The purpose of the present study was to examine the force-velocity-power relationships of the ankle plantar-flexors and dorsi-flexors to clarify details of muscle dynamics in elderly males. A total of 15 elderly males ranging in age from 65 to 73 years, and 15 male college students aged 18 to 22 years, were enrolled. In previous studies, force-velocity of the ankle joint muscle had been estimated without measuring higher velocities with an isokinetic machine. Therefore, a specially designed machine was used to determine the force-velocity relationships directly by measuring all of the velocity conditions from 0 to maximum. The force and velocity values including the maximum muscle force (Fmax), maximum velocity (Vmax), and maximum power (Pmax) were measured using the after-load method. The results showed that the force and velocity values were well fitted to the Hill characteristic equation: (F+a)(V+b)=(Fmax+a) b for both ankle plantar-flexors and dorsi-flexors in both the elderly and college groups. The elderly group showed significantly lower values for the primary parameters Fmax, Vmax, and Pmax than the college group for both the ankle plantar-flexors and dorsi-flexors. Because of the higher a/Fmax in the elderly group, the maximum power of plantar-flexion in this group appeared relatively higher than in the college group. Overall, it was concluded that the ankle joint muscles of elderly individuals showed a unique fit to the Hill characteristic equation.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between low fitness status and quantity of exercise, and to derive a reference value of exercise for preventing low fitness status, in community-dwelling older women. METHODS: The participants were 515 community-dwelling older women, aged 65 to 91 years (73.4±5.5 years). Physical fitness was assessed using a functional fitness score (FFS), which was calculated from the scores of four fitness items (i.e., tandem stance, 5-chair sit-to-stand, alternate step, and up & go). The quantity of exercise (QE) was calculated by multiplying exercise duration, exercise frequency and exercise intensity per week. The participants were divided into four groups according to the level of QE (no exercise: NE Group (QE=0), Low Tertile Group (0<QE≦4.6), Middle Tertile Group (4.6<QE≦11.7), High Tertile Group (QE>11.7)). FFSs of less than 0.065 were defined as the low fitness, and those of 0.065 or more were defined as good fitness. Logistic regression analysis was performed to obtain odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for the low fitness according to the level of QE. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was conducted to detect a reference value of QE. RESULTS: The ORs (95% CI) compared with the NE Group were 0.76 (0.44-1.32) in the Low Group, 0.53 (0.31-0.92) in the Middle Group, and 0.30 (0.17-0.55) in the High Group. The optimal QE cut-off value for the low fitness was 5.1 METs·hour/week (area under the ROC curve: 0.64, sensitivity: 55%, specificity: 68%). CONCLUSION: It is recommended that community-dwelling older women exceed at least 5.1 METs·hour/week on a regular basis to prevent the low fitness status. Longitudinal research on the quantity of exercise, assessed using an accelerometer, is needed to obtain a more accurate reference value.
This study examined the relationships between measured values of physiological and mechanical load during Walking (W) and Nordic Walking (NW) at various speeds (0.97-2.08 m/s) in healthy old and middle-aged subjects in order to clarify the effectiveness of NW as a health-enhancing physical activity for individuals with low physical fitness. NW required a significantly higher VO2 than W at a walking speed of 1.25 m/s, and tended to show a higher VO2 requirement than W at various other speeds, the difference ranging from 9% to 13%. The step length for NW was significantly greater than that for W. Furthermore, although both NW and W demonstrated higher peak compressive force and peak shear force on the knee joint with increased speed, those during NW were significantly greater, and the difference was extended at faster walking speed. For compressive force and shear force, the speed at intersection (NW and W) of the regression line was 1.48 m/s. Based on these findings, it is thought that although high-speed NW is a useful health-enhancing physical activity, it is necessary to ensure that the knee joint is not subjected to excessive loading.
This study examined the relationship between lifestyle and cognitive function in the elderly. The subjects were 92 community-dwelling elderly individuals (50 men and 42 women) over 65 years age. The survey items were designed to assess lifestyle and cognitive function. Lifestyle factors included exercise, diet and rest, and were measured using the Diagnostic Inventory of Health and Life Habit (DIHAL.2). The New Stroop Test II was used to measure cognitive function (information-processing speed and attention).
