February 2017 Update

In this edition of the ASGA Update you’ll find articles about:


linkedin logo   

Paying employees to exercise at work

The CEO of IT firm Hootsuite has written an engaging article about the importance of companies enabling their staff to exercise at work.

In the article, CEO Ryan Homes said that although his company isn’t a gym, he’s built fitness into how they work. He did that because “For health, for morale and, yes, for the bottom line, it’s the best decision we could have made. And it didn’t require much of an investment or sacrifice — just a commitment to enable exercise in the office.”

“When we moved into our headquarters several years ago, we installed a small gym and yoga studio, as well as showers and changing rooms. Facilities are modest compared to those at some companies, but they’re well used.”

He goes on to say that “when it comes to promoting fitness on the job, dedicated facilities and organized teams like these are hardly necessities. Having the right workplace culture is far more important.”

To read more about how important it is to have active employees, please read Ryan’s article on LinkedIn.


The Sun Newspaper logo   

Running helps kids perform better in school

An article in The Sun newspaper in the UK, by journalist Mike Ridley, discusses how running a mile a day improves the performance of children at school.

According to the article, students “who ran a Daily Mile performed up to 25 per cent higher than expected in reading, writing and maths. They were also fitter, more confident and better behaved.”

Around 500,000 primary school children in the UK do the Daily Mile, which involves leaving their classroom for 15 minutes to run, jog or walk in uniform.

Last April, 76 students at Coppermill Primary School in Walthamstow, East London, were monitored during their Daily Mile by sports scientists Fitmedia Ltd.

Headteacher Figen Bektasoglu said: “The Daily Mile does not make children brighter but more focused, attentive and ready to work. It’s amazing.”

Please click on this link to read the article in full.


ALM logo   

Australian sport has more than 51 million social media followers

An article on Australasian Leisure Management show how Australian sport has more than 51 million social media followers, with Facebook accounting for more than two thirds of the total.

According to new research by Shunt Creative sport on Facebook is growing at a rate of just under 2 per cent for the period November-December 2016. Twitter grew by 3.45 per cent while Instagram outstripped its more established competition at 4.17 per cent for the same period.

The heavy-hitters of Australian sport all figure highly in the 20 largest social media followings nationally with cricket, AFL, NRL, FFA and rugby at or near the top of the social tables.

In total there are 1,340 accounts currently being tracked across all states and territories by Shunt’s ‘50Mil’ project that include sporting organisations, franchised teams, events and venues.

For more insight into how Australian sport is tracking across social media, please read the article on the ALM website.


sporttechie logo   

Taiwanese start-up creates first ‘smart’ baseball

According to an article on Sport Techie, Taiwanese start-up Jingle LLC successfully achieved its Kickstarter goal of $25,000 to help fund production of “Strike,” a spin-tracking, velocity-reading and trajectory-mapping smart baseball.

Jingle carefully designed Strike to mimic the exact specifications of a Major League baseball. The company’s first public product offering is emblazoned with blue laces rather than red, but weighs an identical five ounces and is wrapped in a genuine leather cover that meets Major League specifications.

The guts, or maybe brains, of Strike are what set it apart. The smart baseball’s core boasts an electronic board equipped with an inertial measurement unit (IMU) along with a gyroscope and Bluetooth capabilities.

Strike is the first smart baseball that will track metrics like spin rate and spin axis, according to the company’s Kickstarter page. Trackable metrics and analytics play a key role in the modern day evaluation of professional and amateur pitchers.

To read more about the Strike smart baseball, please visit the Sport Techie site.


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Sport specialisation leads to more injuries

An article on the Athletic Business website discusses a study that measured the injury rates for student-athletes in conjunction with sport specialisation.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Wisconsin on behalf of the National Federation of High School Associations, found that athletes specialising in one sport—and especially those who train for that sport year-round—are 70 percent more likely to sustain a lower extremity injury, as they are putting undue stress on a concentrated group of muscles, bones and ligaments.

Muscle and ligament sprains were found to be the most common lower-extremity injury among student-athletes, most commonly reported in the ankle or knee. Sprains accounted for 59.4 percent of injuries reported in the study.

Researchers looked at the “rate of specialisation” among 1,544 athletes, measuring how much time was taken away from friends, family and participation in other activities in order to concentrate on one primary sport.

They found that 41 percent of female student-athletes reported specialising, while 28 percent of male student-athletes reported the same. Among soccer players, which the study found to be the most common primary sport, 50 percent of both male and female athletes reported specialising.

For more information about how sports specialisation can lead to injuries, please visit the Athletic Business website.


Sport England logo   

New English stats show levels of physical activity

An article on the Sport England website discusses the results from the latest round of the Active Lives Survey, which asks 200,000 English people, aged 16 and over, about the sport and physical activities they take part in.

Figures from the survey show that 25.6 per cent of adults are currently inactive, although there are some big differences within these numbers.

People in the highest socio economic groups tend to be more active than those in the lower groups and you’re significantly more likely to be inactive if you’re over 55 years old. 51 per cent of disabled people with three or more impairments are inactive, compared to 21 per cent of people without disabilities.

In contrast, 60.7 per cent of adults (or 27 million) do at least 150 minutes of activity per week, meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines for weekly activity.

More men than women are physically active, especially in sporting activities. People in the highest socioeconomic group are more likely to be active than any other group, and as people get older, activity levels decrease steadily.

To read more, or to get a copy of the results of the Survey, please visit the Sport England website.


NY Times Logo   

Moving equals happiness

When people get up and move, even a little, they tend to be happier than when they are still, according to an interesting new study that used cellphone data to track activities and moods.

According to an article by Gretchen Reynolds in the New York Times, the researchers found people who move are more content than people who sit.

While there is already significant research linking movement to psychological health, for the new study, which was published this month in PLoS One, researchers at the University of Cambridge in England decided to look at correlations between movement and happiness, that most positive of emotions. In addition, they would look at what people reported about their activity and compare it with objective measures of movement.

To accomplish these goals, they first developed a special app for Android phones, which was downloaded by more than 10,000 people. The app randomly sent requests to people throughout the day, asking them to answer questions about their mood.

After a few weeks they began answering additional questions about whether, in the past 15 minutes, they had been sitting, standing, walking, running, lying down or doing something else.

They also were asked about their mood at that moment.

At the same time, during the 17 months of the study, the app gathered data from the activity monitor that is built into almost every smartphone today. In essence, it checked whether someone’s recall of how much he or she had been moving in the past quarter-hour tallied with the numbers from the activity monitor.

In general, the information provided by users and the data from activity monitors was almost exactly the same.

To find out more about this research please read the article on the New York Times website.


Childwise logo   

Olympic success has encouraged more girls into sport

Recent Olympic success by female UK athletes may finally be paying off, according to a new report from CHILDWISE, which shows that the proportion of girls aged 15-16 taking part in sport at school has risen dramatically since 2015.

Three in four girls this age are now doing some sort of sport at school, with more than half participating in sport both at school and in their own free time, reveals the new independent data from the CHILDWISE Monitor 2017.

In 2015, just half of girls aged 15-16 said that they took part in any sport at school, with two in three doing some sport outside of school, and only two in five doing both sport in and out of school.

“Girls aged 15-16 have always been the group least likely to take part in any sport, at school or outside school, but the news that more of them are now doing sport at school is very encouraging,” says Simon Leggett, Research Director from CHILDWISE, in a media release.

To read more about the report please see the media release on the CHILDWISE website.