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Che-Hsiu Chen, Tsun-Shun Huang, Huei-Ming Chai, Mei-Hwa Jan and Jiu-Jenq Lin

Context:

Recent studies have shown that the static stretch (SS) may adversely affect leg-muscle performance.

Objectives:

The authors examined the short-term effects of 2 stretching exercises on hamstrings muscle before and after exercise.

Design:

Crossover.

Setting:

Laboratory.

Participants:

9 healthy, physically active men.

Interventions:

There were 3 protocols in a randomized order with a 7-d interval: nonstretching (CON protocol), hamstrings static stretching (SS) with proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), and SS with kinesio-taping application on the hamstrings.

Main Outcome Measures:

Outcome measures included first-felt and maximum tolerant-felt range of motion (FROM and TROM), maximal knee-flexion peak torque (PT) at 180°/s, and hamstrings muscle stiffness.

Results:

Groups were not different at prestretching in terms of hamstrings flexibility, PT, and muscle stiffness. At poststretching, both stretching protocols showed significant increases in FROM and TROM (P < .05). Stiffer hamstrings muscle and decreased PT were found in both SS+PNF and CON protocols (P < .05). However, there was no significant difference in the SS+Taping protocol (P > .05).

Conclusion:

The stretching protocols improve hamstrings flexibility immediately, but after exercise hamstrings peak torque is diminished in the SS+PNF but not in the SS+Taping group. This means that SS+Taping can prevent negative results from exercise, which may prevent muscle injury.

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Katja Siefken, Grant Schofield and Nico Schulenkorf

Background:

The Pacific region has experienced rapid urbanization and lifestyle changes, which lead to high rates of noncommunicable disease (NCD) prevalence. There is no information on barriers and facilitators for healthy lifestyles in this region. In response, we present the first stage of a rigorous development of an urban Pacific health intervention program. This paper describes formative work conducted in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The objective of this paper was to understand cultural barriers and facilitators in Pacific women to lifestyle change and use the findings to inform future health interventions.

Methods:

Semistructured focus groups with 37 female civil servants divided into 6 groups were held verbally to understand barriers and facilitators for healthy lifestyles.

Results:

Several perceived barriers and facilitators were identified. Inter alia, barriers include financial limitations, time issues, family commitments, environmental aspects, and motivational hindrances that limit time and opportunities for healthy lifestyle behavior. Facilitators include more supportive environments, social support mechanisms, and the implementation of rigorous health policies.

Conclusions:

Formative work is essential in designing health intervention programs. Uncovered barriers and facilitators help inform the development of culturally relevant health interventions.

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Christina C. Loitz and Nancy Spencer-Cavaliere

Background:

Despite the health benefits associated with physical activity participation, activity levels of North American children are declining. In response, practitioners are placing emphasis on active forms of transportation to and from school. The purpose of this study was to explore the barriers and facilitators to active transportation to school (ATS) from the perspectives of practitioners.

Methods:

The perspectives of 19 practitioners (eg, health promoters, traffic engineers, police, etc.) from 3 communities in Alberta, Canada were captured using focus group interviews followed by content analysis.

Results:

Subthemes tied to barriers included logistics, lifestyle, safety, and lack of resources; while facilitators were comprised of collaboration, education, and leadership. The results were interpreted using an ecological model of health behavior.

Conclusion:

The most common ATS barriers: attitudes and safety concerns, lack of resources and time, and the nature of the natural and built environments were associated with the intrapersonal, organizational, and physical environmental factors, respectively. The most significant organizational facilitators concerned collaboration among parents, schools, businesses, community organizations, and government agencies. While the multifaceted nature of barriers and facilitators add complexity to the issue, it also challenges practitioners to think and act creatively in finding solutions.

