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Special Issue "Physical Activity and Public Health"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Rachel Davey

Director, Health Research Institute, University of Canberra, Bruce, Canberra ACT 2600, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: physical activity and health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases and premature mortality from all causes. Those with low levels of physical activity have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancers and obesity. Physical inactivity has been identified by the World Health Organization as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality (6% of deaths globally) and is estimated to be the main cause for approximately 21–25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes and approximately 30% of ischemic heart disease burden.

Our modern day “obesogenic” environments encourage poor lifestyle behaviors that include over consumption of high energy-dense foods and sedentary behaviors. Lifestyle behaviors are influenced by a myriad of individual, social, economic, regulatory, mass media, and other environmental factors (e.g., built, natural and social environment). Whilst individual-based approaches can be effective for some, they do not work for all, and are often not sustained longer-term. Creating healthy environments (neighborhoods, cities) has potential to support healthier behaviors and lifestyles that have a more sustainable population impact. At the population level, even modest shifts in risk behaviors and risk factors substantially alter health outcomes and disease risk.

This Special Issue is open to any subject area of public health, health promotion, economics and policy related to physical activity. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Prof. Dr. Rachel Davey
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs).


Keywords

  • physical activity
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • public health
  • health promotion
  • physical activity interventions
  • built environment
  • impact of physical inactivity (health, economic)
  • non-communicable disease
  • obesity
  • urban planning

