Special Issue "Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Lifestyles in Sports, Leisure-Time and Physical Education"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. João Martins
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon, Cruz Quebrada 1499-002, Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: physical education; physical activity; physical literacy; health education; epidemiology
Dr. João Costa
Website SciProfiles
Assistant Guest Editor
School of Education, University College Cork, 2 Lucan Place, Western Road, Cork, Ireland. T12 KX72
Interests: physical education; teacher education; sport pedagogy; physical activity; health education; sport psychology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The health benefits of a physically active lifestyle are well established. Nevertheless, adolescents, adults, and older adults worldwide present high levels of physical inactivity. In most countries, inactivity levels have been stable, or their reduction too slow. With physical inactivity representing an increased risk for health issues, urgent action is needed to effectively promote physically active and healthy lifestyles. In this regard, research seeking to further understand the multiple influences of diverse types of physical activity (PA) is important to design specific evidence-based PA interventions.

In this Special Issue, we look forward to receiving high-quality original research studies (e.g., longitudinal, randomized control trials; mixed-methods; qualitative; cross-sectional; systematic reviews and meta-analyses) focused on all forms of PA in different contexts (e.g., in leisure time, at work, at school, in the household, active transportation) across all population subgroups in diverse cultural contexts, related (but not limited) to the following topics:

  1. Links between PA, health outcomes, and quality of life;
  2. Prevalence of and trends in PA;
  3. Correlates and determinants of PA;
  4. Interventions, effective strategies, and best practices to promote PA;
  5. Physical education, school-based PA, and healthy lifestyle promotion;
  6. Youth and adult experiences, perspectives, and recommendations on PA;
  7. Translation of research into public health actions to promote PA.

Dr. João Martins
Dr. João Costa
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

  • physical activity
  • physical education
  • correlates
  • determinants
  • interventions
  • health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA)
  • health
  • lifestyle

