Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) are often advised not to participate in vigorous exercise. Leading a relatively sedentary life, however, may exacerbate the debilitating effects of MS. In this study, 22 people participated in either a no-special-activity group (n = 11) or an experimental group (n = 11) that involved water aerobics three times a week for 10 weeks. Measures taken included scales for health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and psychological well-being. ANCOVAs using social support and the appropriate pretest scores as covariates revealed that after the intervention, the exercise group had more energy and vigor (extremely large effect sizes). Other very large effects were found in the exercise group, which had better social and sexual functioning and less bodily pain and fatigue than the control group. Future research should involve long-term studies to determine whether exercise not only improves quality of life but also helps slow the progression of disease.
Georgina Sutherland, Mark B. Andersen and Mark A. Stoové
Paul M. Wright and Suzanne Burton
Underserved youth are at risk for numerous threats to their physical and psychological well-being. To navigate the challenges they face, they need a variety of positive life skills. This study systematically explored the implementation and short-term outcomes of a responsibility-based physical activity program that was integrated into an intact high school physical education class. Qualitative methods, drawing on multiple data sources, were used to evaluate a 20-lesson teaching personal and social responsibility (TPSR) program. Participants were 23 African American students in an urban high school. Five themes characterized the program: (a) establishing a relevant curriculum, (b) navigating barriers, (c) practicing life skills, (d) seeing the potential for transfer, and (e) creating a valued program. Findings extend the empirical literature related to TPSR and, more generally, physical activity programs designed to promote life skills. Implications for practitioners are discussed.
Juliette Stebbings, Ian M. Taylor, Christopher M. Spray and Nikos Ntoumanis
Embedded in the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) framework, we obtained self-report data from 418 paid and voluntary coaches from a variety of sports and competitive levels with the aim of exploring potential antecedents of coaches’ perceived autonomy supportive and controlling behaviors. Controlling for socially desirable responses, structural equation modeling revealed that greater job security and opportunities for professional development, and lower work–life conflict were associated with psychological need satisfaction, which, in turn, was related to an adaptive process of psychological well-being and perceived autonomy support toward athletes. In contrast, higher work–life conflict and fewer opportunities for development were associated with a distinct maladaptive process of thwarted psychological needs, psychological ill-being, and perceived controlling interpersonal behavior. The results highlight how the coaching context may impact upon coaches’ psychological health and their interpersonal behavior toward athletes. Moreover, evidence is provided for the independence of adaptive and maladaptive processes within the self-determination theory paradigm.
Shelly T. Sheinbein, Trent A. Petrie, Scott Martin and Christy A. Greenleaf
A lot of evidence showed that boys and girls are at high risk of developing major or minor depression in adolescence. Increases in physical fitness have been associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms, yet the mechanisms that underlie (or mediate) this relationship have not been thoroughly examined.
528 boys (mean age = 12.33 years) and 507 girls (mean age = 12.32 years) drawn from a suburban school district participated. Self-report measures were used to assess the mediators (body satisfaction and social physique anxiety) and the outcome (depression); the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) in conjunction with age, Body Mass Index (BMI), and sex were used to determine an objective estimate of cardiorespiratory fitness. Path analyses were used to test the proposed models.
The effects of fitness on depressive symptoms were mediated through body satisfaction and social physique anxiety; 25% to 35% of the depression variance was explained.
Boys’ and girls’ depression scores were based on the extent that their fitness levels improved their body satisfaction and lowered their social physique anxiety; body satisfaction was particularly important for girls. Thus, early adolescents’ psychological well-being may be enhanced through improvements in aerobic functioning.
Helen Elizabeth Brown, Nicola Burton, Nicholas David Gilson and Wendy Brown
An emerging area of interest in workplace health is presenteeism; the measurable extent to which physical or psychosocial symptoms, conditions and disease adversely affect the work productivity of those who choose to remain at work. Given established links between presenteeism and health, and health and physical activity, presenteeism could be an important outcome in workplace physical activity research. This study provides a narrative review of questionnaires for use in such research.
Eight self-report measures of presenteeism were identified. Information regarding development, constructs measured and psychometric properties was extracted from relevant articles.
Questionnaires were largely self-administered, had 4–44 items, and recall periods ranging from 1 week to 1 year. Items were identified as assessing work performance, physical tolerance, psychological well-being and social or role functioning. Samples used to test questionnaires were predominantly American male employees, with an age range of 30–59 years. All instruments had undergone psychometric assessment, most commonly discriminant and construct validity.
Based on instrument characteristics, the range of conceptual foci covered and acceptable measurement properties, the Health and Work Questionnaire, Work Ability Index, and Work Limitations Questionnaire are suggested as most suitable for further exploring the relationship between physical activity and presenteeism.
