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Special Issue "Physical Activity, Wellness and Health: Challenges, Benefits and Strategies"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Luciana Zaccagni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical and Specialty Surgical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Prevention, University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: sports sciences; motor learning; biomechanics; anthropometry; physical fitness; sports and performance; wellbeing; motor development
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Emanuela Gualdi-Russo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Prevention, University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: anthropometry; physical activity; obesity; exercise and health; body composition; body image perception; native and migrant populations
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Regular physical activity is both a preventive measure and a cure for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In addition to these health effects, physical activity improves mental health, quality of life, and well-being (World Health Organization, 2018). Conversely, physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles have negative impacts on individuals, families, and society. 

This Special Issue is designed to provide an interdisciplinary and international forum for reporting the latest findings on topics that include anthropometric determinants of health and performance, physical activity and healthy habits, exercise and diet, exercise and body composition, interventions to promote physical activity for people of all ages, strategies for the implementation of an active life, and the beneficial effects of exercise on metabolic syndrome.

Researchers are invited to contribute novel work to be considered for publication in this Special Issue. Studies using advanced research methodologies will be particularly appreciated. All manuscripts will be examined by specialists in the field, and must be submitted by 15 December 2020 at the latest.

Dr. Luciana Zaccagni
Prof. Dr. Emanuela Gualdi-Russo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 semimonthly 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 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • exercise
  • wellbeing
  • health promotion
  • healthy habits
  • quality of life
  • anthropometry
  • sports practice
  • malnutrition
  • weight status
  • chronic diseases

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Physical Activity for Health and Wellness
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7823; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157823 - 23 Jul 2021
Viewed by 522
Abstract
Regular physical activity (PA) is both a preventive measure and a cure for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Modelling Health in University Students: Are Young Women More Complicated Than Men?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147310 - 08 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 691
Abstract
The biopsychosocial model of health in a limited life course perspective was tested among students in higher education using data from a nationwide cross-sectional survey of students on track to become teachers in Hungary. Health determinants were grouped into categories of biological, psychological, [...] Read more.
The biopsychosocial model of health in a limited life course perspective was tested among students in higher education using data from a nationwide cross-sectional survey of students on track to become teachers in Hungary. Health determinants were grouped into categories of biological, psychological, and social determinants and arranged in a temporal manner from childhood to the present. The model was tested by canonical correlation analysis followed by multivariate analysis of covariance. One composite outcome of health and six determinant groups were examined out of a total of 24 variables in both genders. Separate sets of health determinants were identified for men and women. The health of men was determined by fewer variables that were more proximal in time, more centred around physical activity, and less influenced by social relations. As opposed to that of men, women’s health was influenced by age; determinants were grouped around the ingestion of various substances and social support. In contrast to men, the health of women seemed to be more obviously multifactorial. The study supports the usefulness of the biopsychosocial model of health in research. The best fit models provided evidence for the importance of gender awareness when designing public health interventions aimed at students. Full article
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Article
The Relationship between Physical Activity, Mobile Phone Addiction, and Irrational Procrastination in Chinese College Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5325; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105325 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 984
Abstract
The aim of the current study was to examine the associations between physical activity, mobile phone addiction, and irrational procrastination after adjustment for potential confounding variables. The participants were 6294 first- and second-year students recruited as a cluster sample from three public universities [...] Read more.
