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Zi Yan, Bonnie Berger, David Tobar and Bradley J. Cardinal

The exercise motivation of American and Chinese college women was examined. American women were found to exercise more for fitness, physical attractiveness, and weight control, and the Chinese women more for enjoyment. Women in different stages of exercise behavior expressed different reasons for exercise in terms of enjoyment, fitness, health, mood, and physical attractiveness. Focusing one’s attention on reasons such as enjoyment for Chinese women and fitness, physical attractiveness, and weight control for American women may be important in terms of exercise participation. The long-term exercisers expressed higher levels of motivation in terms of enjoyment, fitness, health, mood, and physical attractiveness.

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Megan S. Patterson, M. Renée Umstattd Meyer and Jill M. Beville

Background:

Due to numerous health benefits, national recommendations call Americans to participate in muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days/week. However, college-aged women tend to fall short of recommendations. This study sought to examine correlates of college women meeting strength training recommendations using the Integrated Behavioral Model (IBM).

Methods:

Undergraduate women (n = 421) completed surveys measuring strength training, demographics, and IBM constructs. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate analyses were conducted using SPSS 19.

Results:

Respondents were on average 20.1 years old, 79.3% were white, and 66.3% did not meet strength training recommendations. Bivariate correlations revealed significant relationships (P ≤ .01) between strength training and attitude, descriptive norms, perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, intention, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. A logistic regression model revealed self-efficacy, intention, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were predictive of college women meeting U.S. strength training recommendations.

Conclusions:

This study supports using the IBM to understand strength training behavior among college women. Further research is needed to better understand mediating effects among IBM constructs.

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Mary B. Harris

In order to study weight concerns and eating disorders in women tennis players, 107 women tennis players and 26 women’s tennis coaches from colleges across the U.S. responded to questionnaires relating to weight concern, body image, and abnormal eating. When evaluating drawings of female figures, players and coaches both considered the ideal body shape to be smaller than the healthiest one. Most players had normal weight, eating habits, and self-esteem; however, they also exhibited noticeable concern about their weight and appearance. Coaches revealed only moderate knowledge of weight related issues, believed such knowledge to be important, recognized that most of their players were of normal weight, and revealed somewhat negative feelings about overweight people. Players and coaches shared a healthy attitude toward tennis. The results of this study do not imply that college women tennis players are at greater risk of eating disorders than other young women, nor that college coaches are encouraging abnormal eating behaviors.

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Bruce Wayne Bailey, Pamela Borup, Larry Tucker, James LeCheminant, Matthew Allen and Whitney Hebbert

Background:

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between steps per day and adiposity among college women.

Methods:

This study was cross-sectional and included women ages 18–25. Participants wore a pedometer for 7 consecutive days. Body composition was assessed using air-displacement plethysmography. Height, weight, and waist and hip circumferences were assessed.

Results:

The women took 10,119 ± 2836 steps per day. When divided into quartiles by steps, the top 2 quartiles of women in the study had significantly lower BMI, percent body fat, and waist and hip circumferences than the bottom quartile of women (P ≤ .05). Percent body fat was different between the bottom 2 quartiles and the top 2 quartiles (P ≤ .05). The odds of having a body fat of greater than 32% were reduced by 21.9% for every increase of 1,000 steps taken per day (P ≤ .05).

Conclusions:

Steps per day are related to body composition in young adult women, but this relationship weakens with progressively higher step counts. A reasonable recommendation for steps in young adult women that is associated with the lowest BMIs and body fat seems to be between 10,000–12,000 steps per day.

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Tracy Everbach and Jenny Mumah

This study analyzed the reactions of college women athletes to mass media images of nude and scantily clad professional female athletes. The study focused on interviews of 18- to 22-year-old female athletes about the pressure on women to pose for sexualized photographs. Using a feminist framework, the study found that some of the college athletes rejected socially constructed concepts of femininity, others criticized the professional athletes for posing, and others accepted socially constructed standards of beauty. This research suggests that young women athletes are conflicted by the images of femininity presented by mass media and react in complex ways to them.