Edmund O. Acevedo, David A. Dzewaltowski, Diane L. Gill and John M. Noble
The purpose of this study was to examine the sport-specific cognitions of 112 ultramarathoners competing in a 100-mile trail run. Subjects completed the Sport Orientation Questionnaire, the Trait Sport-Confidence Inventory, the Commitment to Running Scale, and a questionnaire designed by the investigators to assess goals, cognitive strategies, perceptions of “runner’s high,” and feelings that occur when subjects are unable to run. Ultramarathoners were more confident, more committed to running, slightly higher in competitiveness, lower on win orientation, and higher on goal orientation in comparison to other athletes. Ultramarathoners also rated importance of and commitment to time goals very high; importance of and commitment to place goals were rated low. No significant differences in cognitive orientations were found between finishers and nonfinishers or between males and females. Responses to open-ended questions revealed that most ultramarathoners reported predominately external thoughts during races, had feelings of psychological well-being and strength as a result of ultramarathoning, never or rarely experienced runner’s high, and experienced negative psychological states when unable to run. Overall, these results demonstrate the unique sport-specific cognitive orientations of ultramarathoners.
Nathanael G. Mitchell, Justin B. Moore, Wendy S. Bibeau and Kathleen M. Rudasill
Levels of physical activity decline throughout childhood. Children’s physical self-perceptions have been found to relate to their physical activity. Understanding the relationships among physical self-perceptions, obesity, and physical activity could have important implications for interventions in children.
The current study investigated the moderating effect of cardiovascular fitness (CVF, heart rate recovery from a 3-minute step test) on the relationship between obesity (BMI, waist circumference) and physical self-perceptions (athletic competence, physical appearance) in 104 fourth- and fifth-grade children from a small rural community.
Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that CVF moderated the relations between BMI and waist circumference on athletic competence. For children with lower fitness, higher waist circumference was associated with lower athletic competence, while for children with higher fitness levels, higher BMI was associated with higher athletic competence. Results also indicated that both BMI and waist circumference were negatively related to physical appearance. CVF moderated these relations such that only children with lower fitness, greater BMI and waist circumference was associated with poorer physical appearance scores.
Implications include the need for support of fitness programs to promote psychological well-being and to investigate the relationship between obesity and physical self-perceptions within the context of fitness.
Simon J. Sebire, Martyn Standage and Maarten Vansteenkiste
Self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000) proposes that intrinsic, relative to extrinsic, goal content is a critical predictor of the quality of an individual’s behavior and psychological well-being. Through three studies, we developed and psychometrically tested a measure of intrinsic and extrinsic goal content in the exercise context: the Goal Content for Exercise Questionnaire (GCEQ). In adults, exploratory (N = 354; Study 1) and confrmatory factor analyses (N = 312; Study 2) supported a 20-item solution consisting of 5 lower order factors (i.e., social affliation, health management, skill development, image and social recognition) that could be subsumed within a 2-factor higher order structure (i.e., intrinsic and extrinsic). Evidence for external validity, temporal stability, gender invariance, and internal consistency of the GCEQ was found. An independent sample (N = 475; Study 3) provided further support for the lower order structure of the GCEQ and some support for the higher order structure. The GCEQ was supported as a measure of exercise-based goal content, which may help understand how intrinsic and extrinsic goals can motivate exercise behavior.
John Mahoney and Stephanie J. Hanrahan
The purpose of this study was to research the experiences of four injured athletes during their rehabilitation from ACL injuries and to examine the potential usefulness of an adapted ACT intervention in addressing individuals’ adherence to rehabilitation protocols and their general psychological well-being. We investigated the usefulness of a brief, 4-session ACT program adapted for educational purposes and presented data as case studies. The case studies suggested that (a) the injured athletes experienced a multitude of private events immediately following injury, throughout their recovery, and when approaching a full return to sport; (b) the injured athletes typically avoided these private events and engaged in emotion-driven behaviors; (c) an adapted ACT approach for educational purposes could be useful on at least a basic level to help injured athletes accept private events, commit to rehabilitation behaviors, and have some certainty about returning to sport; and (d) more could be done to address the needs of injured athletes beyond the structure of our 4-session educational intervention. We concluded that the ACT-based intervention, to a certain extent, educated injured athletes about how to meet the challenges of their recoveries and how to commit to their rehabilitations, as well as to exhibit behaviors that would potentially permit their successful reentries to sport.
The aim of this case study was to report on the performance outcomes and subjective assessments of long-term low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet in a world-class long-distance triathlete who had been suffering from gastrointestinal distress in Ironman competition. The lacto-ovo vegetarian athlete (age = 39 years; height = 179 cm; usual racing body mass = 75 kg; sum of seven skinfolds = 36 mm) changed his usual high carbohydrate (CHO) availability diet to an LCHF diet for 32 weeks (∼95% compliance). He participated in three professional races while on the LCHF diet, but acutely restored CHO availability by consuming CHO in the preevent meals and during the race as advised. The athlete had his worst-ever half-Ironman performance after 21 weeks on the LCHF diet (18th). After 24 weeks on LCHF, he had his second worst-ever Ironman performance (14th) and suffered his usual gastrointestinal symptoms. He did not finish his third race after 32 weeks on LCHF. He regained his usual performance level within 5 weeks back on a high CHO diet, finishing second and fourth in two Ironman events separated by just 3 weeks. Subjective psychological well-being was very negative while on the LCHF diet, with feelings of depression, irritability, and bad mood. In conclusion, this long-term (32 weeks) LCHF intervention did not solve the gastrointestinal problems that the athlete had been experiencing, it was associated with negative performance outcomes in both the half-Ironman and Ironman competitions, and it had a negative impact on the athlete’s subjective well-being.