Special Issue "The Impacts of Physical Activity on Chronic Disease Prevention and Population Health"

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

Prof. Dr. Li Ming Wen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
2. Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Shanghai 10th People's Hospital, School of Medicine, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
3. School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
4. Population Health Research and Evaluation Hub, Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, Australia
Interests: clinical trials and practice in the areas of obesity, diabetes and chronic disease prevention; public health research and innovation for promoting physical activity, nutrition and active transport; translational research focused on translating research evidence into practice and development of public health policy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on the Impacts of Physical Activity on Chronic Disease Prevention and Population Health in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH). The venue is a peer-reviewed, scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health with an impact factor 2.035. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

There is mounting evidence that physical activity or exercise can improve population health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can also have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular physical activity can improve the quality of life. A minimum of 30 minutes a day can allow the population to enjoy these benefits. However, much more needs to be done for better understanding about the important contributing factors to physical activity as well as physical and biological mechanisms of linking physical activity to disease prevention and population health, and more importantly, what interventions can be effective for increasing the physical activity of the population.

We invite investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles that will stimulate the continuing efforts to understand the impacts of physical activity on chronic disease prevention and population health and their mechanisms, and also to help develop intervention strategies to increase physical activity and, ultimately, improve population health.  Investigators who have conducted research on these topics are invited to submit manuscripts for consideration for this Special Issue in IJERPH.

This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to physical activity, chronic disease prevention and population health. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Epidemiological or clinical studies on physical activity, chronic disease prevention and population health, as well as their contributing factors;   
  • Studies on physical and biological mechanisms of linking physical activity to disease prevention;  
  • Studies on physical activity intervention and its enablers or barriers;
  • Reports on intervention trials, and program evaluations;
  • Recent advances in assessing or monitoring changes in physical activity;
  • Case study on new clinical evidence of physical activity and disease prevention. 

The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Prof. Dr. Li Ming Wen
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
  • Chronic diseases
  • Population health
  • Quality of life
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes,
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Intervention
  • Epidemiology
  • Mechanism
  • Case study

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
In-Class Cycling to Augment College Student Academic Performance and Reduce Physical Inactivity: Results from an RCT
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1343; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111343 - 04 Nov 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Most college students sit 14 hours per week on average, excluding sedentary study time. Researchers observing workplace and elementary school settings with active workstations to combat sedentary behavior have shown enhanced cognition without distraction. Until now, incorporating active workstations in college classroom settings [...] Read more.
Most college students sit 14 hours per week on average, excluding sedentary study time. Researchers observing workplace and elementary school settings with active workstations to combat sedentary behavior have shown enhanced cognition without distraction. Until now, incorporating active workstations in college classroom settings remained relatively unexplored. This study’s purpose was to assess academic performance using in-class stationary cycle desks during a semester-long lecture course. Twenty-one college students (19–24 years) enrolled in a lecture course volunteered and were split into traditional sit (SIT) and stationary cycle (CYC) groups randomly, matched on a calculated factor equal to a physical activity (PA) score (0–680) multiplied by grade point average (GPA; 4.0 scale). CYC pedaled a prescribed rate of perceived exertion (RPE) of less than 2 out of 10 during a 50-min lecture, 3 × week for 12 weeks. CYC averaged 42 min, 7.9 miles, and 1.7 RPE during class throughout the semester. No significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed between CYC and SIT on in-class test scores or overall course grades. Although statistically insignificant, CYC had higher mean test scores and overall course grades vs. SIT (i.e., B+ vs. B, respectively). Low intensity cycling during a college lecture course maintained student academic performance and possibly reduced weekly sedentary behavior time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effectiveness of a Video-Versus Text-Based Computer-Tailored Intervention for Obesity Prevention after One Year: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101275 - 23 Oct 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Computer-tailored programs may help to prevent overweight and obesity, which are worldwide public health problems. This study investigated (1) the 12-month effectiveness of a video- and text-based computer-tailored intervention on energy intake, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI), and (2) the role [...] Read more.
