[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study explored the associations of the volume and intensity of physical activity and the volume of sedentary time with subjective well-being in a diverse group of 228 older adults in the UK (111 female, mean age 78.2 years (SD 5.8)). Physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour were assessed by accelerometry deriving mean steps per day, mean moderate/vigorous PA minutes per hour (MVPA min·h-1) and minutes of sedentary time per hour (ST min·h-1). Lower limb function was assessed by the Short Physical Performance Battery. Subjective well-being was assessed using the SF-12 health status scale, the Ageing Well Profile and the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Linear regressions were used to investigate associations between the independent variables which included physical activity (steps and MVPA), sedentary time, participant characteristics (gender, age, BMI, education, number of medical conditions), and lower limb function and dependent variables which included mental and physical well-being. Steps, MVPA and lower limb function were independently and moderately positively associated with perceived physical well-being but relationships with mental well-being variables were weak. No significant associations between sedentary behaviours and well-being were observed. The association between objectively evaluated physical activity and function and subjective evaluations of physical well-being suggest that improving perceptions of physical health and function may provide an important target for physical activity programmes. This in turn may drive further activity participation.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 01/2014; 11(1):643-56. · 2.00 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 20 years’ time, nearly a quarter of the population in the UK will be aged 65 and over.
Older age brings greater threats of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis
and obesity. Gradual loss of physical and cognitive function and onset of debilitating mental
conditions such as dementia pose serious threats to independence and well-being. Many of
us will live into our 90s, so at age 65 we may still have a third of our lives to enjoy.
Finding ways of ageing well and enjoying a full, active and engaged life has therefore
become a public health priority.
In 2011, the evidence for the health and well-being benefits of a physically active lifestyle
was sufficiently convincing for the four Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) of the UK to publish
the first guidelines for physical activity for older adults. Not only is it clear that regular
physical activity adds years to life through reductions in disease and disability, but it also
adds life to years through maintained or improved capacities, and greater social
involvement, independence and mental well-being. Realisation of these benefits can in turn
bring large savings in health and social care costs for the NHS and local authorities.
There is plenty of scope for increasing the activity levels of older adults. While they have the
most to gain, older adults in the UK have the lowest levels of physical activity compared to
other age groups and also spend the largest amount of time being sedentary. Older adults
are a neglected population when it comes to physical activity promotion and the challenge of
finding the best community-based solutions remains.
This report from the AVONet team synthesises evidence and experiences from a range of
sources to identify best bet physical activity (PA) promotion strategies for older adults. The
report is aimed at physical activity co-ordinators and practitioners, community programme
developers, health promoters, Directors of Public Health, members of local Health and Well-
Being boards and relevant policy makers. It is written with the aim of stimulating and
supporting action at the local and national level. We hope you find this guide informative
and helpful and that you are able to join the increasing numbers of academics and
professionals who are committed to improving the lives of older adults through physical
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract The objectives of the study were to identify levels of physical activity and sedentary time and assess how they differ by weight status in Maltese boys and girls. Participants were 234 Maltese children aged 11-12 years, of which 187 (80%) provided complete data. Physical activity was assessed using accelerometry and weight status determined through gender-specific age-adjusted Body mass index (BMI). Self-reported mode of transport to school, TV and computer time, gaming and mobile phone use were assessed by questionnaire. Total physical activity was generally very low and significantly lower for girls than boys at all times on weekdays and on weekends till 7 pm. Overweight and obesity prevalence was 27% and 18.6%, respectively. Differences in overall physical activity were observed between non-overweight, and overweight and obese boys (p=0.003). Differences in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) in boys were significant across all weight categories (p=0.001) and in girls (p=0.020) between the overweight (27.6 min), the non-overweight (26.4 min) and the obese (18.9 min). For weekdays, mean physical activity differences (p=0.013) were observed between non-overweight (515.5 cpm) and obese boys (416.4 cpm). Differences in MVPA were found (p=0.038) between non-overweight (4.4 min) and obese boys in the 6 am-3 pm period. Differences were also found between overweight (13.2 min) and obese girls (8.1 min) (p=0.024) in that period. On weekends, mean physical activity differences were found between non-overweight and overweight boys from 8 am-7 pm but not for girls. Physical activity levels in this sample were very low when compared to recommended levels, while the prevalence of overweight and obesity and sedentary time were high. Girls are significantly less active than boys throughout the week. Activity level differences and patterning across the day and week were related to weight status with obese children showing markedly less activity. These results suggest that we need to provide more opportunities for overweight and obese children to be active throughout the week, with a particular emphasis on physical activity during school hours.
