Special Issue "Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours"

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 (31 August 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. James Dollman
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA), School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia
Interests: physical activity; exercise; cardiovascular health; rural health; health promotion; socioeconomic; health determinants
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on the social and environmental influences on physical activity behaviours, in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH). The venue is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal publishing articles and communications; more details can be found here: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

Promoting regular physical activity behaviours is a priority among all age groups, yet interventions and public health initiatives designed to achieve this aim have met with limited success among children, adolescents and adults. Our understanding of the drivers of physical activity that are amenable to change, and therefore the foundations upon which physical activity promotion should be designed, is currently clouded by inconsistent measurement approaches, as well as inadequate acknowledgement of the complex interactions among social and environmental influences on physical activity. It is important and timely to consolidate the most recent, high quality research in this field, and contributions to this Special Issue from key research groups would be greatly appreciated. As most of the accumulated evidence for influences on physical activity has arisen from cross-sectional observational study designs, we are particularly keen to publish outcomes of cohort and intervention studies that better illuminate causal pathways towards changed physical activity behaviours. Studies in which physical activity has been objectively measured will also be prioritized.

This Special Issue is open to contributions that focus on social and environmental influences on physical activity among any age group, targeting any context or setting such as leisure time, active commuting or the workplace, and in the form of structured exercise or unstructured activity and play.

Assoc. Prof. Jim Dollman
Guest Editor

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 1800 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

  • Physical activity
  • Exercise
  • Participation
  • Behavior change
  • Correlates
  • Determinants
  • Walking
  • Leisure
  • Active transport
  • Physical environment
  • Social
  • Parental influence
  • Social ecological model

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010169 - 22 Jan 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Physical activity promotion has met with limited success across a range of demographic indicators, largely due to our poor understanding of how drivers of physical activity behaviours vary by context and setting[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Family Dog Ownership and Parental Perceived Built Environment Measures on Children’s Physical Activity within the Washington, DC Area
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1398; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111398 - 16 Nov 2017
Abstract
Sedentary behavior and physical inactivity are significant contributors to youth obesity in the United States. Neighborhood dog walking is an outlet for physical activity (PA). Therefore, understanding the relationship between built environment, dog ownership, and youth PA is essential. This study examined the [...] Read more.
Sedentary behavior and physical inactivity are significant contributors to youth obesity in the United States. Neighborhood dog walking is an outlet for physical activity (PA). Therefore, understanding the relationship between built environment, dog ownership, and youth PA is essential. This study examined the influence of dog ownership and parental built environment perceptions on children’s PA in the Washington, D.C. area. In 2014, questionnaires were mailed to 2000 parents to assess family dog ownership; children’s outdoor dog walking or playing; and parental perceived built environment measures. Chi-square analyses examined differences in parental perceived built environment measures between children with and without family dogs. The sample included 144 children (50% female; average-age 9.7 years; 56.3% White; 23.7% African-American; 10.4% Asian-American; 29.9% owned dog). Only 13% and 5.6% of the children walked or played outdoors with the dog daily, respectively. A significantly greater proportion (p-value < 0.05) of parents who owned dogs recognized and observed some home built environment measures (e.g., traffic speed on most streets is 30 mph or less) that were PA -promoting for their children. Findings suggest that dog ownership may provide more positive parental perceptions of the neighborhood built environment, which supports children’s outdoor PA through dog walking and playing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessArticle
A Cross-Sectional Investigation of the Importance of Park Features for Promoting Regular Physical Activity in Parks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111335 - 02 Nov 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
Introduction: Parks in the US and Australia are generally underutilised, and park visitors typically engage in low levels of physical activity (PA). Better understanding park features that may encourage visitors to be active is important. This study examined the perceived importance of park [...] Read more.
