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C. Jessie Jones and Janie Clark

Because of the recognized value of exercise for older adults, senior fitness programs have been developed in various facilities throughout the United States and in many other countries. However, there appears to be a shortage of professionally trained senior fitness specialists to develop and instruct such programs. A number of professional health and fitness organizations/associations and individual entrepreneurs have developed training programs leading to some type of certification. However, because there are no published curriculum standards to guide the development of these training programs, they often lack components essential for teaching students how to instruct safe and effective classes for senior participants. Curriculum Standards to Prepare Senior Fitness Instructors, developed by a national coalition, were presented at the 1995 International Conference on Aging and Physical Activity in Colorado. This project was undertaken not to promote national certification or licensing but, rather, to help educators plan training programs. Input from the conferees was synthesized into the standards, which are provided in this paper.

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John R. Biggan, Forest Melton, Michael A. Horvat, Mark Ricard, David Keller and Christopher T. Ray

The understanding of prefrail and nonfrail older adults’ postural control with and without increased environmental and cognitive stress is imperative to the development of targeted interventions to decrease fall risk within these populations. Thirty-eight individuals participated in this study. Postural control testing included the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) on a NeuroCom EquiTest. Cognitive and environmental load testing was performed during Condition 6 of the SOT. Though there were no group differences on composite equilibrium score (p = .06), the cognitive task (Stroop task) impaired equilibrium scores more than the auditory or visual distracter tasks (p < .05 and p < .01) for both groups. These results suggest that both prefrail and nonfrail older adults’ postural control is reduced in demanding environments. Given these findings, the need for multimodal exercise interventions to target both physical and cognitive factors is apparent.

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Alan B. Stevens, Shannon B. Thiel, Jennifer L. Thorud, Matthew Lee Smith, Doris Howell, Jessica Cargill, Suzanne M. Swierc and Marcia G. Ory

Many initiatives have been developed to facilitate older adults’ engagement in physical activity (PA) and document its benefits. One example is Texercise, a 12-week program with a focus on increasing participants’ self-efficacy. The goal of this paper is to augment the knowledgebase of PA program implementation and dissemination by elucidating the experience of Texercise implementation as perceived by multiple stakeholders. We conducted 28 semistructured stakeholder interviews and categorized the responses into four preset themes: (1) program delivery and advocacy; (2) value/merit of the program; (3) successes/challenges of offering and sustaining the program; and (4) recommendations for enhancing implementation and delivery. We identified emergent subthemes through further analysis. Many perceptions that are broadly applicable to community organizations emerged. Our findings highlight the importance of stakeholder support when embedding PA programs in communities. Furthermore, the findings are crucial to understanding underlying processes that support widespread program dissemination and sustainability.

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Pedro Figueiredo, Ana Silva, António Sampaio, João Paulo Vilas-Boas and Ricardo J. Fernandes

The aim of this study was to evaluate the determinants of front crawl sprint performance of young swimmers using a cluster analysis. 103 swimmers, aged 11- to 13-years old, performed 25-m front crawl swimming at 50-m pace, recorded by two underwater cameras. Swimmers analysis included biomechanics, energetics, coordinative, and anthropometric characteristics. The organization of subjects in meaningful clusters, originated three groups (1.52 ± 0.16, 1.47 ± 0.17 and 1.40 ± 0.15 m/s, for Clusters 1, 2 and 3, respectively) with differences in velocity between Cluster 1 and 2 compared with Cluster 3 (p = .003). Anthropometric variables were the most determinants for clusters solution. Stroke length and stroke index were also considered relevant. In addition, differences between Cluster 1 and the others were also found for critical velocity, stroke rate and intracycle velocity variation (p < .05). It can be concluded that anthropometrics, technique and energetics (swimming efficiency) are determinant domains to young swimmers sprint performance.

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Maureen Lucas and Cynthia J. Heiss

Protein recommendations by some professional organizations for young adults engaged in resistance training (RT) are higher than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), but recommendations for resistance-training older adults (>50 years old) are not well characterized. Some argue that the current RDA is adequate, but others indicate increased protein needs. Although concerns have been raised about the consequences of high protein intake, protein intake above the RDA in older adults is associated with increased bone-mineral density when calcium intake is adequate and does not appear to compromise renal health in older individuals with normal renal function. Individual protein needs for older adults in RT are likely highly variable according to health and training regimen, but an intake of 1.0–1.3 g · kg−1 · day−1 should adequately and safely meet the needs of older adults engaged in RT, provided that their energy needs are met.

