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Special Issue "Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Health and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 August 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Guillermo Felipe López Sánchez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Murcia, 30720 Murcia, Spain
Interests: health habits; diet; physical activity; screen time; lifestyle; physical fitness; occupational health; sedentarism
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The main aim of this Special Issue is to publish high-quality, multidisciplinary research relating to physical activity, health, and sustainability. We are particularly interested in the benefits of physical activity for health (physical and mental) and for a sustainable development. Manuscripts utilising any method are welcome (e.g., epidemiology, evaluation of interventions, reviews, or those of a qualitative nature). All manuscripts will be peer reviewed by experts in the field and should be submitted by 1 June 2021.

Dr. Guillermo Felipe López Sánchez
Dr. Lee Smith
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • physical activity
  • health
  • sustainability

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Article
Individual and Economic Characteristics as Determinants of Brazilian Runners’ Motivation
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10178; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810178 - 11 Sep 2021
Viewed by 427
Abstract
Due to differences in runners’ profiles, which can be related to sociodemographic characteristics, motivations for running can vary. This study aimed to identify Brazilian runners’ motivations for their practice, and the factors associated among runners who point to look for performance improvement as [...] Read more.
Due to differences in runners’ profiles, which can be related to sociodemographic characteristics, motivations for running can vary. This study aimed to identify Brazilian runners’ motivations for their practice, and the factors associated among runners who point to look for performance improvement as their main motivation. The sample comprised 1097 non-professional road runners. The questionnaire “Profile characterization and associated factors for runner’s performance” was used. The results showed that the oldest athletes and those with the highest income levels presented lower likelihood of reporting performance improvement as their main motivation for taking part in running. In terms of income level, results showed that as this increased, there was a lower chance of getting involved in practice with a focus on incremental improvements in performance. Differences between sexes were also observed, with men more likely to indicate performance improvement as their motivation for running. In Brazil, most runners reported “health” as their main motivation for running. Women, older runners, and those with higher income levels were less likely to point to performance improvements as their main motivation for taking up running. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
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Article
Association between Physical Activity and Comorbidities in Spanish People with Asthma-COPD Overlap
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7580; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13147580 - 07 Jul 2021
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are important conditions which often coexist. Higher rates of comorbidities among people with asthma-COPD overlap (ACO) may complicate clinical management. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of 30 different comorbidities and to [...] Read more.
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are important conditions which often coexist. Higher rates of comorbidities among people with asthma-COPD overlap (ACO) may complicate clinical management. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of 30 different comorbidities and to analyze associations between these comorbidities and physical activity (PA) in Spanish people with ACO. Cross-sectional data from the Spanish National Health Survey 2017 were analyzed. A total of 198 Spanish people with ACO aged 15–69 years (60.6% women) were included in this study. PA was measured with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short form. Diagnosis of chronic conditions were self-reported. Associations between PA and comorbidities were analyzed using multivariable logistic regression models. The most prevalent comorbidities were chronic allergy (58.1%), chronic lumbar pain (42.4%), chronic cervical pain (38.4%), hypertension (33.3%) and arthrosis (31.8%). A PA level lower than 600 MET·min/week was significantly associated with urinary incontinence (OR = 3.499, 95% CI = 1.369–8.944) and osteoporosis (OR = 3.056, 95% CI = 1.094–8.538) in the final adjusted model. Therefore, the potential influence of PA on reducing the risk of these conditions among people with ACO should be considered, not only because of the health benefits, but also because PA can contribute to a more sustainable world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
Article
Motivational Differences between 5K Runners, Marathoners and Ultramarathoners in Poland
Sustainability 2021, 13(12), 6980; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13126980 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 519
Abstract
The aim of the study was to determine the reasons for practicing different running distances (5K run, marathon, and ultramarathon), and to analyze the differences in each type according to gender, age, and marital status. An empirical study was conducted during the 2020 [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to determine the reasons for practicing different running distances (5K run, marathon, and ultramarathon), and to analyze the differences in each type according to gender, age, and marital status. An empirical study was conducted during the 2020 Karkonosze Winter Ultramarathon, 20th PKO Poznan Marathon, and 5K run—Parkrun Poznan and City Trail, over the course of which we interviewed 925 runners. A total of 267 ultramarathoners, 493 marathon runners, and 165 Parkrun and City Trail participants took part in the cross-sectional study, which used the diagnostic survey method. The questionnaire employed the division of motives used by the Motivation of Marathoners Scale (MOMS) by Masters et al., adapted to the Polish language by Dybała. No significant differences were found in any of the disciplines based on gender or marital status, although the results showed that weight concern increased with increasing age range in all the running distances analyzed. In addition, in 5K run and marathon runners, weight concern decreased in the 36 to 50 age range, but subsequently increased in those over 51 years of age. Therefore, it will be important for coaches and other professionals to consider athletes’ age when trying to understand their motives to participate in different disciplines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
Article
Men’s and Women’s Style of Living and Motivation to Run in Charity Events
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5287; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13095287 - 09 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 700
Abstract
Running has been very popular for years, especially in organized mass runs. Various running events take place all over the world, at different distances and locations, including charity running events. However, there has not been any research on the social impact of these [...] Read more.