Computer-tailored programs may help to prevent overweight and obesity, which are worldwide public health problems. This study investigated (1) the 12-month effectiveness of a video- and text-based computer-tailored intervention on energy intake, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI), and (2) the role of educational level in intervention effects. A randomized controlled trial in The Netherlands was conducted, in which adults were allocated to a video-based condition, text-based condition, or control condition, with baseline, 6 months, and 12 months follow-up. Outcome variables were self-reported BMI, physical activity, and energy intake. Mixed-effects modelling was used to investigate intervention effects and potential interaction effects. Compared to the control group, the video intervention group was effective regarding energy intake after 6 months (least squares means (LSM) difference = −205.40, p = 0.00) and 12 months (LSM difference = −128.14, p = 0.03). Only video intervention resulted in lower average daily energy intake after one year (d = 0.12). Educational role and BMI did not seem to interact with this effect. No intervention effects on BMI and physical activity were found. The video computer-tailored intervention was effective on energy intake after one year. This effect was not dependent on educational levels or BMI categories, suggesting that video tailoring can be effective for a broad range of risk groups and may be preferred over text tailoring. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Mothers’ Perceived Neighbourhood Environment and Outdoor Play of 2- to 3.5-Year-Old Children: Findings from the Healthy Beginnings Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14091082 - 18 Sep 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background: This study aims to investigate whether mothers’ perceived neighbourhood environment is associated with outdoor playtime of 2- to 3.5-year-old children. Methods: Cross-sectional analyses were conducted using data from the Healthy Beginnings Trial (HBT). Data on children’s outdoor playtime and mothers’ perceived neighbourhood [...] Read more.
Background: This study aims to investigate whether mothers’ perceived neighbourhood environment is associated with outdoor playtime of 2- to 3.5-year-old children. Methods: Cross-sectional analyses were conducted using data from the Healthy Beginnings Trial (HBT). Data on children’s outdoor playtime and mothers’ perceived neighbourhood environment were collected through face-to-face interviews with mothers when their children were 2 and 3.5 years old. Walk score was obtained from a publicly available website and population density data were obtained from Australian Census data. Multiple logistic regression models were built to investigate these associations. Results: A total of 497 and 415 mother-child dyads were retained at 2 years and 3.5 years. After adjusting for intervention group allocation and other confounding factors, at 2 years, mothers’ perceptions that ‘the neighbourhood is a good place to bring up children’, ‘it is safe to play outside during the day’, and ‘there are good parks or playgrounds in neighbourhood’ were positively associated with children’s outdoor playtime. At 3.5 years, living in a free-standing house was associated with more children’s outdoor playtime. Conclusions: Children may benefit from living in a neighbourhood that supports active lifestyle. Improving social and physical environments in neighbourhoods could be an important strategy for improving young children’s physical activity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Implementing Low-Cost, Community-Based Exercise Programs for Middle-Aged and Older Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: What Are the Benefits for Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Risk?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1057; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14091057 - 13 Sep 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Background: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of a long-term, community-based, combined exercise program developed with low-cost exercise strategies on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged and older patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods: Participants (n [...] Read more.
Background: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of a long-term, community-based, combined exercise program developed with low-cost exercise strategies on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged and older patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods: Participants (n = 124; 63.25 ± 7.20 years old) engaged in either a 9-month supervised exercise program (n = 39; consisting of combined aerobic, resistance, agility/balance, and flexibility exercise; three sessions per week; 70 min per session) or a control group (n = 85) who maintained their usual care. Glycemic control, lipid profile, blood pressure, anthropometric profile, and the 10-year risk of coronary artery disease were assessed before and after the 9-month intervention. Results: A significant time * group interaction effect (p < 0.001) was identified in the values of the glycated hemoglobin, fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference, and the 10-year risk of coronary artery disease. Conclusions: A long-term, community-based, combined exercise program developed with low-cost exercise strategies was effective in inducing significant benefits on glycemic control, lipid profile, blood pressure, anthropometric profile, and the 10-year risk of coronary artery disease in middle-aged and older patients with type 2 diabetes. Clinical Trial Identification Number: ISRCTN09240628. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Does Physical Activity Mediate the Associations Between Local-Area Descriptive Norms, Built Environment Walkability, and Glycosylated Hemoglobin?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14090953 - 23 Aug 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Associations between local-area residential features and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) may be mediated by individual-level health behaviors. Such indirect effects have rarely been tested. This study assessed whether individual-level self-reported physical activity mediated the influence of local-area descriptive norms and objectively expressed [...] Read more.
