Abby C. King's research while affiliated with Stanford Medicine and other places

Publications (428)

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Background Incorporating age-friendly elements across urban environments can promote active and healthy ageing by facilitating opportunities to improve health and well-being among older residents. However, developing inclusive and supportive age-friendly environments remains a key gap for governance and public policy. Community-engaged citizen scie...
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Benefits of physical activity (PA) in breast cancer survivors (BCS) are well established. However, programs to promote PA among BCS tailored to real-world contexts within low- to middle-income countries are limited. Cross-sector co-creation can be key to effective and scalable programs for BCS in these countries. This study aimed to evaluate the ne...
Preprint
Backround: Santa Ana is home to an Afro-descendant rural population of the island of Barú in Cartagena, Colombia. While a popular area for tourism, Santa Ana’s population is affected by multidimensional poverty, precarious work conditions, homelessness, broken streets and sewer systems, limited quality education, and lack of recreation and sport sp...
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Importance: Observational evidence suggests that higher physical activity is associated with slower kidney function decline; however, to our knowledge, no large trial has evaluated whether activity and exercise can ameliorate kidney function decline in older adults. Objective: To evaluate whether a moderate-intensity exercise intervention can af...
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Background Community-based physical activity (PA) programs are appealing to women in Latin America and show potential for improving women’s health. This study aimed to engage healthy middle-aged women, breast cancer survivors and local stakeholders participating in two publicly funded community-based PA programs in Bogotá, Colombia ( Recreovía and...
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While there are many definitions of citizen science, the term usually refers to the participation of the general public in the scientific process in collaboration with professional scientists. Citizen scientists have been engaged to promote health equity, especially in the areas of environmental contaminant exposures, physical activity, and healthy...
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Community engagement methods like photovoice have allowed researchers to gather and incorporate the experiences and perspectives of community members in their work but have at times faced challenges regarding systematization, accessibility, and scalability. This practice note describes the Our Voice initiative, one example of a community-based part...
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Urban blue spaces may have salutogenic health benefits. It is crucial to understand the factors that influence the use of urban blue spaces so that urban populations can benefit equitably. A system map of factors influencing usage was developed by qualitatively analysing 203 intercept interviews conducted with people actively using the towpath alon...
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Blue spaces, defined as all forms of natural and manmade surface water, are an integral part of cities. This is the first quantitative synthesis of the health impacts of urban blue spaces. Research exploring the health benefits of blue spaces in urban contexts is emergent and, thus, a systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence is deemed ti...
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Access to and use of parks is associated with physical activity participation. Our Voice is a systematic method blending community-based participatory research (CBPR) and citizen science. As part of a comprehensive, mixed-methods study in St. Louis, Missouri (PARCS), we tested the feasibility of the Our Voice method for gathering community input on...
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Sheltering-in-place, social distancing, and other strategies to minimize COVID-19 transmission may impact physical activity (PA) and well-being in older adults. To assess self-reported PA changes, well-being, and priorities of older women across the USA early in the COVID-19 pandemic. In May 2020, a 10-question survey was emailed to 5,822 women, ag...
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Resumen El entorno en el que viven los niños influye en su riesgo de sufrir obesidad debido, entre otros factores, a los comportamientos relacionados con el peso (es decir, a la dieta y la actividad física). En este artículo presentaremos evidencia sobre los factores socioambientales asociados a la dieta y la actividad física de los niños y, de for...
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Resumen La obesidad infantil en Latinoamérica y en las poblaciones latinas de Estados Unidos es un problema de salud pública complejo y persistente y, como tal, requiere soluciones basadas en la teoría y los métodos de la ciencia de sistemas. En este artículo presentamos un marco conceptual orientado a la acción para diseñar, implementar, evaluar y...
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Resumen Prevenir la obesidad entre los jóvenes latinos que viven en Estados Unidos y en países latinoamericanos requiere reconocer la especificidad de los contextos y las interacciones entre actividad física (AF) y entorno construido (EC). El objetivo de este artículo es avanzar en la agenda de investigación sobre el EC y la AF con el fin de preven...
