Few studies have examined high-level motor plans underlying cognitive-motor performance during practice of complex action sequences. These investigations have assessed performance through fairly simple metrics without examining how practice affects the structures of action sequences. By adapting the Levenshtein distance (LD) method to the motor domain, we propose a computational approach to accurately capture performance dynamics during practice of action sequences. Practice performance dynamics were assessed by computing the LD based on the number of insertions, deletions, and substitutions of actions needed to transform any sequence into a reference sequence (having a minimal number of actions to complete the task). Also, combining LD-based performance with mental workload metrics allowed assessment of cognitive-motor efficiency dynamics. This approach was tested on the Tower of Hanoi task. The findings revealed that throughout practice this method could capture: i) action sequence performance improvements as indexed by a reduced LD (decrease of insertions and substitutions), ii) structural modifications of the high-level plans, iii) an attenuation of mental workload, and iv) enhanced cognitive-motor efficiency. This effort complements prior work examining the practice of complex action sequences in healthy adults and has potential for probing cognitive-motor impairment in clinical populations as well as the development/assessment of cognitive robotic controllers.
Theresa C. Hauge, Garrett E. Katz, Gregory P. Davis, Kyle J. Jaquess, Matthew J. Reinhard, Michelle E. Costanzo, James A. Reggia and Rodolphe J. Gentili
Karen S. Meaney and Sonya L. Armstrong
Bullying in any context adversely affects individuals and organizations. Although bullying is typically conceived of as an issue specific to children in schoolyards, adult bullying is widespread, and the literature on workplace bullying continues to emerge as a scholarly focus. More specifically, academic bullying in higher-education institutions has been identified as an area of particular interest. Considerable literature exists that addresses definitions, characteristics, and effects of faculty bullying; however, the literature is scant regarding effective practice and policy that explicitly aim to prevent academic bullying. Furthermore, although this is a topic often discussed informally on university campuses, it does not appear to be addressed explicitly in formalized institutional policies. In this manuscript, the authors provide the findings of the initial stages of a content analysis aimed at exploring extant policy at public doctoral-granting universities. Implications and recommendations for policy development based on the results of this policy review are provided.
Elroy J. Aguiar, Zachary R. Gould, Scott W. Ducharme, Chris C. Moore, Aston K. McCullough and Catrine Tudor-Locke
Background: A walking cadence of ≥100 steps/min corresponds to minimally moderate intensity, absolutely defined as ≥3 metabolic equivalents (METs). This threshold has primarily been calibrated during treadmill walking. There is a need to determine the classification accuracy of this cadence threshold to predict intensity during overground walking. Methods: In this laboratory-based cross-sectional investigation, participants (N = 75, 49.3% women, age 21–40 y) performed a single 5-minute overground (hallway) walking trial at a self-selected preferred pace. Steps accumulated during each trial were hand tallied and converted to cadence (steps/min). Oxygen uptake was measured using indirect calorimetry and converted to METs. The classification accuracy (sensitivity, specificity, overall accuracy, and positive predictive value) of ≥100 steps/min to predict ≥3 METs was calculated. Results: A cadence threshold of ≥100 steps/min yielded an overall accuracy (combined sensitivity and specificity) of 73.3% for predicting minimally moderate intensity. Moreover, for individuals walking at a cadence ≥100 steps/min, the probability (positive predictive value) of achieving minimally moderate intensity was 80.3%. Conclusions: Although primarily developed using treadmill-based protocols, a cadence threshold of ≥100 steps/min for young adults appears to be a valid heuristic value (evidence-based, rounded, practical) associated with minimally moderate intensity during overground walking performed at a self-selected preferred pace.
Kara C. Hamilton, Mark T. Richardson, Shanda McGraw, Teirdre Owens and John C. Higginbotham
Background: Effective physical activity interventions are needed for children because health behaviors track into adulthood, and risk factors for diseases begin early in life. No study has determined whether an intervention designed using a Community-Based Participatory Research approach can improve moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and the related psychosocial constructs in underserved children. This study determined whether improvements in MVPA and related psychosocial constructs (self-efficacy, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and skills) occurred following a Community-Based Participatory Research intervention in underserved, rural children. It was then determined if these constructs were mediators of MVPA. Methods: Two fifth-grade classes at a school (n = 19 and n = 20) were randomly assigned to an intervention or comparison group. The intervention group participated in a 4-week intervention designed to improve MVPA (wGT3X-BT accelerometer; ActiGraph, Pensacola, FL) and the related psychosocial constructs (written survey). Groups were assessed prior to and immediately following the intervention. Results: There were no differences at baseline between groups. MVPA (30.0 [4.4] min), knowledge, and skill scores were significantly higher in the intervention group compared with the comparison group at follow-up (P < .05). Knowledge and skills were mediating variables of MVPA. Conclusions: Priority should be placed on research that determines the sustained impact of similar Community-Based Participatory Research interventions.
