Fitness Practices amongst Worksite Wellness Programs: A Scoping Review

Fitness-related practices differ greatly across worksite wellness programs (WPs). Reporting and documentation of such practices are integral to understanding the mechanisms that influence WP success. This review aims to organize the most relevant literature on fitness-related practices amongst WPs according to well-established variables of exercise prescription. A comprehensive search of five academic databases, organizational websites, bibliographies, and the authors’ personal libraries was carried out between October 30, 2017, and January 15, 2018. Data was then abstracted according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) FITT-VP principle of exercise prescription and compared to guidelines for musculoskeletal fitness (MF) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). Emergent themes were also generated. Thirty-eight articles that reported on thirty-one separate programs were included in the review. Only one reported all of the elements needed to satisfy ACSM guidelines for both MF and CRF. Emergent themes included diverse measurement methods, a bias toward aerobic exercise, and incomplete reporting. In conclusion, future studies may benefit the literature by considering universally transferable measurement methods, reporting procedural elements of the program in replicable detail, examining complementary training methods in worksite contexts, and aligning exercise prescriptions with well-established principles and guidelines such as those provided by ACSM.

Food Insecurity and Women’s Health in Canada: Does Northern and Southern Ontario Residency Matter?

In the last decade, a massive body of research on food insecurity and health among women has emerged in various disciplines, including nursing, social work, psychology, and health geography. This article deploys an intersectional lens to identify successful coping mechanisms and the development of resilience in women living in poverty, linking food insecurity with geography, coping strategies, and health. A review of the literature reveals that, despite increasing interest in the health implications of food insecurity across multiple health and social disciplines, little is known about women’s food insecurity in different geographical contexts. This study addresses this gap in knowledge by exploring women’s experiences of food insecurity and the perceived impacts on their physical and mental health in the city of Greater Sudbury in Northern Ontario and the city of London in Southern Ontario, Canada. A purposive sampling technique was used to recruit twenty women from sites where services are provided to poor and/or homeless women. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted, audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were subjected to thematic analysis using NVIVO 11 software. The themes that emerged are congruent with the selected theoretical framework (intersectionality). The key themes identified include food and financial hardship (e.g., food availability, accessibility, and quality; food prices; income and rent), motherhood (e.g., feeding children first), resourcefulness (e.g., food skipping and food stretching) and health perception (e.g., physical health, mental health). The study’s findings have implications for the development of strengths-based and community-based interventions targeting women experiencing food insecurity.

Examining Heterogeneity of Social Support among Asian and Latino Immigrants in the United States: A Latent Class Analysis

Stressors stemming from the migration experience may exacerbate underlying health concerns or initiate new problems, placing immigrants at risk for decreased wellbeing. Social relationships have robust benefits for physical and mental health; however, social networks may be interrupted during migration, leaving immigrants without usual sources of support. Whether migrants develop new social ties and what types of social resources they access post-migration may influence health outcomes. This study examines the variety of social support experiences and whether there are unique differences in support patterns between immigrants and US-born. We argue these differences are integral to health promotion efforts. Drawing on data from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) (n = 4639), we use latent class analysis (LCA) and multinomial logistic regression to explore unique patterns and predictors of social support from family, friends, and co-religionists. Results indicate six unique patterns of social support: High Support (26%), Family and Peer-Connected (24%), Family-Centered (23%), Low Support (11%), Friend-Centered (9%), and Religious (8%). Immigrant status is predictive of membership in the Low Support, Religious, and Family-Centered subgroups. Immigrants are less likely than US-born to access support from all sources other than implicit support from co-religionists. Findings lend empirical support from a nationally representative study to the notion that migration may disrupt usual sources of support and influence subsequent support network composition and draw attention to the potential health consequences for immigrants without strong social relationships. Implications highlight the need for social support-building efforts in new and established immigrant communities.