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Alice K. Lindeman

Meeting the energy demands of ultraendurance cycling requires careful planning and monitoring of food and fluid intake. This case study presents the nutrient intake of a cyclist while training for and competing in the Race Across AMerica (RAAM). Carbohydrate accounted for 65% of the calories consumed during training (4,743 kcal), 75% during 24-hr races (10,343 kcal), and 78% during RAAM (8,429 kcal). Gastrointestinal complaints during RAAM included nausea, feeling of fullness, and abdominal distension. Although probably exacerbated by sleep deprivation, these problems were all diet related. Based on this experience, it appears that by controlling the carbohydrate concentration of beverages, limiting dietary fiber, and relying on carbohydrate as the primary energy source, one could both control gastrointestinal symptoms and promote optimal performance in training and in ultramarathon cycling.

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Guy Faulkner and Stuart J.H. Biddle

Research continues to support the consideration of exercise as an adjunctive treatment for depression. Adopting a qualitative approach, the aim of this study was to extend our understanding of the motives and barriers to exercise faced by this clinical population, and to explore the role of physical activity in promoting psychological well-being, in a way that encompasses the variability and contextuality of the lives of individuals. Marking a departure from standard content analyses reported in the literature, instrumental case studies are developed that offer a different format for representing qualitative data. Given its longitudinal nature, this study demonstrates the fundamental importance of considering the wider context of participants’ lives in order to understand the relationship between physical activity and psychological well-being. This association is likely to be complex and highly idiosyncratic. Such an understanding may inform a more critical insight into the potential of exercise as an antidepressant in terms of process and effectiveness.

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Debra M. Vinci

This paper presents an overview of the Husky Sport Nutrition Program at the University of Washington. This program is a component of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Total Student–Athlete Program, an NCAA-sponsored CHAMPS/Life Skills Program that provides life skills assistance to student–athletes. Successful integration of a sport nutrition program requires an understanding of the athletic culture, physiological milestones, and life stressors faced by college athletes. The sport nutritionist functions as an educator, counselor, and administrator. Team presentations and individual nutrition counseling provide athletes with accurate information on healthy eating behaviors for optimal performance. For women's sports, a multidisciplinary team including the sport nutritionist, team physician, clinical psychologist, and athletic trainer work to prevent and treat eating disorders. Case studies are presented illustrating the breadth of nutrition-related issues faced by a sport nutritionist working with college athletes.

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Jessica M. Lutkenhouse

The present case study illustrates the treatment of a 19-year-old female lacrosse player, classified as experiencing Performance Dysfunction (Pdy) by the Multilevel Classification System for Sport Psychology (MCS-SP). The self-referred collegiate athlete was treated using the manualized Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) protocol (Gardner & Moore, 2004a, 2007). The intervention consisted of eight individual sessions and several follow-up contacts via e-mail. The majority of the sessions addressed clinically related and sport-related concerns, including difficulties in emotion regulation and problematic interpersonal relationships. Based on self-report, coach report, and one outcome assessment measure, the psychological intervention resulted in enhanced overall behavioral functioning and enhanced athletic performance. This case study suggests that following careful case formulation based on appropriate assessment and interview data, the MAC intervention successfully targeted the clearly defined psychological processes underlying the athlete’s performance concerns and personal obstacles, thus resulting in enhanced well-being and athletic performance improvements.

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Jeremy M. Sheppard, Tim Gabbett and Russell Borgeaud

Purpose:

This case study evaluated the effect of repeated lateral movement and jumping training on repeated effort ability in a group of national team male volleyball players.

Methods:

Twelve volleyball players were assessed on their volleyball-specific repeated movement and jumping abilities using a volleyball-specific repeated effort test (RET) before and after 12 weeks of training. The athletes performed between 8 and 9 volleyball training sessions per week, with 5 to 6 of these sessions including specific training aimed at improving repeated effort ability. Typically these training sessions involved 8 to 12 repetitions of 2 to 3 block jumps over a 9-m lateral distance (ie, the athletes had to perform jumps and lateral movements, typical of front court play in volleyball). Population-specific repeatability data were used to determine whether any changes that may have occurred in this study were beyond the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) for this testing procedure.

Results:

Improvements in all variables of the RET were observed for each athlete involved in the study, with a small-to-moderate magnitude observed for the mean changes in each variable (Cohen’s d, 0.21 to 0.59). All of the improvements in the results exceeded the MCID.

Conclusions:

These findings demonstrate that the RET is sensitive to training-induced changes. Lateral movement speed and repeated lateral movement speed, as well as jumping and repeated jumping ability are trainable qualities in high-performance volleyball players.