European journal of sport science. 01/2014; 14(sup1):S257-S266.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 16-week lunchtime walking intervention was designed to increase physical activity in physically inactive University employees. The programme was delivered and monitored twice over seven months to examine feasibility across different seasons.
Seventy-five participants (n= 69 females, n= 6 males; M age = 47.68) were randomly allocated into a Winter (February start) or Spring group (May start). Participants were asked to complete three weekday lunchtime walks and two weekend walks. Weeks 1-10 were led by walk leaders (group phase) while the participants self-organized their walks during weeks 11-16 (independent phase). Yamax pedometers recorded daily step counts and walk group leaders recorded participant attendance in the group phase. Acceptability was assessed via a satisfaction survey and two focus groups with participants.
A participant pool representative by ethnicity, but not gender was recruited using a range of strategies. The program demonstrated good retention across both groups (73%). The intervention was acceptable to participants. More steps were accumulated in the group-led versus the independent phase.
The intervention is feasible in this workplace setting across different seasonal periods. In the future, researchers should examine if the findings can be replicated in a definitive trial and generalize to other workplace settings.
Journal of Physical Activity and Health 12/2013; · 1.95 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parenting programs could provide effective routes to increasing children's physical activity and reducing screen-viewing. Many studies have reported difficulties in recruiting and retaining families in group parenting interventions. This paper uses qualitative data from the Teamplay feasibility trial to examine parents' views on recruitment, attendance and course refinement.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 intervention and 10 control group parents of 6--8 year old children. Topics discussed with the intervention group included parents' views on the recruitment, structure, content and delivery of the course. Topics discussed with the control group included recruitment and randomization. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed and thematically analyzed.
Many parents in both the intervention and control group reported that they joined the study because they had been thinking about ways to improve their parenting skills, getting ideas on how to change behavior, or had been actively looking for a parenting course but with little success in enrolling on one. Both intervention and control group parents reported that the initial promotional materials and indicative course topics resonated with their experiences and represented a possible solution to parenting challenges. Participants reported that the course leaders played an important role in helping them to feel comfortable during the first session, engaging anxious parents and putting parents at ease. The most commonly reported reason for parents returning to the course after an absence was because they wanted to learn new information. The majority of parents reported that they formed good relationships with the other parents in the group. An empathetic interaction style in which leaders accommodated parent's busy lives appeared to impact positively on course attendance.
The data presented indicate that a face-to-face recruitment campaign which built trust and emphasized how the program was relevant to families positively affected recruitment in Teamplay. Parents found the parenting component of the intervention attractive and, once recruited, attendance was facilitated by enjoyable sessions, empathetic leaders and support from fellow participants. Overall, data suggest that the Teamplay recruitment and retention approaches were successful and with small refinements could be effectively used in a larger trial.
BMC Public Health 12/2013; 13(1):1102. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sex differences in the ratio of fat mass (FM):fat-free mass (FFM) during weight change should differentially affect the extent of weight change during energy imbalance in men and women. In the present study, we determined FM and FFM contents by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and calculated the P-ratios (protein energy/total energy) of excess weight and weight loss during a randomised controlled trial of four commercial weight loss regimens. Overweight and obese women (n 210) and men (n 77) were studied at baseline and at 2 and 6 months during weight loss on four dietary regimens: Dr Atkins' New Diet Revolution; The Slim-Fast Plan; Weight-Watchers programme; Rosemary Conley's Diet and Fitness Plan. At baseline, the percentage of FFM (%FFM) and P-ratios of excess weight were 40 % and 0·071 for men and 27 % and 0·039 for women. At 2 months, men had lost twice as much weight as women and three times more FFM than women, indicating higher FFM content and P-ratios of weight loss for men, 0·052, than for women, 0·029, with no dietary effects. Between 2 and 6 months, the rate at which weight was lost decreased and the %FFM of weight loss decreased to similar low levels in men (7 %) and women (5 %): i.e. P-ratios of 0·009 and 0·006, respectively, with no dietary effects. Thus, for men compared with women, there were greater FFM content and P-ratios of weight change, which could partly, but not completely, explain their greater weight loss at 2 months. However, protein-conserving adaptations occur with increasing weight loss and over time, more extensively in men, eventually eliminating any sex difference in the composition of weight loss.
