Abstract

Objective: This study investigated the behaviors and characteristics of the adult female endurance runner and potential components of the female athlete triad (FAT). The FAT consists of three components that are interrelated: low energy availability, menstrual dysfunction, and low bone mineral density. Low energy availability may occur with or without disordered eating. Reproduction becomes non-essential leading to irregular menstrual cycles. A reduction in estrogen levels may contribute to low bone mineral density which may lead to stress fractures. Research investigating the FAT has primarily focused on adolescent and young adult females. Adult females training for endurance events may also be at risk for the FAT. Method: A survey was constructed and distributed to females in a local half-marathon and marathon training group in Central Florida. The data was collected at one point in time and no additional follow-up was required. The survey aimed to identify specific behaviors and characteristics related to components of the FAT and determine the potential prevalence in a small sample of female endurance athletes aged 18 and older. Results: 72 females with a mean age of 40.92(± 9.61) years completed the survey. Subjects had an average height of 163.60(±6.41) cm, weighed an average of 62.24(±10.05) kg and had 10 years of running experience. Conclusion: Adult female endurance runners demonstrate behaviors and characteristics that may be indicative of the FAT. Participants demonstrated signs of inadvertent or intentional low energy availability. These characteristics can be due to either body dissatisfaction or wanting to increase performance.

Thesis Completion

2017

Semester

Spring

Thesis Chair

Rothschild, Carey

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Health and Public Affairs

Department

Pre-Clinical Health Science

Degree Program

Pre-Clinical Health Science

Location

Orlando (Main) Campus

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

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