Thomas L Mckenzie

Thomas L Mckenzie
San Diego State University | SDSU · School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences

PHD, MSC, BPE, BED

About

347
Publications
107,119
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
23,273
Citations
Introduction
Researching physical activity, obesity, physical education and recess policies, parks, playgrounds and recreation, mask wear, website content, and special populations. Continuing to refine systematic observation methods for collecting data on physical activity and its contexts: BEACHES, SOFIT, SOPLAY, SOPARC, SOMAD, etc. Translated our kids physical activity promotion picture book, "I CAN MOVE", into Spanish, French, and Chinese (see Amazon.com). Locations: SDSU, Kaiser, USA, Hong Kong
Additional affiliations
January 2003 - present
RAND Corporation
Position
  • Research Associate
Description
  • Park use and health disparities
January 1988 - December 1999
University of California, San Diego
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 1980 - present
San Diego State University
Position
  • Professor Emeritus

Publications

Publications (347)
Article
Full-text available
Numerous methods are available to assess physical activity (PA) but systematic observation (SO) excels in being able to provide contextually rich data on the setting in which the activity occurs. As SO is particularly useful for determining how activity is influenced by the immediate physical and social environments, its use is becoming more popula...
Article
Although preventing youth overweight and obesity is a public health priority, quality physical education (PE) is marginalized in practice. In May 2014, we estimated energy expenditure (EE; derived from PE frequency, duration, and intensity; mean student mass; and class size) from national recommendations and data from the 19 US states with PE durat...
Article
SPARK [Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids], in its current form, is a brand that represents a collection of exemplary, research-based, physical education and physical activity programs that emphasize a highly active curriculum, on-site staff development, and follow-up support. Given its complexity (e.g., multiple school levels, inclusion...
Article
Physical activity is place-based, and being able to assess the number of people and their characteristics in specific locations is important both for public health surveillance and for practitioners in their design of physical activity spaces and programs. Although physical activity measurement has improved recently, many investigators avoid or are...
Article
Purpose: An objective database for physical education (PE) is important for policy and practice decisions, and the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) has been identified as an appropriate surveillance tool for PE across the nation. The purpose of this review was to assess peer-reviewed studies using SOFIT to study K-12 PE in U.S...
Article
Background : Quantification of the impact of local masking policies may help guide future policy interventions to reduce SARS-COV-2 disease transmission. This study's objective was to identify factors associated with adherence to masking and social distancing guidelines. Methods : Faculty from 16 U.S. colleges and universities trained 231 students...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To quantify changes in adherence to mask and distancing guidelines in outdoor settings in Philadelphia, PA before and after President Trump announced he was infected with COVID-19. Methods We used Systematic Observation of Masking Adherence and Distancing (SOMAD) to assess mask adherence in parks, playgrounds, and commercial streets in...
Article
Full-text available
Less than 25% of US children 6–17 years of age are sufficiently active. Faith-based settings are one of the nine societal sectors tasked with promoting physical activity (PA). Religious organizations frequently use diverse media, including websites, bulletins/newsletters, and calendars to inform current/potential members of events. These could be u...
Article
Background This study describes a method for harmonizing data collected with different tools to compute a rating of compliance with national recommendations for school physical activity (PA) and nutrition environments. Methods We reviewed questionnaire items from 84 elementary schools that participated in the Childhood Obesity Research Demonstrati...
Article
We completed systematic line-by-line analyses of 1383 U.S. synagogues’ websites’ – publicly accessible webpages, online brochures/newsletters, online calendars – to assess content that mentioned physical activity. Mention of physical activity opportunities was tallied overall, by program category (social justice, worship, social group, exercise), a...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Organized sports provide children and adolescents with opportunities to achieve recommended amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and schools are a primary setting for sports programs. The main aims of this study were to examine participant physical activity (PA) levels during the most popular high school sports in t...
Article
Full-text available
Faith-based organizations are entities recommended to promote and provide health-related physical activity to youth. Meanwhile, religious institutions—including synagogues—typically use diverse media, including websites, bulletins/newsletters, and calendars to inform current and potential members about both general (e.g., theological) and specific...
Article
Full-text available
Adherence to guidelines for face coverings and physical distancing are critical strategies to stem the COVID-19 pandemic but are not uniformly followed. Understanding factors associated with adherence to mask-wearing and physical distancing may help guide future control efforts. We conducted an observational study using Systematic Observation of Ma...
Article
This essay describes how environmental conditions affected my unexpected evolution from farm life in a rural Canadian community to becoming a physical education specialist and multisport coach and eventually a U.S. kinesiology scholar with a public health focus. I first recount my life on the farm and initial education and then identify the importa...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction During the COVID-19 pandemic, some K-12 schools resumed in-person classes with varying degrees of mitigation plans in the fall 2020. Physical distancing and face coverings can minimize SARS-CoV-2 spread, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, no research has focused on adherence to mitigation strategies during school days. Thus, we s...