The results indicated that men and women have different lifestyles, and specifically that women have better dietary habits. Multiple regression analyses showed that exercise, diet and rest were associated with information-processing speed and attention, significantly for men, but not for women. Lifestyle as a whole showed no association with information-processing speed or attention in either of the sexes separately. The present findings suggest that it may be necessary to examine the effects of lifestyle on cognitive function for men and women separately. Lifestyle may be important for preserving cognitive function such as information-processing speed and attention in elderly men.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that pole vaulters regulate their stride length during the approach run, and to determine the effects of differently regulated gait patterns on take-off velocity and performance. The approach runs and take-off movements of ten male pole vaulters were analyzed. It was revealed that each pole vaulter regulated his gait pattern in the approach run in order to adjust for the distance to the toe-box at take-off, in a similar way to the technique used by long jumpers and triple jumpers. The standard deviation of the distance to the toe-box at take-off and the length of each step in the approach run showed no significant difference between high- and low-performance-level vaulters. However, vaulters with a higher personal best started to adjust their stride length earlier than vaulters with a lower personal best, and had finished most of their run-up adjustment by the second to last stride. To clarify the effect of run-up adjustment on the velocity in the take-off phase, the subjects were classified into three groups according to the timing of their adjustment: Early, Medium, and Adjacent. It was found that the take-off velocity of Early Adjusters tended to be higher than in the other groups, and that Adjacent Adjusters had the lowest velocity. The present findings suggest that in order to perform well in the pole vault, it is important for the vaulter to regulate his stride length in the approach run, rather than performing a stereotyped run-up. In addition, regulation of stride in the first half of the approach run and avoidance of stride regulation immediately before take-off seem to be more effective for achieving better performance.
The purpose of this study was to examine the improvements in tactical decision-making ability during physical education classes through numerically uneven sides (3-on-2), and the transference of this ability to a numerically even-sided context (3-on-3). The research focused on in-game decision-making as an important component of learning basketball tactics in physical education class. Sixty-two participating students were divided into two groups: 5th graders (n=31) and 6th graders (n=31). Both groups participated in the same unit. In order to analyze the children's decision-making ability, all games were videotaped and the Game Performance Assessment Instrument (GPAI) was used for data analysis. This instrument allowed us to record the frequency of on-the-ball decision-making. This method assisted in judging the students' performance in situations such as shooting, passing, and ball-keeping, and whether or not those decisions were appropriate. The main findings are summarized as follows: 1. Appropriate decision-making was found to improve through learning experience in numerically uneven-sided games. 2. Students who participated in 3-on-2 games demonstrated an improvement of decision-making skills during the final 3-on-3 game. 3. As for the ratio of appropriate play, this increased in the order of ball-keeping<passing≦shooting, reflecting the difficulty of each type of play. Therefore, upper-elementary students who participated in the 10-hour basketball unit showed an ability to develop and transfer on-the-ball decision-making skills from 3-on-2 to 3-on-3 game situations.
The aim of this study was to clarify the take-off motion required to perform a longer leap when an athlete increases the number of steps in the approach run for the long jump. Seven senior jumpers performed the long jump using different numbers of approach-run steps. The number was increased from 6 strides to 16 strides every 2 strides. The following results were obtained. (1) When athletes increased the number of approach-run steps, the change in the approach velocity did not correspond to that of the jump distance. (2) To heighten the increased jump distance when athletes increased the number of approach-run steps, it was necessary to shorten the contact time and gain vertical velocity with less deceleration of horizontal velocity during the take-off phase. (3) To decrease the contact time when athletes increased the number of approach-run steps, it was effective to lower the angular deviation of the radius from the center of gravity (c.g.) to the grounding point of the take-off leg and increase the angular velocity during the take-off phase. In order to gain vertical velocity with less deceleration of horizontal velocity, it was necessary to increase the maximal lengthening velocity of the radius during the second half of the take-off phase. These results suggest that when deciding the number of approach-run steps it is necessary to evaluate not only sprint ability, as has been done in the past, but also contact time and take-off index, which is defined as the value of the vertical velocity at take-off divided by the deceleration of the horizontal velocity during take-off. At the same time, we should also evaluate c.g. behavior because of its relationship to contact time and take-off index.
