Exercise Science researchers share findings

June 10, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

Dr. Zach Zeigler (left) and Anthony Acevedo of GCU’s Exercise Science Department show their work.

GCU News Bureau

The Grand Canyon University Exercise Science Department’s Dr. Zach Zeigler and Anthony Acevedo presented their teams’ research recently at the annual American College of Sports Medicine Conference in San Diego.

The first presentation was titled “COVID-19 Pandemic Disruption and its Impact on Anthropometric Measurements in Collegiate Women Basketball Players.” Researchers on the study included Zeigler and Acevedo along with Riley Morton, Kyli Alvarez, Malia Nowlen and Estephania Campa.

During social withdrawal measures, GCU women’s basketball players’ training was interrupted, and it was imperative for them to continue a conditioning routine to maintain body composition and performance.

Women on the team received take-home periodized programs provided by the strength coach beginning in April 2021 to prepare them for their return to campus in June. Of those on the team, 13 were safely measured at both time points.

The data showed that the COVID-19 lockdown period in 2021 did not adversely impact the anthropometric measurements of the team. This suggests they were able to maintain body composition with the provided program.

The second presentation was titled “Body Composition and BMI in Female Collegiate Athletes vs. Non-Athletes.” Body Mass Index (BMI) often is used to assess obesity in athletes, but researchers Zeigler and Acevedo, along with Alvarez, Nowlen, Morton, Campa and Annika Grams, questioned whether it is the best method to use.

The purpose of the study was to determine the accuracy of BMI as a measure of fatness in female collegiate athletes and nonathletes and to determine if Body Adiposity Index (BAI) is a superior predictor of percentage of body fat than BMI. They found that BAI may not be a more accurate indicator of percentage of body fat and that BMI is more accurate in predicting percentage of body fat within female noncollegiate athletes than female collegiate athletes. 

In both populations, however, there were still a high number of false positives, suggesting additional anthropometric measurement tools may be needed to accurately capture adiposity.  

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