Associations between local-area residential features and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) may be mediated by individual-level health behaviors. Such indirect effects have rarely been tested. This study assessed whether individual-level self-reported physical activity mediated the influence of local-area descriptive norms and objectively expressed walkability on 10-year change in HbA1c. HbA1c was assessed three times for adults in a 10-year population-based biomedical cohort (n = 4056). Local-area norms specific to each participant were calculated, aggregating responses from a separate statewide surveillance survey for 1600 m road-network buffers centered on participant addresses (local prevalence of overweight/obesity (body mass index ≥25 kg/m2) and physical inactivity (<150 min/week)). Separate latent growth models estimated direct and indirect (through physical activity) effects of local-area exposures on change in HbA1c, accounting for spatial clustering and covariates (individual-level age, sex, smoking status, marital status, employment and education, and area-level median household income). HbA1c worsened over time. Local-area norms directly and indirectly predicted worsening HbA1c trajectories. Walkability was directly and indirectly protective of worsening HbA1c. Local-area descriptive norms and walkability influence cardiometabolic risk trajectory through individual-level physical activity. Efforts to reduce population cardiometabolic risk should consider the extent of local-area unhealthful behavioral norms and walkability in tailoring strategies to improve physical activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling the Effect of Physical Activity on Obesity in China: Evidence from the Longitudinal China Health and Nutrition Study 1989–2011
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080844 - 27 Jul 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Although physical activity has been widely recognized as an important influential factor in determining the risk of obesity, the results in the existing literature empirically examining such issue are mixed. Especially for China, relevant studies are rarely found. One aim of this study [...] Read more.
Although physical activity has been widely recognized as an important influential factor in determining the risk of obesity, the results in the existing literature empirically examining such issue are mixed. Especially for China, relevant studies are rarely found. One aim of this study is to test the direction of effects between obesity and physical activity. It uses longitudinal data to investigate the relationship and causality between physical activity and obesity for both children and adults in China. The longitudinal data and dynamic panel model used here can yield more solid results than the other studies employing cross-sectional data, particularly considering strict endogeneity and self-selection. It is discovered that obesity does not affect children’s physical activity but that obese children are more sedentary. For adults in China, physical activity can significantly reduce the weight, but not in the opposite direction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Fitness, Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, or Diet—What Are the Correlates of Obesity in Polish School Children?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060664 - 20 Jun 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
There is substantial evidence of rising prevalence of overweight and obesity and its co-morbidities among children in western-high income developed countries. In the European Union, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing fastest among Polish children. Yet, there is paucity of evidence [...] Read more.
There is substantial evidence of rising prevalence of overweight and obesity and its co-morbidities among children in western-high income developed countries. In the European Union, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing fastest among Polish children. Yet, there is paucity of evidence on the relationship of behavioral factors with body weight status of children in Poland. This study examined the association of obesity with physical fitness, physical activity, sedentary behavior and diet among Polish children. A total of 641 children (10–15 years) recruited from the Lower Silesia region of Poland participated in this cross-sectional study. Participants’ anthropometrics, physical fitness, physical activity, sedentary behavior and dietary intake were assessed. Outcome variables were weight categories (according to body mass index [BMI], waist-to-hip ratio [WHR], and percentage body fat [% BF]). The strongest negative correlation was found between VO2max and %BF (r = −0.39, p <0.05). Significant negative correlation was also found between VO2max and weight categories (r = −0.15). Results of the multinomial logit analysis showed that VO2max increased in groups of overweight, normal weight and underweight children by 13%, 26% and 19%, respectively as compared to the group of obese children. VO2max and weight and obesity indices were strongly correlated in both gender and age groups. Education and intervention programs to increase physical fitness (VO2max) through aerobic training are recommended for Physical Education teachers, parents and children in order to reduce the rate of overweight and obesity among children in the Lower Silesia region of Poland. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association of Education and Smoking Status on Risk of Diabetes Mellitus: A Population-Based Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14060655 - 19 Jun 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Background: Exposure to smoke, including environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is a well-known risk factor for diabetes. Low socioeconomic status, especially lack of education, is also a risk factor for diabetes. Therefore, we assessed the association of demographic, socioeconomic, clinical, and behavior risk factor-related [...] Read more.
