Previous research has reported that Hispanic youth were significantly higher in skinfolds and body mass index (BMI) when contrasted to national reference data or comparison groups of white youth. The present study sought to determine the passing percentage for a sample of Hispanic youth for the BMI and the 1-mile run (OMR) using the Fitnessgram standards. The sample included 722 children, ages 7 to 14 years. The Hispanic youth’s passing percentages for the OMR compare favorably with the National Children and Youth Fitness Studies. The BMI results indicate the passing percentages are lower for the Hispanic, which is in agreement with past reports on body composition in Hispanic youth. Using the Fitnessgram standards, these data indicate the cardiovascular endurance of Hispanic youth may be similar to or better than the general population of children in the U.S. A higher rate of unhealthy body composition may be present, which would warrant targeted interventions for Hispanic children.
Karen H. Weiller, Allen W. Jackson, and Rhonda D. Meyer
Elaine J. Trudelle-Jackson, Allen W. Jackson, and James R. Morrow Jr.
Effect of muscle strength and balance on falls has not been well researched in healthy older women. The purpose of this study was to compare lower extremity strength and balance in older healthy women during each decade of life and to investigate which factors are different in women with a history of falling.
We retrospectively studied 240 women age 50-89 y. Measures of muscle strength, postural stability, and incidence of falls over the past year were obtained from client charts at Texas Woman’s University’s Health Promotion & Research Center from 1996 to 2002.
Strength declined significantly with age in all muscle groups except knee extensors. Age, hip flexor and abductor strength, and postural stability were significantly different in women who had fallen.
Strength decline was not consistent across muscle groups. Women who were older, had less hip flexor or abductor strength, or less balance were more likely to have fallen.
Scott B. Martin, Peggy A. Richardson, Karen H. Weiller, and Allen W. Jackson
During the past decade females have had more opportunities to participate in sports at various levels than ever before. These opportunities and the recognition received due to their success may have changed peoples’ views regarding same-sex role models, perceived parental encouragement, and expectations of success. Thus, the purpose of the study was to explore role models, perceived encouragement to participate in youth sport from parents, and sport expectations of adolescent athletes and their parents living in the United States of America. A questionnaire was administered to 426 adolescent athletes who competed in youth sport leagues and to one parent within each family unit (n=426). Chi square analysis indicated significant relationships between athletes’ gender and the gender of their role model and between parents’ gender and the gender of their role model (p = .0001). DM MANOVA revealed a significant multivariate difference for adolescent athletes and their parents on the questions concerning expectations for future athletic success. Post hoc analyses indicated that the athletes were more likely than their parents to believe that they could play at the college, Olympic, or professional levels. In addition, boys were more likely than girls to believe that they could play at the college, Olympic, and professional levels.
Scott B. Martin, Christy M. Polster, Allen W. Jackson, Christy A. Greenleaf, and Gretchen M. Jones
The purpose of this investigation was to explore the frequency and intensity of worries and fears associated with competitive gymnastics. These issues were initially examined in a sample of 7 female college gymnasts using a semistructured guided interview. From the themes that emerged and relevant literature, a survey including parallel intensity and frequency of worry questions was administered to 120 female gymnasts competing in USA Gymnastics sanctioned events. Results indicated that even though gymnasts worry about attempting and performing skills on the balance beam and uneven bars, more of them experienced a greater number of injuries on the floor exercise. Analysis of covariance for intensity and frequency using age as the covariate revealed that advanced gymnasts had more intense worries about body changes and performing skills and more frequent worries about body changes than less skilled gymnasts (p < .05). Advanced gymnasts also reported using more strategies to modify their worries than did less skilled gymnasts.
Shannon J. FitzGerald, Carolyn E. Barlow, James B. Kampert, James R. Morrow Jr., Allen W. Jackson, and Steven N. Blair
The beneficial effects of cardiorespiratory fitness on mortality are well known; however, the relation of muscular fitness, specifically muscular strength and endurance, to mortality risk has not been thoroughly examined. The purpose of the current study is to determine if a dose-response relation exists between muscular fitness and mortality after controlling for factors such as age and cardiorespiratory fitness.
The study included 9105 men and women, 20–82 years of age, in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study who have completed at least one medical examination at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TX between 1981 and 1989. The exam included a muscular fitness assessment, based on 1-min sit-up and 1-repetition maximal leg and bench press scores, and a maximal treadmill test. We conducted mortality follow-up through 1996 primarily using the National Death Index, with a total follow-up of 106,046 person-years. All-cause mortality rates were examined across low, moderate, and high muscular fitness strata.
Mortality was confirmed in 194 of 9105 participants (2.1%). The age- and sex-adjusted mortality rate of those in the lowest muscular fitness category was higher than that of those in the moderate fitness category (26.8 vs. 15.3 per 10,000 person-years, respectively). Those in the high fitness category had a mortality rate of 20.6 per 10,000 person-years. The moderate and high muscular fitness groups had relative risks of 0.64 (95%CI = 0.44–0.93) and 0.80 (95%CI = 0.49–1.31), adjusting for age, health status, body mass index, cigarette smoking, and cardio-respiratory fitness when compared with the low muscular fitness group.
Mortality rates were lower for individuals with moderate/high muscular fitness compared to individuals with low muscular fitness. These findings warrant further research to confirm the apparent threshold effect between low and moderate/high muscular fitness and all-cause mortality.
Jacob S. Tucker, Scott Martin, Allen W. Jackson, James R. Morrow Jr., Christy A. Greenleaf, and Trent A. Petrie
To investigate the relations between sedentary behaviors and health-related physical fitness and physical activity in middle school boys and girls.
Students (n = 1515) in grades 6–8 completed the Youth Risk Behavior Survey sedentary behavior questions, the FITNESSGRAM physical fitness items, and FITNESSGRAM physical activity self-report questions.
When students reported ≤ 2 hours per day of sedentary behaviors, their odds of achieving the FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zone for aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition increased. Similarly, the odds of achieving physical activity guidelines for children increased when students reported ≤ 2 hours per day of sedentary behaviors.
Results illustrate the importance of keeping sedentary behaviors to ≤ 2 hours per day in middle school children, thus increasing the odds that the student will achieve sufficient health-related fitness benefits and be more likely to achieve the national physical activity guidelines.