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Repetitive Daily Point of Choice Prompts and Occupational Sit-Stand Transfers, Concentration and Neuromuscular Performance in Office Workers: An RCT
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 4340-4353; doi:10.3390/ijerph120404340
Received: 21 November 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2015 / Accepted: 31 March 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (850 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: Prolonged office sitting time adversely affects neuromuscular and cardiovascular health parameters. As a consequence, the present study investigated the effects of prompting the use of height-adjustable working desk (HAWD) on occupational sitting and standing time, neuromuscular outcomes and concentration in office workers.
[...] Read more.
Objective: Prolonged office sitting time adversely affects neuromuscular and cardiovascular health parameters. As a consequence, the present study investigated the effects of prompting the use of height-adjustable working desk (HAWD) on occupational sitting and standing time, neuromuscular outcomes and concentration in office workers. Methods: A single-blinded randomized controlled trial (RCT) with parallel group design was conducted. Thirty-eight office workers were supplied with HAWDs and randomly assigned (Strata: physical activity (PA), BMI, gender, workload) to a prompt (INT) or non-prompt (CON) group. INT received three daily screen-based prompts within 12 weeks. CON was only instructed once concerning the benefits of using HAWDs prior to the start of the study. Sitting and standing times were objectively assessed as primary outcomes for one entire working week using the ActiGraph wGT3X-BT at baseline (pre), after 6 (mid) and 12 weeks (post). Concentration (d2-test), postural sway during upright stance (under single, dual and triple task) and lower limb strength endurance (heel-rise) were collected as secondary outcomes. Results: With large but not statistically significant within group effects from pre to post, INT increased weekly standing time at work by 9% (p = 0.22, d = 0.8) representing an increase from 7.2 h (4.8) to 9.7 (6.6) h (p = 0.07). Concentration and neuromuscular performance did not change from pre to post testing (0.23 < p < 0.95; 0.001 < ηp² < 0.05). Conclusion: Low-frequent and low cost screen-based point of choice prompts (3 per day within 12 weeks) already result in notable increases of occupational standing time of approx. daily 30 min. These stimuli, however, did not relevantly affect neuromuscular outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Perceived and Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time among South Asian Women in the UK
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 3152-3173; doi:10.3390/ijerph120303152
Received: 22 December 2014 / Revised: 9 March 2015 / Accepted: 10 March 2015 / Published: 16 March 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (852 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Introduction: Limited self-report data suggest that South Asian (SA) women fail to meet physical activity (PA) recommendations. Recent research using objective measures reveals SA women living in the UK have higher PA levels than previously reported, and a pattern of under-reporting PA
[...] Read more.
Introduction: Limited self-report data suggest that South Asian (SA) women fail to meet physical activity (PA) recommendations. Recent research using objective measures reveals SA women living in the UK have higher PA levels than previously reported, and a pattern of under-reporting PA and sedentary time (ST). There is limited research on SA women’s understanding and experiences of PA/ST, and the cultural contexts and conditions within which they occur. Therefore the aims of this mixed-methods study were to compare perceived PA and ST to objectively measured data and explore PA- and ST-specific contexts, experiences, and sources of PA and ST amongst SA women in the UK. Methods: 24 women were purposively sampled to participate in a semi-structured interview from a larger study of 140 women who wore an accelerometer for 7 days. Demographic and anthropometric data were also collected. Results: Notable qualitative themes on contextualisation were of adequate PA as “keeping busy” or “being healthy”, and of ST as “lazy” or “resting in old age”. Few participants reported being sedentary, and most believed they were sufficiently physically active. Objectively measured PA/ST indicated that 66% women were less active than perceived (with regard to duration and intensity), with none able to estimate duration of ST. Discussion: Findings suggest that overall, SA women have contextualisations of PA/ST that may not coincide with those of researchers, health professionals and policy makers, and lack awareness of the intensity of PA in which they engage and the health risks of high levels of ST. These findings highlight the need for objective measures of PA and ST in this population combined with in-depth qualitative assessments to provide more accurate assessments of these behaviours. This information can subsequently be used to develop health promotion messages and interventions focusing on increasing duration and/or intensity levels of daily activities (e.g., walking, housework) and reducing ST in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Public Health)
Open AccessCommunication Weekly Trends in Preschoolers’ Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in Childcare
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 2454-2464; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302454
Received: 16 December 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2015 / Published: 24 February 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (701 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study sought to examine how the physical activity levels and sedentary time of preschoolers attending center-based childcare varied across the week. Sex differences were also explored. Participants (n = 101) wore Actical™ accelerometers (15 s epoch) for five consecutive days during
[...] Read more.
This study sought to examine how the physical activity levels and sedentary time of preschoolers attending center-based childcare varied across the week. Sex differences were also explored. Participants (n = 101) wore Actical™ accelerometers (15 s epoch) for five consecutive days during childcare hours only. A multivariate repeated measures analysis of variance was used to evaluate levels of sedentary, light, and moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) physical activity across the five weekdays. Total physical activity (TPA) was analyzed separately in a univariate repeated measures ANOVA. Sex was entered as an additional between-subjects factor. Levels of sedentary time, LPA, and TPA across the week were found to be statistically significant, and can best be described by quadratic effects. Participants’ activity levels and sedentary time typically peaked mid-week. Levels of physical activity and sedentary time were not found to significantly differ based on sex. Childcare centers may benefit from the introduction and/or modification of active play-based programming and curricula, particularly at the start and end of the week where preschoolers’ activity levels tend to be lower. Additional investigations are required to confirm these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Moderate Activity and Fitness, Not Sedentary Time, Are Independently Associated with Cardio-Metabolic Risk in U.S. Adults Aged 18–49
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 2330-2343; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302330
Received: 20 November 2014 / Revised: 23 December 2014 / Accepted: 9 February 2015 / Published: 23 February 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (700 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This cross-sectional study is one of the first to examine and compare the independent associations of objectively measured sedentary time, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and fitness with cardio-metabolic risk factors. We studied 543 men and women (aged 18–49 years) from the
[...] Read more.
This cross-sectional study is one of the first to examine and compare the independent associations of objectively measured sedentary time, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and fitness with cardio-metabolic risk factors. We studied 543 men and women (aged 18–49 years) from the NHANES 2003–2004 survey. Sedentary time and MVPA were measured by accelerometry. Fitness was assessed with a submaximal treadmill test. Cardio-metabolic risk factors included: waist circumference (WC), BMI, blood pressure, fasting glucose, HDL- and non HDL cholesterol, triglycerides (TG), and C-reactive protein (CRP). Sedentary time, MVPA and fitness were used as predictors for the cardio-metabolic outcomes in a multiple regression analysis. Standardized regression coefficients were computed. Results show that sedentary time was associated with HDL-cholesterol (β = −0.080, p = 0.05) and TG (β = 0.080, p = 0.03). These results became non-significant after adjustment for MVPA and fitness. MVPA was associated with WC (β = −0.226), BMI (β = −0.239), TG (β = −0.108) and HDL-cholesterol (β = 0.144) (all p < 0.05). These results remained significant after adjustment for sedentary time and fitness. Fitness was associated with WC (β = −0.287), BMI (β = −0.266), systolic blood pressure (β = −0.159), TG (β = −0.092), and CRP (β = −0.130) (all p < 0.05). After adjustment for sedentary time and MVPA these results remained significant. These differences in relative importance of sedentary time, MVPA and fitness on cardio-metabolic-risk are important in the design of prevention programs. In this population, the strength of the associations between MVPA and fitness with cardio-metabolic markers appeared to be similar; both MVPA and fitness showed independent associations with cardio-metabolic risk factors. In contrast, sedentary time showed no independent associations with cardio-metabolic risk after correction for fitness and MVPA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Empowering Sedentary Adults to Reduce Sedentary Behavior and Increase Physical Activity Levels and Energy Expenditure: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 414-427; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100414
Received: 31 July 2014 / Accepted: 30 December 2014 / Published: 5 January 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (745 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a 4-week intervention in which an online personal activity monitor (Gruve-Technologies) was used to reduce sedentary behavior among sedentary adults. Method: Eighteen, sedentary adult volunteers (12 men,
[...] Read more.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a 4-week intervention in which an online personal activity monitor (Gruve-Technologies) was used to reduce sedentary behavior among sedentary adults. Method: Eighteen, sedentary adult volunteers (12 men, six women, mean age 29 ± 4.0 years) were recruited to participate in the study. Time spent in sedentary activities and light-, moderate-, and vigorous-intensity physical activity and energy expenditure were assessed during waking hours using the monitor and the 7-day SLIPA Log at both baseline and post-intervention. Results: A significant decrease of 33% (3.1 h/day; p < 0.001) was found between the time spent in sedentary activities measured at baseline (9.4 ± 1.1 h/day) and at the end of the 4-week intervention (6.3 ± 0.8 h/day). Consequent to the changes in sedentary time, significant increases were found in the amount of time spent in light- (45% (2.6 h/day), p < 0.001), moderate- (33% (1 h/day) p < 0.001), vigorous-intensity physical activity (39% (0.16 h/day), p < 0.001), and energy expenditure (47% (216.7 kcal/day), p < 0.001). Conclusion: This monitor contributes to a meaningful reduction in time spent in sedentary activities and has a large effect on energy expenditure and physical activity patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle The Association between Access to Public Transportation and Self-Reported Active Commuting
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12632-12651; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212632
Received: 22 September 2014 / Revised: 21 October 2014 / Accepted: 27 November 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Active commuting provides routine-based regular physical activity which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Using public transportation involves some walking or cycling to a transit stop, transfers and a walk to the end location and users of public transportation have been found
[...] Read more.
Active commuting provides routine-based regular physical activity which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Using public transportation involves some walking or cycling to a transit stop, transfers and a walk to the end location and users of public transportation have been found to accumulate more moderate physical activity than non-users. Understanding how public transportation characteristics are associated with active transportation is thus important from a public health perspective. This study examines the associations between objective measures of access to public transportation and self-reported active commuting. Self-reported time spent either walking or cycling commuting each day and the distance to workplace were obtained for adults aged 16 to 65 in the Danish National Health Survey 2010 (n = 28,928). Access to public transportation measures were computed by combining GIS-based road network distances from home address to public transit stops an integrating their service level. Multilevel logistic regression was used to examine the association between access to public transportation measures and active commuting. Distance to bus stop, density of bus stops, and number of transport modes were all positively associated with being an active commuter and with meeting recommendations of physical activity. No significant association was found between bus services at the nearest stop and active commuting. The results highlight the importance of including detailed measurements of access to public transit in order to identify the characteristics that facilitate the use of public transportation and active commuting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Associations between Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity and Neighbourhood Recreational Facilities: The Features of the Facilities Matter
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12594-12610; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212594
Received: 15 September 2014 / Revised: 21 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (696 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objectives: To examine the associations between objectively-assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and perceived/objective measures of neighbourhood recreational facilities categorized into indoor or outdoor, public, residential or commercial facilities. The associations between facility perceptions and objectively-assessed numbers of recreational facilities were also examined.
[...] Read more.
Objectives: To examine the associations between objectively-assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and perceived/objective measures of neighbourhood recreational facilities categorized into indoor or outdoor, public, residential or commercial facilities. The associations between facility perceptions and objectively-assessed numbers of recreational facilities were also examined. Method: A questionnaire was used on 480 adults to measure local facility perceptions, with 154 participants wearing ActiGraph accelerometers for ≥4 days. The objectively-assessed number of neighbourhood recreational facilities were examined using direct observations and Geographical Information System data. Results: Both positive and negative associations were found between MVPA and perceived/objective measures of recreational facilities. Some associations depended on whether the recreational facilities were indoor or outdoor, public or residential facilities. The objectively-assessed number of most public recreational facilities was associated with the corresponding facility perceptions, but the size of effect was generally lower than for residential recreational facilities. Conclusions: The objectively-assessed number of residential outdoor table tennis courts and public indoor swimming pools, the objectively-assessed presence of tennis courts and swimming pools, and the perceived presence of bike lanes and swimming pools were positive determinants of MVPA. It is suggested to categorize the recreational facilities into smaller divisions in order to identify unique associations with MVPA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Public Health)

