September 2017

RQES: Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

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  September 2017 (Volume 88, Issue 3)

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Table of Contents

Free Access Article
/Top 10 Research Questions Related to Preventing Sudden Death in Sport and Physical Activity
Rachel K. Katch, Samantha E. Scarneo, William M. Adams, Lawrence E. Armstrong, Luke N. Belval, Julie M. Stamm, and Douglas J. Casa


Peak oxygen uptake (V_O2) is internationally recognized as the criterion measure of youth aerobic fitness, but despite pediatric data being available for almost 80 years, its measurement and interpretation in relation to growth, maturation, and health remain controversial. The trainability of youth aerobic fitness continues to be hotly debated, and causal mechanisms of training-induced changes and their modulation by chronological age, biological maturation, and sex are still to be resolved. The daily physical activity of youth is characterized by intermittent bouts and rapid changes in intensity, but physical activity of the intensity and duration required to determine peak V_O2 is rarely (if ever) experienced by most youth. In this context, it may therefore be the transient kinetics of pulmonary V_O2 that best reflect youth aerobic fitness. There are remarkably few rigorous studies of youth pulmonary V_O2 kinetics at the onset of exercise in different intensity domains, and the influence of chronological age, biological maturation, and sex during step changes in exercise intensity are not confidently documented. Understanding the trainability of the parameters of youth pulmonary V_O2 kinetics is primarily based on a few comparative studies of athletes and nonathletes. The underlying mechanisms of changes due to training require further exploration. The aims of the present article are therefore to provide a brief overview of aerobic fitness during growth and maturation, increase awareness of current controversies in its assessment and interpretation, identify gaps in knowledge, raise 10 relevant research questions, and indicate potential areas for future research.

/Educating Students for a Lifetime of Physical Activity: Enhancing Mindfulness, Motivation, and Meaning
Catherine D. Ennis


For many years, pedagogical scholars and physical education (PE) teachers have worked to enhance effective teaching and learning environments. Yet for some children, youth, and young adults, many of the benefits associated with a physically active lifestyle remain elusive. Enhancing programming and performance to meet physical activity goals may require moving programs beyond “effective.” It will require teachers and program leaders to focus programmatic attention on strategies to actually increase students’ out-of-class physical activity behavior. Transformative PE provides physical activity content within a nurturing and motivating environment that can change students’ lives. It focuses on PE students’ role in cognitive decision making, self-motivation, and their search for personal meaning that can add connection and relevance to physical activities. In this SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport Lecture, I have synthesized the research on these topics to emphasize useful findings applicable to teachers’ everyday planning and teaching. Using sport, physical activity, dance, and adventure activities as the means to an end for personal and social growth, we can meet our commitment to effective standards-based education while preparing students for a lifetime of physical activity.

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Promoting Prenatal Exercise From a Sociocultural and Life-Course Perspective: An “Embodied” Conceptual Framework
Shannon Jette, Julie Maier, Katelyn Esmonde, and Cherise Davis

Purpose: Prenatal exercise is a health behavior that is receiving growing attention amid concern that women in Western societies are gaining excess weight during pregnancy and contributing to future obesity in both the mother and child. In this article, we draw on insights from the fields of social epidemiology and social theory of the body to examine existing prenatal exercise interventions and to propose a multidimensional framework intended to guide future theorizing and intervention design.
Method: A scoping review of existing prenatal exercise programs and interventions focused on controlling gestational weight gain was conducted. Articles published prior to January 2017 were obtained from PubMed and CINAHL, and relevant articles were identified (n = 62) using specified inclusion and exclusion criteria. Identified articles were further analyzed to classify the level(s) of the socioecological model targeted in the intervention or program.
Results: The majority of existing interventions target intrapersonal factors during pregnancy and do not attend to the role that cumulative exposure of social and structural disadvantage over the lifetime—not just during the prenatal period—plays in shaping health outcomes. In response, a multidimensional framework is proposed that includes key concepts that facilitate a life-course perspective, as well as attention to the integration of biological and social factors as they relate to health and health-related behaviors.
Conclusion: Efforts to promote prenatal exercise and to improve maternal and infant health should attend to how systemic inequality impacts women’s health.

