Author Archives: aes5559

Does listening to music help athletes in their performance?


I love basketball and I used to play it Varsity in the B Division when I was in High School. For as long as I could remember, for some odd reason whether before a game or during a workout I found myself listening to music. I would listen to my favorite songs, whether Rap or R&B and I would feel a rush of energy. I personally feel that listening to music helped increase my performance no matter my skill level. Athletes that I look up to and enjoy watching, also listen to music before any game or during a workout. Does listening to music help athletes in their performance?

When looking for things to enhance performance people tend to think of substances and supplements. A number of studies have shown that music can actually enhance the physical abilities and overall focus athletes need before performing. The relationship between music and general performance is known as disassociation. Disassociation is a process that in which an individual detaches himself or herself from a particular activity. Focusing on the music distracts ones attention from the fatigue and pain. I’ve done research that displays the positives and negatives of music and performance.

Throughout the first study it states how research by an Olympic sports psychologist Professor Peter Terry shows that elite athletes can run 18% longer when listening to music. The study didn’t include who these “elite athletes” were. We don’t know their gender, age, or medical history, which are all important information that could impact the study. Also, we don’t know the sample size of the study to determine which could influence whether the study is a fluke or not. In the study Professor Terry’s athletes running on a treadmill could extend themselves eighteen percent longer if they listened to music in tempo with their stride. In the second study British researches asked twelve healthy male college students to ride stationary on bicycles while listening to music of different tempos. Each of the songs differed in tempo from the other bicyclists. The volunteers were told to ride at a speed they felt were comfortable for 30 minutes. As a result of the study researchers found that as the tempo of the music slowed down so did the volunteers pedaling. With a slow tempo the volunteer’s heart rates fell, and their mileage dropped. When the volunteers listened to up tempo music their heart rates rose, they covered more miles, and produced more power with each pedal stroke.

As we can see the two studies display that music does have an affect on athletes performance. But as we learned in class correlation does not equal causation. There could be something else affecting this data-a third variable like physical condition, or willpower, or even the genre of music that play a role in athletes performance. I feel that I can both agree and trust these studies. Both studies are considered experimental. To draw any conclusions I feel that the sample size for both studies needed to be larger and researchers needed to conduct a different type of experiment. Researchers in the second study could have compared those listening to music and those without. And then compared the different tempos of music to see if it had an affect. Age and gender could also play a role in the difference in athlete’s performance.

Therefore, it is hard to conclude for sure if music plays a role in athlete’s performance and how much. But with the research conducted we could see that there is a relationship between the tempos of music and athletes functions. With research, I found two studies and in those two studies athletes ran 18% longer while listening to music, and bicyclists pedaled faster or slower, gained more mileage or slowed down, based on the tempo of music. I personally am convinced that music plays a role in athlete’s performance due to experience but that isn’t enough, and there isn’t enough information to draw a general conclusion. There needs to be more evidence to consider if music plays a positive role on athlete’s performance.

Who’s most likely to get injured in the NBA and how?


Basketball is both my favorite sport to watch and play. While recently watching a game Kyrie Irving, my favorite basketball player suffered a massive knee injury, which caused him to leave for the rest of the season. I’ve been playing basketball since the age of thirteen and I’ve been watching it since the age of five. Throughout my years of both playing and watching basketball I’ve seen many players and friends suffer from mainly leg injuries. With research I have found that in the U.S. basketball has the most injuries. Basketball has a total of 512,213 injuries throughout the year. Do the amount of games and the amount of minutes a player receives plays a role on why they receive injuries in their legs?

The NBA season consists of eighty-two games in a span of five months, not including the Playoff season and that can be more than the human body can handle. An analysis was performed on the NBA database from 1988-1989 through the 2004-2005 basketball seasons for league-sanctioned activities including rates of injury. Injury rates were calculated by total number of injuries multiplied by one thousand divided by total number of game exposures. It was a 17-year study and during that period there were 12,594 injuries reported. Of the injuries 6,287 occurred during an actual game. With the injuries stated researchers concluded that the ankle by far was the most common joint injured, comprising 1850 injuries and 14.7% of all injuries. Lateral ankle sprains counted for 8.8% of all games missed. Basketball has evolved to become a highly physical sport with a high rate of injury.

