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Leonardo S. Fortes, Maicon R. Albuquerque, Heloiana K.C. Faro, Dalton de Lima-Júnior, Maria E.C. Ferreira, and Sebastião S. Almeida

The study aimed to analyze the effect of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex on soccer athletes’ decision making and visual search behavior. It was a single-blind, randomized, and experimental investigation. The 23 soccer athletes were pair-matched according to decision-making skill and then randomized into two groups: a-tDCS and sham. The decision making (during small-sided game and screen task) and visual search behavior were measured before and after the 8-week intervention. Only the a-tDCS group reduced response time in the decision-making screen task (p < .05). The a-tDCS group showed a higher number of fixations than sham group (p < .05) during the small-sided game. The a-tDCS group showed a lower duration of fixation than sham group (p < .05) during the small-sided game. Our results indicated that using a-tDCS over left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex changed visual search behavior and improved the response time of decision-making skill.

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Camille Sabourin, Stéphanie Turgeon, Laura Martin, Scott Rathwell, Mark Bruner, John Cairney, and Martin Camiré

Although psychological distress has been shown to increase during adolescence, participation in organized activities may have protective effects. The present study aimed to identify whether there is a relationship between high school student-athletes’ breadth of participation in organized activities and psychological distress, using a latent class analysis. Canadian adolescent-athletes (n = 930) in Grades 11 and 12 completed an online survey that measured: (a) high school sport participation, (b) community sport participation, (c) nonsport extracurricular activities participation, and (d) psychological distress. The latent class analysis indicated that a two-class model (i.e., Class 1 = narrower breadth, low distress; Class 2 = wider breadth, moderate distress) was most appropriate. Results indicated that despite the divergent probability of organized activity participation, participants in both classes had a low to moderate probability of presenting elevated levels of psychological distress. However, levels of psychological distress were still higher than other Canadian adolescent populations, suggesting that overscheduling could be of concern. Gender and time (i.e., prior/during COVID-19 pandemic) were significant covariates in the model.

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Becky Breau, Hannah J. Coyle-Asbil, Jess Haines, David W.L. Ma, Lori Ann Vallis, and on behalf of the Guelph Family Health Study

Purpose: Examine the effect of cutpoint selection on physical activity (PA) metrics calculated from young children’s accelerometer data and on the proportion of children meeting PA guidelines. Methods: A total of 262 children (3.6 ± 1.4 years, 126 males) wore ActiGraph wGT3X-BT accelerometers on their right hip for 7 days, 24 hr/day. Ten cutpoint sets were applied to the sample categorized by age, based on populations of the original cutpoint calibration studies using ActiLife software. Resulting sedentary behavior, light PA, moderate to vigorous PA, and total PA were compared using repeated-measures analysis of variance. Proportion of children meeting age-appropriate PA guidelines based on each cutpoint set was assessed using Cochran’s q tests. Results: Children wore the accelerometer for an average of 7.6 ± 1.2 days for an average of 11.9 ± 1.2 hr/day. Significant differences in time spent in each intensity were found across all cutpoints except for sedentary, and total PA for three comparisons (Trost vs. Butte Vertical Axis [VA], Pate vs. Puyau, and Costa VA vs. Evenson) and moderate to vigorous PA for four comparisons (Trost vs. Pate, Trost vs. Pate and Pfeiffer, Pate vs. Pate and Pfeiffer, and van Cauwenberghe vs. Evenson). When examined within age-appropriate groups, all sets of cutpoints resulted in significant differences across all intensities and in the number of children meeting PA guidelines. Conclusion: Choice of cutpoints applied to data from young children significantly affects times calculated for different movement intensities, which in turn impacts the proportion of children meeting guidelines. Thus, comparisons of movement intensities should not be made across studies using different sets of cutpoints.

