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Peter Hastie, Oleg Sinelnikov and Danielle Wadsworth

Background:

This study compares the aerobic fitness status of a sample of rural American and Russian children, and examines these findings in light of their out of school physical activity participation.

Methods:

Ten and eleven year old (N = 415) children from both countries completed a 15 m Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) fitness test, and following the test, the children scoring beyond the upper limit of the healthy fitness zone were interviewed with regard to their out-of-school participation in physical activity.

Results:

The Russian students achieved significantly higher scores than American students (P < .001), and males scored higher than females for both countries (P < .001). After examining the profiles of the students 3 apparent themes begin to emerge: Russian students walk to and from school; the students in both settings who achieve a superior fitness level participate in after school physical activity; after school activities for the American students appear to be more recreational orientated than the Russian students, who participate in structured training in sports clubs.

Conclusions:

For the students in this study, it appears that participating in after school activity may have contributed to achieving high levels of aerobic fitness.

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Nancy M. Gell and Danielle D. Wadsworth

Background:

The study evaluated the effects of a text message intervention on physical activity in adult working women.

Methods:

Eightyseven participants were randomized to an intervention (n = 41) or control group (n = 46). Pedometer step counts and measures of self-efficacy were collected at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. Intervention participants received approximately 3 text messages per week that were motivational, informational, and specific to performing physical activity.

Results:

ANCOVA results showed a significant difference between groups for mean steps per day at 12 weeks (6540.0 vs. 5685.0, P = .01) and no significant difference at 24 weeks (6867.7 vs. 6189.0, P = .06). There was no change in mean step counts during or after the intervention compared with baseline. There was a significant difference between groups for mean self-efficacy scores at 12 weeks (68.5 vs. 60.3, P = .02) and at 24 weeks (67.3 vs. 59.0, P = .03).

Conclusion:

Intervention participants had higher step counts after 12 and 24 weeks compared with a control group; however, the difference was significant only at the midpoint of the intervention and was attributable to a decrease in steps for the control group. Text messaging did not increase step counts but may be a cost-effective tool for maintenance of physical activity behavior.

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Sheri J. Brock, Danielle Wadsworth, Shelby Foote and Mary E. Rudisill

Institutions of higher education have a responsibility to prioritize the needs of society and local communities. One essential need prevalent in all communities is to address the rise of obesity and health risks due to lack of participation in physical activity. In the United States, children spend a small percentage of time engaged in physical activity, and engagement decreases further in adolescence and adulthood. Collaborative partnerships between kinesiology faculty at universities and community organizations are one avenue for engaging children in physical activity. Partnerships must be multilevel and community wide to evoke change and have long-term impact and sustainability. Within the context of community-based research, we propose a three-step framework for establishing collaborative partnerships: (1) determining the needs of partners; (2) discussing expertise, services, and philosophy; and (3) providing a quality product. In addition, we outline and illustrate our experiences when collaborating with community partners to promote physical activity.

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Peter Hastie, Hans van der Mars, Todd Layne and Danielle Wadsworth

This study examined the effectiveness of three conditions in which 48 fourth-grade students were prompted to be physically active out of school. Using an alternating treatments design (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007) the three intervention conditions included: (a) Baseline: No prompting of students, (b) Teacher Prompts: Verbal prompt to “remember to do something active after school today”, and (c) Teacher Prompts and group-oriented contingencies: Verbal prompts with an index card where students could record their activity to earn bonus points as part of a team challenge. Graphically plotted pedometer data depicting data paths, variability, and trends within and across three conditions showed that students were more active outside of school only when the contingent reinforcement (c) was in place. This suggests that using prompts and group-oriented contingencies within Sport Education appears to be an effective and authentic context for promoting independent (i.e., free play) out-of-school time physical activity.

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Jared Russell, Danielle Wadsworth, Peter Hastie and Mary Rudisill

The purpose of this paper is to describe the precursors to and development of the School of Kinesiology's portal, which is used to deliver multimedia content to the approximately 7,000 students annually enrolled in physical activity and wellness program courses. Grounded in research, the paper addresses the initial rationale for changing the physical activity program focus, the implementation of a new delivery system of course content, and the benefits to students and instructors that have been realized. Research possibilities are also outlined. The paper concludes with an examination of issues that faculty at other institutions might consider when developing an online component within their physical activity and wellness programs.

