“Concussion” is all over the news, and—yes—it has implications for combating chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Many parents are pushing their children away from collision sports such as football, hockey, and lacrosse because they fear the risk of chronic neurodegenerative problems later in life. However, there is good logic in emphasizing the importance of physical activities such as collision type sports, during the developmental years. Physical educators, researchers, policy makers, and coaches must work together to encourage safe play and rules changes that can keep youth and adolescents active in sports that build character, discipline, and teach teamwork. Understanding the complexity of the highly adaptable adolescent brain both prior to and following sport-related concussion is critically important in accomplishing this goal.
Nicholas Stergiou, Yawen Yu, and Anastasia Kyvelidou
Movement variability is considered essential to typical motor development. However, multiple theoretical perspectives and measurement tools have limited interpretation of the importance of movement variability in biological systems. The complementary use of linear and nonlinear measures have recently allowed for the evaluation of not only the magnitude of variability but also the temporal structure of variability. As a result, the theoretical model of optimal movement variability was introduced. The model suggests that the development of healthy and highly adaptable systems relies on the achievement of an optimal state of variability. Alternatively, abnormal development may be characterized by a narrow range of behaviors, some of which may be rigid, inflexible, and highly predictable or, on the contrary, random, unfocused, and unpredictable. In the present review, this theoretical model is described as it relates to motor development in infancy and specifically the development of sitting posture.
Maureen R. Weiss
Edward Archer, Amanda E. Paluch, Robin P. Shook, and Steven N. Blair
Successful aging encompasses more than just the prevention of disease and disability; the truly well-lived life is demonstrated by a sense of vitality and independence, freedom from bodily pain, and the continued involvement in meaningful activities. While physical inactivity and sedentary behaviors accelerate the aging process, deliberate exercise and other forms of activity delay and/or prevent the onset of age-related pathologies such as frailty, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and cardiovascular disease. This review surveys the evidence that supports the position that physical activity is a necessary component for the development and maintenance of the physiological resources that are foundational to physical and cognitive functioning and ‘living well’ in one's later years.
Lawrence R. Brawley, Madelaine S. H. Gierc, and Sean R. Locke
There are multiple avenues to gain health promoting and disease preventing benefits of physical activity (PA) but nonadherence makes health benefits short-lived. Gains obtained through structured exercise training and therapy quickly decay once participants leave programs. Scientific position statements underscore cognitive-behavioral strategies (CBS) as an essential intervention component to increase and maintain PA and recommend transfer of CBS knowledge to practice. Our review of reviews indicates high quality PA interventions involving CBS consistently demonstrate medium effect sizes. Kinesiologists are the human resource capacity to translate this knowledge. Building capacity to implement CBS knowledge is potentially large given North American kinesiology programs and American College of Sports Medicine and Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology certification routes. Yet CBS training of kinesiologists by universities and organizations is minimal. Immediate change in CBS training and practice is needed. Professional organizations/institutions can either be leaders in developing human resources or part of the problem should they fail to address the challenge of CBS training.
Don W. Morgan
A growing body of literature has confirmed the health benefits of regular physical activity in school-aged youth. However, less systematic attention has been directed toward establishing activity profiles and evaluating the impact of community-based interventions designed to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior in preschool children. In this paper, current findings are reviewed to determine whether preschoolers are achieving sufficient levels of structured and unstructured physical activity and to identify potential correlates of activity and sedentary behavior in the young child. In addition, promotion of physical activity among preschool-aged children in selected community settings is discussed and future research initiatives are highlighted. Given current trends in the overweight and obesity status of children aged two to five years, efforts aimed at increasing physical activity levels and documenting gains in health-related fitness and movement skillfulness in this pediatric population should be accelerated.
Pamela Hodges Kulinna
This paper on school-based physical activity and health behaviors among adolescent students is grounded in the public health literature, various psychosocial theories, and the coordinated school health ecology model. I address three areas: 1) psychosocial influences on youth physical activity patterns, 2) youth physical activity patterns, and 3) comprehensive school health programming (healthy and active schools). I provide an overview and illustrative examples for each section from my own work.
Young people are increasingly the targets of public health and private-public sector campaigns to promote active lifestyles and longevity of the life span (Arnett, 2012; Faulkner, Kwan, Brownrigg, & MacNeill, 2011). Yet media campaigns alone cannot redress the barriers to physical activity. In this paper I argue that theories of life span and social marketing approaches to health promotion share a grounding in the behavioral sciences that need to be broadened to consider social determinants of active and inactive lifestyles and uncover how youth audiences make sense of health promotions. As such, I suggest how the social marketing of healthy life spans can move upstream to advocate policies and programs for youth activity. In this article I a) critically examine our shifting notions of youth and assumptions about life span, b) highlight trends in media consumption by youth, c) consider how kinesiology can broaden the social marketing lens to active media advocacy for social justice, and d) raise implications for research and intervention.
Richard E.A. van Emmerik, Stephanie L. Jones, Michael A. Busa, and Jennifer L. Baird
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.
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.