The aim of the current study was to examine the associations between physical activity, mobile phone addiction, and irrational procrastination after adjustment for potential confounding variables. The participants were 6294 first- and second-year students recruited as a cluster sample from three public universities in Shanghai, China. Physical activity, mobile phone use, and irrational procrastination were assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form (IPAQ-SF), the mobile phone addiction index scale (MPAI), and the irrational procrastination scale (IPS). The participants were divided into four groups according to their mobile phone usage status and physical activity level. The binary logistic regression model was used to predict the probability of serious irrational procrastination among different groups. The emergence of serious of irrational procrastination under physical activity of different intensity and different mobile phone addiction statuses was predicted by a multiple linear regression model. In this study, the combination of insufficient physical activity and mobile phone addiction is positively associated with high levels of irrational procrastination. Furthermore, students who exhibited both mobile phone addiction behaviors and insufficient physical activity tended to have significantly higher odds of reporting high levels of irrational procrastination than those students who exhibited one behavior or neither behavior. After adjusting for the effects of age, BMI, tobacco, alcohol use, and sedentary time, the result is consistent with previous outcomes. These findings suggest that intervention efforts should focus on the promotion of physical activity and reduction of mobile phone addiction. Full article
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Article
The Effect of Changes in Physical Self-Concept through Participation in Exercise on Changes in Self-Esteem and Mental Well-Being
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105224 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 698
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to examine the impact of the changes in physical self-concept induced by exercise participation on the changes in global self-esteem and mental well-being using a structural model analysis. A total of 189 university students in Seoul, [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to examine the impact of the changes in physical self-concept induced by exercise participation on the changes in global self-esteem and mental well-being using a structural model analysis. A total of 189 university students in Seoul, Korea, participated in the present study for two waves. The participants responded through a survey measuring physical self-concept, self-esteem, and mental well-being before and after a six-week exercise course. Regression analysis was used to calculate the amount of change in each variable, and the calculated residual scores were used for correlation analysis and structural model analysis. The amounts of changes in the variables are significantly correlated with each other and there was a complementary mediating effect of the changes in self-esteem on the pathway from the changes in physical self-concept to the changes in mental well-being. Physical self-concept changed by exercise participation might directly and positively influence mental well-being, and it can indirectly influence the changes in mental well-being via the improvement of self-esteem. Full article
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Article
Influence of Size and Maturity on Injury in Young Elite Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3120; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063120 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 781
Abstract
The involvement of pre-adolescents in soccer is becoming more and more frequent, and this growing participation generates some concerns about the potential factors for sports injuries. The purpose of this study was to investigate sports injuries in younger (U9–U11) and older (U12–U13) children [...] Read more.
The involvement of pre-adolescents in soccer is becoming more and more frequent, and this growing participation generates some concerns about the potential factors for sports injuries. The purpose of this study was to investigate sports injuries in younger (U9–U11) and older (U12–U13) children playing soccer at an elite level, analyzing potential anthropometric and maturity risk factors. A total of 88 elite soccer players aged 9–13 years were investigated. Weight, stature, and sitting height were measured at the start and at the end of the competitive season, computing the relative growth velocities. Additional body composition parameters were taken during a second survey. Maturity offset was calculated using predictive equations based on anthropometric traits such as years from age at peak height velocity (YPHV). Injuries suffered during the competitive season were recorded. Maturity and some anthropometric characteristics were significantly different according to the presence or absence of injuries among the players. Multiple logistic regression revealed that YPHV, body mass index (BMI), and calf muscle area were the factors most significantly correlated with injuries. Players with increased BMI, with decreased calf muscle area, and who were closer to their peak height velocity, were at a higher risk of injury. Findings showed that a monitoring program of anthropometric characteristics taking into account the maturational stage needs to be developed to prevent injuries. Full article
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Article
Examining Obedience Training as a Physical Activity Intervention for Dog Owners: Findings from the Stealth Pet Obedience Training (SPOT) Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 902; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030902 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 971
Abstract
Dog training may strengthen the dog–owner bond, a consistent predictor of dog walking behavior. The Stealth Pet Obedience Training (SPOT) study piloted dog training as a stealth physical activity (PA) intervention. In this study, 41 dog owners who reported dog walking ≤3 days/week [...] Read more.
Dog training may strengthen the dog–owner bond, a consistent predictor of dog walking behavior. The Stealth Pet Obedience Training (SPOT) study piloted dog training as a stealth physical activity (PA) intervention. In this study, 41 dog owners who reported dog walking ≤3 days/week were randomized to a six-week basic obedience training class or waitlist control. Participants wore accelerometers and logged dog walking at baseline, 6- and 12-weeks. Changes in PA and dog walking were compared between arms with targeted maximum likelihood estimation. At baseline, participants (39 ± 12 years; females = 85%) walked their dog 1.9 days/week and took 5838 steps/day, on average. At week 6, intervention participants walked their dog 0.7 more days/week and took 480 more steps/day, on average, than at baseline, while control participants walked their dog, on average, 0.6 fewer days/week and took 300 fewer steps/day (difference between arms: 1.3 dog walking days/week; 95% CI = 0.2, 2.5; 780 steps/day, 95% CI = −746, 2307). Changes from baseline were similar at week 12 (difference between arms: 1.7 dog walking days/week; 95% CI = 0.6, 2.9; 1084 steps/day, 95% CI = −203, 2370). Given high rates of dog ownership and low rates of dog walking in the United States, this novel PA promotion strategy warrants further investigation. Full article
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Article
Mediating Effect of Perceived Stress on the Association between Physical Activity and Sleep Quality among Chinese College Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010289 - 02 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1780
Abstract
Background: While physical activity has been reported to positively affect stress and sleep quality, less is known about the potential relationships among them. The present study aimed to investigate the mediating effect of stress on the association between physical activity and sleep quality [...] Read more.