Parent Support for Children’s Physical Activity: A Qualitative Investigation of Barriers and Strategies
Rebecca Bassett-Gunter, Ryan Rhodes, Shane Sweet, Lauren Tristani, and Yasaman Soltani

Purpose: Parents play an important role in supporting children’s physical activity (PA) behavior. Parent PA support is a behavior unto itself that has been examined within the framework of an adapted theory of planned behavior (TPB). The primary purpose of this research was to identify key barriers to parent PA support to understand perceptions of control in relation to parent PA support. The second purpose of this research was to identify potential strategies to enhance parent PA support via enhanced perceived behavioral control.
Method: Focus groups were conducted with parents (N = 21) of children aged 5 to 11 years old. A deductive content analysis was employed to analyze the data guided by an adapted TPB.
Results: Themes related to barriers included parents’ motivation, affective experiences in providing PA support, and control factors (e.g., cost, time, safety concerns, screen). Themes related to potential strategies included opportunities for participation and improved affective experiences for parents, community parenting, and self-regulatory strategies.
Conclusion: The identification of specific barriers to parent PA support can guide the development of interventions to facilitate parent PA support. Informational, programming, and self-regulatory training interventions may be useful in enhancing parent support.

Parental Support and Objectively Measured Physical Activity in Children: A Yearlong Cluster-Randomized Controlled Efficacy Trial
Arto Laukkanen, Arto J. Pesola, Taija Finni, and Arja Sääkslahti

Purpose: We studied whether physical activity (PA) counseling for parents influenced the level of parental support of children’s PA and leisure-time PA in children of different levels of initial parental support. We hypothesized that the initial level of parental support would moderate the intervention efficacy.
Method: Children (n = 44, Mage = 6.09 ± 1.17 years) and their parents (n = 61) randomly assigned to an intervention group received counseling for 6 months. Children in the control group (n = 47, Mage = 6.12 ± 1.11 years) and their parents (n = 63) did not receive any counseling. Parental support was assessed using the Family Physical Activity Environment Questionnaire, and children’s leisure-time PA was recorded using triaxial accelerometers at baseline, at 6 months, and at 12 months. The efficacy of the intervention was tested by linear mixed-effects modeling adjusted for confounding variables (Model 1) and additionally for children’s participation in organized PA or sports (Model 2).
Results: Parents within the lowest initial parental support intervention tertile significantly increased their support, and their children’s mean level of leisure-time PA significantly improved compared with the corresponding controls during the counseling period. On the other hand, intervention was found to have an unfavorable influence especially in the PA of children of initially highly supportive parents.
Conclusion: Targeting PA counseling for parents with low support of their children’s PA could contribute to better family-based PA counseling efficacy.

Three-Year Study of Students’ Attitudes Toward Physical Education: Grades 4–8
Kevin Mercier, Corinne Donovan, Anne Gibbone, and Kimberly Rozga

Purpose: A relationship exists between attitudes toward physical education and future physical activity. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in attitude toward physical education as students progressed from upper elementary school (Grade 4) through middle school (Grade 8).
Method: Three cohorts of students (Cohort 1, Grades 4–6, n = 96; Cohort 2, Grades 5–7, n = 71; and Cohort 3, Grades 6–8, n = 73) were each followed for 3 years to examine changes in attitudes toward physical education
Results: After an initial increase from Grade 4 to Grade 5, a significant decrease was observed from Grades 5 to 8 in students’ positive attitudes toward physical education, with a faster rate of change for girls than boys.
Conclusion: This longitudinal study provides further insights regarding the attitudes of students as they progress from Grade 4 to Grade 8 and expands on previous findings identifying decreasing positive attitudes toward physical education as students age, particularly for girls. The results provide evidence to support targeted interventions.

Misremembering Past Affect Predicts Adolescents’ Future Affective Experience During Exercise
Melissa M. Karnaze, Linda J. Levine, and Margaret Schneider

Purpose: Increasing physical activity among adolescents is a public health priority. Because people are motivated to engage in activities that make them feel good, this study examined predictors of adolescents’ feelings during exercise.
Method: During the 1st semester of the school year, we assessed 6th-grade students’ (N = 136) cognitive appraisals of the importance of exercise. Participants also reported their affect during a cardiovascular fitness test and recalled their affect during the fitness test later that semester. During the 2nd semester, the same participants rated their affect during a moderate-intensity exercise task.
Results: Affect reported during the moderate-intensity exercise task was predicted by cognitive appraisals of the importance of exercise and by misremembering affect during the fitness test as more positive than it actually was. This memory bias mediated the association between appraising exercise as important and experiencing a positive change in affect during the moderate-intensity exercise task.
Conclusion: These findings highlight the roles of both cognitive appraisals and memory as factors that may influence affect during exercise. Future work should explore whether affect during exercise can be modified by targeting appraisals and memories related to exercise experiences.

