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Spinal Cord Injury, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life: A Systematic Review

Jennifer R. Tomasone, Natascha N. Wesch, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, and Luc Noreau

Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) tend to report poorer quality of life (QOL) than people without a physical disability. Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) has been shown to improve the QOL of people with and without disabilities and chronic conditions. The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the LTPA-QOL relationship among people with SCI by focusing on both objective and subjective QOL for both global QOL and domain-specifc (physical, psychological, social) QOL. Results suggest that LTPA is significantly associated with increases in both objective and subjective QOL in global QOL and all three QOL domains, with relatively few studies demonstrating a negative or nonsignificant relationship. Recommendations for future QOL research and interventions are discussed.

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“And I Hope You See Things That Startle You”: What Students Can Teach Us About Physical Education

Donetta J. Cothran

Current conceptualizations of student learning recognize the active, constructivist, and mutually influential nature of student-teacher interactions in the shared class environment. Since students and teachers enter the classroom with potentially different prior experiences and current beliefs, their interpretation of class events may not be the same. Those differences may lead to misunderstandings and conflict; therefore, it is important to examine the student perspective on physical education. This paper offers two examples—curricular values and teaching styles—of student-teacher similarities and differences, and how those similarities and differences impact what does and does not happen in physical education class. A consistent theme across both examples is the importance of both achievement and nonachievement factors, and suggestions are offered for how physical education might better incorporate both factors to increase student learning and student and teacher enjoyment.

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Biological Influences on Physical Activity During Childhood

Thomas W. Rowland

A growing body of evidence implicates the existence of a functional subconscious governor in the brain, which controls level of habitual physical activity. Such a biologic control, acting in a classic feedback loop mechanism, might serve to contribute to the defense of energy balance. Many questions remain unanswered regarding the pliability of biologic control of activity and the extent that it might dictate daily energy expenditure. A consideration of this concept bears importance for those seeking an understanding of the mechanisms, prevention, and treatment of obesity as well as the link between exercise and health in the general population.

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Clark W. Hetherington: A Perspective and Some Questions

Charles M. Tipton

Within the archives of Springfield College are the unofficial minutes of the Gulick Academy of Physical Education from 1906–1909. Surprisingly, the attendance, participation, and presentations of Clark W. Hetherington were not very impressive, which raised the question, what had he accomplished to warrant the Academy designating him as its first member and president—or for making the Hetherington Award its highest honor? The answer is complex, but insights can be obtained from the results of an early association with Thomas D. Woods and from the implementation of his philosophy of play by select schools and states. By 1926, many universities had adopted his objectives and curricula for physical education, while his philosophy for physical education began to be promoted by the physical education profession. However, since 2010 the term physical education has been removed from our title and bylaws. Consequently, should we continue to have our highest honor be identified with the Hetherington Award? I sincerely hope so, but the issue should be addressed by our membership.

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Considerations for Neuropsychological Testing in the Adolescent Athlete: Implications for the Playing Field and Classroom

Kevin M. Guskiewicz

“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.

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A Perspective on Human Movement Variability With Applications in Infancy Motor Development

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.

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Physical Activity Across the Lifespan: Theme of the Academy Papers

Maureen R. Weiss

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Physical Activity and the Science of Successful Aging

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.

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Powering Adherence to Physical Activity by Changing Self-Regulatory Skills and Beliefs: Are Kinesiologists Ready to Counsel?

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.

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Right From the Start: Promotion of Health-Related Physical Activity in Preschoolers

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.