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Toben F. Nelson, Steven L. Gortmaker, S. V. Subramanian and Henry Wechsler

Background:

Vigorous physical activity (VPA) declines from adolescence into adulthood and social disparities in VPA exist. Physical activity is understudied in the college setting.

Methods:

VPA during high school and college was examined among 10,437 students attending 119 four-year colleges using gender-stratified logistic regression analyses.

Results:

Fewer students engaged in VPA in college compared with high school (males 74% to 52%; females 68% to 44%). Athletics was associated with VPA, but 51% participated in high school and 15% in college. Among females, African Americans, Asians, and students of lower socioeconomic position (SEP) were less likely to engage in VPA in college, adjusting for high school VPA. Among males, Asians and older students were less likely to engage in VPA.

Conclusions:

VPA declines from high school to college. Athletic participation is a determinant of VPA, but few participate in collegiate athletics. Social disparities in VPA emerge in college, an important setting for promoting VPA and addressing health disparities. Regular physical activity is an important contributor to human health. It is positively associated with longevity and may prevent or help manage diabetes, metabolic syndrome, overweight, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer.1-8 Among children and adolescents, lack of physical activity is associated with higher body mass index.9-10 Physical activity is also associated with positive mood, self-esteem, and decreased anxiety.11-14

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Galya Bigman, Vandita Rajesh, Laura M. Koehly, Larkin L. Strong, Abiodun O. Oluyomi, Sara S. Strom and Anna V. Wilkinson

Background:

Existing racial/ethnic disparities in physical activity during childhood increase Hispanics’ risk of developing chronic diseases, which serves to increase health disparities. This study examined associations of family cohesion and conflict with self-reported moderate-tovigorous physical activity (MVPA), controlling for psychosocial covariates such as subjective social status, anxiety, and sensation-seeking.

Methods:

1000 Mexican origin adolescents reported their MVPA levels approximately 2 years apart. Psychosocial covariates, family cohesion and conflict were measured at the first assessment. Generalized Linear Models were used to prospectively examine the relationship between family cohesion and conflict and subsequent MVPA based on 711 participants who had low levels of baseline MVPA.

Results:

35% of boys and 24% of girls reported adequate MVPA levels at follow-up; girls were less likely to report adequate MVPA (RR = 0.76; 95% CI: 0.61–0.93) than boys. Overall, family cohesion was associated with MVPA (P = .01), but family cohesion was not (P = .41). Gender-based analyses revealed that adequate MVPA was associated with family cohesion (RR = 1.40; 95% CI: 1.03–1.88), sensation seeking (RR = 1.05; 95% CI: 1.00–1.10), and age (RR = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.74–0.98) among girls and with subjective social status (RR = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.08–1.33) among boys.

Conclusions:

The family social environment and gender differences should be addressed in health promotion programs targeting MVPA.

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Johanna Eronen, Mikaela von Bonsdorff, Merja Rantakokko, Erja Portegijs, Anne Viljanen and Taina Rantanen

Life-space mobility describes the extent of community mobility of older persons. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and life-space mobility and to investigate whether associations might be explained by SES-related disparities in health and functioning. The participants (n = 848) were community-dwelling adults aged 75–90. Education and occupation were used to indicate SES. Life-space assessment (range 0–120) was used to indicate distance and frequency of moving and assistance needed in moving. People with low education had lower life-space mobility scores than those with intermediate or high education: marginal means 63.5, 64.8, and 70.0 (p = .003), respectively. SES-related health disparities, i.e., higher body mass index, poorer cognitive capacity, and poorer physical performance explained the association, rendering it nonsignificant (marginal means 65.2, 65.3, and 67.5, p = .390). Low SES and restricted life-space mobility often coexist with overweight, reduced cognition, and poorer physical performance.

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Peter T. Katzmarzyk, Kara D. Denstel, Kim Beals, Christopher Bolling, Carly Wright, Scott E. Crouter, Thomas L. McKenzie, Russell R. Pate, Brian E. Saelens, Amanda E. Staiano, Heidi I. Stanish and Susan B. Sisson

Background:

The 2016 United States (U.S.) Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth provides a comprehensive evaluation of physical activity levels and factors influencing physical activity among children and youth.

Methods:

The report card includes 10 indicators: Overall Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, Active Transportation, Organized Sport Participation, Active Play, Health-related Fitness, Family and Peers, School, Community and the Built Environment, and Government Strategies and Investments. Nationally representative data were used to evaluate the indicators using a standard grading rubric.

Results:

Sufficient data were available to assign grades to 7 of the indicators, and these ranged from B- for Community and the Built Environment to F for Active Transportation. Overall Physical Activity received a grade of D- due to the low prevalence of meeting physical activity guidelines. A grade of D was assigned to Health-related Fitness, reflecting the low prevalence of meeting cardiorespiratory fitness standards. Disparities across age, gender, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups were observed for several indicators.

Conclusions:

Continued poor grades suggest that additional work is required to provide opportunities for U.S. children to be physically active. The observed disparities indicate that special attention should be given to girls, minorities, and those from lower socioeconomic groups when implementing intervention strategies.

