Introduction to the Active Living Research Reference List 2007

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D. Rosenberg. (2007). Environmental factors influencing the school children's walking. Archives De Pediatrie.
M. Saar and T. Jurimae. (2007). Sports participation outside school in total physical activity of children. Perceptual And Motor Skills.

This study of associations of sports participation with perceived and actual physical fitness, and total physical activity for 525 10- to 17-yr.-old boys and girls in groups of 10-11-yr. (56 boys and 64 girls), 12-13-yr. (68 boys and 68 girls), 14-15-yr. (70 boys and 71 girls), and 16-17-yr. (68 boys and 60 girls) was based on the Physical Activity Index derived from a questionnaire by Telama, Leskinen, and Young, and self-perceived endurance, strength, flexibility, and body composition. Questions about satisfaction with physical activity, participation in organized physical activity and competitions, or watching competitions were asked. Two EUROFIT tests were used, the 20-m endurance shuttle-run and sit-and-reach, plus the sum of 9 skinfold thicknesses. Children who participated in organized physical activity and in competitions had a higher Physical Activity Index. Passive watching of competitions was not related to children's physical activity or their perceived or measured motor abilities.

B. I. Saksvig, D. J. Catellier, K. Pfeiffer, K. H. Schmitz, T. Conway, S. Going, D. Ward, P. Strikmiller and M. S. Treuth. (2007). Travel by walking before and after school and physical activity among adolescent girls. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine.

OBJECTIVE: To examine how "travel by walking" before and after school contributes to total physical activity of adolescent girls. DESIGN: Cross-sectional sample. SETTING: Thirty-six middle schools from Arizona, Maryland, Minnesota, Louisiana, California, and South Carolina participating in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG). PARTICIPANTS: Seventeen hundred twenty-one sixth-grade girls consented to participate; adequate information was available for 1596 participants (93%). MAIN EXPOSURE: Travel by walking before school, after school, and before and after school combined assessed from the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Mean minutes of physical activity measured by accelerometry were estimated for total physical activity (light, moderate, vigorous), moderate to vigorous activity (MVPA), and MVPA of 3 metabolic equivalents. RESULTS: Travel by walking was reported by 14% of participants before school and 18% after school. Girls who reported travel by walking before and after school (combined) had 13.7 more minutes (95% confidence interval, 1.2-26.3) of total physical activity and 4.7 more minutes (95% confidence interval, 2.2-7.2) of MVPA than girls who did not report this activity. Before-school and after-school walkers (but not both) accumulated 2.5 more minutes (95% confidence interval, 0.10-4.9) and 2.2 more minutes (95% confidence interval, 0.24-4.2) of MVPA on an average weekday, respectively, than nonwalkers. CONCLUSION: Our results provide evidence that walking to and from school increases weekday minutes of total physical activity and MVPA for middle-school girls.


J. F. Sallis. (2008). Angels in the details: Comment on "The relationship between destination proximity, destination mix and physical activity behaviors". Preventive Medicine.
J. F. Sallis, A. C. King, J. R. Sirard and C. L. Albright. (2007). Perceived environmental predictors of physical activity over 6 months in adults: activity counseling trial. Health Psychology.

PURPOSE: In the present study, the authors extend previous cross-sectional findings by using a prospective design to determine whether physical and social environmental characteristics predict physical activity over 6 months. DESIGN: Inactive adults were recruited to the Activity Counseling Trial, a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial of physical activity intervention in primary care. Participants were 387 women and 474 men aged 35-75 years in 3 regions; 1/3 were minorities; 56% had some college education. Baseline perceived environmental variables were used to predict physical activity at 6 months, adjusting for experimental condition and other potential moderators. MEASURES: The validated 7-day physical activity recall interview was used to estimate minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. A standardized survey was used to measure social and physical environmental variables around the home and neighborhood. RESULTS: Women reporting no unattended dogs and low crime in their neighborhoods and men reporting frequently seeing people being active in their neighborhoods did 50-75 more minutes of physical activity per week than did those with different environmental characteristics. Interactions of environmental variables with age group suggested that older adults may be more affected by environmental variables than are younger adults. CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported social and physical environmental variables were significantly related to moderate to vigorous physical activity among a diverse sample of adults living in 3 regions of the United States. These prospective findings strengthen the conclusion from previous cross-sectional studies that environmental variables are important correlates of physical activity.

J. Salmon, L. Salmon, D. A. Crawford, C. Hume and A. Timperio. (2007). Associations among individual, social, and environmental barriers and children's walking or cycling to school. American Journal of Health Promotion.

PURPOSE: To examine associations among individual, social, and environmental barriers and children's walking or cycling to school. DESIGN: Exploratory cross-sectional study. SETTING: All eight capital cities in Australia. SUBJECTS. Parents (N=720) of school-aged children (4-13 years; 27% response rate; 49% parents of boys). MEASURES: Multivariate-adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for parental reporting of barriers to their children's walking or cycling to school, based on a computer-assisted telephone interview. RESULTS: Forty-one percent of children walked or cycled to school at least once per week. Multivariable analyses found inverse associations with individual ("child prefers to be driven" [OR = 0.4, 95% CI = 0.3-0.6], "no time in the mornings" [OR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.3-0.8]); social ("worry child will take risks" [OR = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.3-0.9], "no other children to walk with" [OR = 0.7, 95% CI = 0.4-0.99], "no adults to walk with" [OR = 0.6, 95% CI = 0.4-0.9]); and environmental barriers ("too far to walk" [OR = 0.1, 95% CI = 0.0-0.1], "no direct route" [OR = 0.4, 95% CI = 0.2-0.7]) and positive associations with "concern child may be injured in a road accident" (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.1-3.1) and active commuting. CONCLUSION: Working with parents, schools, and local authorities to improve pedestrian skills and environments may help to overcome barriers.

J. Salmon and A. Timperio. (2007). Prevalence, trends and environmental influences on child and youth physical activity. Medicine and sport science.

The purpose of this chapter was to describe prevalence and trends in children's physical activity (PA) and to overview the evidence of relationships between the broader neighborhood social and physical environment and child and youth PA. PA typically declines throughout childhood and adolescence. Few countries describe prevalence estimates of the proportion of children and youth meeting current PA recommendations; however, trends suggest declines in population level PA among children, in particular declines in active transport and school physical education. While reasons for these changes are not well-understood, there is an increasing research focus on the influence of the neighborhood social and physical environment as possible determinants of theSEeclines. Literature examining associations between the broader social and physical environment and child and youth PA identified factors such as safety concerns (e.g. road safety, crime and concerns about strangers), social interaction (e.g. child visits with peers, neighborhood relationships, other children live in neighborhood close by), and urban design (e.g. connectivity of streets, access and availability of public open spaces and sports facilities) as important influences. However, much of the evidence is preliminary and context specific. That is, studies that reported null associations with children's PA used global rather than context-specific measures of PA (e.g. walking in the neighborhood). Future research requires better conceptualization of the social and physical environment in which children live and consideration of context-specific behaviors and behavior-specific aspects of the environment relevant to children and youth. Prospective studies are needed to establish temporal relationships between the social and physical environment and child and youth PA.

L. Schneider, D. Ward, C. Dunn, A. Vaughn, J. Newkirk and C. Thomas. (2007). The Move More Scholars Institute: a state model of the physical activity and public health practitioners course. Preventing Chronic Disease.

Physical activity has been identified as a public health priority. In response, training and professional development opportunities have been created to increase the capacity of public health practitioners to address this issue. Currently, training resources are primarily reaching national- and state-level professionals. Local-level physical activity and public health practitioners can also benefit from these resources. The Move More Scholars Institute, a 4-day training course for community-based physical activity practitioners in North Carolina, was developed for local practitioners. This article will describe the planning of, implementation of, and initial response to the Move More Scholars Institute.

T. Schwanen and P. L. Mokhtarian. (2007). Attitudes toward travel and land use and choice of residential neighborhood type: Evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area. Housing Policy Debate.