Introduction: Parks in the US and Australia are generally underutilised, and park visitors typically engage in low levels of physical activity (PA). Better understanding park features that may encourage visitors to be active is important. This study examined the perceived importance of park features for encouraging park-based PA and examined differences by sex, age, parental-status and participation in PA. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys were completed by local residents (n = 2775) living near two parks (2013/2015). Demographic variables, park visitation and leisure-time PA were self-reported, respondents rated the importance of 20 park features for encouraging park-based PA in the next fortnight. Chi-square tests of independence examined differences in importance of park features for PA among sub-groups of local residents (sex, age, parental-status, PA). Results: Park features ranked most important for park-based PA were: well maintained (96.2%), feel safe (95.4%), relaxing atmosphere (91.2%), easy to get to (91.7%), and shady trees (90.3%). All subgroups ranked ‘well maintained’ as most important. Conclusions: Natural and built environment features of parks are important for promoting adults’ park-based PA, and should be considered in park (re)design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
Open AccessArticle
Parents’ Perceived Barriers to Accessing Sports and Recreation Facilities in Ontario, Canada: Exploring the Relationships between Income, Neighbourhood Deprivation, and Community
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101272 - 23 Oct 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Sports and recreation facilities provide places where children can be physically active. Previous research has shown that availability is often worse in lower-socioeconomic status (SES) areas, yet others have found inverse relationships, no relationships, or mixed findings. Since children’s health behaviours are influenced [...] Read more.
Sports and recreation facilities provide places where children can be physically active. Previous research has shown that availability is often worse in lower-socioeconomic status (SES) areas, yet others have found inverse relationships, no relationships, or mixed findings. Since children’s health behaviours are influenced by their parents, it is important to understand parents’ perceived barriers to accessing sports and recreation facilities. Data from computer assisted telephone interviews with parents living in Ontario, Canada were merged via postal codes with neighbourhood deprivation data. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to estimate the likelihood that parents reported barriers to accessing local sports and recreation facilities. Parents with lower household incomes were more likely to report barriers to access. For each unit increase in deprivation score (i.e., more deprived), the likelihood of reporting a barrier increased 16% (95% CI: 1.04, 1.28). For parents, the relationships between household income, neighbourhood-level deprivation, and barriers are complex. Understanding these relationships is important for research, policy and planning, as parental barriers to opportunities for physical activity have implications for child health behaviours, and ultimately childhood overweight and obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Relationship between Socio-Economic Status, Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour, and Adiposity in Young Adult South African Women Using Structural Equation Modelling
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101271 - 23 Oct 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Socio-economic status (SES) is an important predictor of obesity, but how it is associated with differences in physical activity and sedentary behaviour is less clear. This cross-sectional study examined the association between SES (sum of household assets), physical activity and sedentary time, and [...] Read more.
Socio-economic status (SES) is an important predictor of obesity, but how it is associated with differences in physical activity and sedentary behaviour is less clear. This cross-sectional study examined the association between SES (sum of household assets), physical activity and sedentary time, and how they predict adiposity. Socio-demographic, anthropometric, and physical activity data on rural (n = 509) and urban (n = 510) South African women (18–23 years) were collected. Overweight and obesity prevalence, and sedentary time, were higher; and moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) was lower, in the urban sample. Structural equation models (SEMs) were constructed for BMI and waist circumference. In the urban sample SES had a direct inverse effect on MVPA (ß; 95% CI, −41.69; −73.40 to −9.98), while in the rural sample SES had a direct effect on BMI (ß; 95% CI, 0.306; 0.03 to 0.59). In the pooled sample, SES had a direct inverse effect on MVPA (ß; 95% CI, −144; −170.34 to −119.04), and MVPA was directly associated with BMI (ß; 95% CI, 0.04; 0.01 to 0.08). The influence of SES, and the role of physical activity and sedentary time on adiposity differs between the urban and rural samples, and the importance of other environmental and behavioural factors must be considered in the development of obesity and the design of effective interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessArticle
In Search of Consistent Predictors of Children’s Physical Activity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101258 - 20 Oct 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
Physical activity is pivotal for children’s health and well-being, yet participation declines across teenage years. Efforts to increase physical activity need to be strengthened to combat this, however, evidence for the design and planning of physical activity promotion in children is lacking. The [...] Read more.