An attempt was made to analyze the psychological impact of sports organizations on sports practitioners, and to develop a new theory of sports organizations on the basis of this concept. The study was based on the Japanese Football Association (JFA) and Japanese football players, and investigated whether those who were not registered with the JFA suffered from unease or anxiety as a result (i.e. pressure from the professional social structure). Most football players in Japan play football either as an extracurricular activity at an educational institution or at regional sports clubs. However, a number of grass roots football players are subject to anxiety because they do not belong to any such institutions. To examine the JFA's role in helping such players dispel their anxiety, it is not effective to apply organizational theories that have been developed for use in the business world, even though these been used for previous studies of sports organizations. Such traditional organizational theories have handled sports organizations as corporate bodies, without considering the unique circumstances of sports. For the present study, therefore, a new viewpoint of sports organizations was developed based on the institutional theory of H.H. Garth and C.W. Mills, which contends that the character (psychological) structure of an individual is moulded by social (institutional) structure, being especially influenced by the “Head” of the institution. Here, evidence is presented to show that the JFA, as the “Head” of football institutions in Japan, exerts an especially strong influence on the psychology of football players. Moreover, it appears that football players who are not registered with the JFA and do not play under the auspices of educational or sports institutions suffer anxiety in situations such as being defeated in competitions, becoming lax with regard to educational matters, or when the JFA is perceived to lose prestige. Finally, based on this new theory of sports organizations, an attempt is made to show how anxiety is generated in non-registered football players by analyzing the historical relationship between the character structure and social structure of football players classified into nine groups.
This study examined the building and consolidation of a “New Taiwanese National Identity” through the 2001 Baseball World Cup (BWC) by focusing on national identity and the historical transformation of nationalism in Taiwan. Four ethnic groups have lived on Taiwan island from the 17th century: the genjumin minority, two groups of Han Chinese known as honshojin (the Min Nan and Hakka ethnic groups) and the mainlanders known as gaishojin. All of these groups have different forms of national identity and nationalism. The honshojin have lived in Taiwan from before the era of Japanese rule until now, and the gaishojin came from Mainland China after 1945. The different historical experiences of these Taiwanese people have formed the different national identities of Taiwan. First, this study tries to explain the identities and nationalism of the different ethnic groups in Taiwan from the Qing Dynasty until today. Baseball in Taiwan was started under Japanese rule, and the Taiwanese have always tried to find a conciliatory national identity through baseball events. Examination of this historical transition has revealed that a conciliatory Taiwanese national identity has been forged through baseball. The 2001 BWC provided an opportunity for all the people of Taiwan to be conscious of their Taiwanese nationality, and to strengthen their unity through baseball as a national sport. The president of the Republic of China (=Taiwan) Chen Shui-bian always used the phrases “We are Taiwanese” and “Our national sport is baseball” to gain the confidence of the Taiwanese people. Even in the China Times (the national newspaper of Taiwan), Chen's speeches and actions were reported to gain the trust of the general public. For this study, the general director of the CTBA, and the head coach and players of the national baseball team were interviewed, and they also agreed that the team representing Chinese Taipei is the representative of Taiwan. As a result, it was shown that the 2001 BWC influenced the consciousness of the Taiwanese people, to forge and to strengthen a “New Taiwan National Identity”. Furthermore, a close correlation between baseball and politics in Taiwan was revealed, each having a considerable influence on the other.
The purpose of this study was to clarify the characteristic of attention concentration in kendo practitioners in comparison with non-kendo practitioners. The participants were 18 university students who were active members of a kendo team (Kendo Group) and 18 who were active members of either a kyudo team or an archery team (Non-Kendo Group). For the experiment, a Go-NoGo task was used as a stimulus discrimination test. Eyeblink and response times were measured in a preliminary stimulation (S1) at between −1000—4000 ms, and we studied the relationship of response time and eyeblinking with stimulus and completion ability determined by the win percentage or accuracy rate. Time distributions in the analysis study were designated as 0—1000 ms after S1 as Interval A, and 0—1000 ms and 1000—2000 ms after the discriminative stimulus (S2) as Intervals B and C respectively. The occurrence of the initial eyeblink was studied in each interval. Among the 260 total trials, the ratio, calculated as the number of eyeblinks that initially occurred at Interval A divided by 260, was designated the “Forewarning eyeblink ratio.” Likewise, the ratio of initial eyeblinks that occurred in Interval B was designated the “Early occurrence ratio (%)”. The ratio of initial eyeblinks that occurred not in interval B, but in interval C, was designated the “Late occurrence ratio (%).” Although there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of “Forewarning eyeblink ratio” and “Early occurrence ratio”, the “Early occurrence ratio” was significantly higher for NoGo tasks than for Go tasks. The “Late occurrence ratio” was significantly higher in the Kendo Group than in the Non-Kendo group. Also, ratios for Go tasks were significantly higher than for NoGo tasks in the Kendo Group. A significant relationship was found between competitive ability and the “Late occurrence ratio” in the Kendo Group that was not evident in the Non-Kendo group. With regard to the influence of eyeblink on competitive ability in the Kendo Group, covariance structure analysis of common latent variables such as Zanshin, which exist in the background of Go and NoGo tasks associated with the “Late occurrence ratio”, revealed a significant relationship to “Competitive ability”. The above results indicating the continuation of eyeblink restraint after the task response in the Kendo Group appear to reflect the training method known as Zanshin, which involves continuously striving to grasp the opponent's intended movement after striking. Thus, the characteristic attention concentration of kendo practitioners known as Zanshin was reflected in the eyeblink data.
