Archives 2 - Impact of Physical Activity
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- Active commuting to school provides regular exercise, which can improve asthma symptoms. Little is known about how children with asthma travel to school.
- This study is a cross-sectional study of 176 children with asthma aged 5 to 15 years with the goal of identifying travel patterns and parental perceptions surrounding mode of travel to school among children with asthma.
- Parents completed questionnaires assessing mode of travel to school, physical activity, asthma control, physician counseling, and factors influencing parental decisions.
- Few (16%) children with asthma actively commute to school. Active travelers lived closer to school, and “distance” was the most frequently reported factor influencing a parent’s decision regarding travel mode to school. Parents reported few concerns about pollution and little physician counseling on active travel.
- Few children with asthma actively travel to school. Asthma-specific concerns do not appear to guide parental decisions on travel mode to school.
Oreskovic, Nicolas M., Sawicki, Gregory S., Kinane, T. Bernard, Winickoff, Jonathan P., and Perrin, James M. “Travel Patterns to School Among Children With Asthma.” Clinical Pediatrics. 48.6 (2009): 632-640.
- This brief summary of evidence of benefits from being physically active reveals that national surveillance data indicate a substantial portion of youth and adults in the United States do not meet recommendations.
- Available data indicate that various race and ethnic minorities, persons of very low income and those with mental or physical disabilities have even more to gain from increases in physical activity as they are among the least active in the population, but have limited access to needed resources.
- To realize the health-promoting benefits of increased activity by at-risk populations, major policies and programs need implementing that ensure:
- the population at-large is educated about the health risks of inactivity and how best to reduce these risks,
- lifestyle changes, including increases in physical activity, for chronic disease prevention and health promotion be given higher priority and increased funding by the US health care system,
- schools at all levels enhance opportunities for students to be appropriately active,
- employers develop ways to engineer physical activity back into the work day of sedentary employees while not decreasing worker productivity, and
- the built environment throughout the community is made activity friendly for a greater portion of the population.
Haskell, William L., Blair, Steven N., and Hill, James O. “Physical Activity: Health outcomes and importance for public health policy.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 49 (2009): 280-282.
- Physical Activity Across the Curriculum (PAAC) was a three-year cluster randomized controlled trial to promote physical activity and diminish increases in overweight and obesity in elementary school children.
- PAAC promoted 90 minutes/week of moderate to vigorous intensity physically active academic lessons delivered by classroom teachers.
- Results indicated that the PAAC approach may promote daily physical activity and academic achievement in elementary school children.
- 75 minutes of PAAC curriculum activities may attenuate increases in body mass index.
Donnelly, Joseph E., Greene, Jerry L., Gibson, Cheryl A., Smith, Bryan K., Washburn, Richard A., Sullivan, Debra K., DuBose, Katrina, Mayo, Matthew S., Schmelzle, Kristin H., Ryan, Joseph J., Jacobsen, Dennis J. and Williams, Shannon L. “Physical Activity Across the Curriculum (PAAC): A randomized controlled trial to promote physical activity and diminish overweight and obesity in elementary school children.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 49 (2009): 336-341.
- Active living has four domains: transportation, recreation, occupation, and household.
- Active living research incorporates an ecological approach to promoting physical activity by recognizing that individual behavior, social environments, physical environments, and policies contribute to behavior change.
- This study tests and refines a conceptual model between the individual and the environment in rural communities.
- Findings reveal a host of “predisposing” and “enabling” factors, including sociodemographic, environmental, policy, and programmatic elements that extend across the fours domains of active living.
- Researchers suggest that efforts to combat childhood obesity must consider rural residents a priority population because of the unique challenges that rural communities face.
Yousefian, A, Ziller, E, Swartz, J, and Hartley, D. “Active living for rural youth: addressing physical inactivity in rural communities.” Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. 15.3 (2009): 223-231.
- This brief summarizes research on active transport to school, physical activity levels and health outcomes.
- It also explores the factors that influence walking and biking to school, including the impact of SRTS programs.
McMillan, TE. “Research Brief: Walking and Biking to School, Physical Activity and Health Outcomes.” Active Living Research. (2009): available at http://www.activelivingresearch.org/files/ALR_Brief_ActiveTransport.pdf
- This research brief presents an overview of findings demonstrating the potential impact of infrastructure investments and other transportation programs on walking and bicycling for transportation, and on related health outcomes.
- It also focuses on public transit, greenways and trails, school-related infrastructure and programs, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and efforts to manage car traffic.
