Introduction to the Active Living Research Reference List 2007

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J. Panter, A. Jones and M. Hillsdon. (2007). Equity of access to physical activity facilities in an English city. Preventive Medicine.

OBJECTIVE.: To examine associations between household income, access to sports facilities and gyms, and physical activity in an English city. METHOD.: A cross sectional geographical study was conducted in six neighbourhoods in the city of Norwich in August and September 2004. Participants were (n=401) adults who received, completed, and returned questionnaires. Road distances to facilities were calculated using Geographical Information System. RESULTS.: For all facility types except gyms, mean income was lowest amongst those living farthest away. Compared to those with the lowest incomes, the most affluent participants lived on average just over 0.5 km closer to a facility of any type, 1 km closer to a sports facility but 900 m farther from a gym (all p<0.001). In general, those living farther from facilities reported that they were less active although they did not tend to report a desire to exercise more. CONCLUSION.: People in low income households, who are more likely to adopt low levels of activity, are least well served by affordable facilities that would enable them to become more active. If the British Government is to meet targets for improving levels of physical activity, it may need to consider how market forces might be creating an inequitable distribution of facility provision.

R. R. Pate, D. S. Ward, J. R. O'Neill and M. Dowda. (2007). Enrollment in physical education is associated with overall physical activity in adolescent girls. Research Quarterly For Exercise And Sport.

Little is known about population-level contributions of school physical education to overall physical activity (PA) in youth. Because PA levels are lower in girls than boys, it is particularly important that the effects of PE programs in adolescent girls be understood. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the association of enrollment in physical education and overall physical activity participation in adolescent girls. A measurement protocol was administered to cross-sectional samples of 8th-, 9th-, and 12th-grade girls participating in a school-based PA intervention study (1998-2003). PA was assessed with the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall. Three-way analyses of variance were performed to compare groups formed on the basis of physical education enrollment. For each grade group of girls, those who were enrolled in physical education reported more moderate-to-vigorous PA and more vigorous PA than nonenrolled girls. When activity in physical education classes was deleted, 8th- and 9th-grade physical education enrollees were not more active than nonenrollees; however, 12th-grade physical education enrollees remained more active than nonenrollees. Girls who were enrolled in physical education were more physically active than nonenrolled girls in all three grade levels. These findings suggest that expanded enrollment in physical education may increase American adolescent girls' PA level.

P. Phongsavan, G. McLean and A. Bauman. (2007). Gender differences in influences of perceived environmental and psychosocial correlates on recommended level of physical activity among New Zealanders. Psychology Of Sport And Exercise.

Objectives: Using the data derived from a nationally representative mail survey conducted in New Zealand, this study firstly considered whether psychosocial factors influence physical activity (PA) participation independent of environmental factors. The second purpose was to examine whether one psychosocial dimension exerted a stronger influence on PA than others, and if the relative influences of these factors vary between men and women. Design: A cross-sectional population-wide study. Methods: Adults aged 16 years and older (n = 8,163) were classified as 'sufficiently active' if they had accumulated at least 150 min over five or more days per week of walking, moderate or vigorous-intensity PA. Summary scores for perceived availability of facilities supportive of PA, self-efficacy, social support, extrinsic motivation and health outcome expectancies were computed and three levels created for each variable (e.g., low, moderate and high self-efficacy). Sufficient PA was regressed on psychosocial and environmental factors, adjusting for potential confounders in a series of logistic regressions. Results: Having high PA self-efficacy impacted substantially on the relationships with PA for men (OR: 5.93, 95% CI: 4.76-7.40) and women (OR: 5.58, 95% CI: 4.49-6.92), followed by social support for PA, but only among women (OR: 2.12, 95% CI: 1.70-2.64). After controlling for socio-demographic variables and psychosocial factors, having high availability of facilities supportive of PA (OR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.12-1.72) was associated with sufficient PA among men. Among women, no significant relationships were observed between perceived availability and sufficient activity after adjusting for psychosocial factors. Conclusions: These findings provide insight into the relative contribution of perceived environmental and psychosocial factors on PA participation, indicating that these factors are of differential importance across gender. The results affirm the importance of taking into account gender differences when designing interventions aimed to address psychosocial factors for increasing PA. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


L. M. Powell, F. J. Chaloupka, S. J. Slater, L. D. Johnston and P. M. O'Malley. (2007). The availability of local-area commercial physical activity-related facilities and physical activity among adolescents. American Journal Of Preventive Medicine.