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Liam P. Pellerine, Derek S. Kimmerly, Jonathon R. Fowles, and Myles W. O’Brien

The Physical Activity Vital Sign (PAVS) is a two-question assessment used to estimate habitual moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity (MVPA). Previous studies have shown active adults cannot estimate the physical activity intensity properly. The initial purpose was to investigate the criterion validity of the PAVS for quantifying habitual MVPA in young adults meeting weekly MVPA guidelines (n = 140; 21 ± 3 years). A previously validated PiezoRx waist-worn accelerometer served as the criterion measure (wear time, 6.7 ± 0.6 days). All participants completed the PAVS once before wearing the PiezoRx. Standardized activity monitor validation procedures were followed. The PAVS (201 ± 142 min/week) underestimated (p < .001) MVPA compared to the PiezoRx (381 ± 155 min/week). To correct for this large error, the sample was divided into calibration model development (n = 70; 21 ± 3 years) and criterion validation (n = 70; 21 ± 3 years) groups. The PAVS score, age, gender, and body mass index outcomes from the development group were used to construct a multiple linear regression model-based calibrated PAVS (cPAVS) equation. In the validation group, the cPAVS was similar (p = .113; 352 ± 23 min/week) compared to accelerometry. Equivalence testing demonstrated the cPAVS, but not the PAVS, was equivalent to the PiezoRx. Despite achieving most statistical criteria, the PAVS and cPAVS still had high degrees of variability, preventing their use on an individual level. Alternative strategies are needed for the PAVS in an active young adult population. These results caution using the PAVS in active young adults and identify a case where obvious variabilities in accuracy conflict with statistically congruent results.

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Kimberly A. Clevenger, Kelly A. Mackintosh, Melitta A. McNarry, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Alexander H.K. Montoye, and Jan Christian Brønd

ActiGraph counts are commonly used for characterizing physical activity intensity and energy expenditure and are among the most well-studied accelerometer metrics. Researchers have recently replicated the counts processing method using a mechanical setup, now allowing users to generate counts from raw acceleration data. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare ActiGraph-generated counts to open-source counts and assess the impact on free-living physical activity levels derived from cut points, machine learning, and two-regression models. Methods: Children (n = 488, 13.0 ± 1.1 years of age) wore an ActiGraph wGT3X-BT on their right hip for 7 days during waking hours. ActiGraph counts and counts generated from raw acceleration data were compared at the epoch-level and as overall means. Seven methods were used to classify overall and epoch-level activity intensity. Outcomes were compared using weighted kappa, correlations, mean absolute deviation, and two one-sided equivalence testing. Results: All outcomes were statistically equivalent between ActiGraph and open-source counts; weighted kappa was ≥.971 and epoch-level correlations were ≥.992, indicating very high agreement. Bland–Altman plots indicated differences increased with activity intensity, but overall differences between ActiGraph and open-source counts were minimal (e.g., epoch-level mean absolute difference of 23.9 vector magnitude counts per minute). Regardless of classification model, average differences translated to 1.4–2.6 min/day for moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity. Conclusion: Open-source counts may be used to enhance comparability of future studies, streamline data analysis, and enable researchers to use existing developed models with alternative accelerometer brands. Future studies should verify the performance of open-source counts for other outcomes, like sleep.

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Shani Batcir and Itshak Melzer

We examined whether older adults who cycle outdoors regularly have better reactive balance control than noncycling older adults. Sixteen cyclist older adults and 24 age-, sex-, and health-matched controls who did not cycle (noncyclists) were exposed to unannounced perturbations of increased magnitudes in standing. We evaluated the strategies and kinematics employed at each perturbation magnitude. We found that cyclists exhibited a significantly higher stepping threshold, lower probability of stepping at each perturbation magnitude, and lower number of trials in which the participant needed to make a step to retain their balance. Cyclists also tended to recover balance using unloaded leg strategies in the first recovery step rather than a loaded leg strategy; they showed faster swing phase duration in the first recovery step, better controlling the displacement of center of mass than noncyclists. Older adults who cycle regularly outdoors preserve their reactive balance functions, which may reduce fall risks.

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Stacy Goddard, Barbara Bushman, and Michael Chamberlin

The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine the reasons why older adults begin attending SilverSneakers exercise program and why they continue to participate. Participants completed a survey (104 complete surveys). Initial attendance was mainly due to SilverSneakers being a health insurance benefit or hearing from a friend, with a lower percentage hearing from a health care provider. Factors that encouraged ongoing attendance included the level of programming, liking the instructor, and working out with peers. Statistically significant relationships were found between long-term adherence and a desire to promote fitness (p = .024) and social aspects of SilverSneakers (p < .01). These insights can be of value when planning outreach to older adults, as well as to promote retention, with physical activity programming.