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Ryan S. McCann, Kyle B. Kosik, Masafumi Terada, Megan Q. Beard, Gretchen E. Buskirk and Phillip A. Gribble

Context:

The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) and Functional Movement Screen (FMS) are functional performance measures capable of predicting lower-extremity injury risk. While suboptimal SEBT and FMS performances are influenced by multiple factors, the contribution of hip strength and flexibility to these tests is mostly unknown. Examination of hip strength and flexibility influences on the SEBT and FMS may direct clinicians to better methods of correcting functional deficits.

Objective:

Determine the relationships of isometric hip strength and hip passive range of motion (PROM) with functional performance measures.

Design:

Cross-sectional.

Setting:

Athletic training facility.

Participants:

43 NCAA Division I women’s soccer players (19.65 ± 1.12 y; 166.93 ± 3.84 cm; 60.99 ± 4.31 kg) volunteered.

Data Collection and Analysis:

All participants were tested bilaterally in the SEBT; the deep squat, in-line lunge, hurdle step, and straight leg raise, comprising a lower-extremity FMS (FMS-LE); hip internal and external rotation PROM; and isometric hip extension strength (HEXT). The mean of the 3 averaged, normalized SEBT scores was used as a composite score. Pearson product moment correlations assessed relationships of SEBT and FMS-LE scores with PROM and HEXT. Significance was set a priori at P < .05.

Results:

Pearson correlations revealed anterior (ANT) SEBT scores had a low negative association with HEXT (r = –0.33,P = .004) and a low positive association with hip internal rotation PROM (PROM-IR) (r = .43,P = .003). All other correlations were negligible.

Conclusions:

Flexibility training aimed at PROM-IR may contribute to improved ANT scores. Targeting HEXT and hip external rotation PROM are likely not preferred means of correcting deficits in SEBT and FMS-LE performance.

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Akitomo Yasunaga, Yukari Kawano, Yumiko Kamahori and Kyoko Noguchi

Background:

The purpose of the current study was to examine the association between the level of exercise behavior and individual and environmental factors related to exercise behavior among female Japanese undergraduate students.

Methods:

The participants were 2482 female Japanese undergraduate students. Participants’ level of exercise behavior was measured by the stage of change to exercise in the transtheoretical model. Individual and environmental factors related to exercise behavior were assessed using body mass index, self-efficacy, social support, perceived positive and negative aspects of exercise, perceived neighborhood environment, attitude toward physical education lessons in childhood and puberty, and depression.

Results:

Scores for self-efficacy, social support, positive aspects of exercise, and perceived neighborhood environment were significantly higher among women who were more active compared with those who were inactive. On the other hand, scores for negative aspects of exercise and depression were greater among inactive women compared with those who were insufficiently active and/or active. In addition, past attitude toward exercise in primary school, junior high school, and high school was associated with current level of exercise behavior.

Conclusions:

This cross-sectional study confirmed that psychosocial and environmental factors were closely associated with level of exercise behavior among female Japanese undergraduate students.

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William P. McCormack, Jay R. Hoffman, Gabriel J. Pruna, Tyler C. Scanlon, Jonathan D. Bohner, Jeremy R. Townsend, Adam R. Jajtner, Jeffrey R. Stout, Maren S. Fragala and David H. Fukuda

Purpose:

During the competitive soccer season, women’s intercollegiate matches are typically played on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. The efficacy of a 42-h recovery period is not well understood. This investigation was conducted to determine performance differences between Friday and Sunday matches during a competitive season.

Methods:

Ten NCAA Division I female soccer players (20.5 ± 1.0 y, 166.6 ± 5.1 cm, 61.1 ± 5.8 kg) were monitored with 10-Hz GPS devices across 8 weekends with matches played on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. The players were outside backs, midfielders, and forwards. All players had to participate in a minimum of 45 min/match to be included in the study. Average minutes played, total distance covered, total distance of high-intensity running (HIR) (defined as running at a velocity equal to or exceeding 3.61 m/s for longer than 1 s), the number of HIR efforts, and the number of sprints were calculated for each match. Data for Friday vs Sunday matches were averaged and then compared using dependent t tests.

