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John Horne

This paper directs attention to a sector of the press that is largely ignored by academic media research: weekly and monthly sports magazines. The birth and death of the British general sports magazine, Sportsweek, is considered as a case study from which some critical observations can be made about research into sport and the mass media on both sides of the Atlantic. The magazine industry as a whole is little discussed in mainstream media studies, even though magazines are highly significant in terms of the reproduction and sustenance of what has been called consumer culture (Featherstone, 1983, 1987; Winship, 1983). For this reason, and because most media sport research tends to focus on the textual rather than on production and appropriation, this paper outlines the economic forces shaping the consumer magazine sector in Britain and provides a comparative account of the sports magazine and press industry in the USA, Europe, and the UK. The case study of Sportsweek is considered in terms of its implications for understanding sport and leisure culture in contemporary British society.

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James Curtis, John Loy and Wally Karnilowicz

Recent research has shown that there are “death dips” for suicide around major ceremonial occasions, and for certain public holidays in particular. This research suggests that the suicide-dip phenomenon is caused by increased social integration associated with such occasions. Elsewhere in the literature, sociological interpretations of major sport events indicate that they, too, serve as ceremonial occasions and play an integrative role in society. Building from these two sets of observations, we test the hypothesis that suicide rates for the national population (1972-78) are lower than expected during and just before two sport ceremonial days: the last day of the World Series and Super Bowl Sunday. Comparisons are made with suicide patterns around two civil holidays—the 4th of July and Thanksgiving Day—for which suicide dips have previously been reported. The results for both the sport events and the civil holidays show that suicides are comparatively low just before and during the ceremonial days and comparatively high just after them. The effects for the sport ceremonies are weak, but the common elements in the patterns of findings for the sport events and civil holidays suggest that the suicide-dip phenomenon extends to these sport ceremonies.

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Mira Kahn, Kim Robien and Loretta DiPietro

Background:

Preterm birth is a leading cause of infant death and the role of maternal physical activity on this risk remains unclear. This systematic review examined low, moderate and vigorous leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) during pregnancy and the outcome of preterm birth.

Methods:

Key words related to preterm birth and physical activity were used to search relevant databases (Medline, Cochrane, CINAHL, Sports Discuss and Scopus). Studies were excluded if they did not measure physical activity as an exposure in pregnant women, did not provide information on gestational age at delivery, and were not published in English. All study designs and sample sizes were considered.

Results:

The search generated 1472 studies. There were 27 studies included in this review of which 23 received high quality reporting scores. Eleven studies reported a lower risk of preterm birth for women who performed LTPA during pregnancy, while 14 studies reported null findings. Only 2 studies detected a significantly higher risk of preterm birth with LTPA during pregnancy.

Conclusion

This review of literature up to 2014 provides additional evidence to support the assertion that healthy pregnant women can engage in low, moderate, and even some vigorous levels of LTPA without risk for preterm birth.

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Robert Carter III, Samuel N. Cheuvront and Michael N. Sawka

Objectives:

We report our observations on one soldier with abnormal hyperthermia during exercise in the heat compared with prior exercise and following acute local (non-febrile) infection. Also, we report on 994 heat stroke hospitalizations in the U.S. Army. It is known that prior infection is a risk factor for heat illness and some of the 37 heat stroke deaths cited infections (eg, pneumonia, influenza) in the medical records.

Results:

This case report illustrates complete recovery from abnormal hyperthermia, which occurred in a laboratory setting during mild, low intensity exercise. In a field setting, this case may have resulted in serious heat illness. As with most of the heat stroke cases, rapid medical attention (ie, cooling and rehydration) and the age group (19 to 26) that represents majority of the heatstroke cases in U.S. Army are likely factors that contribute successful treatment of heatstroke in the field environment.

Conclusions:

We conclude that acute inflammatory response can augment the hyperthermia of exercise and possibly increase heat illness susceptibility. Furthermore, it is important for health care providers of soldiers and athletes to monitor acute local infections due to the potential thermoregulatory consequences during exercise in the heat.

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Wendy J. Brown and Toby Pavey

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) commenced in Australia in 1996 when researchers recruited approximately 40,000 women in three birth cohorts: 1973–1978, 1946–1951, and 1921–1926. Since then participants have completed surveys on a wide range of health issues, at approximately three-year intervals. This overview describes changes in physical activity (PA) over time in the mid-age and older ALSWH cohorts, and summarizes the findings of studies published to date on the determinants of PA, and its associated health outcomes in Australian women. The ALSWH data show a significant increase in PA during mid-age, and a rapid decline in activity levels when women are in their 80s. The study has demonstrated the importance of life stages and key life events as determinants of activity, the additional benefits of vigorous activity for mid-age women, and the health benefits of ‘only walking’ for older women. ALSWH researchers have also drawn attention to the benefits of activity in terms of a wide range of physical and mental health outcomes, as well as overall vitality and well-being. The data indicate that maintaining a high level of PA throughout mid and older age will not only reduce the risk of premature death, but also significantly extend the number of years of healthy life.