Physical activity is pivotal for children’s health and well-being, yet participation declines across teenage years. Efforts to increase physical activity need to be strengthened to combat this, however, evidence for the design and planning of physical activity promotion in children is lacking. The aim was to identify predictors of physical activity that were relatively consistent across three different measures of physical activity, in pre- and early adolescent South Australians. This is the first study to compare correlates of physical activity across three measures of physical activity in a single sample, in this age group. Children (n = 324) aged 9–13 years and their parents were surveyed on personal, interpersonal and environmental correlates of physical activity. Child physical activity was objectively measured using pedometers (7 days). Self-reported physical activity was determined from organised sport participation and the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents. Regression models were used to identify consistent predictors of three physical activity measures. Consistent predictors across multiple physical activity measures were: parent support for physical activity, having appropriate clothing for sport, enjoyment of physical activity and perceived availability of sporting clubs. These predictors identify potential avenues for directing intervention efforts to increase physical activity in early adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
Open AccessArticle
Environmental Influences on Physical Activity among Rural Adults in Montana, United States: Views from Built Environment Audits, Resident Focus Groups, and Key Informant Interviews
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101173 - 04 Oct 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Rural populations in the United States have lower physical activity levels and are at a higher risk of being overweight and suffering from obesity than their urban counterparts. This paper aimed to understand the environmental factors that influence physical activity among rural adults [...] Read more.
Rural populations in the United States have lower physical activity levels and are at a higher risk of being overweight and suffering from obesity than their urban counterparts. This paper aimed to understand the environmental factors that influence physical activity among rural adults in Montana. Eight built environment audits, 15 resident focus groups, and 24 key informant interviews were conducted between August and December 2014. Themes were triangulated and summarized into five categories of environmental factors: built, social, organizational, policy, and natural environments. Although the existence of active living features was documented by environmental audits, residents and key informants agreed that additional indoor recreation facilities and more well-maintained and conveniently located options were needed. Residents and key informants also agreed on the importance of age-specific, well-promoted, and structured physical activity programs, offered in socially supportive environments, as facilitators to physical activity. Key informants, however, noted that funding constraints and limited political will were barriers to developing these opportunities. Since building new recreational facilities and structures to support active transportation pose resource challenges, especially for rural communities, our results suggest that enhancing existing features, making small improvements, and involving stakeholders in the city planning process would be more fruitful to build momentum towards larger changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessArticle
“It’s a Battle… You Want to Do It, but How Will You Get It Done?”: Teachers’ and Principals’ Perceptions of Implementing Additional Physical activity in School for Academic Performance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101160 - 30 Sep 2017
Cited by 10
Abstract
School is an ideal setting to promote and increase physical activity (PA) in children. However, implementation of school-based PA programmes seems difficult, in particular due to schools’ focus on academic performance and a lack of involvement of school staff in program development. The [...] Read more.
School is an ideal setting to promote and increase physical activity (PA) in children. However, implementation of school-based PA programmes seems difficult, in particular due to schools’ focus on academic performance and a lack of involvement of school staff in program development. The potential cognitive and academic benefits of PA might increase chances of successful implementation. Therefore, the aim of this qualitative study was: (1) to explore the perceptions of teachers and principals with regard to implementation of additional PA aimed at improving cognitive and academic performance, and (2) to identify characteristics of PA programmes that according to them are feasible in daily school practice. Twenty-six face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with primary school teachers (grades 5 and 6) and principals in The Netherlands, and analysed using inductive content analysis. Teachers and principals expressed their willingness to implement additional PA if it benefits learning. Time constraints appeared to be a major barrier, and strongly influenced participants’ perceptions of feasible PA programmes. Teachers and principals emphasised that additional PA needs to be short, executed in the classroom, and provided in “ready-to-use” materials, i.e., that require no or little preparation time (e.g., a movie clip). Future research is needed to strengthen the evidence on the effects of PA for academic purposes, and should examine the forms of PA that are both effective as well as feasible in the school setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Neighbourhood Environmental Attributes Associated with Walking in South Australian Adults: Differences between Urban and Rural Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14090965 - 26 Aug 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Although the health benefits of walking are well established, participation is lower in rural areas compared to urban areas. Most studies on walkability and walking have been conducted in urban areas, thus little is known about the relevance of walkability to rural areas. [...] Read more.
Although the health benefits of walking are well established, participation is lower in rural areas compared to urban areas. Most studies on walkability and walking have been conducted in urban areas, thus little is known about the relevance of walkability to rural areas. A computer-assisted telephone survey of 2402 adults (aged ≥18 years) was conducted to determine walking behaviour and perceptions of neighbourhood walkability. Data were stratified by urban (n = 1738) and rural (n = 664). A greater proportion of respondents reported no walking in rural (25.8%) compared to urban areas (18.5%). Compared to urban areas, rural areas had lower walkability scores and urban residents reported higher frequency of walking. The association of perceived walkability with walking was significant only in urban areas. These results suggest that environmental factors associated with walking in urban areas may not be relevant in rural areas. Appropriate walkability measures specific to rural areas should be further researched. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
Open AccessArticle
I Walk My Dog Because It Makes Me Happy: A Qualitative Study to Understand Why Dogs Motivate Walking and Improved Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080936 - 19 Aug 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
Dog walking is a popular everyday physical activity. Dog owners are generally more active than non-owners, but some rarely walk with their dog. The strength of the dog–owner relationship is known to be correlated with dog walking, and this qualitative study investigates why. [...] Read more.