Konjo is the willpower necessary to endure suffering, and for making an effort, having become a word in daily use in society, as well as in sports. The purpose of this study was to clarify the opportunity and the factors responsible for the transformation of konjo in Japanese society in the 1960s. Our study focused on three points: 1) Clarifying how the meaning of the word konjo changed in the 1960s, from its dictionary definition and usage in newspaper articles. 2) Clarifying the situation in which konjo became popular through the Tokyo Olympic Games, and its spread to the sports community and to society. 3) Considering the factors responsible for the transformation of konjo, and to propose a hypothesis that could account for it. Our conclusions were as follows: 1) The meaning of konjo evolved from a negative context of “a fundamental character and mindset with which a person is born” to a positive context of “a strong, resilient character that cannot be suppressed” and “a strong motivation to accomplish an aim” at the beginning of the 1960s. 2) Konjo was considered to the spiritual keynote for athletes at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Hirobumi Daimatsu's “konjo theory” had the persuasive reason by winning “Oriental Witches” championship at the Tokyo Olympics. In view of these factors, we considered that konjo was interpreted as a popularized moral virtue by society, and impacted on both education and popular culture. 3) We considered that the concept of konjo became transformed and was used to promote competitiveness in sports at the Tokyo Olympics as part of the strategy for “character building”. It also played a role in bolstering human resources that played a key role in economic development during the 1960s, and thus was of strategic value. The considerations listed above show that the Tokyo Olympic Games played an important role in the transformation of the concept of konjo in the 1960s.
The present study was conducted to clarify points for attention, and to determine an effective method for the single-leg rebound-type jump (SRJ) and double-leg rebound-type jump (DRJ) in plyometrics, by investigating the joint kinematics and kinetics of the takeoff leg in the sagittal plane. Twelve male track and field athletes (sprinters and jumpers) performed the SRJ and DRJ with maximal effort. Jumping motions in the sagittal plane were videotaped with a high-speed video camera (300 Hz), and ground reaction force was recorded with a force platform (1000 Hz). Kinematics and kinetics were calculated. To evaluate the force output characteristics for a single leg in the DRJ, the ground reaction force was divided into half, and the data were used to calculate the other kinetic parameters. The overall results of these analyses were as follows: 1. In the SRJ, the jump height for a single leg and the landing height for a single leg were higher than in the DRJ because of the higher mechanical power used during the eccentric and concentric phases. 2. In the SRJ, the negative relative work at the ankle joint was smaller and the negative and positive relative work at the hip joint was larger than in the DRJ. These results affected the characteristics of the SRJ in that although the jump height was higher for a single leg because of the greater mechanical work, the force output time was longer. 3. In the SRJ, the joint extension torque at the hip joint was larger than that in the DRJ. This may have been caused by the greater landing height for a single leg, higher body weight on a single leg, and the leg swing motion. 4. The RJ-index for the SRJ was correlated with that for the DRJ. Moreover, the RJ-index for the SRJ was affected by the joint torque and joint torque power at the ankle and hip joints. These results suggest that the DRJ and SRJ are effective training tools for improving both technique and force output ability in order to (1) prioritize the power output at the ankle plantar flexor in the DRJ and (2) prioritize the power output at the hip extensor and increase the ground reaction force and hip extension torque by leg swing motion for the SRJ. These findings are useful for clarifying the points for attention and for developing an effective method of using the SRJ and DRJ in plyometrics.