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Lotte L. Lintmeijer, A.J. “Knoek” van Soest, Freek S. Robbers, Mathijs J. Hofmijster and Peter J. Beek

power output facilitates crew rowers to comply with power-output targets associated with crew rowing, the movement limitations associated with crew rowing not withstanding. Compliance with training targets improved in terms of accuracy and LF consistency when additional feedback on power output was

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Nick J. Davey, Steve R. Rawlinson, David W. Maskill and Peter H. Ellaway

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex was used to produce compound motor evoked potentials (cMEPs) in the first dorsal interosseus (FDI) muscle. The size of cMEPs was measured as an index of corticospinal excitability before and after initiation of a simple reaction task (SRT). The SRT, consisting of an abduction of the right index finger against a vertical support in response to a 1 kHz cueing tone, was performed in 6 healthy male subjects. cMEPs were facilitated when timed to occur just before the fastest simple reaction time (fSRT). When the cMEP was placed 15.5 ± 1.5 ms before the fSRT, its amplitude increased to 176 ± 36% of the control response seen in the relaxed state (no SRTs). Facilitation of the cMEP increased to 382 ± 43% of the control when it was placed 11.9 ± 1.5 ms after the fSRT. The facilitation of cMEP responses prior to the SRT is discussed with particular reference to the premovement potential that may be recorded over the cortex prior to a voluntary movement.

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Jennifer A. Stone

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Divya Rajaraman, Natasha Correa, Zubin Punthakee, Scott A. Lear, Krishnaswamy G. Jayachitra, Mario Vaz and Sumathi Swaminathan

Objectives:

The purpose of this study was to understand perceived benefits, facilitators, disadvantages, and barriers for physical activity among South Asian adolescents in India and Canada.

Methods:

Thirteen focus group discussions with South Asian (origin) adolescent boys and girls of different nutritional status and socioeconomic status in rural and urban India and urban Canada.

Results:

Across the groups, fitness and ‘energy’ were perceived to be major benefits of physical activity. In India, better academic performance was highlighted, while health benefits were well detailed in Canadian groups. In all settings, friends, family, and teachers were perceived as facilitators of as well as barriers to physical activity. Lack of a safe space to play was a major concern for urban adolescents, while academic pressures and preference for other sedentary recreational activities were common barriers across all groups. Girls were less likely than boys to be interested in physical activity, with girls’ participation in India further limited by societal restrictions.

Conclusions:

The study suggests key areas for promotion of physical activity among South Asian adolescents: balance between academic pressure and opportunities for physical activity, especially in India; urban planning for a built environment conducive to physical activity; and gender-sensitive programming to promote girls’ activity which also addresses culture-specific barriers.

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Inez Rovegno and Dianna Bandhauer

This case study tells the story of an in-service elementary physical education teacher, who made a large-scale change from an activities approach to a movement approach based, initially, on “Every Child a Winner” (Rockett & Owens, 1977). Five psychological dispositions facilitated the development of the teacher’s knowledge: (a) the disposition to understand the approach accurately and deeply and to do the job right, (b) the disposition to accept that the approach was difficult to learn and to persist in seeking clarification, (c) the disposition to justify and develop a practice in keeping with a sound educational philosophy and theoretical foundations, (d) the disposition toward change and to learn and implement new ideas, and (e) the disposition to suspend judgment of new ideas. Dispositions can be important aspects of teacher thinking and can help to explain successful knowledge development and teacher change.

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Inez Rovegno and Dianna Bandhauer

This interpretive case study describes five norms of the school culture that facilitated a teacher’s (the second author) adoption and learning of a constructivist approach to physical education. The second author used a movement approach initially based on Every Child a Winner. The first author conducted field observations at the elementary school across 3 years and formal interviews and numerous informal interviews each day of field work with teachers, principals, staff, and children. The five norms or set of norms were (a) the set of norms defining the school philosophy, (b) teacher learning, (c) teacher participatory power and responsibility, (d) continual school improvement, and (e) the tendency “to feel that we can do anything.” The paper describes how the norms influenced the physical educator and the physical educators’ role in creating and maintaining the norms.

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Áine MacNamara, Angela Button and Dave Collins

Given the complexity of the talent development process, it seems likely that a range of psychological factors underpin an athlete’s ability to translate potential into top-class performance. Therefore, the purpose of part one of this two-part investigation was to explore the attributes that facilitate the successful development of athletes from initial involvement to achieving and maintaining world-class status. Seven elite athletes and a parent of each of these athletes were interviewed regarding their own (their son’s/daughter’s) development in sport. Data were content analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Although sporting achievement was conceptualized as being multidimensional, psychological factors were highlighted as the key determinants of those who emerged as talented and maintained excellence. Accordingly, we suggest that talent identification and development programs should place greater emphasis on the advancement and application of psychological behaviors at an early stage to optimize both the development and performance of athletes.