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Elroy J. Aguiar, John M. Schuna Jr., Tiago V. Barreira, Emily F. Mire, Stephanie T. Broyles, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, William D. Johnson and Catrine Tudor-Locke

provide access to time-stamped data at higher resolutions, allowing for a detailed analysis of free-living ambulatory physical activity over smaller time frames, for example, cadence (steps accumulated in 1 min, steps/min). Peak 30-min cadence, a step-based physical activity index (i

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Daniel B. Hollander and Edmund O. Acevedo

The unique experience of swimming the English Channel is a test of mind and body to overcome multiple challenges. The purpose of this study was to examine psychological characteristics and reflective meanings of these swimmers. Eight English Channel swimmers were interviewed. Inductive and deductive analyses compared interviews and interpretations with the coinvestigator and swimmers. Themes included the cognitive orientations of mental toughness, while cognitive strategies included goal setting, Compartmentalization of time, and/or swimming distance, and self-regulation. Descriptions of the experience of the swim included an ease of swimming at the beginning, more aversive experiences in the middle, and a paradoxical euphoria and letdown upon completion of the swim. Several swimmers noted the perception of increased occupational effectiveness, self-confidence, and an awareness of unlimited potential. Whereas, other swimmers noted a more competitive post event focus. Reflective experiences supported Maslow’s notion that the meaning associated with a peak experience augments daily life.

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Alex V. Rowlands, John M. Schuna Jr., Victoria H. Stiles and Catrine Tudor-Locke

Background:

Previous research has reported peak vertical acceleration and peak loading rate thresholds beneficial to bone mineral density (BMD). Such thresholds are difficult to translate into meaningful recommendations for physical activity. Cadence (steps/min) is a more readily interpretable measure of ambulatory activity.

Objective:

To examine relationships between cadence, peak vertical acceleration and peak loading rate during ambulation and identify the cadence associated with previously reported bone-beneficial thresholds for peak vertical acceleration (4.9 g) and peak loading rate (43 BW/s).

Methods:

Ten participants completed 8 trials each of: slow walking, brisk walking, slow running, and fast running. Acceleration data were captured using a GT3×+ accelerometer worn at the hip. Peak loading rate was collected via a force plate.

Results:

Strong relationships were identified between cadence and peak vertical acceleration (r = .96, P < .05) and peak loading rate (r = .98, P < .05). Regression analyses indicated cadences of 157 ± 12 steps/min (2.6 ± 0.2 steps/s) and 122 ± 10 steps/min (2.0 ± 0.2 steps/s) corresponded with the 4.9 g peak vertical acceleration and 43 BW/s peak loading rate thresholds, respectively.

Conclusions:

Cadences ≥ 2.0 to 2.6 steps/s equate to acceleration and loading rate thresholds related to bone health. Further research is needed to investigate whether the frequency of daily occurrences of this cadence is associated with BMD.

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Catrine Tudor-Locke, Meghan M. Brashear, Peter T. Katzmarzyk and William D. Johnson

Background:

Analysis of the 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) accelerometer data provides the descriptive epidemiology of peak 30-minute cadence (defined as the average steps/min recorded for the 30 highest, but not necessarily consecutive, minutes in a day) and peak 1-minute cadence (defined as the steps/min recorded for the highest single minute in a day) by sex, age, and body mass index (BMI).

Methods:

Minute-by-minute step data were rank ordered each day to identify the peak 30-minute and 1-minute cadences for 3522 adults (20+ years of age) with complete sex, age, and BMI data and at least 1 valid day (ie, 10/24 hours of accelerometer wear) of accelerometer data. Peak values were averaged across days within participants by sex, age, and BMI-defined categories.

Results:

U.S. adults average a peak 30-minute cadence of 71.1 (men: 73.7, women: 69.6, P < .0001) steps/min and a peak 1-minute cadence of 100.7 (men: 100.9, women: 100.5, P = .54) steps/min. Both peak cadence indicators displayed significant and consistent declines with age and increasing levels of obesity.

Conclusions:

Peak cadence indicators capture the highest intensity execution of naturally occurring ambulatory activity. Future examination of their relationship with health parameters using cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention designs is warranted.

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Patrick J. Cohn

A qualitative study investigated the psychological characteristics of peak performance in golf. Nineteen professional and collegiate golfers (ages (19–38) participated in structured open-ended interviews. A content analysis of the interviews revealed that certain psychological qualities of peak performance exist among golfers. During peak performance the golfers were highly focused and immersed in the task at hand, performed effortlessly and automatically, felt physically relaxed and mentally calm, and felt in control of themselves and their performance. In addition, the golfers had no fear of negative consequences, maintained high self-confidence, and experienced fun and enjoyment. These results corroborate other studies examining peak performance with athletes in different sports. The results are discussed and suggestions are made for striving toward a unique and superior mental state.