The British journal of nutrition 10/2013; · 3.45 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relationship of objectively measured sedentary time (ST), frequency of breaks in ST, with lower extremity function (LEF) was investigated in a diverse sample aged ≥ 70 years (n=217). Physical activity (PA) was assessed by accelerometry deriving moderate-vigorous PA minutes per registered hour (MVPA min·h-1), registered ST (ST min·h-1), and breaks in ST min·h-1 (breaks·h-1). LEF was assessed by the Short Physical Performance Battery. Univariate associations with overall LEF were MVPA (r=.523), ST (r=-.499) and breaks (r=.389). Adjusted linear regression including MVPA min·h-1, ST min·h-1 and breaks·h-1 explained 41.5% of LEF variance. Each additional break·h-1 was associated with 0.58 point increase in LEF. Breaks and MVPA had strongest independent associations with LEF. Promoting regular breaks might be useful in maintaining or increasing LEF and later life independence. This novel finding is important for the design of effective lifestyle interventions targeting older adults.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding children's physical activity motivation, its antecedents and associations with behavior is important and can be advanced by using self-determination theory. However, research among youth is largely restricted to adolescents and studies of motivation within certain contexts (e.g., physical education). There are no measures of self-determination theory constructs (physical activity motivation or psychological need satisfaction) for use among children and no previous studies have tested a self-determination theory-based model of children's physical activity motivation. The purpose of this study was to test the reliability and validity of scores derived from scales adapted to measure self-determination theory constructs among children and test a motivational model predicting accelerometer-derived physical activity.
Cross-sectional data from 462 children aged 7 to 11 years from 20 primary schools in Bristol, UK were analysed. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine the construct validity of adapted behavioral regulation and psychological need satisfaction scales. Structural equation modelling was used to test cross-sectional associations between psychological need satisfaction, motivation types and physical activity assessed by accelerometer.
The construct validity and reliability of the motivation and psychological need satisfaction measures were supported. Structural equation modelling provided evidence for a motivational model in which psychological need satisfaction was positively associated with intrinsic and identified motivation types and intrinsic motivation was positively associated with children's minutes in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
The study provides evidence for the psychometric properties of measures of motivation aligned with self-determination theory among children. Children's motivation that is based on enjoyment and inherent satisfaction of physical activity is associated with their objectively-assessed physical activity and such motivation is positively associated with perceptions of psychological need satisfaction. These psychological factors represent potential malleable targets for interventions to increase children's physical activity.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 09/2013; 10(1):111. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A qualitative study was conducted within a randomised trial of facilitated physical activity for depression based on Self-Determination Theory and motivational interviewing. Interviews were held with 19 participants at 4 months, and 12 participants were re-interviewed 8 months later. The interviews were analysed in accordance with Grounded Theory using framework. Themes consisted of the following: relationship with the physical activity facilitators, mode of facilitation, impact of contact with physical activity facilitator/assimilation and future plans, change in activity, and effectiveness of physical activity facilitator techniques. Engagement in physical activity was enhanced within an autonomy-supportive environment.
Journal of Health Psychology 09/2013; · 1.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the association between fitness change and subsequent academic performance in Taiwanese schoolchildren from 7th grade to 9th grade.
The 7th graders from 1 junior high school district participated in this study (N = 669). Academic performance was extracted from school records at the end of each grade. Cardiovascular (CV) fitness, sit-and-reach flexibility, bent-leg curl-ups, and height and weight for calculating body mass index (BMI) were assessed at the start of each grade.
The results showed that improvement in CV fitness, but not muscular endurance or flexibility, is significantly related to greater academic performance. A weak and nonsignificant academic-BMI relationship was seen.
CV fitness exhibits stronger longitudinal associations with academic performance than other forms of fitness or BMI for adolescents.
Journal of School Health 09/2013; 83(9):631-8. · 1.50 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity rates in children are particularly high in European countries. Based on self-report data in the Health Behaviour in School-age Children study, obesity in 11-year-old Maltese children is second only to children in the United States.
