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Donal Murray, Kevin C. Miller and Jeffrey E. Edwards

Clinical Scenario:

Although exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMC) are common in ultradistance runners and athletes in general, their etiology remains unclear. EAMC are painful, sudden, involuntary contractions of skeletal muscle occurring during or after exercise and are recognized by visible bulging or knotting of the whole, or part of, a muscle. Many clinicians believe EAMC occur after an imbalance in electrolyte concentrations, specifically serum sodium concentration ([Na+]s) and serum potassium concentration ([K+]s). Studies that have established a link between EAMC occurrence and serum electrolyte concentrations after an athletic event are unhelpful.

Focused Clinical Question:

Are [Na+]s and [K+]s different in athletes who experience EAMC than noncrampers?

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Margaret Carlisle Duncan and Cynthia A. Hasbrook

Televised texts of women’s sports are examined using the hermeneutical method. This study begins with the observation that women’s participation in team sports and certain “male-appropriate” individual sports is significantly lower than men’s participation in these sports. More striking yet is the media’s (particularly television’s) virtual disregard of women in team sports and certain individual sports. On the basis of these observations, the authors frame their research question: Do these imbalances constitute a symbolic denial of power for women? To answer this question, the authors investigate televised depictions of basketball, surfing, and marathon running. In each sport, the television narratives and visuals of the women’s competition are contrasted with those of the men’s competition. These depictions reveal a profound ambivalence in the reporting of the women’s sports, something that is not present in the reporting of the men’s sports. This ambivalence consists of conflicting messages about female athletes; positive portrayals of sportswomen are combined with subtly negative suggestions that trivialize or undercut the women’s efforts. Such trivialization is a way of denying power to women. The authors conclude by asserting that sport and leisure educators have an ethical obligation to redress the imbalance of power in the sporting world.

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Huan Yu Xiao and Andrea N. Eagleman

This commentary analyzes the growth and current status of the education, facilities, faculty, and teaching quality associated with sport communication education in China. It presents findings from a survey of Chinese sport communication students and their perceptions of the quality of education at universities offering such programs, as well as survey results from Chinese sport media professionals and their assessments of the students graduating from these programs. The results of these surveys signify problematic areas in sport communication education, such as an imbalance between the number of students in these programs and the amount of equipment and resources available, the shortage of qualified teachers, and the lack of applied sport communication opportunities available to the students. The article also details the relationship between supply and demand in academia. The commentary closes with proposed strategic solutions for the reformation and development of the academic environment related to sport communication in China.

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Lyle J. Micheli

The majority of injuries in exercising children affect the musculoskeletal system. These injuries result from two mechanisms: single, acute macrotrauma or repetitive microtrauma. The injuries resulting from repetitive microtrauma—overuse injuries—appear to be occurring with increased frequency in this age group. A number of risk factors for overuse injury from exercise have been identified, including training error, muscle imbalance, anatomic malalignment, footwear, surface, nutritional factors, and cultural factors. The development of scientific criteria for exercise prescription in this age group that will enhance fitness and avoid injury awaits techniques for noninvasive assessment of musculoskeletal tissue fitness. In the interim, many of these injuries can be prevented or decreased in severity by slow progression of exercise intensity and qualified adult supervision.

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Martin Ramsi, Kathleen A. Swanik, Charles “Buz” Swanik, Steve Straub and Carl Mattacola

Context:

Changes in strength over the course of a swim season could predispose the shoulder to strength imbalances and lead to injury.

Objective:

To examine isometric shoulder internal- (IR) and external-rotator (ER) strength in high school swimmers over a 12-week competitive season.

Design:

Three 3 × 2 × 2 ANOVAs with repeated measures were used to determine significant main effects for IR, ER, and IR:ER strength ratio.

Participants:

27 (14 female, 13 male) high school varsity swimmers.

Main Outcome Measures:

IR and ER strength during preseason, midseason, and postseason.

Results:

Significant increases in IR strength in both groups were revealed for all test sessions. ER strength significantly improved in both males and females from preseason to midseason and from preseason to postseason. IR:ER ratio revealed a significant increase from preseason to postseason.