Background: Exposure to smoke, including environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is a well-known risk factor for diabetes. Low socioeconomic status, especially lack of education, is also a risk factor for diabetes. Therefore, we assessed the association of demographic, socioeconomic, clinical, and behavior risk factor-related variables and smoking status, including ETS exposure, with the prevalence of diabetes. Methods: Data were from the 2007–2013 Korea National Health and Nutritional Evaluation Survey (KNHANES). Multivariable logistic regression examined associations between various lifestyle and health factors and the prevalence of diabetes while controlling for potential confounding variables. Subgroup analysis was performed according to smoking status to determine factors associated with diabetes. Results: Of 19,303 individuals analyzed, 1325 (11.4%) had diabetes. Greater average age, male sex, lower educational level, unemployment, and coexisting health problems were significantly associated with diabetes. Individuals with only elementary, middle, or high school level education had significantly greater odds ratios (p < 0.05) compared to college graduates; smokers and nonsmokers exposed to ETS had significantly greater OR (p < 0.05) than nonsmokers unexposed to ETS. Subgroup analysis of diabetics according to smoking status revealed significant associations (p < 0.05) for diabetic nonsmokers exposed to ETS with female sex, single status, elementary level education, urban residence, National Health Insurance (NHI), hypertension, a lack of alcohol intake, and a lack of moderate physical activity. For diabetic smokers, there were significant associations (p < 0.05) with elementary education, urban residence, a lack of moderate physical activity, a lack of alcohol intake, and NHI. Conclusions: The results suggested that smoking status, as well as ETS exposure, was associated with a higher prevalence of diabetes, especially in populations with less education. Thus, we should direct efforts for controlling diabetes toward individuals with lower levels of education and those who are smokers and nonsmokers exposed to ETS. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Validity of Research-Grade Actigraphy Unit for Measuring Exercise Intensity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14050511 - 10 May 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
This study was conducted in a free-living setting to investigate the measurement validity of a research-based actigraph for strolling and jogging, and to provide a reference for actual practice and research. Because inadequate physical activity (PA) or sedentary lifestyle has become the fourth [...] Read more.
This study was conducted in a free-living setting to investigate the measurement validity of a research-based actigraph for strolling and jogging, and to provide a reference for actual practice and research. Because inadequate physical activity (PA) or sedentary lifestyle has become the fourth leading risk factor for mortality worldwide, many countries have been vigorously promoting the concept of “active living”, and the public has been investing greater effort into intensifying their PA. Although research-grade actigraphs have been widely applied to evaluate PA in routine environments, the measurement results may not accurately reflect the wearers’ PA. Unlike most relevant research, which is conducted in well-controlled laboratory environments, the present study was implemented in the field to examine the sensitivity and convergent validity of the MicroMini Motionlogger® Actigraph during strolling and jogging. The following results were revealed: (1) Although the exercise movement speed while jogging was significantly faster than that while strolling, the actigraph readings showed no significant difference between strolling and jogging; (2) The actigraph readings were (significantly or nonsignificantly) negatively correlated with metabolic heat and nonsignificantly correlated with movement speeds. Hence, the actigraph validity for measuring PA intensity while strolling and jogging remains debatable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Break in Sedentary Behavior Reduces the Risk of Noncommunicable Diseases and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors among Workers in a Petroleum Company
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14050501 - 09 May 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Although prolonged sitting appears as a novel risk factor related to health outcomes for all ages, its association needs to be replicated in occupational conditions. This study explored the associations between sedentary behavior and four noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) as well as two cardiometabolic [...] Read more.