Background: While physical activity has been reported to positively affect stress and sleep quality, less is known about the potential relationships among them. The present study aimed to investigate the mediating effect of stress on the association between physical activity and sleep quality in Chinese college students, after controlling for age, nationality, and tobacco and alcohol use. Participants: The sample comprised 6973 college students representing three Chinese universities. Methods: Physical activity, perceived stress, and sleep quality were respectively measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire—Short Form (IPAQ-SF), Perceived Stress Scale—10 Items (PSS-10), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Results: Mediating effects of perceived stress on the association between physical activity and sleep quality were observed in males and females, with 42.4% (partial mediating effect) and 306.3% (complete mediating effect) as percentages of mediation, respectively. Conclusion: The results of this study may provide some suggestions that physical activity could improve sleep by aiding individuals in coping with stress and indicate that stress management might be an effective non-pharmaceutical therapy for sleep improvement. Full article
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Article
Association of Health Utility Score with Physical Activity Outcomes in Stroke Survivors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010251 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 990
Abstract
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after stroke tends to vary across studies or across stages of stroke. It is useful to use the health utility score to compare HRQoL across studies. Physical activity after stroke also tends to vary similarly. The purpose of [...] Read more.
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after stroke tends to vary across studies or across stages of stroke. It is useful to use the health utility score to compare HRQoL across studies. Physical activity after stroke also tends to vary similarly. The purpose of the present study was to determine associations between the health utility score and physical activity outcomes in stroke survivors. This cross-sectional study recruited stroke survivors who could ambulate outside, free of assistance. We assessed the health utility score with the EuroQoL 5-Dimension 3-Level questionnaire. The physical activity outcomes were the number of steps taken and duration of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) as measured with an accelerometer. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to determine whether the physical activity outcomes were independently associated with the health utility score. Fifty patients (age: 68.0 years; 40 men, 10 women) were included. Multiple linear regression analysis showed the health utility score to be significantly associated with the number of steps taken (β = 0.304, p = 0.035) but not with MVPA. This is the first study to examine the association between the health utility score and objectively measured physical activity in stroke survivors. Promoting physical activity especially by increasing the number of steps taken might be a priority goal in improving a patient’s health utility score after stroke. Full article
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Article
The Use of Fear versus Hope in Health Advertisements: The Moderating Role of Individual Characteristics on Subsequent Health Decisions in Chile
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239148 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 872
Abstract
No studies have addressed the way the effectiveness of fear and hope advertisements differs across differently characterized individuals. The present study aims to find out in which situations related to different individual characteristics do fear and hope advertisements work as tools in generating [...] Read more.
No studies have addressed the way the effectiveness of fear and hope advertisements differs across differently characterized individuals. The present study aims to find out in which situations related to different individual characteristics do fear and hope advertisements work as tools in generating healthy eating intention and physical activity intention. This study conducted an experiment using 283 adults from Chile. The results suggest that fear versus hope appeals in health advertisements have a more positive influence on healthy eating intention. The results suggest that the effect of fear advertisements on healthy eating intention is positively moderated by the frequency of fast food consumption and is negatively moderated by self-efficacy. The results suggest that fear versus hope appeals in health advertisements have no main effect on physical activity intention. However, the results suggest that the effect of fear advertisements on physical activity intention is positively moderated by perceived body weight and past healthy eating behavior and is negatively moderated by subjective norms. The results indicate that when making health advertising, homogenous messages are not persuasive for heterogeneous audiences. The present study results suggest that fear and hope advertisements should be delivered considering the individual characteristics identified in the present study. Full article
Article
Foresight for the Fitness Sector: Results from a European Delphi Study and Its Relevance in the Time of COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8941; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238941 - 01 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1783
Abstract
The fitness sector is an essential player in the promotion of physical activity and healthy behaviour in Europe. However, the sector is confronted with numerous socio-demographic trends that will shape its ability to be financially successful and contribute to public health. The sector [...] Read more.