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Timothy C. Mauntel, Eric G. Post, Darin A. Padua and David R. Bell

A disparity exists between the rates of male and female lower extremity injuries. One factor that may contribute to this disparity is high-risk biomechanical patterns that are commonly displayed by females. It is unknown what biomechanical differences exist between males and females during an overhead squat. This study compared lower extremity biomechanics during an overhead squat and ranges of motion between males and females. An electromagnetic motion tracking system interfaced with a force platform was used to quantify peak lower extremity kinematics and kinetics during the descent phase of each squat. Range of motion measurements were assessed with a standard goniometer. Differences between male and female kinematics, kinetics, and ranges of motion were identified with t tests. Males displayed greater peak knee valgus angle, peak hip flexion angle, peak vertical ground reaction forces, and peak hip extension moments. Males also displayed less active ankle dorsiflexion with the knee extended and hip internal and external rotation than females. No other differences were observed. The biomechanical differences between males and females during the overhead squat may result from differences in lower extremity ranges of motion. Therefore, sex-specific injury prevention programs should be developed to improve biomechanics and ranges of motion.

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Tracie A. Barnett, Lise Gauvin, Cora L. Craig and Peter T. Katzmarzyk

Background:

We investigated the population trajectory of leisure time physical activity (LTPA) in adults age 18 to 60 y (n = 881), who were recruited in 1981 for the Canada Fitness Survey and followed-up through the Campbell’s Survey on Well-Being (1988) and the Physical Activity Longitudinal Study (2002/04).

Methods:

Data on involvement in LTPA were collected by questionnaire and used to estimate average daily energy expenditure (EE) (kcal · kg-1 · d-1) during leisure time. Growth trajectory modeling was used to describe the overall population trajectory of LTPA and the extent to which average trajectories varied between sub-groups defined by age, sex, and education.

Results:

The population trajectory of LTPA over time was modified by baseline age, but not by sex or by level of education. Disparities in LTPA related to sex and education persisted over two decades.

Conclusion:

This longitudinal investigation improves our understanding of the processes underlying patterns of LTPA in adults.

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Ken A. McLachlan, Aron J. Murphy, Mark L. Watsford and Sven Rees

Two popular methods of assessing lower body musculotendinous stiffness include the hopping and oscillation tests. The disparity and paucity of reliability data prompted this investigation into leg musculotendinous stiffness (Kleg) and ankle musculotendinous stiffness (Kank) measures. Kleg and Kank were assessed on three separate occasions in 20 female subjects. Kleg was determined using bilateral hopping procedures conducted at 2.2 Hz and 3.2 Hz frequencies. Kank was assessed by perturbation of the subject's ankle musculotendinous unit on an instrumented calf raise apparatus at 70% of maximum isometric force (MIF). Excellent reliability was produced for all Kleg measures between all days, whereas Kank exhibited acceptable reliability after one session of familiarization. No relationship was evident between Kleg and Kank. It was concluded that no familiarization session was required for Kleg at the test frequencies and conditions tested, whereas at least one familiarization session was needed to ensure the reliable assessment of Kank.

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Cecilia Persson, Jon Summers and Richard M. Hall

A spinal cord injury may lead to loss of motor and sensory function and even death. The biomechanics of the injury process have been found to be important to the neurological damage pattern, and some studies have found a protective effect of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). However, the effect of the CSF thickness on the cord deformation and, hence, the resulting injury has not been previously investigated. In this study, the effects of natural variability (in bovine) as well as the difference between bovine and human spinal canal dimensions on spinal cord deformation were studied using a previously validated computational model. Owing to the pronounced effect that the CSF thickness was found to have on the biomechanics of the cord deformation, it can be concluded that results from animal models may be affected by the disparities in the CSF layer thickness as well as by any difference in the biological responses they may have compared with those of humans.

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Gregory A. Cranmer, Alexander L. Lancaster and Tina M. Harris

The disparity in framing in sport media based on athlete race has historically garnered extensive attention. In the past, the media promoted historical stereotypes of Black athletes that emphasized their physical prowess and diminished their intellectual capacity. However, recent research provides evidence that these traditional frames are changing and that recent media coverage is more racially equitable or even contradicts old patterns. Advancing this critique further, the current study examined novel visual frames (i.e., the emphasis of athleticism, sporting context, and sexualization) of White and Black athletes in ESPN’s The Body Issue. The findings contradict historical patterns of representations of Black athletes through the identification of a shift in the framing patterns for Black male athletes, whereas Black female athletes still face frames that portray them in a stereotypical manner. This study recognizes these tensions while successfully illustrating the importance of examining the intersections of difference for revealing and confronting the unique portrayals of Black female athletes.

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Glyn Hughes

This article explores the intersection of representation, management, and race in the National Basketball Association (NBA) through a larger question on the relationship between corporate strategies for managing racialized subjects and popular representations of race. The NBA “brand”is situated in terms of recent developments in corporate and popular culture and then analyzed as an example of diversity management. Relying on original interviews with NBA corporate employees, as well as business and marketing industry reporting, the article analyzes the NBA as simultaneously an organization and a brand. As such, the NBA helps to “articulate” the corporate with the popular, largely through an implied racial project that manages race relations by continuing to equate corporate interests with Whiteness. The analysis contributes to ongoing discussions about the role of sports in perpetuating social disparities based on race at a time when “colorblindness” remains the paradigm of White approaches to race.