Tuesday, April, 02, 2013
Smartphones Newest Tool in Concussion Testing
The latest advancements in technology have opened another door for advancements in concussion diagnostics, as well. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have developed a software program that can turn a tablet or smartphone into an on-the-spot concussion diagnostic tool simply by analyzing the speech patterns of the person suspected of having a concussion."This project is a great example of how mobile computing and sensing technologies can transform healthcare," says Christian Poellabauer, an associate professor of computer science and engineering who was part of the team that developed the software. "More important, because almost 90 percent of concussions go unrecognized, this technology offers tremendous potential to reduce the impact of concussive and sub-concussive hits to the head."
The program still requires baseline testing, though less rigorous and involved than testing that uses MRI or CT scan imaging. Athletes record a voice sample before a game using a smartphone or tablet equipped with the software program. Should a brain injury be suspected, the player is asked to repeat a selection of words that the software analyzes for signs of brain trauma, which could include distorted vowels, hyper nasality or imprecise consonants.
Tuesday, March, 26, 2013
Group Calls for Overhaul of California State Parks
The Little Hoover Commission, hired last year to examine operations of the California State Parks system, released a report on Monday calling for a major overhaul of parks' management and operations. Among the chief recommendations was outsourcing of some of the state's 280 parks that the department did not have the means of supporting.
- Thursday, March, 21, 2013
Blog: 'New' Concussion Guidelines?
The American Academy of Neurology released an updated set of concussion guidelines this week, calling for athletes to be removed from play if a concussion is suspected and not be allowed to return until cleared by a medical professional.
- Tuesday, March, 19, 2013
Fitness Industry Leader Charles M. Leighton Dies
Charles M. Leighton, the founder of the company responsible for making NordicTrack one of the most iconic and revolutionary lines of exercise equipment, has passed away. The NordicTrack line started with a single piece of at-home exercise equipment, a cross-country ski simulator, in 1975. Leighton's company, CML Group, acquired the equipment brand in the late 1980s and expanded the NordicTrack line to include treadmills, leg machines, cross-trainers, elliptical-style machines and more.
- Friday, March, 15, 2013
Parks Departments Regulate Private Fitness Classes
Santa Monica's Palisades Park is one of the city's most popular green spaces. Perhaps a little too popular. Stretching along the California coast, the park is an excellent place for a jog or leisurely stroll or just to relax and enjoy the ocean view. ...
- Monday, March, 11, 2013
Organizations Renew Call to Increase Physical Activity in Schools
The battle against childhood obesity rages on. Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report calling for - no surprise - increasing physical activity among children. A recent survey found that only 29 percent of high school students were meeting the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity specified in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans released in 2008.
- Wednesday, March, 06, 2013
Md. Bill Sparks Conversation About Lacrosse Safety
While a Maryland bill requiring girls' lacrosse players to wear headgear was met with an outcry of opposition from the lacrosse community and quickly withdrawn, its authors say it has served its purpose. As participation in girls' lacrosse has increased, so have concerns about player safety, most notably, the risk of concussion. (Currently, helmets and facemasks are mandated in men's lacrosse, while helmets are banned in women's lacrosse for all but goalkeepers.) Delegates Dana Stein and Jon Cardin say that the proposed bill "accomplished an important goal of pushing the conversation to include vital safety concerns and is a win-win for parents and youth athletes."
- Thursday, February, 28, 2013
MMA Boosts Kids' Confidence, Combats Bullying
The nation is seeing an increase in fighting among kids, and their parents are encouraging it. Already boasting a strong following among high school participants, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) classes have drawn more than 3 million children under the age of 13 across the country. While pro MMA organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship have given the sport a reputation for no-holds-barred blood baths, it's also gaining acceptance as an athletic discipline, spurred in great part by its preteen participants.Classes do teach kids to hit, kick and grapple, at a level appropriate for their age, but they also offer many of the same benefits kids get from participating in any other sport. "It's not about fighting," says Jonathan Burke, owner of The VI Levels MMA gym in Ocoee, Fla. "It's about getting in great physical shape, improving your mental focus and discipline." Moreover, MMA, built in part on the principles of various martial arts disciplines, teaches kids how to defend themselves. "There's such a problem with kids being bullied these days," says Jake Brennan, an instructor at GymX in Waco, Texas. "MMA gives them that boost of confidence to know they're alright walking around school."
