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Jane E. Clark and Jill Whitall

departments, particularly at University of California, Los Angeles and Berkeley, to justify their field as an academic discipline. In 1981, George Brooks in his edited book, Perspectives on the Academic Discipline of Physical Education, takes on the challenge to show the scholarly aspects of physical

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David I. Anderson and Richard E.A. van Emmerik

The 40th anniversary of the publication of George Brooks’s Perspectives on the Academic Discipline of Physical Education: A Tribute to G. Lawrence Rarick (1981) represents a wonderful opportunity to take stock of where the discipline of kinesiology stands today and how it has transformed over the

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Patricia Vertinsky

In this paper I view the history of kinesiology in America through the lens of a shifting academic landscape where physical culture and building acted upon each other to reflect emergent views concerning the nature of training in physical education and scientific developments around human movement. It is also an organizational history that has been largely lived in the gymnasium and the laboratory from its inception in the late nineteenth century to its current arrangements in the academy. Historians have referred to this in appropriately embodied terms as the head and the heart of physical education, and of course the impact of gender, class, and race was ever present. I conclude that the profession/discipline conundrum in kinesiology that has ebbed and flowed in the shifting spaces and carefully organized places of the academy has not gone away in the twenty-first century and that the complexities of today’s training require more fertile and flexible collaborative approaches in research, teaching, and professional training.

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Melinda A. Solmon

In reflecting on the evolution in perspectives on the academic discipline of kinesiology over the past 4 decades, perhaps the most substantive shift across the field has been the transition from the use of “physical education” as an umbrella term encompassing the subdisciplines to the use of the

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Jeffrey Martin

disciplines (e.g., coaching) who are not interested in becoming sport psychologists. In conclusion, based on these numbers I find it puzzling how anyone can categorize the sport psychology profession as healthy or recommend it, without many reservations and qualifications, to graduate students. In the next

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Øyvind Sandbakk, Guro Strøm Solli, and Hans-Christer Holmberg

performance in connection with sport competitions of varying duration is called for. In the present review, we summarize scientific knowledge concerning sex differences in world-record performance and the influence of sport discipline and competition duration. Furthermore, we discuss how physiological factors

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Hal A. Lawson and R. Scott Kretchmar

Debates-as-battles have characterized the histories of physical education and kinesiology. This colorful part of the field’s history was characterized by leaders’ narrow, rigid views, and it paved the way for divisiveness, excessive specialization, and fragmentation. Today’s challenge is to seek common purpose via stewardship-oriented dialogue, and it requires a return to first order questions regarding purposes, ethics, values, moral imperatives, and social responsibilities. These questions are especially timely insofar as kinesiology risks running on a kind of automatic pilot, seemingly driven by faculty self-interests and buffered from consequential changes in university environments and societal contexts. A revisionist history of kinesiology’s origins and development suggests that it can be refashioned as a helping discipline, one that combines rigor, relevance, and altruism. It gives rise to generative questions regarding what a 21st century discipline prioritizes and does, and it opens opportunity pathways for crossing boundaries and bridging divides. Three sets of conclusions illuminate unrealized possibilities for a vibrant, holistic kinesiology—a renewed discipline that is fit for purpose in 21st century contexts.

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David A. Dzewaltowski, Mary McElroy, Timothy I. Musch, David C. Poole, and Craig A. Harms

Kinesiology is an academic discipline with a body of content that can be drawn on to support professions and to solve important public health problems. The Kansas State Physical Activity Systems Framework defines a new approach to structure the discipline. Central to the framework is the rejection of a kinesiology subdisciplinary approach and the adoption of an integrated “cell-to-society” systems approach. Each level of physical activity systems is addressed in undergraduate and graduate education and research. Supporting the framework are two research and education teams: exercise physiology and exercise behavioral science. These teams provide core integrated academic discipline content expertise and expertise for integrating professional application areas, such as public health. The framework has evolved over 20 years at Kansas State University, where today the Department of Kinesiology delivers high-quality extramurally-funded research; BS, MS, MPH, and PhD programs; and outreach in a cost-effective manner.

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Espen Tønnessen, Thomas A. Haugen, Erlend Hem, Svein Leirstein, and Stephen Seiler


To generate updated Olympic-medal benchmarks for V̇O2max in winter endurance disciplines, examine possible differences in V̇O2max between medalists and nonmedalists, and calculate gender difference in V̇O2max based on a homogeneous subset of world-leading endurance athletes.


The authors identified 111 athletes who participated in winter Olympic Games/World Championships in the period 1990 to 2013. All identified athletes tested V̇O2max at the Norwegian Olympic Training Center within ±1 y of their championship performance. Testing procedures were consistent throughout the entire period.


For medal-winning athletes, the following relative V̇O2max values (mean:95% confidence intervals) for men/women were observed (mL · min–1 · kg–1): 84:87-81/72:77-68 for cross-country distance skiing, 78:81-75/68:73-64 for cross-country sprint skiing, 81:84-78/67:73-61 for biathlon, and 77:80-75 for Nordic combined (men only). Similar benchmarks for absolute V̇O2max (L/min) in male/female athletes are 6.4:6.1-6.7/4.3:4.1-4.5 for cross-country distance skiers, 6.3:5.8-6.8/4.0:3.7-4.3 for cross-country sprint skiers, 6.2:5.7-6.4/4.0:3.7-4.3 for biathletes, and 5.3:5.0-5.5 for Nordic combined (men only). The difference in relative V̇O2max between medalists and nonmedalists was large for Nordic combined, moderate for cross-country distance and biathlon, and small/trivial for the other disciplines. Corresponding differences in absolute V̇O2max were small/trivial for all disciplines. Male cross-country medalists achieve 15% higher relative V̇O2max than corresponding women.


This study provides updated benchmark V̇O2max values for Olympic-medal-level performance in winter endurance disciplines and can serve as a guideline of the requirements for future elite athletes.

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Harold W. Kohl III and Jennifer M. Hootman