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Physical Activity and Health Behaviors

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 20508

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Center for Health and Exercise Science Research, Department of Sport, Physical Education and Health, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong 999077, China
Interests: health behaviors; medical and health sciences; applied physiology; exercise and immune function; hormonal control and exercise applied physiology; exercise biochemistry; cardiovascular disease; obesity and related co-morbidities; biomechanics
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Guest Editor
Applied Sports Technology, Exercise and Medicine (A-STEM) Research Centre, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Bay Campus, Swansea University, Swansea SA1 8EN, UK
Interests: cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity across the health, fitness and life-span; paediatric and clinical populations; dose–response relationship between physical activity and health outcomes across the activity spectrum; prolonged sitting in sedentary individuals; acute and chronic influences of intensive exercise training
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is devoted to the study of interaction between physical activity and health behaviors. Research on the physiology, biochemistry, psychology, and biomechanics of health development is welcome. Physical activity is closely linked with health and well-being, and is also associated with individual behavior. Empirical evidence regarding the prevalence of exercise health behaviors can help individuals develop their bodies and improve their health status. Regular physical activity can help keep people think, learn, and improve judgment  and cognitive skills as they age. Physical activity can also help to control weight and minimize obesity-related diseases. Good heath behaviors can convey health benefits and protect individuals from disease. Therefore, more studies such as those presented in this volume are required. This will help us to design interventions for improving health that may change the behaviors and habits of individuals in order to make physical activity and healthy behavior the preferred option for individuals.

Prof. Dr. Julien S. Baker
Prof. Dr. Melitta McNarry
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Exercise
  • physical activity
  • health behaviors
  • applied physiology
  • exercise biochemistry
  • cardiovascular disease

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 1069 KiB  
Article
Development and Evaluation of Sedentary Time Cut-Points for the activPAL in Adults Using the GGIR R-Package
by Duncan S. Buchan and Julien S. Baker
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2293; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032293 - 27 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1386
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to develop sedentary cut-points for the activPAL and evaluate their performance against a criterion measure (i.e., activPAL processed by PALbatch). Part 1: Thirty-five adults (23.4 ± 3.6 years) completed 12 laboratory activities (6 sedentary and 6 non-sedentary [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to develop sedentary cut-points for the activPAL and evaluate their performance against a criterion measure (i.e., activPAL processed by PALbatch). Part 1: Thirty-five adults (23.4 ± 3.6 years) completed 12 laboratory activities (6 sedentary and 6 non-sedentary activities). Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves proposed optimal Euclidean Norm Minus One (ENMO) and Mean Amplitude Deviation (MAD) cut-points of 26.4 mg (ENMO) and 30.1 mg (MAD). Part 2: Thirty-eight adults (22.6 ± 4.1 years) wore an activPAL during free-living. Estimates from PALbatch and MAD revealed a mean percent error (MPE) of 2.2%, mean absolute percent error (MAPE) of 6.5%, limits of agreement (LoA) of 19% with absolute and relative equivalence zones of 5% and 0.3 SD. Estimates from PALbatch and ENMO revealed an MPE of −10.6%, MAPE of 14.4%, LoA of 31% and 16% and 1 SD equivalence zones. After standing was isolated from sedentary behaviours, ROC analysis proposed an optimal cut-off of 21.9 mg (herein ENMOs). Estimates from PALbatch and ENMOs revealed an MPE of 3.1%, MAPE of 7.5%, LoA of 25% and 9% and 0.5 SD equivalence zones. The MAD and ENMOs cut-points performed best in discriminating between sedentary and non-sedentary activity during free-living. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health Behaviors)
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13 pages, 815 KiB  
Article
Promoting Physical Activity among Working Women: The Influence of Perceived Policy Effectiveness and Health Awareness
by Huilin Wang, Ziqing Xu, Jingyu Yang and Dan Huang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1021; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021021 - 05 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1525
Abstract
In recent years, patients with chronic diseases have shown a younger trend due to physical inactivity and irregular lifestyles. Accordingly, the Chinese government has implemented the “National Fitness Program”, which aims to enhance people’s health by popularizing exercise and a healthy lifestyle. However, [...] Read more.
