By Ken Reed
Today, more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. We love our sports in this country but most of us prefer to watch rather than participate.
As a country, we need to become more physically active, not only to improve our physical health but our mental and emotional health as well.
League of Fans has long pushed “sports for all” initiatives and more cardiovascular-based physical education in our schools. It’s important to get Americans participating not only in team and individual sports but a variety of other physical activities. It’s one of our top objectives.
As such, I was intrigued when I came across a new, in-progress study that is designed to help people determine which sports and other physical activities might be the most engaging and enjoyable for them based on the relative characteristics of various physical activities.
To make the study’s findings more robust, the study’s lead investigators are looking for more people to participate in the study by taking a short (usually five minutes or less) survey. They need your help.
Here’s a short introduction to the study, followed by a link that will take you to the page that will allow you to take part in the survey:
There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of distinct physical activities. When looking for something physical to do, a person could choose an American classic like baseball, or a less famous sport like lacrosse.
One problem is that very few people have the time to experiment with many different physical activities. Also, people have different priorities when choosing physical activities to participate in. Some people may be particularly averse to injury, whereas others may be less concerned about minor injuries if the activity affords a high degree of creative expression. As far as we are aware, physical activities have not been ranked on a selection of characteristics such as these. Our objective is to change that!
To that end, we devised a survey. So far, data have been collected from students at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia. Twenty questions ask about the relative characteristics of two physical activities. These data are digested by a statistical program to convert the relative ratings into absolute rankings. You can already explore early results.
So far, most of our data are from college students. However, our plan is to open up the study to people with more diverse experience. A great deal more data is needed, across all demographics, to cover a broader spectrum of physical activities with greater accuracy. You are invited to participate. Most participants finish in fewer than 5 minutes.
This study is being conducted as a public service. Once data collection is complete, anonymized data and data analysis reports will be placed in the public domain. You can expect to eventually see these rankings reflected on sites like Wikipedia.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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