Preprint
Introduction: During the COVID-19 pandemic, some K-12 schools resumed in-person classes with varying degrees of mitigation plans in the fall of 2020. Physical distancing and face coverings can minimize SARS-CoV-2 spread, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, no research has focused on mitigation strategy adherence during school days. Thus, we so...
Article
Objective: Parents and other stakeholders regularly view school websites for important information including curricula. Over 300,000 students are enrolled in North American Jewish day schools, but little is known about schools’ online promotion of physical education (PE). We conducted a content analysis of the mention of various PE characteristics...
Article
This paper reviews the authors’ evolution as kinesiology scholars to a public health focus via their research on school physical activity (PA) and policy. The authors present key findings from their work, including their recent focus group discussion with 20 school leaders, to substantiate their perspectives about the role that the American Kinesio...
Article
Full-text available
This paper summarizes the first-ever IOHSK distinguished lecture. It briefly describes Dr. McKenzie’s lengthy research career, identifies the importance of physical activity to public health, emphasizes the need for research and program collaborations, and highlights systematic observation as a tool for generating contextual information on the occu...
Article
Purpose: Health authorities recommend schools play a major role in providing and promoting physical activity (PA). School choice legislation has led to increases in both public charter schools and private schools, and these have greater flexibility in curriculum, staffing, and other practices than traditional public schools. Most schools have publi...
Article
Studies of Jewish day schools’ websites regarding opportunities for students to engage in physical activity (PA) have not been published. We analyzed the content of 516 North American Jewish day schools’ websites in 237 cities to ascertain mentions of sports (i.e., interscholastic) and PAs (e.g., intramural sports, PA clubs) and to determine how th...
Article
All people need to engage in routine physical activity and children require it daily. Playgrounds are settings designed for children to be physically active, yet there has been little research assessing which play elements and structures are associated with more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among both youth and adults. We conducted...
Article
Purpose: The System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) is a valid, reliable method for understanding how people engage in physical activity (PA) in various permanent settings (e.g., parks) and contexts. However, its utility, reliability, and validity in temporary spaces has not been examined. Temporary spaces can provide PA o...
Article
Background: Schools are important venues for providing and promoting physical activity, but little is known about how school websites are being used for these purposes. Completing a content analysis of existing school websites is essential to understanding their function and value relative to supporting physical education (PE) and physical activit...
Article
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the perspectives of diverse school leaders relative to feasible physical activity (PA) policies and practices. Objectives: Our main objective was to identify barriers to school PA and find creative solutions for overcoming them. A secondary objective was to assess school leaders’ perspectives on the...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT This article provides a general summary of school physical activity policies, addresses the appeal of policy as means to increase school physical activity, identifies general policy research approaches and findings, and outlines perspectives on future policy research in schools. It begins with an overview of the elementary school physical...
Article
Objectives: Nearly all US schools have a website that enables them to inform about and promote physical activity (PA) and physical education (PE). We performed a cross-sectional content analysis of California (state with the most charters) elementary charter school websites' PA/PE content. Methods: We analyzed data (N = 520 schools) using descripti...
Article
Full-text available
Schools are salient locations for children with disabilities to accrue physical activity (PA) and to diminish sedentary time (ST). We examined seasonal variation in accelerometer-assessed PA and ST among children with disabilities during the school day in three school settings (physical education (PE) lessons, recess and lunchtime). Children (n = 2...
Article
Purpose: Quality physical education (PE) reaches many objectives (e.g., knowledge, physical fitness, and physical skills) and could provide at least half the dose of recommended daily physical activity for youths if their opportunity to learn is provided according to national professional recommendations (min/week) and related state mandates. A 201...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to examine the physical activity (PA) of children with physical disabilities (PD) and its associated environmental and behavioral factors at home and at school. One hundred and forty-seven Hong Kong children (mean age = 13.5 ± 2.5 years) with PD from three special schools participated. We used BEACHES (Behaviors of Eat...
Article
The United States lacks surveillance to monitor park use and conditions. The purpose of this study was to use the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) as a surveillance tool to describe the conditions, user characteristics, and physical activity of a national sample of neighborhood parks at two time points. Using a strat...
Article
Full-text available
Most youths fail to meet recommended public health recommendations for physical activity (PA) and schools have been assigned a key role in mitigating this problem. Charter school growth exploded recently, but little is known about these schools' support of PA. School websites offer public windows through which they can share information about their...