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Sheri J. Brock, Danielle Wadsworth, Nikki Hollett and Mary E. Rudisill

The School of Kinesiology at Auburn University is using Movband Technology to support online learning in their physical activity program. Active Auburn is a 2-hr credit course that encourages students (n = 2,000/year) to become physically active through online instruction and tracking physical activity using Movband technology. Movband technology allows for uploading and monitoring group physical activity data. The implementation of this technology has allowed the School of Kinesiology to: (a) promote physical activity on our campus, (b) serve a large number of students, (c) reduce demand on classroom/physical activity space, and (d) promote our research and outreach scholarship as well, by collecting physical activity profiles for students enrolled in the course. Students report they enjoy the course and that they appreciate the “freedom to exercise” when it best fits into their schedule. This course generates considerable revenue to support course instruction and much more for the School of Kinesiology.

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E. Kipling Webster, Danielle D. Wadsworth and Leah E. Robinson

This study examined the acute effects of a 10-min teacher-implemented classroom-based activity break (AB) on physical activity participation and time on-task in a preschool-age population. 118 (M age = 3.80 ± 0.69 years) students from one preschool served as participants. The intervention took place over 4 days: 2 days AB were conducted and 2 days typical instruction occurred. Physical activity was monitored via accelerometry and time on-task was measured by direct observation. Results demonstrated that AB led to a higher percent of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during the AB (M = 29.7%, p > .001). Breaks also promoted more on-task behavior (FU17 = 18.86, p > .001) following the AB. Specifically, the most off-task students before the break improved on-task behavior by 30 percentage points (p > .001). Percent of school day MVPA was also higher during AB days (i117 = 3.274, p = .001). Findings indicate teachers may improve time on-task postbreak for preschoolers with a short bout of physical activity in the classroom, especially in children who are the most off-task. In addition, classroom-based AB resulted in marginal increases in MVPA during breaks that influenced whole day activity.

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Danielle D. Wadsworth, Reita Clanton, Ford Dyke, Sheri J. Brock and Mary E. Rudisill

Mental health is a major concern for higher education and students are starting their college experience with psychological issues or developing mental health problems after enrollment. Because physical activity and exercise have known mental health benefits, the field of kinesiology can facilitate the delivery of physical activity and exercise programs aimed at reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as promote healthy coping mechanisms. The School of Kinesiology at Auburn University has implemented a framework to address mental health on campus and within our community. Our framework consists of coursework, outreach efforts, and establishing key partnerships to facilitate the delivery and sustainability of our programs. Our programs enable individuals to establish self-regulation skills, use a mindfulness-based approach, or participate in yoga, thereby establishing effective and healthy coping mechanisms. This paper discusses the evolution of our framework, as well as barriers and facilitators of implementation and sustainability.

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Danielle D. Wadsworth, Mary E. Rudisill, Jared A. Russell, James R. McDonald and David D. Pascoe

The School of Kinesiology at Auburn University unites teaching, research, and outreach efforts to provide access to physical activity for local, statewide, and global communities. This paper provides a brief overview of the programs as well as strategies to mobilize efforts for physical activity outreach within an academic setting. School-wide efforts include youth initiatives, physical activity assessments offered through our TigerFit program, and the United States Olympic Team Handball training center. All programs provide service-learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students as well as outreach outcomes. Furthermore, the programs provide a platform for scholarship in the form of publications, partnerships for grant submissions, and student research projects. Merging teaching, outreach, and scholarship has provided longevity for the programs, thereby establishing long-term social ties to the community and providing continued access to physical activity to promote public health.

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Melissa Pangelinan, Marc Norcross, Megan MacDonald, Mary Rudisill, Danielle Wadsworth and James McDonald

Experiential learning provides undergraduate students rich opportunities to enhance their knowledge of core concepts in kinesiology. Beyond these outcomes, it enables students to gain exposure to, build empathy for, and affect the lives of individuals from diverse populations. However, the development, management, and systematic evaluation of experiential learning vary drastically across programs. Thus, the purpose of this review was to critically evaluate the experiential-learning programs at Auburn University and Oregon State University with respect to best practices outlined by the National Society for Experiential Education. The authors provide examples of lessons learned from these two programs to help others improve the implementation and impact of undergraduate experiential learning.