The status of physical activity in higher education has changed dramatically over the past 100 years. In this paper, we aim to (a) provide a brief history of physical activity on campus; (b) describe how that activity has changed from a requirement to an elective; (c) illustrate how mental health (particularly stress, anxiety, and depression) has changed in college students over the past few decades; and (d) describe the relationships between physical activity and mental health, particularly in college students. The paper culminates with recommendations for how colleges and universities might facilitate better student mental health through physical activity. There is room to improve the physical activity and mental health of college students, realigning higher education with the promotion of mens sana in corpore sano.
Steven J. Petruzzello and Allyson G. Box
Jessica L. Kutz, Melissa Bopp, and Lori A. Gravish Hurtack
As the need for qualified medical and allied health professions has grown, so too have the natural feeder undergraduate programs of kinesiology across the country. With an impending “enrollment cliff,” it is necessary to assess the needs of our students and be proactive in addressing curricular issues, initiatives, internship opportunities, and academic advising support. The purpose of this article is to highlight formal and informal data collection strategies and suggest solutions to undergraduate issues that pertain to retention and success. Data from current students and alumni shed light on issues that plague kinesiology programs and present unique challenges to students as they attempt to pursue careers in the medical and allied health fields. Two R1 kinesiology programs identified similarly themed issues using informal and formal data collection approaches. Those themes were undergraduate major identification, career options, curricular issues, financial concern, and emotional fortitude. Suggested solutions and current best practices are provided to address the common themes that hold our undergraduates back from achieving their career goals.
Bradley J. Cardinal
Concerns about college and university student health date back to at least the mid-19th century. These concerns were addressed through the development and implementation of required, service-based physical activity education programs. In the 1920s–1930s, 97% of American colleges and universities offered such programs. Today less than 40% do. However, student health issues persist. This essay asserts that kinesiology departments are best suited to address these needs by delivering physical activity education courses through their institution’s general education curriculum. General education courses are those that every student must take in order to develop the competencies necessary for living a full and complete life and contributing to society. Given the growing costs of higher education, any such requirement must be justifiable. Therefore, implementing and sustaining a physical activity education general education requirement is not for the faint of heart; it requires effort, resources, support, and time. This essay explores these issues.
Developmental movement unfolds across multiple levels of a person’s biological hierarchy, and in multiple time frames. This article addresses some of the complexity of human moving, learning, and development that is captured in the lessons of the Feldenkrais Method®. It provides an overview of who Moshe Feldenkrais was and how he synthesized a body of work characterized by ontological, epistemological, and ethical stances that make his method unusual and provocative. An overview of his group and individual lessons, with examples, is followed by a closer look at how the complexity of the Feldenkrais method can be understood.
David I. Anderson
The goal of this special issue of Kinesiology Review is to expose kinesiology to a body of knowledge that is unfamiliar to most in the field. That body of knowledge is broad, deep, rich, and enduring. In addition, it brings with it a skill set that could be extremely helpful to professional practice, whether in teaching, coaching, training, health work, or rehabilitation. The body of knowledge and skills comes from a loosely defined field of study I have referred to as “complementary and alternative approaches to movement education” (CAAME). The field of CAAME is as diverse as the field of kinesiology. This introductory article focuses on what the field of CAAME has to teach kinesiology and what the field could learn from kinesiology. The overarching aim of the special issue is to foster dialogue and collaboration between students and scholars of kinesiology and practitioners of CAAME.
Bradford C. Bennett
Thomas Hanna’s somatic work has been essential to the development of the field of somatic education. From redefining the word “somatic” and developing the concept of somatics as a field of study, to starting the magazine/journal Somatics, to developing theories and practices of somatic education, Hanna greatly influenced this fledgling area of work. This article presents the somatic philosophy, theories, and education techniques of Hanna, focusing on the aspects that are unique to this somatic explorer. Hanna’s techniques are contrasted to the traditional somatic movement training of Tai Chi. The difficulties of researching a learning such as somatic education are discussed. Ideas are presented on how kinesiology and somatic education can inform each other.
Ezequiel Morsella, Anthony G. Velasquez, Jessica K. Yankulova, Yanming Li, Christina Y. Wong, and Dennis Lambert
The function of the conscious field remains mysterious from a scientific point of view. This article reviews theoretical approaches (passive frame theory and ideomotor approaches) that elucidate how the conscious field is intimately related to a special kind of action selection. This form of action selection is peculiar to the skeletal-muscle output system. The notion of encapsulation and how it explains many properties of the conscious field are discussed, including why the conscious field, though in the service of adaptive action, contains contents that are not action-relevant; why the field has a first-person perspective; and why the field is so thorough, in terms of its contents, the contrasts among contents, and the representation of spatial layout. The authors discuss subordinate encapsulation and the hypothesis that the conscious field is what allows for encapsulated conscious contents to influence action selection collectively, yielding what in everyday life is called voluntary behavior.
Patricia Vertinsky and Alison Wrynn
Internationally acclaimed sport historian Roberta Park was among the Academy of Kinesiology’s leading scholars. Her extensive career at the University of California, Berkeley, was a powerful example of one woman’s agency and success in the hierarchical world of higher education. Systematically opening up the breadth of embodied and gendered practices deemed suitable for examination by sport historians, Park’s pioneering scholarship helped turn a narrow lane into the broad highway of sport history. She demonstrated that it is neither possible nor desirable to study the history of medicine, health, or fitness without accounting for the body, raising provocative questions about the historical origins of training regimens for sport and exercise, and excavating the histories of the biomedical sciences to better understand the antecedents of sports medicine and exercise science. She never abandoned her faith in the importance of the profession of physical education, properly supported by scholarly enquiry, holding up Berkeley’s foundational program as a template to guide physical education’s future and grieving its demise in 1997.
After defining somaesthetics and explaining the terms of its definition, this paper distinguishes between somaesthetics and other somatic disciplines concerned with improving the quality of our movement. The paper then outlines the roots of somaesthetics in pragmatist philosophy and the philosophical idea of the holistic art of living that combines cognitive, aesthetic, and ethical concerns. The next section discusses the three branches of somaesthetics and its three dimensions while also mapping their interrelations. After a section that contextualizes somaesthetics in relation to affect theory and cognitive science and that briefly notes some of its many interdisciplinary applications, the paper concludes with a discussion of the somaesthetic approach to the issue of norms and values in somatic experience, inquiry, and practice.
Charlotte Woods, Lesley Glover, and Julia Woodman
The Alexander technique is an educational self-development self-management method with therapeutic benefits. The primary focus of the technique is learning about the self, conceptualized as a mind–body unity. Skills in the technique are gained experientially, including through hands-on and spoken guidance from a certified Alexander teacher, often using everyday movement such as walking and standing. In this article the authors summarize key evidence for the effectiveness of learning the Alexander technique and describe how the method was developed. They attempt to convey a sense of the unique all-encompassing and fundamental nature of the technique by exploring the perspectives of those engaged in teaching and learning it and conclude by bringing together elements of this account with relevant strands of qualitative research to view this lived experience in a broader context.