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Jason P. Shurley and Janice S. Todd

In recent years there has been a significant increase in the scrutiny of head trauma in football. This attention is due largely to a host of studies that have been highly publicized and linked the repetitive head trauma in football to late-life neurological impairment. Scientists and physicians familiar with boxing have been aware of such impairment, resulting from repeated head impacts, for more than 80 years. Few, however, made the connection between the similarity of head impacts in boxing and football until recent decades. This article examines the medical and scientific literature related to head trauma in both boxing and football, paying particular attention to the different emphases of that research. Further, the literature is used to trace the understanding of sport-related chronic head trauma as well as how that understanding has prompted reform efforts in each sport. Finally, in light of the current understanding of the long-term sequelae of repetitive head trauma, some consideration is given to what football administrators can learn from the reform efforts in boxing.

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Tiffany Myers Schieffer and Katherine Thomas Thomas

Increasing physical activity among children and adolescents continues to be a public health priority (Glickman et al., 2012), with a focus on evidence-based physical activity in school settings. While individual studies report benefits from school-based physical activity interventions, no data-based analysis of these interventions has been published. This meta-analysis examined the outcomes of 12 school-based interventions that reported data from both treatment and intervention groups. The design of each study was unique; including one or more of 19 dependent variables representing physical activity, knowledge, body composition, and cardiovascular measures, and one or more component of the Coordinated School Health Model (CSHM). Generally the benefits from the intervention were small and not significant; health knowledge was the exception. Interventions including more components of the CSHM and interventions of greater duration (e.g., more minutes) were associated with enhanced outcomes and explained 89% of the variance. Weaknesses in the design and analysis of some interventions were inappropriate experimental unit (individual rather than school), multiple analyses on the same data without correction (e.g., Bonferroni), multiple publications of the same data, and the inclusion of all students regardless of whether the student needed to increase physical activity/ftness or reduce body mass/fat.

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Jane E. Clark

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Duane Knudson, Bruce Elliott, and Tim Ackland

Applied research in kinesiology that can truly inform professional practice places high demands on researchers. Clear citation of research evidence is required to design meaningful research and is particularly important in the interpretation of evidence in proposing how the new results may be applied in sport, exercise, or physical activity. This paper summarizes principles for accurate citation of research evidence in justifying and designing applied research in kinesiology; it also proposes an evidence-based practice approach for interpreting the strength of evidence for the application potential of research results. Improved application of kinesiology research is important to advance recognition of the field and support for kinesiology professions.

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Tarra Rawdon, Rick L. Sharp, Mack Shelley, and Jerry R. Thomas

This paper is a meta-analysis of the role of nutritional supplements in strength training focusing on the effects of placebo treatments. We address specifically the results from meta-analysis of 334 fi.ndings from 37 studies of the effect of nutritional supplements and physical fitness interventions on strength, stamina, and endurance outcomes, controlling for main effects of the group on which the results were obtained (placebo, treatment, control, for pretest or posttest), with covariates for age, gender, randomization, double-blind procedures, study duration, training load, training frequency, and training status. Finding show that there are significant placebo effects accounting for a substantial portion of the effect size typically associated with treatment interventions. In addition to produce the best evaluations of treatment effects, both control and placebo groups should be included in a double-blind research design using participants who are well familiarized with the study procedures.

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Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Matthew P. Buman, Kimberly J. Romney, Monica R. Klatt, and Mari J. Stoddard

The purpose of this review was to evaluate the scope, impact, and methods of research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in kinesiology departments. Information was obtained from university websites, the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT), PubMed, Google Scholar, and Journal Citation Reports (JCR) from the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Knowledge. Abstracts from 2,227 published studies funded by the NIH were reviewed. The National Institute on Aging funded the largest portion of grants. Metabolic functioning, the nervous system, pathology, and cardiovascular diseases were the major foci. Human and animal studies were predominantly discovery-oriented (e.g., comparative studies, clinical research) with a large percentage of translational approaches. Recommendations for interdisciplinary research are provided.

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Debra J. Rose

The discipline of kinesiology has the potential to make significant contributions to the study of fall-related disability and the advancement of national initiatives aimed at reducing disability in the older adult population. Theoretical frameworks routinely used to guide research across the subdisciplines of kinesiology could and should be applied to the study of fall-related disability and the development of movement-based interventions aimed at improving balance and gait and thereby reducing fall incidence rates and/or injury that contributes to premature morbidity and mortality. Current research findings suggest the need for a stronger focus on the learning or relearning of skilled movement patterns and/or cognitive strategies than currently exists in the falls intervention literature. As a profession, kinesiology is uniquely positioned to play an important role in advancing the goals of the Falls Free© national initiative given the important role that exercise plays in the reduction of fall-related disability and mortality.

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Joseph Hamill, George Gorton, and Peter Masso

Biomechanics is defined as the application of the laws of mechanics to the study or structure and function of movement. It is a relatively new subdiscipline to the domain of kinesiology. Biomechanics was initially closely associated with the study of sports technique. However, over the years, biomechanics has taken on a much more diverse field of study. In this paper, we will describe the contributions that biomechanics has made to the area of clinical biomechanics research in terms of clinical assessment and outcomes and the design of clinical apparatus. The first example examines a clinical assessment of a cerebral palsy child. The goals of such a clinical assessment are 1) to determine the primary problems with the locomotion capabilities of the individual, 2) to recommend treatment options, and 3) to evaluate treatment outcomes. In the second example, a procedure is described for designing braces for scoliosis patients. For this example, a three-dimensional digital twin is developed using a scanning technique. This example illustrates the research conducted on developing a technique to noninvasively and safely determine the torso deformities resulting from scoliosis. While these examples are but two of a wide variety of examples that could be used, they illustrate the contribution of biomechanics to the clinical world.

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Douglas R. Anderson

I argue here that we, as a culture, are allowing physical play and playful movement to die. Following Friedrich Schiller, I argue for the importance of physical play for a liberated life. I call on those in the field of kinesiology to consider revising our cultural habits through the teaching of play not by way of abstract concepts but by way of playful experiences.

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David R. Bassett Jr.

The built environment has profound effects on physical activity and health. Many communities in the US are built around the automobile, with little consideration given to pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. These places tend to have higher rates of physical inactivity (defined as “no leisure time physical activity”) and higher rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. However, in some European countries and selected US cities, communities have been constructed in ways that encourage active modes of transportation. In these places, a large segment of the population meets physical activity guidelines, due in part to the activity they acquire in performing daily tasks. In addition to promoting active transportation, these environments promote recreational walking, jogging, and cycling. Kinesiologists can and should work with urban planners, transportation officials, developers, public health practitioners, and the general public to design cities in ways that enhance physical activity and health.