Results:

No differences were seen in minutes played, distance rate, or number of sprints between Friday and Sunday matches. A significant (P = .017) decrease in rate of HIR between Friday (25.37 ± 7.22 m/min) and Sunday matches (22.90 ± 5.70 m/min) was seen. In addition, there was a trend toward a difference (P = .073) in the number of efforts of HIR between Friday (138.41 ± 36.43) and Sunday (126.92 ± 31.31).

Conclusions:

NCAA Division I female soccer players cover less distance of HIR in games played less than 48 h after another game. This could be due to various factors such as dehydration, glycogen depletion, or muscle damage.

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Kate R. Pfile, Phillip A. Gribble, Gretchen E. Buskirk, Sara M. Meserth and Brian G. Pietrosimone

Context:

Epidemiological data demonstrate the need for lower-extremity injury-prevention training. Neuromuscularcontrol (NMC) programs are immediately effective at minimizing lower-extremity injury risk and improving sport-related performance measures. Research investigating lasting effects after an injury-prevention program is limited.

Objective:

To determine whether dynamic balance, landing mechanics, and hamstring and quadriceps strength could be improved after a 6-wk NMC intervention and maintained for a season.

Design:

Prospective case series.

Setting:

Controlled laboratory.

Participants:

11 Division I women’s basketball players (age 19.40 ± 1.35 y, height 178.05 ± 7.52 cm, mass 72.86 ± 10.70 kg).

Interventions:

Subjects underwent testing 3 times, completing the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), Landing Error Scoring System (LESS), and isometric strength testing for the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles. Pretest and posttest 1 occurred immediately before and after the intervention, respectively, and posttest 2 at the end of the competitive season, 9 mo after posttest 1. Subjects participated in eighteen 30-min plyometric and NMC-training sessions over a 6-wk period.

Main Outcome Measures:

The normalized SEBT composite score, normalized peak isometric hamstrings:quadriceps (H:Q) ratio, and the LESS total score.

Results:

The mean composite reach significantly improved over time (F 2,10 = 6.96, P = .005) where both posttest scores were significantly higher than pretest (70.41% ± 4.08%) (posttest 1 73.48% ± 4.19%, t 10 = –3.11, P = .011) and posttest 2 (74.2% ± 4.77%, t 10 = –3.78, P = .004). LESS scores significantly improved over time (F 2,10 = 6.29, P = .009). The pretest LESS score (7.30 ± 3.40) was higher than posttest 1 (4.9 ± 1.20, t 10 = 2.71, P = .024) and posttest 2 (5.44 ± 1.83, t 10 = 2.58, P = .030). There were no statistically significant differences (P > .05) over time for the H:Q ratio when averaging both legs (F 2,10 = 0.83, P = .45).

Conclusions:

A 6-wk NMC program improved landing mechanics and dynamic balance over a 9-mo period in women’s basketball players. NMC adaptations can be retained without an in-season maintenance program.

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Kathryn E. Wilson, Bhibha M. Das, Ellen M. Evans and Rodney K. Dishman

Background:

A positive association between physical activity and mental health is well established, particularly for lower symptoms of depression and anxiety among active adults. However, it is unclear whether the association is influenced by personality, which might moderate or otherwise explain the association. In addition, past studies have not confirmed the association using an objective measure of physical activity.

Objective:

Our objective was to examine whether Extraversion and Neuroticism influence the association between mental health and physical activity measured by convergent self-reports and an accelerometer.

Methods:

Structural equation modeling was used to test competing models of the relationships between personality, physical activity, and mental health in a sample of female undergraduates.

Results:

In bivariate analysis, mental health was negatively related to Neuroticism and positively related to Extraversion, self-reported physical activity (which was related only to Extraversion, positively), and objective physical activity (which was related only to Neuroticism, negatively). In structural equation modeling, a 3-way interaction indicated that objective physical activity and mental health were unrelated in extraverts, but related positively in neurotic-introverts and negatively in stable-introverts.

Conclusions:

Higher levels of physical activity were associated with better mental health only in neurotic-introverts, who are at higher risk for mental health problems.