Running has been very popular for years, especially in organized mass runs. Various running events take place all over the world, at different distances and locations, including charity running events. However, there has not been any research on the social impact of these events on participants to date. This article/paper is an attempt to remedy this situation. The authors conducted their research by the diagnostic survey method using standardized interview technique during the 6th Santa Claus Run organized in Poznan on the day of Santa Claus. A sample of 136 runners: 49 male respondents and 87 female respondents participated in the event voluntarily and completed a questionnaire. Therefore, the main goal of the study was to recognize the relationship between the lifestyles of men and women in the context of participation in a charity running event, in order to evaluate the differences between them. The specific goal was to discern the motives to take part in such kind of an event, as well as to find out what influence the participation in a charity run has on the respondents, both those leading an active and passive lifestyle. The most important result and the only one statistically significant difference in the conducted study was the indication that women have more empathy and participate more often than men in charity runs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
Article
A New Equation to Estimate Energy Expenditure Using Heart Rate in Children
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5092; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13095092 - 01 May 2021
Viewed by 484
Abstract
The first aim of this study was to develop equations to predict physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) for children utilizing heart rate monitors (HRM) and vector magnitudes (VM) from accelerometers. The second aim was to cross-validate the developed PAEE prediction equations and compare [...] Read more.
The first aim of this study was to develop equations to predict physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) for children utilizing heart rate monitors (HRM) and vector magnitudes (VM) from accelerometers. The second aim was to cross-validate the developed PAEE prediction equations and compare the equations to the pre-existing accelerometer-based PAEE equation (i.e., Trost). Seventy-five students in elementary school (from 10 to 13 years old) were classified into an equation calibration group (N = 50, 33 boys and 17 girls) and a cross-validation group (N = 25, 20 boys and 5 girls). Participants simultaneously wore a portable indirect calorimeter (Cosmed’s K4b2), a heart rate monitor on the chest, and an accelerometer on the right side of the waist. Then, the participants performed a series of various intensity activities. The energy expenditure (EE) measured by K4b2 was set as the dependent variable. Multiple regression analysis was performed to derive the heart rate and accelerometer-based equations. The heart-rate-based EE equation had an explanatory power of adj. R2 = 0.814 and the accelerometer-based EE equation had an explanatory power of adj. R2 = 0.802. The VM-based EE indicated high mean absolute percent errors (MAPE) at light, moderate, and vigorous intensity. The heart-rate-based EE was included in the range of equivalence limit in all activities, but the VM and pre-existing equation showed some overestimation beyond the equivalence range. The agreement errors between the criterion EE and the estimated EE were lower in the heart-rate-based equation than the accelerometer-based equations (i.e., VM and Trost). The approach with the heart-rate-based EE equation demonstrated higher accuracy than the accelerometer-based EE equations. The results of the current study indicate that the heart-rate-based PAEE equation can be a potential method for estimating children’s PAEE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
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Article
Building Peace through Sports Projects: A Scoping Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13042129 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 978
Abstract
The term peacebuilding has gained traction in academic works since introduction in the 1960s. In recent decades, sport for development and peace (SDP) has also captured the interest of the academic community, with a growing field of work. This scoping review identifies and [...] Read more.
