Exercise science researchers share their findings

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

GCU News Desk

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

The first presentation was titled “The Disruption of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Anthropometric Measurements in Female Collegiate Basketball Players.” Study researchers included Zeigler and Acevedo as well as Riley Morton, Kyli Alvarez, Malia Nowlen and Estephanie Campa.

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

The 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 the team members, 13 were safely measured at both times.

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

The second presentation was titled “Body Composition and BMI in Collegiate Female Athletes Compared to Nonathletes.” BMI is often used to assess obesity in athletes, but researchers Zeigler and Acevedo, as well as Alvarez, Nowlen, Morton, Campa and Annika Grams, asked if this is the best method to use.

The purpose of the study was to determine the accuracy of BMI as a measure of adiposity in female collegiate athletes and non-athletes and to determine if ADI is a better predictor of body fat percentage. than BMI. They found that BAI may not be a more accurate predictor of body fat percentage and that BMI is more accurate in predicting body fat percentage in non-collegiate female athletes than in collegiate female athletes.

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

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