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Brandon Grubbs, Ashley Artese, Karla Schmitt, Eileen Cormier and Lynn Panton

This pilot study assessed the feasibility of incorporating animal-assisted therapy teams (ATT) into a 6-week group exercise program for older adults (77 ± 6 years). Fifteen participants were randomly assigned to an exercise with ATT (E+ATT; n = 8) or exercise only (E; n = 7) group. Groups exercised 3x/week for 45 min. Feasibility was assessed by three objectives: (1) ATT will not need extensive preparation beyond their original therapy training; (2) the study will require minimal cost; and (3) ATT must not impair the effectiveness of the exercise program. By the study conclusion, all objectives were met. Time and cost were minimal for ATT, and adherence was 93% and 90% for E+ATT and E, respectively. There were significant improvements in both groups (p ≤ .05) for arm curls, get-up and go, and 6-min walk. The results of this pilot study suggest that it is feasible to incorporate ATT into group exercise programming for older adults.

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David R. Bassett, Jeffrey T. Fairbrother, Lynn B. Panton, Philip E. Martin and Ann M. Swartz

Undergraduate enrollments in kinesiology have grown over the past 20 years as the popularity of this major increased among students interested in the health professions. A panel discussion at the 2018 American Kinesiology Association workshop provided an overview of challenges facing kinesiology departments. Department leaders at four public universities discussed enrollment trends, faculty resources for teaching undergraduates, and budget models used at their universities. Comparisons were made with kinesiology departments at Big Ten universities to reflect more broadly on what is happening at U.S. public research institutions. At several universities, undergraduate kinesiology enrollments grew between 2008 and 2017, but at others, they leveled off or declined. In many cases, faculty resources have not kept pace with enrollments, leading to unhealthy student-to-faculty ratios. The panel discussed methods of coping with scarce resources for teaching undergraduates and how department leaders can use comparison data to stress the importance of adequate resources.

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Lynn B. Panton, Michael R. Kushnick, J. Derek Kingsley, Robert J. Moffatt, Emily M. Haymes and Tonya Toole

Background:

To evaluate physical activity with pedometers and health markers of chronic disease in obese, lower socioeconomic African American women.

Methods:

Thirty-five women (48 ± 8 y) wore pedometers for 2 weeks. One-way analyses of variances were used to compare age, weight, body mass indices (BMI), and health markers of chronic disease (including blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, glycosylated hemoglobin, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein) between women who were classified by steps per day as sedentary (SED < 5,000; 2,941 ± 1,161 steps/d) or active (ACT ≥ 5,000; 7,181 ± 2,398 steps/d).

Results:

ACT had significantly lower BMI (ACT: 37.2 ± 5.6; SED: 44.4 ± 7.2 kg/m2) and hip circumferences (ACT: 37.2 ± 5.6; SED: 44.4 ± 37.2 cm) and higher total cholesterol (ACT: 230 ± 53; SED: 191 ± 32 mg/dL) than SED. There were no differences in health markers of chronic disease between SED and ACT. Pearson product moment correlations showed significant negative correlations between steps/d and weight (r = –.42), BMI (r = –.46), and hip circumference (r = –.47).

Conclusions:

Increased levels of physical activity were associated with reduced BMI and hip circumferences but were not associated with lower health markers for chronic disease in obese, lower socioeconomic African American women.