Two issues have recently attracted increasing attention in the literature on New Urbanist-type, higher-density, mixed-use neighborhoods: whether there is a direct causal link between the characteristics of the built environment and personal travel behavior and what kind of people want to live in New Urbanist developments. We apply logit modeling to data from the San Francisco Bay Area to analyze how predispositions toward travel and land use affect the choice of residential neighborhood type. We control for sociodemographics, personality/lifestyle, and auto availability. The findings suggest that people opt for higher-density living in part because they are concerned about the environment and want to reduce their auto travel and because higher-density living makes it easier to benefit from commuting to work. Lower-density living is chosen in part because it is better geared to fast, flexible, and comfortable auto travel and makes it easier to display cars as status symbols.


M. M. Scott, K. R. Evenson, D. A. Cohen and C. E. Cox. (2007). Comparing perceived and objectively measured access to recreational facilities as predictors of physical activity in adolescent girls. Journal Of Urban Health-Bulletin Of The New York Academy Of Medicine.

A number of studies in recent years have identified both self-report and objectively measured accessibility of recreational facilities as important predictors of physical activity in youth. Yet, few studies have: (1) examined the relationship between the number and proximity of objectively measured neighborhood physical activity facilities and respondents' perceptions and (2) compared objective and self-report measures as predictors of physical activity. This study uses data on 1,367 6th-grade girls who participated in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG) to explore these issues. Girls reported whether nine different types of recreational facilities were easily accessible. These facilities included basketball courts, golf courses, martial arts studios, playing fields, tracks, skating rinks, swimming pools, tennis courts, and dance/gymnastic clubs. Next, geographic information systems (GIS) were used to identify all the parks, schools, and commercial sites for physical activity located within a mile of each girl's home. These sites were then visited to inventory the types of facilities available. Girls wore accelerometers to measure their weekly minutes of non-school metabolic equivalent weighted moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MW-MVPA). The number of facilities within a half-mile of girls' homes strongly predicted the perception of easy access to seven out of nine facility types. Both individual facility perceptions and the total number of facilities perceived were associated with increased physical activity. For each additional facility perceived, girls clocked 3% more metabolic equivalent weighted moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (p < 0.001). Although girls tended to record 3% more of this kind of physical activity (p < 0.05) per basketball court within a mile of their homes, objective facility measures were otherwise unrelated to physical activity. The results from this study suggest that raising the profile of existing facilities may help increase physical activity among adolescent girls.


M. M. Scott, D. A. Cohen, K. R. Evenson, J. Elder, D. Catellier, J. S. Ashwood and A. Overton. (2007). Weekend schoolyard accessibility, physical activity, and obesity: The Trial of Activity in Adolescent Girls (TAAG) study. Preventive Medicine.

Objectives. To assess the accessibility and suitability of schools as recreational sites and to determine whether they are associated with young adolescent girls' weekend metabolic equivalent-weighted moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and body mass index (BMI). Methods. We drew a half-mile (0.805 km) radius around the residences of participants in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (n=1556) in Maryland, South Carolina, Minnesota, Louisiana, California, and Arizona. We visited all schools and parks within the defined distance and documented their amenities and accessibility on Saturdays in Spring 2003. Staff gathered data on each girls' height and weight and used accelerometers to record weekend metabolic equivalent-weighted moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Results. Schools represented 44% of potential neighborhood sites for physical activity. However, a third of schools were inaccessible on the Saturday we visited. Neighborhoods with locked schools were primarily non-white, older, more densely populated, and of lower socioeconomic status. Though there was no relationship between school accessibility on Saturdays and weekend metabolic equivalent-weighted moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, the number of locked schools was associated with significantly higher body mass index. Conclusions. The lack of relationship between metabolic equivalent-weighted moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and school accessibility may imply that young adolescent girls do not identify schools as recreational resources. However, due to the association between body mass index and locked schools, efforts to stem the obesity epidemic should include making schools more accessible. (C) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

P. W. Scruggs. (2007). Middle school physical education physical activity quantification: a pedometer steps/min guideline. Research Quarterly For Exercise And Sport.

The objective of the study was to improve physical activity (PA) surveillance of the Healthy People 2010 Objective 22:10 (i.e., 50% of the lesson time engaged in PA) by establishing a pedometer steps/min guideline to quantify time engaged in PA during physical education. A sample of 180 middle school students had their PA measured via pedometry (steps/min) and behavioral observation (PA time). Factorial analyses of variance were used to examine PA differences. Linear and logistic regression, decision accuracy, and receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) statistics were used to test steps/min cut points against the 50% PA recommendation. PA differences were not found (p >.01). Steps/min was a significant (p < or =.01) predictor of PA time, and the binary outcome of meeting or not meeting the PA recommendation. A steps/min interval of 82-88 was an accurate indicator of the 50% PA recommendation. The ROC statistic was.97 (p < or =.01), suggesting steps/min was an excellent discriminator of the binary outcome. Pedometer steps/min is a valid, objective, and practical approach for surveillance of physical education PA, a key physical education and public health outcome.


E. Shenassa, M. Frye, C. Daskalakis and M. Braubach. (2007). The link between floor of residence and body mass index: A Pan-European population-based study. American Journal Of Epidemiology.

E. D. Shenassa, M. Frye, M. Braubach and C. Daskalakis. (2007). Routine stair climbing in place of residence and Body Mass Index: a pan-European population based study. International Journal of Obesity (London).

Objective:Stair climbing is highlighted as a component of a regiment of daily physical activity by various health agencies. This study examined the association between daily stair climbing, as measured by floor of residence in buildings without elevators, and body mass index (BMI).Methods:We analyzed data from a cross-sectional survey of housing and health, conducted by the WHO in eight European cities in 2002 and 2003. BMI was computed from self-reported height and weight; respondent and housing characteristics were also included in regression models that accounted for the clustering of respondents within the same household.Results:Among 2846 normal weight adults, there was an interaction between floor of residence and sex (P=0.017). Among men, residence on a higher floor was significantly associated with lower BMI (P=0.003); BMI of men residing on the fourth floor or above was 0.88 lower than men residing on the first floor. Among women, there was no significant association between floor of residence and BMI (P=0.161).Conclusions:These results suggest an association between daily stair climbing and BMI among men but not among women. If replicated, these results support initiatives encouraging stair climbing as a path toward physical fitness among men.International Journal of Obesity advance online publication, 23 October 2007; doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803755.

S. T. Shimotsu, French, S.A., Gerlach, A.F., Hannan, P.J. (2007). Worksite environment physical activity and healthy food choices: measurement of the worksite food and physical activity environment at four metropolitan bus garages. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Background

The present research describes a measure of the worksite environment for food, physical activity and weight management. The worksite environment measure (WEM instrument) was developed for the Route H Study, a worksite environmental intervention for weight gain prevention in four metro transit bus garages in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Methods


Two trained raters visited each of the four bus garages and independently completed the WEM. Food, physical activity and weight management-related items were observed and recorded on a structured form. Inter-rater reliability was computed at the item level using a simple percentage agreement.

Results

The WEM showed high inter-rater reliability for the number and presence of food-related items. All garages had vending machines, microwaves and refrigerators. Assessment of the physical activity environment yielded similar reliability for the number and presence/absence of fitness items. Each garage had a fitness room (average of 4.3 items of fitness equipment). All garages had at least one stationary bike and treadmill. Three garages had at least one weighing scale available. There were no designated walking areas inside or outside. There were on average < 1 food stores or restaurants within sight of each garage. Few vending machine food and beverage items met criteria for healthful choices (15% of the vending machine foods; 26% of the vending machine beverages). The garage environment was perceived to be not supportive of healthy food choices, physical activity and weight management; 52% reported that it was hard to get fruits and vegetables in the garages, and 62% agreed that it was hard to be physically active in the garages.

Conclusion

The WEM is a reliable measure of the worksite nutrition, physical activity, and weight management environment that can be used to assess changes in the work environment.