In recent years, patients with chronic diseases have shown a younger trend due to physical inactivity and irregular lifestyles. Accordingly, the Chinese government has implemented the “National Fitness Program”, which aims to enhance people’s health by popularizing exercise and a healthy lifestyle. However, women are less physically active than men, and how to appeal to women to devote themselves to fitness activities has become a social concern. Based on the expanded theory of planned behavior (TPB), this study explores the impact of the perceived policy effectiveness and health awareness on physical activity among working women. This study adopted a repeated cross-sectional study method, and each respondent was asked to complete a two-stage survey. The structural model of the extended TPB was tested using sample data from 376 working women in Changsha, China. The results show that perceived policy effectiveness and health awareness positively affect actual behavioral control and implementation intention. Among them, perceived policy effectiveness has the most significant impact on implementation intention, followed by health awareness. Furthermore, actual behavioral control and implementation intention mediate the relationship between perceived policy effectiveness/health awareness and physical activity. The findings suggest that to promote physical activity among working women, the Chinese government should deepen the implementation of the “National Fitness Program” and raise the public’s health awareness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health Behaviors)
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14 pages, 1047 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Physical Exercise on Obesity in a Cohort of Southern Italian Obese Children: Improvement in Cardiovascular Risk and Immune System Biomarkers
by Cristina Mennitti, Annaluisa Ranieri, Ersilia Nigro, Lorella Tripodi, Mariarita Brancaccio, Jacopo Ulisse, Luca Gentile, Fabio Fimiani, Arturo Cesaro, Giovanni D’Alicandro, Giuseppe Limongelli, Aurora Daniele, Raffaela Pero, Giulia Frisso, Paolo Calabrò, Lucio Pastore, Maria Rosaria Licenziati, Olga Scudiero and Barbara Lombardo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(1), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010602 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1904
Abstract
Background: Childhood obesity (CO) is a serious medical condition affecting approximately 120 million children and adolescents worldwide. It is characterized by a persistent inflammatory state with inflammatory markers overexpressed, which in turn leads to a higher cardiovascular risk. It is well known that [...] Read more.
Background: Childhood obesity (CO) is a serious medical condition affecting approximately 120 million children and adolescents worldwide. It is characterized by a persistent inflammatory state with inflammatory markers overexpressed, which in turn leads to a higher cardiovascular risk. It is well known that physical exercise reduces the inflammatory state in obese children. In the present study, we evaluated various biochemical parameters in obese children performing physical exercise compared to a group of obese sedentary children. Hence, the objective is to identify a panel of biomarkers to prevent numerous obesity-related complications. Methods: We examined two populations: 44 sedentary obese children (OSe), recruited on 5 November 2018 from Santobono–Pausilipon Children’s Hospital, Naples (Italy) of age = 11 ± 3.3 and 30 obese children who practice sport (OSp) of age = 10 ± 2.5. We observed a significant variation in some biochemical parameters such as white blood cells, C-reactive protein (CRP), glycemia and insulinemia. Moreover, we determined the levels of interleukins, chemokines and defensins by ELISA assay. Results: Our results showed a reduction in serum level of glycemia (p-value < 0.001), neutrophils (p-value < 0.05) and CRP (p-value < 0.05), whereas no relevant variations have been reported in insulin levels. Moreover, we found a decrease in serum levels of PDGF-β (p-value < 0.05), IL-9 (p-value < 0.01), IL-6 (p-value < 0.0001), IL-8 (p-value < 0.0001), IP-10 (p-value < 0.01), Eotaxin (p-value < 0.0001) and GM-CSF (p-value < 0.01) in OSp population in comparison to OSe. At the same time, we did not observe any significant variation in serum levels of IL-1ra and IL-17 between the two populations. On the other hand, we found an increase in HNP-1 (p-value < 0.0001) and HBD1 (p-value < 0.01) in OSp if compared to OSe. Conclusions: This study shed light on the role of physical exercise on CO, demonstrating in our population that an early evaluation of some biochemical parameters could be an assumption to prescribe physical exercise in order to monitor and prevent childhood obesity and related disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health Behaviors)
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16 pages, 2316 KiB  
Article
Sports Bra Pressure: Effect on Body Skin Temperature and Wear Comfort
by Kit-Lun Yick, Yin-Ching Keung, Annie Yu, Kam-Ho Wong, Kwok-Tung Hui and Joanne Yip
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15765; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315765 - 26 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2603
Abstract
Sports bras are an essential apparel for active women, but may exert excessive pressure that negatively affects thermoregulation, thermal comfort and wear sensation. This study measures skin temperature changes during short durations of exercise on a treadmill with different bra pressures. The results [...] Read more.