BACKGROUND: A significant number of American youth do not participate in sufficient levels of physical activity. METHODS: This article reports the association between the availability of commercial physical activity-related facilities and self-reported physical activity behavior among United States adolescents. Geographic identifiers at the ZIP-code level were used to combine repeated cross-sections of individual-level data on 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade adolescents from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) Survey with external commercial physical activity-related facility outlet density measures obtained from business lists from Dun and Bradstreet for the years 1997 through 2003. The estimation samples based on questions from different survey forms included a total of 195,702 observations on which information on physical activity (sports, athletics, or exercise) was available and 58,876 observations on which information on vigorous exercise behavior was available. RESULTS: The results showed a statistically significant but very small association between local-area per capita availability of commercial physical activity-related facilities and physical activity behavior among U.S. adolescents. An additional local-area facility per 10,000 capita was associated with only a 0.22 percentage point increase in frequent vigorous exercise among the full sample of adolescents. By gender and grade level, the study found significant associations among female and older students: increasing availability from a low (1 facility) to a high (8 facilities) number of local-area facilities was associated with a 6.6% and 9.0% increase in frequent physical activity and frequent vigorous exercise among 12th-grade girls, respectively, and a 6.4% increase in frequent vigorous exercise among 12th-grade boys. CONCLUSIONS: Improving the availability of commercial physical activity-related opportunities among underserved populations may help to increase activity levels among older adolescents and girls.

M. Prellwitz and L. Skar. (2007). Usability of playgrounds for children with different abilities. Occupational Therapy International.

The aim of the present study was to better understand how children with different abilities use playgrounds to engage in creative play and interact socially with their peers. Twenty children aged between 7 and 12 years, with different abilities, participated in interviews. The findings showed that playgrounds served as a reference point for all the children, they challenged a child's physical abilities and provided opportunities for role-playing and social interactions. However, for children with disabilities, playgrounds had limited accessibility, usability and did not support interaction with peers. A methodological limitation of the study was that the interviewer only met the children once. Further research should be carried out to investigate if creating playgrounds according to universal design principles and adapting them to the needs of children with disabilities would improve social interactions and provide more opportunities for play.

J. Pretty, J. Peacock, R. Hine, M. Sellens, N. South and M. Griffin. (2007). Green exercise in the UK countryside: Effects on health and psychological well-being, and implications for policy and planning. Journal Of Environmental Planning And Management.

There is evidence that contact with the natural environment and green space promotes good health. It is also well known that participation in regular physical activity generates physical and psychological health bene. fits. The authors have hypothesised that 'green exercise' will improve health and psychological well-being, yet few studies have quantified these effects. This study measured the effects of 10 green exercise case studies (including walking, cycling, horse-riding, fishing, canal-boating and conservation activities) in four regions of the UK on 263 participants. Even though these participants were generally an active and healthy group, it was found that green exercise led to a significant improvement in self-esteem and total mood disturbance (with anger-hostility, confusion-bewilderment, depression-dejection and tension-anxiety all improving post-activity). Self-esteem and mood were found not to be affected by the type, intensity or duration of the green exercise, as the results were similar for all 10 case studies. Thus all these activities generated mental health benefits, indicating the potential for a wider health and well-being dividend from green exercise. Green exercise thus has important implications for public and environmental health, and for a wide range of policy sectors.

M. Prezza and M. G. Pacilli. (2007). Current fear of crime, sense of community, and loneliness in Italian adolescents: The role of autonomous mobility and play during childhood. Journal Of Community Psychology.

