Men outperform women in sports requiring muscular strength and/or endurance, but the relative influence of “nurture” versus “nature” remains difficult to quantify. Performance gaps between elite men and women are well documented using world records in second, centimeter, or kilogram sports. However, this approach is biased by global disparity in reward structures and opportunities for women. Despite policies enhancing female participation (Title IX legislation), US women only closed performance gaps by 2% and 5% in Olympic Trial swimming and running, respectively, from 1972 to 1980 (with no change thereafter through 2016). Performance gaps of 13% in elite middistance running and 8% in swimming (∼4-min duration) remain, the 5% differential between sports indicative of load carriage disadvantages of higher female body fatness in running. Conversely, sprint swimming exhibits a greater sex difference than sprint running, suggesting anthropometric/power advantages unique to swim-block starts. The ∼40-y plateau in the performance gap suggests a persistent dominance of biological influences (eg, longer limb levers, greater muscle mass, greater aerobic capacity, and lower fat mass) on performance. Current evidence suggests that women will not swim or run as fast as men in Olympic events, which speaks against eliminating sex segregation in these individual sports. Whether hormone reassignment sufficiently levels the playing field in Olympic sports for transgender females (born and socialized male) remains an issue to be tackled by sport-governing bodies.
Mindy Millard-Stafford, Ann E. Swanson and Matthew T. Wittbrodt
Maciej S. Buchowski, Charles E. Matthews, Sarah S. Cohen, Lisa B. Signorello, Jay H. Fowke, Margaret K. Hargreaves, David G. Schlundt and William J. Blot
Low physical activity (PA) is linked to cancer and other diseases prevalent in racial/ethnic minorities and low-income populations. This study evaluated the PA questionnaire (PAQ) used in the Southern Cohort Community Study, a prospective investigation of health disparities between African-American and white adults.
The PAQ was administered upon entry into the cohort (PAQ1) and after 12–15 months (PAQ2) in 118 participants (40–60 year-old, 48% male, 74% African-American). Test-retest reliability (PAQ1 versus PAQ2) was assessed using Spearman correlations and the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Criterion validity of the PAQ was assessed via comparison with a PA monitor and a last-month PA survey (LMPAS), administered up to 4 times in the study period.
The PAQ test-retest reliability ranged from 0.25–0.54 for sedentary behaviors and 0.22–0.47 for active behaviors. The criterion validity for the PAQ compared with PA monitor ranged from 0.21–0.24 for sedentary behaviors and from 0.17–0.31 for active behaviors. There was general consistency in the magnitude of correlations between the PAQ and PA-monitor between African-Americans and whites.
The SCCS-PAQ has fair to moderate test-retest reliability and demonstrated some evidence of criterion validity for ranking participants by their level of sedentary and active behaviors.
Mouza Al Zaabi, Syed Mahboob Shah, Mohamud Sheek-Hussein, Abdishakur Abdulle, Abdulla Al Junaibi and Tom Loney
The Active Healthy Kids 2016 United Arab Emirates (UAE) Report Card provides a systematic evaluation of how the UAE is performing in supporting and engaging physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents.
The Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance framework and standardized set of procedures were used to perform the systematic assessment of PA in UAE youth and children. Indicator grades were based on the proportion of children and youth achieving a defined benchmark: A = 81% to 100%; B = 61% to 80%; C = 41% to 60%; D = 21% to 40%; F = 0% to 20%; INC = incomplete data.
Overall Physical Activity Level and Active Transportation both received a grade of D-/F-. Sedentary Behavior and Family and Peers both received a C- minus grade and School was graded D. Minus grades indicate PA disparities related to age, gender, nationality, socioeconomic status, and geographic location. Government Strategies and Investments received a B+ grade. Sport Participation, Active Play, and Community and the Built Environment were graded INC due to a lack of nationally representative data for all 7 emirates.
The majority of UAE children are not achieving the daily recommended level of PA. The UAE leadership has invested significant resources into improving PA through school- and community-based PA interventions; however, inter- and intraemirate population-based strategies remain fragmented.
Bing Han, Deborah A. Cohen, Kathryn Pitkin Derose, Terence Marsh, Stephanie Williamson and Laura Raaen
This study aims to examine the reliability of a 12-button counter to simultaneously assess physical activity (PA) by age and gender subgroups in park settings.
A total of 1,160 pairs of observations were conducted in 481 target areas of 19 neighborhood parks in the great Los Angeles, California, area between June 2013 and March 2014. Interrater reliability was assessed by Pearson’s correlation, intra-class correlation (ICC), and agreement probability in metabolic equivalents (METs). Cosine similarity was used to check the resemblance of distributions among age and gender categories. Pictures taken in a total of 112 target areas at the beginning of the observations were used as a second reliability check.
Interrater reliability was high for the total METs and METs in all age and gender categories (between 0.82 and 0.97), except for male seniors (correlations and ICC between 0.64 and 0.77, agreement probability 0.85 to 0.86). Reliability was higher for total METs than for METs spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA. Correlation and ICC between observers’ measurement and picture-based counts are also high (between 0.79 and 0.94).
Trained observers can reliably use the 12-button counter to accurately assess PA distribution and disparities by age and gender.