Sports bras are an essential apparel for active women, but may exert excessive pressure that negatively affects thermoregulation, thermal comfort and wear sensation. This study measures skin temperature changes during short durations of exercise on a treadmill with different bra pressures. The results based on 21 female subjects (age: 27.2 ± 4.5 years old) show that bras with more pressure at the underband or shoulder straps do not cause statistically significant skin temperature changes during exercise (p > 0.05). Nevertheless, compared to the optimal bra fit, significant differences in bra-breast skin temperature are found during running, cooling down and sitting when the bra pressure is increased (p < 0.05), particularly under bra cup (T1) in this study. The FLIR thermal images can visualize the skin temperature changes at abdomen throughout the four activity stages. Subjective sensations of bra thermal comfort, pressure and breast support are assessed. Despite the increased pressure on the shoulders and chest wall, perceptions towards thermal comfort remain unchanged. The perceived pressure comfort and support sensation amongst the 4 bra conditions are comparable. Interestingly, positive sensations of pressure comfort and breast support are perceived with a tight-fitting sports bra during treadmill exercise. High pressures induced by sports bras (>4 kPa) that habitually considered harmful to the human body may not lead to wear discomfort but enhance bra support sensation and a sense of security to the wearers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health Behaviors)
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16 pages, 1577 KiB  
Article
Effects of Physical Exercise on Mobile Phone Addiction in College Students: The Chain Mediation Effect of Psychological Resilience and Perceived Stress
by Zitong Zhao, Shuai Zhao, Qi Wang, Yiran Zhang and Chunchun Chen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15679; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315679 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2498
Abstract
Smartphones have become an integral part of people’s daily lives. While bringing convenience, mobile phone addiction caused by overuse of smart phones has become a common phenomenon among college students. The current study aimed to examine the serial mediating role of psychological resilience [...] Read more.
Smartphones have become an integral part of people’s daily lives. While bringing convenience, mobile phone addiction caused by overuse of smart phones has become a common phenomenon among college students. The current study aimed to examine the serial mediating role of psychological resilience and perceived stress between physical exercise and mobile phone addiction of college students. Using the PARS-3 scale, CD-RISC-10 scale, PSS-10 scale, and MPA scale, 257 college students were investigated and Structural Equation Model (SEM) was conducted. The results show that: (1) Physical exercise has no significant direct impact on mobile phone addiction. (2) Psychological resilience has a significant mediating effect between physical exercise and mobile phone addiction. But perceived stress does not. (3) Psychological resilience and perceived stress play a chain mediation role. Physical exercise can enhance psychological resilience firstly, thus relieving perceived stress and eventually mitigating mobile phone addiction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health Behaviors)
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11 pages, 2235 KiB  
Article
Effects of Different Pedaling Positions on Muscle Usage and Energy Expenditure in Amateur Cyclists
by Chun-Kai Tang, Ching Huang, Kai-Cheng Liang, Yu-Jung Cheng, Yueh-Ling Hsieh, Yi-Fen Shih and Hsiu-Chen Lin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912046 - 23 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1963
Abstract
Background: Inappropriate cycling positions may affect muscle usage strategy and raise the level of fatigue or risk of sport injury. Dynamic bike fitting is a growing trend meant to help cyclists select proper bikes and adjust them to fit their ergometry. The purpose [...] Read more.
Background: Inappropriate cycling positions may affect muscle usage strategy and raise the level of fatigue or risk of sport injury. Dynamic bike fitting is a growing trend meant to help cyclists select proper bikes and adjust them to fit their ergometry. The purpose of this study is to investigate how the “knee forward of foot” (KFOF) distance, an important dynamic bike fitting variable, influences the muscle activation, muscle usage strategy, and rate of energy expenditure during cycling. Methods: Six amateur cyclists were recruited to perform the short-distance ride test (SRT) and the graded exercise tests (GXT) with pedaling positions at four different KFOF distances (+20, 0, −20, and −40 mm). The surface electromyographic (EMG) and portable energy metabolism systems were used to monitor the muscle activation and energy expenditure. The outcome measures included the EMG root-mean-square (RMS) amplitudes of eight muscles in the lower extremity during the SRT, the regression line of the changes in the EMG RMS amplitude and median frequency (MF), and the heart rate and oxygen consumption during the GXT. Results: Our results revealed significant differences in the muscle activation of vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and semitendinosus among four different pedaling positions during the SRT. During GXT, no statistically significant differences in muscle usage strategy and energy expenditure were found among different KFOF. However, most cyclists had the highest rate of energy expenditure with either KFOF at −40 mm or 20 mm. Conclusions: The KFOF distance altered muscle activation in the SRT; however, no significant influence on the muscle usage strategy was found in the GXT. A higher rate of energy expenditure in the extreme pedaling positions of KFOF was observed in most amateur cyclists, so professional assistance for proper bike fitting was recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health Behaviors)
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20 pages, 1602 KiB  
Article
Effects of a School-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Obesity, Health-Related Physical Fitness, and Blood Pressure in Children with Intellectual Disability: A Randomized Controlled Trial
by Aiwei Wang, Danran Bu, Siyue Yu, Yan Sun, Jingjing Wang, Tinky Chin Ting Lee, Julien S. Baker and Yang Gao
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12015; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912015 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2356
Abstract
Children with intellectual disability (ID) are more vulnerable to health conditions than their typically developing peers. Evidence of effective interventions is scarce. A randomized controlled trial was conducted in 30 overweight and obese children with intellectual disability (ID) in China to evaluate a [...] Read more.