Dog walking is a popular everyday physical activity. Dog owners are generally more active than non-owners, but some rarely walk with their dog. The strength of the dog–owner relationship is known to be correlated with dog walking, and this qualitative study investigates why. Twenty-six interviews were combined with autoethnography of dog walking experiences. Dog walking was constructed as “for the dog”, however, owners represented their dog’s needs in a way which aligned with their own. Central to the construction of need was perceptions of dog personality and behaviour. Owners reported deriving positive outcomes from dog walking, most notably, feelings of “happiness”, but these were “contingent” on the perception that their dogs were enjoying the experience. Owner physical activity and social interaction were secondary bonuses but rarely motivating. Perceptions and beliefs of owners about dog walking were continually negotiated, depending on how the needs of the owner and dog were constructed at that time. Complex social interactions with the “significant other” of a pet can strongly motivate human health behaviour. Potential interventions to promote dog walking need to account for this complexity and the effect of the dog-owner relationship on owner mental wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessArticle
Facilitators of Physical Activity: Voices of Adolescents in a Disadvantaged Community
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080839 - 26 Jul 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Despite increasing socioeconomic inequalities in the health and well-being of adolescents, the voices of adolescents in disadvantaged communities regarding facilitators of physical activity (PA) have received relatively little attention. In response, the purpose of this study was to illuminate what adolescents in a [...] Read more.
Despite increasing socioeconomic inequalities in the health and well-being of adolescents, the voices of adolescents in disadvantaged communities regarding facilitators of physical activity (PA) have received relatively little attention. In response, the purpose of this study was to illuminate what adolescents in a multicultural community of low socioeconomic status (SES) in Sweden convey concerning facilitators of PA. Adolescents (n = 53, aged 12–13 years) were recruited from a school in a multicultural community of low SES in Sweden. Following an interpretive approach, 10 focus group interviews were conducted to produce data for a qualitative content analysis. When the adolescents mentioned PA, they mostly referred to spontaneous PA rather than organized PA, and expressed that they enjoyed their PA engagement, which they stated was promoted by the variation of PA, available options for PA, their physical skills, and the presence of peers. They reported that social support from family and friends facilitated their PA, and they offered several suggestions regarding how the school environment could better support their PA. From the perspective of self-determination theory (SDT), the results stress the importance of facilitating intrinsic motivation with a supportive PA environment in which adolescents can satisfy their needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessArticle
Is the Grass Always Greener in Suburban Neighborhoods? Outdoors Play in Suburban and Inner-City Neighborhoods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070759 - 11 Jul 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Children’s outdoors play (OP) is an important source of physical activity that has been decreasing in recent years due to changes in neighborhood design, parent safety concerns and child sedentary leisure. However, few studies examined such determinants from children’s perspectives. This study explores [...] Read more.
Children’s outdoors play (OP) is an important source of physical activity that has been decreasing in recent years due to changes in neighborhood design, parent safety concerns and child sedentary leisure. However, few studies examined such determinants from children’s perspectives. This study explores environmental and socio-cultural aspects of children’s OP using a qualitative and quantitative approach. Data was collected in two phases: (1) a survey on OP and related variables among 5th and 6th graders (10–12 years old) (n = 573); and (2) a mapping activity and semi-structured interview among a subsample of the survey (n = 80). The most common locations for routine OP were parks (40%) followed by public facilities (26%) and streets (17%). OP was significantly associated with perceived environment, independent mobility and gender, but not with neighborhood type. Inner-city participants reported a higher number and greater variety of OP areas (23 vs. 14). Three main barriers of OP were identified—low quality and poorly maintained play areas, other people in public spaces, and social norms that undermine OP. Thus, in order to encourage routine OP, environmental change to create safe and attractive OP settings should be accompanied by community interventions to enhance social norms that are supportive of OP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessArticle
Do Inequalities in Neighborhood Walkability Drive Disparities in Older Adults’ Outdoor Walking?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070740 - 07 Jul 2017
Cited by 12
Abstract
Older residents of high-deprivation areas walk less than those of low-deprivation areas. Previous research has shown that neighborhood built environment may support and encourage outdoor walking. The extent to which the built environment supports and encourages walking is called “walkability”. This study examines [...] Read more.