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Based on the synthesis of outside versus inside perspectives, this paper weighs the positive attributes of the so-called deprived place against its negative media image. Applying the concept of territorial stigmatization, small-scale citizen science was conducted to gain a unique understanding of the Swedish neighborhood from within. With the Unite...
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While low-income midlife and older adults are disproportionately affected by non-communicable diseases that can be alleviated by regular physical activity, few physical activity programs have been developed specifically with their needs in mind. Those programs that are available typically do not address the recognized local environmental factors th...
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Understanding how to optimize the health and well-being of Latinxs is crucial and will aid in informing actions to address inequities. Latinxs’ unique cultural backgrounds and lived experiences could have implications for their well-being, which may differ from other racial/ethnic groups. We compared overall and domain-specific well-being and their...
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Currently, the most successful prevention interventions against sexual violence (SV) on United States college campuses target modifications at the individual and interpersonal levels. Community-level interventions have been under-developed for college campuses. To address this gap, we employ a citizen science model for understanding campus communit...
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Food security is an increasing problem for older adults who are living longer and having to stretch their resources further. Initiatives such as subsidized community market days are increasingly important in bolstering food security amongst these groups but there have been few attempts to understand these initiatives from the perspective of communi...
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Physical activity improves quality of life and extends independence in older adults. Yet, how to motivate older adults to engage in physical activity is unclear. In the present study, 4108 older women, aged 70–99, reported how they motivated themselves to move when they did not feel like it, and their hours of physical activity and walking each wee...
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Nature underpins human well-being in critical ways, especially in health. Nature provides pollination of nutritious crops, purification of drinking water, protection from floods, and climate security, among other well-studied health benefits. A crucial, yet challenging, research frontier is clarifying how nature promotes physical activity for its m...
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The environments of children influence their risk for childhood obesity through, among other factors, a child's weight-related behaviors (i.e., diet and physical activity). In this article, we present evidence on social environmental factors associated with a child's diet and physical activity, and more generally, the prevention and control of chil...
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Childhood obesity in US Latinx and Latin American populations is a persistent, complex public health issue and, as such, requires solutions grounded on systems science theory and methods. In this paper, we introduce an action‐oriented framework to design, implement, evaluate, and sustain whole‐of‐community systems changes for childhood obesity prev...
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To prevent obesity among Latino youth in the United States and Latin America, it is necessary to understand the specific context and interplay of physical activity (PA) and the built environment (BE). This paper aims to advance the research agenda of BE and PA for obesity prevention in Latin America and among Latino youth in the United States by (1...
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Background Elevated Interleukine-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with aging-related reductions in physical function, but little is known about their independent and combined relationships with major mobility disability (MMD), defined as the self-reported inability to walk a quarter-mile. Methods We estimated the absolute and r...
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Background In older adults, increases in physical activity may prevent decline in lower-extremity function, but whether the benefit differs according to metabolic syndrome (MetS) status is uncertain. We aim to investigate whether structured physical activity is associated with less decline in lower-extremity function among older adults with versus...
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Background In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which experiences a disproportionately high cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden, population-based screening and prevention measures are hampered by low levels of knowledge about CVD and associated risk factors, and inaccurate perceptions of severity of risk. Methods This protocol describes the planned proces...
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Background This study evaluated the association between ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) of walking and major mobility disability (MMD), as well as their transitions in response to a physical activity (PA) compared to a health education (HE) program. Methods Older adults (n=1633) at risk for mobility impairment were randomized to structured PA...
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Background Altered cortisol dynamics have been associated with increased risk for chronic health problems among midlife and older adults (≥ 45 years of age). Yet, studies investigating the impact of health behavior interventions on cortisol activity in this age group are limited. Objective and Methods The current study examined whether 48 midlife a...
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Growing socioeconomic and structural disparities within and between nations have created unprecedented health inequities that have been felt most keenly among the world’s youth. While policy approaches can help to mitigate such inequities, they are often challenging to enact in under-resourced and marginalized communities. Community-engaged partici...