The fitness sector is an essential player in the promotion of physical activity and healthy behaviour in Europe. However, the sector is confronted with numerous socio-demographic trends that will shape its ability to be financially successful and contribute to public health. The sector must understand current drivers of change and the skills its workforce needs to navigate them. As such, using the results of a 2019 Delphi Survey of over 50 fitness experts from 26 countries, we aim to define the drivers of change facing the sector and identify the skills needed by the fitness workforce to navigate these changes. We find that several technological, social, health and economic trends affect the sector. As a result, so-called soft skills such as communication or customer service, along with digital technology skills, are becoming increasingly important. There is also growing recognition that fitness professionals need to be trained to work with a number of special populations. Furthermore, we argue that many of the trends identified here—such as the increasing use of technology or the focus on individual customer needs—have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We conclude by arguing that well-developed, pan-European qualifications are needed to address these common issues. Full article
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Article
Does Multiple Sclerosis Differently Impact Physical Activity in Women and Man? A Quantitative Study Based on Wearable Accelerometers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8848; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238848 - 28 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 883
Abstract
In people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS), fatigue, weakness and spasticity may reduce mobility and promote sedentary behavior. However, little is known about the existence of possible differences in the way MS modifies the propensity to perform physical activity (PA) in men and women. [...] Read more.
In people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS), fatigue, weakness and spasticity may reduce mobility and promote sedentary behavior. However, little is known about the existence of possible differences in the way MS modifies the propensity to perform physical activity (PA) in men and women. The present study aimed to partly close this gap by means of quantitative analysis carried out using wearable sensors. Forty-five pwMS (23 F, 22 M, mean age 50.3) and 41 unaffected age- and sex-matched individuals wore a tri-axial accelerometer 24 h/day for 7 consecutive days. Raw data were processed to calculate average number of daily steps, vector magnitude (VM) counts, and percentage of time spent in sedentary behavior and in PA of different intensities (i.e., light and moderate-to-vigorous, MVPA). Women with MS spent more time in sedentary behavior and exhibited a reduced amount of light intensity activity with respect to men, while MVPA was similar across sexes. However, in comparison with unaffected individuals, the overall PA patterns appear significantly modified mostly in women who, in presence of the disease, present increased sedentary behavior, reduced MVPA, number of daily steps and VM counts. The findings of the present study highlight the urgency of including sex as variable in all studies on PA in pwMS. Full article
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Article
Psychological Analysis among Goal Orientation, Emotional Intelligence and Academic Burnout in Middle School Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218160 - 04 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 936
Abstract
During schooling, students can undergo, for more or less long periods of time, different contextual settings that can negatively affect their personal and academic development, leading them not to meet their academic goals. The main objective of this research responds to examine the [...] Read more.
During schooling, students can undergo, for more or less long periods of time, different contextual settings that can negatively affect their personal and academic development, leading them not to meet their academic goals. The main objective of this research responds to examine the relationships between the constructs of goal orientations, emotional intelligence, and burnout in students. Method: This research comprised 2896 students from 15 Spanish high schools with ages between 12 and 18 years distributed across male (N = 1614; 55.73%) and female (N = 1282; 44.26%) genders. The measurements were made through Perception of Success Questionnaire (POSQ), the Trait Meta Mood Scale (TMMS-24) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory Student Survey (MBI-SS). Results: Results showed links between task orientation, high emotional intelligence levels, and adaptive behaviors and between ego orientation, academic burnout and less adaptive behavior. Similarly, it was shown that emotional intelligence can be used to predict goal-oriented behaviors. Conclusion: It is argued that the promotion of task orientation among secondary school students can lead to the adoption of adaptive behaviors and this, in turn, improve the development of students toward academic and personal settings. Full article
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Article
Predicting Cardiovascular Risk in Athletes: Resampling Improves Classification Performance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7923; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217923 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 909
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death worldwide. The aim of the present study is to verify the performances of a data mining methodology in the evaluation of cardiovascular risk in athletes, and whether the results may be used to support clinical [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death worldwide. The aim of the present study is to verify the performances of a data mining methodology in the evaluation of cardiovascular risk in athletes, and whether the results may be used to support clinical decision making. Anthropometric (height and weight), demographic (age and sex) and biomedical (blood pressure and pulse rate) data of 26,002 athletes were collected in 2012 during routine sport medical examinations, which included electrocardiography at rest. Subjects were involved in competitive sport practice, for which medical clearance was needed. Outcomes were negative for the largest majority, as expected in an active population. Resampling was applied to balance positive/negative class ratio. A decision tree and logistic regression were used to classify individuals as either at risk or not. The receiver operating characteristic curve was used to assess classification performances. Data mining and resampling improved cardiovascular risk assessment in terms of increased area under the curve. The proposed methodology can be effectively applied to biomedical data in order to optimize clinical decision making, and—at the same time—minimize the amount of unnecessary examinations. Full article
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Article
Levels and Correlates of Physical Activity in Rural Ingwavuma Community, uMkhanyakude District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186739 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 860
Abstract
Physical activity, among others, confers cardiovascular, mental, and skeletal health benefits to people of all age-groups and health states. It reduces the risks associated with cardiovascular disease and therefore, could be useful in rural South Africa where cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden is increasing. [...] Read more.