The term peacebuilding has gained traction in academic works since introduction in the 1960s. In recent decades, sport for development and peace (SDP) has also captured the interest of the academic community, with a growing field of work. This scoping review identifies and considers the academic literature on SDP projects deployed as peacebuilding tools in post-conflict communities, to gain a greater understanding of those projects and draw inferences from them collectively. Using strict inclusion criteria, results of database searches were narrowed down to 30 publications, which the review explored through comparing the publications and their findings, to reveal the range of disciplines this research is emerging from, the countries projects are operating in, the demographics targeted, and other key data. The resulting conclusion is that there is scope for more targeted studies to clarify specific demographics to include, whether there is an ideal age to engage with youth, or an optimal timeframe for involvement. Many of the publications reference the importance of being part of broader initiatives, but the best context in which to utilise sport, and how much of an impact is being made on the wider communities, is yet to be determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
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Article
The Structural Relationship between Exercise Frequency, Social Health, and Happiness in Adolescents
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1050; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13031050 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1695
Abstract
The aim of this study was to verify the relations between exercise frequency, social relationships, sense of community, and subjective happiness among adolescents. The data analysed in the study were from the 11th Korean Child–Adolescent Happiness Index conducted by the Korean Bang Jeong [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to verify the relations between exercise frequency, social relationships, sense of community, and subjective happiness among adolescents. The data analysed in the study were from the 11th Korean Child–Adolescent Happiness Index conducted by the Korean Bang Jeong Hwan Foundation in 2019. The data consisted of questionnaire responses from 5094 middle-school and high-school students. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, reliability analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, model validity and fit analysis, path analysis, and effects analysis. The results showed that exercise frequency was associated with social relationships, sense of community, and subjective happiness in adolescents, and a comprehensive examination of relations between exercise frequency, a part of social relationships, sense of community, and subjective happiness was confirmed. It can be concluded that adolescents who participate in frequent exercise become more socially adept, which could in turn make them happier. Policymakers and stakeholders, including educational institutions and parents, should therefore promote adolescent participation in exercise and sports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
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Article
The Impact of Measures Recommended by the Government to Limit the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Physical Activity Levels, Quality of Life, and Mental Health of Brazilians
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9072; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219072 - 31 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1582
Abstract
To reduce transmission of the coronavirus, the Brazilian government adopted containment measures to control the virus’ spread, including limitations to the practice of physical activity. It was aimed to analyze the effects of COVID-19 quarantine on physical activity levels, energy expenditure, quality of [...] Read more.
To reduce transmission of the coronavirus, the Brazilian government adopted containment measures to control the virus’ spread, including limitations to the practice of physical activity. It was aimed to analyze the effects of COVID-19 quarantine on physical activity levels, energy expenditure, quality of life, and level of stress in a sample of the Brazilian population. The sample included 426 participants (7 to 80 years). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire, Short form survey-36 (SF-36), and Stress Perception Scale, were used to assess the level of physical activity, quality of life and stress, respectively. The anthropometric data was used to the assessment of body mass index and basal metabolic rate. Body weight increased significantly in all sample (p < 0.05). During the pandemic, 84% of the sample indicated a low level of physical activity. Furthermore, weekly energy expenditure decreased significantly in all age groups during the pandemic (children p < 0.0001; adolescents: p < 0.0001; adults p < 0.001, and elderly p < 0.0001). All aspects of quality of life, significantly reduced in both sexes in all age groups (p < 0.05). With the exception of children, stress levels increased significantly during the pandemic (adolescents: male: p = 0.003, female: p < 0.05; adults: male: p = 0.003, female: p = 0.01, and elderly: male: p = 0.02, female: p = 0.03). Findings from the present study suggests that COVID-19 social isolation has negatively affected Brazilian’ physical activity and quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
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Article
Does Online Social Connectivity Promote Physical Activity in a Wearable Tracker-Based Intervention? A Pilot Randomized Controlled Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8803; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12218803 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 680
Abstract
Wearable activity trackers have gained popularity among individuals who want to track their physical activity (PA). The features of wearable tracking technology that are known to facilitate positive behavior changes such as self-monitoring and social connectedness) are well documented; yet, the existing evidence [...] Read more.
Wearable activity trackers have gained popularity among individuals who want to track their physical activity (PA). The features of wearable tracking technology that are known to facilitate positive behavior changes such as self-monitoring and social connectedness) are well documented; yet, the existing evidence is not conclusive in the literature requiring further investigation. This study was an 8-week pilot randomized controlled study examining the effectiveness of PA intervention incorporating a wearable activity tracker’s online connectivity feature. Forty participants were equally randomized into either an individual-based (n = 20) or a connected group (n = 20). A Jawbone UP24 tracker was provided to all participants in both groups as a means of self-monitoring PA for eight weeks, but the connected group was additionally instructed to share their PA levels with the others using the accompanying smartphone application. Participants’ weekly step counts were evaluated each week to examine the change in PA. Participants’ biometric variables such as body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, and psychological status, including self-efficacy (SE) and exercise motivation (EM), were measured from both groups before and after the intervention period. Additionally, the social support questionnaire (SSQ) was measured among the connected group. The statistical significance level was set at <0.05. The average step counts for eight weeks were significantly increased only in the connected group (p < 0.001). Significant differences in step count improved from the baseline to week 8 in the connected user group (p < 0.01), but only baseline vs. week 7 in the individual users. Also, no significant interaction effects for biometric variables, EM, and SE were founded. However, SSQ was significantly improved in the connected user group (p < 0.001). PA intervention combining a wearable activity tracker and online social connectivity feature shows a greater effectiveness of promoting PA than a wearable tracker alone Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
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Article
Physical Activity and Its Relationship with Life Satisfaction among Middle School Students: A Cross-Culture Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6932; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12176932 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 655
Abstract
This study examined the association between physical activity (PA) levels and life satisfaction for middle school students from Macau, Taipei, and Qianjiang. A total of 1002 middle school students (grades 7 to 9) were recruited in 2015 from three cities (Macau, N = [...] Read more.
