203 research outputs found

    Children\u27s perceptions of their home and neighborhood environments, and their association with objectively measured physical activity: A qualitative and quantitative study

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    Environmental factors may have an important influence on children&rsquo;s physical activity, yet children&rsquo;s perspectives of their home and neighborhood environments have not been widely assessed. The aim of this study was to investigate children&rsquo;s perceptions of their environments, and to examine associations between these perceptions and objectively measured physical activity. The sample consisted of 147, 10-year-old Australian children, who drew maps of their home and neighborhood environments. A subsample of children photographed places and things in these environments that were important to them. The maps were analyzed for themes, and for the frequency with which particular objects and locations appeared. Physical activity was objectively measured using accelerometers. Six themes emerged from the qualitative analysis of the maps and photographs: the family home; opportunities for physical activity and sedentary pursuits; food items and locations; green space and outside areas; the school and opportunities for social interaction. Of the 11 variables established from these themes, one home and two neighborhood factors were associated with children&rsquo;s physical activity. These findings contribute to a broader understanding of children&rsquo;s perceptions of their environment, and highlight the potential importance of the home and neighborhood environments for promoting physical activity behavior.<br /

    Effects of strategies to promote children\u27s physical activity on potential mediators

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    The aim of this paper is to review evidence of the effectiveness of interventions that present physical activity outcomes and potential mediators of behavioural change among 4&ndash;12-year-old children. A systematic search of electronic databases for original research articles published in peer-review journals between January 1985 and the end of June 2006 was carried out. A total of 19 studies that reported intervention effects on physical activity and mediators of behavioural change were identified. The most common mediators reported included physical activity knowledge or beliefs (11 studies); self-efficacy (8 studies); and enjoyment or preference for physical activity (6 studies). Less frequently reported mediators included attitudes, behavioural capability, intentions, outcome expectancies, social norms, social support and self-concept. Seven of the 11 interventions that reported intervention effects on knowledge/beliefs stated positive changes in this mediator. Four of the eight studies that reported intervention effects on self-efficacy had significant improvements; however, only two out of six interventions reported significant improvements in physical activity enjoyment or preference. None of the studies reviewed reported whether changes in these constructs mediated changes in children\u27s physical activity behaviours. Although more than half of the studies reviewed reported a positive intervention effect on children\u27s physical activity, no study carried out a mediating analysis to attempt to identify the mechanisms of change. Future research should more clearly identify the mediators of behavioural change that are being targeted and whether this explains intervention effects.<br /

    Development and reliability of a self-report questionnaire to examine children's perceptions of the physical activity environment at home and in the neighbourhood

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    BACKGROUND: Environmental factors are increasingly being implicated as key influences on children's physical activity. Few studies have comprehensively examined children's perceptions of their environment, and there is a paucity of literature on acceptable and reliable scales for measuring these. This study aimed to develop and test the acceptability and reliability of a scale which examined a broad range of environmental perceptions among children. METHODS: Based on constructs from ecological models, a survey incorporating items on children's perceptions of the physical and social environment at home and in the neighbourhood was developed. This was administered on two occasions, nine days apart, to a sample of 39 children aged 11 years (54% boys), attending a metropolitan Australian elementary school. The acceptability of the survey was determined by the proportion of missing responses to each item. The test-retest reliability of individual items, scores and scales were determined using Kappa statistics and percent agreement for categorical variables, and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) for continuous variables. RESULTS: There were few missing responses to each question, with only 4% of all responses missing. Although some Kappa values were low, all categorical variables showed acceptable reliability when examined for percent agreement between test and retest (range 68%–100% agreement). Continuous variables all showed moderate to good ICC values (range 0.72–0.92). CONCLUSION: Findings suggest this questionnaire is reliable and acceptable to children for assessing environmental perceptions relevant to physical activity among 11-year-old children

    Individual, social and home environment determinants of change in children\u27s television viewing: the Switch-Play intervention

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    Understanding potential determinants of change in television (TV) viewing among children may enhance the effectiveness of programs targeting this behaviour. This study aimed to investigate the contribution of individual, social and home environment factors among 10-year-old Australian children to change in TV viewing over a 21-month period. A total of 164 children (49% boys) completed a 19-lesson (9-month) intervention program to reduce TV viewing time. Children completed self-administered surveys four times over 21 months (pre- and post-intervention, 6- and 12-month follow-up). Baseline factors associated with change in TV viewing during the intervention and follow-up periods were: &lsquo;asking parents &ge;once/week to switch off the TV and play with them&rsquo; (21.6 min/day more than those reporting &lt;once/week, p = 0.007); being able to &lsquo;watch just 1 h of TV per day&rsquo; (26.1 min/day less than those who could not, p = 0.010); &lsquo;watching TV no matter what was on&rsquo; (36.6 min/day more than those who did not, p &lt; 0.001); and &lsquo;continuing to watch TV after their program was over&rsquo; (33.0 min/day more than those who did not, p = 0.006). With every unit increase in baseline frequency of TV viewing with family and friends, children spent on average 4.0 min/day more watching TV over the 21-month period (p = 0.047). Baseline number and placement of TVs at home did not predict change in children\u27s TV viewing over the 21 months. Greater understanding of the family dynamics and circumstances, as well as the individual and social determinants of TV viewing, will be required if we are to develop effective strategies for reducing TV viewing in children.<br /

    Is the perception of time pressure a barrier to healthy eating and physical activity among women?