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Melvin H. Williams

As nutritional technology advanced, scientists have been able to synthesize and manufacture all known nutrients, and many of their metabolic by-products, essential to human physiology. Many of these substances are theorized to possess ergogenic potential when take in quantities or forms normally not found in typical foods or diets. Research, although limited in most cases, supports the ergogenicity of some nutrients (e.g., creatine) when consumed in substantial amounts, suggesting such nutrients may function as drugs or nutraceuticals. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) doping legislation stipulates that any physiologic substance taken in abnormal quantity with the intention of artificially and unfairly increasing performance should be construed as doping, violating the ethics of sport performance. Given this stipulation, the IOC and other athletic-governing organizations should consider the legality and ethics underlying the use of ergogenic nutraceuticals in sport.

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Kathleen Benjamin, Nancy Edwards and Wenda Caswell

In 2006, the authors conducted a multisite qualitative study in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to examine organizational and environmental factors that influence physical activity for long-term-care (LTC) residents. The article describes the results of interviews with 9 administrators from nonprofit and for-profit LTC facilities. A content analysis revealed that despite having positive views about the value of physical activity, the administrators encountered challenges related to funding, human resources, and the built (physical) environment. The intersection of staffing issues and challenges in the built environment created less than optimal conditions for physical activity programs. Findings suggest that until there are adequate human and financial resources, it will be difficult to implement evidence-informed physical activity programs for residents in LTC settings in Ontario. A review of provincial LTC standards for physical activity program requirements and the built environment is warranted.

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Nikos Ntoumanis, Anne-Marte Pensgaard, Chris Martin and Katie Pipe

The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth account of amotivation in compulsory school physical education by examining its major causes, the way it is displayed, and how it can be tackled. From an initial participant pool of 390 British schoolchildren ages 14 to 15 years, 21 of them (15 girls and 6 boys) were selected to participate in semi-structured interviews. They were categorized as being amotivated based on their responses to a questionnaire measuring motivation in physical education. Three main perceived causes of amotivation were identified in the interviews: learned helplessness beliefs, low need satisfaction, and contextual factors. Amotivation was mainly displayed by nonattendance, low involvement in the class, and low intention to be physically active after leaving school. Students’ suggestions for reducing amotivation focused on the enhancement of positive affect, need satisfaction, and structural/organizational changes. The findings are discussed in conjunction with contemporary motivation theories and models of amotivation.

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Jean Côté, John Saimela, Pierre Trudel, Abderrahim Baria and Storm Russell

An expert system approach (Buchanan et al., 1983) was used to identify and conceptualize the knowledge of 17 Canadian expert high-performance gymnastic coaches. The knowledge elicitation process consisted of open-ended questions and various questioning methods to unveil, explore, and prove important information (Patton, 1987; Spradley, 1979) about coaching. All coaches’ interviews were transcribed verbatim, and the unstructured qualitative data were inductively analyzed following the procedures and techniques of grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The inductive analysis process allowed the meaning units of the interview transcripts to be regrouped into properties, categories, and components. The components emerging from the analysis consisted of (a) competition, (b) training, (c) organization, (d) coach’s personal characteristics, (e) gymnast’s personal characteristics and level of development, and (f) contextual factors. These components were further developed into a model representing coaches’ knowledge.

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Kim Poag and Edward McAuley

Whereas the success of goal setting is well documented in the industrial-organizational literature (Locke & Latham, 1990), the empirical efforts to determine its effectiveness in sport settings have met with minimal success, and no studies exist that document the role played by goals in successful adherence to exercise regimens. We examined the relationships among goals, efficacy, and exercise behavior in the context of community conditioning classes. Female participants' goal efficacy was predictive of perceived goal achievement at the end of the program, and exercise self-efficacy was significantly related to subsequent intensity but not frequency of exercise participation. Moreover, a proposed interaction between exercise importance and self-efficacy failed to account for further variation in physical activity participation. The results are discussed in terms of the physical activity history of the sample and the roles played by goals and efficacy at diverse stages of the exercise process.