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William J. Kraemer, Andrew C. Fry, Peter N. Frykman, Brian Conroy and Jay Hoffman

The use of resistance training for children has increased in popularity and interest. It appears that children are capable of voluntary strength gains. Exercise prescription in younger populations is critical and requires certain program variables to be altered from adult perspectives. Individualization is vital, as the rate of physiological maturation has an impact on the adaptations that occur. The major difference in programs for children is the use of lighter loads (i.e., > 6 RM loads). It appears that longer duration programs (i.e., 10-20 wks) are better for observing training adaptations. This may be due to the fact that it takes more exercise to stimulate adaptational mechanisms related to strength performance beyond that of normal growth rates. The risk of injury appears low during participation in a resistance training program, and this risk is minimized with proper supervision and instruction. Furthermore, with the incidence of injury in youth sports, participation in a resistance training program may provide a protective advantage in one’s preparation for sports participation.

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John A.W. Baker, Xiang-Jun Cao, David Wei Pan and Weili Lin

The effectiveness of the centralized sport system in China has been demonstrated by the achievements of athletes in international competition and the extent of mass sports participation; however, the efficiency of the system has been questioned. A government survey determined that administrators within the system came from diverse backgrounds with little or no training in sport, physical education, or management techniques. This situation is being remedied through workshops for existing administrators and 4-year degree programs for future administrators. This study provides information regarding the different perspectives of sport administration in China, the structure of the workshops and degree programs, and efforts being made to ensure that an already effective system becomes more efficient. All data were obtained from prime source materials and from surveys conducted by one of the authors.

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Bareket Falk, Sarah Braid, Michael Moore, Deborah O’Leary, Phil Sullivan and Panagiota Klentrou

The objective of this study was to assess bone strength using quantitative ultrasound (QUS, Sunlight Omnisense) in pre- and early-pubertal normal weight (NW, % body fat ≤20, n = 28), and overweight (OW, % body fat ≥25, n = 15) boys. Groups were similar in chronological and skeletal age, sexual maturity, sports participation, and calcium intake. Leisure-time physical activity was lower in OW boys. Radial speed of sound (SOS) was similar in the two groups. Tibial SOS, however, was significantly lower in OW compared with NW (3,554 ± 109 vs. 3,646 ± 71 m·s−1, respectively). Among pre- and early-pubertal boys, higher adiposity appears to be associated with lower bone SOS in the lower extremities.

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Clemens Drenowatz, Olivia Wartha, Jochen Klenk, Susanne Brandstetter, Martin Wabitsch and Jürgen Steinacker

This study examined the association between biological maturity, CVD risk, fitness and health behavior in 709 (359 male, 350 female) 8-year-old children (range: 6.3–8.9 years). Sports participation and sedentary behavior was assessed via parent questionnaire. Height and weight was measured and maturity status was predicted based on % of adult-height reached. Fitness was assessed via a test battery and CVD risk was determined using mean arterial pressure, cholesterol and intra-abdominal fat. BMIpercentiles (BMIPCT) differed significantly among early, average and late maturing children. Early maturing children displayed a higher CVD risk profile (0.5 vs. -0.2), lower fitness scores (-0.4 vs. 0.2), and spent more time watching TV (51 vs. 43 min/day) compared with their peers. After controlling for BMIPCT differences remained only for fitness in boys and TV time in girls.

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Daniel Gould

The mission of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports (ISYS) is to provide leadership, scholarship, and outreach that “transforms” the face of youth sports in ways that maximize the beneficial physical, psychological, and social effects of participation for children and youth while minimizing detrimental effects. Since its inception in 1978, ISYS has partnered with numerous organizations to promote healthy youth sports participation. In this article, the general steps ISYS takes to form and facilitate partnerships are addressed. Four long-term partnerships are also described. The services provided to these organizations are described and the advantages and challenges of working with partners, in general, are delineated. How these partnerships are used to facilitate the teaching, outreach-engagement, and scholarship components of the Michigan State University land grant mission are also described. The case of ISYS shows that conducting community outreach and engagement projects greatly enhance the scholarly mission of the university.

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Jennifer M. Sacheck, Tara Nelson, Laura Ficker, Tamar Kafka, Julia Kuder and Christina D. Economos

Amid the childhood obesity epidemic, understanding how organized sports participation contributes to meeting physical activity recommendations in children is important. Anthropometrics were measured in children (n = 111; 68% female, 9.1 ± 0.8yr) before one 50-min soccer match. Time spent at different physical activity intensity levels was examined using Actigraph accelerometers. 49% of the match time was spent in sedentary activity (25.4 ± 5.7 min), while 33% of the match (16.9 ± 4.7 min) was spent in moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA; p < .001). 22.5% of the children were overweight/obese and spent more time in sedentary activity (+3.2 ± 1.2 min; p < .05) and less time in MVPA (-3.0 ± 1.0 min; p < .01) compared with the normal weight children. These data demonstrate that playing an organized sport such as soccer only meets a portion (~25%) of the 60 min of MVPA recommended and even less of this recommendation is met by overweight/obese children.

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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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Christina L. Smith and Martha Storandt

Histories of competitive sports involvement, health beliefs, reasons for exercising, and personality were compared across three groups of older adults who varied according to involvement in physical activity. Based on questionnaire responses, 246 participants were classified as competitors, noncompetitors. or nonexercisers. Competitors exhibited a lifelong history of sports participation. Although nonexercisers and noncompetitors participated in sports during their childhood and teenage years, their involvement in competition decreased noticeably in their 20s and remained low throughout adulthood. Competitors rated exercise significantly more important than did nonexercisers and non-competitors and had more varied reasons for exercising. Nonexercisers considered reducing stress and improving mood to be less important reasons for exercising than competitors and noncompetitors. All three groups were found to possess high levels of positive and low levels of negative personality traits.

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Meghan Schreck, Robert Althoff, Meike Bartels, Eco de Geus, Jeremy Sibold, Christine Giummo, David Rubin and James Hudziak

Few studies have explored the relation between withdrawn behavior (WB) and exercise and screen time. The current study used exploratory factor analysis to examine the factor structure of leisure-time exercise behavior (LTEB) and screentime sedentary behavior (STSB) in a clinical sample of youth. Structural equation modeling was employed to investigate the relations between WB and LTEB and STSB, conditional on gender. WB was assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist, and LTEB and STSB were measured using the Vermont Health Behavior Questionnaire. LTEB and STSB emerged as two separate factors. Gender moderated the structure of STSB only. For boys and girls, WB was inversely related to LTEB but not significantly related to STSB. LTEB and STSB are best represented as distinct, uncorrelated constructs. In addition, withdrawn youth may be at risk for poor health outcomes due to lower rates of LTEB. Mental health clinicians, sports psychologists, and related providers may be uniquely qualified to enhance motivation for sports participation in withdrawn youth.

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Guy L. Rowland, Robert E. Franken and Kimberley Harrison

A life-span inventory of sports participation and Zuckerman's (1979) Sensation Seeking Scale, Form V, were administered to 97 male and 104 female undergraduate students. The results indicated that, over time, high sensation seekers tend to become involved in more sports than do low sensation seekers, but low sensation seekers tend to remain involved with each sport for longer periods of time than do high sensation seekers. Gender and sensation seeking were found to interact in the choice of sporting activities. Low but generally positive correlations were observed between sensation seeking and participation in risky sports. These data suggest that both the need for new experiences and an attraction to high risk characterize the high sensation seeker 's participation in sporting activities.