Creating Inclusive Physical Activity Spaces: The Case of Body-Positive Yoga
Andrew C. Pickett and George B. Cunningham

Purpose: Within the modern cultural climate, those in larger bodies face high levels of weight stigma, particularly in sport and physical activity spaces, which serves as a strong barrier to their participation. However, given the strong link between physical activity and general health and well-being for participants, it is important to explore strategies that encourage participation of these individuals. Thus, the current research examined strategies that physical activity instructors use to develop inclusive exercise spaces for all body sizes.
Method: This study employed a series of semistructured qualitative interviews (n = 9) with instructors of body-inclusive yoga classes to explore the ways in which they encourage participation for those in larger bodies.
Results: Emergent themes from the current study suggested support for 6 factors for creating body inclusive physical activity spaces: authentic leadership, a culture of inclusion, a focus on health, inclusive language, leader social activism, and a sense of community.
Conclusion: This study revealed that leaders must intentionally cultivate inclusion in their spaces to encourage those in nonconforming bodies to participate. These findings have important health and management implications for the sport and physical activity context and provide a basic outline of practical strategies that practitioners can use to foster inclusion in their spaces.

Research Notes

Preschoolers’ Physical Activity Participation Across a Yearlong Mastery-Motivational Climate Intervention
Danielle D. Wadsworth, Mary E. Rudisill, Peter A. Hastie, Jacqueline M. Irwin, and Mynor G. Rodriguez-Hernandez

Purpose: This study sought to determine how children’s participation in physical activity during a mastery-motivational climate changed during a 20-week intervention and to compare it to children’s free-play activity during a typical day at their local day-care facility.
Method: Twelve 4-year-old children participated in a mastery-motivational climate physical activity program delivered 2 days a week for 20 weeks during a period of 8 months. All children were fitted with an Actigraph GT3X triaxial accelerometer. Data from the accelerometers were reduced to determine minutes of sedentary time, light physical activity, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during (a) all 20 weeks, and (b) Weeks 1 through 4, Weeks 9 through 12, and Weeks 17 to 20 for the mastery climate. Activity levels in the mastery condition were compared to the children’s activity during unplanned free play in Weeks 1, 10, and 20.
Results: During the course of the mastery-motivational climate program, participation in sedentary behavior decreased statistically significantly, while participation in MVPA increased statistically significantly. Within the free-play condition, there were no changes in the levels of activity across time, with the children spending on average more than 80% of their time being sedentary.
Conclusion: Findings indicate that when specific task structures associated with a mastery climate are included in an instructional setting, these climate manipulations seem to have a direct effect on physical activity levels once the children learned how to manage themselves in the setting. Free-play activity in and of itself does not appear to stimulate MVPA.

A Sport Education Fitness Season’s Impact on Students’ Fitness Levels, Knowledge, and In-Class Physical Activity
Jeffery Kurt Ward, Peter A. Hastie, Danielle D. Wadsworth, Shelby Foote, Sheri J. Brock, and Nikki Hollett

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which a sport education season of fitness could provide students with recommended levels of in-class moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) while also increasing students’ fitness knowledge and fitness achievement.
Method: One hundred and sixty-six 5th-grade students (76 boys, 90 girls) participated in a 20-lesson season called “CrossFit Challenge” during a 4-week period. The Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run, push-ups, and curl-ups tests of the FITNESSGRAM® were used to assess fitness at pretest and posttest, while fitness knowledge was assessed through a validated, grade-appropriate test of health-related fitness knowledge (HRF). Physical activity was measured with Actigraph GT3X triaxial accelerometers.
Results: Results indicated a significant time effect for all fitness tests and the knowledge test. Across the entire season, the students spent an average of 54.5% of lesson time engaged in MVPA, irrespective of the type of lesson (instruction, free practice, or competition).
Conclusion: The results suggest that configuring the key principles of sport education within a unit of fitness is an efficient model for providing students with the opportunity to improve fitness skill and HRF knowledge while attaining recommended levels of MVPA.

Influence of Session Context on Physical Activity Levels Among Russian Girls During a Summer Camp
Justin M. Guagliano, Natalie J. Updyke, Natalia V. Rodicheva, Sara K. Rosenkranz, David A. Dzewaltowski, Chelsey R. Schlechter, and Richard R. Rosenkranz

Purpose: This study investigated the effect of summer camp session context on Russian girls’ physical activity (PA).
Method: Girls (n = 32, Mage = 10.7 years, SD = 0.6 years) from a resident summer camp taking place in the Vologda Region of Russia were exposed to 1 session context/day (i.e., free play, organized with no choice, organized with choice) on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for 3 weeks, with the context order counterbalanced across the 3 weeks. The organized session sport/game changed weekly. The primary outcome was accelerometer-assessed PA. Repeated-measures mixed models were used to analyze all outcome data.
Results: Findings showed that girls spent a greater percentage of session time (%time) in moderate-to-vigorous PA (p < .001; effect sizes between free play and organized with no choice and organized with choice, respectively = .60, .42) and moderate PA (p < .001; effect size = .57, .39) and a lower %time in light PA (p < .001; effect size = .55, .52) in organized PA contexts compared with free play.
Conclusion: This study provides novel findings in a Russian setting, suggesting that a well-planned, organized camp session can elicit higher PA levels in girls, relative to a free-play session.