A structural equation model was used to examine the role of autonomous mobility and play in public and semipublic places in childhood to predict adolescents' sense Of community, fear of crime, and, through the mediation of these two last psychosocial factors, feelings of loneliness. Participants included 789 Italian students (469 females and 320 males; mean age 16.62, SD = 69). The instruments used were the Italian Sense of Community Scale, the Neighborhood Relations Scale, and the UCLA Loneliness Scale. A questionnaire was also administered to investigate the adolescents' current fear of crime and their autonomous mobility when they were children by asking them to recall their play habits and independent mobility at 8-10 years of age. The structural equation model proved satisfying: Higher autonomous mobility and higher use of public places for play in childhood predicted less intense fear of crime and a stronger sense of community in adolescence. Furthermore, a better relationship with community predicted less pervasive feelings of loneliness. The simultaneous multigroup analysis showed that the final model was comparable for both girls and boys with only one difference. (C) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

J. C. Probst, S. B. Laditka, J. Y. Wang and A. O. Johnson. (2007). Effects of residence and race on burden of travel for care: cross sectional analysis of the 2001 US National Household Travel Survey. Bmc Health Services Research.

Background: Travel burden is a key element in conceptualizing geographic access to health care. Prior research has shown that both rural and minority populations bear disproportionate travel burdens. However, many studies are limited to specific types of patient or specific locales. The purpose of our study was to quantify geographic and race-based differences in distance traveled and time spent in travel for medical/dental care using representative national data. Methods: Data were drawn from 2001 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), a nationally representative, cross-sectional household survey conducted by the US Department of Transportation. Participants recorded all travel on a designated day; the overall response rate was 41%. Analyses were restricted to households reporting at least one trip for medical and/or dental care; 3,914 trips made by 2,432 households. Dependent variables in the analysis were road miles traveled, minutes spent traveling, and high travel burden, defined as more than 30 miles or 30 minutes per trip. Independent variables of interest were rural residence and race. Characteristics of the individual, the trip, and the community were controlled in multivariate analyses. Results: The average trip for care in the US in 2001 entailed 10.2 road miles (16.4 kilometers) and 22.0 minutes of travel. Rural residents traveled further than urban residents in unadjusted analysis (17.5 versus 8.3 miles; 28.2 versus 13.4 km). Rural trips took 31.4% longer than urban trips (27.2 versus 20.7 minutes). Distance traveled did not vary by race. African Americans spent more time in travel than whites (29.1 versus 20.6 minutes); other minorities did not differ. In adjusted analyses, rural residence (odds ratio, OR, 2.67, 95% confidence interval, CI 1.39 5.1.5) was associated with a trip of 30 road miles or more; rural residence (OR, 1.80, CI 1.09 2.99) and African American race/ethnicity (OR 3.04. 95% CI 2.0 4.62) were associated with a trip lasting 30 minutes or longer. Conclusion: Rural residents and African Americans experience higher travel burdens than urban residents or whites when seeking medical/dental care.

K. I. Proper, M. W. Heymans, M. Paw, E. M. F. van Sluijs, M. N. M. van Poppel and W. van Mechelen. (2007). Promoting physical activity with people in different places - A Dutch perspective (vol 9, pg 371, 2006). Journal Of Science And Medicine In Sport.
M. Rasinaho, M. Hirvensalo, R. Leinonen, T. Lintunen and T. Rantanen. (2007). Motives for and barriers to physical activity among older adults with mobility limitations. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.

The purpose of this study was to investigate what older adults with severe, moderate, or no mobility limitation consider motives for and barriers to engaging in physical exercise. Community-dwelling adults (N=645) age 75-81 years completed a questionnaire about their motives for and barriers to physical exercise and answered interview questions on mobility limitation. Those with severely limited mobility more often reported poor health, fear and negative experiences, lack of company, and an unsuitable environment as barriers to exercise than did those with no mobility limitation. They also accentuated disease management as a motive for exercise, whereas those with no or moderate mobility limitation emphasized health promotion and positive experiences related to exercise. Information about differences in motives for and barriers to exercise among people with and without mobility limitation helps tailor support systems that support engagement in physical activity among older adults.