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Background: National guidelines promote physical activity to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD), yet no randomized controlled trial has tested whether physical activity reduces prevent CVD. Methods: The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Strong and Healthy (WHISH) pragmatic trial used a randomized consent design to assign women for whom cardiovas...
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The physical and social environment of school settings are important for health promotion among children and adolescents. Efforts to create supportive environments at the school level can benefit from including community engagement and empowerment processes to advocate for health promotion. The Our Voice model presents a unique opportunity for Lati...
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Background The increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases that are prevalent in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is largely attributed to modifiable behavioral risk factors such as unhealthy diets and insufficient physical activity (PA). The adolescent stage, defined as 10 to 24 years of age, is an important formative phase of life and o...
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BACKGROUND The increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are prevalent in low and middle income countries (LMICs), is largely attributed to modifiable behavioural risk factors such as poor/unhealthy diets and insufficient physical activity (PA). The adolescent stage–recently defined as 10-24 years of age–is an important formative...
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Maintaining or improving quality of life (QoL) and well-being is a universal goal across the lifespan. Being physically active has been suggested as one way to enhance QoL and well-being. In this systematic review, conducted in part for the 2018 U.S. Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Scientific Advisory Committee...
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This data article describes data from an Our Voice citizen science data collection aiming at identifying elements that facilitate or hinder physical activity among adolescents in a medium sized city in Sweden. Twenty-four adolescents from two neighborhoods with low socioeconomic status in Sweden used the Stanford Healthy Neighborhood Discovery Tool...
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Background: In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which experiences a disproportionately high cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden, population-based screening and prevention measures are hampered by low levels of knowledge about CVD and associated risk factors, and inaccurate perceptions of severity of risk. Methods: This protocol describes the planned proce...
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Importance: Effective and practical treatments are needed to increase physical activity among those at heightened risk from inactivity. Walking represents a popular physical activity that can produce a range of desirable health effects, particularly as people age. Objective: To test the hypothesis that counseling by a computer-based virtual advi...
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The Science of Behavior Change Network (SOBC) offers a pragmatic "experimental medicine" approach for advancing mechanisms of change regarding behavior. The key promise of the SOBC is to facilitate more effective knowledge accumulation about not only whether behavior change occurs in response to an intervention, but also how and why behavior change...
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Socioeconomic status (SES) as well as adolescents' perceptions of the neighborhood's built and social environments have been shown to influence adolescents' physical activity. Twenty-four adolescents from two low SES neighborhoods in Sweden participated as citizen scientists, using the Stanford Discovery Tool app on their phones to take photographs...
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Community-based physical activity programs, such as the Recreovía, are effective in promoting healthy behaviors in Latin America. To understand Recreovías’ challenges and scalability, we characterized its social network longitudinally while studying its participants’ social cohesion and interactions. First, we constructed the Main network of the pr...
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Physical inactivity is a key risk factor for a range of chronic diseases and conditions, yet, approximately 50% of U.S. adults fall below recommended levels of regular aerobic physical activity (PA). This is particularly true for ethnic minority populations such as Latino adults for whom few culturally adapted programs have been developed and teste...
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The availability of parks and urban green spaces has been associated with a number of benefits, including increased physical activity, improvements in mental health, increases in social interactions, improvements to the environment, and increases in property values. The installation of temporary pop-up parks in urban areas is one way for urban comm...
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Colombia's Recreovía program offers community-based free physical activity (PA) classes in parks. We evaluated built and social environmental factors influencing Recreovía local park environments, and facilitated a consensus-building and advocacy process among community members, policymakers and academic researchers aimed at improving uptake and im...
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Background: Cable cars provide urban mobility benefits for vulnerable populations. However, no evaluation has assessed cable cars' impact from a health perspective. TransMiCable in Bogotá, Colombia, provides a unique opportunity to (1) assess the effects of its implementation on the environmental and social determinants of health (microenvironment...
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Background: Walking independently is basic to human functioning. The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) studies were developed to assess whether initiating physical activity could prevent major mobility disability (MMD) in sedentary older adults. Methods: We review the development and selected findings of the LIFE studies...
