Promoting Physical Activity Through Kinesiology Teaching and Outreach: An Eye Toward the Future
Nancy I. Williams and Alan L. Smith
The Science of Healthy Menstruation in Exercising Women
Nancy I. Williams, Clara V. Etter, and Jay L. Lieberman
An understanding of the health consequences of abnormal menstrual function is an important consideration for all exercising women. Menstrual disturbances in exercising women are quite common and range in severity from mild to severe and are often associated with bone loss, low energy availability, stress fractures, eating disorders, and poor performance. The key factor that causes menstrual disturbances is low energy availability created by an imbalance of energy intake and energy expenditure that leads to an energy deficit and compensatory metabolic adaptations to maintain energy balance. Practical guidelines for preventing and treating amenorrhea in exercising women include evidence-based dietary practices designed to achieve optimal energy availability. Other factors such as gynecological age, genetics, and one’s susceptibility to psychological stress can modify an individual’s susceptibility to menstrual disturbances caused by low energy availability. Future research should explore the magnitude of these effects in an effort to move toward more individualized prevention and treatment approaches.
Building Department Visibility and Support through Strategic Partnerships and Innovation
Jason R. Carter, Nancy I. Williams, and Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko
Building departmental visibility and support is essential to the success of any kinesiology unit. This paper provides an overview of different strategies taken by three American Kinesiology Association member departments to advance their respective units. Each program was faced with unique institutional goals and structures, yet each institutional example highlights the shared theme of building strategic partnerships and cultivating a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation. Common strategies across the three institutions included a genuine understanding of university priorities and politics, chair and faculty leadership, strong internal and external communication, a willingness to lead and think creatively, and maintaining a focus on academic and educational excellence.
“Core Stability”: Should There Be a Bigger Focus on Foundational Skills in the Kinesiology Curriculum?
Barry Braun, Nancy I. Williams, Carol Ewing Garber, and Matthew Hickey
As the discipline of kinesiology ponders what should compose a kinesiology curriculum, it is worth considering the broad context. What is our responsibility to imbue students with values, viewpoint, and a vocabulary that facilitates their success in a context greater than our discipline? How do we decide what those things are (e.g., professional integrity, analytical thinking, cultural understanding, social responsibility, problem solving, leadership and engaged citizenship, effective communication, working collaboratively, preparation for lifelong learning)? How do we create a curriculum that provides sufficient understanding of disciplinary knowledge and critically important foundational skills? The purpose of this paper is to provide a jumping-off point for deeper discussion of what our students need most and how we can deliver it.
Physical Education Teacher Education in Kinesiology: Past, Present, and Future
Melinda A. Solmon, Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods, Nancy I. Williams, Thomas J. Templin, Sarah L. Price, and Alison Weimer
This paper evolved from a panel discussion presented at the 2020 American Kinesiology Association Leadership Workshop focused on promoting physical activity through Kinesiology teaching and outreach. The authors consider the role of Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) in promoting physical activity by examining the historical role that PETE has played in what are now Departments of Kinesiology, the status of PETE programs today, and how the future of PETE programs can impact the future of the discipline of Kinesiology. The challenges and barriers that PETE programs face are presented. The role of PETE programs in research institutions is examined, and case studies are presented that demonstrate the complexities the academic units face regarding allocating resources to PETE programs. The consequences of program termination are considered, and the authors then make a case that PETE programs are important to the broader discipline of Kinesiology. The authors conclude by encouraging innovative solutions that can be developed to help PETE programs thrive.
The Association of a High Drive for Thinness With Energy Deficiency and Severe Menstrual Disturbances: Confirmation in a Large Population of Exercising Women
Jenna C. Gibbs, Nancy I. Williams, Jennifer L. Scheid, Rebecca J. Toombs, and Mary Jane De Souza
A high drive-for-thinness (DT) score obtained from the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 is associated with surrogate markers of energy deficiency in exercising women. The purposes of this study were to confirm the association between DT and energy deficiency in a larger population of exercising women that was previously published and to compare the distribution of menstrual status in exercising women when categorized as high vs. normal DT. A high DT was defined as a score ≥7, corresponding to the 75th percentile for college-age women. Exercising women age 22.9 ± 4.3 yr with a BMI of 21.2±2.2 kg/m2 were retrospectively grouped as high DT (n = 27) or normal DT (n = 90) to compare psychometric, energetic, and reproductive characteristics. Chi-square analyses were performed to compare the distribution of menstrual disturbances between groups. Measures of resting energy expenditure (REE) (4,949 ± 494 kJ/day vs. 5,406 ± 560 kJ/day, p < .001) and adjusted REE (123 ± 16 kJ/LBM vs. 130 ± 9 kJ/LBM, p = .027) were suppressed in exercising women with high DT vs. normal DT, respectively. Ratio of measured REE to predicted REE (pREE) in the high-DT group was 0.85 ± 0.10, meeting the authors’ operational definition for an energy deficiency (REE:pREE <0.90). A greater prevalence of severe menstrual disturbances such as amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea was observed in the high-DT group (χ2 = 9.3, p = .003) than in the normal-DT group. The current study confirms the association between a high DT score and energy deficiency in exercising women and demonstrates a greater prevalence of severe menstrual disturbances in exercising women with high DT.
