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Nicholas L. Holt, Homan Lee, Youngoh Kim and Kyra Klein

The overall purpose of this study was to examine individuals’ experiences of running an ultramarathon. Following pilot work data were collected with six people who entered the 2012 Canadian Death Race. Participants were interviewed before the race, took photographs and made video recordings during the race, wrote a summary of their experience, and attended a focus group after the race. The research team also interviewed participants during the race. Before the race participants had mixed emotions. During the race they experienced numerous stressors (i.e., cramping and injuries, gastrointestinal problems, and thoughts about quitting). They used coping strategies such as making small goals, engaging in a mental/physical battle, monitoring pace, nutrition, and hydration, and social support. After the race, nonfinishers experienced dejection or acceptance whereas finishers commented on the race as a major life experience. These findings provide some insights into factors involved in attempting to complete ultramarathons and offer some implications for applied sport psychology.

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Francis G. O’Connor, Aaron D. Williams, Steve Blivin, Yuval Heled, Patricia Deuster and Scott D. Flinn

Since Biblical times, heat injuries have been a major focus of military medical personnel. Heat illness accounts for considerable morbidity during recruit training and remains a common cause of preventable nontraumatic exertional death in the United States military. This brief report describes current regulations used by Army, Air Force, and Navy medical personnel to return active duty warfighters who are affected by a heat illness back to full duty. In addition, a description of the profile system used in evaluating the different body systems, and how it relates to military return to duty, are detailed. Current guidelines require clinical resolution, as well as a profile that that protects a soldier through repeated heat cycles, prior to returning to full duty. The Israeli Defense Force, in contrast, incorporates a heat tolerance test to return to duty those soldiers afflicted by heat stroke, which is briefly described. Future directions for U.S. military medicine are discussed.

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Cecilia Persson, Jon Summers and Richard M. Hall

A spinal cord injury may lead to loss of motor and sensory function and even death. The biomechanics of the injury process have been found to be important to the neurological damage pattern, and some studies have found a protective effect of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). However, the effect of the CSF thickness on the cord deformation and, hence, the resulting injury has not been previously investigated. In this study, the effects of natural variability (in bovine) as well as the difference between bovine and human spinal canal dimensions on spinal cord deformation were studied using a previously validated computational model. Owing to the pronounced effect that the CSF thickness was found to have on the biomechanics of the cord deformation, it can be concluded that results from animal models may be affected by the disparities in the CSF layer thickness as well as by any difference in the biological responses they may have compared with those of humans.

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Katerina Maresova

Background:

Several scientific studies estimate the burden of physical inactivity in different countries, yet in the Czech Republic, this kind of research is still missing. This paper represents one of the first attempts to quantify the costs of physical inactivity in the Czech Republic for 2008.

Methods:

The analysis, based on scientific literature review, uses the comparative risk assessment methodology and applies it on data available in the Czech Republic.

Results:

In 2008, the financial cost of physical inactivity to public health insurance companies was almost 700 million Kč, or 0.4%, of total healthcare costs. Furthermore, physical inactivity caused 2442, or 2.3%, of all deaths in 2008 and 18,065, or 1.2%, of all disability-adjusted life years in 2004.

Conclusions:

The costs of physical inactivity in the Czech Republic are considerable, yet slightly smaller than in other comparable studies. The obtained results could be used as an argument for policymakers when conceiving public or private health policy.

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Thomas Rowland

The two articles in the area of cardiovascular physiology and disease in youth were chosen for commentary because of their exploration of new approaches to the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular derangements in young persons. The first, by Hinds et al., describes the potential clinical importance of detection of cardiovascular changes during exercise testing in adolescent athletes following concussions. This approach might prove useful in establishing safe return-to-play guidelines. The second, a review article by Van De Schoor et al, evaluates the frequency of myocardial scarring in athletes, some of adolescent age, which is a recognized risk factor for sudden cardiac death. These findings support other evidence indicating that sports participation per se might rarely increase the risk of such tragedies. Clearly more research is indicated by the information raised in both of these articles, but their importance to clinical medicine is obvious.

