In developing a senior lecture for the 2014 national meeting of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, I had the opportunity to reflect upon a career of research and to focus on three interesting questions that my colleagues and I have attempted to address. These questions have led to several studies that all revolve around identifying ways to increase the effects of exercise on cognitive performance. In particular, the questions examine the possibility of increasing effects by focusing on particular populations (e.g., older adults, children) and by increasing our understanding of dose-response relationships between exercise parameters (e.g., intensity, duration) and cognitive outcomes. I present empirical evidence relative to each of these questions and provide directions for future research on physical activity and cognitive functioning.
Research … How Fun Is That? Interesting Questions Relative to the Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Performance
Jennifer L. Etnier
Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period: The Potential Impact of Social Support
Christopher P. Connolly, Deborah L. Feltz, and James M. Pivarnik
Pregnant and postpartum women have reported a number of barriers that prevent them from being sufficiently physically active. Overcoming these barriers is critical to ensure the health benefits of physical activity to both mother and fetus. The primary focus of this review centers on the potential impact social support may have in overcoming each of the primary barriers to physical activity experienced during pregnancy and the postpartum period. A reasonable body of research exists regarding the relationships between social support and these barriers; however, few investigations have specifically attempted to mitigate the effects of these barriers via social support interventions. Within this review, the enabling influence of social support as it pertains to pregnant and postpartum women's physical activity is discussed. Recommendations are suggested for the application of social support in future research investigations involving physical activity during pregnancy and postpartum.
The Socialization of Teachers in Physical Education: Review and Recommendations for Future Works
K. Andrew R. Richards, Thomas J. Templin, and Kim Graber
Occupational socialization theory describes the acculturation, professional preparation, and organizational socialization of physical education teachers and addresses factors that contribute to their decisions and behaviors. Utilizing occupational socialization theory as a grounding framework, this paper summarizes research conducted on teacher socialization in physical education and provides recommendations for future research. Each of the three phases of socialization is reviewed as are related constructs. The paper concludes with a discussion of socialization into physical education more generally and addresses the limitations of the current body of literature. Future researchers are encouraged to continue using occupational socialization theory as a framework though which to understand the careers and pedagogical decisions of physical education teachers.
Adapted Physical Activity: Influential Impacts to Establish a Field of Study
The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe key research contributions that have shaped the field of adapted physical activity. That was not an easy task as the area of adapted physical activity is relatively new. The field is also quite broad and has been influenced by many people and sociopolitical influences. In an effort to constrain the scope of influences, this paper will focus on studies related to motor performance and health-related physical fitness of persons with intellectual disabilities (ID). This was done in part because that is an area where I believe that my work and that of students and colleagues at Oregon State University, helped to contribute small fraction of what is known and in a way to help substantiate how much more there is to know. It is challenging to answer the questions of whose work significantly influenced what we now know about the health and fitness status of persons with ID. And more importantly what direction does this area of research need to go for us to change health related outcomes of this group?
Back to the Future: Reflecting on the Past and Envisioning the Future for Kinesiology Research
The papers published in this issue of Kinesiology Review are based on presentations delivered at the 2013 National Academy of Kinesiology meeting held in Colorado Springs, CO from September 19–21, 2013. The theme for the conference was Back to the Future: Refecting on the Past and Envisioning the Future for Kinesiology Research. The goals of the meeting were (a) to provide evidence-based impressions describing the key research discoveries/innovations in kinesiology over the last half century and (b) to project/predict key directions for research over the next 10–20 years.
In maintaining the strong multi-disciplinary spirit of the field of kinesiology, some of the presentations were specific to our sub-disciplines and other presentations were related to physical activity and movement in different populations. The presentations were designed to catalyze discussions about where we came from, how kinesiology has matured, and where we anticipate new knowledge and discovery will take us in the future.
