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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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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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David Whitson and Donald Macintosh

This paper examines the role that the pursuit of hallmark events and of major league sports franchises has played in the growth strategies of western Canadian cities. Literature on civic boosterism illustrates the vigorous competition that developed among regional elites to establish their own cities as perceived growth centers. These competitions are sharpened today by the contemporary mobility of capital, by media/information networks that focus unprecedented attention on “world-class” events, and by the growth of event-related tourism. The predictions of the benefits from investment in sports and tourism are typically optimistic, and gloss over significant differences of interest between local elites and others who are less likely to benefit.

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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.

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Srikant Vallabhajosula, Beverly L. Roberts and Chris J. Hass

Tai Chi intervention has been shown to be beneficial for balance improvement. The current study examined the effectiveness of Tai Chi to improve the dynamic postural control among older adults with mobility disability. Six sedentary older adults with mobility disability participated in a 16-week Tai Chi intervention consisting of one hour sessions three times a week. Dynamic postural control was assessed pre- and post intervention as participants initiated gait in four stepping conditions: forward; 45° medially, with the stepping leg crossing over the other leg; 45° and 90° laterally. The center of pressure (CoP) displacement, velocity, and its maximum separation distance from the center of mass in the anteroposterior, mediolateral, and resultant directions were analyzed. Results showed that in the postural phase, Tai Chi increased the CoP mediolateral excursions in the medial (13%) and forward (28%) conditions, and resultant CoP center of mass distance in the medial (9%) and forward (19%) conditions. In the locomotion phase, the CoP mediolateral displacement and velocity significantly increased after the Tai Chi intervention (both by > 100% in the two lateral conditions). These results suggest that through alteration in CoP movement characteristics, Tai Chi intervention might improve the dynamic postural control during gait initiation among older adults.

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Timothy S. Church, Thomas M. Gill, Anne B. Newman, Steven N. Blair, Conrad P. Earnest and Marco Pahor

Background:

The authors sought to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of maximal fitness testing in sedentary older individuals at risk for mobility disability.

Methods:

Maximal cycle-ergometer testing was performed at baseline and 6 and 12 months later in a subset of LIFE-P study participants at the Cooper Institute site. The mean age of the 20 participants (80% female) tested was 74.7 ± 3.4 years. The following criteria were used to determine whether participants achieved maximal effort: respiratory-exchange ratio (RER) ≥1.1, heart rate within 10 beats/min of the maximal level predicted by age, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) >17.

Results:

Participants’ mean peak VO2 was 12.1 (3.7) mL · kg–1 · min–1. At baseline testing, only 20% of participants attained an RER ≥1.10, only 35% achieved a peak heart rate within 10 beats of their age-predicted maximum, and 18% had an RPE of >17. Subsequent testing at 6 and 12 months produced similar results.

Conclusions:

In this pilot study of sedentary older persons at risk for mobility disability, very few participants were able to achieve maximal effort during graded cycle-ergometer testing.

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Taís L. Almeida, Neil B. Alexander, Linda V. Nyquist, Marcos L. Montagnini, Angela C.S. Santos, Giselle H.P. Rodrigues, Carlos E. Negrão, Ivani C. Trombetta and Mauricio Wajngarten

Few studies have evaluated the benefit of providing exercise to underprivileged older adults at risk for falls. Economically and educationally disadvantaged older adults with previous falls (mean age 79.06, SD = 4.55) were randomized to 4 mo of multimodal exercise provided as fully supervised center-based (FS, n = 45), minimally supervised home-based (MS, n = 42), or to nonexercise controls (C, n = 32). Comparing groups on the mean change in fall-relevant mobility task performance between baseline and 4 mo and compared with the change in C, both FS and MS had significantly greater reduction in timed up-and-go, F(2,73) = 5.82, p = .004, η2 p = .14, and increase in tandem-walk speed, F(2,73) = 7.71, p < .001 η2 p = .17. Change in performance did not statistically differ between FS and MS. In community-dwelling economically and educationally disadvantaged older adults with a history of falls, minimally supervised home-based and fully supervised center-based exercise programs may be equally effective in improving fall-relevant functional mobility.

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David J. Ralston

The RAMP system of athletic-injury rehabilitation, its name an acronym representing its component phases, has its foundation in the frequent reassessment of the injury condition. The patient is progressed systematically through a sequence of rehabilitation goals: management of the acute responses to injury, restoration of mobility, and successful completion of performance goals. The RAMP system designates the current highest-priority rehabilitation goal as the primary objective and any other goals as secondary. This ensures that the pursuit of 1 rehabilitation goal is not at the expense of another, more currently relevant goal. The RAMP system provides a systematic format to help less-experienced clinicians progress injured athletes through the phases of recovery from injury. Daily reassessment of an injury allows the rehabilitation plan to be current and appropriate. The goal-based progression of the system ensures maximum resolution of each rehabilitation objective, contributing to athletes’ optimal return to sport or activity

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Laura S. Ho, Harriet G. Williams and Emily A.W. Hardwick

The study’s objective was to examine the health status, physical activity behaviors, and performance-based functional abilities of individuals classified as being at high or low risk for frailty and to determine which of these characteristics discriminates between the 2 groups. Participants were 78 community-dwelling individuals with an average age of 74 years; 37 were categorized as being at high risk and 42 at low risk for frailty. Logistic-regression analysis indicated that individuals classified as being at high risk for frailty were more likely to have visited the doctor more than 3 times in the past year, experienced a cardiac event, taken more than 4 medications a day, and participated in little or no physical activity. High-risk individuals were more likely to have poor balance, difficulty with mobility, decreased range of motion, poor unimanual dexterity, and difficulty performing activities of daily living than were those classified as being at low risk for frailty.

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Sharon R. Guthrie and Shirley Castelnuovo

The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the ways women with physical disabilities shape their identities and manage (i.e., cope or come to terms with) their disabilities while living in an able-bodyist culture. Particular emphasis was placed on how these women, all of whom were participating in sport or exercise, used physical activity in the management process. In-depth interviews were conducted with 34 women who had physical mobility disabilities. Findings indicated three different approaches to managing disability via physical activity: (a) management by minimizing the significance of the body, (b) management by normalization of the body, and (c) management by optimizing mind-body functioning. They also indicated that having a disability does not preclude positive physical and global self-perceptions. The implications of these findings for sport and society are discussed.