The demographics of the study display that the lower extremity was the most frequently injured body area accounting for 57.8% of all game related injuries. The upper extremity accounted for 19.3%. The torso and head areas both accounted for 10%. And the cervical spine accounted for 1.8% of injuries. In addition to injured areas, the demographics also display that players from 26 to 34 are most likely to get injured. Also the more experience you have the more likely you are to get injured; the more you weight and the taller you are leads to a higher risk of injury. What I do find interesting about the study is that the researchers failed to take into encounter the minutes the players receive and the positions of the players. I trust this information and consider it useful but we still don’t know enough to say who is most likely to get injured and how.

Prior to research, I would have never thought basketball has the most injuries or leg injuries because there are so many dangerous sports out there and basketball shoes are designed to protect your ankles and bring support. With the research provided it makes you question are basketball shoes really made to protect you. Hurt Prolonged seasons mean all injury rates will increase. Basic basketball techniques such as the crossover, jumping for rebounds, and pivoting require a lot of leg and ankle movement. As we discussed in class the idea of the shoe supporting your ankle could be considered a soft end point. Not knowing how much movement the ankle needs can play a role in why there are many ankle injuries. I can agree with the study and see that with constant running, and pressure on your legs in a short span of time can cause many injuries. It seems that the study was observational but also controlled because only NBA players were examined.

I feel that I can trust the study but I don’t know if I can draw a conclusion on who’s most likely to get injured in the NBA and how. I trust the study because it’s from a credible source. The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health published the study. Researchers took the right course of action by reviewing NBA players but should of taken into encounter their positions and the type of shoes the players were wearing. The study doesn’t suffer from the file drawer problem because it was published, but I feel that more research needs to be done. There could be another study conducted over a longer period of time to avoid flukes. You don’t want to receive any false negatives or false positives in your research. I wonder if all the other sports viewed in the U.S. such as NFL, NHL etc. had a similar schedule to that of the NBA if there would be more leg injuries reported.

Therefore, it is hard to determine who’s most likely to get injured in the NBA and how. A study was conducted on NBA players through the years of 1988 to 2005. In the end it was reported that a total of 12,594 injuries occurred and of those 6,287 were ankle injuries. Basketball is both my favorite sport to watch and play. With my years of experience leg injuries are something that I constantly hear about. With research, I feel that the NBA has the most leg injuries than any other sport but there isn’t enough information to help conclude that thought.

Are Adidas, Nikes, or Jordan’s better to play basketball in?


Basketball and fashion are my first two loves. It’s ironic that the greatest to ever play the game also creates my favorite sneakers. The greatest to ever play the game is Michael Jordan. He holds the NBA for highest career regular season scoring average and highest career playoff scoring average. He has won 6 championships with one team, and holds five most valuable player awards. As a child I idolized Michael Jordan as a basketball player. Now that I’m older I still idolize him as a player but even more as a businessman. Jordan’s seem like they would be the basketball shoes because they come from the best player. Where I’m from everyone either wanted to be like Jordan or have every sneaker he came out with. But players in the NBA play in sneakers from Reebok to Nikes. Most people aren’t aware that Jordan’s are another form of Nikes under their brand subsidiary. So do the shoes make the player or the player make the shoes?

I tried to gain as much research as possible, but with my findings there were no studies done to develop a general answer as to which shoe creates the best performance. When NBA players look for sneakers to play in, they look for shoes that are both secure and durable. NBA players need solid traction and superior lock down in order to maneuver freely without any hesitation. According to ESPN the top ten players of the NBA 2015-2016 season right now are Stephen Curry, James Harden, Paul George, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, and Kyle Lowry. (In that order) Each of these players has their own unique style of play but also all wear different sneakers. Stephen Curry the number one player in the NBA averages 34.4 minutes and 32.2 points per game. He’s the best player in the league right now and he wears sneakers by Under Armour. As you can see by the chart, Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 11.30.22 PM  players who wear Under Armour average the least points. Having the most points doesn’t make you the best player because there are other things to take into encounter such as defense, rebounding, games won with the team etc. But Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are the reigning champions, he won the MVP award last year, he’s number one in the league at the moment, and the Warriors are leading the NBA with the best record 27-0.

In addition to players wearing Under Armour having the lowest points, they also average the lowest rebounds and steals. Then comes Adidas and then comes Nike. The most common shoes worn in the NBA are Nikes. NBA players who wear Nike seem to have the most points, rebounds, and steals. Of the 442 NBA players 284 wear Nike, and Nike endorses 79 players. Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 11.33.33 PM So how can Stephen Curry be the best and he doesn’t wear Nikes? Could he just be lucky? Or does the man really make the shoe?

