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Peter R.E. Crocker, Rikk B. Alderman, F. Murray and R. Smith

Cognitive-Affective Stress Management Training (SMT) is a coping skills training program designed to help athletes control dysfunctional stress processes (Smith, 1980). The present quasi-experimental study investigated the effects of SMT on affect, cognition, and performance in high performance youth volleyball players. Members of Alberta's Canada Games men's and women's (under 19 years of age) volleyball teams were assigned to either an experimental treatment group or a waiting-list control group. The treatment program consisted of eight modules, approximately 1 week apart, that allowed subjects to learn and apply somatic and cognitive coping skills. The results indicated that the treatment group emitted fewer negative thoughts in response to videotaped stressors and had superior service reception performance in a controlled practice compared to the control group. There were no interpretable differences between groups for either state anxiety (CSAI-2) or trait anxiety (SCAT). The cognitive and performance measures provided converging support for Smith's program. The results are discussed in terms of coping skills training, theoretical issues regarding the measurement of anxiety, and possible affect-cognition system independence.

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Wayne T. Phillips and William L. Haskell

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1990) has specified as a key objective the reduction of disability in the performance of activities of daily living (ADL) for persons over the age of 65 years. Many ADL involve combinations of muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility, three components that together have been referred to as "muscular fitness." The capacity of the elderly to remain functionally independent, therefore, may depend less on cardiovascular fitness, which has traditionally been the focus of health related fitness research, than on these components of muscular fitness. This review addresses the issue of muscular fitness and disability in the elderly by considering three questions: Is muscular fitness associated with ADL performance? Can muscular fitness be improved with exercise training? Do improvements in muscular fitness improve ADL performance? Answers to these questions will have important implications for future research and program implementation. Although initial findings are promising, more data are needed on the effect of muscular fitness on functional independence and quality of life in the elderly.

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Luis Columna, Margarita Fernández-Vivó, Lauren Lieberman and Katrina Arndt

Background:

Nationwide research indicates that children with visual impairment have limited participation in recreational and sport activities than their peers. This is due in part to the lack of recreational opportunities and facilities, as well as a lack of awareness by parents of how and where their children can participate. The purpose of the current study was to explore the experiences of Latino families of children with visual impairments living in Guatemala regarding physical recreation. Participants were Latino parents (N = 13) who have children with visual impairments recruited from a sport camp.

Methods:

Qualitative data were gathered through one-on-one interviews that were transcribed and analyzed through a constant comparative analysis.

Results:

Participating Latino families who resided in Guatemala City participated at least once a month in low budget recreational activities with their children with visual impairments. Activities were mostly done in local surroundings and led mainly by their mother. Benefits identified by the participants related to relaxation, socialization, and sense of independence, with minimal mention of health related benefits.

Conclusions:

There is a need to disseminate information to the Latino community with children with visual impairments regarding the multiple benefits that arise from being involved in recreational physical activities.

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Geoffrey Whitfield, Kelley K. Pettee Gabriel and Harold W. Kohl III

Background:

Emerging evidence suggests that combined physical activity (PA) and inactivity may be more important for chronic disease risk than PA alone. A highly active yet highly sedentary population is needed to study this interaction. The present purpose is to describe the sitting habits of a group of recreational runners and determine if sitting varies with reported training duration or anticipated running velocity.

Methods:

Marathon and half-marathon participants completed the Multicontext Sitting Time Questionnaire and reported peak training duration, anticipated finishing time, and demographic information. Sitting time was described across 5 contexts for workdays and nonworkdays. Total sitting time was analyzed by tertiles of training duration and anticipated event running velocity.

Results:

218 participants took part in this study. Median reported training time was 6.5 hours per week. Median total sitting time was higher on workdays than nonworkdays (645 and 480 minutes, respectively, P < .0001). Total sitting time was not associated with training duration or anticipated event running velocity.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that recreational distance runners are simultaneously highly sedentary and highly active, supporting independence of sedentary behaviors and moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA. This population may provide the characteristics needed to study the joint effects of active and sedentary behaviors on health outcomes.

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Mark G. Davis, Kenneth R. Fox, Afroditi Stathi, Tanya Trayers, Janice L. Thompson and Ashley R. Cooper

The relationship of objectively measured sedentary time (ST), frequency of breaks in ST, and lower extremity function (LEF) was investigated in a diverse sample aged ≥ 70 years (n = 217). Physical activity (PA) was assessed by accelerometry deriving moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) minutes per registered hour (MVPA min · hr−1), registered ST (ST min · hr−1), and breaks in ST min · hr−1 (breaks · hr−1). LEF was assessed by the Short Physical Performance Battery. Univariate associations with overall LEF were MVPA (r = .523), ST (r = −.499), and breaks (r = .389). Adjusted linear regression including MVPA min · hr−1, ST min · hr−1, and breaks · hr−1 explained 41.5% of LEF variance. Each additional break · hr−1 was associated with 0.58 point increase in LEF. Breaks and MVPA had strongest independent associations with LEF. Promoting regular breaks might be useful in maintaining or increasing LEF and later life independence. This novel finding is important for the design of effective lifestyle interventions targeting older adults.