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Chung Gun Lee, Youngtae Cho and Seunghyun Yoo

Purpose:

Suicide is the leading cause of death among Korean adolescents. This study investigates the cross-sectional relations of physical activity with suicidal ideation and attempts in adolescents, simultaneously considering previously reported risk factors of suicide such as depression, stress, and body image.

Methods:

This study used the 2007 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey (KYRBWS). Four hundred middle schools and 400 high schools in Korea were monitored, and 74,698 students completed the questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to investigate the relationship between physical activity and suicidal ideation and attempts, progressively adjusting for body image, depression and stress.

Results:

After controlling for body image, stress, and depression, the significant relationship between physical activity and suicidal ideation disappeared, and the only remaining relationship was a positive relationship between frequent vigorous physical activity and suicide attempts. No sex differences were found after adjusting for all the variables.

Conclusion:

Unlike the general expectation that physical activity protects adolescents from suicidal behaviors, the results from this study suggest that physical activity does not have protective effect. Korean adolescents who perform frequent vigorous physical activities are more likely to attempt suicide.

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Eric Emmanuel Coris, Stephen Walz, Jeff Konin and Michele Pescasio

Context:

Heat illness is the third leading cause of death in athletics and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in exercising athletes. Once faced with a case of heat related illness, severe or mild, the health care professional is often faced with the question of when to reactivate the athlete for competitive sport. Resuming activity without modifying risk factors could lead to recurrence of heat related illness of similar or greater severity. Also, having had heat illness in and of itself may be a risk factor for future heat related illness. The decision to return the athlete and the process of risk reduction is complex and requires input from all of the components of the team. Involving the entire sports medicine team often allows for the safest, most successful return to play strategy. Care must be taken once the athlete does begin to return to activity to allow for re-acclimatization to exercise in the heat prior to resumption particularly following a long convalescent period after more severe heat related illness.

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Gila Miller and Orit Taubman–Ben-Ari

This study examined, from a Terror Management Theory (TMT) perspective, the effects of death reminders on the tendency to take risks in diving. All participants (N = 124) completed Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale and a diving related self-efficacy questionnaire. Then half of them were exposed to a mortality salience induction and the other half to the control condition. The dependent variable was self-reported intentions to take risks in diving. Findings showed that mortality salience led to greater willingness to take risks in diving vs. control condition, but only among divers with low self-esteem and low diving related self-efficacy. In addition, mortality salience led to less willingness to take risks in diving vs. the control condition only for low self-esteem divers who possessed high diving related self-efficacy. However, no effects were found for high self-esteem persons. The results are discussed in view of the self-enhancing mechanisms proposed by TMT, offering practical implications regarding the need to increase divers’ self-esteem and self-efficacy as a preventive strategy.

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Jaakko Kaprio and Seppo Sarna

Occupational disability was investigated in former Finnish athletes in the Olympic Games, World or European championships, or intercountry competitions during 1920–1965 (N = 2,402 men) for eight selected sports. The referents were 1,712 men selected from the Finnish conscription register, matched on age and area of residence and classified as completely healthy. The first outcome measure was the length of working life based on the age when the subject was granted a disability pension, or age at death before age 65. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of mean working life expectancy was 61.4 years for endurance sport athletes, 60.0 years for team games athletes, and 59.2 years for power sport competitors, compared with 57.6 years for the reference group. Decreased coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular and respiratory morbidity were observed for all athletes when compared with the referent group. It was concluded that sustained and vigorous physical activity during early adulthood may extend the occupationally active life span and defer the onset of disability before retirement age.

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Anne H. Laybourne, Simon Biggs and Finbarr C. Martin

One third of adults over 65 yr old fall each year. Wide-ranging consequences include fracture, reduced activity, and death. Research synthesis suggests that falls-prevention programs can be effective in reducing falls by about 20%. Strength and balance training is the most efficacious component, and the assumed method of effect is an improvement in these performance domains. There is some evidence for this, but the authors have previously proposed an alternative method, activity restriction, leading to a reduction in subsequent falls through a reduction in exposure. The aim of this study was to examine physical activity in older fallers, applying a theory of adaptation, to ascertain predictors of habitual physical activity. Referrals to hospital- and community-based exercise programs were assessed for (a) habitual walking steps and (b) coping strategies, falls self-efficacy, social support, and balance mobility. There was no average group change in physical activity. There was high interindividual variability. Two coping strategies, loss-based selection and optimization, best explained the change in physical activity between baseline and follow-up. Notwithstanding some limitations, this work suggests further use of adaptation theory in falls research. A potential application is the creation of a profiling tool to enable clinicians to better match treatment to patient.