K. A. Shores, Scott, D., Floyd, M.F. (2007). Constraints to Outdoor Recreation: A Multiple Hierarchy Stratification Perspective. Leisure Sciences.

A multiple hierarchy stratification perspective was adopted to investigate outdoor recreation constraints for 3,000 Texans interviewed by telephone in 1998. This theoretical perspective contends that individuals' socio-demographic characteristics are accorded a position in society relative to others and that this position effects the individual's access to services. Logistic regression models tested whether nine outdoor recreation constraints were important to respondents based on age, gender, race/ethnicity and SES. With the exception of time constraints, all other outdoor recreation constraints were most important to elderly, female or minority respondents with lower SES. The probability of experiencing constraints to outdoor recreation is multiplied when respondents had more than one of these statuses. Implications for theory development, outdoor recreation, and service provision are discussed.

M. L. Silk. (2007). Come Downtown and Play. Leisure Studies.

The newly anointed American cities of the late capitalist moment appear preoccupied with the reconstitution of urban space. More accurately, select parcels of urban America have been reconfigured into multifaceted sport, leisure and tourism environments designed for the purpose of encouraging consumption-oriented capital accumulation. Within this paper, the focus is a critical exploration of the ways in which tangible and intangible forms of heritage have been employed, utilized and exploited within these urban transformations. Through focus on a city emblematic of the processes that have molded downtown cores under US capitalism - Memphis - the paper points to the role of heritage in the reconfiguration of the Memphian 'tourist bubble'. In particular, discussion centers on the often problematic selection of histories and historical elements, forms and practices within the interests of capital space and thus raises a host of localized questions about whose collective memory is being performed in the present, whose aesthetics really count and who benefits. Conclusions address how such urban space is imbued with power relations, that is, how increasingly leisure-oriented spaces can be seen as important sites of social struggle in which dominant power relations can be constructed, contested and reproduced.

G. K. Singh, M. D. Kogan and M. Siahpush. (2007). Socioeconomic, behavioral, and neighborhood characteristics associated with physical inactivity and activity levels among US children, 2003. American Journal Of Epidemiology.

S. B. Sisson and C. Tudor-Locke. (2008). Comparison of cyclists' and motorists' utilitarian physical activity at an urban university. Preventive Medicine.

OBJECTIVE: Preliminary comparison of cyclists and motorists on: (1) distance lived from campus and, (2) the impact of transportation mode on physical activity. METHODS: A purposive sample of students (n=50; cyclists=26, motorists=24) living <5 miles from Arizona State University campus wore an accelerometer and completed a travel log for two on-campus days during fall 2005-spring 2006. Residence distance to campus was calculated by geocoded addresses (n=45; cyclists=23 vs. motorists=22). Final outcome variables were: distance lived from campus, accelerometer time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, steps/day, total time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (logged minutes cycling+accelerometer-derived moderate-to-vigorous physical activity), and minutes total active commuting (logged walking+cycling). RESULTS: Groups were significantly different for: distance lived from campus (cyclists=0.6+/-0.6 vs. motorists=2.0+/-1.1 miles; p<0.000); steps/day (cyclists=11,051+/-4295 vs. motorists=9174+/-3319; p=0.046); total time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (cyclists=85.7+/-37.0 vs. motorists=50.3+/-23.8 minutes; p<0.001); minutes in motorized transport (cyclists=24.9+/-27.5 vs. motorists=61.6+/-32.9; p<0.001); and total active transport (cyclists=59.4+/-32.4 vs. motorists=29.5+/-20.0; p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Among students living within 5 miles of campus, cyclists lived relatively closer to campus, accumulated more minutes of physical activity, and spent more time in active transportation than students who used motorized means.

K. J. Spangler and L. L. Caldwell. (2007). The implications of public policy related to parks, recreation, and public health: a focus on physical activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

A collaborative framework that influences the promotion of policy related to physical activity should include parks and recreation as well as public health practitioners and researchers. As governments at all levels become increasingly focused on the impact of public resources, park and recreation agencies are challenged to document and demonstrate the impact of leisure services. Public policy associated with parks and recreation is driven by public interest and is often debated in the absence of relevant research to demonstrate the determinants and correlates of parks and recreation to address prevailing social conditions. This paper describes current policy and funding issues faced by public parks and recreation professionals responding to increasing physically active leisure across the lifespan of Americans. We also discuss how a collaborative framework approach can be used to inform public policy designed to increase the physical activity of the American public.

J. O. Spengler, S. J. Young and L. S. Linton. (2007). Schools as a community resource for physical activity: legal considerations for decision makers. American Journal of Health Promotion.

Public schools may offer community residents access to gymnasiums, playfields, etc. When school facilities are available and/or opened up for public use in this manner, what are the legal obligations and liability concerns that arise for the schools and the users? Joint- and shared-use facilities and lands have some legal protections, which this paper introduces and reviews. Legal cases (and precedent) are shared with readers. Within this context, a model depicting factors influencing decisions to allow public use of school facilities for recreation and physical activity is introduced.

M. Spittle, J. O'Meara, J. Garnham and M. Kerr. (2007). Providing sporting experiences for children in Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) environments: Sport and physical activity participation and intentions. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.

The Out of School Hours Sports Program (OSHSP) aimed to provide structured sporting experiences and community links to local clubs for children in Out of School Hours Care (OSHC). The OSHSP involved 17 State Sporting Associations (SSAs), 71 OSHC Services and local club representatives. This study explored children's participation in sport in and outside the OSHSP and parental intention for participation in sport in and outside the OSHSP. Surveys were received from 211 children (76 girls and 125 boys; mean age=7.9 years, S.D.=1.7) and their parents/guardians (37.9% response rate). OSHC is characterised by freedom of choice of participation in activities by children. The OSHSP was used to provide an opportunity to choose to participate in a sport while attending OSHC. At the OSHC Services surveyed, between 7.1 and 100% of the children attending OSHC chose to participate in the OSHSP. Of those children who chose to participate, 85% were participating in a sport, usually a different sport to the one offered in the OSHSP. This participation was largely club-based (49.8%), most often once a week for training and competition (55.2%). Parental intentions for children's participation in the OSHSP sports varied with respect to the number of years attending the OSHSP, where children played and trained in their main sport, and how many times a week a child played and trained in their main sport. Older children tended to play and train for sport more times per week and had been attending the OSHC for more years than younger children.

M. Spivock, L. Gauvin and J. M. Brodeur. (2007). Neighborhood-level active living buoys for individuals with physical disabilities. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

BACKGROUND: In an effort to advance the research agenda on residential determinants of active living among people with physical disabilities, the purposes of this paper are (1) to describe the extent to which environmental supports (buoys) promoting active living among individuals with disabilities are present in neighborhoods located in a large urban area, and (2) to examine the association between the presence of these buoys and neighborhood-level indicators of affluence, proportions of individuals with disabilities living in the neighborhood, and other neighborhood active living indicators. METHODS: In the context of a larger project, pairs of evaluators assessed potential determinants of active living in 112 neighborhoods (census tracts) on the island of Montreal, Canada, in the summer of 2003. The assessment grid included 18 items related to active living for the general population and three specifically for people with physical disabilities. RESULTS: Analyses performed in 2006 show that few neighborhoods in this large urban area are equipped with environmental buoys that might support active living among people with physical disabilities. Lower levels of environmental buoys to promote active living among those with disabilities were most strongly associated with lower levels of neighborhood activity-friendliness. Less consistent associations were observed between lower environmental buoys and lower density of destinations, greater safety, lower proportions of people with disabilities, and higher proportions of those of low income. CONCLUSIONS: More research is needed to better understand the distribution of environmental buoys in residential areas and their influences on active living among people with physical disabilities.

S. Strach, R. Isaacs and M. J. Greenwald. (2007). Operationalizing environmental indicators for physical activity in older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.