Physical activity, among others, confers cardiovascular, mental, and skeletal health benefits to people of all age-groups and health states. It reduces the risks associated with cardiovascular disease and therefore, could be useful in rural South Africa where cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden is increasing. The objective of this study was to examine levels and correlates of physical activity among adults in the Ingwavuma community in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Self-reported data on physical activity from 392 consenting adults (female, n = 265; male, n = 127) was used. We used the one-sample t-test to assess the level of physical activity and a two-level multiple linear regression to investigate the relationship between total physical activity (TPA) and independent predictors. The weekly number of minutes spent on all physical activities by members of the Ingwavuma community was 912.2; standard deviation (SD) (870.5), with males having 37% higher physical activity (1210.6 min, SD = 994.2) than females (769.2, SD = 766.3). Livelihood activities constituted 65% of TPA, and sport and recreation contributed 10%. Participants without formal education (20%), those underweight (27%), and the obese (16%) had low physical activity. Notwithstanding this, in general, the Ingwavuma community significantly exceeded the recommended weekly time on physical activity with a mean difference of 762.1 (675.8–848.6) minutes, t (391) = 17.335, p < 0.001. Gender and age were significant predictors of TPA in level 1 of the multiple regression. Males were significantly more active than females by 455.4 min (β = −0.25, p < 0.001) and participants of at least 60 years were significantly less active than 18–29-year-olds by 276.2 min (β = −0.12, p < 0.05). Gender, marital status, and health awareness were significant predictors in the full model that included education level, employment status, body mass index (BMI), and physical activity related to health awareness as predictors. The high prevalence of insufficient physical activity in some vulnerable groups, notably the elderly and obese, and the general poor participation in sport and recreation activities are worrisome. Hence we recommend health education interventions to increase awareness of and reshape sociocultural constructs that hinder participation in leisure activities. It is important to promote physical activity as a preventive health intervention and complement the pharmacological treatment of CVDs in rural South Africa. Physical activity interventions for all sociodemographic groups have potential economic gains through a reduction in costs related to the treatment of chronic CVD. Full article
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Article
Continuous Compared to Accumulated Walking-Training on Physical Function and Health-Related Quality of Life in Sedentary Older Persons
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176060 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1002
Abstract
The present study aimed to analyze the impact of overground walking interval training (WIT) in a group of sedentary older adults, comparing two different dose-distributions. In this quasi-experimental and longitudinal study, we recruited twenty-three sedentary older adults (71.00 ± 4.10 years) who were [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to analyze the impact of overground walking interval training (WIT) in a group of sedentary older adults, comparing two different dose-distributions. In this quasi-experimental and longitudinal study, we recruited twenty-three sedentary older adults (71.00 ± 4.10 years) who were assigned to two groups of WIT. The continuous group (CWIT) trained for 60 min/session in the morning, while the accumulated group (AWIT) performed the same duration and intensity of exercise, but it was distributed twice a day (30 min in the morning and 30 more in the afternoon). After 15 weeks of an equal external-load training (3 days/week), Bonferroni post-hoc comparisons revealed significant (p < 0.050) and similar large improvements in both groups in cardiorespiratory fitness and lower limb strength; even larger gains in preferred walking speed and instrumental daily life activity, which was slightly superior for CWIT; and improvements in agility, which were moderate for CWIT and large for AWIT. However, none of the training protocols had an impact on the executive function in the individuals, and only the AWIT group improved health-related quality of life. Although both training protocols induced a general significant improvement in physical function in older adults, our results showed that the accumulative strategy should be recommended when health-related quality of life is the main target, and the continuous strategy should be recommended when weakness may be a threat in the short or medium term. Full article
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Article
Providing Sports Venues on Mainland China: Implications for Promoting Leisure-Time Physical Activity and National Fitness Policies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145136 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 958
Abstract
Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) has been well documented as having substantial health benefits. The 2014 Chinese Fitness Survey Report stated that a lack of physical activity (PA) spaces is the most important non-human factor, leading to 10% of leisure-time physical inactivity in people [...] Read more.
Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) has been well documented as having substantial health benefits. The 2014 Chinese Fitness Survey Report stated that a lack of physical activity (PA) spaces is the most important non-human factor, leading to 10% of leisure-time physical inactivity in people aged 20 and above. We investigated the provision of sports venues in China and discussed the development of sports venues and national fitness policies in the context of promoting LTPA and public health. We analyzed information from China’s most recent sport venue census, the Sixth National Sports Venues Census, conducted in 2013. The number of sports venues increased between 2000 and 2013, with an inflection point around the year 2008. At the end of 2013, there were 12.45 venues for every 10,000 residents, and the per capita area was 1.46 m2. However, numbers were still small compared with the United States and Japan. The percentages of full-time access, part-time access and membership venues were 51.5%, 14.3% and 34.2% respectively. Only half of sports venues were fully open to the public, meaning that the realized number and area per capita could be even lower. A lack of sports venues forces people who want to engage in PA to occupy other urban spaces that are not planned and designed for PA. Urban parks had 119,750 fitness station facilities (3.32% of the total), and 2366 urban fitness trails (19.24%), with a combined length of 6450 km (32.91%). On average, urban and rural areas had 13.17 and 10.80 venues per 10,000 persons, and 1.83 m2 and 0.97 m2 per capita. The urban-rural gap in sports venues exactly embodies some aspects of the “urban-rural dual structure” in China’s society. Measures to promote PA should focus on new and existing sports venues. In the policy making process, Chinese governments need to pay attention to the potential impact of related, external factors such as the gap between the urban and the rural and the potential advantage of indoor venues against summer heat and air pollution. Full article
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Article
Urgent Need for Adolescent Physical Activity Policies and Promotion: Lessons from “Jeeluna”
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124464 - 21 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 858
Abstract
Physical inactivity is a growing concern in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and globally. Data on physical activity (PA) trends, barriers, and facilitators among adolescents in KSA are scarce. This study aims to identify PA trends amongst adolescents in KSA and associated health [...] Read more.
Physical inactivity is a growing concern in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and globally. Data on physical activity (PA) trends, barriers, and facilitators among adolescents in KSA are scarce. This study aims to identify PA trends amongst adolescents in KSA and associated health and lifestyle behaviors. Data from “Jeeluna”, a national study in KSA involving around 12,500 adolescents, were utilized. School students were invited to participate, and a multistage sampling procedure was used. Data collection included a self-administered questionnaire, anthropometric measurements, and blood sampling. Adolescents who performed PA for at least one day per week for >30 min each day were considered to “engage in PA”. Mean age of the participants was 15.8 ± 0.8 years, and 51.3% were male. Forty-four percent did not engage in PA regularly. Only 35% engaged in PA at school, while 40% were not offered PA at school. Significantly more 10–14-year old than 15–19-year-old adolescents and more males than females engaged in PA (<0.01). Mental health was better in adolescents who engaged in PA (<0.01). Adolescents who engaged in PA were more likely to eat healthy food and less likely to live a sedentary lifestyle (<0.01). It is imperative that socio-cultural and demographic factors be taken into consideration during program and policy development. This study highlights the urgent need for promoting PA among adolescents in KSA and addressing perceived barriers, while offering a treasure of information to policy and decision makers. Full article
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Article
Phase Angle as a Marker of Muscular Strength in Breast Cancer Survivors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4452; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124452 - 21 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 851
Abstract
Background: accurate prognostic tools are relevant for decision-making in cancer care. Objective measures, such as bioelectrical impedance (BI), have the potential to improve prognostic accuracy for these patients. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate whether phase angle (PhA) derived from the electrical properties [...] Read more.