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Britton W. Brewer, Judy L. Van Raalte, Darwyn E. Linder and Nancy S. Van Raalte

Three experiments were conducted to determine which remembered qualities of the peak performance state are robust and to investigate whether recall biases may affect accounts of peak experiences. In the first experiment, introductory psychology students rated psychological characteristics of their best, average, and worst sport performances. Focused attention and confidence were the qualities most strongly identified with peak performance. The second experiment replicated and extended these findings in a sample of intercollegiate cross-country runners and tennis players. In the third experiment, subjects (a) completed a pursuit rotor task; (b) were randomly assigned to receive success, failure, or no feedback; and (c) rated their psychological state during performance. Results indicated that the bogus performance feedback significantly affected ratings of psychological states experienced during performance. Subjects given success feedback perceived themselves as being more confident and focused on the task than subjects given failure feedback. Implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed.

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Tara K. Scanlan, David G. Russell, Noela C. Wilson and Larry A. Scanlan

We present an application of the Scanlan Collaborative Interview Method (SCIM) to the Project on Elite Athlete Commitment (PEAK). PEAK examines three samples of elite international athletes to further test and expand the Sport Commitment Model and assess its external validity. This first article in the series provides detailed descriptions of the study rationale, methods, procedures, interview schedule, and analysis strategy common to the three samples, along with participant characteristics and selection criteria. It also shares participants’ observations of the centrality of commitment to their athletic success, and their evaluation of the interview process.

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Barbara E. Ainsworth, Robert G. McMurray and Susan K. Veazey

The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of two submaximal exercise tests, the Sitting-Chair Step Test (Smith & Gilligan. 1983) and the Modified Step Test (Amundsen, DeVahl, & Ellingham, 1989) to predict peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) in 28 adults ages 60 to 85 years. VO2 peak was measured by indirect calorimetry during a treadmill maximal graded exercise test (VO2 peak, range 11.6–31.1 ml · kg −l · min−1). In each of the submaximal tests, VO2 was predicted by plotting stage-by-stage submaximal heart rate (HR) and perceived exertion (RPE) data against VO2 for each stage and extrapolating the data to respective age-predicted maximal HR or RPE values. In the Sitting-Chair Step Test (n = 23), no significant differences were observed between measured and predicted VO2 peak values (p > .05). However, predicted VO2 peak values from the HR were 4.3 ml · kg−1 · min−1 higher than VO2 peak values predicted from the RPE data (p < .05). In the Modified Step Test (n = 22), no significant differences were observed between measured and predicted VO2 peak values (p > .05). Predictive accuracy was modest, explaining 49–78% of the variance in VO2 peak. These data suggest that the Sitting-Chair Step Test and the Modified Step Test have moderate validity in predicting VO2 peak in older men and women.

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Ashleigh E. Smith, Roger G. Eston, Belinda Norton and Gaynor Parfitt

Peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak) is reliably predicted in young and middle-aged adults using a submaximal perceptually-regulated exercise test (PRET). It is unknown whether older adults can use a PRET to accurately predict V̇O2peak. In this study, the validity of a treadmill-based PRET to predict V̇O2peak was assessed in 24 participants (65.2 ± 3.9 years, 11 males). The PRET required a change in speed or incline corresponding to ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) 9, 11, 13, and 15. Extrapolation of submaximal V̇O2 from the PRET to RPE endpoints 19 and 20 and age-predicted HRmax were compared with measured V̇O2peak. The V̇O2 extrapolated to both RPE19 and 20 over-predicted V̇O2peak (p < .001). However, extrapolating V̇O2 to age-predicted HRmax accurately predicted V̇O2peak (r = .84). Results indicate older adults can use a PRET to predict V̇O2peak by extrapolating V̇O2 from submaximal intensities to an age-predicted HRmax.

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Minsoo Kang, Youngdeok Kim and David A. Rowe

Background:

This study examined the optimal measurement conditions to obtain reliable peak cadence measures using the accelerometer-determined step data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005–2006.

Methods:

A total of 1282 adults (> 17 years) who provided valid accelerometer data for 7 consecutive days were included. The peak 1- and 30-minute cadences were extracted. The sources of variance in peak stepping cadences were estimated using Generalizability theory analysis. A simulation analysis was conducted to examine the effect of the inclusion of weekend days. The optimal number of monitoring days to achieve 80% reliability for peak stepping cadences were estimated.

Results:

Intraindividual variability was the largest variance component of peak cadences for young and middle-aged adults aged < 60 years (50.55%–59.24%) compared with older adults aged ≥ 60 years (31.62%–41.72%). In general, the minimum of 7 and 5 days of monitoring were required for peak 1- and 30-minute cadences among young and middle-aged adults, respectively, whereas 3 days of monitoring was sufficient for older adults to achieve the desired reliability (0.80). The inclusion of weekend days in the monitoring frame may not be practically important.

Conclusions:

The findings could be applied in future research as the reference measurement conditions for peak cadences.