Older residents of high-deprivation areas walk less than those of low-deprivation areas. Previous research has shown that neighborhood built environment may support and encourage outdoor walking. The extent to which the built environment supports and encourages walking is called “walkability”. This study examines inequalities in neighborhood walkability in high- versus low-deprivation areas and their possible influences on disparities in older adults’ outdoor walking levels. For this purpose, it focuses on specific neighborhood built environment attributes (residential density, land-use mix and intensity, street connectivity, and retail density) relevant to neighborhood walkability. It applied a mixed-method approach, included 173 participants (≥65 years), and used a Geographic Information System (GIS) and walking interviews (with a sub-sample) to objectively and subjectively measure neighborhood built environment attributes. Outdoor walking levels were measured by using the Geographic Positioning System (GPS) technology. Data on personal characteristics was collected by completing a questionnaire. The results show that inequalities in certain land-use intensity (i.e., green spaces, recreation centers, schools and industries) in high- versus low-deprivation areas may influence disparities in older adults’ outdoor walking levels. Modifying neighborhood land use intensity may help to encourage outdoor walking in high-deprivation areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessArticle
Why Do Children Engage in Sedentary Behavior? Child- and Parent-Perceived Determinants
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070671 - 22 Jun 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Todays children spend a large amount of their time sedentary. There is limited evidence on the determinants of sedentary behavior in children, and qualitative studies are especially lacking. Therefore, this study aimed to explore determinants of children’s sedentary behavior from the child- and [...] Read more.
Todays children spend a large amount of their time sedentary. There is limited evidence on the determinants of sedentary behavior in children, and qualitative studies are especially lacking. Therefore, this study aimed to explore determinants of children’s sedentary behavior from the child- and parent perspective. Qualitative data were collected during concept mapping sessions with four groups of 11–13 years old children (n = 38) and two online sessions with parents (n = 21). Children and parents generated sedentary behavior motives, sorted related motives, and rated their importance in influencing children’s sedentary time. Next, multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis was performed to create clusters of motives resulting in a concept map. Finally, the researchers named the clusters in the concept map. Concept maps of children yielded eight to ten perceived determinants, and concept maps of parents six to seven. Children and parents identified six similar potential determinants, and both rated as important: Sitting because… “it is the norm (I have to)”, and “I can work/play better that way”. In addition, children rated “there is nobody to play with” as an important potential determinant for engaging in sedentary behavior. The most important child- and parent perceived determinants were related to the social/cultural and physical environment, indicating that these are promising targets for future interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessArticle
The Recreovía of Bogotá, a Community-Based Physical Activity Program to Promote Physical Activity among Women: Baseline Results of the Natural Experiment Al Ritmo de las Comunidades
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060633 - 13 Jun 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Community-based physical activity (PA) programs in Latin America have been recognized because of the use of available environmental resources to offer PA classes. Yet, the evaluation of programs focused on PA classes involving dancing in public spaces is limited. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Community-based physical activity (PA) programs in Latin America have been recognized because of the use of available environmental resources to offer PA classes. Yet, the evaluation of programs focused on PA classes involving dancing in public spaces is limited. The aim of this study was to assess the physical activity levels, park use, and the contextual characteristics of public parks with and without the Recreovía in Bogotá in Colombia. Al Ritmo de las Comunidades is a natural experiment conducted in nine parks (3 parks implementing new Recreovías, 3 control parks and 3 parks with existing Recreovías) during 2013. We used the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities to evaluate park use (gender, age, and physical activity level) and target areas. A total of 4925 people were observed during 702 observation visits to parks. The percentage of women was higher in parks with Recreovía, compared to parks without Recreovía (53% vs. 40% vs. 33%; p < 0.001). Women using parks with Recreovía compared to women in parks without Recreovía were less likely to be sedentary (25% vs. 39%; p < 0.0001) and more likely to engage in moderate-to-vigorous activity (75% vs. 61%; p < 0.0001). Among men, the activity pattern was the opposite. The Recreovía is a promising strategy to promote park use and PA, especially among women who are less likely to meet PA recommendations during their leisure time. The provision of a cost-free community program may be an effective approach and a good investment for health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessArticle
Getting to Know a Place: Built Environment Walkability and Children’s Spatial Representation of Their Home-School (h–s) Route
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060607 - 06 Jun 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
The literature on environmental walkability to date has mainly focused on walking and related health outcomes. While previous studies suggest associations between walking and spatial knowledge, the associations between environmental walkability and spatial knowledge is yet to be explored. The current study addresses [...] Read more.