The boost of confidence may do more to prevent bullying than the actual defensive skills taught. "Bullies tend to pick on people who are victims," explains Chris Conolley, owner of Spartan Fitness in Hoover, Ala. "These kids carry themselves different, they have the confidence to deal with someone messing with them."
- Wednesday, February, 13, 2013
City Offering Reduced Rec Fees on Poor Air Quality Days
Residents in Salt Lake County, Utah, will have an easier time getting their exercise on days when the air quality outdoors is too poor. The council has approved a measure that cuts daily admission fees in half on "red air" days, or days when the Utah Department of Environmental Quality deems the air unhealthy due to increased levels of pollutants such as carbon monoxide. On such days, residents are encouraged to limit outdoor exertion, especially those with lung-related health issues.
- Friday, February, 01, 2013
Group Calls for End to Full-Contact Hits in Football Offseason
The Sports Legacy Institute held a press conference in advance of Sunday's Super Bowl to announce a new initiative calling for all state high school athletic associations to ban full-contact practices and games during the offseason. Current and former NFL players, including Ravens center Matt Birk, Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and Chiefs Eric Winston were also present to show their support for the proposed ban.
Monday, June, 16, 2014
AB's Architectural Showcase a Yearlong Affair
The Architectural Showcase in June is the one issue of Athletic Business I look forward to most each year. It's also the issue I spend most of each year working on.
Friday, April, 04, 2014
Blog: Wine at the Gym? I’ll Drink to That
Cardio equipment? Check. Towel service? Check. Group exercise schedule? Check. Liquor license? Pending.
Thursday, February, 27, 2014
Blog: Let Them Eat Cake, If They So Choose
On Tuesday, the White House announced a series of new initiatives as part of the fourth anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” program. Many of them are a great step forward in the battle against childhood obesity and inactivity, including an expansion of the school breakfast program and a five-year partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association and Boys & Girls Clubs of America will provide 5 million children with healthy snacks and physical activity opportunities after school.
Monday, January, 13, 2014
Blog: Women-Only Fitness Zones Perpetuate Stereotypes
Here at AB, it’s the editors’ job to stay on top of what’s happening in the industries we serve. As such, last Friday I came across an article about a gym in Vancouver getting some flak for its decision to close its women-only section.
Thursday, October, 10, 2013
Blog: If You Can't Beat 'Em… Beat 'Em Up!
I was sitting in a hotel lobby surrounded by other people when I opened up my morning news alerts and saw an article announcing the Kentucky High School Athletic Associations' decision to suspend post-game handshakes, so I had to keep my disgust to a minimum - a casual eye roll and understated sigh. Seriously? These athletes are displaying poor sportsmanship, and the solution to that is to do away with the concept? That's like dropping math from the curriculum because the students aren't getting it.
Friday, September, 20, 2013
Blog: Defending "The Slowest Generation"
Friday afternoon, when I should have been hard at work on AB's November issue, I instead found myself fuming over an article from Thursday's Wall Street Journal sent to me by our company owner. The article deemed younger athletes "The Slowest Generation," and accused my generation of being too apathetic about performance and competition.
- Thursday, March, 21, 2013
- In Texas, High School Gym Becomes Flood Shelter
- Pickleball, Bubble Soccer Catching On in Knoxville
- Premium Seat Plan Altered, Expedited at U. of Buffalo
- Man Guilty of Stealing $3K from Youth Sports Group
- A First: Lifeguard Shortage Delays City Pool Openings