Effects of Instructional Physical Activity Courses on Overall Physical Activity and Mood in University Students
James J. Annesi, Kandice J. Porter, Grant M. Hill, and Bernard D. Goldfine

Purpose: The aim of this research was to assess the association between university-based instructional physical activity (PA) courses and changes in overall PA levels and negative mood and their interrelations. The study also sought to determine the amount of change in PA required to significantly improve mood in course enrollees.
Method: The aim of this research was to assess the association between university-based instructional physical activity (PA) courses and changes in overall PA levels and negative mood and their interrelations. The study also sought to determine the amount of change in PA required to significantly improve mood in course enrollees.
Results: There was a significantly greater increase in PA and significantly more reduction in negative mood in the treatment group. Change in PA completely mediated the relationship between group and change in negative mood, and change in mood completely mediated the relationship between group and PA. These findings indicated a reciprocal, mutually reinforcing relationship between changes in PA and mood. An increase in PA of at least 2 days/week was associated with a significant reduction in negative mood, with no greater effect for more increase.
Conclusion: Results provided an improved understanding of the effects of university-based instructional PA courses and how they might be leveraged to improve students’ mental health and possibly contribute to their academic

Mental Rotation of Tactical Instruction Displays Affects Information Processing Demand and Execution Accuracy in Basketball
Till Koopmann, Yvonne Steggemann-Weinrich, Jochen Baumeister, and Daniel Krause

Purpose: In sports games, coaches often use tactic boards to present tactical instructions during time-outs (e.g., 20 s to 60 s in basketball). Instructions should be presented in a way that enables fast and errorless information processing for the players. The aim of this study was to test the effect of different orientations of visual tactical displays on observation time and execution performance. High affordances in visual-spatial transformation (e.g., mental rotation processes) might impede information processing and might decrease execution performance with regard to the instructed playing patterns.
Method: In a within-subjects design with 1 factor, 10 novice students were instructed with visual tactical instructions of basketball playing patterns with different orientations either showing the playing pattern with low spatial disparity to the players’ on-court perspective (basket on top) or upside down (basket on bottom).
Results: The self-chosen time for watching the pattern before execution was significantly shorter and spatial accuracy in pattern execution was significantly higher when the instructional perspective and the real perspective on the basketball court had a congruent orientation.
Conclusion: The effects might be explained by interfering mental rotation processes that are necessary to transform the instructional perspective into the players’ actual perspective while standing on the court or imagining themselves standing on the court. According to these results, coaches should align their tactic boards to their players’ on-court viewing perspective.

Resting Bradycardia, Enhanced Postexercise Heart Rate Recovery and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Recreational Ballroom Dancers
Carlos Janssen Gomes da Cruz, Guilherme Eckhardt Molina, Luiz Guilherme Grossi Porto, and Luiz Fernando Junqueira Jr.

Purpose: In a cross-sectional study design, we evaluated the resting heart rate (HRbaseline) and exercise and post-exercise stress test-related chronotropic responses in male practitioners of recreational ballroom dancing (BD; n = 25, Mage = 26.6 ± 6.1 years) compared to a control group of insufficiently active nondancers (CG; n = 25, Mage = 25.9 ± 4.5 years).
Method: All participants underwent a submaximal exercise test. At 85% of the maximal predicted HR, the recovery protocol was started, and heart rate recovery (HRR) was recorded during 1-min intervals for 5 min.
Results: Compared with CG, BD showed lower HRbaseline (70 beats per minute [bpm] vs. 62 bpm, respectively, U = 143, p < .05, ES = .46), lower pre-exercise HR (94 bpm vs. 86 bpm, U = 157, p < .05, ES = .42), longer exercise test duration (346 s vs. 420 s, U = 95.5, p < .05, ES = .59), and higher HRR for 5 min post-exercise (U = 1.29–1.89, p < .05, ES = .33–.50) as follows: 1st min (32 bpm vs. 40 bpm), 2nd min (45 bpm vs. 53 bpm), 3rd min (51 bpm vs. 58 bpm), 4th min (55 bpm vs. 59 bpm), and 5th min (59 bpm vs. 63 bpm). The coefficient of HRR from the 1st min to the 5th min post-exercise was similar in both groups (U = 229–311, p > .05, ES = < .10–.22).
Conclusion: Heightened cardiovascular functional status characterized by favorable enhanced chronotropic dynamics appears to occur in practitioners of recreational ballroom dancing, which suggests that this modality of exercise may result in health benefits.