This qualitative study describes environmental supports and barriers to physical activity in an older adult sample drawn from low- and high-walkable neighborhoods. Thirty-seven individuals age 55 and over were recruited and answered open-ended survey questions, with a subsample invited back to partake in a semistructured interview. Content analysis identified categories and themes linking perceptions of neighborhood-environment characteristics to activity. Emerging categories and themes did not differ across neighborhood walkability, so results are presented for both groups combined. Infrastructure was the most common category identified to encourage activity, specifically, well-maintained sidewalks, bike paths or lanes, and traffic control. Other categories of land use, landscape, and aesthetics were reported. Poorly maintained or missing sidewalks, crosswalks, bike paths or lanes, and traffic safety were categories that discouraged activity. In conclusion, the information obtained is helpful in solidifying which environmental characteristics are important to measure as they relate to activity behavior in an older adult population.

G. Stratton, N. D. Ridgers, S. J. Fairclough and D. J. Richardson. (2007). Physical activity levels of normal-weight and overweight girls and boys during primary school recess. Obesity.

Objective: This study aimed to compare moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and vigorous physical activity (VPA) in normal-weight and overweight boys and girls during school recess. Research Methods and Procedures: Four hundred twenty children, age 6 to 10 years, were randomly selected from 25 schools in England. Three hundred seventy-seven children completed the study. BMI was calculated from height and weight measurements, and heart rate reserve thresholds of 50% and 75% reflected children's engagement in MVPA and VPA, respectively. Results: There was a significant main effect for sex and a significant interaction between BMI category and sex for the percent of recess time spent in MVPA and VPA. Normal-weight girls were the least active group, compared with overweight boys and girls who were equally active. Fifty-one boys and 24 girls of normal weight achieved the 40% threshold; of these, 30 boys and 10 girls exceeded 50% of recess time in MVPA. Eighteen overweight boys and 22 overweight girls exceeded the 40% threshold, whereas 8 boys and 8 girls exceeded the 50% threshold. Discussion: Overweight boys were significantly less active than their normal-weight male counterparts; this difference did not hold true for girls. Even though nearly double the number of normal-weight children achieved the 40% of MVPA during recess compared with overweight children, physical activity promotion in school playgrounds needs to be targeted not only at overweight but at other health parameters, as 40 overweight children met the 40% MVPA target proposed for recess.

L. Strazdins and B. Loughrey. (2007). Too busy: why time is a health and environmental problem. N S W Public Health Bull.

Time pressure is emerging as a modern malaise. It is linked to changes in working life, with longer work hours and faster work pace, and it is compounded in families; nowadays both parents must combine working with caring. Time pressure also challenges urban, health and environmental policy because many interventions have an unacknowledged time dimension. People need time to keep healthy, to exercise and to maintain strong social and family bonds. If urban designs or environmental solutions can reduce time demands they may directly improve health and social outcomes. However, where they increase time demands they may have unanticipated health costs, create disincentives for the uptake of interventions and disadvantage those who are most time poor.

T. Sugiyama, J. Salmon, D. W. Dunstan, A. E. Bauman and N. Owen. (2007). Neighborhood walkability and TV viewing time among Australian adults. American Journal Of Preventive Medicine.

BACKGROUND: Built-environment attributes of a neighborhood are associated with participation in physical activity and may also influence time spent in sedentary behaviors. Associations of neighborhood walkability (based on dwelling density, street connectivity, land-use mix, and net retail area) and television viewing time were compared in a large, spatially-derived sample of Australian adults. METHODS: Neighborhood-level variables (walkability and socioeconomic status [SES]) were calculated in 154 Australian census collection districts using Geographic Information Systems. Individual-level variables (TV viewing time, time spent in leisure-time physical activity, height, weight, and sociodemographic variables) were collected from adults living in urban areas of Adelaide, Australia using a mail survey (N=2224) in 2003-2004. Multilevel linear regression analysis was conducted in 2006 separately for men and women to examine variations in TV viewing time across tertiles of walkability. RESULTS: Neighborhood walkability was negatively associated with TV viewing time in women, but not in men. After controlling for neighborhood SES, body mass index, physical activity, and sociodemographic variables, women living in medium- and high-walkable neighborhoods reported significantly less TV viewing time per day (14 minutes and 17 minutes, respectively) compared to those residing in low-walkable neighborhoods. CONCLUSIONS: Built-environment attributes of neighborhoods that are related to physical activity also may play an important role in influencing sedentary behavior, particularly among women. Considering the effects of prolonged sedentary time on health risks, which are independent of physical activity, there is the need for further research to explore how environmental characteristics may contribute to the amount of time spent in sedentary behavior.

R. R. Suminski, K. M. Heinrich, W. S. Poston, M. Hyder and S. Pyle. (2007). Characteristics of Urban Sidewalks/Streets and Objectively Measured Physical Activity. Journal of Urban Health.

Several studies have found significant relationships between environmental characteristics (e.g., number of destinations, aesthetics) and physical activity. While a few of these studies verified that the physical activities assessed were performed in the environments examined, none have done this in an urban, neighborhood setting. This information will help efforts to inform policy decisions regarding the design of more "physically active" communities. Fourteen environmental characteristics of 60, 305-m-long segments, located in an urban, residential setting, were directly measured using standardized procedures. The number of individuals walking, jogging, and biking in the segments was assessed using an observation technique. The segments were heterogeneous with regards to several of the environmental characteristics. A total of 473 individuals were seen walking, bicycling, or jogging in the segments during 3,600 min of observation (60 min/segment). Of the 473 seen, 315 were walking, 116 bicycling, and 42 jogging. A greater number of individuals were seen walking in segments with more traffic, sidewalk defects, graffiti, and litter and less desirable property aesthetics. Only one environmental characteristic was associated with bicycling and none were significantly related with jogging. This study provides further evidence that environmental characteristics and walking are related. It also adds new information regarding the importance of scale (e.g., micro, macro) and how some environmental characteristics of urban, residential sidewalks and streets relate to physical activity.

Y. O. Susilo and K. Maat. (2007). The influence of built environment to the trends in commuting journeys in the Netherlands. Transportation.

In this paper we describe commuting trends in the Netherlands in the past decade and examine the influence of urban form and travel accessibility on commuting journeys over time on the basis of data from the Dutch National Travel Survey. Exploratory analysis is performed to identify changes in commuting participation, departure time, commuting time, commuting distance and the modal split. Regression analysis and choice models are used to examine the influence of the built environment on commuting parameters over time. The results indicate that urban form has consistently influenced the parameters of commuting journey in the Netherlands in the last 10 years. However, the trend of the influence is unique for each commuting model. Some influences have become less significant in the last decade and some have become stronger.

W. C. Taylor, J. F. Sallis, E. Lees, J. T. Hepworth, K. Feliz, D. C. Volding, A. Cassels and J. N. Tobin. (2007). Changing social and built environments to promote physical activity: recommendations from low income, urban women. Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

BACKGROUND: Middle age and older (mean = 58.7 y), racial/ethnic minority women report low levels of physical activity. Recommendations to change the social and built environments to promote physical activity in this group are underdeveloped. Two research questions guided this study: What environmental changes are recommended by racial/ethnic minority women? What policies are related to the environmental changes? METHODS: The findings from nine Nominal Group Technique sessions with 45 subjects were analyzed. RESULTS: More police protection, cleaner streets, removal of drugs from streets, more street lights, walking groups, and free gyms were prioritized by subjects as the most important recommendations. The relevant policies included municipal, police department, sanitation department, public works, and transportation department. CONCLUSIONS: Racial/ethnic minority women living in low income, urban areas recommend improvements that affect overall quality of life. Meeting basic needs may be a prerequisite for use of physical activity resources.

