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Heidi L. Keller, Stephen E. Tolly and Patty S. Freedson

The sport of wrestling often encourages participants to engage in extreme weight loss practices in order to compete in a weight class one to three weight categories below normal weight. This review discusses the prevalence of the problem, methods wrestlers use to accomplish weight loss, and the health and performance consequences of rapid weight loss, with particular emphasis on weight cycling and minimal safe wrestling weight assessment. Some useful and practical recommendations for minimizing extreme weight loss practices are presented. Several state wrestling associations have adjusted their rules and regulations based on recommendations by organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine to reduce the prevalence of the problem. Nevertheless, extreme weight loss continues to be a concern among health professionals, particularly with regard to health and 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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David Cardenas, Karla A. Henderson and Beth E. Wilson

The purpose of the article was to examine the physical activity perceptions and behaviors of older adults who were active participants in a statewide senior games (i.e., North Carolina Senior Games; NCSG) program with its focus on year-round involvement through activities in local communities. A random sample of 440 older adults (55 years and older) completed a questionnaire in 2006 about their participation in community-based senior games. A uniqueness of this study is its focus on active older adults, which provides insight into how to maintain physical involvement. Older adults who were most active perceived the most benefits from senior games but did not necessarily have the fewest constraints. This study of NCSG as an organization designed to promote healthy living in communities offered an example of how a social-ecological framework aimed at health promotion can be applied.

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Beth Steel, P. Chelladurai and Barbara A. Brown

Gender differences in managerial aspirations and managerial potential have been advanced as possible explanations for the structuring of organizations along gender lines, with women concentrated in lower level jobs and under-represented in managerial positions. These hypothesized gender differences were examined in a sample of male and female physical education and non-physical education students. Analysis of variance results showed that the effects of gender, faculty, or their interaction on managerial aspirations were not significant. The main effects of aspiration level, faculty, and gender on the set of managerial potential variables were significant. Aspirants scored higher than nonaspirants on self-assurance, decisiveness, and need for dominance. Non-physical education students scored higher on need for dominance than did physical education students. Males were higher in need for autonomy and need for dominance, while females were higher in decisiveness.

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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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Daniela Mattos, Joshua Kuhl, John P. Scholz and Mark L. Latash

The concept of motor equivalent combinations of arm muscles, or M-modes, was investigated during reaching to insert a pointer into a cylindrical target with and without an elbow perturbation. Five M-modes across 15 arm/scapula muscles were identified by principal component analysis with factor extraction. The relationship between small changes in the M-modes and changes in the position/orientation of the pointer were investigated by linear regression analyses. The results revealed a motor equivalent organization of the M-modes for perturbed compared with nonperturbed reaches, both with respect to hand position and orientation, especially in the first 100-ms postperturbation. Similar findings were obtained for motor equivalence computed based on changes in the joint configuration, although the kinematically defined motor equivalence was stronger for pointer orientation. The results support the hypothesis that the nervous system organizes muscles into M-modes and flexibly scales M-mode activation to preserve stable values of variables directly related to performance success.

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Brian C. Martinson, A. Lauren Crain, Nancy E. Sherwood, Marcia G. Hayes, Nicolaas P. Pronk and Patrick J. O’Connor

Objective:

To assess the representativeness of older adults recruited to a physical activity maintenance RCT by conducting sequential comparisons to characterize study sample composition changes occurring between sampling frame construction and study enrollment.

Method:

Study subjects (N = 1049) were 50 to 70 year old men and women who had increased physical activity within the past year recruited from a Midwestern managed care organization.

Results:

Those responding to an initial mailed screener differed on demographic, behavioral, and SES characteristics from those not responding. Compared with ineligibles, eligible individuals were significantly younger, more highly educated, and more likely to report improved health in the prior year. Compared with eligible individuals who did not enroll, enrollees had generally higher education and income.

Conclusions:

Physical activity promotion programs in older adults may have limited reach and substantial volunteer bias. Additional strategies to increase the reach of physical activity interventions into the target population are needed.

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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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Christopher M. Janelle, Charles H. Hillman, Ross J. Apparies, Nicholas P. Murray, Launi Meili, Elizabeth A. Fallon and Bradley D. Hatfield

The purpose of this study was to examine whether variability in gaze behavior and cortical activation would differentiate expert (n = 12) and nonexpert (n = 13) small-bore rifle shooters. Spectral-activity and eye-movement data were collected concurrently during the course of a regulation indoor sequence of 40 shots from the standing position. Experts exhibited significantly superior shooting performance, as well as a significantly longer quiet eye period preceding shot execution than did nonexperts. Additionally, expertise interacted with hemispheric activation levels: Experts demonstrated a significant increase in left-hemisphere alpha and beta power, accompanied by a reduction in right-hemisphere alpha and beta power, during the preparatory period just prior to the shot. Nonexperts exhibited similar hemispheric asymmetry, but to a lesser extent than did experts. Findings suggest systematic expertise-related differences in ocular and cortical activity during the preparatory phase leading up to the trigger pull that reflects more optimal organization of the neural structures needed to achieve high-level performance.

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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.