Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 321 items for :

  • "sex differences" x
Clear All
Restricted access

Lynda B. Ransdell and Christine L. Wells

Do women out-perform men in endurance sports? Are women as strong, pound for pound, as men? Many questions have been raised about the ability of women and men to perform physical tasks equally well. The issue of sex differences and similarities in performance has considerable significance today as women seek physically demanding careers in police-work, fire-fighting, the military, industry, and athletics. As more women participate in recreational and career opportunities formerly open only to men, knowledge about sex differences in response to physical exertion and training becomes increasingly important. In this paper we describes differences between the sexes in athletic performance.

Most performance differences are due to variations in morphological (structural) or physiological characteristics typical of women and men (Wells, 1991). Nevertheless, variations in these characteristics are often as large or larger within each sex as they are between the sexes. The same is true of physical performance. Thus, when the entire population is considered, there are extensive differences in performance within each sex, and considerable overlap in performance between the sexes.

We will base our examination of performance differences on the most outstanding performances of each sex: those exemplified by World Records in athletic events. We seek to answer such questions as: How large are sex differences in world record performances? Can existing performance differences be explained entirely by biological differences between the sexes? Or, are a large portion of these performance differ-ences attributable to sociocultural factors?

We will analyze sex differences in performance relative to the human energy system. This system allows an extraordinary range of mechanisms for neuromuscular coordination and metabolism. Because of this, the human has a virtually unlimited movement repertoire and is capable of movements requiring large bursts of energy over very brief periods of time, as well as movements requiring low levels of energy production over very long periods of time. We will progress from sports that require very high intensity and explosive quality movements such as jumping and power lifting, through the “energy spectrum” to feats of endurance such as marathon running, ultra-distance triathlon, and open-water distance swimming.

Due to our desire to focus this paper on a reasonable amount of data, our analysis will be limited as follows:

1) for sex differences in high intensity-brief duration, explosive per-formance, we will discuss the high jump, long jump, and various mea-sures of strength (powerlifting),

2) for sex differences in high intensity-short duration performance, we will present data on sprint running (100m, 400m) and swimming (100m),

3) for sex differences in moderate intensity-moderate duration performance, we will discuss middle-distance running (1500m, 5000m, 10,000m), and swimming (1500m), and

4) for differences in low intensity-long duration performance, we will discuss the marathon, the "Ironman Triathlon," and open ocean distance swimming.

Restricted access

Øyvind Sandbakk, Guro Strøm Solli and Hans-Christer Holmberg

women. For example, the sex differences of world records in running races from 100 m to the marathon declined gradually until the 1990s, 2 , 3 with similar trends in most other sports, as well. In fact, the linear regressions predicted that women would soon outrun men. However, as expected from the sex

Restricted access

Lisa E. Bolger, Linda A. Bolger, Cian O’ Neill, Edward Coughlan, Wesley O’Brien, Seán Lacey and Con Burns

, Plotnikoff, Callister, & Lubans, 2015 ), although some studies have reported no sex-related differences within overall FMS performance ( Hardy, King, Farrell, Macniven, & Howlett, 2010 ; Kordi, Nourian, Ghayour, Kordi, & Younesian, 2012 ). Sex differences in FMS proficiency have predominantly been explained

Restricted access

Jonathon Senefeld, Carolyn Smith and Sandra K. Hunter

The sex difference in marathon running is increased with lower participation of women than men, but whether this occurs for ultramarathon running is not known. The study purpose was to determine whether the sex difference in performance widens among lower-placed runners and the association between the sex difference in running speed and participation rates. The top-10 ultramarathon running times, age at performance date, and the number of men and women finishers were analyzed from 20 races (45–160 km) in the US Track and Field Ultra Running Grand Prix. Men were faster than women for all events (18.7% ± 5.8%, P < .001). The sex difference in speed was the least for 100 km (14.9% ± 4.2%) and greatest for 45–50 km (19.3% ± 5.8%). The top-10 men were younger than the top-10 women (37.7 ± 3.2 and 39.0 ± 3.1 y, respectively, P < .001). The sex difference in speed increased with finishing place (1st place 15.6% ± 6.6% vs 10th 20.8% ± 5.6%, P < .001). Association analysis showed that the sex difference in speed was largest when there were fewer women than men finishers in a race; the strength of the association was greatest for the 80-km distance and least for the 160-km. Lower participation rates of women than men in the lower-distance ultramarathons and less depth among lower-placed women runners inflate the sex difference in ultramarathon performance.

