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Mindy Millard-Stafford, Ann E. Swanson and Matthew T. Wittbrodt

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.

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Bing Han, Deborah A. Cohen, Kathryn Pitkin Derose, Terence Marsh, Stephanie Williamson and Laura Raaen

Purpose:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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).

Conclusion:

Trained observers can reliably use the 12-button counter to accurately assess PA distribution and disparities by age and gender.

Open access

Mouza Al Zaabi, Syed Mahboob Shah, Mohamud Sheek-Hussein, Abdishakur Abdulle, Abdulla Al Junaibi and Tom Loney

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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.

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Jennifer G. Walker, Kelly R. Evenson, William J. Davis, Philip Bors and Daniel A. Rodríguez

Background:

This comparative case study investigates 2 successful community trail initiatives, using the Active Living By Design (ALBD) Community Action Model as an analytical framework. The model includes 5 strategies: preparation, promotion, programs, policy, and physical projects.

Methods:

Key stakeholders at 2 sites participated in in-depth interviews (N = 14). Data were analyzed for content using Atlas Ti and grouped according to the 5 strategies.

Results:

Preparation: Securing trail resources was challenging, but shared responsibilities facilitated trail development. Promotions: The initiatives demonstrated minimal physical activity encouragement strategies. Programs: Community stakeholders did not coordinate programmatic opportunities for routine physical activity. Policy: Trails’ inclusion in regional greenway master plans contributed to trail funding and development. Policies that were formally institutionalized and enforced led to more consistent trail construction and safer conditions for users. Physical Projects: Consistent standards for wayfinding signage and design safety features enhanced trail usability and safety.

Conclusions:

Communities with different levels of government support contributed unique lessons to inform best practices of trail initiatives. This study revealed a disparity between trail development and use-encouragement strategies, which may limit trails’ impact on physical activity. The ALBD Community Action Model provided a viable framework to structure cross-disciplinary community trail initiatives.

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Martin Buchheit, Ben M. Simpson, Esa Peltola and Alberto Mendez-Villanueva

The aim of the present study was to locate the fastest 10-m split time (Splitbest) over a 40-m sprint in relation to age and maximal sprint speed in highly trained young soccer players. Analyses were performed on 967 independent player sprints collected in 223 highly trained young football players (Under 12 to Under 18). The maximal sprint speed was defined as the average running speed during Splitbest. The distribution of the distance associated with Splitbest was affected by age (X 2 3 = 158.7, P < .001), with the older the players, the greater the proportion of 30-to-40-m Splitbest. There was, however, no between-group difference when data were adjusted for maximal sprint speed. Maximal sprint speed is the main determinant of the distance associated with Splitbest. Given the important disparity in Splitbest location within each age group, three (U12-U13) to two (U14-U18) 10-m intervals are still required to guarantee an accurate evaluation of maximal sprint speed in young players when using timing gates.

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Sharon E. Taverno Ross, Nicole Larson, Dan J. Graham and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Background:

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.

Methods:

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).

Results:

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).

Conclusions:

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.

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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.

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Kerstin Gerst Emerson and Jennifer Gay

Despite increased efforts at eliminating disparities, differences continue to exist for racial and ethnic groups on a number of important health indicators for cardiovascular disease (CVD). There are a number of potential explanations for these persistent racial and ethnic disparities, including

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Nisha Botchwey, Myron F. Floyd, Keshia Pollack Porter, Carmen L. Cutter, Chad Spoon, Tom L. Schmid, Terry L. Conway, J. Aaron Hipp, Anna J. Kim, M. Renee Umstattd Meyer, Amanda L. Walker, Tina J. Kauh and Jim F. Sallis

obesity statistics consistently show disparities among lower-income minority groups. In 2011–2014, the obesity rate for non-Hispanic white youth aged 2–19 years was 14.7%, but it was 19.5% among non-Hispanic African American youth and 21.9% among Hispanic youth. 14 Although the obesity rate for non

Open access

Ricky Camplain, Julie A. Baldwin, Meghan Warren, Carolyn Camplain, Monica R. Lininger and Robert T. Trotter

; however, none of these strategies have been implemented in jails. Physical activity policy reform in the jail setting has important implications for addressing health disparities among those who are incarcerated for extended periods of time—especially as the majority of those individuals serving time in