Technique training is one of the most important components of high jump training (Killing, 1996). Since technique training in athletics can be defined as an individual process of approaching a given technical model, technical models play a crucial role in efficient technique training (Tidow, 1981, 1990). However, recent qualitative analysis of the high jump technique faces a difficulty in presenting strict technical models (Ritzdorf, 2008b). The purpose of this study was to reveal the problems that hinder the development of qualitative analysis of the high jump technique, and to identify the necessary steps for further research. The basic concept, objective, and methodology of the qualitative analysis of techniques in sport were discussed. Previous studies that could be regarded as providing qualitative analysis of the high jump technique were then collected, referring to lists of relevant literature (Schiffer, 2005a, 2005b, 2009). These studies were critically reviewed, and the development of qualitative analysis of the high jump technique was summarized. In the 1970s, the flop technique was classified into two types: the speed flop and the power flop (Doherty, 1977; Tancic, 1978). In the following decade, coaches and researchers began to think that power floppers were “extinct,” and the speed flop became the dominant technique in the high jump (e.g. Killing, 1989). However, subsequent analyses of the high jump technique revealed that there were many technical variations of the speed flop (Killing, 1994b, 1994c), and analysts faced a dilemma in that although a strict technical model was needed to optimize technique training, the high jump allows a wide range of technical variation, and thus technical models cannot be restrictive. This dilemma resulted from the rigid dichotomy between the speed flop and the power flop. However, techniques in sport are not rigid dogmas, but are in a state of continuous development (Meinel, 1960, p. 249). Thus, this dilemma can be resolved by updating the classification of the flop technique, and it is concluded that this update should be further subjected to qualitative analysis.
This study was conduct to understand how women's physical education was promoted during the development of Japan, focusing especially on the Taisho era (1912-1926). First, I reviewed critical opinions about physical education for women prevalent during this period, in order to reveal details of difficulties in promoting it. Secondly, through collection of relevant documents, I examined the measures for promotion of women's physical education that had been discussed during this period. Thirdly, I reviewed the criticism of these promotion measures, in order to reveal the tendencies and problems prevalent at the time. On the basis of these reviews, I consider that the main reasons why the promotion of women's physical education was not successful in the Taisho era were: 1) women's physical education was not consistent with the traditional social norm of the time, 2) theoretical studies of physical education had not yet been developed, and 3) people at that timetended to regard ‘unhealthy-looking’ women as beautiful (for example in the works of Takehisa Yumeji). Since it was difficult to solve these problems, some advocates tried to promote women's physical education by emphasizing the beneficial effects of gymnastics rather than conducting theoretical studies. This was promoted by proactively creating a new concept of women's physical education such as appreciation for ‘health and beauty’. The measures for promotion of physical education for women in the Taisho era placed emphasis on advertising physical education more effectively rather than improving it qualitatively. The promotion of women's physical education in this manner was criticized by other advocates of physical education, and I consider that this was one reason why the quality of women's physical education remained low.
The rate of perceived exertion is an easy and practical way to monitor the intensity of resistance exercise in a field setting. For middle-aged persons, weight-bearing exercise is safer than resistance training using weights. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of exercises using one's own body weight by measuring exercise intensity with the newly-developed perceived exertion Japanese scale (S-scale, on a 6-point scale) in middle-aged men. Twenty-five healthy men (age range, 40-70 years) were randomly and equally assigned to an exercise training intervention group (TG, n=13) or a control group (CG, n=12). TG members performed a structured exercise regimen consisting of group-based and home-based training using their own bodyweight, performing repetitions until they reached a perceived exertion intensity of 5 out of 6 (S-scale). Participants performed one set of each exercise, which included resistance training of the upper (push-up) and lower (squat) limbs and abdominal (sit-up) muscles, 3 times a week for 12 weeks. The outcome measures were body composition, abdominal girth, and blood pressure, as well as the 30-second chair-stand test (CS-30), vertical force in sit-to-stand movement from a chair, vertical jump (VJ), shoulder horizontal adduction (a test of muscle strength), 30-second sit-up test, leg muscle power using a bicycle ergometer, center of foot pressure (a static equilibrium function test), and chair sit-and-reach test. There were no incidents of injury or musculoskeletal damage due to the exercise program. At the baseline, each group was well matched in physical characteristics. After 12 weeks of intervention, we identified a statistically significant two-factor interaction between the exercise and control groups in the CS-30 (F=19.8, p<0.01) and VJ (F=34.4, p<0.01). These results suggest that weight-bearing exercises performed in conjunction with the newly-developed perceived exertion scale provide safe and effective resistance training for middle-aged men.