Although prolonged sitting appears as a novel risk factor related to health outcomes for all ages, its association needs to be replicated in occupational conditions. This study explored the associations between sedentary behavior and four noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) as well as two cardiometabolic risk factors (CMRFs) among workers in a petroleum company, Thailand. All workers were invited to complete the online self-report questionnaire. Sedentary behavior was measured as the amount of time sitting at work, during recreation, and while commuting. Out of 3365 workers contacted, 1133 (34%) participated. Prevalence of NCDs and CMRFs was 36% and was positively associated with sedentary behavior. After adjusting for age, BMI, and exercise, the risk of NCDs and CMRFs for sedentary office work was 40% greater compared with more active field work. Those who took a break without sitting more than twice a day and commuted by walking or cycling had less risk of NCDs and CMRFs. The total duration of sedentary behavior was 10 h/day, and two-thirds of that total was workplace sitting. This was significantly associated with NCDs and CMRFs (p < 0.001). Day-and-night rotating shiftwork was negatively associated with NCDs and CMRFs (p < 0.001). Sedentary behavior should be considered a health risk among workers. Hence, to promote a healthy lifestyle and safe workplace, organizations should encourage standing activities during break and physically active commutes, and have workers avoid prolonged sitting. Full article
Open AccessArticle
6MWT Performance and its Correlations with VO2 and Handgrip Strength in Home-Dwelling Mid-Aged and Older Chinese
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14050473 - 29 Apr 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
Six-minute walk test (6MWT) performance is more commonly used in clinic patients with chronic cardiopulmonary diseases but not in home-dwelling individuals of similar age, and its correlations with oxygen uptake (VO2) and muscle strength require further investigation. The current study determined [...] Read more.
Six-minute walk test (6MWT) performance is more commonly used in clinic patients with chronic cardiopulmonary diseases but not in home-dwelling individuals of similar age, and its correlations with oxygen uptake (VO2) and muscle strength require further investigation. The current study determined the 6MWT performance of 106 home-dwelling residents (mean age of 62 years) in Suzhou, China. VO2 at a respiratory exchange ratio (R) of 1 was measured through graded cycling exercise tests on 46 participants. Handgrip strength of all participants was tested. 6MWT distance measured 543.4 ± 67.2 m (total work 351.0 ± 62.8 kJ) with similar distances ambulated each minute. Heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of perceived exertion scores significantly increased after 6MWT. VO2 at R = 1 reached 1238 ± 342 mL/min (18.6 ± 4.7 mL/kg/min), whereas handgrip strength totaled 29.8 ± 9.6 kg. 6MWT distance showed strong correlations with VO2 (r = 0.549, p ≤ 0.001) and handgrip strength (r = 0.359, p < 0.001). Aside from providing reference values for 6MWT performance (~543 m, ~559 m in males and ~533 in females) for home-dwelling Chinese residents, our results suggest that as a parameter of exercise endurance, 6MWT performance correlates with both aerobic capacity and muscle fitness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
One-Year Results of a Synthetic Intervention Model for the Primary Prevention of T2D among Elderly Individuals with Prediabetes in Rural China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14040417 - 14 Apr 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a synthetic intervention model aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes and controlling plasma glucose, body weight and waist circumference in elderly individuals with prediabetes in rural China. Methods: We randomly [...] Read more.
Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a synthetic intervention model aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes and controlling plasma glucose, body weight and waist circumference in elderly individuals with prediabetes in rural China. Methods: We randomly assigned 434 (180 men and 254 women; mean age, 69 years; mean body mass index, 23.6 kg/m2) with prediabetes to either the intervention group or the control group. Each participant in the intervention group received synthetic intervention for 1 year. Results: The incidence of diabetes was 4.2% in the intervention group, versus 19.7% in the control group at the end of 1 year (p < 0.001). Compared with the control group, the intervention group experienced a great decrease in fasting glucose (−3.9 vs. 2.2 mg/dL, p < 0.001), body weight (−3.2 vs. 1.7 kg, p < 0.001), waist circumference (−2.4 vs. 1.0 cm, p < 0001), total cholesterol (−9.1 vs. −4.6 mg/dL. p = 0.014) and HbA1c (−1.0 vs. 0.1 mg %, p = 0.002) at the end of 1 year. Conclusions: The incidence of diabetes of the control group was higher than that of the intervention group. Besides, the synthetic intervention contributes to weight loss and glucose decrease, and may be effective in reducing the risk of diabetes among elderly individuals with prediabetes in rural China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association of Motorcycle Use with Risk of Overweight in Taiwanese Urban Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14040410 - 12 Apr 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Sedentary transport is known to adversely affect health. Few studies have focused on motorcycle use. This study examines the association of motorcycle use with overweight in urban adults in Taiwan. Cross-sectional data from 1069 Taiwanese adults aged 20–64 years in three urban cities [...] Read more.