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Gaelic4Girls—The Effectiveness of a 10-Week Multicomponent Community Sports-Based Physical Activity Intervention for 8 to 12-Year-Old Girls
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6928; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186928 - 22 Sep 2020
Abstract
Girls are less active than boys throughout childhood and adolescence, with limited research focusing on female community sports-based programs. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of a multi-component, community sports-based intervention for increasing girl’s physical activity (PA) levels, fundamental movement skill (FMS) [...] Read more.
Girls are less active than boys throughout childhood and adolescence, with limited research focusing on female community sports-based programs. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of a multi-component, community sports-based intervention for increasing girl’s physical activity (PA) levels, fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency, and psychological wellbeing, as relative to a second treatment group (the traditionally delivered national comparative program), and a third control group. One hundred and twenty female-only participants (mean age = 10.75 ± 1.44 years), aged 8 to 12 years old from three Ladies Gaelic Football (LGF) community sports clubs (rural and suburban) were allocated to one of three conditions: (1) Intervention Group 1 (n = 43) received a novel, specifically tailored, research-informed Gaelic4Girls (G4G) intervention; (2) Intervention Group 2 (n = 44) used the traditionally delivered, national G4G program, as run by the Ladies Gaelic Football (LGF) Association of Ireland; and (3) Control Group 3 (n = 33) received no G4G intervention (group 1 or 2) conditions and were expected to carry out their usual LGF community sports activities. Primary outcome measurements (at both pre- and 10-week follow up) examining the effectiveness of the G4G intervention included (1) PA, (2) FMS and (3) Psychological correlates (enjoyment levels, self-efficacy, peer and parental support). Following a two (pre to post) by three (intervention group 1, intervention group 2, and control group 3) mixed-model ANOVA, it was highlighted that intervention group 1 significantly increased in PA (p = 0.003), FMS proficiency (p = 0.005) and several psychological correlates of PA (p ≤ 0.005). The findings demonstrate that the 10-week, specifically tailored, research-informed G4G intervention is a feasible and efficacious program, leading to a positive effect on the physical and psychological wellbeing of pre-adolescent Irish girls, relative to the traditionally delivered national G4G comparative program and control group conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Promoting Health-Related Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Physical Education: The Role of Class Intensity and Habitual Physical Activity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6852; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186852 - 19 Sep 2020
Abstract
Physical education (PE) has the potential to promote health-related fitness, however, its contribution is still not clear. The aim of this study was to assess whether students’ health-related cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) improved from the beginning to the end of the school year, and [...] Read more.
Physical education (PE) has the potential to promote health-related fitness, however, its contribution is still not clear. The aim of this study was to assess whether students’ health-related cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) improved from the beginning to the end of the school year, and to examine the role of PE class intensity and habitual physical activity (PA) in promoting students’ CRF. This observational study employed a longitudinal design. Participants were 212 7th and 8th grade students (105 boys), mean age 12.9 years old, followed during one school year, from September 2017 to June 2018. The Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) was used to assess CRF at baseline and follow-up. PA was measured using accelerometers. PE class intensity was assessed using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time. Findings indicated that from the beginning to the end of the school year, a greater percentage of participants were in the CRF healthy fitness zone (73.1% to 79.7%, p = 0.022). Among boys, participating in organized sports (B = 4.61, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.33, 8.88) and the percentage of PE time being very active (B = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.44, 1.35) were positively associated with the change in PACER laps. Among girls, daily vigorous PA (B = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.15, 0.60) and participating in organized sports (B = 4.10, 95% CI: 0.93, 7.27) were also positively associated with PACER change, while being overweight or obese (B = −5.11, 95% CI: −8.28, −1.93) was negatively associated. In conclusion, PE was demonstrated to have a positive role in the promotion of CRF, especially among boys, while for girls, habitual PA seems to have a greater contribution. Nevertheless, results and conclusions should be considered carefully, taking into account study limitations, such as the non-direct measures of PE class intensity, CRF, and school setting. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Activity Changes and Its Risk Factors among Community-Dwelling Japanese Older Adults during the COVID-19 Epidemic: Associations with Subjective Well-Being and Health-Related Quality of Life
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6591; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186591 - 10 Sep 2020
Abstract
Psychological distress caused by decreased physical activity (PA) is a growing concern among the elderly due to public health measures since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We aimed to (1) assess how public health restrictions impact PA, subjective well-being (SWB), and health-related quality of [...] Read more.
Psychological distress caused by decreased physical activity (PA) is a growing concern among the elderly due to public health measures since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We aimed to (1) assess how public health restrictions impact PA, subjective well-being (SWB), and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of community-dwelling elderly, and (2) investigate risk factors that lead to a decline in PA. Self-administered questionnaires assessed the changes in PA, SWB, HRQoL. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify significant associated risk factors for decreased PA. Of 165 participants (valid response rate, 41.3%; mean age, 78.5 ± 8.0 years), 47.3% became less active, 23.0% became more active, and 29.7% maintained PA levels. There was a significant decrease in SWB at baseline and follow-up after COVID-19 restrictions in the less active group (p < 0.01). Higher levels of moderate or strenuous exercise/sports activity at baseline (odds ratio [OR], 1.12; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01–1.24), and lower mental component HRQoL scores at baseline (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93–0.99) were associated with an increased risk of decreased PA. Public health restrictions impact the PA of the elderly, especially those who had higher levels of exercise/sports activity and lower HRQoL before COVID-19. Decreased PA was strongly associated with lower SWB. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Related to Sports Participation in Brazil: An Analysis Based on the 2015 National Household Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6011; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176011 - 19 Aug 2020
Abstract
The academic interest in analyzing the correlates of sports participation in several countries has increased recently. Nevertheless, in developing countries, which do not monitor sportive data, this type of investigation is still scarce. This study aims to analyze socioeconomic, motivational, and supportive factors [...] Read more.
