The past two decades have uncovered the beneficial relation of physical activity and other health behaviors on brain and cognition, with the majority of data emerging from older adult populations. More recently, a similar research thread has emerged in school-aged children, which offers insight into the relation of physical activity to scholastic performance, providing a real-world application of the benefits observed in the laboratory. Technological advances have similarly furthered our understanding of physical activity effects on cognitive and brain health. Given this emerging body of work, this manuscript reviews the basic findings within the field, but more importantly suggests triggers or signals from the emerging literature that will shape the field in the near future. The overall goal of this body of research is to increase cognitive and brain health to promote effective functioning of individuals across the lifespan.
Charles H. Hillman, Kirk I. Erickson, and Bradley D. Hatfield
Monica A.F. Lounsbery
For children, schools play an important role in providing and promoting physical activity, yet growing school pressure to produce academic achievement gains have limited the priority of physical activity producing programs. The Institute of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Heart Association, and others have developed recommendations for school physical activity policy and there is growing interest in examining the relationship between existing school physical activity policies, school practices, and physical activity. Given that research on school physical activity policy is in its infancy, my goal in writing this paper is to introduce readers to key aspects of school physical activity policy while simultaneously outlining existing research efforts and highlighting the many critical research gaps that still exist. I conclude the paper by linking policy to advocacy and outlining considerations for formulating effective advocacy efforts while emphasizing the need for advocacy research.
Nancy I. Williams, Clara V. Etter, and Jay L. Lieberman
An understanding of the health consequences of abnormal menstrual function is an important consideration for all exercising women. Menstrual disturbances in exercising women are quite common and range in severity from mild to severe and are often associated with bone loss, low energy availability, stress fractures, eating disorders, and poor performance. The key factor that causes menstrual disturbances is low energy availability created by an imbalance of energy intake and energy expenditure that leads to an energy deficit and compensatory metabolic adaptations to maintain energy balance. Practical guidelines for preventing and treating amenorrhea in exercising women include evidence-based dietary practices designed to achieve optimal energy availability. Other factors such as gynecological age, genetics, and one’s susceptibility to psychological stress can modify an individual’s susceptibility to menstrual disturbances caused by low energy availability. Future research should explore the magnitude of these effects in an effort to move toward more individualized prevention and treatment approaches.
Jason R. Carter, Nancy I. Williams, and Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko
Building departmental visibility and support is essential to the success of any kinesiology unit. This paper provides an overview of different strategies taken by three American Kinesiology Association member departments to advance their respective units. Each program was faced with unique institutional goals and structures, yet each institutional example highlights the shared theme of building strategic partnerships and cultivating a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation. Common strategies across the three institutions included a genuine understanding of university priorities and politics, chair and faculty leadership, strong internal and external communication, a willingness to lead and think creatively, and maintaining a focus on academic and educational excellence.
Jerry R. Thomas, Damon Andrew, Patricia A. Moran, Wayne Miller, and Amelia M. Lee
In today’s challenging economic climate at most universities, kinesiology administrators are becoming increasingly aware of the need to participate in activities that will generate alternative revenue sources related to their academic mission. The ways deans and development officers communicate with alumni, potential donors, upper administrative leaders, and legislatures will all impact how successful the efforts to develop funds and partnerships will be. Successful fundraisers are those who can generate strategic alliances, create and market a plan that relates needs to societal issues of public interest and university priorities, and are able to identify partnerships that will produce an increase in resources. This paper provides strategies for identifying and connecting with key donors, building partnerships, developing the plan and cultivating internal and external audiences, aligning needs with university priorities, and working with legislatures.
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes were designed to report outcomes in higher education by specific disciplines and professions, however, universities, states, and accreditation bodies also use these codes in other ways. This paper describes CIP-2010 usage in higher education and how these codes are used in funding public universities in Texas, and summarizes the American Kinesiology Association/National Academy of Kinesiology recommendations to the National Center for Education Statistics on updating kinesiology-related CIP codes. Kinesiology leaders should be knowledgeable about how CIP codes are often used behind the scenes in a variety of ways that affect our faculty, programs, and the field. Greater use of the term kinesiology in many future CIP codes would benefit the field and individual departments seeking alignment with institutional priorities.