Elite athletes who compete in aquatic sports face the constant challenge of arduous training and competition schedules in difficult and changing environmental conditions. The huge range of water temperatures to which swimmers and other aquatic athletes are often exposed (16–31 °C for open-water swimming), coupled with altered aquatic thermoregulatory responses as compared with terrestrial athletes, can challenge the health, safety, and performance of these athletes. Other environmental concerns include air and water pollution, altitude, and jetlag and travel fatigue. However, these challenging environments provide the potential for several nutritional interventions that can mitigate the negative effects and enhance adaptation and performance. These interventions include providing adequate hydration and carbohydrate and iron intake while at altitude; optimizing body composition and fluid and carbohydrate intake when training or competing in varying water temperatures; and maximizing fluid and food hygiene when traveling. There is also emerging information on nutritional interventions to manage jetlag and travel fatigue, such as the timing of food intake and the strategic use of caffeine or melatonin. Aquatic athletes often undertake their major global competitions where accommodations feature cafeteria-style buffet eating. These environments can often lead to inappropriate choices in the type and quantity of food intake, which is of particular concern to divers and synchronized swimmers who compete in physique-specific sports, as well as swimmers who have a vastly reduced energy expenditure during their taper. Taken together, planned nutrition and hydration interventions can have a favorable impact on aquatic athletes facing varying environmental challenges.
Trent Stellingwerff, David B. Pyne and Louise M. Burke
Andrew Mills, Joanne Butt, Ian Maynard and Chris Harwood
This study examined the factors perceived by successful coaches to underpin optimal development environments within elite English soccer academies. A semistructured interview guide was developed to interview 10 expert coaches about the environments they create for players at a key stage in their development. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and inductively content analyzed. The results identified a wide range of factors resulting in a conceptual framework that explained how these factors interact to underpin an optimal environment. Subcomponents of this framework included organizational core (e.g., advocate a player-driven ideology), adaptability (e.g., embrace novel ideas & approaches), player welfare (e.g., understand players’ world-view), key stakeholder relationships (e.g., build trust with parents), involvement (e.g., encourage players’ ideas/feedback), and achievement oriented (e.g., establish an explicit pathway to senior level). Collectively, the findings highlight the importance of establishing strong, dynamic, organizational cultures at elite youth soccer academies. Ways that academies might be helped to establish such environments are discussed.
Verity Cleland, Marita Sodergren, Petr Otahal, Anna Timperio, Kylie Ball, David Crawford, Jo Salmon and Sarah A. McNaughton
This study aimed to determine whether associations between the perceived environment and physical activity are moderated by urban-rural status among midolder aged adults. Environmental (safety, aesthetics, physical activity environment) and physical activity (total, leisure, transport) data from 3,888 adults (55 to 65 years) from urban and rural areas of Victoria, Australia, were analyzed. Multinomial logistic regression examined interactions between urban-rural status and environments in associations with physical activity. Significant (P < .05) interactions were evident and indicated positive associations only among older rural adults for both safety and aesthetics with total and transport physical activity (e.g., rural adults reporting higher safety were 91% to 118% more likely to have higher activity than rural adults reporting low safety). In contrast, the physical activity environment was positively associated with leisure activity among only urban adults. Findings suggest that some tailoring of physical activity promotion strategies targeting the environment may be required for urban and rural midolder aged adults.
Philip J. Troped, Ellen K. Cromley, Maren S. Fragala, Steven J. Melly, Hope H. Hasbrouck, Steven L. Gortmaker and Ross C. Brownson
To determine how trail characteristics may influence use, reliable and valid audit tools are needed.
The Path Environment Audit Tool (PEAT) was developed with design, amenity, and aesthetics/maintenance items. Two observers independently audited 185 trail segments at 6 Massachusetts facilities. GPS-derived items were used as a “gold standard.” Kappa (k) statistics, observed agreement and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated to assess inter-observer reliability and validity.
Fifteen of 16 primary amenity items had k-values ≥ 0.49 (“moderate”) and all had observed agreement ≥ 81%. Seven binary design items had k-values ranging from 0.19 to 0.71 and three of 5 ordinal items had ICCs ≥ 0.52. Only two aesthetics/maintenance items (n = 7) had moderate ICCs. Observed agreement between PEAT and GPS items was ≥ 0.77; k-values were ≥ 0.57 for 7 out of 10 comparisons.
PEAT has acceptable reliability for most of its primary items and appears ready for use by researchers and practitioners.
Chanam Lee, Hyung Jin Kim, Diane M. Dowdy, Deanna M. Hoelscher and Marcia G. Ory
Several environmental audit instruments have been developed for assessing streets, parks and trails, but none for schools. This paper introduces a school audit tool that includes 3 subcomponents: 1) street audit, 2) school site audit, and 3) map audit. It presents the conceptual basis and the development process of this instrument, and the methods and results of the reliability assessments.
Reliability tests were conducted by 2 trained auditors on 12 study schools (high-low income and urban-suburban-rural settings). Kappa statistics (categorical, factual items) and ICC (Likert-scale, perceptual items) were used to assess a) interrater, b) test-retest, and c) peak vs. off-peak hour reliability tests.
For the interrater reliability test, the average Kappa was 0.839 and the ICC was 0.602. For the test-retest reliability, the average Kappa was 0.903 and the ICC was 0.774. The peak–off peak reliability was 0.801. Rural schools showed the most consistent results in the peak–off peak and test-retest assessments. For interrater tests, urban schools showed the highest ICC, and rural schools showed the highest Kappa.
Most items achieved moderate to high levels of reliabilities in all study schools. With proper training, this audit can be used to assess school environments reliably for research, outreach, and policy-support purposes.
Philo U. Saunders, Laura A. Garvican-Lewis, Robert F. Chapman and Julien D. Périard
that the environments of heat/humidity and altitude have on track-and-field performance and how athletes and coaches can utilize altered environmental conditions to acclimatize and best prepare. With that background in hand, we will share recommendations on specific nutritional interventions that can
Chanel T. LoJacono, Ryan P. MacPherson, Nikita A. Kuznetsov, Louisa D. Raisbeck, Scott E. Ross and Christopher K. Rhea
Obstacles are a naturally occurring part of our daily environment when defined as any physical object that requires an individual to modulate their current gait pattern. Obstacles, such as stairs, curbs, and puddles, are stationary and allow for a slow and early adaptation of the gait pattern
Andrew J.A. Hall, Leigh Jones and Russell J.J. Martindale
, 2008 ; Henriksen, Stambulova, & Roessler, 2010 ; Holt & Dunn, 2004 ; Larsen, Alfermann, Henriksen, & Christensen, 2013 ; Martindale, Collins, & Daubney, 2005 ; Mills et al., 2014 ; Pankhurst, Collins, & Macnamara, 2013 ; Webster, Hardy, & Hardy, 2017 ). The Talent Development Environment
Katelyn Esmonde and Shannon Jette
public transit are symptomatic of the increasing acknowledgement of the environment’s role in the public’s health, or what some have referred to as a spatial turn in health sciences ( Andrews, Hall, Evans, & Colls, 2012 ). More specific to our focus, in a climate where the “obesity epidemic” is a
Marco J. Konings and Florentina J. Hettinga
importance of the interaction between the exerciser and environmental cues has been emphasized, in particular in the context of decision making and pacing in head-to-head competition. 2 , 4 Perceptual affordances provided by the environment can invite athletes to respond, thereby evoking in-race adaptations