Guardian Caps: What’s the Impact?

Seth E. Jenny, Wardell Rouse , Ashlie Seibles
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC, USA

Abstract

Reported sport-related concussion rates have dramatically increased recently. In response, the Guardian company has emerged as a leading manufacturer of soft-shell helmet covers. The “Guardian Cap” is a foam padded covering that fits over a helmet that aims to reduce the impact of collisions and lessen the chance of a concussion. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived effectiveness of using Guardian Caps in preventing concussions in youth and high school football players. In addition, this study also examined reported coaching strategies used in the attempt to reduce concussions with these athletes. United States high school and youth football stakeholders (e.g., coaches, athletic directors, youth football presidents, etc.) completed an online survey containing Likert-based and open response questions focusing on the main research goals. On average, participants reported a 40.5% decrease in concussions per year after transitioning to using Guardian Caps with their youth or high school football players. However, 16.2% of participants would not recommend the use of Guardian Caps, citing concerns such as helmet warranty worries, helmet bulkiness, product malfunctions, and expense. Moreover, several additional methods participants’ used in an effort to keep players safe from concussions are also discussed. Findings may assist youth and high school football coaches and athletic directors in making informed equipment and coaching decisions regarding player safety focusing on reducing concussions with their players.

Keywords: concussion, football, CTE, tackling, head injury, SIS

Category: Original Research

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“Mind Blown” – Including Exercise Science Students as Research Assistants to Reduce Ageist Perceptions

Sam Forlenza, PhD
Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Shippensburg University, USA

Abstract

The amount of older adults is increasing rapidly and the demands of an aging population will need to be met by professionals in many fields, including exercise science. However, many undergraduate students do not want to work with older adults. Therefore, this qualitative study sought to examine the experiences and perceptions of exercise science students who served as research assistants in a six-month walking program for senior citizens. Students recognized that their previous ageist views about older adults’ functioning (which originated from personal experiences, education, and society) were challenged by the walking program. Subsequently, more positive views on aging, being an older adult, and working with older adults were elicited by their assistance in the research study. Results from this investigation suggest that exercise science and allied health students be exposed to aging-sensitive experiences to dispel ageist perceptions and ultimately increase the workforce needed to serve this expanding population.

Keywords: aging, older adults, stereotypes, ageism, qualitative research

Category: Interdisciplinary

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The Feasibility of Using the Super Tracker Website for Behavior Changes in the Adolescent Population

Ebony Taylor1, Diane Cuy Castellenos1

1 Department of Health and Sports Science, University of Dayton, USA

Abstract

Research suggests technology such as health websites may be a viable way to effect lifestyle behavior and promote health. Several websites utilize self-monitoring of physical activity and diet as well as provide health-related education as a method to impact behavior. One such site is the Super Tracker tool on ChooseMyPlate.gov, created by the United States Department of Health. The site was created to encourage healthy diet and physical activity within the US population. Therefore, the aim of this original research was to examine the acceptability and feasibility outcomes of a self-monitoring physical activity intervention delivered by the Super Tracker website among inner city adolescents. A total of 26 students volunteered for this feasibility study. The website incorporates goal setting, self-monitoring of physical and dietary activity. Focus groups were conducted to assess the participants’ perceptions of the intervention and the application performance. Results suggested that the website intervention was feasible and acceptable to adolescents and may be utilized as an integral part in behavioral interventions for this specific population.

Keywords: acceptability, physical activity, web-based, weight management

Category: Interdisciplinary

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Gender-Specific Associations between Personality Traits, Physical Activity, and Body Size Dissatisfaction

Ken Lodewyk1, Philip Sullivan1

1 Department of Kinesiology, Brock University, Canada

Abstract

A recently validated trait personality framework is the HEXACO (honesty-humility, emotionality, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience). Little is yet known about how the HEXACO personality dimensions and its subsets – particularly the dimension of honesty-humility – relates to physical activity and body size dissatisfaction as a function of gender. This study tests these relations across men and women through a proposed path model wherein personality and physical activity relate indirectly through lower body size dissatisfaction and perceived fitness in 315 university students. Results pertaining to honesty-humility revealed that women were higher in honesty-humility, emotionality, and conscientiousness. Women with higher honesty-humility (notably sincerity) were prone to lower body size dissatisfaction whereas lower levels of modesty predicted physical activity levels in men. The proposed path model had an excellent fit in both men and women although significant pathways were more prevalent in women than in men. The role of body size dissatisfaction seems to be more salient in explaining the relationship between the HEXACO personality dimensions and perceived fitness and physical activity in women than men. We recommend that practitioners particularly note the vulnerability of women university students who are high in emotionality and low in honesty-humility (especially sincerity) and agreeableness.