Jessica M. Stephens, Shona Halson, Joanna Miller, Gary J. Slater and Christopher D. Askew
The use of cold-water immersion (CWI) for postexercise recovery has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, but there is a dearth of strong scientific evidence to support the optimization of protocols for performance benefits. While the increase in practice and popularity of CWI has led to multiple studies and reviews in the area of water immersion, the research has predominantly focused on performance outcomes associated with postexercise CWI. Studies to date have generally shown positive results with enhanced recovery of performance. However, there are a small number of studies that have shown CWI to have either no effect or a detrimental effect on the recovery of performance. The rationale for such contradictory responses has received little attention but may be related to nuances associated with individuals that may need to be accounted for in optimizing prescription of protocols. To recommend optimal protocols to enhance athletic recovery, research must provide a greater understanding of the physiology underpinning performance change and the factors that may contribute to the varied responses currently observed. This review focuses specifically on why some of the current literature may show variability and disparity in the effectiveness of CWI for recovery of athletic performance by examining the body temperature and cardiovascular responses underpinning CWI and how they are related to performance benefits. This review also examines how individual characteristics (such as physique traits), differences in water-immersion protocol (depth, duration, temperature), and exercise type (endurance vs maximal) interact with these mechanisms.
Melissa Bopp, Sara Wilcox, Marilyn Laken, Steven P. Hooker, Deborah Parra-Medina, Ruth Saunders, Kimberly Butler, Elizabeth A. Fallon and Lottie McClorin
Physical activity (PA) participation offers many benefits especially among ethnic groups that experience health disparities. Partnering with faith-based organizations allows for a more culturally tailored approach to changing health behaviors.
8 Steps to Fitness was a faith-based behavior-change intervention promoting PA among members of African American churches. A quasi-experimental design was used to examine differences between the intervention group (n=72) and comparison group (n = 74). Health (resting blood pressure, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, fasting blood glucose), psycho-social (PA self-efficacy, social support, enjoyment, self-regulation, depression), and behavioral variables (PA, diet) were assessed at baseline, 3- and 6-months. Repeated measures ANCOVAs tested changes across time between groups.
At 3-months, the intervention group showed significantly more favorable changes in body mass index, waist circumference and social support than the control group. At 6-months, the intervention group showed significantly more favorable changes in hip circumference, waist to hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, and depressive symptoms. There was notable attrition from both the intervention (36%) and the comparison group (58%).
This study was conducted in a real-world setting, and provided insight into how to deliver a culturally-tailored PA intervention program for African Americans with a potential for dissemination.
Patrick G. Campbell, Jonathan M. Peake and Geoffrey M. Minett
Purpose: Investigations into the specificity of rugby union training practices in preparation for competitive demands have predominantly focused on physical and physiological demands. The evaluation of the contextual variance in perceptual strain or skill requirements between training and matches in rugby union is unclear, yet holistic understanding may assist to optimize training design. This study evaluated the specificity of physical, physiological, perceptual, and skill demands of training sessions compared with competitive match play in preprofessional, elite club rugby union. Methods: Global positioning system devices, video capture, heart rate, and session ratings of perceived exertion were used to assess movement patterns, skill completions, physiologic, and perceptual responses, respectively. Data were collected across a season (training sessions n = 29; matches n = 14). Participants (n = 32) were grouped in playing positions as: outside backs, centers, halves, loose forwards, lock forwards, and front row forwards. Results: Greater total distance, low-intensity activity, maximal speed, and meters per minute were apparent in matches compared with training in all positions (P < .02; d > 0.90). Similarly, match heart rate and session ratings of perceived exertion responses were higher than those recorded in training (P < .05; d > 0.8). Key skill completions for forwards (ie, scrums, rucks, and lineouts) and backs (ie, kicks) were greater under match conditions than in training (P < .001; d > 1.50). Conclusion: Considerable disparities exist between the perceptual, physiological, and key skill demands of competitive matches versus training sessions in preprofessional rugby union players. Practitioners should consider the specificity of training tasks for preprofessional rugby players to ensure the best preparation for match demands.
Sharon E. Taverno Ross, Nicole Larson, Dan J. Graham and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer
This study compared moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior in U.S.–born and foreign-born adolescents and young adults, and differences in behavior change from adolescence to young adulthood by nativity.
Data on 2039 U.S.–born and 225 foreign-born participants from Project EAT-III (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults) were used to examine MVPA, television/DVD/video viewing, and computer use. Participants completed surveys at baseline in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN secondary school classrooms in 1998–1999 (14.9 ± 1.6 y) and follow-up measures online or by mail in 2008–2009 (25.3 ± 1.6 y).
At both time points, foreign-born participants reported significantly lower levels of MVPA than their U.S.–born counterparts (P < .05). Foreign-born females at baseline and follow-up and foreign-born males at follow-up reported less television/DVD/video viewing compared with U.S.–born participants (P < .01). All participants experienced a significant decline in MVPA from baseline to follow-up (P < .001). Between-group analyses revealed a significantly greater decline in television/DVDs/video viewing for the foreign-born males compared with U.S.–born males from baseline to follow-up (mean change: foreign-born: –4.8 ± 1.32 hrs/wk, U.S.–born: –0.6 ± 0.6 hrs/wk; P < .01).
Differences in activity patterns between foreign-born and U.S.–born youth into young adulthood may contribute to disparities in chronic disease risk. Nativity, along with the social, environmental, and cultural context, should be considered when designing programs to promote MVPA and prevent obesity.
-Kuang Wu * 10 2013 17 4 382 398 10.1123/mcj.17.4.382 Phase Entrainment Strength Scales With Movement Amplitude Disparity Betteco J. de Boer * C. (Lieke) E. Peper * Arne Ridderikhoff * Peter J. Beek * 10 2013 17 4 399 411 10.1123/mcj.17.4.399 The Effect of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on
Justice: A Framework for Collaboration Between the Public Health and Parks and Recreation Fields to Study Disparities in Physical Activity Wendell C. Taylor * Myron F. Floyd * Melicia C. Whitt-Glover * Joseph Brooks * 1 2007 4 s1 S50 S63 10.1123/jpah.4.s1.s50 The Implications of Public Policy