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Anna E. Mathews, Delores Pluto, Olga Ogoussan and Jorge Banda

Background:

When promoting active travel to school, it is important to consider school and district policies as well as attitudes of school and district administrators.

Methods:

School principals and district officials in South Carolina participated in the School Travel Survey. Frequency distributions and Chi-squared tests were used to analyze the data.

Results:

Three hundred fourteen persons responded to the survey (53.2% response rate). Sixty-five percent of district officials reported having a clear position about students walking to school, 80.0% of which were supportive. Seventy-two percent of principals reported having a clear position about walking to school, 67% of which were supportive. These positions were most commonly communicated either orally or through memos or other written documentation rather than through official, written policies or directives. Respondents who personally supported walking to school were more likely to believe that walking to school benefited students' health (χ2 = 8.82, df = 1, P = .003) and academic performance (χ2 = 14.87, df = 1, P < .0001).

Conclusions:

Promotion of walking to school should encourage schools and districts to develop official, written directives or policies. Promotional efforts may benefit from linking active travel to academic performance and health.

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Deanna M. Hoelscher, Andrew Springer, Tiffni H. Menendez, Peter W. Cribb and Steven H. Kelder

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Alexander Vigo-Valentín, Kimberly A. Bush and Samuel R. Hodge

Background:

There is limited evidence on physical activity patterns among Hispanic adolescents in Puerto Rico. This restricts opportunities to implement effective interventions and policies to increase physical activity in schools. The purpose of this study was to examine the physical activity behaviors of adolescents attending middle and high schools in Puerto Rico based on a compendium of moderate to vigorous physical activities including walking, jogging or running, bicycling, sports and more. A secondary purpose was to examine group differences as a function of gender and school level.

Method:

A cross-sectional survey research design was used. Students (N = 637) attending public middle and high schools completed a Visual 7-Day Physical Activity Recall survey. Both descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted to describe the sample and to determine group differences.

Results:

Puerto Rican adolescents’ levels of physical activity decreased throughout the week. Only a small proportion of them reached at least 60 minutes everyday of the week. Differences were found between middle and high school students’ daily and weekly participation in physical activities.

Conclusions:

Most adolescents do not engage in sufficient physical activity.

Implications:

Implications of the results are discussed and recommendations are articulated for policy makers, educators, and other professionals.

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Nicole J. Smith, Monica A.F. Lounsbery and Thomas L. McKenzie

Background:

Physical education (PE) is recommended as a source for physical activity (PA) and learning generalizable PA skills. Few studies have objectively examined high school PE, specifically its delivery, including PA, lesson contexts, and class gender composition.

Methods:

We used the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) to assess PA during 6 lesson contexts in 47 boys-only, 54 girls-only, and 63 coed lessons from 7 high schools. MANOVA assessed differences based on class gender composition.

Results:

Actual lesson length was 27.7 min, only 65% of the scheduled length of class periods. Students engaged in moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) 54% of the time, with boys being more active than girls. Game play was the most dominant context (47%), and little time was allocated to knowledge and skill development. Class size, lesson length, PA, and lesson contexts all differed by class gender composition (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Many differences in the conduct of high school PE are related to class gender composition. Boys accumulated more MVPA than girls. When held, PE lessons contributed about 25% of recommended daily PA minutes; improvements could be made by increasing allocations to fitness and skill practice and reducing transition and management time. Teacher professional development is warranted.

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

reduce health disparities and moderate (or mitigate) the influence of low socioeconomic status on health outcomes. 12 Studies on the effect or association of singular school policies with physical activity behavior in students have shown positive effects in multiple settings and populations, and they

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Thomas L. McKenzie

result from focusing on school physical activity policies. This remains a theory, however, because school policy studies are in their infancy and those that have been done have rarely included physical activity as a direct outcome measure. Most studies continue to rely on self-reports, often from

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Monica A.F. Lounsbery, Thomas L. McKenzie, James R. Morrow Jr., Kathryn A. Holt and Ronald G. Budnar

Background:

Physical activity (PA) levels in schools vary widely, and there is interest in studying how student PA accrual relates to school policy and environmental conditions. School PA policy research, however, is in its infancy and generalizable measurement tools do not exist. We developed and assessed reliability of items on the School Physical Activity Policy Assessment (S-PAPA), an instrument designed to assess school PA policy related to physical education (PE), recess, and other opportunities.