Rodriquez, DA. “Research Brief: Active Transportation, Making the link from Transportation to Physical Activity and Obesity.” Active Living Research. (2009): available at http://www.activelivingresearch.org/files/ALR_Brief_ActiveTransportation.pdf
- This article highlights Safe Routes to School as a promising strategy for increasing youth physical activity and improving health equity.
- Shared use agreements to unlock school playgrounds after school and on weekends is another highlighted approach to promote physical activity, especially in poor communities and communities without access to other recreation facilities.
- Finally, this article reminds readers that The Recovery Act includes more than $45.5 billion to employ out of work Americans to improve public transit systems, making our communities more walkable and bikable and investing in projects that reduce reliance on automobiles – the source of close to 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions.
Solomon, Loel S., Standish, Marion B., and Orleans, C. Tracy. “Creating Physical Activity-Promoting Community Environments: Time for a breakthrough.” Preventive Medicine. 49.4 (2009): 334-335.
- The CDC initiated the Common Community Measures for Obesity Prevention Project (the Measures Project) to identify and recommend a set of obesity prevention strategies and corresponding suggested measurements that local governments and communities can use to plan, implement, and monitor initiatives to prevent obesity.
- Strategies 17-23 suggest community improvements that are addressed by Safe Routes to School. These recommendations suggest that communities should:
- enhance infrastructure supporting bicycling
- enhance infrastructure supporting walking
- support locating schools within easy walking distance of residential areas
- improve access to public transportation
- zone for mixed-land use development
- enhance personal safety in areas where persons are or could be physically active
- enhance traffic safety where persons are or could be physically active
Khan, Laura Kettel, Sobush, Kathleen, Keener, Dana, Goodman, Kenneth, Lowry, Amy, Kazietek, Jakub, and Zaro, Susan. “Recommended Community Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity in the United States.” Center for Disease Control. (2009): 58(RR07); 1-26.
- This study analyzes data from a sample of 4,156 metropolitan Atlanta residents who were interviewed by telephone and kept two-day travel diaries.
- 10.9% of the sample reported walking for transportation, 2.6% did enough to meet the recommended 30 minutes per day.
- Participants who took more trips by any mode are more likely to do some walking, additional trips by transit were significantly associated with greater odds of walking.
- On average, transit users walked 1.72 km per day, but those who did not use transit walked only 0.16 km per day.
- This study implies that use of transit increases distance walked per day.
Lachapelle, Ugo and Frank, Lawrence D. “Transit and Health: Mode of Transport, Employer-Sponsored Public Transit Pass Programs, and Physical Activity.” Journal of Public Health Policy. 30 (2009): S73-S94.
- This paper provides insight on whether bicycling for everyday travel can help US adults meet the recommended levels of physical activity and what role public infrastructure may play in encouraging this activity.
- 60% of the participants rode for more than 150 minutes per week during the study and nearly all of the bicycling was for utilitarian purposes, not exercise.
- A disproportionate share of the bicycling occurred on streets with bicycle lanes, separate paths, or bicycle boulevards.
- The study suggests that well-connected neighborhood streets and a network of bicycle-specific infrastructure encourages more bicycling among adults.
Dill, Jennifer. “Bicycling for Transportation and Health: The Role of Infrastructure”. Journal of Public Health Policy. 30 (2009): S95–S110.
- This article reviews 13 studies that explore whether children who actively commute to school have increased physical activity levels or a healthier body weight.
- Studies demonstrate that children who actively commute to school accumulate more physical activity then passive commuters.
- Evidence for the impact of active school transport promoting healthy body weights for children and youth requires more attention.
Faulkner,Guy E,J,. Buliung, Ron M., Flora, Parminder K. and Fusco, Caroline. “Active School Transport, Physical Activity Levels and Body Weight of Children and youth: A Systematic Review.” Preventive Medicine. 48 (2009): 3-8.
“Children Living Near Green Spaces Are More Active” (2009)
- In this study of children aged 8-10, for every additional park located within a half-mile of their home, girls are twice as likely to walk to school.
- Boys are 60 percent more likely to walk in leisure time when a park is located within a half-mile of their home.
- This study supports a statement from the American Heart Association made in June of 2008 stating, “walkable” neighborhoods, with adequate sidewalks and areas for physical activity, can play an important role in combating the rise in obesity rates by making it easier to get daily exercise.
Lamber, Marie, Kestens, Yan, Gauvin, Lise, Van Hulst, Andraea and Danie, Mark. “Children Living Near Green Spaces are More Active.” American Heart Association, 2009.
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