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Catrine Tudor-Locke and Stephanie Broyles

The focus of a physically active lifestyle for older adults is to preserve functional mobility and delay losses associated with decrepitude in later years. Since ambulation is of utmost importance to older adults’ mobility, the purpose of this nonexhaustive review is to consider older adults’ walking behaviors objectively captured as steps/day and the factors that shape them. Summarized evidence currently indicates that apparently healthy older adults accumulate between 2,000–9,000 steps/day and that older adults living with disabilities and/or chronic conditions average approximately 1,200–8,800 steps/day. The scientific body of objectively monitored knowledge focused on potential individual, program, and contextual factors that shape older adults’ walking behaviors expressed as steps/day (i.e., their ability to and practice of getting “out and about”) is infantile at this time. We provide a simple research agenda to spark scholarly efforts to address research gaps and opportunities in the collective knowledge base.

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Wilbert M. Leonard II and Jonathan E. Reyman

The present study contributes to and extends the literature on sport and social mobility by refining the computations for the odds of attaining professional athlete status in the U.S. Using 1980 U.S. census data, 1986 and 1987 team rosters, and 1986 lists of money winners, rates for achieving “entry level” professional sport careers were computed for males and females, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian/Pacific Islanders in the sports of football, baseball, basketball, hockey, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, and auto racing. The methodological contribution of this research is that refined norming variables are employed in the statistical calculations; that is, they are age, race/ethnicity, sport, and sex specific. This inquiry contains the most systematic, extensive, and precise measures for assessing the likelihood of achieving the ultimate in sport upward social mobility—professional athlete status.

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Wilbert M. Leonard

The present study contributes to, updates, and extends the literature on sport and social mobility by reconceptualizing and reoperationalizing the odds of attaining college and professional athlete status. Using 1990 U.S. census data and team rosters, rates for achieving college and professional sports “careers” were computed for men and women of color in the most popular U.S. sports. A methodological contribution of this research is that the norming variables employed in the statistical calculations were refined, that is, they were age, race/ethnicity, sport, and sex specific. This inquiry contains the most systematic, extensive, and refined measures for assessing the likelihood of achieving the ultimate in sport upward social mobility—major league professional athlete status. A discussion of why the odds of obtaining professional athlete status vary is explored along with some of the conceptual and operational issues created by the concept Hispanic.

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Moshe Semyonov

This paper challenges the popular argument that sport is an effective channel for upward mobility, especially for ethnic minorities. My study of retired professional soccer players in Israel establishes the following findings: First, members of the subordinate ethnic group are disadvantaged in attainment of status not only in schools and labor markets but also in and via sport. Second, a professional career in sport does not intervene between background variables and later occupational attainment. Third, both ethnicity and educational level are the most significant determinants of postretirement occupational attainment; higher education and higher ethnic status improve opportunities for later occupational success. On the basis of these findings it is suggested that the same rules of inequality that push individuals to seek alternative routes of mobility, such as professional sport, continue to operate in and beyond sport.

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Courtney D. Hall, Carolyn K. Clevenger, Rachel A. Wolf, James S. Lin, Theodore M. Johnson II and Steven L. Wolf

The use of low-cost interactive game technology for balance rehabilitation has become more popular recently, with generally good outcomes. Very little research has been undertaken to determine whether this technology is appropriate for balance assessment. The Wii balance board has good reliability and is comparable to a research-grade force plate; however, recent studies examining the relationship between Wii Fit games and measures of balance and mobility demonstrate conflicting findings. This study found that the Wii Fit was feasible for community-dwelling older women to safely use the balance board and quickly learn the Wii Fit games. The Ski Slalom game scores were strongly correlated with several balance and mobility measures, whereas Table Tilt game scores were not. Based on these findings, the Ski Slalom game may have utility in the evaluation of balance problems in community-dwelling older adults.