A Brief Exploration of Measurement and Evaluation in Kinesiology
Matthew T. Mahar and David A. Rowe
A comprehensive review of the impact of measurement and evaluation in kinesiology is difficult to accomplish within the framework of a single research paper. Measurement touches nearly every research area in the field of kinesiology. In fact, for quantitative research it can be argued that without good measurement there can be no good research. Measurement researchers in kinesiology have impacted various areas, including criterion-referenced evaluation of test scores, development of fitness tests to measure body composition and aerobic fitness, health-related physical fitness, physical activity epidemiology, youth fitness testing, and many others. They have introduced innovative statistical techniques such as item response theory, which provides the underlying basis for modern standardized testing. Issues of test equating, differential item functioning, and the great impact of the expansion of computers and the Internet deserve special attention. Unfortunately, not all of the important contributions in the measurement field can be expanded upon in this manuscript. Instead, this paper will focus mainly on key measurement and evaluation influences on public health issues. In applied measurement research, two major themes have been the assessment of physical fitness and the assessment of physical activity. The last 40 years have been a time of defining the content area of measurement in kinesiology. Important measurement textbooks were published during this period (Baumgartner & Jackson, 1975; Morrow, Jackson, Disch, & Mood, 1995; Safrit, 1986). Since the 1970s the measurement field and the kinesiology field in general expanded from a focus on physical education to include all of the exercise and sport sciences. This paper will explore measurement and evaluation in kinesiology by (a) providing an overview of major milestones in measurement and evaluation over the last 40 years, (b) discussing current key areas of research and inquiry in measurement and evaluation, and (c) speculating about future research and inquiry in measurement and evaluation. The absence in this article of other important issues in measurement and evaluation in kinesiology does not imply anything about their importance.
Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults
Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko
For more than half a century fellows of the National Academy of Kinesiology have enthusiastically advocated for the promotion and adoption of physically active lifestyles as an affordable and effective means to prevent chronic diseases and conditions, and enhance independence and high quality of life for older adults. It is possible to discern distinct evolutionary stages when examining scholarship related to the role of physical activity in the promotion of healthy aging. Research into physical activity and aging began with critical early studies that established the underlying scientific evidence for a relationship between physical activity and healthy aging. More recent work has addressed such topics as building consumer demand, developing policies and legislation to support active aging, and understanding the complex interrelationships between physical activity and other lifestyle factors in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and conditions. It is increasingly apparent that strategies to promote active and successful aging must be integrated into an effective public policy. Kinesiologists and other health professionals, working in collaboration with colleagues from other disciplines, can help to reduce risk factors for chronic disease and improve quality of life for older adults by building awareness of the importance of physical activity and by assisting with the development and implementation of appropriate and effective interventions that reduce risk factors and improve quality of life.
Interdisciplinary-Integration-Interface: The Past, Present, and Future of Biomechanics
Robert J. Gregor, W. Lee Childers, Mark A. Lyle, and Linda Fetters
Biomechanics is a diverse field of study founded in a vertically integrated body of knowledge, from cells to behavior, with the goal of understanding the function of biological systems using methods in mechanics. Historically, the field lies in the general domain of science, not to be isolated but well integrated with others focused on the study of movement. Using advances in technology as a conduit, specific examples of collaborative research involving biomechanics, motor development, and neuromuscular control are discussed. Challenges in the study of interface control (i.e., hypotheses focused on the neural control of movement, performance enhancement, and injury prevention) are presented in the context of the intellectual interface required among scientists to gain a new understanding of the function of biological systems.
Is Health One Future for Kinesiology?
Frank W. Booth
Exercise physiology is an old profession that dates back to 1500 B.C.E., having rises and falls in intervening years. The author provides comments from firsthand observations he has experienced in the past six decades. Events in the 1950s and 1960s caused a rise in exercise physiology in the next decades, with a decline being initiated in the late 1990s by the Center for Scientific Review's decision to treat exercise by individual organs or individual diseases rather than as a preexisting vibrant translational science for human health. In the opinion of this author and of some National Institutes of Health (NIH) program officials, the decline of qualified individuals to wisely spend taxpayer's monies on exercise research has resulted in the December 13, 2013 publication of the NIH's “Request for Information (RFI): Identifying Gaps in Understanding the Mechanisms of Physical Activity-Induced Health Benefits.”
The Past and Future of Motor Learning and Control: What Is the Proper Level of Description and Analysis?
Howard N. Zelaznik
Over the past 40 years the research area of motor learning and control has developed into a field closely aligned with information processing in neuroscience. The basic, implicit assumption is that motor learning and control is the domain of the brain. Several crucial studies and developments from the past and the present are presented and discussed that highlight this position. The future of following that current path is discussed. Then, the case is made that the control of movement is not just a brain process, and thus scientists in kinesiology need to study movement behavior at a coarser level of analysis. Motor control in kinesiology should use the Newell framework and thus should examine the nature of individual attributes, environmental information, and task constraints on learning and performance of motor skills.