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Jayne M. Jenkins and Brandon L. Alderman

The Sport Education (SE) curricular model incorporated within university physical education Basic Instruction Program (BIP) may increase group cohesion. This study’s purpose was to identify student perceptions of a BIP course taught within SE, and investigate group cohesion in differing activity content. Participants included 430 students enrolled in 25 BIP classes delivered in SE. A mixed method design included multiple data collection: critical incident, interview, and Physical Activity Group Environmental Questionnaire (PAGEQ). Lifetime skill and competitive sport class participants reflected more group cohesion than exercise class participants. Exercise class participants reported lower task cohesion than other groups, p < .05. Sport participants reported higher social cohesion than lifetime skill participants, whose responses were higher than exercise participants, ps<.05. Findings from critical incident and interview data provided further support for the PAGEQ results. We suggest that exercise classes may not spontaneously lend themselves to cohesion; thus, teachers need to be more creative in designing SE for exercise classes to increase cohesion.

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Brandon L. Alderman, Ryan L. Olson and Diana M. Mattina

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of walking at self-selected speed on an active workstation on cognitive performance.

Methods:

Sixty-six participants (n = 27 males, 39 females; mean age = 21.06 ± 1.6 years) completed a treadmill-desk walking and a seated control condition, separated by 48 hours. During each condition, participants completed computerized versions of the Stroop test, a modified flanker task, and a test of reading comprehension.

Results:

No significant differences in response speed or accuracy were found between walking and sitting conditions for any the cognitive tests.

Conclusions:

These findings reveal that performance on cognitive tasks, including executive control processes, are not impaired by walking on an active workstation. Implementing active workstations into offices and classrooms may help to decrease sedentariness without impairing task performance.

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Brandon L. Alderman, Tami B. Benham-Deal and Jayne M. Jenkins

Background:

Parents are believed to play a pivotal role in their children’s health-related behaviors, including physical activity (PA). It is currently unclear, however, at what developmental period parental socialization has the strongest influence on child and/or adolescent PA levels. The purpose of this study was to take a developmental approach to examine parental influence on children’s PA levels over time.

Methods:

Parents (N = 70; 68 mothers) completed a questionnaire assessing PA habits, amount of time they engage in PA with their child, and reasons for their child’s PA participation at baseline (during child’s preschool years) and at follow-up, which occurred from 1 to 9 years later.

Results:

The results indicate that the relationship between parents’ and children’s physical activity patterns and parents’ reasons for their children’s participation in organized physical activity change over time. Parents also reported spending approximately 60 min per week engaged in physical activity together with their children at baseline compared with 40 min at follow-up.

Conclusions:

These findings help to extend previous research examining parental influences on children’s physical activity participation.

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Brandon L. Alderman, Tami Benham-Deal, Aaron Beighle, Heather E. Erwin and Ryan L. Olson

Little is known about the exact contribution of physical education (PE) to total daily physical activity (PA) among children and adolescents. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe the PA of middle school students during PE and non-PE days and determine if children would compensate for a lack of PE by increasing their PA later in the day. Two hundred seventy nine students (159 boys, 120 girls) wore pedometers (Walk4Life LS252, Plainfield, IL) during 5 school days, with at least two of the days including scheduled PE. The least (~1,575; 31% increase), moderately (~2,650; 20% increase), and most highly active students (~5,950; 34% increase) accumulated significantly more daily step counts on days when they participated in PE. Nearly three times the percent of boys (37%) and more than two times the percent of girls (61%) met the recommended steps/day guidelines on days when PE was offered. Rather than a compensatory effect, the most highly active students were more active on school days with PE, even after accounting for the steps they accrued in PE. The evidence is consistent with other studies that have found that PE contributes meaningfully to daily PA, that youth do not compensate when they are not provided opportunities to be physically active in school-based programs, and some youth are stimulated to be more active when they participate in school-based PA programs.

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Christopher J. Brush, Ryan L. Olson, Peter J. Ehmann, Steven Osovsky and Brandon L. Alderman

The purpose of this study was to examine possible dose–response and time course effects of an acute bout of resistance exercise on the core executive functions of inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. Twenty-eight participants (14 female; M age = 20.5 ± 2.1 years) completed a control condition and resistance exercise bouts performed at 40%, 70%, and 100% of their individual 10-repetition maximum. An executive function test battery was administered at 15 min and 180 min postexercise to assess immediate and delayed effects of exercise on executive functioning. At 15 min postexercise, high-intensity exercise resulted in less interference and improved reaction time (RT) for the Stroop task, while at 180 min low- and moderate-intensity exercise resulted in improved performance on plus–minus and Simon tasks, respectively. These findings suggest a limited and task-specific influence of acute resistance exercise on executive function in healthy young adults.

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Chun-Chih Wang, Brandon Alderman, Chih-Han Wu, Lin Chi, Su-Ru Chen, I-Hua Chu and Yu-Kai Chang

This study aimed to determine the comparative effectiveness of aerobic vs. resistance exercise on cognitive function. In addition, salivary cortisol responses, as an indicator of arousal-related neuroendocrine responses, were assessed as a potential mechanism underlying the effects of these 2 modes of acute exercise on cognition. Forty-two young adults were recruited and performed the Stroop task after 1 session of aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, and a sedentary condition performed on separate days. Saliva samples were collected at baseline and immediately and 30 min after treatment conditions. Acute exercise, regardless of exercise modality, improved multiple aspects of cognitive function as reflected by the Stroop task. Cortisol responses were higher after both modes of acute exercise compared with the sedentary condition and were higher at baseline and 30 min afterward compared with immediately after treatment conditions. These findings suggest that acute exercise of moderate intensity facilitates cognitive function, and, although salivary cortisol is influenced by acute exercise, levels were not related to improvements in cognition.