J. Reed and B. Ainsworth. (2007). Perceptions of environmental supports on the physical activity behaviors of University men and women: A preliminary investigation. Journal Of American College Health.

Objective: To examine perception differences between genders of university sidewalks and safety from crime on the physical activity (PA) behaviors of undergraduate students. Participants: Five hundred and sixty undergraduate students participated in this study. Methods: The authors derived questions from the South Carolina Environmental Supports for Physical Activity Questionnaire (SCESPAQ) and National College Health Risk Behavior Survey (NCHRS) PA module. Results: The authors found a significant mean difference between genders for the Moderate Intensity Item (eg, walking and biking) and the Flexibility Item, t(558) = 3.602, p =.001, and t(558) = 1.946, p =.050, respectively. Of participants surveyed, 30% of women perceived this campus to be extremely safe compared with 49% of men, t(558) = 4.240, p =.001. Gender and the perceptions of sidewalk presence were significantly related (p <.05) to respondents' walking or bicycling patterns. Conclusions: Perceptions of sidewalks and safety from crime on this university campus were related to students' PA behaviors.

J. Reed. (2007). Perceptions of the availability of recreational physical activity facilities on a university campus. Journal of American College Health.

OBJECTIVE: The author's purpose in this study was to assess perceptions of recreational physical activity (PA) facilities on a university campus. PARTICIPANTS: Four-hundred and sixty-seven undergraduate students participated in this study (women = 293; men = 174). RESULTS: The author found a significant percentage difference between women and men concerning the availability of racquetball courts on campus, 47% vs 63%, t (465) = -3.274. The author similarly found a significant percentage difference between women and men's perceptions concerning the availability of tennis courts. Twenty-seven percent of women were unaware or did not know tennis courts were available for PA, in comparison with 19% of men t (465) = -2.413. Awareness of recreational facilities revealed significant differences (Pillai's Trace =.189, p <.05) between freshmen and upperclassmen. Freshmen perceived themselves to have access to fewer recreational facilities on campus. CONCLUSION: More efforts to increase awareness of PA facilities are needed on university campuses.


K. Rench. (2007). Nature deficit disorder and the landscape architect (National Walk to School Day Organization). Landscape Architecture.

R. E. Rhodes, K. S. Courneya, C. M. Blanchard and R. C. Plotnikoff. (2007). Prediction of leisure-time walking: an integration of social cognitive, perceived environmental, and personality factors. International Journal Of Behavioral Nutrition And Physical Activity.

Background: Walking is the primary focus of population-based physical activity initiatives but a theoretical understanding of this behaviour is still elusive. The purpose of this study was to integrate personality, the perceived environment, and planning into a theory of planned behaviour (TPB) framework to predict leisure-time walking. Methods: Participants were a random sample (N = 358) of Canadian adults who completed measures of the TPB, planning, perceived neighbourhood environment, and personality at Time 1 and self-reported walking behaviour two months later. Results: Analyses using structural equation modelling provided evidence that leisure-time walking is largely predicted by intention (standardized effect =.42) with an additional independent contribution from proximity to neighbourhood retail shops (standardized effect =.18). Intention, in turn, was predicted by attitudes toward walking and perceived behavioural control. Effects of perceived neighbourhood aesthetics and walking infrastructure on walking were mediated through attitudes and intention. Moderated regression analysis showed that the intention-walking relationship was moderated by conscientiousness and proximity to neighbourhood recreation facilities but not planning. Conclusion: Overall, walking behaviour is theoretically complex but may best be addressed at a population level by facilitating strong intentions in a receptive environment even though individual differences may persist.