Article
Schools are salient locations for promoting and providing physical activity, but they fail to meet the public health recommendation of providing at least half the 60 min of physical activity that children need daily. To help solve this school deficit, the author proposes that the "biggest bang" would result from developing and implementing school p...
Article
Full-text available
Objective evaluations are essential to improving physical education (PE) policy and practice, and the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) is a valid and reliable tool designed to reach this end. This review assesses peer-reviewed studies that used SOFIT to describe preK-12 PE in international schools. Methods were informed by Pref...
Article
Given the widespread use of out-of-home child care in the United States, early care and education (ECE) providers offer ideal settings to promote health behaviors among Hispanic/Latino children whose obesity prevalence remains high. This study details the process evaluation of ECE intervention strategies of a childhood obesity research demonstratio...
Article
BACKGROUND Although there are over 26,000 private schools in the United States, little is known about the relationship of their characteristics to mandated and recommended time allocations for physical education (PE). METHODS Private secondary schools (N = 450; grades 6‐12) in California completed a 15‐item questionnaire related to school characte...
Article
Background: After-school programs (ASPs) have the potential to contribute to student physical activity (PA), but there is limited empirical evidence to guide program development and implementation. Methods: We used pedometry to assess the overall effectiveness of an elementary school ASP running program relative to national and state PA recommen...
Article
Background: After-school programs (ASPs) have the potential to contribute to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), but there is limited empirical evidence to guide their development and implementation. Purpose: This study assessed the replication of an elementary school running program and identified psychological correlates of children’s...
Article
Purpose: This study tested whether a multilevel physical activity (PA) intervention had differential effects on PA according to participants' perceptions of their neighborhood environment. Design: Two-group cluster randomized controlled trial. Setting: San Diego, California. Subjects: Analytical sample included 319 Latinas (18-65 years) from...
Article
Female adolescents are less active than male peers in certain contexts including the neighborhood. Adolescents' physical activity can be explained by interactions between environmental and psychosocial factors, but few studies have tested such interactions in relation to context-specific behaviors. This study tested interactions between neighborhoo...
Article
Purpose: Interscholastic, intramural, and club physical activity (PA) programs can be important contributors to student PA accrual at schools. Few studies have assessed factors related to the provision of these extracurricular PA programs, especially in private schools. Methods: We used a 16-item questionnaire to assess the associations and infl...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to assess the physical activity (PA) of children with physical disabilities (PD) in school and home settings and to simultaneously examine selected contextual characteristics in relation to PA in those settings. Children with PD (N = 35; Mean age = 15.67 ± 4.30 years; 26 boys) were systematically observed using BEACHES...
Article
Background: We assessed the associations of 5 school and 7 neighborhood variables with fifth-grade students achieving Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) or Needs Improvement-Health Risk (NI-HR) on aerobic capacity (AC) and body composition (BC) physical fitness components of the state-mandated FITNESSGRAM®physical fitness test. Methods: Data for outcome...
Article
Full-text available
Schools are a critical setting for children to accrue recommended levels of physical activity, and after-school programmes are suggested to supplement existing programmes such as physical education. This review of reviews provides a comprehensive picture of the effects of after-school physical activity programmes on student physical activity and he...
Article
Although physical activity can help mitigate or prevent multiple chronic diseases, most people in the U.S., especially high-poverty minority groups, engage in insufficient levels of physical activity. To test ways to promote more physical activity in high-poverty area public parks we conducted a randomized controlled intervention trial. After compl...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: U.S. Latinas do not engage in sufficient leisure-time physical activity. This study examined whether adding promotor-facilitated healthy lifestyle classes to an exercise intervention would promote exercise session attendance and improve health indicators. Methods: The Familias Sanas y Activas II (Healthy and Active Families II) stu...
Article
Full-text available
We analysed observations from 31 neighbourhood parks, with each park mapped into smaller target areas for study, across five US cities generated using the System for Observing Play and Recreation in the Community (SOPARC). In areas where at least two people were observed, less than one-third (31.6%) were populated with at least one white and one no...
Article
Schools are salient locations for addressing the high prevalence of overweight and obesity. Most US states require some physical education (PE) and the energy expended during PE has potential to positively affect energy balance. We previously used 2012 data to examine state policies for PE to calculate estimated student energy expenditure (EEE) und...
Article
Background: Physical education (PE) is mandated in most states, but few studies of PE in private schools exist. Methods: We assessed selected PE policies and practices in private secondary schools (grades 6-12) in California using a 15-item questionnaire related to school characteristics and their PE programs. Results: Responding schools (n=45...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The 2016 United States (U.S.) Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth provides a comprehensive evaluation of physical activity levels and factors influencing physical activity among children and youth. Methods: The report card includes 10 indicators: Overall Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, Active Transportation...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Ecological approaches to health behavior change require effective engagement from and coordination of activities among diverse community stakeholders. We identified facilitators of and barriers to implementation experienced by project leaders and key stakeholders involved in the Imperial County, California, Childhood Obesity Research D...