Therefore, this idea perfectly demonstrates the concept of correlation doesn’t equal causation. Just because Micheal Jordan is the greatest many people buy his sneakers trying to imitate him. Thinking that wearing Jordan’s would give them his skill or make them a better player. Many people in the NBA wear Nikes but the best player in the league at the current moment wears Under Armour. As stated previously Under Armour has the lowest ratings for players. This shows that basketball is mainly about skill. If I really wanted to find out which shoe generates the best performance, I would conduct an experiment taking random players of gender, age, etc. and giving them random shoes and assess information that way. But even with that you can’t come to a complete conclusion. You can’t rely on a shoe to tell you which generates the best performance because there are other things you have to take into affect when finding out what generates the best performance. There are third confounding variables such as age or height that also play a role in generating a player’s performance level. There is no specific way to tell if Nikes, Adidas, or Jordan’s are better to play basketball in.

Does smoking Marijuana cause Lung Cancer?


Many people feel that if you research this topic you either have a connection to Marijuana or a connection to Cancer. I have a connection to neither. What helped pushed me towards this topic and want to learn more about marijuana affecting the body was the Tobacco lecture we had in class. Understanding the human body and knowing what affects you is an amazing thing to me. We basically learned that any type of smoke you put into your body is very harmful and has negative affects. We know there is a direct link to tobacco causing cancer. But can Marijuana smoke cause cancer?

Marijuana is the second most common smoked substance in the U.S. after tobacco. Marijuana smoke is composed of the same ingredients that are in tobacco. You would think if they’re composed of the same ingredients and one causes cancer so would the other. But with the case of Marijuana this is still hard to determine. There are also no deaths reported due to marijuana, so it’s hard to portray the affect it has. Studies have just recently proved that tobacco causes cancer so the same precaution has to be taken for Marijuana. We would have to do a numerous amount of research for basically the same period of time. When it comes to smoking marijuana people inhale the cannabis smoke for longer than cigarette smoke. This is to get the full effect of the cannabis. But it means that the smoke is in contact with the lungs for longer.

Smoking marijuana clearly damages the human lung. Research shows that smoking marijuana causes chronic bronchitis and marijuana smoke has been shown to injure the cell linings of the large airways, which could explain why smoking marijuana leads to symptoms such as chronic cough, phlegm production, wheeze and acute bronchitis. Smoking marijuana hurts the lungs’ first line of defense against infection by killing cells that help remove dust and germs as well as causing more mucus to be formed. In addition, it also suppresses the immune system. These effects could lead to an increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections among marijuana smokers, although there is no clear evidence of such actual infections being more common among marijuana smokers.”

I reviewed a study that was conducted in 2006, and a researchers looked at marijuana use and lung cancer risk. In the study they could not find a significant link between marijuana and cancer, the reviewers reported that smoking marijuana increased tar exposure and caused changes to the lining of the small tubes in the lungs. Researches recommended that, until we have more definite evidence, doctors should warn people of the possible harmful effects of marijuana smoking.

There are difficulties in researching the effects of cannabis. Many people who smoke cannabis also smoke tobacco. And users of cannabis often mix it with tobacco. This can make it difficult to know whether it is the tobacco, the cannabis, or both that has caused a cancer. This shows that although marijuana can play a role in causing cancer there are third variables that can also play a role. Knowing that it affects your learn it just makes you think what else could marijuana affect. Could it affect memory? Could marijuana affect cognitive performance, or business/social life? It’s such an interesting topic that can branch out to anything.

Therefore, we can say that we don’t know if marijuana can cause lung cancer. I agree with the study and finding out the side effects of smoking marijuana but I don’t know if I can trust it because there is no general conclusion and the sample size needs to be much larger. In order to determine if marijuana causes lung cancer we need to conduct a long observational study. And in that study we would need a huge sample size and take into encounter the different forms of smoking marijuana.

Initial Blog Post


Hey guys, my name is Alex Senat and I come from Brooklyn, New York. I’m currently a senior here at Penn State and my major is Information & Science Technology. I’m also minoring in Health Policy Administration.

To be honest the real reason I’m taking this class is to fulfill one of my requirements. I will be graduating this fall but I needed one more science class. I could’ve taken any Science class but SC 200 really stood out to me. After reading the course description I realized this class aimed to persuade people in becoming Science majors. From there I knew this class would be both interesting and informative so I decided to take it. When I first arrived here at Penn State I thought I would choose a major in either Health or Science but for some reason computers really caught my attention. I can not become a Science major because I’m too far along in the IST curriculum and career path. However I’m happy to be enrolled in this class because I know it will be a good experience. I’m excited to see what this class has to offer.