Background: accurate prognostic tools are relevant for decision-making in cancer care. Objective measures, such as bioelectrical impedance (BI), have the potential to improve prognostic accuracy for these patients. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate whether phase angle (PhA) derived from the electrical properties of the body tissues is a predictor of muscular strength in breast cancer survivors (BCS). Methods: a total of 41 BCS (age 54.6 ± 9.2 years) were evaluated. PhA, obtained at frequency 50 kHz, was assessed with BI spectroscopy, and muscular strength with a handgrip dynamometer. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Measurements were performed in the morning after an overnight fast. Results: linear regression analysis showed that PhA accounted for 22% (r2 = 0.22) of muscular strength variance. PhA remained a borderline predictor of muscular strength variance independently of age and MVPA. Conclusions: the findings of this study suggest that PhA is a significant predictor of maximal forearm isometric strength and a potential indicator of disease-related functionality in BCS. Full article
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Article
Handgrip Strength in Young Adults: Association with Anthropometric Variables and Laterality
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4273; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124273 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1159
Abstract
The measurement of handgrip strength (HGS) is an indicator of an individual’s overall strength and can serve as a predictor of morbidity and mortality. This study aims to investigate whether HGS is associated with handedness in young adults and if it is influenced [...] Read more.
The measurement of handgrip strength (HGS) is an indicator of an individual’s overall strength and can serve as a predictor of morbidity and mortality. This study aims to investigate whether HGS is associated with handedness in young adults and if it is influenced by anthropometric characteristics, body composition, and sport-related parameters. We conducted a cross-sectional study on a sample of 544 young Italian adults aged 18–30 years. We measured HGS using a dynamometer and collected data on handedness and physical activity, along with anthropometric measurements. In both sexes, the HGS of the dominant side was significantly greater than that of the non-dominant side. Furthermore, in ambidextrous individuals, the right hand was stronger than the left. A comparison between the lowest and the highest tercile of HGS highlighted its significant association with anthropometric and body composition parameters in both sexes. Moreover, sex, dominant upper arm muscle area, arm fat index, fat mass, and fat-free mass were found to be significant predictors of HGS by multiple regression analysis. Our findings suggest that HGS is especially influenced by body composition parameters and handedness category. Therefore, HGS can be used as a proxy for unhealthy conditions with impairment of muscle mass, provided that the dominance in the laterality of the subject under examination is taken into account. Full article

Review

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Review
Physical Activity during COVID-19 Lockdown in Italy: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6416; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126416 - 13 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1157
Abstract
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a general lockdown in Italy, one of the most affected countries at the beginning of the outbreak, between 9 March and 3 May 2020. As a consequence, Italian citizens were confined at home for almost two months, [...] Read more.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a general lockdown in Italy, one of the most affected countries at the beginning of the outbreak, between 9 March and 3 May 2020. As a consequence, Italian citizens were confined at home for almost two months, an unprecedented situation, which could have negative effects on both psychological and physical health. The aim of this study was to review the published papers concerning the effects of the lockdown on physical activity and the consequences on general health. As expected, most studies highlighted a significant reduction in the amount of performed physical activity compared to before lockdown, in both the general population and in individuals with chronic conditions. This fact had negative consequences on both general health, in terms of increased body mass, and on specific chronic conditions, especially obesity and neurological diseases. Full article
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Review
Physical Activity Promotes Health and Reduces Cardiovascular Mortality in Depressed Populations: A Literature Overview
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5545; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155545 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1341
Abstract
Major depression is associated with premature mortality, largely explained by heightened cardiovascular burden. This narrative review summarizes secondary literature (i.e., reviews and meta-analyses) on this topic, considering physical exercise as a potential tool to counteract this alarming phenomenon. Compared to healthy controls, individuals [...] Read more.
Major depression is associated with premature mortality, largely explained by heightened cardiovascular burden. This narrative review summarizes secondary literature (i.e., reviews and meta-analyses) on this topic, considering physical exercise as a potential tool to counteract this alarming phenomenon. Compared to healthy controls, individuals with depression consistently present heightened cardiovascular risk, including “classical” risk factors and dysregulation of pertinent homeostatic systems (immune system, hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and autonomic nervous system). Ultimately, both genetic background and behavioral abnormalities contribute to explain the link between depression and cardiovascular mortality. Physical inactivity is particularly common in depressed populations and may represent an elective therapeutic target to address premature mortality. Exercise-based interventions, in fact, have proven effective reducing cardiovascular risk and mortality through different mechanisms, although evidence still needs to be replicated in depressed populations. Notably, exercise also directly improves depressive symptoms. Despite its potential, however, exercise remains under-prescribed to depressed individuals. Public health may be the ideal setting to develop and disseminate initiatives that promote the prescription and delivery of exercise-based interventions, with a particular focus on their cost-effectiveness. Full article
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