Restricted access

Don W. Morgan, Wayland Tseh, Jennifer L. Caputo, Ian S. Craig, Daniel J. Keefer and Philip E. Martin

The purpose of this study was to quantify running economy (RE) during level treadmill running in 6-year-old children and to identify the potentially mediating effects of resting oxygen uptake and body fat percentage on sex differences in RE. Resting oxygen uptake (VO2), body fat, and RE at 5 mph were quantified in 15 boys and 20 girls following 30 min of treadmill accommodation. While absolute VO2 and mass-related values of gross and net VO2 were significantly higher in boys compared to girls, gross VO2 expressed relative to fat-free mass was not different between sexes. These results indicate that 6-year-old girls exhibit better RE compared to 6-year-old boys when VO2 is expressed as a function of total body mass. This sex difference in VO2 may reflect an increase in aerobic energy demands associated with the presence of a greater muscle mass in boys.

Restricted access

Simone A. Kaptein and Elizabeth M. Badley

Objective:

To examine physical activity (PA) prevalence in individuals with arthritis in comparison with those with other chronic diseases.

Methods:

Descriptive analyses were based on cross-sectional self-reported data for adults over age 18 from the Canadian Community Health Survey administered in 2005 (N = 132,221) for the following groups: arthritis, back problems, other physical chronic conditions (ie, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and cancer), and no physical chronic conditions.

Results:

The arthritis group did less leisure-time physical activity than the other 3 groups, they were particularly less likely to engage in vigorous physical activities, but were just as likely to walk when commuting for errands, work, or school. Older women in the arthritis group appeared to be the least active across physical activities and groups.

Conclusions:

Adults with chronic disease were more physically inactive during leisure than those without chronic physical conditions, and older women in the arthritis group were particularly limited in our study. A more comprehensive assessment of all types of physical activity, including work, leisure, and commuting behaviors, need to be done in populations with chronic disease, to provide a more accurate portrayal of physical activity participation.

Restricted access

Harri Luchsinger, Jan Kocbach, Gertjan Ettema and Øyvind Sandbakk

sprint races among men. 2 However, it is still unclear how much of the overall performance in individual races is explained by course time and shooting variables. In our previous study on Biathlon World Cup sprint races, we found no sex difference in shooting performance, 1 which is in line with

Open access

Ralph Beneke and Renate M. Leithäuser

between 0.018% and 1.7%. 2 Just as a comparison, the global fraction of ginger-haired people approximates 1% to 2%. 3 A major factor for the sex differences in performance is a well-established dose–response relationship between circulating testosterone and muscle mass, strength, and hemoglobin level

Restricted access

Aristides M. Machado Rodrigues, Manuel J. Coelho e Silva, Jorge Mota, Sean P. Cumming, Lauren B. Sherar, Helen Neville and Robert M. Malina

Sex differences in physical activity (PA) through pubertal maturation and the growth spurt are often attributed to changing interests. The contribution of sex differences in biological maturation to the adolescent decline has received limited attention. This study examined the contribution of somatic maturation to sex differences in objective assessments of sedentary behavior and PA in Portuguese adolescents (N = 302, aged 13–16 years). Maturation was estimated from the percentage of predicted mature stature and physically active and inactive behaviors assessed with Actigraph GT1M accelerometers. The influence of age, sex and their interaction on body size, maturation and physical behaviors were examined using factorial ANOVA and, subsequently, ANCOVA (controlling for maturation) tested the effect of sex. Males spent more time in MVPA and less time in sedentary behavior than females. However, sex differences were attenuated when maturation was controlled; thus suggesting that maturity may play an important role in adolescent behaviors.

Restricted access

Erin White, Jennifer D. Slane, Kelly L. Klump, S. Alexandra Burt and Jim Pivarnik

Background:

Knowing the extent to which genetic and environmental factors influence percent body fatness (%Fat) and physical activity (PA) would be beneficial, since both are tightly correlated with future health outcomes. Thus, the purpose was to evaluate sex differences in genetic and environmental influences on %Fat and physical activity behavior in male and female adolescent twins.

Methods:

Subjects were adolescent (age range 8.3 to 16.6 yr) twins. %Fat (n = 518 twins) was assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and PA (n = 296 twins) was measured using 3-Day PA Recall. Each activity was converted to total MET-minutes. Univariate twin models were used to examine sex differences in genetic and environmental factors influencing %Fat and PA.

Results:

%Fat was influenced by genetic effects in both boys and girls (88% and 90%, respectively), with slightly higher heritability estimates for girls. PA was influenced solely by environmental effects for both sexes with higher shared environmental influences in boys (66%) and higher nonshared effects in girls (67%).

Conclusions:

When developing interventions to increase PA in adolescents, it is important to consider the environment in which it takes place as it is the primary contributor to PA levels.