This is the first study on obesity in 10-11-year-old Maltese children using objective measures with a nationally representative sample that confirms very high levels of overweight and obesity. Prevalence appears to be high with no strong social or geographical patterning.
The objective of this study was to establish, through measured height and weight, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in a representative sample of Maltese children aged 10-11 years.
Height and weight were measured in a sample, stratified by sex, region and type of school, of 874 year 6 children and their body mass index classified as normal weight, overweight, and obese using International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), World Health Organization (WHO), US Centre for Disease Control and UK Department of Health standards.
IOTF standards indicated 20.4% overweight and 14.2% obese, while WHO standards indicated 23.1% overweight and 20.9% obese. All four standards reported significant sex differences, classifying more boys in the overweight and obesity categories.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity among 10-11-year-old Maltese children are higher than previously estimated through self-reported height and weight and all other countries in the world except Greece. These high rates confirm the urgent need to identify causes and tackle childhood obesity in Malta.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Physical activity takes place in different social contexts such as leisure, home,
and work. However, the differential associations of these distinct categories of activity
with aspects of well-being have rarely been investigated. This study was designed to
estimate independent associations of (a) leisure-time, (b) domestic and (c) work-related
physical activities with subjective well-being in older adults. A cross-sectional survey was
conducted in 2009 with 2,295 community-dwelling older adults aged 65 or older in
Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Among them, 307 participants were selected for a 3-year follow-up
study in 2012. The results based on cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses demonstrated
that leisure-time physical activity, after multivariate adjustment, was positively associated
with five dimensions of well-being, including ‘physical’, ‘psychological’, ‘independence’,
‘learning and growth’, and ‘social’ well-being. Household physical activity was positively
associated only with ‘social’ well-being. Occupational physical activity was not related to
any dimension of well-being. The study suggests that associations between physical
activity and dimensions of subjective well-being during later life are dependent on the
Social Indicators Research 07/2013; · 1.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Many children do not meet physical activity (PA) guidelines. Extracurricular programmes could provide a mechanism to increase the PA levels of primary-school-aged children. Teaching assistants (TAs) are a valuable resource in all UK primary schools and could be trained to delivery after-school PA programmes. The aim of this feasibility study is to examine whether the Action 3:30 PA intervention, which is delivered by TAs, could be effective in increasing the PA of Year 5 and 6 children.Methods/design: A feasibility trial will be conducted in 20 primary schools. Schools will be randomly assigned to intervention or control arms. Intervention schools will receive a 25-hour TA training programme for two TAs, a first-aid certificate course for two TAs; ongoing TA support; 40 one-hour session plans that can be delivered by TAs; Action 3:30 clubs that run twice a week for 20 weeks; and ten sets of parent information sheets that are distributed biweekly.All measures will be assessed at baseline (Time 0), at the end of the intervention period (Time 1) and four months after the intervention has ended (Time 2). As this is a feasibility study, our primary interest is in estimating the recruitment of schools and children, adherence to the intervention, and completeness of data collection for outcomes and costs.As the most likely primary outcome measure in a future definitive trial will be accelerometer-determined minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) per day, participants will wear accelerometers for five days (including two weekend days). Several psychosocial variables that could act as mediators in a future trial will be assessed via a questionnaire. Process evaluations of the session attendance, perceived enjoyment and perceived exertion will be assessed during the intervention. At the end of the intervention period, qualitative assessments will be conducted to identify how the programme could be improved before proceeding to a larger trial. DISCUSSION: The goal of the feasibility trial is to assess the potential of this innovative intervention approach and provide all the information necessary to design a cluster randomized controlled trial.Trial registration: ISRCTN58502739.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Associations of objectively measured physical activity (PA) with objectively measured lower limb function in adults aged 70 and older were studied. Lower limb function was assessed using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) and PA by an accelerometer providing mean daily counts per minute (CPM), mean daily steps and minutes of moderate or vigorous PA (MVPA) per day. A minority (32 (13%)) scored low (≤6 out of a maximum of 12) on the SPPB, but only 3 (1%) achieved recommended PA levels. Adjusting for confounders, the odds ratio of low SPPB (≤6) comparing those in the lowest one-third to highest two-thirds of mean CPM was 55 (95%CI: 6, 520); for mean steps per day it was 23 (95%CI: 4, 137) and for minutes of MVPA per day 56 (95%CI: 6, 530). Low levels of PA are common and are associated with poor levels of lower limb function in older adults.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many children spend too much time screen-viewing (watching TV, surfing the internet and playing video games) and do not meet physical activity (PA) guidelines. Parents are important influences on children's PA and screen-viewing (SV). There is a shortage of parent-focused interventions to change children's PA and SV.
