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1.  Population-Based Estimates of Physical Activity for Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: A Cautionary Tale of Potential Confounding by Weight Status  
Journal of Obesity  2010;2011:561432.
At a population level, the method used to determine those meeting physical activity guidelines has important implications, as estimating “sufficient” physical activity might be confounded by weight status. The objective of this study was to test the difference between three methods in estimating the prevalence of “sufficient activity” among Canadian adults with type 2 diabetes in a large population sample (N = 1614) while considering the role of weight status as a potential confounder. Our results revealed that estimates of physical activity levels vary by BMI categories, depending on the methods examined. Although physical activity levels were lower in the obese, their energy expenditure estimates were not different from those who were overweight or of a healthy weight. The implications of these findings are that biased estimates of physical activity at a population level may result in inappropriate classification of adults with type 2 diabetes as “sufficiently active” and that the inclusion of body weight in estimating physical activity prevalence should be approached with caution.
PMCID: PMC2943130  PMID: 20871829
2.  A test of cognitive mediation in a 12-month physical activity workplace intervention: does it explain behaviour change in women? 
Attempts to demonstrate the efficacy of interventions aimed at increasing physical activity (PA) have been mixed. Further, studies are seldom designed in a manner that facilitates the understanding of how or why a treatment is effective or ineffective and PA intervention designs should be guided by a heavier reliance upon behavioral theory. The use of a mediating variable framework offers a systematic methodological approach to testing the role of theory, and could also identify the effectiveness of specific intervention components. The primary purpose of this paper was to test the mediating role that cognitive constructs may have played in regards to the positive effect that a workplace behavioral intervention had on leisure-time PA for women. A subsidiary purpose was to examine the cross-sectional relationships of these cognitive constructs with PA behavior.
The Physical Activity Workplace Study was a randomized controlled trial which compared the effects of stage-matched and standard print materials upon self-reported leisure-time PA, within a workplace sample at 6 and 12-months. In this secondary analysis we examined the mediation effects of 14 psychosocial constructs across 3 major social-cognitive theories which were operationalized for the intervention materials and measured at baseline, 6 and 12-months. We examined change in PA and change in the psychological constructs employing a mediation strategy proposed by Baron and Kenny for: (1) the first 6-months (i.e., initial change), (2) the second 6-months (i.e., delayed change), and (3) the entire 12-months (overall change) of the study on 323 women (n = 213 control/standard materials group; n = 110 stage-matched materials group).
Of the 14 constructs and 42 tests (including initial, delayed and overall change) two positive results were identified (i.e., overall change in pros, initial change in experiential powerful intervention approaches processes), with very small effect sizes. However, these mediating results were eliminated after adjusting for the multiple statistical tests.
The intervention did not change these mediators in any substantive way, and show a similar pattern to prior research where interventions generally do not result in a change in mediation of behavior change. It is important to report mediation results in randomized controlled trials whether the findings are null or positive. Future studies may wish to focus on more detailed dose-response issues between mediators and behavior, the inclusion of moderators that could affect individual change, or different mediator constructs at higher levels of measurement specificity. Continued work on innovative and more powerful PA intervention approaches are needed.
PMCID: PMC2874508  PMID: 20438632
3.  ParticipACTION: Baseline assessment of the 'new ParticipACTION': A quantitative survey of Canadian organizational awareness and capacity 
ParticipACTION is a Canadian physical activity (PA) communications and social marketing organization that was relaunched in 2007 after a six-year hiatus. This study assesses the baseline awareness and capacity of Canadian organizations that promote physical activity, to adopt, implement and promote ParticipACTION's physical activity campaign. The three objectives were: (1) to determine organizational awareness of both the 'original' and 'new' ParticipACTION; (2) to report baseline levels of three organizational capacity domains (i.e., to adopt, implement and externally promote physical activity initiatives); and, (3) to explore potential differences in those domains based on organizational size, sector and primary mandate.
Organizations at local, provincial/territorial, and national levels were sent an invitation via email prior to the official launch of ParticipACTION to complete an on-line survey. The survey assessed their organization's capacity to adopt, implement and externally promote a new physical activity campaign within their organizational mandates. Descriptive statistics were employed to address the first two study objectives. A series of one-way analysis of variance were conducted to examine the third objective.
The response rate was 29.7% (268/902). The majority of responding organizations had over 40 employees and had operated for over 10 years. Education was the most common primary mandate, followed by sport and recreation. Organizations were evenly distributed between government and not-for-profits. Approximately 96% of respondents had heard of the 'original' ParticipACTION while 54.6% had heard of the 'new' ParticipACTION (Objective 1). Findings indicate good organizational capacity in Canada to promote physical activity (Objective 2) based on reported means of approximately 4.0 (on 5-point scales) for capacity to adopt, implement, and externally promote new physical activity campaigns. Capacity to adopt new physical activity campaigns differed by organizational sector and mandate, and capacity to implement differed by organizational mandate (Objective 3).
At baseline, and without specific details of the campaign, respondents believe they have good capacity to work with ParticipACTION. ParticipACTION may do well to capitalize on the existing strong organizational capacity components of leadership, infrastructure and 'will' of national organizations to facilitate the success of its future campaigns.
PMCID: PMC2799383  PMID: 19995457

Results 1-3 (3)