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Linda Kalof

Blood sport—the practice of pitting animals against each other (or against humans) in bloody combat to the death—is a tragic form of human entertainment that has been resilient since antiquity. While animal blood sport is a form of human driven sport related violence that involves the abuse and suffering of other animals (Young 2012), it also provides an “identity prop” (Dunning 1999): all male competitive sports and games provide men with a way to demonstrate masculinity by feminizing opponents (Dundes 1997). This theoretical argument has not been systematically analyzed in the sociology of sport, and my essay is an attempt to fill that gap. I examine animal blood sport with a focus on its connection to the validation of masculinity and heterosexuality.

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David Brown

This paper explores the central thesis of one of Pierre Bourdieu’s last texts before his death in 2001, La Domination Masculine (1999). This text was subsequently translated and published in English in 2001 as Masculine Domination. I present the view that this text is not merely his only sustained commentary on gender relations but a potentially important intellectual contribution to the way in which we might view the embodiment of gender relations in sport and physical culture. Accordingly, I examine Bourdieu’s relational thesis of masculine domination as a three-part process of observation, somatization, and naturalization. I then give consideration to how sociologists of sport might use such critical analytical tools to render more transparent what Bourdieu refers to as the “illusio” of this phenomenon that is constructed by the practical everyday embodied enactments of gender relations in sport and physical culture.

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Andreas Ivarsson, Mark B. Andersen, Andreas Stenling, Urban Johnson and Magnus Lindwall

Null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) is like an immortal horse that some researchers have been trying to beat to death for over 50 years but without any success. In this article we discuss the flaws in NHST, the historical background in relation to both Fisher’s and Neyman and Pearson’s statistical ideas, the common misunderstandings of what p < 05 actually means, and the 2010 APA publication manual’s clear, but most often ignored, instructions to report effect sizes and to interpret what they all mean in the real world. In addition, we discuss how Bayesian statistics can be used to overcome some of the problems with NHST. We then analyze quantitative articles published over the past three years (2012–2014) in two top-rated sport and exercise psychology journals to determine whether we have learned what we should have learned decades ago about our use and meaningful interpretations of statistics.

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Elissa Burton, Kaela Farrier, Gill Lewin, Simone Pettigrew, Anne-Marie Hill, Phil Airey, Liz Bainbridge and Keith D. Hill

Regular participation in resistance training is important for older people to maintain their health and independence, yet participation rates are low. The study aimed to identify motivators and barriers to older people participating in resistance training. A systematic review was conducted including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method studies. Searches generated 15,920 citations from six databases, with 14 studies (n = 1,937 participants) included. In total, 92 motivators and 24 barriers were identified. Motivators specific to participating in resistance training included preventing deterioration (disability), reducing risk of falls, building (toning) muscles, feeling more alert, and better concentration. Looking too muscular and thinking participation increased the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or death, despite the minimal likelihood of these occurring, were barriers. The analysis indicates that increasing participation in resistance training among older people should focus on the specific benefits valued by older people and the dissemination of accurate information to counter misperceptions.

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Lenny D. Wiersma

Extreme sport athletes perform in environments that are characterized by danger, unpredictability, and fear, and the consequences of a mistake include severe injury or death. Maverick’s is a big-wave surfing location in northern California that is known for its cold water temperatures, dangerous ocean wildlife, deep reef, and other navigational hazards. The purpose of this study was to use a phenomenological framework to understand the psychology of big-wave surfing at Maverick’s. Seven elite big-wave surfers completed in-depth phenomenological interviews and discussed the psychology related to various stages of big-wave surfing, including presurf, in the lineup, catching the wave, riding the wave, wiping out, and postsurf. Big-wave surfers described a variety of experiences associated with surfing at Maverick’s and discussed several ways that they coped with its challenges. The results provide a greater understanding of the psychology of participating in an extreme environment.