Teamplay was a two arm individualized randomized controlled feasibility trial. Participants were parents of 6-8 year old children. Intervention participants were invited to attend an eight week parenting program with each session lasting 2 hours. Children and parents wore an accelerometer for seven days and minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity PA (MVPA) were derived. Parents were also asked to report the average number of hours per day that both they and the target child spent watching TV. Measures were assessed at baseline (time 0) at the end of the intervention (week 8) and 2 months after the intervention had ended (week 16).
There were 75 participants who provided consent and were randomized but 27 participants withdrew post-randomization. Children in the intervention group engaged in 2.6 fewer minutes of weekday MVPA at Time 1 but engaged in 11 more minutes of weekend MVPA. At Time 1 the intervention parents engaged in 9 more minutes of weekday MVPA and 13 more minutes of weekend MVPA. The proportion of children in the intervention group watching ≥ 2 hours per day of TV on weekend days decreased after the intervention (time 0 = 76%, time 1 = 39%, time 2 = 50%), while the control group proportion increased slightly (79%, 86% and 87%). Parental weekday TV watching decreased in both groups. In post-study interviews many mothers reported problems associated with wearing the accelerometers. In terms of a future full-scale trial, a sample of between 80 and 340 families would be needed to detect a mean difference of 10-minutes of weekend MVPA.
Teamplay is a promising parenting program in an under-researched area. The intervention was acceptable to parents, and all elements of the study protocol were successfully completed. Simple changes to the trial protocol could result in more complete data collection and study engagement.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 01/2013; 10:31. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine whether parental screen-viewing, parental attitudes or access to media equipment were associated with the screen-viewing of 6-year-old to 8-year-old children.
Parental report of the number of hours per weekday that they and, separately, their 6-year-old to 8-year-old child spent watching TV, using a games console, a smart-phone and multiscreen viewing. Parental screen-viewing, parental attitudes and pieces of media equipment were exposures.
Over 75% of the parents and 62% of the children spent more than 2 h/weekday watching TV. Over two-thirds of the parents and almost 40% of the children spent more than an hour per day multiscreen viewing. The mean number of pieces of media equipment in the home was 5.9 items, with 1.3 items in the child's bedroom. Children who had parents who spent more than 2 h/day watching TV were over 7.8 times more likely to exceed the 2 h threshold. Girls and boys who had a parent who spent an hour or more multiscreen viewing were 34 times more likely to also spend more than an hour per day multiscreen viewing. Media equipment in the child's bedroom was associated with higher TV viewing, computer time and multiscreen viewing. Each increment in the parental agreement that watching TV was relaxing for their child was associated with a 49% increase in the likelihood that the child spent more than 2 h/day watching TV.
