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Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2013-14

February 20, 2015 Comments off

Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2013-14
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Of the Australian population aged 15 years and over, an estimated 60% (11.1 million people) reported that they had participated in sport and physical recreation at least once during the 12 months prior to the interview in 2013–14, compared with 65% in 2011-12.

Participation generally decreased with age. People aged 15–17 years reported the highest participation rate in sport and physical recreation (74%), while people aged 65 years and over had the lowest (47%). Male and female participation rates were similar, except in the 25-34 age group where participation rates were higher for males (67%) than females (61%).

The highest participation rate for sport and physical recreation was in the Australian Capital Territory (73%), while the other states ranged from 54% in Queensland to 67% in Tasmania.

Walking for exercise was the most popular physical recreational activity, with 19% of people aged 15 years and over walking for exercise at least once in the 12 months prior to interview. Females were more likely to walk for exercise than males (25% and 14% respectively). Fitness and gym were the next most popular activity (17%) again with more females than males participating (19% and 16% respectively). Males were more likely than females to play golf (6.6% and 1.4% respectively) or participate in cycling and BMXing (8.5% and 4.0% respectively).

Quantifying the Contribution of Public Parks to Physical Activity and Health: Introducing SOPARC

February 13, 2015 Comments off

Quantifying the Contribution of Public Parks to Physical Activity and Health: Introducing SOPARC
Source: RAND Corporation

As important venues for physical activity, public parks contribute to the health and well-being of the communities that surround them. It is therefore in the best interests of park administrators to have a method to measure this contribution. This paper introduces the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC), a reliable, valid, and easy-to-use tool for quantifying park use and park-based physical activity. Park administrators should understand how to use SOPARC to collect data that justify expenditures in parks and recreation departments. To that end, this paper lays out in some detail what SOPARC is and how it is used, as well as provides background information on the importance of physical activity to health.

ISAF 2014 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary

February 12, 2015 Comments off

ISAF 2014 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary
Source: Florida Museum of Natural History (University of Florida)

The International Shark Attack File investigated 130 incidents of alleged shark-human interaction occurring worldwide in 2014. Upon review, 72 of these incidents represented confirmed cases of unprovoked shark attacks on humans. “Unprovoked attacks” are defined as incidents where an attack on a live human by a shark occurs in its natural habitat without human provocation of the shark. Incidents involving sharks and divers in public aquaria or research holding-pens, shark-inflicted scavenge damage to already dead humans (most often drowning victims), attacks on boats, and other incidents involving provocation by humans occurring in or out of the water are not considered unprovoked attacks. “Provoked attacks” usually occur when a human initiates physical contact with a shark, e.g. a diver bitten after grabbing a shark, attacks on spearfishers and those feeding sharks, bites occurring while unhooking or removing a shark from a fishing net, etc. The 58 incidents not accorded unprovoked status in 2014 included 33 provoked attacks, nine interactions involving a shark biting a motorized or non-motorized vessel (“boat attack”), four incidents regarded as not involving a shark (“doubtful”), one case involving sinking ships or downed aircraft (“air-sea disaster”), two incidents involving post-mortem bites (“scavenge”), and nine cases in which data is unavailable to determine if an unprovoked shark attack occurred (“insufficient evidence”).

Success is Something to Sneeze at: Influenza Mortality in Regions that Send Teams to the Super Bowl

February 9, 2015 Comments off

Success is Something to Sneeze at: Influenza Mortality in Regions that Send Teams to the Super Bowl (PDF)
Source: Tulane University

Using county-level Vital Statistics of the United States data from 1974-2009, we employ a differences-in-differences framework comparing influenza mortality rates in Super Bowl-participating counties to non-participants. Having a local team in the Super Bowl causes an 18% increase in influenza deaths for the population over age 65, with evidence suggesting one mechanism is increased local socialization. Effects are most pronounced in years when the dominant influenza strain is more virulent, or when the Super Bowl occurs closer to the peak of influenza season. Mitigating influenza transmission at gatherings related to large spectator events could have substantial returns for public health.

A Critical Examination of Child Protection Initiatives in Sport Contexts

January 29, 2015 Comments off

A Critical Examination of Child Protection Initiatives in Sport Contexts
Source: Social Sciences

With the broadening of focus on child maltreatment beyond intra-familial settings, there is growing awareness of occurrences of maltreatment within the sport context. Millions of children participate in organized sport annually, and despite a tendency to view sport as a context by which to enhance the overall health and development of children, it is also a context in which children are vulnerable to experiences of maltreatment. The well-documented power ascribed to coaches, the unregulated nature of sport and a “win-at-all-costs” approach contribute to a setting that many propose is conducive to maltreatment. A number of high profile cases of sexual abuse of athletes across several countries in the 1990s prompted sport organizations to respond with the development of child protection measures. This study examined seven child protection in sport initiatives in terms of the extent to which they originated from research, had content that was consistent with scholarly work and were evaluated empirically. The findings indicated that these initiatives were not empirically derived nor evaluated. Recommendations are made to more closely align research with these initiatives in order to protect children and to promote a safe and growth-enhancing experience for young participants in sport.

Are attractive female tennis players more successful? An empirical analysis

January 28, 2015 Comments off

Are attractive female tennis players more successful? An empirical analysis
Source: Institute for Organisational Economics

This study examines whether there is a relationship between physical attractiveness of professional female tennis players ranked in the top 100 of the tennis world ranking in 2011 and their sporting success in terms of earned prize money and winning probabilities. OLS-regressions reveal a significantly positive relationship between physical attractiveness and sporting success in terms of prize money for the years 2012 and 2013 as well as for the whole career. Furthermore, a logit-model shows that the larger the difference in physical attractiveness is, the higher is the winning probability for the more attractive player in individual matches.

Survey | Ahead of Super Bowl, Nearly Three-in-Ten Americans Support Lifetime Ban for Football Players Who Commit Domestic Violence

January 26, 2015 Comments off

Survey | Ahead of Super Bowl, Nearly Three-in-Ten Americans Support Lifetime Ban for Football Players Who Commit Domestic Violence
Source: Public Religion Research Institute

Nearly one-in-three Americans (29%) say that a football player who has been found guilty of domestic violence should be permanently banned from playing in the NFL. Nearly 6-in-10 (59%) Americans say that a player who has been found guilty of domestic violence should be temporarily suspended but allowed to return. Nearly 1-in-10 (8%) Americans say the NFL should take no formal action against such a player.

Although there are no statistically significant differences between sports fans’ and non-sports fans’ support for a permanent ban for players convicted of domestic violence (28% vs. 32%), there are notable differences among sports fans by gender. Thirty-six percent of female sports fans support banning a player from the NFL for life, compared to 21% of male sports fans.

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