Sedentary transport is known to adversely affect health. Few studies have focused on motorcycle use. This study examines the association of motorcycle use with overweight in urban adults in Taiwan. Cross-sectional data from 1069 Taiwanese adults aged 20–64 years in three urban cities were collected in 2015. Data on self-reported body mass index, time spent in motorcycle use, lifestyle behavioral factors, and sociodemographic variables were obtained. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models were applied. In Model 1, adults who spent more time using a motorcycle (third quartile, odds ratio (OR) = 1.17; fourth quartile, OR = 1.60) were more likely to be overweight compared with the first quartile. In Model 2, after adjusting for the covariates, only the fourth quartile of motorcycle use (OR = 1.50) was associated with a higher risk of overweight. Higher time spent in motorcycle use is related to higher risk of being overweight, even after adjustment for potential demographic and behavioral confounders. Intervention and behavioral change strategies targeting motorcycle use should be considered. Full article
Open AccessArticle
How to Tackle Key Challenges in the Promotion of Physical Activity among Older Adults (65+): The AEQUIPA Network Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14040379 - 04 Apr 2017
Cited by 11
Abstract
The paper introduces the theoretical framework and methods/instruments used by the Physical Activity and Health Equity: Primary Prevention for Healthy Ageing (AEQUIPA) prevention research network as an interdisciplinary approach to tackle key challenges in the promotion of physical activity among older people (65+). [...] Read more.
The paper introduces the theoretical framework and methods/instruments used by the Physical Activity and Health Equity: Primary Prevention for Healthy Ageing (AEQUIPA) prevention research network as an interdisciplinary approach to tackle key challenges in the promotion of physical activity among older people (65+). Drawing on the social-ecological model, the AEQUIPA network developed an interdisciplinary methodological design including quantitative/qualitative studies and systematic reviews, while combining expertise from diverse fields: public health, psychology, urban planning, sports sciences, health technology and geriatrics. AEQUIPA tackles key challenges when promoting physical activity (PA) in older adults: tailoring of interventions, fostering community readiness and participation, strengthening intersectoral collaboration, using new technological devices and evaluating intervention generated inequalities. AEQUIPA aims to strengthen the evidence base for age-specific preventive PA interventions and to yield new insights into the explanatory power of individual and contextual factors. Currently, the empirical work is still underway. First experiences indicate that thenetwork has achieved a strong regional linkage with communities, local stakeholders and individuals. However, involving inactive persons and individuals from minority groups remained challenging. A review of existing PA intervention studies among the elderly revealed the potential to assess equity effects. The results will add to the theoretical and methodological discussion on evidence-based age-specific PA interventions and will contribute to the discussion about European and national health targets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Are Structural Changes in Polish Rural Areas Fostering Leisure-Time Physical Activity?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14040372 - 01 Apr 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background: In this study, we analyze the determinants of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) of farmers and non-farmers living in rural areas. Methods: We use statistical analysis to describe urban and rural populations, as well as econometric techniques (Heckman regressions and propensity score matching) [...] Read more.
Background: In this study, we analyze the determinants of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) of farmers and non-farmers living in rural areas. Methods: We use statistical analysis to describe urban and rural populations, as well as econometric techniques (Heckman regressions and propensity score matching) to assess the role of rural lifestyle in physical activity. Results: World Health Organization (WHO) pro-health PA (physical activity) recommendations are not met by 66% of farmers and 49% of other dwellers in rural areas. Approximately two thirds of them are completely inactive. Farmers enjoy vigorous PA (VPA), cycling and recreational walking less than their non-farming counterparts and are 46% less likely to be active than them; however the difference disappears when they take up an activity. The amount of PA is negatively correlated with age, but tends to increase for older people compared to those in middle age. Women are 6%–7% less active than men, yet the odds of being active at all are higher for women than for men. Household size is negatively correlated with LTPA. Conclusion: Considering the structural changes, rural area dwellers, especially farmers, require public intervention aimed at increasing their awareness of the advantages of LTPA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Domain-Specific Self-Reported and Objectively Measured Physical Activity in Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030242 - 01 Mar 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
Little is known about the extent that different domains contribute to total sedentary (SED), light (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). We aimed to identify domain-specific physical activity (PA) patterns in school-aged children who were assessed by questionnaire and accelerometry. For the study, [...] Read more.