The academic interest in analyzing the correlates of sports participation in several countries has increased recently. Nevertheless, in developing countries, which do not monitor sportive data, this type of investigation is still scarce. This study aims to analyze socioeconomic, motivational, and supportive factors related to sports participation in Brazil. Data from the 2015 National Household Survey—Supplementary Questionnaire of Sports and Physical Activities are examined. In the survey, 71,142 individuals older than 15 years were interviewed (mean age 43.12 years; 53.83% women and 46.17% men). Logistic regression is used for analyzing the data. Results demonstrate a low participation in sports (23.38%). Sports participation declines with increasing age (2% less per year), increases with higher educational level (graduated 5.9 times more), and males prevail in the sporting context (2.3 times more). The main obstacle to women’s participation is the lack of sports facilities, and for men the lack of time and health problems. Men practice sports mainly due to socialization, fun, and competition, and women due to medical recommendation. Soccer was the most practiced sport (28.1%), predominating among men. Public policies on sports promotion for fun and socialization may increase male participation, and investments in sports facilities may increase female participation. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Motor and Leisure Time Conditioning of Young Table Tennis Players’ Physical Fitness
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165733 - 08 Aug 2020
Abstract
The purpose of the study was to assess the association between physical fitness and the lifestyle determinants of elite junior table tennis players. The basic anthropometric characteristics (body height and body weight) were collected of 87 Polish table tennis players (girls, n = [...] Read more.
The purpose of the study was to assess the association between physical fitness and the lifestyle determinants of elite junior table tennis players. The basic anthropometric characteristics (body height and body weight) were collected of 87 Polish table tennis players (girls, n = 38 and boys, n = 49, at different stages of sport training, targeted and specialized) aged 11–17 years. The level of special fitness tests from the Table Tennis Specific Battery Test were used, assessing reaction speed and displacement speed. All eight International Physical Fitness Test trials were also used to determine the level of general fitness of the participants. Selected questions from the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children questionnaire were asked to measure factors associated with leisure time. The findings confirm a relationship between sedentary forms of leisure time activity and the training of young players at the targeted stage (Z = −2.93, p = 0.003 school days and Z = −2.12, p = 0.034 days off). Moreover, competitors with longer training experience more often chose active forms of spending free time. Knowledge of the global physical activity undertaken by young athletes during their leisure time provides a better understanding of their individual needs and may help young table tennis players to succeed at a world-class level in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Study of Participation in Physical Education Classes among 170,347 Adolescents from 54 Low-, Middle-, and High-Income Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5579; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155579 - 02 Aug 2020
Abstract
Given the need for comparative research on the participation of adolescents in physical education (PE) classes as a privileged space for physical activity (PA) promotion, this study sought to estimate, analyse and compare the prevalence of participation in PE classes among adolescents from [...] Read more.
Given the need for comparative research on the participation of adolescents in physical education (PE) classes as a privileged space for physical activity (PA) promotion, this study sought to estimate, analyse and compare the prevalence of participation in PE classes among adolescents from 54 countries and to examine sex, age, country income and world regions disparities. Data from the Global Students Health Survey (2010–2015) were used, comprising 170,347 adolescents (90,305 girls, aged 13–17 years) from nationally representative samples of 54 countries—of which 7 are low-income, 23 lower-middle-income, 14 upper-middle-income and 10 high-income—and six world regions. The weighted percentages of adolescents participating in PE classes (never, 1–2 days/week, 3–4 days/week, 5 or more days/week) were estimated along 95% confidence intervals and compared across sex, age, country income, region, and country. Most adolescents reported to participate in PE on 1–2 days/week (55.2%), but almost 20% of adolescents reported never participating in PE. Girls, compared to boys, presented a lower prevalence for participating ≥5 days/week (girls 16.8%, boys 20.0%). The prevalence of participating in PE on ≥3 days/week was higher among adolescents aged 13–14 years when compared to adolescents aged 15–17 years (boys: 30.9% vs. 24.6%; girls: 26.1% vs. 18.2%). Concerning the countries’ income, the prevalence of never participating in PE was higher in high-income countries, and participating on ≥3 days/week was higher in low-income countries, but further research is recommended. The findings suggest that national, regional and worldwide data highlight the importance of improving participation in PE, particularly for girls and older adolescents. An improved and continued monitoring of PE policies and their actual implementation is needed worldwide. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Dark Side of Motivational Practices in Exercise Professionals: Mediators of Controlling Strategies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5377; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155377 - 26 Jul 2020
Abstract
According to the Self-Determination Theory, perceived job pressures can coerce professionals to develop more controlled motivations towards their work, and consequently increase the probability of using controlling motivational strategies. This study sought to analyze work-related motivations as mediators between two types of perceived [...] Read more.
According to the Self-Determination Theory, perceived job pressures can coerce professionals to develop more controlled motivations towards their work, and consequently increase the probability of using controlling motivational strategies. This study sought to analyze work-related motivations as mediators between two types of perceived job pressures: organizational constraints and perceptions of clients’ controlled motivation and the use of controlling motivational strategies by exercise professionals. Using a cross-sectional design, involving 366 exercise professionals (172 women), mediation paths were assessed following Preacher and Hayes statistical procedures. Models were adjusted for gender, work experience (years), and the internal tendency to feel events as pressuring. Organizational constraints were associated with lower autonomous motivation for work and the use of controlling strategies. Perceptions of clients’ controlled motivation were associated with work-related amotivation and the use of controlling strategies. Amotivation mediated the association between organizational constraints and controlling strategies. Overall, results support theoretical predictions and previous research, extending it to the exercise domain, highlighting the interplay between job pressures, work-related motivations, and the use of controlling strategies. The understanding of what influences exercise professionals’ motivation, and consequently the motivational strategies they use, is of paramount importance for exercise promotion and the benefit of those who seek their expert guidance. Full article
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