W. C. Taylor, M. F. Floyd, M. C. Whitt-Glover and J. Brooks. (2007). Environmental justice: a framework for collaboration between the public health and parks and recreation fields to study disparities in physical activity. Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

BACKGROUND: Despite the importance of physical activity (PA) for good health, not all populations have equal access to PA facilities and resources. This disparity is an environmental justice (EJ) issue because of the negative impact on the health of low-income and racial/ethnic minorities. METHODS: This paper reviews the first wave of the EJ movement, presents the second wave of the EJ movement, discusses the implications of adopting principles from the EJ movement to focus on research in parks and recreation services (PRS), and recommends future research directions. RESULTS: Studies on EJ have documented the disproportionate burden of environmental challenges experienced by low-income and racial/ethnic minorities. With regard to PA, these communities face inadequate access to, quality of, financing for, and public involvement in recreation opportunities. CONCLUSIONS: EJ is a useful framework to facilitate collaborative research between public health and PRS to study racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in PA.

N. Y. Tilahun, D. M. Levinson and K. J. Krizek. (2007). Trails, lanes, or traffic: Valuing bicycle facilities with an adaptive stated preference survey. Transportation Research Part A-Policy And Practice.

This study evaluates individual preferences for five different cycling environments by trading off a better facility with a higher travel time against a less attractive facility at a lower travel time. The tradeoff of travel time to amenities of a particular facility informs Our understanding of the value attached to different attributes such as bike-lanes, off-road trails, or side-street parking, The facilities considered here are off-road facilities, in-traffic facilities with bike-lane and no on-street parking, in-traffic facilities with a bike-lane and on-street parking, in-traffic facilities with no bike-lane and no on-street parking and in-traffic facilities with no bike-lane but with parking on the side. We find that respondents are willing to travel up to twenty minutes more to switch from an unmarked on-road facility with side parking to an off-road bicycle trail, with smaller changes associated with less dramatic improvements. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

J. H. Tilt, T. M. Unfried and B. Roca. (2007). Using objective and subjective measures of neighborhood greenness and accessible destinations for understanding walking trips and BMI in Seattle, Washington. American Journal of Health Promotion.

PURPOSE: Examine the influence of destinations within walking distance of a residence and vegetation on walking trips and body mass index (BMI). DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of data from residences with varying accessibility and greenness. SETTING: Seattle, Washington. SUBJECTS: Stratified random sample of residents, stratified by accessibility and greenness. RESPONSE RATE: 17.5 %, 529 respondents. MEASURES: Accessibility and greenness were measured objectively by Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Network Analysis and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), respectively. Self-reported destinations, natural features, walking trips, BMI, and importance of destinations were measured through a postal survey. RESULTS: Objective accessibility were related to walking trips per month (r(2) =.110, p <.0001), as was subjective greenness (r(2) =.051, p <.0001), although objective measures of actual greenness were not. In areas with high accessibility, BMI was lower in areas that had high NDVI, or more greenness (r(2) =.129428, model p <.0001; t-test of interaction p =.0257). Low NDVI areas were associated with overestimation of the number of destinations within walking distance (F1, 499 = 11.009, p =.001). CONCLUSIONS: Objective and subjective measurements of accessibility and greenness led to an understanding of variation among walking trips and BMI in different neighborhoods.

S. Titze, W. J. Stronegger, S. Janschitz and P. Oja. (2007). Environmental, social, and personal correlates of cycling for transportation in a student population. Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between environmental, social, and personal factors and cycling for transportation among university students. METHODS: Five hundred and thirty-eight university students participated in the questionnaire study. Multi-nominal regression analysis was applied to identify associations between independent variables and cycling behavior. RESULTS: Forty-one percent of the students were regular cyclists and 15% irregular cyclists. Regular cycling was negatively associated with the perception of traffic safety and positively associated with high safety from bicycle theft, many friends cycling to the university, high emotional satisfaction, little physiological effort, and high mobility. Irregular cycling was positively related with environmental attractiveness and little physiological effort. CONCLUSIONS: Improving bicycle parking security and promoting peer support for and positive psychological experiences and convenient mobility of cycling may increase this transport mode among university students.

T. Trayers and D. A. Lawlor. (2007). Bridging the gap in health inequalities with the help of health trainers: a realistic task in hostile environments? A short report for debate. Journal of Public Health (Oxf).

BACKGROUND: From a public health theoretical perspective, there is acknowledgement that synchronized policies, which address both individual and area level risks to health, are important to reduce inequalities and improve health. Despite this, much research focuses on just one of these two approaches (often pitting them against each other) and much practice tends to focus on individual level interventions. Efforts to address health inequalities between rich and poor in the UK continue to focus on individual-based interventions, with the most recent initiative being health trainers. METHODS: In this debate piece, we will use health trainers as a specific example, and focusing primarily on levels of physical activity, we will argue that neither individual level interventions nor environmental change alone are likely to improve levels of activity or reduce health inequalities. CONCLUSIONS: We argue that synchronized policies that tackle both individual and neighbourhood environmental barriers to improving health behaviours are essential.

P. Tucker and J. Gilliland. (2007). The effect of season and weather on physical activity: a systematic review. Public Health.

OBJECTIVES: This study reviewed previous studies to explore the effect of season, and consequently weather, on levels of physical activity. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Thirty-seven primary studies (published 1980-2006) representing a total of 291883 participants (140482 male and 152085 female) from eight different countries are described, and the effect of season on moderate levels of physical activity is considered. RESULTS: Upon review of the evidence, it appears that levels of physical activity vary with seasonality, and the ensuing effect of poor or extreme weather has been identified as a barrier to participation in physical activity among various populations. Therefore, previous studies that did not recognize the effect of weather and season on physical activity may, in fact, be poor representations of this behaviour. CONCLUSIONS: Future physical activity interventions should consider how weather promotes or hinders such behaviour. Providing indoor opportunities during the cold and wet months may foster regular physical activity behaviours year round.

V. Van Acker, F. Witlox and B. Van Wee. (2007). The effects of the land use system on travel behavior: A structural equation modeling approach. Transportation Planning And Technology.

Notwithstanding the extensive research that exists on the strength of the relationship between land use and travel behavior, a consensus has not yet been reached. One possible explanation may be the existence of a wide range of influencing variables. Previous research assumed that the explanatory variables were not influencing each other, thus ignoring the indirect effects on travel behavior. Clearly, handling a wide range of explanatory variables and multiple directions of influence requires more sophisticated research techniques. Structural equation modeling (SEM) seems to be useful here. Although SEM is a research technique dating from the 1970s, applications involving travel behavior from the perspective of land use remain scarce. Furthermore, evidence is mainly based on US data. Therefore, this paper adds some new evidence from a European perspective to the research debate. Our preliminary analysis indicates that socio-economic characteristics influence travel behavior to a greater extent than land use. Furthermore, indirect effects remain important to understand the complexity of travel behavior.


K. Van Der Horst, Paw, M.J.C.A., Twisk, J.W.R., Van Mechelen, W. (2007). A Brief Review on Correlates of Physical Activity and Sedentariness in Youth. Medicine And Science In Sports And Exercise.

Introduction: Better understanding of the correlates of physical activity and sedentary behaviors in youth will support the development of effective interventions that promote a physically active lifestyle and prevent a sedentary lifestyle. The main goal of this systematic review is to summarize and update the existing literature on correlates of young people's physical activity, insufficient physical activity, and sedentary behavior.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted and included studies published between January 1999 and January 2005.

Results: The 60 reviewed studies showed that for children (age range 4-12), gender (male), self-efficacy, parental physical activity (for boys), and parent support were positively associated with physical activity. For adolescents (age range 13-18), positive associations with physical activity were found for gender (male), parental education, attitude, self-efficacy, goal orientation/motivation, physical education/school sports, family influences, and friend support. For adolescents, a positive association was found between gender (male) and sedentary behavior, whereas an inverse association was found between gender and insufficient physical activity. Ethnicity (Caucasian), socioeconomic status, and parent education were found to be inversely associated with adolescents' sedentary behaviors. For children, the evidence was insufficient to draw conclusions about correlates of insufficient physical activity and sedentary behavior.

