while shorter distances have been reported as facilitators of ATS. 20 , 21 , 26 – 31 In fact, children who live within 0.5 to
Tim Bungum, Mindy Meacham and Nicole Truax
Physical activity (PA) is a health behavior that most Americans do not participate in at recommended levels.
We sought to increase PA by use of motivational signs in selected buildings. Because physical environments are known to influence PA, the relationship of building characteristics and stair usage was also assessed. One pre- and two post-intervention observations were conducted.
The proportion of those using the stairs increased from baseline to the second data collection, (χ2 = 39.31, p < 0.01) and baseline to a final data collection (χ2 = 10.1, p < 0.01). Built environment factors, including steps to the next higher floor and the number of floors in the building were consistent predictors of stair use. With signs positioned, the visibility of the stairs while standing in front of elevators became a significant predictor of stair usage.
Motivational signs and characteristics of built environments are associated with increased stair usage.
Hayley E. Christian, Charlotte D. Klinker, Karen Villanueva, Matthew W. Knuiman, Sarah A. Foster, Stephan R. Zubrick, Mark Divitini, Lisa Wood and Billie Giles-Corti
Relationships between context-specific measures of the physical and social environment and children’s independent mobility to neighborhood destination types were examined.
Parents in RESIDE’s fourth survey reported whether their child (8–15 years; n = 181) was allowed to travel without an adult to school, friend’s house, park and local shop. Objective physical environment measures were matched to each of these destinations. Social environment measures included neighborhood perceptions and items specific to local independent mobility.
Independent mobility to local destinations ranged from 30% to 48%. Independent mobility to a local park was less likely as the distance to the closest park (small and large size) increased and less likely with additional school grounds (P < .05). Independent mobility to school was less likely as the distance to the closest large park increased and if the neighborhood was perceived as unsafe (P < .05). Independent mobility to a park or shops decreased if parenting social norms were unsupportive of children’s local independent movement (P < .05).
Independent mobility appears dependent upon the specific destination being visited and the impact of neighborhood features varies according to the destination examined. Findings highlight the importance of access to different types and sizes of urban green space for children’s independent mobility to parks.
Brian E. Saelens, Lawrence D. Frank, Christopher Auffrey, Robert C. Whitaker, Hillary L. Burdette and Natalie Colabianchi
Reliable and comprehensive measurement of physical activity settings is needed to examine environment-behavior relations.
Surveyed park professionals (n = 34) and users (n = 29) identified park and playground elements (e.g., trail) and qualities (e.g., condition). Responses guided observational instrument development for environmental assessment of public recreation spaces (EAPRS). Item inter-rater reliability was evaluated following observations in 92 parks and playgrounds. Instrument revision and further reliability testing were conducted with observations in 21 parks and 20 playgrounds.
EAPRS evaluates trail/path, specific use (e.g., picnic), water-related, amenity (e.g., benches), and play elements, and their qualities. Most EAPRS items had good-excellent reliability, particularly presence/number items. Reliability improved from the original (n = 1088 items) to revised (n = 646 items) instrument for condition, coverage/shade, and openness/visibility items. Reliability was especially good for play features, but cleanliness items were generally unreliable.
The EAPRS instrument provides comprehensive assessment of parks’ and playgrounds’ physical environment, with generally high reliability.
Joanna Granich, Michael Rosenberg, Matthew W. Knuiman and Anna Timperio
Individual, home social and physical environment correlates of electronic media (EM) use among children were examined and pattern of differences on school and weekend days.
Youth (n = 298) aged 11 to 12 years self-reported time spent using EM (TV, video/DVD, computer use, and electronic games) on a typical school and a weekend day, each dichotomized at the median to indicate heavy and light EM users. Anthropometric measurements were taken. Logistic regression examined correlates of EM use.
In total, 87% of participants exceeded electronic media use recommendations of ≤ 2 hrs/day. Watching TV during breakfast (OR = 3.17) and after school (OR = 2.07), watching TV with mother (OR = 1.96), no rule(s) limiting time for computer game usage (OR = 2.30), having multiple (OR = 2.99) EM devices in the bedroom and BMI (OR = 1.15) were associated with higher odds of being heavy EM user on a school day. Boys (OR = 2.35) and participants who usually watched TV at midday (OR = 2.91) and late at night (OR = 2.04) had higher odds of being a heavy EM user on the weekend.
Efforts to modify children’s EM use should focus on a mix of intervention strategies that address patterns and reinforcement of TV viewing, household rules limiting screen time, and the presence of EM devices in the child’s bedroom.
Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Nikos Ntoumanis, Hannah Uren, Afroditi Stathi, Catrina Wold and Keith D. Hill
The aim of the current study was to explore perceptions of group-based walking and gather suggestions to inform the development of a group-based walking intervention among older adults in retirement villages. Twenty-four physically inactive residents (16 female, 8 male; age range: 69–88) and four managers from four retirement villages were interviewed. Inductive thematic analysis revealed six broad themes: lack of motivation, values versus constraints, fears and confidence, need for structure, creating a sense of belonging, and the physical environment as a double-edged sword. Proposed intervention strategies included using trained walk leaders, using small groups, planning for flexibility, setting attainable goals, creating a routine, creating opportunities for sharing experiences, and planning a variety of walks. Group-based walking programs may be used to promote physical activity but careful planning of such programs is needed to make them appealing and feasible to a diverse group of residents.
Kathleen Benjamin, Nancy Edwards and Wenda Caswell
In 2006, the authors conducted a multisite qualitative study in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to examine organizational and environmental factors that influence physical activity for long-term-care (LTC) residents. The article describes the results of interviews with 9 administrators from nonprofit and for-profit LTC facilities. A content analysis revealed that despite having positive views about the value of physical activity, the administrators encountered challenges related to funding, human resources, and the built (physical) environment. The intersection of staffing issues and challenges in the built environment created less than optimal conditions for physical activity programs. Findings suggest that until there are adequate human and financial resources, it will be difficult to implement evidence-informed physical activity programs for residents in LTC settings in Ontario. A review of provincial LTC standards for physical activity program requirements and the built environment is warranted.
Freja Gheysen, Karel Herman and Delfien Van Dyck
environmental factors ( Sallis, Owen, & Fisher, 2008 ). More specifically, these models emphasize the importance of the neighborhood physical environment as a major contributor to regular engagement in PA and, mainly, in active transportation ( Sallis et al., 2008 ; Van Cauwenberg et al., 2011 ). The