N. D. Ridgers, G. Stratton, S. J. Fairclough and J. W. Twisk. (2007). Children's physical activity levels during school recess: a quasi-experimental intervention study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

BACKGROUND: Recess provides a daily opportunity for children to engage in moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) and vigorous physical activity (VPA). Limited research has investigated the effects of recess-based interventions on physical activity using large sample sizes whilst investigating variables that may influence the intervention effect. The aim of the study was to investigate the short-term effects of a playground markings and physical structures intervention on recess physical activity. A secondary aim was to investigate the effects of covariates on the intervention. METHODS: 150 boys and 147 girls were randomly selected from 26 elementary schools to wear uni-axial accelerometers that quantified physical activity every 5 seconds during recess. Fifteen schools located in deprived areas in one large urban city in England received funding through a national initiative to redesign the playground environment. Eleven schools served as matched socioeconomic controls. Data were collected at baseline and 6-weeks following playground intervention. Recess MVPA and VPA levels adjusted for pupil- and school-level covariates (baseline physical activity, age, gender, recess length, body mass index) were analysed using multilevel analyses. RESULTS: Positive but non-significant intervention effects were found for MVPA and VPA when confounding variables were added to the model. Gender was a significant predictor of recess physical activity, with boys engaging in more MVPA and VPA than girls. Significant interactions for MVPA revealed that the intervention effect was stronger for younger elementary aged school children compared to older children, and the intervention effect increased as daily recess duration increased. CONCLUSION: The playground redesign intervention resulted in small but non-significant increases in children's recess physical activity when school and pupil level variables were added to the analyses. Changing the playground environment produced a stronger intervention effect for younger children, and longer daily recess duration enabled children to engage in more MVPA following the intervention. This study concludes that the process of increasing recess physical activity is complex when school and pupil-level covariates are considered, though they should be taken into account when investigating the effects of playground intervention studies on children's physical activity during recess.

M. Riva, L. Gauvin and L. Richard. (2007). Use of local area facilities for involvement in physical activity in Canada: insights for developing environmental and policy interventions. HEALTH PROMOTION INTERNATIONAL.
J. Robertson-Wilson, L. Levesque and L. Richard. (2007). Using an Analytic Framework to Identify Potential Targets and Strategies for Ecologically Based Physical Activity Interventions in Middle Schools. Health Promotion Practice.

The objective was to demonstrate the value of applying an ecological analytic framework to formative data in conjunction with ecological planning frameworks (e.g., intervention mapping) to ensure a high degree of ecological program integration as illustrated through a physical activity program for students in middle school. Eight focus groups were conducted with 38 students in four schools to examine student perceptions of who or what in their school made it easy or difficult for students to be physically active. Qualitative data were used to identify potential intervention targets according to the analytic framework. Frequency analysis revealed that most identified physical activity barriers/facilitators were associated with organization (59.4%) targets. Five different intervention strategies were identified, with organizational modification being most popular. Applying the analytic framework to formative data enabled us to identify potential targets, strategies, and activities for an ecologically based physical-activity-promotion program relevant to the priority population.

J. N. Roemmich, L. H. Epstein, S. Raja and L. Yin. (2007). The neighborhood and home environments: disparate relationships with physical activity and sedentary behaviors in youth. Annals of behavioral medicine.

BACKGROUND: To increase participation in physical activity, it is important to understand the factors associated with a child's choice to be physically active or sedentary. The neighborhood and home environments may be related to this choice. PURPOSE: To determine whether the neighborhood environment or number of televisions in the home environment are independently associated with child physical activity and television time. METHODS: The associations of the neighborhood and home environments on active and sedentary behaviors were studied in 44 boys and 44 girls who wore accelerometers and recorded their television watching behaviors. Neighborhood environment variables were measured using extensive geographic information systems analysis. RESULTS: Hierarchical regression analyses were used to predict physical activity after controlling for individual differences in age, socioeconomic status, percentage overweight, and time the accelerometer was worn in Step 1. Sex of the child was added in Step 2. A neighborhood design variable, street connectivity, accounted for an additional 6% (p



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