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Shih-Chun Kao, Chung-Ju Huang and Tsung-Min Hung

The purpose of this study was to determine whether frontal midline theta activity (Fmθ), an indicator of top-down sustained attention, can be used to distinguish an individual’s best and worst golf putting performances during the pre-putt period. Eighteen golfers were recruited and asked to perform 100 putts in a self-paced simulated putting task. We then compared the Fmθ power of each individual’s 15 best and worst putts. The results indicated that theta power in the frontal brain region significantly increased in both best and worst putts, compared with other midline regions. Moreover, the Fmθ power significantly decreased for the best putts compared with the worst putts. These findings suggest that Fmθ is a manifestation of sustained attention during a skilled performance and that optimal attentional engagement, as characterized by a lower Fmθ power, is beneficial for successful skilled performance rather than a higher Fmθ power reflecting excessive attentional control.

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Stephan Dutke, Thomas Jaitner, Timo Berse and Jonathan Barenberg

Research on effects of acute physical exercise on performance in a concurrent cognitive task has generated equivocal evidence. Processing efficiency theory predicts that concurrent physical exercise can increase resource requirements for sustaining cognitive performance even when the level of performance is unaffected. This hypothesis was tested in a dual-task experiment. Sixty young adults worked on a primary auditory attention task and a secondary interval production task while cycling on a bicycle ergometer. Physical load (cycling) and cognitive load of the primary task were manipulated. Neither physical nor cognitive load affected primary task performance, but both factors interacted on secondary task performance. Sustaining primary task performance under increased physical and/or cognitive load increased resource consumption as indicated by decreased secondary task performance. Results demonstrated that physical exercise effects on cognition might be underestimated when only single task performance is the focus.

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Susan E. Vail

Many sport organizations face the challenge of declining sport participation. Traditional methods of addressing this challenge such as promotional ads and top-down initiatives that ignore community needs have not succeeded in sustaining sport participation. This action research study assessed the impact of the building tennis communities model, a community development approach based on three key elements: identifying a community champion, developing collaborative partnerships, and delivering quality sport programming. Eighteen communities across Canada were supported by the national sport governing body, Tennis Canada, to participate in the study. Findings demonstrated that communities were able to identify a community champion and deliver quality programs that aimed to increase and sustain tennis participation; however, partnership building was implemented in a very preliminary and incomplete manner. Recommendations about the benefits of using a community development approach to not only increase sport participation but also develop communities through sport are presented with implications for researchers, policy makers, and practitioners.

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Jennifer Bricker Bone and Mary D. Fry

Objective:

To determine whether athletes’ perceptions of social support from their certified athletic trainers (ATCs) were related to their beliefs about the rehabilitation process.

Design:

Division I athletes (N = 57) completed a survey including measures of social support and beliefs about rehabilitation.

Participants:

Division I college athletes (35 men, 22 women) who had sustained an injury that caused them to miss no less than 5 consecutive days.

Measurements:

The Social Support Survey (SSS) and the Sports Injury Rehabilitation Beliefs Survey (SIRBS).

Results:

Results revealed significant correlations between the SSS and the SIRBS scales only for athletes who had sustained severe injuries. Multiple-regression analyses revealed that the SSS scales were significant predictors of each of the SIRBS scales.

Conclusions:

Results suggest that when severely injured athletes perceive that their ATCs provide strong social support, they are more likely to believe in their rehabilitation programs.

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Johanna M. Hurtubise, Cheryl Beech and Alison Macpherson

Context:

There is a lack of research on sex differences for severe injuries across a variety of sports at the collegiate level.

Objective:

To compare differences in injury severity and concussion between sexes and collegiate sports.

Design:

Descriptive epidemiological study.

Participants:

1,657 injuries were analyzed from collegiate teams at York University.

Data Collection and Analysis:

Injuries were assessed by a certified or student athletic therapist and were categorized based on degree of tissue and/or joint damage as either severe or nonsevere. Severe injuries included those with third degree damage, while all others were classified as nonsevere. Injury severity was compared between the sexes and across different sports using Pearson chisquare analysis. Logistic regression was used to assess the relative contribution of each covariate.

Results:

Males sustained 1,155 injuries, with 13.3% of them being severe, while females sustained only 502 injuries, 17.7% of which were severe. The odds of sustaining severe injuries among female athletes are 1.4 times the odds of male athletes (OR: 1.40, CI 1.05−1.86). Eleven percent of all female injuries were concussions—significantly more than males (χ2 = 11.03, p = .001). The odds of female athletes having a concussion are 1.9 times the odds of a male athlete (OR: 1.85, CI 1.28−2.67).

