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  • Author: Elizabeth Johnson x
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C. Shanthi Jacob Johnson, Anita M. Myers, Lynn M. Scholey, Elizabeth V. Cyarto and Nancy A. Ecclestone

The Home Support Exercise Program (HSEP) targets frail older adults. After a 4-hr training workshop, home-support workers (HSWs) encourage clients to do a simple, progressive set of 10 exercises during regular visits. Exercise compliance and functional performance were examined in 60 clients who received the HSEP, compared with 38 clients whose HSWs had not received HSEP training. Both groups were primarily female, average age 82, and many of them used walking aids. The 40 HSEP clients who continued with the program over 4 months showed good compliance and significant improvement on several indicators: timed up-and-go, sit-to-stand, 6-min walk, balance confidence, and well-being. Conversely, the comparison group declined on several measures. The findings support the effectiveness of the HSEP, as well as the importance of regular and ongoing support from HSWs for this population.

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Richard Suminski, Terry Presley, Jason A. Wasserman, Carlene A. Mayfield, Elizabeth McClain and Mariah Johnson


More than 200,000 children each year are treated at emergency departments for injuries occurring on playgrounds. Empirically derived data are needed to elucidate factors associated with playground safety and reduce injury rates.


Determine if neighborhood, park and playground characteristics are significantly associated with playground safety.


A 24-item report card developed by the National Program for Playground Safety was used to assess playground safety at 41 public parks in a small to midsized, Midwestern city. Trained assessors evaluated the parks and playgrounds in June/July and used a standardized method to count the numbers of users. Data from the 2010 U.S. Census were used to describe the neighborhoods surrounding the parks.


The average safety score for all playgrounds was 77.4% which denotes acceptable safety levels. However, 17.1% of the playgrounds were potentially hazardous and in need of corrective measures. Playgrounds were safer in neighborhoods with more youth (< 18 years of age) and educated adults and in parks with better quality features. Playgrounds with fewer amenities were relatively less safe.


Park safety levels need to be improved to reduce the risk of physical injuries. Future studies examining cause-effect associations between environmental features and playground safety are warranted.

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Liam Johnson, Patricia K. Addamo, Isaac Selva Raj, Erika Borkoles, Victoria Wyckelsma, Elizabeth Cyarto and Remco C. Polman

There is evidence that an acute bout of exercise confers cognitive benefits, but it is largely unknown what the optimal mode and duration of exercise is and how cognitive performance changes over time after exercise. We compared the cognitive performance of 31 older adults using the Stroop test before, immediately after, and at 30 and 60 min after a 10 and 30 min aerobic or resistance exercise session. Heart rate and feelings of arousal were also measured before, during, and after exercise. We found that, independent of mode or duration of exercise, the participants improved in the Stroop Inhibition task immediately postexercise. We did not find that exercise influenced the performance of the Stroop Color or Stroop Word Interference tasks. Our findings suggest that an acute bout of exercise can improve cognitive performance and, in particular, the more complex executive functioning of older adults.

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Judy L. Van Raalte, Allen E. Cornelius, Elizabeth M. Mullin, Britton W. Brewer, Erika D. Van Dyke, Alicia J. Johnson and Takehiro Iwatsuki

A series of studies was conducted by Senay et al. in 2010 to replicate and extend research indicating that self-posed questions have performance benefits. Studies 1–3 compared the effects of the self-posed interrogative question (“Will I?”) to declarative (“I will”) and control self-talk, and found no significant group differences in motivation, perceived exertion, or performance. In Studies 4–5, interrogative, declarative, and control self-talk primes were compared, and no outcome differences were found. In Study 6, the effects of self-talk on motivation, perceived exertion, and physical performance were assessed. The self-talk groups performed better and were more motivated than the control group, but declarative and interrogative groups did not differ from each other. Finally, meta-analyses of the six studies indicated no significant differences among conditions. These results highlight the value of replication and suggest that factors other than grammatical form of self-posed questions may drive the demonstrated relationships between self-talk and performance.