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John Librett, Karla Henderson, Geoffrey Godbey, and James R. Morrow Jr.

The purpose of parks and recreation as well as public health is to seek the highest possible quality of life for individuals and communities. Unfortunately, little discourse has occurred between the parks and recreation and public health professions. This missed opportunity has resulted in an incomplete understanding of the spectrum of issues shared by the fields, a slow transdisciplinary learning curve, and a dearth of knowledge-based linkages between science and practice. The goal of the 2006 Cooper Institute Conference on Parks, Recreation, and Public Health: Collaborative Frameworks for Promoting Physical Activity was to highlight opportunities and advance cooperation between parks, recreation, and public health researchers and practitioners that result in collaborations that influence public health decisions at the macro (agency) and micro (individual) levels. This article introduces the discussion on scientific and practice issues in parks, recreation, and public health. By establishing a baseline of frameworks for strengthening collaboration we hope to improve the health and quality of life through parks and recreation-based physical activity.

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Sheila E. Henderson, Sheelagh M. Illingworth, and John Allen

This study addressed the question of whether there is a specific reaction time deficit in individuals with Down syndrome. To investigate this question, the manual and vocal reaction times of 18 Down syndrome and 2 control groups were compared. One control group consisted of intellectually handicapped children matched on intellectual ability, the other consisted of younger nonhandicapped children also of similar mental age. The results confirmed that a specific RT deficit does indeed exist and is present for both manual and vocal responses.

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Susan Henderson, Robin Tanner, Norma Klanderman, Abby Mattera, Lindsey Martin Webb, and John Steward

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Martin J. Barwood, Jo Corbett, John Feeney, Paul Hannaford, Dan Henderson, Ian Jones, and Jade Kirke

Purpose:

To establish the thermal and performance effects of wearing a lower-body graduated compression garment (GCG) in a hot environment (35.2°C ± 0.1°C) with a representative radiant heat load (~800 W/m2) in contrast to a control (running shorts) and sham condition (a compression garment 1 size larger than that recommended by the manufacturer), with the latter included to establish any placebo effect.

Method:

Eight participants (mean ± SD; age 21 ± 2 y, height 1.77 ± 0.06 m, mass 72.8 ± 7.1 kg, surface area, 1.89 ± 0.10 m2) completed 3 treadmill tests at a fixed speed for 15 min followed by a self-paced 5-km time trial. Performance (completion time) and pacing (split time), thermal responses (aural, skin, and mean body temperature, cardiac frequency), and perceptual responses (rating of perceived exertion [RPE], thermal sensation, thermal comfort) were measured.

Results:

Performance in the compression group was not different than in either sham or control at any stage (P > .05); completion time 26.08 ± 4.08, 26.05 ± 3.27, and 25.18 ± 3.15 min, respectively. At the end of the 5-km time trial, RPE was not different; it was 19 ± 1 across conditions. In general, thermal and perceptual responses were not different, although the radiant heat load increased site-specific skin temperature (quadriceps) in the garment conditions.

Conclusion:

GCG did not enhance performance in a hot environment with a representative radiant heat load. The sham treatment did not benefit perception. GCG provided no evidence of performance enhancement.