This study examined the association between physical activity (PA) levels and life satisfaction for middle school students from Macau, Taipei, and Qianjiang. A total of 1002 middle school students (grades 7 to 9) were recruited in 2015 from three cities (Macau, N = 322; Taipei, N = 325; and Qianjiang, N = 355). Physical Activity Rank Scale-3 was used to evaluate the frequency, intensity, and duration of the PA. Further, students’ PA behaviors and life satisfaction were assessed using the Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS) devised by Zhang. Descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation, t-test, and one-way ANOVA were conducted to process the data. In both Macau and Taipei, the life satisfaction of adolescents was significantly associated with adolescents’ amount of PA (p < 0.05). A significant relationship was observed between self-satisfaction and PA in students from both Macau and Taipei (p < 0.05). The study results indicate the importance of life experience in PA. The more PA that a student engaged in, the higher the level of life satisfaction they obtained. There was a significant difference in the overall life satisfaction among adolescents in Macau, Taipei, and Qianjiang. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
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Article
Immediate Impact of the COVID-19 Confinement on Physical Activity Levels in Spanish Adults
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5708; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12145708 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 3248
Abstract
Enacted measures to control the spread of COVID-19 disease such as compulsory confinement may influence health behaviors. The present study investigated changes in physical activity (PA) levels during the first days of confinement. Using an online survey, the Spanish population (n = 2042, [...] Read more.
Enacted measures to control the spread of COVID-19 disease such as compulsory confinement may influence health behaviors. The present study investigated changes in physical activity (PA) levels during the first days of confinement. Using an online survey, the Spanish population (n = 2042, 54% women, age 35.9 (SD 13.6) years) replied to questions concerning sociodemographic characteristics as well as PA behavior before and during the first week of enacted isolation. Physical activity vital sign (PAVS) short form was used to estimate weekly minutes of PA before and during the isolation period. Statistical analysis used the following tests: Mc Nemar Chi-squared tests, independent and paired samples t-test, and effect size (Cohen’s d). During the first week of confinement, participants reduced their weekly PA levels by 20% (~45.2 weekly minutes (95% CI: 37.4−53.0)). This led to a decrease from 60.6% to 48.9% (difference: 11.7%) (p < 0.0001) in the number of participants meeting the recommended World Health Organization (WHO) PA levels. Subgroups including men, participants aged 43 or over, and those not holding a university degree had the greatest reductions in both weekly minutes of PA and adherence to guidelines. The PA levels of the Spanish population generally declined during the first days of COVID-19 confinement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
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Review

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Review
Changes in Workers’ Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9524; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179524 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 586
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 has changed the world and strongly affected the health of the people and the quality of their life. These changes might impact employees’ physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB). This study aimed to summarize the literature focusing on the COVID-19-caused [...] Read more.
Background: COVID-19 has changed the world and strongly affected the health of the people and the quality of their life. These changes might impact employees’ physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB). This study aimed to summarize the literature focusing on the COVID-19-caused changes in physical activity and sedentary behavior among the adult working population. Methods: Literature searches were conducted in June 2021 using multiple electronic databases. The following keywords and synonyms were used during the searching process: physical activity, sedentary behavior, COVID-19, employee. After the data cleaning process (duplicates, inclusion criteria), the title and the abstract of all manuscripts from the searches were screened independently by two reviewers. Results: Thirty-nine manuscripts were selected as a result of the searching process. Of these, 5 were SB related, 15 were PA related and 19 addressed both PA and SB. There were longitudinal (10), cross-sectional (28) and a case study (1) in the selected manuscripts. The majority of studies were conducted in the USA (6) and Europe (18), and four studies examined the PA and/or SB in multiple countries. The majority (34 studies) of the studies used subjective, self-reported, but mostly before-validated questionnaires. Objective measures were less common and used only 12.8% of the examined studies. Moreover, 76.4% of the studies described an overall decrease in the amount of PA during the COVID-19 pandemic. In three cases, researchers observed an increase in PA among the workers. Five studies reported no significant changes in the amount of PA during the pandemic. As far as SB is concerned, 18 out of 24 of the studies reported an overall increase in the amount of SB between the two periods. Four manuscripts reported no significant change in the amount of SB, and there was only one manuscript in the examined studies that reported an overall decrease in the SB time before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion: There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic, including lockdown and work from home (WFH) policies, impaired the PA and SB level of the populations. This period has delivered an important message for the adult working population as well. They should be as active as possible and avoid high levels of SB and uninterrupted sitting time. Therefore, organizations, policies and public health bodies should motivate workers, especially office workers, to be more active and interventions must be developed to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 on PA and SB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Health and Sustainability)
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