Lindsay Parks Pieper
At specific moments in history, women publicly entered the masculine realm of baseball to advance female suffrage in the United States. Girls and women took to the field in the nineteenth century, enjoying newfound bodily freedoms and disrupting Victorian constraints. While their performances may not have always translated into explicit suffrage activism, their athleticism demonstrated strength at a time when many people used women’s supposed weakness as an argument against their political enfranchisement. However, as the popularity of baseball increased at the turn of the century, the number of female ballplayers decreased. Activism in the sport therefore changed. In the mid-1910s, suffragists advertised at men’s baseball games. The women recognized the value of promoting suffrage through sport; yet, they also acknowledged that by entering ballparks, they entered a male space. Suffragists therefore exhibited conventional White gender norms to avoid aggrieving male voters. Women’s different engagements with baseball, as either players or spectators, had varying consequences for women’s political and sporting emancipation. Women’s physical activism in baseball demonstrated female prowess and strength in sport, but only abstractly advanced women’s political rights; suffragists’ promotional efforts through men’s baseball more directly influenced the eventual passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, but their actions supported women’s position on the sidelines.
This study explored the daily life physical activity (PA) experiences of 11 adolescent girls living in a rural community in the Northwest of the United States. This qualitative study employed visual methods to explore adolescent girls’ PA experiences in their daily lives. Specifically, this study used visual diaries and photo-elicitation interviews to capture girls’ PA experiences. Data from this study revealed two distinct PA patterns among the 11 participants: casual movers and sporty girls. Casual movers have a much less structured approach to PA. They engage in a wide variety of PA types—mostly individual forms of PA and PA geared towards recreation. They describe fun, enjoyment, and task mastery as their main motivations to be physically active. Casual movers often engage in PA with family members and are compelled to be active outdoors and in their homes or neighborhoods. In contrast, all five sporty girls belong to competitive sports teams and have a more structured PA routine. They seek performance improvement and have high perceptions of physical competence. Sporty girls value being active with their teammates and receive strong support from their families in the form of encouragement, role modeling, and financial/structural assistance. Sporty girls feel confident being active in their schools’ fields, courts, and gymnasiums, but also appreciate the outdoors environment. Findings from this study support the need for schools to increase access to PA opportunities that are not focused on skill or fitness performance, thus appealing to casual movers’ approach to physical movement.
Nathanael C.H. Ong
Singaporean footballer Ben Davis applied for deferment from national service (NS) in order to pursue his dream of playing in the English Premier League. However, his deferment request was rejected by the Ministry of Defense, and there was a sizable national debate on whether Davis should be granted the deferment. The study sought to use the Ben Davis saga as a case study to provide an exploration of public opinion toward various issues relating to sport and society. A total of 14,093 comments were extracted from various news sources on Facebook, and a randomized sample of 1,875 comments was used for the final analysis. The constant comparative methodology was used to conduct a thematic analysis of the comments. The analysis produced four higher order themes: (a) sport in Singapore, (b) role and relevance of NS, (c) national interest versus individual choice, and (d) perception of new citizens and foreign talent.
Shaima Alothman, Jeffrey C. Hoover, Mohammed M. Alshehri, Aqeel M. Alenazi, Jo Wick, Joseph LeMaster, Jason Rucker and Patricia M. Kluding
Background: To investigate how changes in sedentary behavior relate to health outcomes, it is important to establish the test–retest reliability of activity monitors in measuring habitual sedentary behavior in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) as a prerequisite for interpreting this information. Thus, the authors’ objective was to examine the test–retest reliability of a common activity monitor (activPAL™) in measuring sedentary behavior and physical activity in people with T2D. Methods: Sedentary-time, standing-time, stepping-time, step-count, and sit-to-stand transitions were obtained from two 7-day assessment periods separated by at least 1 week. Test–retest reliability was determined with the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) to compare sedentary and activity measures between the 2 time points. Results: A total of 30 participants with self-reported T2D completed the study (age 65  y, 63% women, body mass index 33.3  kg/m2). High test–retest reliability was found for sedentary-time (ICC = .79; 95% confidence interval [CI], .61–.89) and standing-time (ICC = .74; 95% CI, .53–.87). Very high test–retest reliability was found for stepping-time (ICC = .90; 95% CI, .81–.95), step-count (ICC = .91; 95% CI, .83–.96), and sit-to-stand transitions (ICC = .90; 95% CI, .79–.95). Conclusion: The activPAL™ device showed high to very high test–retest reliability in measuring all tested activity categories in people with T2D.
Jane Jie Yu, Chia-Liang Tsai, Chien-Yu Pan, Ru Li and Cindy Hui-Ping Sit
Background: To examine the relationship between physical activity (PA) and inhibition in boys and girls with motor impairments compared with children with typical development. Methods: The participants were 58 (26 motor impairments and 32 typical development) children aged 7–12 years who met the inclusion criteria. PA was assessed using accelerometers for 7 consecutive days. The time spent in PA of different intensity levels (light, moderate, and vigorous) were analyzed for weekdays and weekends. Using a visuospatial attention paradigm, inhibition was evaluated by the difference in reaction time between invalid and valid cue conditions. Generalized linear mixed models were used to determine the associations of inhibition with PA and motor ability by sex. Results: Boys and children with typical development had shorter reaction times in inhibition than girls (P < .001) and children with motor impairments (P < .05), respectively. Motor ability (b = 189.98) and vigorous PA on weekdays (b = −43.18) were significant predictors of inhibition in girls only. Conclusions: The results indicate a positive relationship between vigorous PA (on weekdays) and inhibition in children (girls), moderated by sex and motor ability. Effective interventions that promote vigorous PA for children both in and out of school should be designed to foster their executive function development.
