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Rachael C. Stone and Joseph Baker

The prevalence of arthritis in aging populations continues to rapidly grow. Research has highlighted 2 principal risk factors for progression of arthritis-related biopsychosocial symptoms: age and physical inactivity. This study examined the relationship between and within physical activity and age on biopsychosocial symptoms of arthritis in adults (age ≥ 30 yr). Hierarchical, multiple-regression analyses were conducted on the Canadian Community Health Survey (Cycle 4.2, 2009–2010, N = 19,103). Results revealed that more-active adults had significantly fewer symptoms (physical unstd. B = −.23, p ≤ .001; pyschosocial unstd. B = −.51, p ≤ .001). In addition, as age increased, physical symptoms intensified and psychosocial symptoms tapered (physical unstd. B = .24, p ≤ .001; psychosocial unstd. B = −.45, p ≤ .001). Inactive older adults had the highest level of physical symptoms, while inactive younger adults had the highest level of psychosocial symptoms (p ≤ .001). Findings highlight the need to target physical activity interventions to specific age cohorts and particular biopsychosocial symptomologies.

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Martyn Rothwell, Joseph Stone and Keith Davids

Social, cultural, and historical constraints can influence attitudes towards learning, developing, and performing in sport. A recent conceptualization of these environmental constraints in athlete development pathways is a form of life, which describes the values, beliefs, traditions, customs, and behaviors that contribute to an athlete’s development. Although a form of life can have a powerful influence on athlete development, research exploring this relationship is limited. In this article we explore the form of life in British rugby league football player development contexts to clarify how social, cultural, and historical constraints influence the development of rugby league players in the United Kingdom. Twenty-four coaches were interviewed through individual semi-structured interviews to collect the data. Findings show how forms of life in rugby league player development pathways are established and maintained by the complex interactions between the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem that shape and guide the development of players. We recommend that player development pathways in sport underpin practice with a theoretical framework of the learning process to protect athletes from social, cultural, and historical constraints that are not conducive to their development.

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Joshua Nimmins, Ben Strafford and Joseph Stone

Manipulation of task constraints have previously been effective in task simplification enhancing skill development. This study examines how manipulation of puck masses affects movement behaviors in skilled and less-skilled ice hockey players during a representative ice hockey task. Fifty participants were separated into a skilled (n = 25) or less-skilled (n = 25) group. Three trials per condition of an obstacle course and breakaway goal attempt were completed in a counter-balanced design using three puck masses, categorized as light (133 g), regulation (170 g), and heavy (283 g). Findings revealed that use of the light puck by less-skilled participants reduced obstacle-course completion time (p < .05, ηp2=.781) and error occurrence (p < .05, ηp2=.699) while improving shot accuracy (p < .05, ηp2=.430) and goal success (p < .05, ηp2=.092) compared to the regulation and heavy puck. However, skilled participants had a decrease in performance when deviating from the regulation puck for all the dependent measures excluding an increase in goal success when using the light puck (p < .05, ηp2=.430). Findings demonstrated the functional coupling of puck mass and movement behaviors are dependent on the skill level of the performer.

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Rachael C. Stone, Zina Rakhamilova, William H. Gage and Joseph Baker

While physical activity is increasingly promoted for older adults, there is a paucity of sport promotion, which has distinct benefits from exercise and remains stereotypically associated with younger age. Curling is a moderately intense and safe sport that continues to gain popularity; however, no research has investigated psychophysical benefits of curling for older adults. The present study compares high-experience (20+ years; n = 63) and low-experience (<20 years; n = 53) curlers (aged 60+ years) with older adult noncurlers (n = 44) on measures of daily functionality, balance confidence, and perceptions of the aging process. While no significant differences were found between high- and low-experience curlers, any level of experience reported significantly better functionality, physical confidence, and aging attitudes compared to noncurlers (p ≤ .05). Although further research is necessary, the results suggest that any level of curling experience can enhance older adult psychophysical well-being, and warrants consideration for physical activity promotion and falls prevention programs.

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Michael H. Stone, Kimberly Sanborn, Lucille L. Smith, Harold S. O'Bryant, Tommy Hoke, Alan C. Utter, Robert L. Johnson, Rhonda Boros, Joseph Hruby, Kyle C. Pierce, Margaret E. Stone and Brindley Garner

The purpose of this investigation was to study the efficacy of two dietary supplements on measures of body mass, body composition, and performance in 42 American football players. Group CM (n = 9) received creatine monohy-drate, Group P (n = 11) received calcium pyruvate. Group COM (n = 11) received a combination of calcium pyruvate (60%) and creatine (40%), and Group PL received a placebo. Tests were performed before (Tl) and after (T2) the 5-week supplementation period, during which the subjects continued their normal training schedules. Compared to P and PL. CM and COM showed significantly greater increases for body mass, lean body mass, 1 repetition maximum (RM) bench press, combined 1 RM squat and bench press, and static vertical jump (SVJ) power output. Peak rate of force development for SVJ was significantly greater for CM compared to P and PL. Creatine and the combination supplement enhanced training adaptations associated with body mass/composition, maximum strength, and SVJ; however, pyruvate supplementation alone was ineffective.

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Jason D. Stone, Adam C. King, Shiho Goto, John D. Mata, Joseph Hannon, James C. Garrison, James Bothwell, Andrew R. Jagim, Margaret T. Jones and Jonathan M. Oliver

Purpose: To provide a joint-level analysis of traditional (TS) and cluster (CS) set structure during the back-squat exercise. Methods: Eight men (24 [3] y, 177.3 [7.9] cm, 82.7 [11.0] kg, 11.9 [3.5] % body fat, and 150.3 [23.0] kg 1-repetition maximum [1RM]) performed the back-squat exercise (80%1RM) using TS (4 × 6, 2-min interset rest) and CS (4 × [2 × 3], 30-s intraset rest, 90-s interset rest), randomly. Lower-limb kinematics were collected by motion capture, as well as kinetic data by bilateral force platforms. Results: CS attenuated the loss in mean power (TS −21.6% [3.9%]; CS −12.4% [7.5%]; P = .042), although no differences in gross movement pattern (sagittal-plane joint angles) within and between conditions were observed (P ≥ .05). However, joint power produced at the hip increased from repetition (REP) 1 through REP 6 during TS, while a decrease was noted at the knee. A similar pattern was observed in the CS condition but was limited to the hip. Joint power produced at the hip increased from REP 1 through REP 3 but returned to REP 1 values before a similar increase through REP 6, resulting in differences between conditions (REP 4, P = .018; REP 5, P = .022). Conclusions: Sagittal-plane joint angles did not change in either condition, although CS elicited greater power. Differing joint power contributions (hip and knee) suggest potential central mechanism that may contribute to enhanced power output during CS and warrant further study. Practitioners should consider incorporating CS into training to promote greater power adaptations and to mitigate fatigue.