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Masato Kawabata and Rachel Evans

The present study examined the extent to which scores on the Flow State Scale-2 (FSS-2) could differentiate individuals who experienced flow characteristics in physical activity from those who did not. A total of 1,048 participants completed the Japanese version of the FSS-2. Latent class factor analysis (LCFA), which combines the strengths of both latent class analysis and factor analysis, was conducted on the FSS-2 responses. Four classes were identified through a series of LCFAs and the patterns of the item-average scores for the nine flow attributes were found parallel among these classes. The top two classes (15.1% and 38.9% of the whole sample) were considered the groups who experienced flow characteristics during their physical activities. These results indicated that individuals who experienced flow attributes in physical activity could be differentiated from those who did not based on their FSS-2 scores. Criteria for classifying individuals into the two groups were proposed.

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Jorge E. Morais, António J. Silva, Daniel A. Marinho, Ludovic Seifert and Tiago M. Barbosa

Purpose:

To apply a new method to identify, classify, and follow up young swimmers based on their performance and its determinant factors over a season and analyze the swimmers’ stability over a competitive season with that method.

Methods:

Fifteen boys and 18 girls (11.8 ± 0.7 y) part of a national talent-identification scheme were evaluated at 3 different moments of a competitive season. Performance (ie, official 100-m freestyle race time), arm span, chest perimeter, stroke length, swimming velocity, speed fluctuation, coefficient of active drag, propelling efficiency, and stroke index were selected as variables. Hierarchical and k-means cluster analysis were computed.

Results:

Data suggested a 3-cluster solution, splitting the swimmers according to their performance in all 3 moments. Cluster 1 was related to better performances (talented swimmers), cluster 2 to poor performances (nonproficient swimmers), and cluster 3 to average performance (proficient swimmers) in all moments. Stepwise discriminant analysis revealed that 100%, 94%, and 85% of original groups were correctly classified for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd evaluation moments, respectively (0.11 ≤ Λ ≤ 0.80; 5.64 ≤ χ2 ≤ 63.40; 0.001 < P ≤ .68). Membership of clusters was moderately stable over the season (stability range 46.1–75% for the 2 clusters with most subjects).

Conclusion:

Cluster stability is a feasible, comprehensive, and informative method to gain insight into changes in performance and its determinant factors in young swimmers. Talented swimmers were characterized by anthropometrics and kinematic features.

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Susan Vincent Graser, Robert P. Pangrazi and William J. Vincent

Background:

The purpose was to determine if waist placement of the pedometer effected accuracy in normal, overweight, and obese children, when attaching the pedometer to the waistband or a belt.

Methods:

Seventy-seven children (ages 10-12 y) wore five pedometers on the waistband of their pants and a belt at the following placements: navel (NV), anterior midline of the right thigh (AMT), right side (RS), posterior midline of the right thigh (PMT), and middle of the back (MB). Participants walked 100 steps on a treadmill at 80 m · min−1.

Results:

The RS, PMT, and MB sites on the waistband and the AMT and RS sites on the belt produced the least error.

Conclusions:

Of these sites the RS placement is recommended because of the ease of reading the pedometer during activity. Using a belt did not significantly improve accuracy except for normal weight groups at the NV placement site.

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Claudine Sherrill

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Lee Nolan, Benjamin L. Patritti, Laura Stana and Sean M. Tweedy

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent to which residual shank length affects long jump performance of elite athletes with a unilateral transtibial amputation. Sixteen elite, male, long jumpers with a transtibial amputation were videoed while competing in major championships (World Championships 1998, 2002 and Paralympic Games, 2004). The approach, take-off, and landing of each athlete’s best jump was digitized to determine residual and intact shank lengths, jump distance, and horizontal and vertical velocity of center of mass at touchdown. Residual shank length ranged from 15 cm to 38 cm. There were weak, nonsignificant relationships between residual shank length and (a) distance jumped (r = 0.30), (b) horizontal velocity (r = 0.31), and vertical velocity (r = 0.05). Based on these results, residual shank length is not an important determinant of long jump performance, and it is therefore appropriate that all long jumpers with transtibial amputation compete in the same class. The relationship between residual shank length and key performance variables was stronger among athletes that jumped off their prosthetic leg (N = 5), and although this result must be interpreted cautiously, it indicates the need for further research.

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Jennifer S. Howard and Dustin Briggs

Column-editor : Carl G. Mattacola

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Tara Jo Manal and Roschella Claytor

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Paul D. Loprinzi and Ovuokerie Addoh

Background:

This study evaluated a physical activity–related obesity model on mortality.

Methods:

Data from the 1999–2006 NHANES were used (N = 16,077), with follow-up through 2011. Physical activity (PA) was subjectively assessed, with body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) objectively measured. From these, 12 mutually exclusive groups (G) were evaluated, including: G1: Normal BMI, Normal WC and Active; G2: Normal BMI, Normal WC and Inactive; G3: Normal BMI, High WC and Active; G4: Normal BMI, High WC and Inactive; G5: Overweight BMI, Normal WC and Active; G6: Overweight BMI, Normal WC and Inactive; G7: Overweight BMI, High WC and Active; G8: Overweight BMI, High WC and Inactive; G9: Obese BMI, Normal WC and Active; G10: Obese BMI, Normal WC and Inactive; G11: Obese BMI, High WC and Active; and G12: Obese BMI, High WC and Inactive.

Results:

Compared with G2, the following had a reduced mortality risk: G1, G3, G5, G6, G7, G8, G9, and G11. Compared with G12, the following had a reduced mortality risk: G1, G3, G5, G7, G9, and G11. In each respective group for BMI and WC, the active group had a reduced mortality risk.

Conclusions:

Across all BMI and WC combinations, PA improved mortality risk identification.

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John L. Walker, Tinker D. Murray, James Eldridge, William G. Squires, Jr., Pete Silvius and Erik Silvius

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Odessa Addison, Monica C. Serra, Leslie Katzel, Jamie Giffuni, Cathy C. Lee, Steven Castle, Willy M. Valencia, Teresa Kopp, Heather Cammarata, Michelle McDonald, Kris A. Oursler, Chani Jain, Janet Prvu Bettger, Megan Pearson, Kenneth M. Manning, Orna Intrator, Peter Veazie, Richard Sloane, Jiejin Li and Miriam C. Morey

Veterans represent a unique population of older adults, as they are more likely to self-report a disability and be overweight or obese compared with the general population. We sought to compare changes in mobility function across the obesity spectrum in older veterans participating in 6 months of Gerofit, a clinical exercise program. A total of 270 veterans (mean age: 74 years) completed baseline, 3-, and 6-month mobility assessments and were divided post hoc into groups: normal weight, overweight, and obese. The mobility assessments included 10-m walk time, 6-min walk distance, 30-s chair stands, and 8-foot up-and-go time. No significant weight × time interactions were found for any measure. However, clinically significant improvements of 7–20% were found for all mobility measures from baseline to 3 months and maintained at 6 months (all ps < .05). Six months of participation in Gerofit, if enacted nationwide, appears to be one way to improve mobility in older veterans at high risk for disability, regardless of weight status.