Jeanette Gustat, Christopher E. Anderson and Sandy J. Slater
Background: Spaces that promote play are important for the physical, social, and psychological growth of children. Public spaces, including playgrounds, provide an important venue for children to engage in play. A simple tool is needed to evaluate playground features and conditions. Methods: A simple play space audit instrument to assess the presence and condition of playground features was tested on a sample of 70 playgrounds during the summer of 2017, in Chicago, IL. Duplicate observations were collected on 17 playgrounds. Frequencies of features were tabulated, and reliability of variables was assessed using percent agreement and kappa statistic. Scores were created to summarize playground “playability,” overall and within domains of general overview, surface, path, and play equipment/structure features. Results: The tool demonstrated acceptable reliability with high kappa values between .79 and .90 for all items in domains. The overall score, general overview score, and play equipment/structure scores were correlated with mean playground usage. Conclusions: This brief instrument allows reliable assessment of playground features and their conditions. The scoring method generates a summary of playground conditions and features, which facilitates comparison of playgrounds. This tool has the potential to assist communities in evaluating their play spaces and identifying where to focus resources for improvements.
Stephanie G. Kerrigan, Evan M. Forman, Mitesh Patel, Dave Williams, Fengqing Zhang, Ross D. Crosby and Meghan L. Butryn
Background: Despite interest in financial incentive programs, evidence regarding the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of deposit contracts (ie, use of participants’ own money as a financial reward) for increasing physical activity (PA) is limited. Furthermore, evidence regarding the use of feedback within incentive programs is limited. Purpose: To evaluate: (1) the feasibility and acceptability of deposit contracts for increasing objectively measured PA and (2) the effects of deposit contracts with or without ongoing feedback on PA. Methods: Participants (n = 24) were exposed to 3 conditions (1) self-monitoring, (2) incentive, and (3) incentive with feedback in an ABACABAC design, with the order of incentive conditions counterbalanced across participants. Results: Effect sizes suggest that individuals had a modest increase in PA during the incentive conditions compared with self-monitoring. Presentation order moderated results, such that individuals exposed to incentives with feedback first performed more poorly across both incentive conditions. In addition, individuals often cited the deposit contract as a reason for not enrolling, and those who did participate reported inadequate acceptability of the incentives and feedback. Conclusions: Results suggest that while deposit contracts may engender modest increases in PA, this type of incentive may not be feasible or acceptable for promoting PA.
Catrine Tudor-Locke, John M. Schuna Jr, Damon L. Swift, Amber T. Dragg, Allison B. Davis, Corby K. Martin, William D. Johnson and Timothy S. Church
Background: Step-counting interventions with discrepant intensity emphases may elicit different effects. Methods: A total of 120 sedentary/low-active, postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to one of the following 3 groups: (1) 10,000 steps per day (with no emphasis on walking intensity/speed/cadence; basic intervention, 49 completers), (2) 10,000 steps per day and at least 30 minutes in moderate intensity (ie, at a cadence of at least 100 steps per minute; enhanced intervention, 47 completers), or (3) a control group (19 completers). NL-1000-determined steps and active minutes (a device-specific indicator of time at moderate+ intensity) were collected as process variables during the 12-week intervention. Outcome variables included systolic and diastolic blood pressure, anthropometric measurements, fasting blood glucose and insulin, flow-mediated dilation, gait speed, and ActiGraph GT3X+-determined physical activity and sedentary behavior. Results: The “basic group” increased 5173 to 9602 steps per day and 9.2 to 30.2 active minutes per day. The “enhanced group” similarly increased 5061 to 10,508 steps per day and 8.7 to 38.8 active minutes per day. The only significant change over time for clinical variables was body mass index. Conclusions: Interventions that use simple step-counters can achieve elevated volume and intensity of daily physical activity, regardless of emphasis on intensity. Despite this, few clinical outcomes were apparent in this sample of postmenopausal women with generally normal or controlled hypertension.
