84 research outputs found

    Interactions of socioeconomic position with psychosocial and environmental correlates of children's physical activity: an observational study of South Australian families

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    BACKGROUND: Evidence for psychosocial and environmental correlates on children's physical activity is scattered and somewhat unconvincing. Further, the moderating influences of socioeconomic position (SEP) on these influences are largely unexplored. The aim of this study was to examine the interactions of SEP, operationalised by mother education, and predictors of children's physical activity based on the Youth Physical Activity Promotion Model. METHODS: In 2005, a sample of South Australians (10–15 y) was surveyed on psychosocial and environmental correlates of physical activity using the Children's Physical Activity Correlates Questionnaire (n = 3300) and a parent survey (n = 1720). The following constructs were derived: 'is it worth it?' (perceived outcomes); 'am I able?' (perceived competency); 'reinforcing' (parental support); and 'enabling' (parent-perceived barriers). Self-reported physical activity was represented by a global score derived from the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents. Associations among physical activity and hypothesised correlates were tested among children with mothers of high (university educated) and low (left school at or before 15 y) SEP. RESULTS: Among high SEP children, 'is it worth it?' emerged as a significant predictor of physical activity for boys and girls. Among low SEP children, 'is it worth it?' predicted boys' physical activity, while among girls, 'reinforcing' was the only significant predictor, explaining ~35% of the total explained variance in physical activity. CONCLUSION: While perceived outcomes emerged as a consistent predictor of physical activity in this sample, parental support was a powerful limiting factor among low SEP girls. Interventions among this high risk group should focus on supporting parents to provide both emotional and instrumental support for their daughters to engage in physical activity

    Modelling the contribution of walking between home and school to daily physical activity in primary age children

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    Background The purpose of this study was to identify the independent association of frequency of walking trips between home and school with daily physical activity in a sample of school-aged children. Methods Participants were 109 children (mean age = 12.05 years [±0.71]) attending nine primary schools in Adelaide, South Australia. Physical activity was derived from accelerometers with total counts as the outcome variable. Transport patterns were self-reported for each of the previous five school days. Walking trips were summed for each day and across the school week. The relationship between the number of active transport journeys and individual school day and school week physical activity was modelled separately in boys and girls using multiple linear regression. Results Frequency of walking was positively associated with school day and school week accelerometer counts in boys, accounting for 6% and 12% of the explained variance in total counts, respectively. There were no significant associations among girls. Conclusion Despite sex-specific differences in associations between active transport to school and total physical activity, active transport is likely to have important ancillary benefits for development of independence and physical activity habits, and should continue to be promoted

    Physical activity and screen time behaviour in metropolitan, regional and rural adolescents: A cross-sectional study of Australians aged 9–16 years

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    Objectives: While there is consistent evidence that rural adults in Australia are less active than their urban counterparts, studies relating geographical remoteness to activity patterns in Australian adolescents have yielded inconsistent results. The aim of this study was to describe objectively and subjectively measured patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviours across remoteness categories in a representative sample of 9–16 year old Australians. Design: Cross-sectional observational study. Methods: 2071 Australian adolescents provided self-report use of time data on four days and wore a pedometer for at least 6 days within the 2007 Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. Comparisons of activity patterns were made across four objectively-determined remoteness categories (Major City, Inner Regional, Outer Regional and Remote), adjusting for household income, parental education and age. Results: Adolescents living in major cities self-reported 11–29 min less moderate to vigorous physical activity each day than their counterparts living in geographically more remote areas, and took 150–850 fewer steps each day. While there were no differences in time spent in sport or active transport, differences in free play participation were significant. Males in major cities also reported higher levels of screen time. Differences were somewhat more marked among males than among females. Conclusions: Activity levels among Australian adolescents show contrasting patterns of geographical differences to those found in Australian adults. Higher levels of free play among rural Australian adolescents may be due to more available space and less fear of traffic and stranger risks

    Neighbourhood Environmental Attributes Associated with Walking in South Australian Adults: Differences between Urban and Rural Areas

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    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

    Describing socioeconomic gradients in children\u27s diets - does the socioeconomic indicators used matter?

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    Background:&nbsp;Children of low socioeconomic position (SEP) generally have poorer diets than children of high SEP.&nbsp;However there is no consensus on which SEP variable is most indicative of SEP differences in children&rsquo;s diets. This&nbsp;study investigated associations between diet and various SEP indicators among children aged 9&ndash;13 years.Method: Families (n = 625) were recruited from 27 Adelaide primary schools in 2010. Children completed&nbsp;semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires providing intake scores for fruit, vegetables, non-core foods,&nbsp;sweetened drinks, and healthy and unhealthy eating behaviours. Parents reported demographic information by&nbsp;telephone interview. Differences in dietary intake scores were compared across parental education, income, occupation,&nbsp;employment status and home postcode.Results: Across most SEP indicators, lower SEP was associated with poorer dietary outcomes, including higher intake&nbsp;of non-core foods and sweetened drinks, and more unhealthy behaviours; and lower intake of fruit and vegetables,&nbsp;and fewer healthy behaviours. The number and type of significant SEP-diet associations differed across SEP indicators&nbsp;and dietary outcomes. Mother&rsquo;s education appeared most frequently as a predictor of children&rsquo;s dietary intake, and&nbsp;postcode was the least frequent predictor of children&rsquo;s dietary intake.Conclusion: Socioeconomic gradients in children&rsquo;s dietary intake varied according to the SEP indicator used,&nbsp;suggesting indicator-specific pathways of influence on children&rsquo;s dietary intake. Researchers should consider multiple&nbsp;indicators when defining SEP in relation to children&rsquo;s eating.</div