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the important kinesthesia perceived by college swimmers to enhance swimming skill enhancement. A psychological scale test was employed and the components of the kinesthesia were analyzed. Additionally, we examined the correlations between these components and performance level, gender, swimming distance type and differences in swimming style. Questionnaire forms were completed by 375 Japanese college swimmers, and data for 296 subjects (age: 19.7±1.1 yr) were included after elimination of erroneous data. Twelve questions were presented with answers on a seven-point Likert scale (from 1 Extremely disagree to 7 Extremely agree) regarding the kinesthesia perceived by the swimmers as being important for swimming skill enhancement. The data were analyzed using factor analysis with promax rotation. Higher scores were observed for self-motion (i.e. focusing on internal kinesthesia), which indicated that swimming is a characteristic “closed skill”. After factor analysis of the twelve questions, three main factors emerged: “somatic sense”, “time control” and “special sense”. The swimmers placed special emphasis on “somatic sense” and “time control”, indicating that these kinesthesia are important for swimming skill enhancement. There was no correlation between these factors and performance level or sex. These results indicate that performance level and sex are not related to the degree of kinesthesia perceived during swimming in college students. Long-distance swimmers placed emphasis on “time control”, and breast stroke swimmers emphasized “somatic sense”. We suggest that the present questionnaire could be employed on a practical basis as an index for evaluation of internal changes in swimming skill.
The purposes of this study were to develop an assistant tool to acquiring an effective sprinting movement in children and to examine the effectiveness of this tool. The study participants were 66 6th grade elementary school children. We planned three class hours for acquiring the sprinting movement: pre-test at the first class, practice at the second class and post-test at the third class. The main results were as follows; 1) Sprinting speed, the 50 m sprint time. stride length and step frequency after practice were significantly improved than those before practice. 2) The lower group in the max thigh elevation angle in the pre-test increased the max thigh elevation angle from the pre-test to the post-test although the higher group in the max thigh elevation angle in the pre-test did not increase. 3) The higher group in the max knee flexion angle in the pre-test decreased the max knee flexion angle from the pre-test to the post-test although the lower group in the max knee flexion angle in the pre-test did not decrease. These results suggest that the assistant tool developed in this study is effective for improving the sprinting ability of elementary school children, being especially effective for children who have a relatively high knee flexion angle and those who have a relatively small thigh elevation angle.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate sprint time during zigzag running among short-distance track and field runners (n=9), long-distance track and field runners (n=10), basketball players (n=13), and soccer players (n=8), and to determine the ability of the various competitive groups to change their running direction. Zigzag running involved weaving through cones arranged along a 15-m line with 4 different intervals between the cones (i.e. 1, 1.5, 2, or 3 m). Also in a separate study, nine subjects performed zigzag running with the above four inter-cone intervals every day for 11 days to determine the interval that was most effective for improving their ability to change direction. The results indicated that the basketball players had the best ability to change direction during zigzag running using all of the inter-cone intervals, while the short-distance track and field runners were the slowest at 1-m-width and 1.5-m-width zigzag running. Training failed to improve 1-m-width and 1.5-m-width zigzag running, but improved sprint time for the 2-m and 3-m inter-cone intervals (P<0.05). In conclusion, zigzag running with an inter-cone interval of either 2 m or 3 m can significantly improve the ability of athletes to change direction in order to sidestep opponents, possibly due to the fact that ball game athletes are able to combine both open and closed steps in their running techniques, whereas only open steps are possible for intervals below 2 m.