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    Objectives To describe the proportion of women reporting time is a barrier to healthy eating and physical activity, the characteristics of these women and the perceived causes of time pressure, and to examine associations between perceptions of time as a barrier and consumption of fruit, vegetables and fast food, and physical activity.Design A cross-sectional survey of food intake, physical activity and perceived causes of time pressure.Setting A randomly selected community sample.Subjects A sample of 1580 women self-reported their food intake and their perceptions of the causes of time pressure in relation to healthy eating. An additional 1521 women self-reported their leisure-time physical activity and their perceptions of the causes of time pressure in relation to physical activity.Results Time pressure was reported as a barrier to healthy eating by 41 % of the women and as a barrier to physical activity by 73 %. Those who reported time pressure as a barrier to healthy eating were significantly less likely to meet fruit, vegetable and physical activity recommendations, and more likely to eat fast food more frequently.Conclusions Women reporting time pressure as a barrier to healthy eating and physical activity are less likely to meet recommendations than are women who do not see time pressure as a barrier. Further research is required to understand the perception of time pressure issues among women and devise strategies to improve women&rsquo;s food and physical activity behaviours

    Microglia deficiency accelerates prion disease but does not enhance prion accumulation in the brain: Microglia and prion disease

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    Prion diseases are transmissible, neurodegenerative disorders associated with misfolding of the prion protein. Previous studies show that reduction of microglia accelerates central nervous system (CNS) prion disease and increases the accumulation of prions in the brain, suggesting that microglia provide neuroprotection by phagocytosing and destroying prions. In Csf1r (ΔFIRE) mice, the deletion of an enhancer within Csf1r specifically blocks microglia development, however, their brains develop normally and show none of the deficits reported in other microglia‐deficient models. Csf1r (ΔFIRE) mice were used as a refined model in which to study the impact of microglia‐deficiency on CNS prion disease. Although Csf1r (ΔFIRE) mice succumbed to CNS prion disease much earlier than wild‐type mice, the accumulation of prions in their brains was reduced. Instead, astrocytes displayed earlier, non‐polarized reactive activation with enhanced phagocytosis of neuronal contents and unfolded protein responses. Our data suggest that rather than simply phagocytosing and destroying prions, the microglia instead provide host‐protection during CNS prion disease and restrict the harmful activities of reactive astrocytes

    Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and depressive symptoms among adolescents

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    BACKGROUND: This study examined cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between physical activity, sedentary behavior, and depressive symptoms among adolescents. METHODS: Participants were 155 adolescents (14.4 years±0.61) in 2004 (40% boys). Data collection occurred in 2004 and again in 2006. At both time points, participants completed the Centers for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC), from which they were classified as having depressive symptoms (≄15) or not (<15). Organized sport and TV viewing were self-reported and moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) and vigorous (VPA) physical activity and sedentary time were objectively measured. Logistic and linear regression analyses examined cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between MVPA, VPA, organized sport, TV viewing, sedentary time, and symptoms of depression. RESULTS: There were no cross-sectional or longitudinal associations between MVPA, VPA, organized sport, sedentary time, and symptoms of depression among boys or girls. However, having symptoms of depression in 2004 did predict higher TV viewing among adolescent girls in 2006 (approximately 168 minutes/week more TV viewing; P≀.001). CONCLUSIONS: MVPA, VPA, organized sport and objectively-measured sedentary time appeared unrelated to depressive symptoms in this sample, but depressive symptoms predicted increased TV viewing over time among adolescent girls. Further research is required to determine the clinical relevance of this finding.Clare Hume, Anna Timperio, Jenny Veitch, Jo Salmon, David Crawford, and Kylie Bal

    Socio-demographic characteristics of children experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage who meet physical activity and screen-time recommendations : the READI study

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    Objective - To identify socio-demographic characteristics of children from socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods who meet physical activity and screen recommendations.Method - Children aged 5&ndash;12 years (n = 373; 45% boys) were recruited in 2007 from socioeconomically disadvantaged urban and rural areas of Victoria, Australia. Children\u27s physical activity, height and weight were objectively measured. Mothers reported their highest level of education, and proxy-reported their child\u27s usual screen-time. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) examined odds of meeting physical activity (&gt; 60 minutes/day) and screen (&le; 120 minutes/day) recommendations according to socio-demographic characteristics.Results - Approximately 84% of children met physical activity and 43% met screen recommendations. Age was inversely associated with odds of meeting physical activity and screen recommendations, and overweight/obese status was associated with lower odds of meeting screen recommendations (boys: OR = 0.39, 95%CI = 0.16&ndash;0.95; girls: OR = 0.47, 95%CI = 0.26&ndash;0.83). Among boys, living in a rural area was positively associated with meeting screen recommendations (OR = 3.08, 95%CI = 1.42&ndash;6.64). Among girls, high levels of maternal education were positively associated with meeting screen recommendations (OR = 2.76, 95%CI = 1.33&ndash;5.75).Conclusion - Specific socio-demographic characteristics were associated with odds of meeting physical activity and screen recommendations. Identifying factors associated with such &lsquo;resilience&rsquo; among this group may provide important learnings to inform future physical activity promotion initiatives.<br /
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