Conclusion: To gain more insight in the correlates of change in physical activity levels, more prospective studies are needed. Moreover, further research is needed examining the correlates of insufficient physical activity and sedentary behaviors, to develop effective interventions that may help children and adolescents diminish the time they spend on inactive behaviors.

F. J. van Lenthe, S. P. Kremers and J. Brug. (2007). Exploring environmental determinants of physical activity-The road to the future is always under construction. Public Health.

C. Vance and R. Hedel. (2007). The impact of urban form on automobile travel: disentangling causation from correlation. Transportation.

A longstanding question within the field of transportation demand management is the strength of the relationship between urban form and mobility behavior. Although several studies have identified a strong correlation between these variables, there is as yet scant evidence to support policy interventions that target land use as a means of influencing travel. To the contrary, some of the more recent research has cast skepticism on the proposition that the relationship is causative, recognizing the possibility that households endogenously self-select themselves into communities that support their preferences for particular transportation modes. Focusing on individual automobile travel, the present study seeks to contribute to this line of inquiry by estimating econometric models on a panel of travel-diary data collected in Germany between 1996 and 2003. Specifically, we employ the two-part model (2PM)-a procedure involving probit and OLS estimators-to assess the determinants of the discrete decision to use the car and the continuous decision of distance traveled. Beyond modeling variables that capture the urban form features that are commonly suggested to influence mobility behavior, including mixed use and public transit, this study employs instrumental variables to control for potential endogeneity emerging from the simultaneity of residential and mode choices. Unlike much of the work to date, our results suggest that urban form has a causative impact on car use, a finding that is robust to alternative econometric specifications.

J. Veitch, J. Salmon and K. Ball. (2007). Children's active free play in local neighborhoods: a behavioral mapping study. Health Education Research.

Many Australian children are more sedentary than they should be, and almost one in five are currently overweight or obese. Some children may face difficulties finding opportunities to be active, having poor access to safe public open spaces or having low independent mobility limiting their access to places to play. This study aimed to examine children's access to places in their neighborhood for active free play and how these vary by age, sex and socioeconomic status (SES). Behavioral maps of the local neighborhood were completed by children (8-12 years) from five primary schools across different areas of Melbourne. Children living in low SES outer-urban neighborhoods had to travel greater distances to access local parks compared with those in inner-urban mid and high SES areas. One-third (32%) of children reported an independent mobility range of <100 m from home. In conclusion, for some children opportunities to engage in active free play in the local neighborhood may be limited due to lack of parks in close proximity to home and restricted independent mobility. It is important to collaborate with local governments, urban planners and community groups to improve access to neighborhood parks and to promote a sense of neighborhood safety.

C. Venter, V. Vokolkova and J. Michalek. (2007). Gender, residential location, and household travel: Empirical findings from low-income urban settlements in Durban, South Africa. Transport Reviews.

Urban development and transport policies designed to improve the livelihoods of poor communities need to consider the particular needs of women to be effective. Gender roles are played out in a spatial world, and can thus be expected to vary across the urban landscape. The paper examines empirical relationships between spatial factors-in particular residential location within the city-and travel behaviour for men and women in a cross-section of low-income communities in a large metropolitan area in South Africa. Data from a comprehensive household survey show that locality has a significant influence on gender experiences of mobility. Gender differences are greatest in more distant, rural localities, although site-specific characteristics such as walking access to social services, informal work, and small-scale agriculture help alleviate women's inequitable travel burdens. Central localities display the smallest differences between men and women's travel habits, supporting the notion that the high access afforded by centrally located housing helps to promote the satisfaction of women's daily needs as well as their strategic empowerment. Households in peri-urban and peripheral localities suffer the highest travel burdens, having neither the high access of a central location nor the livelihoods-enhancing amenities of a rural environment. Women bear a large part of this burden. Urban development strategies to benefit the urban poor while promoting gender equity are highlighted, including an added emphasis on the provision of social and educational infrastructure within closer proximity to peripheral residential areas, coupled with better pedestrian access.

N. Vogels, K. R. Westerterp, D. L. Posthumus, F. Rutters and M. S. Westerterp-Plantenga. (2007). Daily physical activity counts vs structured activity counts in lean and overweight Dutch children. Physiology & Behavior.

The objectives of this study were to compare daily physical activities, and activities performed according to a structured protocol, measured with tri-axial accelerometers (Tracmor-4), between lean and overweight children. Fourteen overweight children (59.8+/-9.5 kg) and fifteen lean matched controls (47.2+/-8.7 kg) wore the Tracmor-4 daily, during 12+/-1.3 h, for one week in their home environment. Of these, 24 children participated in a sports afternoon, where they performed activities according to the same structured protocol. In addition, physical activity was estimated using a modified Baecke questionnaire. Body composition was determined. Total mean Tracmor counts/day were significantly lower for the overweight children than for the lean (overweight: 46.1+/-6.9 vs. lean: 54.4+/-11.2 kCounts/day, p=0.02), while reported activities (Baecke score) were similar. When performing activities according to the structured protocol, there was no difference in mean Tracmor counts between the two groups (overweight: 36.3+/-6.9 vs. lean: 34.7+/-6.6 kCounts, p=0.6). Daily physical activities were inversely related to percentage body fat (r(2)=0.29, p<0.01); structured activities were not. As compared to lean children, overweight children moved less without being aware of it; yet exerted the same movements per activity. We conclude that in overweight children daily physical activities were reduced and structured activities performed according to instructions were not. In order to prevent progressive overweight or obesity, overweight children should take part in as many as possible structured and scheduled sports activities throughout the week, and be encouraged to behave physically active in daily life.

D. S. Ward, L. Linnan, A. Vaughn, B. Neelon, S. L. Martin and J. E. Fulton. (2007). Characteristics Associated with US Walk to School Programs: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

ABSTRACT: Participation in Walk to School (WTS) programs has grown substantially in the US since its inception; however, no attempt has been made to systematically describe program use or factors associated with implementation of environment/policy changes. Objective: Describe the characteristics of schools' WTS programs by level of implementation. Methods: Representatives from 450 schools from 42 states completed a survey about their WTS program's infrastructure and activities, and perceived impact on walking to school. Level of implementation was determined from a single question to which respondents reported participation in WTS Day only (low), WTS Day and additional programs (medium), or making policy/environmental change (high). Results: The final model showed number of community groups involved was positively associated with higher level of implementation (OR= 1.78, 95%CI = 1.44, 2.18), as was funding (OR=1.56, 95%CI=1.26, 1.92), years of participation (OR=1.44, 95% CI=1.23, 1.70), and use of a walkability assessment (OR=3.22, 95%CI=1.84, 5.64). Implementation level was modestly associated with increased walking (r=0.18). Conclusions: Strong community involvement, some funding, repeat participation, and environmental audits are associated with programs that adopt environmental/policy change, and seem to facilitate walking to school.

M. Wardman, M. Tight and M. Page. (2007). Factors influencing the propensity to cycle to work. Transportation Research Part A-Policy And Practice.

This paper describes the development of a mode choice model for the journey to work with special emphasis on the propensity to cycle. The model combines Revealed Preference (RP) and Stated Preference (SP) data to form a very large and comprehensive model. RP data from the National Travel Survey was combined with a specially commissioned RP survey. A number of SP surveys were also undertaken to examine the effects of different types of en-route and trip end cycle facilities and financial measures to encourage cycling. The development of the model is described in detail. The model was used to forecast trends in urban commuting shares over time and to predict the impacts of different measures to encourage cycling. Of the en-route cycle facilities, a completely segregated cycleway was forecast to have the greatest impact, but even the unfeasible scenario of universal provision of such facilities would only result in a 55% increase in cycling and a slight reduction in car commuting. Payments for cycling to work were found to be highly effective with a 2 pound daily payment almost doubling the level of cycling. The most effective policy would combine improvements in en-route facilities, a daily payment to cycle to work and comprehensive trip end facilities and this would also have a significant impact oil car commuting. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

M. Waring, P. Warburton and M. Coy. (2007). Observation of children's physical activity levels in primary school: Is the school an ideal setting for meeting government activity targets? European Physical Education Review.