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The trajectory of aging is profoundly impacted by the physical and social environmental contexts in which we live. While “top–down” policy activities can have potentially wide impacts on such contexts, they often take time, resources, and political will, and therefore can be less accessible to underserved communities. This article describes a “bott...
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Despite the numerous successful behavioral interventions that have been published in the behavioral medicine field over a number of decades, surprisingly few have been translated and adapted for real-world settings using participatory research methods. The purpose of this commentary is to highlight the advances in participatory behavioral medicine...
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The study’s objective was to assess the feasibility of using citizen science to identify and address physical activity (PA) barriers in a low-income South African community. We purposively selected as citizen scientists, eleven participants (21–45 years) from a cohort study who expressed interest in becoming physically active or were already active...
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Background: Low levels of physical activity (PA) and prolonged sitting time (ST) increase the risk of non-communicable diseases and mortality, and can be influenced by socio-demographic characteristics. The aim of this study was to use self-report data to characterise socio-demographic patterns of PA and ST in eight Latin American countries. Meth...
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Smartphone apps and wearable devices for tracking physical activity and other health behaviors have become popular in recent years and provide a largely untapped source of data about health behaviors in the free-living environment. The data are large in scale, collected at low cost in the "wild", and often recorded in an automatic fashion, providin...
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Objectives: Our aim was to examine the impacts of baseline fatigue on the effectiveness of a physical activity (PA) intervention to prevent major mobility disability (MMD) and persistent major mobility disability (PMMD) in participants from the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study. Design: Prospective cohort of indivi...
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Purpose: To examine whether long-term fish oil (FO) supplementation is associated with a lower risk of mobility disability and enhances benefits of physical activity. Methods: 1635 sedentary adults aged 70 to 89 years from the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) single-blinded randomized, multi-center clinical trial, which...
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Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine correlates of failure-trial attrition and weight gain-in a randomized clinical weight-loss trial. Methods: The Diet Intervention Examining The Factors Interacting with Treatment Success (DIETFITS) trial included 609 adults (18-50 years; BMI 28-40). Participants were randomized to a 12-month hea...
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Background Smartphone apps might enable interventions to increase physical activity, but few randomised trials testing this hypothesis have been done. The MyHeart Counts Cardiovascular Health Study is a longitudinal smartphone-based study with the aim of elucidating the determinants of cardiovascular health. We aimed to investigate the effect of fo...
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The ClinicalTrials.gov registry was established in 2000 to address concerns about publication bias and public access to information about clinical trials. We aimed to evaluate differences between for-profit and non-profit sponsors of efficacy mental health trials registered in ClinicalTrials.gov on key trial characteristics that relate to data inte...
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Purpose: This article describes effective interventions to promote regular physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior that were identified as part of the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted of eligible systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and relevant...
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Individual well-being is a complex concept that varies among and between individuals and is impacted by individual, interpersonal, community, organizational, policy and environmental factors. This research explored associations between select environmental characteristics measured at the ZIP code level and individual well-being. Participants (n = 3...
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Background and Objectives Many cross-sectional studies have confirmed a link between gait speed and cognitive function. However, it is unknown whether cognitive function plays a role in the onset of major mobility disability (MMD) and if the effects are independent of physical function. This study examined cognitive and physical function as predict...
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Background While promoting active commuting to school can positively affect children’s daily physical activity levels, effectively engaging community members to maximize program impact remains challenging. We evaluated the initial utility of adding a technology-enabled citizen science engagement model, called Our Voice, to a standard Safe Routes to...
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Background The movement profile of older adults with compromised function is unknown, as is the relationship between these profiles and the development of major mobility disability (MMD)—a critical clinical outcome. We first describe the dimensions of movement in older adults with compromised function and then examine whether these dimensions predi...
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Objectives: To provide recommendations for the selection of comparators for randomized controlled trials of health-related behavioral interventions. Study design and setting: The National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research convened an expert panel to critically review the literature on control or comparison gro...