Margaret McGladrey, Angela Carman, Christy Nuetzman and Nicole Peritore
Background: Rural counties in the United States face daunting structural issues that reduce their populations’ physical activity levels, including geographic isolation as well as deficits in infrastructure, public transportation, health care providers, and funding. Methods: Funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided an opportunity to assess how Extension enhanced the collective impact of systems-level physical activity promotion programming through a multisectoral coalition in Clinton County, Kentucky. Results: The Extension-led coalition accomplished the 6 essential functions of a backbone support organization by identifying obesity as a critical local issue (function 1: providing overall strategic direction), developing a multisectoral coalition (function 2: facilitating dialog between partners), compiling data on the county’s physical activity infrastructure (function 3: managing data collection and analysis), creating communication channels (function 4: handling communication), organizing community awareness events (function 5: coordinating community outreach), and securing additional grants (function 6: mobilizing funding). The average rating of Extension’s leadership across multiple dimensions by 3 coalition members in a postproject survey was “excellent” on a 5-point Likert scale. Conclusions: Extension is well positioned through their mission, broad community engagement, data collection, needs assessment, community and academic relationships, and embeddedness in local communities to serve as the backbone support organizations for rural physical activity promotion coalitions.
Duane Knudson, Ting Liu, Dan Schmidt and Heather Van Mullem
The scarcity of tenure-track lines in most kinesiology departments supports the need for the implementation of faculty mentoring programs. This article summarizes key elements of mentoring programs for tenure-track kinesiology faculty at 3 kinds of state universities. Mentoring at a bachelor’s college or university might emphasize support to enhance a new faculty member’s teaching effectiveness and student advising strategies and assist new faculty with a positive integration into the campus community. A comprehensive university mentoring approach may place equal emphasis on both formal (e.g., orientation and mentoring committee) and informal (e.g., collegial and self-selected mentoring) interactions. Helping new faculty members understand their role as an important part of the departmental team and organizational mission is a consistent theme. Mentoring at a research-intensive university might emphasize clarifying scholarship, tenure, and promotion expectations relative to support; guidance in portfolio presentation; retention, tenure, and promotion evaluation; and strong communication that promotes mutual professional development and improves or sustains faculty retention.
Shirley M. Bluethmann, Wayne Foo, Renate M. Winkels, Scherezade K. Mama and Kathryn H. Schmitz
Purpose: (a) To describe the relationship of multimorbidity and physical activity (PA) in cancer survivors and (b) to explore perceived disability and PA in middle-aged and older survivors. Methods: The authors analyzed the data from cancer survivors (N = 566), identified using the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry, who responded to a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System-derived questionnaire. They created age groups (e.g., 45–54 years, 55–64 years, 65–74 years, and 75 years and older) and calculated a composite score of eight common comorbidities (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease) to assess multimorbidity. Logistic regression was used to estimate the association of demographic and behavioral/clinical risk factors (e.g., multimorbidity, perceived disability, body mass index) with PA. Results: Most respondents were females (62%), older (mean age = 68 years) and represented diverse cancer sites, including breast (n = 132), colorectal (n = 102), gynecologic (n = 106), prostate (n = 111), and lung (n = 80). PA participation was mixed; 44% of survivors reported achieving >150 min of aerobic PA, but half of lung and 37% of gynecologic survivors reported no PA (0 min/week). Higher multimorbidity (odds ratio = 0.82, confidence interval [0.69, 0.98], p < .05), obesity (odds ratio = 0.51, confidence interval [0.30, 0.86], p < .05), and perceived disability (odds ratio = 0.49, confidence interval [0.32, 0.77], p < .001) were negatively associated with PA participation. Strength training was suboptimal across all survivors. Conclusion: Most older survivors experienced comorbid conditions, and this was associated with less PA. Survivors who perceived themselves as disabled or who were obese were half as likely as others to participate in PA. This suggests an increasing need to address both physical and psychological limitations in designing PA interventions for real-world needs. Exercise interventions that address the unique needs of older survivors for multimorbidity, obesity, and perceived disability may strengthen opportunities for PA.