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Ken A. McLachlan, Aron J. Murphy, Mark L. Watsford and Sven Rees

Two popular methods of assessing lower body musculotendinous stiffness include the hopping and oscillation tests. The disparity and paucity of reliability data prompted this investigation into leg musculotendinous stiffness (Kleg) and ankle musculotendinous stiffness (Kank) measures. Kleg and Kank were assessed on three separate occasions in 20 female subjects. Kleg was determined using bilateral hopping procedures conducted at 2.2 Hz and 3.2 Hz frequencies. Kank was assessed by perturbation of the subject's ankle musculotendinous unit on an instrumented calf raise apparatus at 70% of maximum isometric force (MIF). Excellent reliability was produced for all Kleg measures between all days, whereas Kank exhibited acceptable reliability after one session of familiarization. No relationship was evident between Kleg and Kank. It was concluded that no familiarization session was required for Kleg at the test frequencies and conditions tested, whereas at least one familiarization session was needed to ensure the reliable assessment of Kank.

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Claudia D’Alessandro, Ester Morelli, Irene Evangelisti, Fabio Galetta, Ferdinando Franzoni, Donatella Lazzeri, Marina Piazza and Adamasco Cupisti

The aim of this study was to investigate the body composition and dietary intake of competitive club-level rhythmic gymnasts, who represent the larger cohort of the sport’s practitioners. Fifty-five rhythmic gymnasts and 55 nonathlete females (13–19 years of age) were seen individually to collect a dietary recall and to take anthropometric data and bioelectric-impedance analysis. Gymnasts had lower body-mass index and lesser skinfold thickness, although middle arm-muscle circumference was similar in the 2 groups. Gymnasts had lower body-fat measures but normal levels of fat-free mass (FFM) and body-cellular mass. Gymnasts had better dietary habits than the age-matched controls. Low levels of calcium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc and a disparity between reported energy intake and estimated energy requirement were observed in both groups.

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Gregory A. Cranmer, Alexander L. Lancaster and Tina M. Harris

The disparity in framing in sport media based on athlete race has historically garnered extensive attention. In the past, the media promoted historical stereotypes of Black athletes that emphasized their physical prowess and diminished their intellectual capacity. However, recent research provides evidence that these traditional frames are changing and that recent media coverage is more racially equitable or even contradicts old patterns. Advancing this critique further, the current study examined novel visual frames (i.e., the emphasis of athleticism, sporting context, and sexualization) of White and Black athletes in ESPN’s The Body Issue. The findings contradict historical patterns of representations of Black athletes through the identification of a shift in the framing patterns for Black male athletes, whereas Black female athletes still face frames that portray them in a stereotypical manner. This study recognizes these tensions while successfully illustrating the importance of examining the intersections of difference for revealing and confronting the unique portrayals of Black female athletes.

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Wendell C. Taylor, Walker S. Carlos Poston, Lovell Jones and M. Katherine Kraft

Background:

The term “environmental justice” refers to efforts to address the disproportionate exposure to and burden of harmful environmental conditions experienced by low-income and racial/ethnic minority populations.

Methods:

Based on computer and manual searches, this paper presents a review of articles in the published literature that discuss disparities in physical activity, dietary habits, and obesity among different populations.

Results:

This paper provides evidence that economically disadvantaged and racial/ethnic minority populations have substantial environmental challenges to overcome to become physically active, to acquire healthy dietary habits, and to maintain a healthy weight. For example, residents living in poorer areas have more environmental barriers to overcome to be physically active.

Conclusions:

We propose a research agenda to specifically address environmental justice with regard to improving physical activity, dietary habits, and weight patterns.

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Terence Dwyer, James F. Sallis, Leigh Blizzard, Ross Lazarus and Kimberlie Dean

The objective of this study was to examine the association of scholastic performance with physical activity and fitness of children. To do so, school ratings of scholastic ability on a five-point scale for a nationally representative sample of 7,961 Australian schoolchildren aged 7–15 years were compared with physical activity and fitness measurements. Consistently across age and sex groups, the ratings were significantly correlated with questionnaire measures of physical activity and with performance on the 1.6-kilometer run, sit-ups and push-ups challenges, 50-meter sprint, and standing long jump. There were no significant associations for physical work capacity at a heart rate of 170 (PWC170). The results are concordant with the hypothesis that physical activity enhances academic performance, but the cross-sectional nature of the observations limits causal inference, and the disparity for PWC170 gives reason to question whether the associations were due to measurement bias or residual confounding.