Given the commitment (and funding) by the British government to promote physical activity among all ages, and despite the inevitable political manipulation of physical education (PE) and school sport, there is now an ideal opportunity to focus on primary schools as a key target group for the future. This study determined the physical activity levels of a sample of pre-adolescents over time in a primary school setting. 374 children (5-11 yrs) were directly observed for a total of 30,650 minutes. Continuous observations of 374 primary PE lessons, 374 break times and 215 lunch times were undertaken between 1999 and 2004. The actual intensity and type of activities taking place were also recorded in five-minute blocks of time. The children were engaged in activity of at least moderate intensity for 11.8 percent of the total time observed, being more active in PE lessons and break times than in lunch times. Boys were shown to be more active than girls, recording activity of at least moderate intensity for 13 percent of total time compared to 10 percent for girls. Given the available data, the primary school is not delivering on its potential to be a good setting to promote physical activity.

L. M. Wen, D. Fry, C. Rissel, H. Dirkis, A. Balafas and D. Merom. (2007). Factors associated with children being driven to school: implications for walk to school programs. Health Education Research.

In this study, we examined factors associated with children being driven to school. Participants were 1603 students (aged 9-11 years) and their parents from 24 public primary schools in inner western Sydney, Australia. Students recorded their modes of travel to and from school for 5 days in a student survey. Parents recorded their demographic data, their attitudes to travel, and their modes of travel to work, using a self-administered survey. An analysis of the two linked data sets found that 41% of students travelled by car to or from school for more than 5 trips per week. Almost a third (32%) of students walked all the way. Only 1% of students rode a bike and 22% used more than one mode of travel. Of those who were driven, 29% lived less than 1 km and a further 18% lived between 1 and 1.5 km from school. Factors associated with car travel (after adjusting for other potential confounders) were mode of parents' travel to work, parent attitudes, number of cars in the household, and distance from home to school. To be effective, walk to school programs need to address the link between parent journey to work and student journey to school.


M. Wen, N. R. Kandula and D. S. Lauderdale. (2007). Walking for transportation or leisure: What difference does the neighborhood make? Journal Of General Internal Medicine.

BACKGROUND Patients are often advised to initiate a physical activity program by walking for transportation or leisure. This study explored whether neighborhood factors beyond the individual might affect compliance. OBJECTIVE We examined the associations between total walking and neighborhood factors in a multi-ethnic population-based sample in California and the roles race/ethnicity plays in these associations. DESIGN Cross-sectional study PARTICIPANTS Individual-level data were obtained from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey. Participants' census tracts were linked to Census 2000 data to capture neighborhood SES. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS The dependent variable was self-reported walking at recommended levels. Neighborhood SES was measured by a scale of 4 Census-based variables (alpha=0.83). Social cohesion was measured by a scale tapping the extent of perceived social connectedness, trust, and solidarity among neighbors (alpha=0.70). Neighborhood access to a park, playground, or open space was measured by a single item. Safety was measured by a scale of three items (alpha=0.66). We performed a series of multiple logit models with robust variance estimates while taking complex survey design into account. Neighborhood social cohesion (odds ratio [OR]=1.09, 95% CI=1.04, 1.14) and access to a park, playground, or open space (OR=1.26, 95% CI=1.16, 1.36) were significant environmental correlates of walking at recommended levels, independent of individual socio-demographics. Subgroup analysis showed that neighborhood effects were different by race/ethnicity. CONCLUSIONS Neighborhood physical and social environmental factors are significantly associated with walking at recommended levels. Being aware of the ways that the environment could affect a patient's compliance with PA recommendations may help physicians tailor recommendations to circumstances.

W. Wendel-Vos, M. Droomers, S. Kremers, J. Brug and F. van Lenthe. (2007). Potential environmental determinants of physical activity in adults: a systematic review. Obesity Reviews.

The objective of this systematic review of observational studies was to gain insight into potential determinants of various types and intensities of physical activity among adult men and women. Studies were retrieved from Medline, PsycInfo, Embase and Social scisearch. The ANGELO framework was used to classify environmental factors. In total, 47 publications were identified. Social support and having a companion for physical activity were found to be convincingly associated with different types of physical activity [(neighbourhood) walking, bicycling, vigorous physical activity/sports, active commuting, leisure-time physical activity in general, sedentary lifestyle, moderately intense physical activity and a combination of moderately intense and vigorous activity]. Availability of physical activity equipment was convincingly associated with vigorous physical activity/sports and connectivity of trails with active commuting. Other possible, but less consistent correlates of physical activity were availability, accessibility and convenience of recreational facilities. No evidence was found for differences between men and women. In conclusion, supportive evidence was found for only very few presumed environmental determinants. However, most studies used cross-sectional designs and non-validated measures of environments and/or behaviour. Therefore, no strong conclusions can be drawn and more research of better quality is clearly needed.

R. E. Wener and G. W. Evans. (2007). A morning stroll - Levels of physical activity in car and mass transit commuting. Environment And Behavior.

Walking as part of the commute has been suggested as a source of healthful moderate activity, although there has been little empirical study to verify this supposition or determine whether one mode is superior to others. This cross-sectional study assessed differences between car and train commuters in level of physical activity. One hundred eleven train and car commuters were asked to wear a pedometer for one week of commuting on their regular route plus complete a standardized self-report physical activity index. Train commuters walked an average of 30% more steps per day, reported having walked for a period of 10 minutes or more while traveling significantly more often, and were 4 times more likely to walk 10,000 steps per day than car commuters. Transportation mode can significantly affect the amount of physical activity commuters accumulate during the course of a typical work day without planned or coordinated exercise programs.


D. Wert, J. B. Talkowski, J. Brach and J. VanSwearingen. (2007). Characteristics of walking, physical activity, fear of failing and falls in community dwelling older adults based on residence. Journal Of The American Geriatrics Society.

E. E. Wickel and J. C. Eisenmann. (2007). Contribution of youth sport to total daily physical activity among 6- to 12-yr-old boys. Medicine And Science In Sports And Exercise.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to determine the contribution of organized youth sport to total daily physical activity (PA), and 2) to examine the contribution of daily recess and physical education (PE) to total daily PA. METHODS: Using a cross-sectional design, 119 children wore an accelerometer during a school day in which they participated in organized youth sport. A subsample (N=36) wore the accelerometer on a nonsport day to examine day-to-day differences in PA. Total daily PA and PA during youth sport, recess, and PE were estimated. The contributions of youth sport, recess, and PE were determined by dividing the amount of PA from each activity by the total daily amount of PA. RESULTS: Approximately 110 min of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were achieved on the monitoring day. Youth sport contributed approximately 23% of the total MVPA, whereas PE and recess contributed almost 11 and 16%, respectively. Nearly half of the accumulated minutes of MVPA were attributed to unstructured activities (approximately 56 min). For the entire sample, approximately 52% of youth sport time was spent in either sedentary or light-intensity activities, whereas moderate and vigorous physical activity accounted for approximately 27 and 22% of the time, respectively. During a nonsport day, participants engaged in significantly more sedentary activity (P=0.02) and significantly less moderate (P=0.02) and vigorous activity (P<0.001) compared with the sport day. CONCLUSION: Participants in this study averaged 110 min of MVPA during a day in which they participated in youth sport. The additional amount of MVPA accumulated on the sport day (approximately 30 min) was not maintained on a nonsport day.

D. K. Wilson, B. E. Ainsworth and H. Bowles. (2007). Body mass index and environmental supports for physical activity among active and inactive residents of a U. S. southeastern county. Health Psychology.