The purpose of this study was to compare the physiological and morphological characteristics of J. Ndambiri, a Kenyan world-class long-distance runner (10,000 m personal best: 27:04.79), with runners belonging to the national corporate team (29:32.18±0:30.35). Oxygen uptake (VO2), heart rate, blood lactate concentration and stride frequency were measured during submaximal exercise on a treadmill (270, 290, 310, 330, 350 and 370 m/min velocities with 1% inclination). Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) was determined during the maximal exercise test. In addition, morphological parameters (length of thigh and shank, maximum circumference of thigh and shank, and cross-sectional area of the trunk, thigh and shank muscles) were determined using a tape measure and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Ndambiri was superior to Japanese runners in terms of not only running economy (65.0 vs 69.8±1.9 ml/kg/min at 330 m/min), but also blood lactate concentration (1.50 vs 2.59±0.74 mmol/l at 330 m/min), heart rate (159.8 vs 170.8±4.0 bpm at 330 m/min) during the submaximal running test and VO2peak (80.8 vs 76.3±2.4 ml/kg/min). In addition, the morphological characteristics of Ndambiri were also quite different from those of Japanese runners. In particular, Ndambiri's maximum shank circumference was much smaller than that of Japanese runners (32.0 vs 35.8±1.8 cm). Furthermore, the cross-sectional area of the gastrocnemius muscle, which composes the shank, was significantly correlated with the oxygen cost of running at 330 m/min (r=0.700). These findings indicate that the superior performance of Ndambiri is attributable to various factors such as a higher VO2peak, lower blood lactate concentration and heart rate, as well as running economy. In the future, it will be necessary to clarify the factors supporting these relationships between physiological variables and morphological characteristics.
Previous studies have indicated that short-distance sprint ability is essential for achieving a high competitive level in soccer. However, there are no systematic data by which sprint ability in Japanese soccer players can be evaluated. The aim of this study was to develop an age-related evaluation chart for 20-meter sprinting time in male soccer players. The subjects were 807 high-level soccer players between 5th grade of elementary school and high school as well as 120 senior players including professionals. The sprinting time was measured on a grassed field using infrared photocell sensors with the subjects wearing soccer shoes. The sensors detected the release of the subject's rear foot at the start and the passing of the subject's trunk through the 20-meter position. The average time for field players decreased from 3.69(0.14) s for 5th graders to 2.98(0.08) s for seniors. The value for goalkeepers decreased from 3.79(0.12) to 3.07(0.11) s. Using the averages and standard deviations, an evaluation chart classifying the 20-meter sprinting time into 5 levels was presented for each age group. In addition, another chart taking birth date into account was also developed for 7th and 8th graders, since boys born earlier showed an advantage in the sprinting time. The time ranking for the fastest group in field players was less than 2.93 s for 9th graders and 2.86 s in seniors, resulting in a difference of only 0.07 s. In contrast, the value ranking for the slowest group exceeded 3.31 s for 9th graders and 3.11 s for seniors, resulting in a difference of 0.20 s. This implies that soccer players having lower sprint ability may drop out from the selection process as they get older. This evaluation chart can be useful for identifying the short-distance sprinting ability of soccer players in each age group.
Generally, typical physical activities (e.g. walking and cycling) increase positive affect and decrease negative affect. However, few studies have investigated the effects on mood of activities that are frequently pursued during leisure time (e.g. dynamic stretching and video games). The purpose of the present study was to investigate the influences of different types of physical activity on mood. We selected 16 activities (kendama, active video games [“Wii Sports” tennis, baseball, boxing], static and dynamic stretching, jumping rope, step exercise, table tennis, darts, ball juggling, cycling, balance ball exercise, golf putting, walking, and dumbbell exercise) for investigation and divided them into 4 protocols. The duration of each activity was 10 min, except for dynamic stretching and step exercise (3 min). Fifteen young adults (8 males and 7 females) participated in at least 2 protocols (8 activities). Before and after each activity, levels of arousal and pleasure were measured using a two-dimensional mood scale. Metabolic equivalent (MET) as an index of exercise intensity was monitored throughout all activities using a portable indirect calorimeter (MetaMax 3B). The changes in arousal and pleasure levels were tested by paired t test. The influence of activity type on changes in arousal and pleasure levels was analyzed by ANCOVA (factor: activity type 16 levels; covariate: METs) using a Mixed model. In ANCOVA models, the influence of each activity was evaluated in comparison with walking. All activities except static stretching (p=0.199) significantly increased the arousal level (p<0.010). The pleasure level was significantly increased after 3 sessions of active video games, static stretching, table tennis, and balance ball exercise (p<0.044). The results of the ANCOVA models revealed that the main effect of activity type on changes in arousal and pleasure levels was significant (p≤0.007), while MET showed no significant regression coefficient (p≥0.075). Increases in pleasure level during an active video game (baseball) and table tennis were significantly higher than during walking (p≤0.025), whereas the influence of step exercise was significantly lower than during walking. These findings suggest that physical activity generally increases arousal level independently of exercise intensity, and that performing activities with another person such as conducting active video games or table tennis, significantly increases pleasure level in comparison to walking.