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Joe Cobbs, B. David Tyler, Jonathan A. Jensen and Kwong Chan

Accessing and exploiting organizational resources are essential capabilities for competitive sport organizations, particularly those engaged in motorsports, where teams lacking resources frequently dissolve. Corporate sponsorship represents a common method for resource acquisition, yet not all sponsorships equally benefit the sponsored organization. Sponsorship utility can be dependent on institutional dynamics such as league governance that produces competitive disparities. Through this study we extend the resource-based view to assert that sponsorships vary in their propensity to contribute to team survival, warranting prioritization in sponsorship strategy based on access to different sponsor resources. To empirically investigate the influence of a variety of sponsorships, survival analysis modeling was used to examine 40 years of corporate sponsorship of Formula One racing teams. One finding from the longitudinal analysis was that sponsorships offering financial or performance-based resources enhance team survival to a greater degree than operational sponsorships. However, such prioritization is subject to team experience, changes in institutional monetary allocation, and diminishing returns.

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Greg Reid and Andrea Prupas

Seven research priorities for disability sport were identified by the Committee on Sports for the Disabled, of the U.S. Olympic Committee (DePauw, 1986). The purpose of the present article is to assess progress achieved in each priority area. Electronic and manual searches of journals from 1986 to 1996 produced 436 articles. They were categorized into the seven priorities and subdivided as data-based research or review publications. There was a distinct disparity of output across the seven areas, some attracting only scant attention from the scientific community. With 149 articles, the legal/philosophical/historical priority was most common. When publications were analyzed according to disability category, the majority were nonspecific; that is, they addressed the more general athlete with a disability. It was concluded that the disability sport community should reassess the seven priorities, identify new areas, and seek ways to foster high priority research.

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Arlene E. Hall

This study is an examintion of the effects of race and income on leisure-time physical activity among women (n = 116). Perceived benefits of and barriers to participating in leisure-time physical activity were also compared. A regression model utilizing social cognitive variables was used to explore factors which may predict physical activity participation. No significant differences emerged between the groups regarding the amount of physical activity they reported either by race or socioeconomic status. Time expenditure emerged significantly different by race (p < .001) and income (p < .000); middle-income women reported time as a barrier more than lower-income women and Whites were likelier to report time as a barrier more than Blacks. Middle-income women perceived greater (p < .01) physical performance benefits from exercise than lower-income women. Social interaction, time expenditure, and body mass index were the strongest predictors of physical activity. The data and findings could be useful for increaseing our understanding of economic and racial disparities in physical activity participation and garnish information for use in constructing interven programs.

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Karen E. Peterson, Tamara Dubowitz, Anne M. Stoddard, Philip J. Troped, Glorian Sorensen and Karen M. Emmons

Background:

Persistent disparities suggest that multiple aspects of social context may influence leisure-time physical activity levels and weight status in multiethnic, working-class populations.

Methods:

Among participants in two randomized, controlled intervention trials (n = 1,969 in 10 health centers; n = 1,545 in 26 manufacturing businesses) we used general linear mixed models to examine the relationship of variables posited by a social-contextual framework for behavior change with h/wk of self-reported leisure-time physical activity and with body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/(height (m))2) at baseline, adjusting for clustering within study site.

Results:

Age, sex, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic position were independently associated with leisure-time physical activity in both settings; multivariable models explained 15% of the variance in health centers and 11% in small businesses. Leisure-time physical activity and motivation to change lifestyle behaviors were inversely associated with BMI, adjusting for individual, interpersonal, and neighborhood factors. Models explained 12% of variance in BMI in health centers and 10% in small businesses.

Conclusions:

A social-contextual framework highlights the contribution of social class and race/ethnicity in the variance in leisure-time physical activity and weight status but suggests other behavioral influences vary in multiethnic, working-class populations.

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Yvonne Baillie, Matt Wyon and Andrew Head

Purpose:

This study looked at the physiological effects of performance in Highland-dance competition to consider whether the traditional methods used during class and rehearsal provide an appropriate training stimulus toward this performance.

Methods:

Nine championship standard, female Highland dancers (age 14.2 ± 1.47 years) had their heart rate and blood lactate concentrations measured before and after 3 dances during a championship competition. Heart rate was also measured during the same 3 dances in rehearsal and during class.

Results:

Repeated-measures analysis of variance showed significant differences in pre dance lactate concentrations between the first dance (Highland Fling, 1.4 ± 0.3 mM/L), the second dance (Sword dance, 2.3 ± 0.8 mM/L), and the third dance (Sean Truibhas, 3.5 ± 1.8 mM/L; F 2,16 = 11.72, P < .01. This, coupled with a significant rise in lactate concentration during the dances (F 1,8 = 76.75, P < .001), resulted in a final post dance lactate concentration of 7.3 ± 2.96 mM/L. Heart-rate data during competition, rehearsal, and class (195.0 ± 6.5, 172.6 ± 5.4, and 151.9 ± 7.4 beats/min, respectively) showed significant differences between all 3 (F2,16 = 107.1, P < .001); these are comparable to research on other dance forms.

Conclusions:

Given the disparity between the anaerobic predominance of competition and the aerobic predominance during class, it is suggested that the class does not provide an appropriate training stimulus as preparation for competitive performance in Highland dance.