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Vincent Shieh, Cris Zampieri, Ashwini Sansare, John Collins, Thomas C. Bulea, and Minal Jain

Introduction: Instrumented gait mat systems have been regarded as one of the gold standard methods for measuring spatiotemporal gait parameters. However, their portable walkways confine walking to a restricted area and limit the number of gait cycles collected. Wearable inertial sensors are a potential alternative that allow more natural walking behavior and have fewer space restrictions. The objective of this pilot study was to establish the concurrent validity of body-worn sensors against the portable walkway system in older children. Methods: Twenty-one participants (10 males) 7–17 years old performed 2-min walk tests at a self-selected and fast pace in a 25-m-long hallway, while wearing three inertial sensors. Data collection were synchronized between devices and the portions of the walk when subjects passed on the walkway were used to compare gait speed, stride length, gait cycle duration, cadence, and double support time. Regression models and Bland–Altman analysis were completed to determine agreement between systems for the selected gait parameters. Results: Gait speed, cadence, gait cycle duration, and stride length as measured by inertial sensors demonstrated strong agreement overall. Double support time was found to have lower validity due to a combined bias of age, height, weight, and walking pace. Conclusion: These results support the validity of wearable inertial sensors in measuring gait speed, cadence, gait cycle duration, and stride length in children 7 years old and above during a 2-min walking test. Future studies are warranted with a broader age range to thoroughly represent the pediatric population.

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Thalysi M. Hisamatsu, Crystian B. Oliveira, Fábio S. Lira, Priscila K. Morelhão, Bruna R. Azevedo, Ítalo R. Lemes, Márcia R. Franco, and Rafael Z. Pinto

Background: Physical activity plays an important role in the prognosis of chronic low back pain (LBP); however, whether physical activity predicts pain intensity and disability remains unknown. This study investigated whether objective and subjective physical activity measures predict pain intensity and disability levels 6 months later in patients with chronic LBP. Methods: Patients with chronic LBP seeking care at 2 outpatient physiotherapy clinics were recruited. At baseline assessment, we collected anthropometric/sociodemographic data, duration of symptoms, pain intensity, disability, and physical activity (accelerometer and questionnaire). After 6 months, we reassessed pain and disability. Multivariable regression analyses were performed to investigate the association of physical activity measures with pain and disability at follow-up. Results: A total of 179 patients with chronic LBP were included. High occupational physical activity at baseline predicted disability at 6-month follow-up (B = 1.22; 95% confidence interval, 0.21 to 2.21) after controlling for age and baseline disability, meaning that for every 1-point increase in occupational physical activity, disability increased on average by 1.22 point. The remaining physical activity measures showed no association with pain intensity or disability at follow-up. Conclusion: Higher perceived levels of occupational physical activity predicted higher disability levels at 6-month follow-up in patients with chronic LBP.

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Saeedollah Azimi-Shomali, Azizeh Farshbaf-Khalili, Fariba Eslamian, Neda Dolatkhah, and Nafiseh Ghassab-Abdollahi

Background: Bone turnover markers can predict subsequent changes in bone status. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between usual daily physical activity (PA) with bone markers. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 500 postmenopausal women aged 50–65 years in Tabriz-Iran in 2018. The women were recruited by a simple random method. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to assess PA. The laboratory tests of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3, alkaline phosphatase, calcium, and phosphorus were also used to examine bone function. Results: The education, income, employment status, sun exposure, and history of exercise were significantly correlated with PA. Among reproductive characteristics, only menopausal age showed a significant relationship with total PA levels (r = .285, P = .048). None of the anthropometric indices showed a statistically significant relationship with total PA. Serum calcium (r = −.242) and phosphorus (r = −.045) levels showed negative and inverse relationships with total PA. The intensity of this association was statistically significant only for the calcium (β = −0.108, 95% confidence interval, −0.117 to 0.098; P = .023). 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 (r = .007) and alkaline phosphatase (r = .046) were directly and positively but nonsignificantly correlated to the intensity of total PA. Conclusion: Usual daily physical activity with any levels has no effect on bone markers except for calcium. Despite of the beneficial effects of PA, our findings showed that usual daily physical activity without increasing total PA cannot affect bone health. For maximal effects of PA on bone health, it seems that a degree of intensity, continuity, and regularity of PA programs should be considered to stimulate bone formation.