Conclusions:

Increases in IR strength without equal gains in ER strength were revealed and could contribute to future shoulder pathologies in competitive swimmers

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Minseok An and George H. Sage

In the past decade, to help maintain political stability and promote economic growth, South Korea has committed substantial resources to commercialized sports, including golf. A major source of support for building golf courses has come from government leaders and economic and social incentives as well. In the past 4 years the government has given permission to build 135 new golf courses. The official government discourse about the new golf courses is that they are being built in the interest of “sport for all.” But the golf courses overwhelmingly require membership, which is extremely expensive. Despite the enormous power and resources of the dominant groups in Korea, there are elements of opposition. The golf boom has been severely criticized because it removes large amounts of land from agricultural and industrial productivity, contaminates farm land, and pollutes water. It also represents the worst aspects of the social imbalance of wealth.

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Nathalie Boisseau, Sonia Vera-Perez and Jacques Poortmans

Judo is a weight-class sport, meaning that there are weight-defined classes in competitions. Regular body weight restrictions and/or nutritional imbalances can alter growth and maturation states in adolescents. The aim of the present study was to estimate to what extent female judo athletes (age 16.1 ± 0.3 years) modified food and drink intakes 3 weeks and 1 week before competition. Our findings indicate that unbalanced dietary intakes and “weight cutting” might occur in female adolescent competitors. We conclude that dietary recommendations are compulsory in order to educate coaches and young judokas about adequate nutrition and safe weight control behaviors, as well as the dangers of rapid weight loss and dehydration during adolescence.

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María Inés Táboas-Pais and Ana Rey-Cao

The aim of this paper is to show how images of disability are portrayed in physical education textbooks for secondary schools in Spain. The sample was composed of 3,316 images published in 36 textbooks by 10 publishing houses. A content analysis was carried out using a coding scheme based on categories employed in other similar studies and adapted to the requirements of this study with additional categories. The variables were camera angle, gender, type of physical activity, field of practice, space, and level. Univariate and bivariate descriptive analyses were also carried out. The Pearson chi-square statistic was used to identify associations between the variables. Results showed a noticeable imbalance between people with disabilities and people without disabilities, and women with disabilities were less frequently represented than men with disabilities. People with disabilities were depicted as participating in a very limited variety of segregated, competitive, and elite sports activities.

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Katherine Baird

This article examines the relationship between player compensation in college football and competitive balance on the field. It shows that National Collegiate Athletic Association rule changes restricting football-player compensation are not associated with an improvement in football’s competitive balance. Although college football is marginally more balanced than professional sports in any given year, an examination of cumulative records spanning numerous seasons proves college football to be as unbalanced as professional sports. The movement toward reducing player compensation, coincident with an increasing value to player talent, raises issues over how the financial gain from college football talent should be used. The significant degree of talent (and financial) imbalance among college football teams suggests that more attention should be paid to the determinants of talent distribution in college football.

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João C. Dias, Melissa W. Roti, Amy C. Pumerantz, Greig Watson, Daniel A. Judelson, Douglas J. Casa and Lawrence E. Armstrong

Context:

Dieticians, physiologists, athletic trainers, and physicians have recommended refraining from caffeine intake when exercising because of possible fluid-electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.

Objective:

To assess how 16-hour rehydration is affected by caffeine ingestion.

Design:

Dose–response.

Setting:

Environmental chamber.

Participants:

59 college-age men.

Intervention:

Subjects consumed a chronic caffeine dose of 0 (placebo), 3, or 6 mg · kg−1 · day−1 and performed an exercise heat-tolerance test (EHT) consisting of 90 minutes of walking on a treadmill (5.6 km/h) in the heat (37.7 °C).

Outcome Measures:

Fluid-electrolyte measures.

Results:

There were no between-group differences immediately after and 16 hours after EHT in total plasma protein, hematocrit, urine osmolality, specific gravity, color, and volume. Body weights after EHT and the following day (16 hours) were not different between groups (P > .05).

Conclusion:

Hydration status 16 hours after EHT did not change with chronic caffeine ingestion.