The purpose of this study was to verify the applicability of the Wingate test (WT) for evaluation of anaerobic capacity and performance in sprinters, based on the relationships among the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (MAOD) during cycling, accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD-WT), and output power during the WT. Eight 400-m sprinters (SP group; 49.29±1.56 s) and six decathletes (DC group; 50.29±1.27 s) participated. They performed the WT on an electromagnetically braked cycle ergometer. The applied resistance was 7.5% of body weight, and the duration was 60 s. Moreover, anaerobic capacity (MAOD) was determined using a supramaximal constant load test. The oxygen uptake during each test was recorded using the breath-by-breath method. The results were as follows: 1) There was no significant difference between MAOD during cycling and AOD-WT, and a significant correlation between these parameters was evident. 2) In the SP group, there were significant correlations between 400-m performance and MAOD during cycling, and the mean power at 30 s in the WT. However, no significant correlations were observed in the DC group. These results suggest that in sprinters, the applicability of the WT for evaluation of anaerobic capacity and sprint performance differs between cycling exercise and running exercise.
The present study was conducted to clarify the actual conditions of daily life and sport activity for female wheelchair basketball athletes with physical disability, and to analyze the similarities and differences between Japan and other countries. A survey was conducted during the International Wheelchair Basketball Friendship Games Osaka Cup, which was held on February 19-21, 2009, and attended by Japan, Australia, Canada and the USA. A questionnaire based on the previous studies of Warkings (2004) and Woodson (2008) was distributed to a total of 43 athletes, and the main results were as follows: Similarities: 1) Motivation or will to win was very strong among athletes who were facing fierce competition. 2) For this reason, the athletes hoped for the more professional support to help them improve and develop their skills and techniques for wheelchair basketball. 3) The athletes expressed concern about the expenditure, as well as the time required, for training and competition, and therefore hoped for some form of financial assistance. 4) The athletes hoped for more facilities that were gender-friendly, as well as barrier-free. 5) The athletes were aware of a feeling of unity or bonding with team-mates through their practice, as well as in games. There was a common feeling that among athletes, there is no distinction as to whether or not people have physical disability, or the country they are living in. Differences: 1) Japanese athletes wanted more information via various media, whereas athletes from other countries wanted extensive access to the Internet. 2) Japanese athletes expressed a wish for better job opportunities or work conditions, whereas foreign athletes hoped to raise public awareness of the need for financial support. 3) Japanese athletes considered that more media exposure would increase public understanding about the disabled, whereas athletes from other countries hoped for improvements in public education about disability.
It can be argued that most of the countries of the world are industrial developing countries. After World War II, industrially developed countries drew lessons from the past, and initiated continuous support to ensure global stability. Unfortunately, however, no tangible progress was made, and many countries are still struggling for peace and social stability. In these circumstances, the United Nations has released a 10-year plan for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This encompasses a number of novel viewpoint and methods, including the concept of “International Development through Sport” (IDS), which has been operating as a pilot project. Even though the importance of sport has begun to be recognized worldwide, there has also been an undermining of the value of physical education (PE). Against this background, it seems necessary to investigate the situation of PE in the context of educational reform in developing countries. In the present study we conducted a comprehensive analysis of plans for future diffusion of PE in Cambodia from a policy perspective, and attempted to define the conditions and challenges of recent educational reforms. There are two approaches for analyzing PE dissemination: comprehensive overview of “law and policy” and “actual conditions and activities”, along with policy and education history. Through this approach, it was demonstrated that are many accumulated problems to be solved in educational development, and that have proved to be obstacles to PE dissemination in Cambodia. Furthermore, it was revealed that training of both pre-service and in-service teachers, which is a common policy concern in other subject fields, is essential in order to secure the implementation of PE. Irrespective of viewpoint, future diffusion of PE is a problem that can be solved only through short-term and long-term efforts focusing on model schools in each region to ensure the source of qualified teachers, and that is a link between primary schools and teacher training centers to secure regional centers for diffusion of PE in the short term. It should help to lay a firm foundation for the study on the method of educational technology in PE by consolidating statistical analysis of PE with central and regional administration, and establishing faculties of education and PE departments that will ensure the lasting growth of PE as an educational discipline.