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Kara K. Palmer, Matthew W. Miller and Leah E. Robinson

A growing body of research has illuminated beneficial effects of a single bout of physical activity (i.e., acute exercise) on cognitive function in school-age children. However, the influence of acute exercise on preschoolers’ cognitive function has not been reported. To address this shortcoming, the current study examined the effects of a 30-min bout of exercise on preschoolers’ cognitive function. Preschoolers’ cognitive function was assessed following a single bout of exercise and a single sedentary period. Results revealed that, after engaging in a bout of exercise, preschoolers exhibited markedly better ability to sustain attention, relative to after being sedentary (p = .006, partial eta square = .400). Based on these findings, providing exercise opportunities appears to enhance preschoolers’ cognitive function.

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Brian D. Clocksin and Margo B. Greicar

Community engagement is commonly imbedded in the ethos of institutions of higher education and has been identified as a High Impact Practice for student learning and retention. The Sustained Engagement Experiences in Kinesiology (SEEK) program at the University of La Verne is a curriculum-wide approach that moves students through four stages of community engagement: Respect, Participating with Effort, Self-Directions, and Leadership. The stages are developmentally sequenced across the curriculum and provide opportunities for learners to move from passive participants to active engagement scholars. The engagement experiences serve to enhance students’ abilities to transfer what they learn in the classroom to real-life problems, foster an asset-based approach to community engagement, and facilitate a transition from surface-to deep-learning.

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A. Elizabeth Ready, Glen Bergeron, Suzanne L. Boreskie, Barbara Naimark, John Ducas, Jo-Ann V. Sawatzky and Donald T. Drinkwater

This study was a retrospective analysis of injuries sustained by women (mean age 60.9) who completed a 24-week walking intervention. We hypothesized that those who walked 60 min, 5 days/week (n = 27) were more likely to have an injury than those who walked 3 days/week (n = 27), and that predisposing conditions would lead to more injuries. We also examined the effect of the initial 4 weeks’ walking progression on likelihood of injury. A total of 12% of the walkers reported injuries necessitating program withdrawal, 18% reported minor injuries, and 26% reported injuries requiring medical treatment. Age, weight, cardiovascular fitness level, and walking volume were not significantly related to injuries. Women with prior musculoskeletal conditions were more likely to sustain injuries requiring medical treatment (p < .01). For these women, the initial progression may have been too rapid, suggesting that musculoskeletal screening and gradual progression guided by staff is important for moderate as well as intense activity programs.

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Antonia M. Martin and Catherine B. Woods

Purpose:

Research addressing methods to sustain long-term adherence to physical activity among older adults is needed. This study investigated the motivations and supports deemed necessary to adhere to a community-based cardiac rehabilitation (CBCR) program by individuals with established coronary heart disease.

Methods:

Twenty-four long-term adherers (15 men, 9 women; age 67.7 ± 16.7 yr) took part in focus-group discussions.

Results:

Constant comparative analysis supported previous research in terms of the importance of referral procedures, social support, and knowledge of health benefits in influencing uptake and adherence to CBCR. Results also highlighted the routine of a structured class and task-, barrier-, and recovery-specific self-efficacy as necessary to sustain long-term adherence for this specific clinical group.

Discussion:

Older adults themselves provide rich information on how to successfully support their long-term adherence to structured exercise sessions. Further research into how to build these components into any exercise program is necessary.

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Jason Duvall and Raymond De Young

Background:

This study explores the strategies that experienced walkers felt were most useful for sustaining outdoor walking routines. To investigate this issue, a survey-based instrument was used in combination with a Conceptual Content Cognitive Mapping (3CM) exercise.

Methods:

Seventy-one experienced walkers were asked to complete the 3CM exercise to explore the strategies that have helped them regularly walk outdoors. After 1 week these same individuals received a survey investigating these same issues as well as demographics and physical activity participation.

Results:

There was general agreement between 3CM and survey data with respect to the strategies used by experienced walkers. The most highly endorsed strategies involved using health goals and supportive walking environments. Survey results also revealed that those more likely to endorse the use of social support took fewer walks per week, but engaged in more nonwalking related physical activity.