Isao Saito, Koutatsu Maruyama, Tadahiro Kato, Yasunori Takata, Kiyohide Tomooka, Ryoichi Kawamura, Yuichi Uesugi, Yoshihiko Naito, Haruhiko Osawa and Takeshi Tanigawa
Background: Autonomic activity is possibly influenced by physical activity (PA). However, it remains unclear whether this association is modified by insulin resistance. Methods: This population-based study between 2009 and 2012 included 2016 men and women aged 30–79 years. The PA was assessed using a validated questionnaire based on sleep, occupation, transportation, household characteristics, and leisure-time PA. Heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in the sitting position were determined from 5-minute recordings of pulse waves detected by a fingertip sensor. The HRV was calculated as frequency (standard deviation of normal-to-normal [NN] intervals [SDNN]), root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD), and percentage differences between normal NN intervals >50 milliseconds [pNN50]) and time domains. Insulin resistance was evaluated using the homeostasis model assessment index (HOMA-IR). Results: HR, RMSSD, and pNN50 were related to the total and moderate/vigorous PA tertiles in models that included HOMA-IR. The partial regression coefficient of total PA per 1-SD increase was .05 (P = .019) for log-transformed RMSSD and 1.86 (P = .001) for pNN50. No interactive associations were observed between PA and HOMA-IR. Conclusions: Low total PA was associated with increased HR and low levels of RMSSD and pNN50, reflecting parasympathetic modulation that was not modified by insulin resistance.
Werner de Andrade Müller, Grégore Iven Mielke, Inácio Crochemore M. da Silva, Mariangela F. Silveira and Marlos Rodrigues Domingues
Background: Physical activity (PA) during pregnancy is associated with several benefits in maternal and child outcomes, and its relationship with preterm birth is still conflicting. This study aims to examine the associations between PA during pregnancy and occurrence of preterm birth. Methods: PA was assessed by questionnaire (for each trimester) and accelerometry (second trimester) in women enrolled in a birth cohort study that started during pregnancy and included births that occurred between January 1 and December 31, 2015. Gestational age was based on the last menstrual period and ultrasonography. All deliveries before 37 weeks of gestation were considered preterm births. A Poisson regression model was used to measure associations controlling for potential confounders. Results: PA information was available for 4163 women and 13.8% of births were preterm. A total of 15.8% of women were engaged in PA during pregnancy. Multivariate analysis showed that only PA performed in the third trimester of pregnancy (prevalence ratio = 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.36–0.96) was associated with the outcome. Conclusions: PA performed in the third trimester of pregnancy was associated with a protection to preterm birth. Pregnant women should be counseled to engage in PA to lower the risk of premature delivery.
Janine V. Olthuis, Margo C. Watt, Christopher E. J. DeWolfe, Emma Connell, Emily N. Wright and Laura Sevigny
Women, relative to men, are at particularly high risk for anxiety and depression, perhaps in part due to their heightened levels of anxiety sensitivity (AS). Physical activity (PA) is an accessible mental health intervention that may be particularly beneficial for women. Using a within-subjects pre-post mixed methods design, this study tested the acceptability, appropriateness, feasibility, and evidence-base of a community-based PA intervention for AS among women at high risk for anxiety and depression. Participants were 45 women with high AS who completed an 8-week group PA intervention. Data were collected via self-report questionnaires, interviews, and recruitment, participation, and retention rates. Results suggest the intervention is acceptable, appropriate, and feasible. Interviews reveal high intervention satisfaction and perceived benefits beyond AS reduction. There was a relatively high attrition rate that suggests room for improvement. The intervention significantly reduced AS, as well as panic, social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and depression symptoms. In the context of the preliminary nature of this study, results suggest the use of community-delivered, group-based PA as a mental health intervention strategy for women is worth further exploration. There is potential for collaboration between the health system, PA delivery professionals, and community organizations to improve access to care.
Lewis Keane, Emma Sherry, Nico Schulenkorf, Joel Negin, Ding Ding, Adrian Bauman, Edward Jegasothy and Justin Richards
Background: The purpose of this paper was to identify personal, social, and environmental mediators of recreational physical activity (PA) in a 6-month netball-based intervention for women and girls in Tonga. Methods: Tonga Netball’s “low-engagement village program” was implemented in 10 villages and aimed to increase the recreational PA levels in women and girls through a comprehensive, structured community-level netball program addressing key barriers to participation. In a mixed-methods approach, these mediating barriers were identified through qualitative interviews based on the socioecological model. Quantitative measures for mediators and recreational PA were then developed, and data from 301 women and girls were collected. Standard mediation analyses methods were then applied. Results: Program participation appeared to significantly increase PA levels. Statistically significant personal mediators were body issues, preferring competitions, and clothing. Social mediators were support from sports council, community leaders, friends, and church. Environmental mediators were travel time and access to balls, bibs, and umpires. Conclusion: A comprehensive community-level program addressing key participation barriers can increase recreational PA among women and girls in Tonga. Triangulating these results with mediation analyses of variables on the causal pathway can strengthen our understanding of causation and inform funding prioritization for critical program components in similar contexts.