Postural instability, falls, and fear of falling that accompany frailty with aging and disease form major impediments to physical activity. In this article we present a theoretical framework that may help researchers and practitioners in the development and delivery of intervention programs aimed at reducing falls and improving postural stability and locomotion in older individuals and in those with disability due to disease. Based on a review of the dynamical and complex systems perspectives of movement coordination and control, we show that 1) central to developing a movement-based intervention program aimed at fall reduction and prevention is the notion that variability can play a functional role and facilitate movement adaptability, 2) intervention programs aimed at fall reduction should focus more on coordination and stability boundary measures instead of traditional gait and posture outcome variables, and 3) noise-based intervention techniques using stochastic resonance may offer external aids to improve dynamic balance control.
Richard E.A. van Emmerik, Stephanie L. Jones, Michael A. Busa, and Jennifer L. Baird
R. Scott Kretchmar
The 2012 Academy meeting focused on research related to increasing levels of physical activity and promoting persistence. Speakers agreed that answers would be hard to come by but that progress was possible. Emphases for potential solutions ranged from the cellular to the cultural, from neural mechanisms to symbolic processes, from particle physics to philosophy. Strategies for intervention were diverse and refected a series of dynamical tensions—behavioral and nonbehavioral, cognitive and noncognitive, traditional and nontra-ditional, environmental and motivational, and finally medical in contrast to educational. It is likely, given the complexities inherent in increasing movement behaviors and assuring persistence, that various blends of solutions emerging from multiple points on the disciplinary landscape and honoring truths that run across these strategic tensions will be needed.
Barbara E. Ainsworth and Cheryl Der Ananian
There is a growing recognition of the need for the primary prevention of chronic illnesses across the lifespan. In recent years, diseases that were formerly associated with adulthood such as diabetes are being diagnosed in adolescents and young adults. While there have been many prevention efforts focusing on health in children and adolescents, there is a limited body of research examining prevention in young adults. This article examines the concept of wellness in the Millennial generation and describes how their life course experiences impact seven domains of wellness. Specifically, this article describes the period and cohort effects that influence the domains of wellness and how the Millennial generation differs from other generations in these aspects of wellness. Finally, this paper provides an overview of the technological and cultural influences on wellness in the Millennial generation.
David K. Wiggins
This essay examines the evolution of highly organized youth sports in the United States. Through an examination of both secondary and primary source material, an analysis is made of children's participation in sport from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day. Particular attention is paid to the types of sports programs established for children as well as the various discussions involving the supposed benefits and negative aspects of youth sports. Included is information on Progressive Reformers, youth sport programs outside of educational institutions, and guidelines, reports, assessments, and scholarly evaluation of children and their involvement in sport.
What I seek to achieve in this article is an exploration of how some of the distilled and assembled principles of behavior can be applied to human goals, aspirations, and performance writ large. I look to do this through an analysis of various areas of application, although the primary framework upon which I erect this discourse is my own autobiographical progress in science. My grounding in formal research was derived from motor learning and control and it then developed into an examination of all human interaction with technical systems under the general title human factors/ergonomics. In showing an indissoluble link between the foundations of motor control and the technological mediation of human factors and ergonomics, I hope to inform and inspire their consideration of the greater aspirations for all of kinesiological science. In terms of specifics, I discuss the work my laboratory has produced over a number of decades on issues such as driving, fight, and other human-augmenting technologies, with a special focus on performance under stress and high workload conditions. To conclude, I discuss, dispute, and finally dispense with the proposition that science and purpose (proximal understanding and ultimate meaning) can be dissociated. I hope to demonstrate why the foregoing principles and their ubiquitous application mean that science in general bears a heavy, if unacknowledged burden with respect to the current failings, especially of Western society.