    The challenges of quantitative evaluation of a multi-setting, multi-strategy community-based childhood obesity prevention programme: lessons learnt from the eat well be active Community Programs in South Australia

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    Objective To describe the rationale, development and implementation of the quantitative component of evaluation of a multi-setting, multi-strategy, community-based childhood obesity prevention project (the eat well be active (ewba) Community Programs) and the challenges associated with this process and some potential solutions. Design ewba has a quasi-experimental design with intervention and comparison communities. Baseline data were collected in 2006 and post-intervention measures will be taken from a non-matched cohort in 2009. Schoolchildren aged 10–12 years were chosen as one litmus group for evaluation purposes. Setting Thirty-nine primary schools in two metropolitan and two rural communities in South Australia. Subjects A total of 1732 10–12-year-old school students completed a nutrition and/or a physical activity questionnaire and 1637 had anthropometric measures taken; 983 parents, 286 teachers, thirty-six principals, twenty-six canteen and thirteen out-of-school-hours care (OSHC) workers completed Program-specific questionnaires developed for each of these target groups. Results The overall child response rate for the study was 49 %. Sixty-five per cent, 43 %, 90 %, 90 % and 68 % of parent, teachers, principals, canteen and OSHC workers respectively, completed and returned questionnaires. A number of practical, logistical and methodological challenges were experienced when undertaking this data collection. Conclusions Learnings from the process of quantitative baseline data collection for the ewba Community Programs can provide insights for other researchers planning similar studies with similar methods, particularly those evaluating multi-strategy programmes across multiple settings

    Maintaining connections: An investigation of the factors that influence student participation in health science classes

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    There is a growing number and diversity of students in Australian universities. A disturbingly high proportion of students adopt passive roles in structured classes, thereby forfeiting the opportunity to engage actively in the learning process. A clearer understanding of factors influencing active participation is likely to encourage re-evaluation of how the classroom setting is structured. In 2008, a questionnaire was administered on-line across the Division of Health Sciences in an Australian university. Survey items represented: self-reported participation in classes; fear of teacher and peer criticisms; peer support; family and school background; confidence; informal contact with teachers; and expectations of students’ roles at university. Path analysis assessed independence and interdependence of pathways linking participation with hypothesised predictors. 764 respondents (559 females) provided complete responses (29% response rate). Among males and females there was a relatively strong pathway linking fear of teachers, confidence and participation, with higher levels of fear predicting lower confidence and participation. In turn, students’ perceptions of their role in the learning process was strongly associated with fear of teachers, indicating that undergraduate students’ belief that it is inappropriate to ask questions indirectly reduces their confidence to participate through fear of teacher criticisms. A direct association was seen between students’ perceptions of their role in the learning process and fear of peer criticism, suggesting that the pressure to play a passive role is reinforced by peer pressure. Students’ perceptions of their role was associated with school and family background, suggesting that earlier encouragement to communicate influences students’ perceived role and status at university. These findings underscore the importance of teaching strategies that diminish students’ concerns related to the perceived consequences of participation. With expanding classes and shrinking contact time, the challenge before the tertiary learning community is to foster a sense of connectedness among its members

    Improving weight status in childhood: results from the 'eat well be active' community programs

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    There is a clear need for effective prevention and treatment interventions to manage the high prevalence of childhood overweight globally. It is well recognised that changes in the social and economic environment in the last three decades have been a major contributor to altered eating and activity patterns resulting in positive energy balance. The most recent update to the Cochrane review of interventions for preventing obesity in children identified that the majority of childhood obesity prevention intervention evaluations were short-term (12 months or less) and largely focussed on individual behaviour change. Also from this review there is now some early evidence that settings-based obesity prevention interventions are effective at reducing body mass index in the short term. However, given the short-term nature of these interventions, sustainability of this change is unclear, and stronger evidence from larger-scale evaluations is needed about what intervention components are feasible to be embedded into children’s settings and systems (e.g. the school environment) to be able to translate and scale up research findings into effective public health approaches. Until recently, effective obesity prevention interventions have largely drawn upon behaviour change theories, which appear to be unlikely to produce sustainable change in outcomes if they do not consider the broader social and environmental context. Models based on ecological theory show the complex interaction between individuals’ behaviour and their broader environments, that influence eating and activity. A community-based, capacity-building approach aims to promote sustainable skill development and increase the ability of individuals to improve environments that promote health outcomes.This presents a promising approach to obesity prevention, and evidence is needed on processes and outcomes of interventions guided by such theories

    Development of a Self-Determination Theory-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Aged Care Workers: Protocol for the Activity for Well-being Program

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    Despite the well-established benefits of regular participation in physical activity, many Australians still fail to maintain sufficient levels. More self-determined types of motivation and more positive affect during activity have been found to be associated with the maintenance of physical activity behaviour over time. Need-supportive approaches to physical activity behaviour change have previously been shown to improve quality of motivation and psychological well-being. This paper outlines the development of a need-supportive, person-centred physical activity program for frontline aged-care workers. The program emphasises the use of self-determined methods of regulating activity intensity (affect, rating of perceived exertion and self-pacing) and is aimed at increasing physical activity behaviour and psychological well-being. The development process was undertaken in six steps using guidance from the Intervention Mapping framework: (i) an in-depth needs assessment (including qualitative interviews where information was gathered from members of the target population); (ii) formation of change objectives; (iii) selecting theory-informed and evidence-based intervention methods and planning their practical application; (iv) producing program components and materials; (v) planning program adoption and implementation, and (vi) planning for evaluation. The program is based in Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and provides tools and elements to support autonomy (the use of a collaboratively developed activity plan and participant choice in activity types), competence (action/coping planning, goal-setting and pedometers), and relatedness (the use of a motivational interviewing-inspired appointment and ongoing support in activity)
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