Keywords: honesty-humility, emotionality, fitness, body image, path analysis

Category: Interdisciplinary

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The Impact of Classroom Physical Activity Breaks on Middle School Students’ Health-Related Fitness: An Xbox One Kinetic Delivered 4-Week Randomized Controlled Trial

Yli-Piipari, S.1, Layne, T.2, *McCollins, T.2, Knox, T.3

1 Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, USA
2 School of Health Studies, University of Memphis, USA
3 FitNexx, Memphis, USA
*Represents Graduate Student at the time of the study

Abstract

The aim of the study was to examine the effect of a 4-week classroom physical activity break intervention on middle school students’ health-related physical fitness. The study was a randomized controlled trial with students assigned to the experiment and control conditions. A convenience sample comprised 94 adolescents (experiment group n = 52; control group n = 42) (48 females, 46 males, age range 11 to 15 years) from four classes in one school in the mid-south United States. Intervention was delivered with an Xbox One Kinetic system to minimize teachers-dependence when delivering the intervention. In addition, to acknowledge students’ poor treatment adherence, which can occur in school-based intervention studies, analyses were conducted to both the intention-to-treat group and the students’ who reached the 66.7% attendance rate benchmark. Analysis of covariance test results showed that for the intention-to-treat group there were no significant intervention effects on cardiovascular endurance (F[2,82] = 2.58, p = .112), upper body strength and endurance (F[2,84] = 3.55, p = .063), abdominal strength and endurance (F[2,82] = .01, p = .973), or flexibility (F[2,71] = .48, p < .489) tests. In addition, the analyses comparing the high attendance group to the control group showed that intervention had a moderate significant effect on students’ cardiovascular endurance (F[2,52] = 23.95, p < .001, η2 = .30) and a small effect on abdominal strength and endurance (F[2,52] = 3.24, p = .049, η2 = .08). The results of this study highlighted the importance of school students’ adherence to program to achieve intended and planned intervention benefits.

Keywords: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, physical education

Category: Fitness, health and nutrition

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The Relationship between Chinese High School Students’ Implicit Theories of Ability in Sports and Perceived Enjoyment in Physical Education

Qi Zhao, M.S., Nanjing Sport Institute, Nanjing, China;
and Weidong Li, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Abstract

According to theory, students’ implicit theories of ability can affect their motivation and engagement in physical education (PE). Limited research has been conducted to examine the relationships between implicit theories of ability and motivation and engagement among K-12 students in PE. Our study examined the relationship between implicit theories of ability and perceived enjoyment in PE, and explored whether there were any gender differences in implicit theories of ability and perceived enjoyment in PE. A package of surveys was administered to 252 Chinese 12th graders. Data were analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis, correlations, and MANOVA. Chinese 12th grade participants endorsing higher incremental views in ability were likely to enjoy PE more. Male participants showed stronger beliefs in incremental views and enjoyed PE more than females. It was suggested that PE teachers may be able to enhance students’ enjoyment by focusing on incremental views. This is, ability in sports can be increased dramatically by effort and hardworking.

Keywords: growth mindsets, motivation, ability beliefs

Category: Secondary P.E.

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Objectively-Measured Physical Activity Levels in Physical Education among Homeschool Children

Sarah Swenson; Zachary Pope; University of Minnesota –Twin Cities, MN; and Nan Zeng Springfield College, MA

Abstract

Despite a growing population of homeschool children in the United States, little is known regarding their physical activity (PA) levels. Without access to physical education, homeschool children may engage in inadequate PA levels. The purpose of this study was to objectively examine the activity levels of homeschool students participating in a Physical Education program. Seventy-two homeschool children (19 girls) participated in a once-weekly structured Physical Education program over a four-month period with a subsample of children participating in basketball. Pedometers/ accelerometers provided steps/session while accelerometers provided percentage of time in sedentary behavior (SB), light PA (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Children spent 69.7%, 18.9%, and 8.6% of their time in SB, LPA, and MVPA, respectively. A significant moderate correlation (r = 0.53, p < 0.01) between pedometer- and accelerometer-measured steps/session was found. Significant group differences among SB, LPA and MVPA, and steps/session were only present for steps/session (β = 0.49, p = 0.02) with a marginally significant difference seen for MVPA (β = 3.6, p = 0.07). No significant gender differences were seen on percentage of time in SB, LPA, or MVPA. Results indicated that participation in a Physical Education program may contribute to increasing PA levels of homeschool children. It is recommended that future programs focus on increasing time spent in MVPA.