Conclusions:

Overall, the findings suggest that experienced walkers use a variety of strategies. Strategies such as focusing of the positive health outcomes, using attractive natural settings, and developing realistic action plans appeared to be the most useful. These results also indicate the 3CM technique may be an effective way to explore beliefs and motivations regarding physical activity.

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Amanda J. Visek, Sara M. Achrati, Heather M. Mannix, Karen McDonnell, Brandonn S. Harris and Loretta DiPietro

Background:

Children cite “fun” as the primary reason for participation in organized sport and its absence as the number-one reason for youth sport attrition. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a theoretical framework of fun using a novel mixed-method assessment of participants in sport (FUN MAPS) via concept mapping.

Methods:

Youth soccer players (n = 142), coaches (n = 37), and parents (n = 57) were stratified by age, sex, and competition level and contributed their ideas through (a) qualitative brainstorming, identifying all of the things that make playing sports fun for players; (b) sorting of ideas; and (c) rating each idea on its importance, frequency, and feasibility.

Results:

The FUN MAPS identify the 4 fundamental tenets of fun in youth sport within 11 fun-dimensions composed of 81 specific fun-determinants, while also establishing the youth sport ethos.

Conclusion:

The FUN MAPS provide pictorial evidence-based blueprints for the fun integration theory (FIT), which is a multitheoretical, multidimensional, and stakeholder derived framework that can be used to maximize fun for children and adolescents to promote and sustain an active and healthy lifestyle through sport.

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Steven Loy

Citizens program, now known as 3 WINS Fitness ( www.3winsfitness.com ), based on the premise of involving students so they could understand the power they had to make world-altering change. The research is definitive. A program of community physical activity must be sustainable, accessible, and scalable

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Lisa T. Washburn, Carol E. Cornell, Martha Phillips, Holly Felix and LaVona Traywick

Background:

The effect of volunteer lay leaders on availability and sustainability of strength-training programs for older adults has not been well explored. We describe implementation of the StrongWomen strength training program by the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, and report on the relationship between delivery approach (agent-led, lay-led, or combination of agent- and lay-led) and program access and sustainability.

Methods:

All state Extension agents (n = 66) were surveyed on program implementation, continuance, and use of lay leaders. Program records were used to identify the number of trained lay leaders. Regression models were used to examine the relationship between delivery approach and group availability.

Results:

Counties using lay leaders had twice as many groups as counties using only agents. There was a significant, positive relationship between the number of lay leaders and the number of groups. Counties using lay leaders were 8.3 times more likely to have continuing groups compared with counties not using lay leaders.

Conclusions:

Program continuance was significantly and positively associated with lay leader use. Lay delivery expanded access to strength training programs and increased the likelihood that programs would continue. This approach can be used to increase access to and sustainability of strength training programs, particularly in resource-constrained areas.

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Kathleen F. Janz and Shelby L. Francis

Although there is strong and consistent evidence that childhood and adolescent physical activity is osteogenic, the evidence concerning its sustained effects to adult bone health is not conclusive. Therefore the value of interventions, in addition to beneficial bone adaptation, could be exposure to activities children enjoy and therefore continue. As such, interventions should provide skills, pleasure, and supportive environments to ensure continued bone-strengthening physical activity with age. Until the dose-response as well as timing of physical activity to bone health is more fully understood, it is sensible to assume that physical activity is needed throughout the lifespan to improve and maintain skeletal health. Current federal guidelines for health-related physical activity, which explicitly recommend bone-strengthening physical activities for youth, should also apply to adults.

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Steven Loy

3 WINS Fitness is a student-delivered free exercise program for the community delivered in public parks. We believe this program, which operates without external funding and has been sustained for 6 years, is one significant solution to reducing the level of physical inactivity in the United States. The operative 3 WINS in our program are participant health, community health, and student professional development. The primary focus has been underserved communities, and our current eight programs in Los Angeles, serve over 300 participants regularly. Three challenges to the program are student empowerment, faculty understanding and involvement, and establishing the relationship between university and parks, which represent a vital partnership. However, the accomplishment of undergraduate students having such a dynamic impact on public health underscores the need for encouraging this sustainable and innovative strategy to increase the physical activity levels of communities across America.