Article
Full-text available
Purposes: Physical activity (PA) is important for the development of children with disabilities, but rarely does this population meet the recommended standards. Schools are salient locations for PA, but little is known about how specific school settings affect the PA of children with diverse disabilities. We assessed PA and sedentary time (ST) of...
Article
Background Previous studies indicate that the design of streets and sidewalks can influence physical activity among residents. Park features also influence park use and park-based physical activity. Although individuals can walk on streets and sidewalks, walking loops in parks offer a setting to walk in nature and to avoid interruptions from traffi...
Article
Schools are important settings for not only providing and promoting children's physical activity (PA) but also for reducing PA disparities. We investigated associations between school-level demographic characteristics (racial/ethnic and socioeconomic composition, urban-rural status, and student-to-teacher ratio) and 16 PA-promoting practices in 347...
Article
Full-text available
Public parks, salient locations for engaging populations in health promoting physical activity, are especially important in high-density cities. We used the System for Observing Physical Activity in Communities (SOPARC) to conduct the first-ever surveillance study of nine public parks in Hong Kong (288 observation sessions during 36 weekdays and 36...
Research
Full-text available
Commentary on the trending term “physical literacy.” Will it have durability, or as a result of scientific advancements go by the wayside like other explanatory fictions?
Article
Introduction: An extensive infrastructure of neighborhood parks supports leisure time physical activity in most U.S. cities; yet, most Americans do not meet national guidelines for physical activity. Neighborhood parks have never been assessed nationally to identify their role in physical activity. Methods: Using a stratified multistage sampling...
Article
The System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) can obtain information on park users and their physical activity using momentary time sampling. We conducted a literature review using the SOPARC tool to describe the observational methods of each study, and to extract public park use overall and by demographics and physical activ...
Article
Full-text available
The app for the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (iSOPARC®) was developed to enhance System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities data collection and management. The study aim was to examine the usability and inter-rater reliability of iSOPARC®. Trained observers collected data in 16 park areas in two Latin America...
Article
Concerns about safety and perceived threats have been considered responsible for lower use of parks in high-poverty neighborhoods. To quantify the role of perceived threats on park use, we systematically observed 48 parks and surveyed park users and household residents in low-income neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles. Across all parks, the ma...
Article
Full-text available
Physical activity (PA) is important for young children in achieving positive health outcomes and there is growing evidence suggesting that PA and fitness play an important role in children's brain development and academic performance. Studies of preschool children typically show that few meet recommended daily PA levels. Meanwhile many preschoolers...
Article
Although preventing youth overweight and obesity is a public health priority, quality physical education (PE) is marginalized in practice. In May 2014, we estimated energy expenditure (EE; derived from PE frequency, duration, and intensity; mean student mass; and class size) from national recommendations and data from the 19 US states with PE durat...
Article
Full-text available
The proportion of teens and young adults with driver’s licenses has declined sharply in many industrialized countries including the United States. Explanations for this decline have ranged from the introduction of graduated driver licensing programs to the increase in online social interaction. We used a longitudinal cohort study of teenage girls i...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: To determine individual- and park-related characteristics associated with adults visiting their closest neighborhood park and involvement in sports, walking, and sedentary activities. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Neighborhoods surrounding 24 parks in four United States metropolitan areas. Subjects: Adults (N = 3,815) (25%...
Article
Full-text available
The Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL) was conceptualized as a tool to monitor children's physical literacy. The original model (fitness, activity behavior, knowledge, motor skill) required revision and relative weights for calculating/interpreting scores were required. Nineteen childhood physical activity/fitness experts completed a 3...
Article
Objectives: This study evaluated school physical and social environment interventions on middle school students' physical activity. Methods: The intervention included opportunities for students' physical activity on-campus before, during, and after school hours involving increased access to sports equipment and trained supervisors. Systematic obser...
Article
There is growing interest in the use of physical activity and nutrition environmental measures by both researchers and practitioners. Built environment assessment methods and tools range from simple to complex and encompass perceived, observed, and geographic data collection. Even though challenges in tool selection and use may exist for non-resear...
Conference Paper
Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, Latinas are more likely to be inactive. The provision of free group physical activity (PA) classes addresses barriers to PA, including limited access to resources, low self-efficacy, and limited social support. It is important to measure the quality, intensity, and instructor behavior in order to evaluate attendance...
Method
Full-text available
SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time) Description and Procedures Manual. Generic version. Contains references, sample recording forms, information for observer video training.