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the associations between body mass index (BMI) and environmental supports for physical activity in active and inactive adults based on national recommendations for physical activity and walking. Residents of a southeastern community (N = 1,111; ages 18-75 years) were contacted using a random-digit-dial method and were asked about neighborhood and community social and environmental supports for physical activity. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Physical activity was measured using the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) physical activity module. RESULTS: There was a positive association between higher physical activity and walking levels and lower BMI levels. Trusting neighborhoods, having recreational facilities present, and using trails were each associated with twice the odds of being overweight versus obese among those not meeting the national physical activity recommendations. Using trails was also associated with 2.7 times the odds of being overweight as opposed to obese among participants who were not regular walkers. CONCLUSION: Improving environmental supports for access and use of trails and recreational facilities may be important for future environmental interventions aimed at reducing obesity among inactive individuals.

E. J. Wilson, R. Wilson and K. J. Krizek. (2007). The implications of school choice on travel behavior and environmental emissions. Transportation Research Part D-Transport And Environment.

We examine the implications of school choice on walkability, school travel mode and overall environmental emissions. In developing this proof-of-concept model we show-and quantify-differences between city-wide schools and their neighborhood school counterpart. Our analysis demonstrates how children attending city-wide schools may have heightened travel distance, greenhouse gas emissions, and exposure to bus fumes. Using available data along with a series of informed assumptions we figure the city-wide school had six times fewer children walking, 4.5 times as many miles traveled, 4.5 times the system cost, and 3-4.5 times the amount of criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. By providing bus service, the overall miles traveled (and resulting emissions) decreased 30-40% compared to the scenario without bus service, however system costs were higher for both the neighborhood and city-wide school (no pollution externality costs were factored in). (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

M. Winters, M. C. Friesen, M. Koehoorn and K. Teschke. (2007). Utilitarian bicycling: a multilevel analysis of climate and personal influences. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

BACKGROUND: Increasing utilitarian bicycling in urban areas is a means to reduce air and noise pollution, increase physical activity, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. We investigated the impact of individual- and city-level characteristics on bicycling in Canadian cities to inform transportation and public health policies. METHODS: The study population included 59,899 respondents to the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) living in cities with populations greater than 50,000. In 2005, data on individual characteristics were drawn from the CCHS, and city-level climate data from Environment Canada records. Separate multilevel logistic regression models were developed for the general (nonstudent) and student populations. RESULTS: The proportion of the urban population reporting bicycling in a typical week was 7.9%, with students cycling more than nonstudents (17.2% vs 6.0%). In the general population, older age, female gender, lower education, and higher income were associated with lower likelihood of cycling. More days of precipitation per year and more days of freezing temperatures per year were both associated with lower levels of utilitarian cycling (odds ratios [ORs] for every 30-day increase in precipitation=0.84, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.74-0.94, and for every 30-day increase in freezing temperatures OR=0.91, 95% CI=0.86-0.97). There was less variation in the proportion of students who cycled by age and income, and only the number of days with freezing temperatures influenced bicycling. CONCLUSIONS: Bicycling patterns are associated with individual demographic characteristics and the climate where one lives. This evidence might be useful to guide policy initiatives for targeted health promotion and transportation infrastructure.

K. D. M. Wittmeieir, T. R. Kozyra, R. C. Mollard and D. J. Kriellaars. (2007). The impact of Canadian winter on physical activity, aerobic performance and body composition in rural children. Faseb Journal.
H. Woolley. (2007). Where do the children play? How policies can influence practice. Proceedings Of The Institution Of Civil Engineers-Municipal Engineer.

Children's play is important for individual children and for society as a whole. The current paper discusses some of the issues concerning the spaces in which children might play in the external urban environment. First the paper seeks briefly to remind the reader about the importance of play, both for individual children and society as a whole. Second it discusses the types of space-playgrounds-that English society currently usually provides for children to play in, in the outdoor environment. Some of the places that children like to play in are then addressed, drawing upon evidence from research. This is followed by a discussion of some policies that can provide opportunities for children to experience different spaces for playing and experiencing the external environment. Finally there is a short reflection as to whether society will be able to use the opportunities these policies currently provide and thus provide spaces for play with a different character than has been provided for the last 50 years.

A. K. Yancey, J. E. Fielding, G. R. Flores, J. F. Sallis, W. J. McCarthy and L. Breslow. (2007). Creating a robust public health infrastructure for physical activity promotion. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The essential role of physical activity both as an independent protective factor against numerous common chronic diseases and as a means to maintain a healthy weight is gaining increasing scientific recognition. Although the science of physical activity promotion is advancing rapidly, the practice of promoting physical activity at a population level is in its infancy. The virtual absence of a public health practice infrastructure for the promotion of physical activity at the local level presents a critical challenge to control policy for chronic disease, and particularly obesity. To translate the increasing evidence of the value of physical activity into practice will require systemic, multilevel, and multisectoral intervention approaches that build individual capability and organizational capacity for behavior change, create new social norms, and promote policy and environmental changes that support higher levels of energy expenditure across the population. This paper highlights societal changes contributing to inactivity; describes the evolution and current status of population-based public health physical activity promotion efforts in research and practice settings; suggests strategies for engaging decision makers, stakeholders, and the general public in building the necessary infrastructure to effectively promote physical activity; and identifies specific recommendations to spur the creation of a robust public health infrastructure for physical activity.


I. H. Yen, T. Scherzer, C. Cubbin, A. Gonzalez and M. A. Winkleby. (2007). Women's perceptions of neighborhood resources and hazards related to diet, physical activity, and smoking: focus group results from economically distinct neighborhoods in a mid-sized U.S. city. American Journal of Health Promotion.

PURPOSE: To investigate women's perceptions of neighborhood resources and hazards associated with poor diet, physical inactivity, and cigarette smoking. DESIGN: After interviewing city officials and analyzing visual assessments, three economically distinct neighborhoods in a mid-sized city were selected. SETTING: Salinas, California, a predominantly Latino city. METHODS: Eight fobcus groups, conducted in Spanish or English in the three neighborhoods. Thematic coding of focus group transcripts identified key concepts. Women also mapped their perceived neighborhood boundaries. Participants. Women who had at least one child under age 18 living with them. RESULTS: Women identified food stores, parks, recreation areas, and schools as key resources in their neighborhoods. They identified fast food restaurants, convenience stores, violent crime, gangs, and drug-associated issues as "hazards". Distinctions between resources and hazards were not always clear cut. For example, parks were sometimes considered dangerous, and fast food restaurants were sometimes considered a convenient and inexpensive way to feed one's family. Women's perceptions of their neighborhood boundaries differed greatly by type of neighborhood-the perceived neighborhood area (in acres) drawn by women in the lower-income neighborhood was one-fourth the size of the area drawn by women in the higher-income neighborhood. CONCLUSION: This qualitative, exploratory study illustrates how resources and hazards in one's neighborhood cannot be viewed as having solely one dimension-each may influence health behaviors both positively and negatively.

D. R. Young, G. M. Felton, M. Grieser, J. P. Elder, C. Johnson, J. S. Lee and M. Y. Kubik. (2007). Policies and opportunities for physical activity in middle school environments. Journal of School Health.

BACKGROUND: This study examined physical activity opportunities and barriers at 36 geographically diverse middle schools participating in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls. METHODS: Principals, physical education and health education department heads, and program leaders were interviewed to assess policies and instructional practices that support physical activity. RESULTS: Schools provided approximately 110 hours per year in physical education instruction. Approximately 20% of students walked or bicycled to school. Eighty-three percent of schools offered interscholastic sports and 69% offered intramural sports. Most schools offered programs for girls, but on average, only 24 girls (approximately 5%) in the schools attended any programs. Only 25% of schools allowed after school free play. An overall score created to assess school environmental support for physical activity indicated that, on average, schools met 6.7 items of 10 items. Free/reduced lunch program participation versus not (p =.04), perceived priority of physical education instruction over coaching (p =.02), and safety for walking/bicycling to school (p =.02) predicted environmental support score. CONCLUSIONS: Schools have policies and practices that support physical activity, although unfavorable practices exist. Schools must work with community partners and officials to provide environments that optimally support physical activity, especially schools that serve low-income students.




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