Children with intellectual disability (ID) are more vulnerable to health conditions than their typically developing peers. Evidence of effective interventions is scarce. A randomized controlled trial was conducted in 30 overweight and obese children with intellectual disability (ID) in China to evaluate a 12-week school-based physical activity intervention for obesity, health-related physical fitness (HRPF), and blood pressure. The intervention consisted of 24 physical activity (PA) sessions (2 sessions/week, 60 min/session), with exercise intensity progressively increasing from a moderate level to a vigorous level. All participants were followed up for 12 weeks after the intervention period to evaluate sustained effects. Outcomes were repeatedly measured at baseline, after the intervention, and after follow-up. The intervention was effective in reducing some obesity-related outcomes (including weight and body mass index) and improving some HRPF-related outcomes (including the 6 min walk test and the 30 s sit-to-stand test), with the significant effects being sustained after the 12-week follow-up. No effect was observed on blood pressure. The findings of this study contribute to the development and implementation of PA interventions to reduce obesity and improve HRPF in children with ID. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health Behaviors)
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9 pages, 472 KiB  
Article
Leisure Time Physical Activity and Associated Factors among Adults in Estonia 2000–2018
by Marii Mikk, Inge Ringmets and Kersti Pärna
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063132 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1713
Abstract
In order to implement evidence-based strategies, there is a need to assess (1) time trend in leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and (2) the relationship between trend of LTPA and trend of potential explanatory factors in Estonia from 2000 to 2018. Data from [...] Read more.
In order to implement evidence-based strategies, there is a need to assess (1) time trend in leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and (2) the relationship between trend of LTPA and trend of potential explanatory factors in Estonia from 2000 to 2018. Data from 25−64-year-old adults (n = 16,903) were drawn from cross-sectional surveys of Health Behavior among Estonian Adult Population. Joinpoint regression analysis was used to calculate annual percentage changes (APCs) and to identify whether there was a significant change in trends of LTPA. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess associations of LTPA with socioeconomic, health-related and health-behavioral factors. Prevalence of LTPA increased from 26.2% to 44.1% among men and from 28.0% to 40.6% among women from 2000 to 2018 (p < 0.001). Average APC for men was 3.4% (95% CI 2.6−4.3) and for women 2.4% (95% CI 1.4−3.4). Adjusted logistic regression model showed that LTPA was statistically significantly associated with higher education and income, economic inactivity, at-least-good self-rated health (SRH) and non-smoking. Interaction of SRH with study year was significant indicating that the association of at-least-good SRH changed over time (p = 0.016). Health promotion activities should be addressed in particular to adults with lower levels of LTPA, paying attention to the factors associated with LTPA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health Behaviors)
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Review

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12 pages, 1054 KiB  
Review
Promoting Physical Activity among Workers: A Review of Literature and Future Directions on Developing Theory-Based Interventions
by Yan Sun, Yang Gao, Siyue Yu, Aiwei Wang, Xiaoting Ou, Dan Tao and Julien S. Baker
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(20), 13594; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192013594 - 20 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3043
Abstract
Insufficient physical activity (PA) has been identified as a leading risk factor for premature and all-cause death, as well as non-communicable diseases. Employees, especially those with low occupational PA, are more vulnerable to physical inactivity, and studies in this population are scarce. However, [...] Read more.
Insufficient physical activity (PA) has been identified as a leading risk factor for premature and all-cause death, as well as non-communicable diseases. Employees, especially those with low occupational PA, are more vulnerable to physical inactivity, and studies in this population are scarce. However, employees may receive benefits for both health and work productivity from PA. Therefore, well-designed behavior change studies to promote PA in employees are urgently needed, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Literature was searched before 30 July 2022, and updated evidence was summarized. This review elaborates on the evidence related to insufficient PA and further provides an overview of theory-based interventions for promoting PA. Evidence indicates that intervention mapping (IM) was a useful tool to develop, implement, and evaluate behavior change interventions. Based on the IM framework, reviewing the theory- and evidence-based change methods and delivery modes, and further identifying the research gaps and limitations of existing interventions could provide promising suggestions and directions for development of well-founded interventions promoting PA among employees. The updated knowledge base for developing future interventions may boost efficacy and provide firm conclusions for researchers in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health Behaviors)
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