The literature on environmental walkability to date has mainly focused on walking and related health outcomes. While previous studies suggest associations between walking and spatial knowledge, the associations between environmental walkability and spatial knowledge is yet to be explored. The current study addresses this lacuna in research by exploring children’s mental representations of their home-school (h–s) route, vis- Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Objectively-Determined Walkability and Physical Activity in Adults: A Quasi-Longitudinal Residential Relocation Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14050551 - 22 May 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Causal evidence for the built environment’s role in supporting physical activity is needed to inform land use and transportation policies. This quasi-longitudinal residential relocation study compared within-person changes in self-reported transportation walking, transportation cycling, and overall physical activity during the past 12 months [...] Read more.
Causal evidence for the built environment’s role in supporting physical activity is needed to inform land use and transportation policies. This quasi-longitudinal residential relocation study compared within-person changes in self-reported transportation walking, transportation cycling, and overall physical activity during the past 12 months among adults who did and did not move to a different neighbourhood. In 2014, a random sample of adults from 12 neighbourhoods (Calgary, AB, Canada) with varying urban form and socioeconomic status provided complete self-administered questionnaire data (n = 915). Participants, some of whom moved neighbourhood during the past 12 months (n = 95), reported their perceived change in transportation walking and cycling, and overall physical activity during that period. The questionnaire also captured residential self-selection, and sociodemographic and health characteristics. Walk Scores® were linked to each participant’s current and previous neighbourhood and three groups identified: walkability “improvers” (n = 48); “decliners” (n = 47), and; “maintainers” (n = 820). Perceived change in physical activity was compared between the three groups using propensity score covariate-adjusted Firth logistic regression (odds ratios: OR). Compared with walkability maintainers, walkability decliners (OR 4.37) and improvers (OR 4.14) were more likely (p < 0.05) to report an increase in their transportation walking since moving neighbourhood, while walkability decliners were also more likely (OR 3.17) to report decreasing their transportation walking since moving. Walkability improvers were more likely than maintainers to increase their transportation cycling since moving neighbourhood (OR 4.22). Temporal changes in neighbourhood walkability resulting from residential relocation appear to be associated with reported temporal changes in transportation walking and cycling in adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
Open AccessArticle
Promoting Healthy Lifestyle and Well-Being in Adolescents through Outdoor Physical Activity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14050533 - 17 May 2017
Cited by 11
Abstract
Health-enhancing physical activities (PA) performed outdoors could markedly contribute to the adoption of a healthy lifestyle in adolescence. The differences between PA preferences and actual opportunities for these PA are an issue that has received frequent attention. To date, the extent to which [...] Read more.
Health-enhancing physical activities (PA) performed outdoors could markedly contribute to the adoption of a healthy lifestyle in adolescence. The differences between PA preferences and actual opportunities for these PA are an issue that has received frequent attention. To date, the extent to which these differences are reflected in adolescents meeting PA recommendations and their well-being has not been explored. In total, 10,086 respondents took part in an on-line research project regarding PA preferences. Of them, 2446 also completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (Long Form) and the World Health Organization (WHO) W-5 questionnaire to assess well-being. Finally, 1278 of these respondents were involved in objective PA monitoring using pedometers. The study aimed to explore the prevalence and trends regarding outdoor PA. Moreover, we assessed whether the agreement between preferred PA and PA actually undertaken was associated with higher odds for meeting PA recommendations and achieving a higher level of well-being. Of a selection of outdoor activities, Czech and Polish boys preferred cycling, swimming, and downhill skiing, while girls preferred swimming activities, skating, and cycling. The agreement between preferred and PA actually undertaken was associated with higher odds for meeting the weekly PA recommendations and higher levels of well-being both in boys and girls. Evaluation of outdoor PA preferences and taking these preferred activities into account when forming conditions for them was important in the efficient promotion of the physical and mental health of adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
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