Little is known about the extent that different domains contribute to total sedentary (SED), light (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). We aimed to identify domain-specific physical activity (PA) patterns in school-aged children who were assessed by questionnaire and accelerometry. For the study, 298 German school children and adolescents aged 6–17 years wore an accelerometer for one week and completed a PA recall-questionnaire for the same period. Spearman coefficients (r) were used to evaluate the agreement between self-reported and objectively measured PA in five domains (transport, school hours, physical education, leisure-time, organized sports activities). School hours mainly contributed to the total objectively measured SED, LPA and MVPA (55%, 53% and 46%, respectively), whilst sports activities contributed only 24% to total MVPA. Compared to accelerometry, the proportion of self-reported LPA and MVPA during school hours was substantially underestimated but overestimated during leisure-time. The agreement of self-reported and objectively measured PA was low for total LPA (r = 0.09, 95% CI (confidence interval): −0.03–0.20) and total MVPA (r = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.10–0.32), while moderate agreement was only found for total SED (r = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.34–0.53), LPA during transport (r = 0.59; 95% CI: 0.49–0.67) and MVPA during organized sports activities (r = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.38–0.67). Since school hours mainly contribute to total SED, LPA and MVPA and self-reported LPA and MVPA during school were importantly underestimated compared to objectively measured LPA and MVPA, the application of objective measurements is compulsory to characterize the entire activity pattern of school-aged children. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Physical Activity and Plasma Glucose Level amongst Ellisras Rural Young Adult Males and Females: Ellisras Longitudinal Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14020198 - 16 Feb 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Unhealthy lifestyle characteristics such as low physical activity (PA) and high plasma glucose levels (PGLs) may lead to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adulthood. The aim of this study was to investigate (i) the level of physical activity; (ii) the [...] Read more.
Unhealthy lifestyle characteristics such as low physical activity (PA) and high plasma glucose levels (PGLs) may lead to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adulthood. The aim of this study was to investigate (i) the level of physical activity; (ii) the prevalence of pre-diabetes and (iii) the relationship between PA and plasma glucose level in a rural Ellisras adult population aged 18 to 28 years. A total of 713 young adults (349 males and 364 females) who took part in the Ellisras Longitudinal Study participated in the study. Fasting plasma glucose levels were analysed using Accutrend glucose meters. Physical activity data was collected using a validated questionnaire. Linear regression was used to assess the relationship between PA and pre-diabetes. The prevalence of pre-diabetes was between 45.7% and 50.2% and that of physical inactivity was 67.3% and 71.0% for males and females, respectively. There was no significant (p > 0.05) relationship between PA and pre-diabetes (beta = 1.016; 95% Confidence Interval from 0.352 to 2.777). The health benefits of PA increased with the increasing frequency, duration and intensity of exercise. The prevalence of pre-diabetes was found to be very high in this population. Our results suggest that greater physical activity is associated with low plasma glucose levels. Full article
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Open AccessCommentary
Breaking Up Sitting with Light-Intensity Physical Activity: Implications for Shift-Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1233; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101233 - 16 Oct 2017
Abstract
Prolonged sitting, restricted sleep, and circadian disruption are all independent risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Previous research has demonstrated that breaking up sitting with light-intensity physical activity has clear benefits for the health of day workers, but these findings may not apply in [...] Read more.
Prolonged sitting, restricted sleep, and circadian disruption are all independent risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Previous research has demonstrated that breaking up sitting with light-intensity physical activity has clear benefits for the health of day workers, but these findings may not apply in the presence of sleep restriction and/or circadian disruption—both of which are commonly experienced by shift-workers. Specifically, sleep restriction, and circadian disruption result in acute physiological changes that may offset the benefits of breaking up sitting. This commentary will explore the potential benefits of breaking up sitting for health, work performance, and subsequent sleep in shift-workers. Future areas of research designed to understand the mechanisms by which prolonged sitting and shift work impact worker health and safety and to support the design of effective occupational health and safety interventions are proposed. Full article
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