Children who have parents who engage in high levels of screen-viewing are more likely to engage in high levels of screen-viewing. Access to media equipment, particularly in the child's bedroom, was associated with higher levels of screen-viewing. Family-based strategies to reduce screen-viewing and limit media equipment access may be important ways to reduce child screen-viewing.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Establishing healthy physical activity (PA) behaviours in early childhood is important for future PA behaviours. Parents play a central role in young childrens PA. However, there is currently little research on parenting interventions to increase child PA. This study was formative work to inform the content of a pilot randomised-controlled trial. METHODS: In-depth telephone interviews were carried out with 32 parents of 6 to 8 year old children residing in two areas that varied in their socio-economic characteristics, in Bristol, UK. Data were analysed thematically using a framework approach. RESULTS: Most parents described their child as being active or very active and indicated that they did not perceive a need to increase in their childs PA. Parents used a variety of visual cues to make this judgement, the most common being that they perceived their child as having lots of energy or that they did not view them as overweight. Parents reported environmental factors such as monetary cost, time constraints, lack of activity provision and poor weather as the main barriers to their childs PA. Parental support and childs enjoyment of PA appeared to be important facilitators to children participating in PA. CONCLUSION: Improving parents knowledge of the PA recommendations for children, and increasing their awareness of the benefits of PA beyond weight status may be an important first step for a parenting PA intervention. Although parents commonly perceive environmental factors as the main barriers to their childs PA, parental concern about low levels of child PA, their capacity to support behaviour change, child motivation, self confidence and independence may be key areas to address within an intervention to increase child PA. Effective methods of helping parents address the latter have been developed in the context of generic parenting programmes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The beneficial effect of physical activity for the prevention of a range of chronic diseases is widely acknowledged. These conditions are most prevalent in low-income groups where physical activity levels are consistently lower. Social marketing is the government's recommended approach to promoting physical activity but evidence of its effectiveness is limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a social marketing campaign on the monthly recruitment, attendance and retention levels at a community-based physical activity programme in a low income area. METHODS: A six-month social marketing campaign was designed and delivered in a highly-deprived suburban neighbourhood. Analysis of variance was used to assess effects on recruitment and attendance. chi2 tests of independence were used to compare dropouts and adherers and effectiveness of recruitment mechanisms. Percentages were used to compare adherence rates at intervention, pre-existing sessions in the intervention area and control area sessions. RESULTS: Attendance data were collected weekly and presented and analysed monthly to provide a view of changing participation over the six month intervention period, as compared to attendance at pre-existing sessions in the intervention area and in a control area. Recruitment into intervention sessions was significantly greater than into pre-existing and control area sessions in Month 1 (18.13v1.04 p = .007, 18.13v.30 p=.005), Month 5 (3.45v.84 p=.007, 3.45v.30 p<.001) and Month 6 (5.60v.65 p<.001, 5.60v.25 p<.001). Attendance at intervention sessions was significantly greater in all six months than at pre-existing and control area sessions; Month 1 (38.83v7.17 p<.001, 38.83v4.67, p<.001), Month 2 (21.45v6.20 p<.001, 21.45v4.00, p<.001), Month 3 (9.57v6.15 p<.001, 9.57v3.77, p<.001), Month 4 (17.35v7.31 p<.001, 17.35v4.75, p<.001), Month 5 (20.33v8.81 p=.007, 20.33v4.54 p<.001) and Month 6 (28.72v8.28 p<.001, 28.72v.4.00 p<.001). Drop-out rates in the intervention area were similar to the control area (66.2%v69.9%), and considerably lower than in pre-existing sessions (83%). In months one and two, traditional marketing techniques (posters/outdoor banners/flyers) had the greatest influence on recruitment compared to word of mouth communication (84.5%v15.5%). In months five and six word of mouth influenced 57.5% of new recruits. CONCLUSIONS: Direct comparisons with other programmes were difficult due to a lack of standard definitions of recruitment and adherence and limited reporting of findings. However when compared to pre-existing sessions and sessions delivered in a control area, monthly attendance patterns indicated that a reasonably well funded social marketing campaign increased recruitment into exercise sessions, maintained good levels of attendance and reasonable levels of adherence. Good attendance levels support on-going campaign success by offering evidence of peer and social support for the activity and increasing opportunities for social interaction. They also increase the capacity and reach of the word of mouth communication channels, the most effective form of promotion. Further study into methods of improving exercise adherence is required.
BMC Public Health 10/2012; 12(1):836. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the association among childhood obesity, weight status change, and subsequent academic performance at 6-year follow-up.
First-grade students from one elementary school district in Taichung City, Taiwan were followed for 6 years (N = 409). Academic performance was extracted from the school records at the end of each grade. Weight and height were measured at the beginning of each grade. A weight change variable was created based on each child's weight status difference at grades 1 and 6. A multivariate linear regression model for predicting academic performance at grade 6 was developed with adjustment for individual characteristics and family factors. A latent growth curve (LGC) showed the association between changes in body mass index (BMI) and in academic performance across a 6-year period.
BMI in children increased significantly across 6 years. The rate of increase in BMI over 6 years was higher for children with higher baseline BMIs than it was for children with lower baseline BMIs. However, BMI changes were not significantly associated with changes of academic performance.
There was no significant relationship between initial obesity or change in weight status and subsequent academic performance. It appears that either being or becoming overweight/obese did not impact academic achievement for these Taiwanese children.
Journal of School Health 09/2012; 82(9):424-31. · 1.50 Impact Factor