Other

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Open AccessCommentary Importance of All Movement Behaviors in a 24 Hour Period for Overall Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12575-12581; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212575
Received: 9 October 2014 / Revised: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 25 November 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (640 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Physical inactivity and childhood obesity are well-recognized public health concerns that are associated with a range of adverse health outcomes. Historically, the benefits of physical activity (e.g., moderate-to-vigorous physical activity—MVPA) to overall health have dominated discussions and emerging evidence indicates that a broader,
[...] Read more.
Physical inactivity and childhood obesity are well-recognized public health concerns that are associated with a range of adverse health outcomes. Historically, the benefits of physical activity (e.g., moderate-to-vigorous physical activity—MVPA) to overall health have dominated discussions and emerging evidence indicates that a broader, more integrated approach is needed to better understand and address current public health crises. Existing guidelines for children and youth around the world only focus on MVPA, and recently sedentary behavior, despite an accumulating body of evidence showing that light-intensity physical activity (LPA) such as walking can provide important health benefits. Furthermore, there is accumulating support for the importance of adequate sleep and that these behaviors moderate the health impact of each other. Ignoring the other components of the movement continuum (i.e., sleep, sedentary time, LPA) while focusing efforts exclusively on MVPA (accounting for <5% of the time in a 24 h period) limits the potential to optimize the health benefits of movement behaviors. In order to address this limitation, experts in Canada are currently developing the world’s first Integrated 24 Hour Movement Behaviour Guidelines for Children and Youth to help advance an integrated healthy active living agenda that has the potential to significantly improve the overall health and well-being of children and youth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Public Health)

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