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Linda S. Koehler

It is proposed that the focus of sport management research be broadened to include those individuals who fill management positions in sport/fitness-related enterprises. A particularly useful approach is that of organizational behavior as it pertains to sport/fitness managers. Drawing from the content of organizational behavior for use in the study presented here, items of measure for job satisfaction include ability utilization, achievement, activity, advancement, authority, company policies/practices, compensation, co-workers, creativity, independence, moral values, recognition, responsibility, security, social service, social status, supervision-human relations, supervision-technical, variety, and working conditions. The corporate fitness managers participating in this study reported their level of general job satisfaction to be an average of 78.67 out of a possible 100 points. The factors shown to be significantly more satisfying than all other factors at the .05 level were social service and moral values. Additionally, although not significantly different from each other, both factors of advancement and compensation were revealed to be significantly more dissatisfying at the .05 level than all other factors.

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Madeleine Vincent-Morin and Lucile Lafont

The goal of this study was to identify the relationships between the learning choices made by pupils and their personal characteristics, including cognitive style (field dependence–independence), a motivational variable (feeling of self-efficacy), and a cognitive variable (task representation). The participants were 64 twelve-year-old sixth graders from a suburban middle school in France (35 boys and 29 girls). Cognitive style or FDI was measured with the Group Embedded Figures Test, a perceptual test that requires finding a simple geometrical figure embedded in a complex geometrical one. Five learning conditions (autonomy, tutoring, verbal instruction, silent demonstration, and verbal demonstration) were then proposed in random order to the pupils. They were asked to select a learning method to solve a motor problem: a badminton service. The results indicated an absence of relationships between the choice of a learning condition and cognitive style. Three variables partially predicted the learning-condition choice: feeling of self-efficacy, task representation, and motor performance. The present results can be interpreted in the light of studies on children’s help-seeking behavior in problem-solving situations.

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Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko

For more than half a century fellows of the National Academy of Kinesiology have enthusiastically advocated for the promotion and adoption of physically active lifestyles as an affordable and effective means to prevent chronic diseases and conditions, and enhance independence and high quality of life for older adults. It is possible to discern distinct evolutionary stages when examining scholarship related to the role of physical activity in the promotion of healthy aging. Research into physical activity and aging began with critical early studies that established the underlying scientific evidence for a relationship between physical activity and healthy aging. More recent work has addressed such topics as building consumer demand, developing policies and legislation to support active aging, and understanding the complex interrelationships between physical activity and other lifestyle factors in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and conditions. It is increasingly apparent that strategies to promote active and successful aging must be integrated into an effective public policy. Kinesiologists and other health professionals, working in collaboration with colleagues from other disciplines, can help to reduce risk factors for chronic disease and improve quality of life for older adults by building awareness of the importance of physical activity and by assisting with the development and implementation of appropriate and effective interventions that reduce risk factors and improve quality of life.

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Masao Tomioka, Tammy M. Owings and Mark D. Grabiner

We previously reported that lower extremity muscular strength of older adults did not predict success of a balance recovery task. We propose that lower extremity coordination may limit performance independently of lower extremity strength. The present study was conducted to determine the extent to which knee extension strength and hip–knee coordination independently contribute to maximum vertical jump height. Maximum vertical jump height and isometric and isokinetic knee extension strength and power were determined in 13 young adults. Hip–knee coordination during the vertical jump was quantified using relative phase angles. Stepwise nonlinear multiple regression determined the variable set that best modeled the relationship between the dependent variable, maximum vertical jump height, and the independent variables of strength, power, and coordination. The quadratic terms of the normalized knee extension strength at 60 deg·s–1, and the average relative phase during the propulsion phase of the vertical jump, collectively accounted for more than 80% of the shared variance (p = .001). The standardized regression coefficients of the two terms, .59 and .52, respectively (p = .004 and .008), indicated the independence and significance of the contributions of knee extension strength and hip–knee coordination to maximum vertical jump height. Despite the pitfalls of extrapolating these results to older adults performing a balance recovery task, the results are interpreted as supporting the contention that while muscle strength confers a number of functional benefits, the ability to avoid falling as a result of a trip is not necessarily ensured. Increased muscle strength per se can occur in the absence of improved kinematic coordination.

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Brent A. Baker

Clinical Scenario:

Even though chronological aging is an inevitable phenomenological consequence occurring in every living organism, it is biological aging that may be the most significant factor challenging our quality of life. Development of functional limitations, resulting from improper maintenance and restoration of various organ systems, ultimately leads to reduced health and independence. Skeletal muscle is an organ system that, when challenged, is often injured in response to varying stimuli. Overt muscle-strain injury can be traumatic, clinically diagnosable, properly managed, and a remarkably common event, yet our contemporary understanding of how age and environmental stressors affect the initial and subsequent induction of injury and how the biological processes resulting from this event are modifiable and, eventually, lead to functional restoration and healing of skeletal muscle and adjacent tissues is presently unclear. Even though the secondary injury response to and recovery from "contraction-induced" skeletal-muscle injury are impaired with aging, there is no scientific consensus as to the exact mechanism responsible for this event. Given the multitude of investigative approaches, particular consideration given to the appropriateness of the muscle-injury model, or research paradigm, is critical so that outcomes may be physiologically relevant and translational. In this case, methods implementing stretch-shortening contractions, the most common form of muscle movements used by all mammals during physical movement, work, and activity, are highlighted.

Clinical Relevance:

Understanding the fundamental evidence regarding how aging influences the responsivity of skeletal muscle to strain injury is vital for informing how clinicians approach and implement preventive strategies, as well as therapeutic interventions. From a practical perspective, maintaining or improving the overall health and tissue quality of skeletal muscle as one ages will positively affect skeletal muscle’s safety threshold and responsivity, which may reduce incidence of injury, improve recovery time, and lessen overall fiscal burdens.