Current recommendations for physical activity in young people state that those between 5 and 18 years of age should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity per day. Emerging evidence suggest that the majority of young people do not achieve the recommended levels of activity which may influence on their health. On the opposite end of the energy expenditure spectrum, sedentary time has been recognised as a potential risk factor for chronic disease in adults. Recent systematic reviews have suggested there is little evidence for a prospective association between baseline time spent sedentary and later health outcomes. There is a paucity of data examining the prospective associations between objectively measures physical activity and health outcomes. However, the cross-sectional evidence linking time in moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity with cardio-metabolic health outcomes is consistent with potentially greater magnitude of association for more vigorous intensity activity. Further, time spent sedentary appears unrelated to these outcomes following appropriate adjustments for time in moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity. The appropriate amount of time in moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity needed to prevent cardiovascular dysfunction in young people needs to be determined and the potential benefits of more vigorous intensity physical activity established. Additional large scale, well-designed prospective studies and randomised controlled trials are warranted to address these uncertainties.
The purpose of this article is to review some current topics in the research of psychology for physical activity promotion: 1) psychological mechanisms of physical activity behavioral changes through interventions, 2) roles of environmental factors in physical activity promotion, and 3) associations of motivational factors with physical activity participation. According to recent studies regarding psychological mechanisms, enhancing self-regulation (self-planning, goal-setting, self-monitoring, and self-evaluation) appears to be important in promoting physical activity during interventions. Motivational studies indicate that intrinsic motivations (e.g., enjoyment, challenge, and satisfaction) are more closely associated with physical activity participations than extrinsic motivations (e.g., recommendations and rewards from others, or perceived obligation). Environmental studies have begun to identify the interactions between environmental and personal factors in predicting physical activity, and to strengthen the evidence for the environmental influences on physical activity. Also, policy research has been conducted in order to improve the feasibility of changing environmental factors. Further studies examining effective physical activity promotion strategies optimized by personal and environmental factors, and studies confirming feasibility of disseminating psychology-based physical activity interventions are recommended.
“NON COMMUNICABLE DISEASE PREVENTION: Investments that Work for Physical Activity” was published as a complementary document of the “Toronto Charter for Physical Activity: A Global Call for Action (May, 2010)” in February, 2011. The document was also suggested by the Global Advocacy Council for Physical Activity and leading academics in the International Society of Physical Activity and Health. The authors participating in the 4th International Congress of Physical Activity and Public Health (Sydney, Australia in October-November, 2012) translated the document into Japanese. Related information, background, procedure of translation, and contents of the document were introduced in this article. In this new document, 7 best investments for physical activity promotion which are supported by good evidence of effectiveness and that have worldwide applicability were suggested: 1) ‘Whole-of-school’ programs, 2) Transport policies and systems that prioritise walking, cycling and public transport, 3) Urban design regulations and infrastructure that provide for equitable and safe access for recreational physical activity, and recreational and transport-related walking and cycling across the life course, 4) Physical activity and NCD (non communicable disease) prevention integrated into primary health care systems, 5) Public education, including mass media to raise awareness and change social norms on physical activity, 6) Community-wide programs involving multiple settings and sectors and that mobilize and integrate community engagement and resources, and 7) Sports systems and programs that promote ‘sport for all’ and encourage participation across the life span. To reduce the burden of NCD and contribute to improving the quality of life (QOL) and the living environments, it is emphasized that these 7 investments for physical activity promotion should be implemented in many countries with adequate resources and at a population level. The Japanese and original (English) version are attached as the Appendix. We expect this new document to be used in various ways as well as the ‘Toronto Charter’.