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Yusuke Osawa, Yasumichi Arai, Yuko Oguma, Takumi Hirata, Yukiko Abe, Koichiro Azuma, Michiyo Takayama and Nobuyoshi Hirose

This study investigated the relationships between muscle echo intensity (EI), physical activity (PA), and functional mobility in 108 Japanese (88–92 years). We measured EI and muscle thickness (MT) at the midpoint of the anterior superior iliac spine and patella using B-mode ultrasound. Light and moderate-to-vigorous PA (LPA and MVPA) were assessed with a triaxial accelerometer. The timed up and go (TUG) test was used to measure for functional mobility. EI, but not MT, was significantly associated with both TUG scores (β = 0.17, p = .047) and MVPA (β = –0.31, p = .01) when adjusted by potential confounders. However, association between EI and TUG disappeared after adjusted for MVPA. Meanwhile, MVPA was significantly associated with TUG scores independent of EI (β = –0.35, p < .001). Although EI of anterior thigh muscles might be a weaker predictor of functional morbidity than MVPA, it is a noninvasive and practical approach for assessing muscle quality in the very old.

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Scott Gallant

Sports medicine assessment and treatment techniques are ever developing and becoming more holistic. Traditional musculoskeletal assessment is changing to incorporate neural tissue pathology. Neural tension tests assess the mobility of neural tissue in the extremities and spinal canal. Positive adverse neural tension tests suggest poor mobility of neural tissue. Athletes with adverse neural tension often present with pain and decreased range of motion. These disorders can occur individually or can be associated with sports injuries. Ankle sprains, hamstring strains, tennis elbow, and thoracic outlet syndrome are some conditions that respond well to treatment of adverse neural tension. Reports of improved treatment outcomes following neural tension assessment and treatment suggest that adverse neural tension should be considered as a possible source of pain and dysfunction. This paper outlines concepts necessary to understand adverse neural tension including neuroanatomy, pathology, assessment techniques, and common sports injuries that may have an adverse neural tension component.

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Sylvia Titze, Willibald J. Stronegger, Susanne Janschitz and Pekka Oja

Objective:

To examine the association between environmental, social, and personal factors and cycling for transportation among university students.

Methods:

Five hundred and thirty-eight university students participated in the questionnaire study. Multi-nominal regression analysis was applied to identify associations between independent variables and cycling behavior.

Results:

Forty-one percent of the students were regular cyclists and 15% irregular cyclists. Regular cycling was negatively associated with the perception of traffic safety and positively associated with high safety from bicycle theft, many friends cycling to the university, high emotional satisfaction, little physiological effort, and high mobility. Irregular cycling was positively related with environmental attractiveness and little physiological effort.

Conclusions:

Improving bicycle parking security and promoting peer support for and positive psychological experiences and convenient mobility of cycling may increase this transport mode among university students.

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Robert H. Wood, Rafael Reyes-Alvarez, Brian Maraj, Kristi L. Metoyer and Michael A. Welsch

It has been suggested that physical and cognitive functions are associated with health-related quality of life (HRQL). Previous work examining the relationship between physical ability and HRQL is equivocal, and information about cognitive function in relation to HRQL is largely restricted to people with cognitive impairments. We investigated the relationships of physical ability and cognitive performance to HRQL in 44 older adults (72-93 years). The results suggest significant relationships between the endurance item of the AAHPERD test and the physical mobility and pain components of HRQL and between AAHPERD agility scores and the physical mobility component of HRQL. Visual simple-reaction time and the backward digit-span memory test were found to be related to physical mobility. The subject-performed-tasks memory test was related to the social component of HRQL. These data support the use of the AAHPERD test for characterizing physical ability of older adults as it relates to HRQL and identify specific cognitive support measures that reflect the relationship between cognition and HRQL in older adults.

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Peter von Allmen, Michael Leeds and Julian Malakorn

We add to the literature on migration and earnings by showing how migration affects one particularly highly skilled set of migrants: European hockey players. We examine salary differentials using a sample of newly signed free agents from the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. We also apply several new productivity measures that sharpen the specification of the wage equation, especially regarding productivity on defense and special teams play. We find that European players receive a premium relative to otherwise identical Canadian and US-born players. We present evidence that this premium is due to the greater mobility of European players and their resulting access to alternative employment possibilities.