Methods:

To develop items, we perused associated literature, examined existing instruments, and consulted school policy makers. For test-retest reliability assessment, 31 elementary school PE teachers completed the survey twice, 14 days apart.

Results:

S-PAPA uses open-ended, dichotomous, multichotomous, and checklist formatting and has 3 modules: 1) Physical Education (47 items), 2) Recess (27 items), and 3) Other Before, During, and After School Programs (15 items). Responses to more than 95% of items were highly related between Times 1 and 2. Generally, physical education and recess items had fair to substantial levels of agreement, and items about other school PA programs had fair to perfect agreement.

Conclusions:

Test-retest results suggest S-PAPA items are reliable and useful in assessing PA policies in elementary schools.

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Patricia A. Collins and Daphne Mayer

Background:

Individuals that engage in active transportation (AT) have healthier weights and fitness levels. Most AT research has focused on work- or school-based destinations. Meanwhile, little is known about the differences between individuals that engage in the most common forms of AT—walking and cycling—and how these AT patterns vary by destination, duration, and season.

Methods:

We recruited 1400 randomly sampled adults (350 per season) in Kingston, Ontario, Canada to complete a cross-sectional telephone survey. The survey captured the prevalence, destinations, and duration of AT, and we examined the observed differences by mode.

Results:

The majority (72%) of respondents were AT-users; walking constituted 93% of overall mode share. Cyclists were more likely to be male, younger, and employed than walkers. Walkers tended to access neighborhood-based destinations, while cyclists were more likely to use AT to get to work. AT duration was comparable by mode, ranging from approximately 8 to 20 minutes. Overall rates of AT were lowest in the winter, but walking rates were reasonably high year-round.

Conclusions:

Beyond commuting to work and school, policy-makers and planners should consider the breadth of destinations accessed by different modes when aiming to increase physical activity through AT in their communities.

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Monika Uys, Catherine Elizabeth Draper, Sharief Hendricks, Anniza de Villiers, Jean Fourie, Nelia Steyn and Estelle Victoria Lambert

Background:

The purpose of this study was to assess factors that influence physical activity (PA) levels during break-times in South African primary school children.

Methods:

The System for Observing Play and Leisure Activities in Youth (SOPLAY) was used to observe PA levels during break-times at low-income schools (4 intervention, 4 control). The intervention was based on action-planning including: school environment, curriculum, and family involvement. Categories of observed activity included Sedentary, Eating, Walking, or Vigorous PA. Contextual factors assessed included teacher supervision, equipment, and crowding. Chi-square tests were used to determine associations between PA levels and contextual factors.

Results:

In the 970 observations made, 31% of learners were sedentary, 14% were eating, 29% were walking, and 26% were engaged in vigorous PA. There were no differences in break-time PA between intervention and control groups (NS). With supervision, children were more likely to eat and less likely to do vigorous PA (P = .035). Playground crowding was associated with lower levels of vigorous activity and more sedentary behavior (P = .000).

Conclusions:

PA during break-time was adversely affected by over-crowding and lower with supervision. The results suggest that interventions may be targeted at the school policy environment to reduce these barriers to PA.

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Joel D. Barnes, Christine Cameron, Valerie Carson, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Rachel C. Colley, Guy E.J. Faulkner, Ian Janssen, Roger Kramers, Travis J. Saunders, John C. Spence, Patricia Tucker, Leigh M. Vanderloo and Mark S. Tremblay

-625-x/2015001/article/14135-eng.htm . Accessed June 13, 2018. 8. Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute . Bulletin 01: School Policies Supporting Physical Activity and Sport . Ottawa, Canada : Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute . 2016 . www.cflri.ca/document/bulletin-01