Conclusion:

Based on our analysis, females are at an increased risk of sustaining a severe injury, particularly concussions. These findings highlight the need for future research into sex and sport-specific risk factors. This may provide information for health care professionals, coaches, and athletes for the proper prevention, on-field care, and treatment of sport injuries.

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Janet A. Donahue, Jacqueline H. Gillis and Karen King

This paper reviews published research on behavior modification in sport and physical education. Following an introduction and some general information concerning operant technology, the actual review covers three areas: (a) behavior modification and coaching/teaching behavior, (b) behavior modification in physical education and sport environments, and (c) behavior modification and skill development. The studies reviewed document the significant value of using reinforcement principles to create or sustain specific coaching, teaching, and participant behaviors germane to sport and physical education.

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Joseph J. Crisco, Bethany J. Wilcox, Jason T. Machan, Thomas W. McAllister, Ann-Christine Duhaime, Stefan M. Duma, Steven Rowson, Jonathan G. Beckwith, Jeffrey J. Chu and Richard M. Greenwald

The purpose of this study was to quantify the severity of head impacts sustained by individual collegiate football players and to investigate differences between impacts sustained during practice and game sessions, as well as by player position and impact location. Head impacts (N = 184,358) were analyzed for 254 collegiate players at three collegiate institutions. In practice, the 50th and 95th percentile values for individual players were 20.0 g and 49.5 g for peak linear acceleration, 1187 rad/s2 and 3147 rad/s2 for peak rotational acceleration, and 13.4 and 29.9 for HITsp, respectively. Only the 95th percentile HITsp increased significantly in games compared with practices (8.4%, p = .0002). Player position and impact location were the largest factors associated with differences in head impacts. Running backs consistently sustained the greatest impact magnitudes. Peak linear accelerations were greatest for impacts to the top of the helmet, whereas rotational accelerations were greatest for impacts to the front and back. The findings of this study provide essential data for future investigations that aim to establish the correlations between head impact exposure, acute brain injury, and long-term cognitive deficits.

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Gary B. Wilkerson

Context:

Prevention of a lower extremity sprain or strain requires some basis for predicting that an individual athlete will sustain such an injury unless a modifiable risk factor is addressed.

Objective:

To assess the possible existence of an association between reaction time measured during completion of a computerized neurocognitive test battery and subsequent occurrence of a lower extremity sprain or strain.

Design:

Prospective cohort study.

Setting:

Preparticipation screening conducted in a computer laboratory on the day prior to initiation of preseason practice sessions.

Participants:

76 NCAA Division I-FCS football players.

Main Outcome Measures:

Lower extremity sprains and strains sustained between initiation of preseason practice sessions and the end of an 11-game season. Receiver operating characteristic analysis identified the optimal reaction time cut-point for discrimination between injured versus noninjured status. Stratified analyses were performed to evaluate any differential influence of reaction time on injury incidence between starters and nonstarters.

Results:

A total of 29 lower extremity sprains and strains were sustained by 23 of the 76 players. A reaction time cut-point of ≥ .545 s provided good discrimination between injured and noninjured cases: 74% sensitivity, 51% specificity, relative risk = 2.17 (90% CI: 1.10, 4.30), and odds ratio = 2.94 (90% CI: 1.19, 7.25).

Conclusions:

Neurocognitive reaction time appears to be an indicator of elevated risk for lower extremity sprains and strains among college football players, which may be modifiable through performance of exercises designed to accelerate neurocognitive processing of visual input.

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Tamara C. Valovich McLeod, Megan N. Houston and Cailee E. Welch

Concussions resulting from sports and recreational activities are a significant concern in the pediatric population. The number of children and adolescents sustaining sport-related concussions is increasing and, as a result, legislation has been passed in all 50 states to ensure appropriate recognition and referral of pediatric athletes following concussion. The developing brain may make the diagnosis, assessment, and management of concussion more challenging for health care providers and requires the use of specific age-appropriate assessment tools. Concussion management must also include considerations for cognitive and physical rest, a collaborative concussion management team that includes medical and school personnel, and more conservative stepwise progressions for returning to school and to physical activity.

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Stephen Langendorfer

Aquatic experiences including structured instructional programs for young children have become extremely popular over the past two decades despite opposition and controversy. Surprisingly, this popularity and controversy have not given rise to extensive or sustained research efforts by exercise scientists or aquatic professionals. Most information available for assessing risks and benefits of aquatic experiences for young children must be gleaned from ancillary sources in medical and educational literature. This paper reviews important issues and questions in the medical, developmental, and pedagogical areas of early childhood aquatics. The need for basic and applied research efforts by teams of exercise scientists from physiologic, psychologic, medical, and aquatic backgrounds is apparent.