K Kezbers


Krista Kezbers

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center – Tulsa, Oklahoma

PURPOSE: Sport coach health is gaining attention in both popular media and scholarly literature. Minimal literature is available on the lifestyle behaviors and demographics of sport coaches, but it is thought to be an active occupation with little sedentary time. The purpose of this study was to explore baseline sleep and steps for coaches using activity trackers. A secondary purpose was to understand how sleep and steps changed during a time period of COVID-19-related aquatic facility shutdowns. METHODS: Social media posts and e-mails were used to recruit swim coaches to participate in an anonymous, online REDCap survey between June 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020. Data was collected on demographics, activity trackers, sleep, and steps. Coaches, who served as their own controls, self-reported daily steps and sleep from their activity tracker over a two-week period in both February (T1) and April (T2). Data was analyzed using SPSS. Paired samples t-tests were conducted to analyze differences between T1 and T2 for sleep and steps, respectively. RESULTS: 214 coaches, 47.4% female and 52.6% male, with an average age of 39.92 years, participated in the study. Coaches had an average of 15.51 years of experience and 97.7% were former athletes. Average sleep during T1 was 7.02 hours and T2 was 7.61 hours. Paired samples t-tests revealed a significant difference in sleep (p = 0.000). Average steps during T1 were 9503.97 and T2 were 8146.63. Paired samples t-tests revealed a significant difference in steps (p = 0.000). CONCLUSIONS: This study contributes to the baseline data on the lifestyle behavior of coaches. It also shows the majority of coaches were former athletes, an interesting finding to establish as much research has studied former athlete status and future health outcomes. Coaches were sleeping more, which could potentially be related to not having early morning or late evening practices. While the steps decreased, this could be due to a number of factors, such as not being able to walk around while coaching or having area-specific stay at home orders. More research is needed to explore how the coaching profession impacts a coaches health and how this compares to other occupations, but this study lays important groundwork for coaches to make evidence-based decisions on their occupation and lifestyle behaviors.

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