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Undergraduate Enrollments and Faculty Resources in Kinesiology at Selected U.S. Public Universities: 2008–2017

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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Preeminent Women in Exercise Physiology and Their Contributions to Title IX

Pamela D. Swan, Carol Ewing Garber, Barbara E. Ainsworth, Monica J. Hubal, Lynda Ransdell, Melinda Millard-Stafford, and Lynn B. Panton

Prior to 1950, the field of exercise science was in its infancy. Exercise physiologists focused their research on understanding basic mechanisms of how the body responds to exercise and how to increase fitness. Most researchers and almost all research participants were male. Over the next two decades, and coinciding with the passage of Title IX, a few remarkable female exercise scientists emerged whose research and leadership had a profound effect on the field and directly influenced girls’ and women’s sports participation. This commentary presents an overview of the contributions and impact of several of these groundbreaking female exercise physiologists, Josephine Rathbone, Barbara Drinkwater, Priscilla Clarkson, Christine Wells, and Emily Haymes. We highlight their influence on the development of the field of exercise science and recognize their continued importance to women’s sport at the 50th Anniversary of Title IX.

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Pedometer Measurement of Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Factors of Obese Lower Socioeconomic African American Women

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.