Keywords: accelerometers, gender differences, pedometers

Category: Interdisciplinary P.E.

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Promoting Children’s Physical Activity in Physical Education: The Role of Active Video Gaming

Tao Zhang, PhD; William Moore, PhD; Xiangli Gu, PhD; Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu; and Zan Gao, PhD

Abstract

Approximately half of the children in the United States do not meet the global physical activity guidelines, and many children adopt sedentary lifestyles. Given the fact about two-thirds children are classified as overweight or obese, traditional video games have been blamed as a major contributor to children’s sedentary behavior and excessive weight. However, active video gaming is a new solution to fight increasing sedentary behaviors and childhood obesity. The major purpose of this study was to review the prevalence of sedentary behaviors in children and examine the factors contributing to the trend of decreasing physical activity in children. The second purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which video games are used by children and potential benefits associated with active video gaming, specifically to promote physical activity in children. The additional purpose was to offer an argument for educational professionals in the school setting to integrate active video games as a way to combat sedentary behaviors and obesity utilizing the self-determination theory and expectancy-value model as theoretical frameworks.

Keywords: Active video games, motivation, physical activity, obesity

Category: Interdisciplinary P.E.

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Analysis of Instructional Impact on the Running Performance of University Students

Todd Layne, Ph.D.
Department of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Memphis - USA

Abstract

Most universities provide a plethora of physical activity courses in which students may choose to participate. Little research exists on the instructional impact of university students’ participation in physical activity courses. Although some papers have produced positive findings regarding the Sport Education model in the university setting, none have analyzed the impact of instructional approaches on the performance and enjoyment of students. The purpose of this paper was to examine the instructional impact on the performance and enjoyment of students participating in a jogging activity course. The participants in this study were 26 students (15 males, 11 females; 15 SE, 11 Direct Instruction). The study incorporated a mixed methods research design using both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data consisted of the one mile pre-and post-test and a pre-and post-8-item motivational analysis using the PAES. Qualitative data was collected through the completion of critical incident reports on thoughts regarding the class. Descriptive statistics and t-tests were used to analyze data to determine areas of significance related to the outcomes of the one mile run and scores from the PAES. Qualitative data were analyzed using a constant comparison method. Results indicated similarities between the two groups with regards to performance and enjoyment. Student feedback did provide favorable remarks regarding the features of the SEM. It was concluded that both instructional approaches produced favorable results regarding university students’ performance and enjoyment of jogging.

Keywords: sport education, direct instruction, jogging, university, physical activity

Category: Original Research

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Get Me to the Meet on Time: Challenges of High School Coaching

Seth E. Jenny, Ph.D.
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC, USA

Abstract

In order to achieve success, there is little doubt that sport coaches must overcome a plethora of challenges beyond simply designing and implementing effective training schedules and competition strategies. The United States high school interscholastic sports environment is no different. The purpose of this short essay is to provide a personal coaching narrative from a United States high school boys and girls cross country coach as he discusses the challenges confronted in overcoming administrative obstacles to successfully prepare his student-athletes for competition. In particular, this paper chronicles how the coach successfully negotiated the political landscape of having his team being permitted to be dismissed from school in adequate time to arrive at away weekday cross country meets in order to adequately warm-up and prepare for competition. Oftentimes, these coaching stories exist, but are rarely recorded. It is the hope of the author that other coaches in similar situations may glean ideas on how to best handle these situations within their their own programs. This essay may be of interest to all coaches, but high school coaches in particular, as many of whom may be able to relate to the administrative issues that have to be negotiated for a sport program to thrive. Moreover, further commentary and discussion on this topic is invited.

Keywords: interscholastic athletics, cross country, running, pre-performance routines, warm-up

Category: Practitioner's Notes

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