Indices of Resting Metabolic Rate Accurately Reflect Energy Deficiency in Exercising Women
Nicole C.A. Strock, Kristen J. Koltun, Emily A. Southmayd, Nancy I. Williams, and Mary Jane De Souza
Energy deficiency in exercising women can lead to physiological consequences. No gold standard exists to accurately estimate energy deficiency, but measured-to-predicted resting metabolic rate (RMR) ratio has been used to categorize women as energy deficient. The purpose of the study was to (a) evaluate the accuracy of RMR prediction methods, (b) determine the relationships with physiological consequences of energy deficiency, and (c) evaluate ratio thresholds in a cross-sectional comparison of ovulatory, amenorrheic, or subclinical menstrual disturbances in exercising women (n = 217). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and indirect calorimetry provided data on anthropometrics and energy expenditure. Harris–Benedict, DXA, and Cunningham (1980 and 1991) equations were used to estimate RMR and RMR ratio. Group differences were assessed (analysis of variance and Kruskal–Wallis tests); logistic regression and Spearman correlations related ratios with consequences of energy deficiency (i.e., low total triiodothyronine; TT3). Sensitivity and specificity calculations evaluated ratio thresholds. Amenorrheic women had lower RMR (p < .05), DXA ratio (p < .01), Cunningham1980 (p < .05) and Cunningham1991 (p < .05) ratio, and TT3 (p < .01) compared with the ovulatory group. Each prediction equation overestimated measured RMR (p < .001), but predicted (p < .001) and positively correlated with TT3 (r = .329–.453). A 0.90 ratio threshold yielded highest sensitivity for Cunningham1980 (0.90) and Harris–Benedict (0.87) methods, but a higher ratio threshold was best for DXA (0.94) and Cunningham1991 (0.92) methods to yield a sensitivity of 0.80. In conclusion, each ratio predicted and correlated with TT3, supporting the use of RMR ratio as an alternative assessment of energetic status in exercising women. However, a 0.90 ratio cutoff is not universal across RMR estimation methods.
Capturing Detectable Relaxin Concentrations in Eumenorrheic Non-Pregnant Women
Travis Anderson, Sandra J. Shultz, Nancy I. Williams, Ellen Casey, Zachary Kincaid, Jay L. Lieberman, and Laurie Wideman
Evidence suggests menstrual cycle variation in the hormone relaxin may have an impact on ligament integrity and may be associated with risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury in physically active women. However, studies to date have only detected relaxin in a small number of participants, possibly due to inter-individual variability, frequency of sample collection, or analytical techniques. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze serial serum samples in moderately active, eumenorrheic women to identify the proportion of women with detectable relaxin concentrations. Secondary analyses were conducted on two independent data sets. Data Set I (DSI; N = 66) participants provided samples for 6 days of menses and 8–10 days of the luteal phase. Data Set II (DSII; N = 15) participants provided samples every 2–3 days for a full menstrual cycle. Samples were analyzed via a relaxin-2 specific ELISA assay. Limit of detection (LOD) was calculated from the empirical assay data. LOD was calculated as 3.57 pg·ml−1. Relaxin concentrations exceeded the LOD in 90.91% (DSI) and 93.33% (DSII) of participants on at least 1 day of sampling. Actual peak values ranged from 0.0 pg·ml−1 to 118.0 pg·ml−1. Relaxin was detectable in a higher proportion of young women representing a broad range of physical activity levels when sampled more frequently. Future studies investigating relaxin should consider sampling on more than 1 day to accurately capture values among normal menstruating women.