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Simon Wang and Stuart M. McGill

Spine stability is ensured through isometric coactivation of the torso muscles; however, these same muscles are used cyclically to assist ventilation. Our objective was to investigate this apparent paradoxical role (isometric contraction for stability or rhythmic contraction for ventilation) of some selected torso muscles that are involved in both ventilation and support of the spine. Eight, asymptomatic, male subjects provided data on low back moments, motion, muscle activation, and hand force. These data were input to an anatomically detailed, biologically driven model from which spine load and a lumbar spine stability index was obtained. Results revealed that subjects entrained their torso stabilization muscles to breathe during demanding ventilation tasks. Increases in lung volume and back extensor muscle activation coincided with increases in spine stability, whereas declines in spine stability were observed during periods of low lung inflation volume and simultaneously low levels of torso muscle activation. As a case study, aberrant ventilation motor patterns (poor muscle entrainment), seen in one subject, compromised spine stability. Those interested in rehabilitation of patients with lung compromise and concomitant back troubles would be assisted with knowledge of the mechanical links between ventilation during tasks that impose spine loading.

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Helen E. Parker, Brian A. Blanksby and Kian L. Quek

The use of buoyancy and propulsion aides in teaching young swimmers is contentious. Some believe that such aides provide an artificial crutch that retards learning of independent swimming. Others believe they provide valuable learning cues for progress. This study investigated the progress made by 7 year olds learning to swim with and without buoyancy and propulsion aides. A single primary class was divided into 2 matched-ability groups: aides (n = 10) and self-support (n = 9). Each group attended 10 daily, 40-min lessons prior to the school day. Unsupported stroking and kicking actions were videotaped in the last 10 min of each lesson and scored using the MERS-F scale. As a whole, significant improvements were revealed by the third lesson (p < .05), although no significant differences existed between groups. Case studies of the most rudimentary swimmers in each group confirmed that teaching frontcrawl to beginner swimmers using multiple buoyancy aides failed to enhance skills beyond those gained by using a kickboard only in 10 lessons.

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Gerasimos Terzis, Thomas Kyriazis, Giorgos Karampatsos and Giorgos Georgiadis

Purpose:

Although muscle mass and strength are thought to be closely related to throwing performance, there are few scientific data about these parameters in elite shot-putters. The purpose of this case report was to present longitudinal data for muscle strength and body composition in relation to performance of an elite male shot-putter.

Methods:

A male national champion with the best rotational shot-put performance of 20.36 m (in 2010) was followed from 2003 to 2011 (current age: 29 y). Data regarding body composition (dual X-ray absorptiometry), as well as 1-repetition-maximum muscle strength (bench press, squat, snatch) and rotational shot-put performance, were collected every February for the last 9 y, 4 wk before the national indoor championship event.

Results:

The athlete’s personal-best performances in squat, bench press, and snatch were 175 kg, 210 kg, and 112.5 kg, respectively. His peak total lean body mass was 92.4 kg, bone mineral density 1.55 g/cm2, and lowest body fat 12.9%. His shot-put performance over these 9 years was significantly correlated with 1-repetition-maximum squat strength (r = .93, P < .01), bench press (r = .87, P < .01), and snatch (r = .92, P < .01). In contrast, shot-put performance was not significantly correlated with any of the body-composition parameters.

Conclusions:

The results of this case study suggest that elite rotational shot-put performance may not be directly correlated with lean body mass. Instead, it seems that it is closely related with measures of muscle strength.

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Esther Rind and Andy Jones

Background:

At the population level, the prevalence of physical activity has declined considerably in many developed countries in recent decades. There is some evidence that areas exhibiting the lowest activity levels are those which have undergone a particularly strong transition away from employment in physically demanding occupations. We propose that processes of deindustrialization may be causally linked to unexplained geographical disparities in levels of physical activity. While the sociocultural correlates of physical activity have been well studied, and prior conceptual frameworks have been developed to explain more general patterns of activity, none have explicitly attempted to identify the components of industrial change that may impact physical activity.

Methods:

In this work we review the current literature on sociocultural correlates of health behaviors before using a case study centered on the United Kingdom to present a novel framework that links industrial change to declining levels of physical activity.

Results:

We developed a comprehensive model linking sociocultural correlates of physical activity to processes associated with industrial restructuring and discuss implication for policy and practice.

Conclusions:

A better understanding of sociocultural processes may help to ameliorate adverse health consequences of employment decline in communities that have experienced substantial losses of manual employment.

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Jon Dawson, Suvi Huikuri and Francisco Armada

Background:

The process of working together across sectors to improve health and to influence its determinants is often referred to as intersectoral action for health. The Liverpool Active City strategy and action plan were launched in 2005, bringing together partners from diverse sectors such as education, transport, and civil society to boost levels of physical activity among the city’s residents.

Methods:

The research material was based on semistructured interviews with key stakeholders and on review and analysis of gray literature and media reports. A case-study method was used to analyze the experience.

Results:

The results show that Liverpool Active City succeeded in boosting levels of physical activity among the city’s residents and demonstrate how intersectoral action benefited the goals of the program and promoted common aims.

Conclusions:

Important lessons can be drawn from the experience of Liverpool Active City for public health professionals and policy makers. Success factors include the involvement of a broad range of agencies from a variety of sectors, which reinforced the sense of partnership in the physical activity agenda and supported the implementation of activities. The experience also demonstrated how intersectoral action brought benefits to the physical activity goals of Liverpool Active City.