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Short- and Long-Term Changes in Balance After Active Video Game Training in Children With and Without Developmental Coordination Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Tatiane Targino Gomes Draghi, Bouwien Smits-Engelsman, Daniela Godoi-Jacomassi, Jorge Lopes Cavalcante Neto, Dorothee Jelsma, and Eloisa Tudella

Active video games (AVG) have been used as training tools and are known to ameliorate balance performance in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Our aim was to evaluate balance using clinical tests and by measuring body sway using a force plate with a mixed design of vision (eyes open/eyes closed), surface (rigid/soft), and support (stance/semitandem) before, and after, training and 4 months later (follow-up). Thirty-six DCD children and 40 typically developing children participated in the study, of which 50 children (26 DCD; 24 typically developing) were retested after 4 months. Balance improved on the clinical measures after the training, which was independent of type of AVG (Wii-Fit and Xbox Kinect) used, and this effect was still present after 4 months. The AVG training did not influence general sway behavior, but only sway in the eyes-open condition, corresponding with task demands of the training and indicating a training-specific effect. Overall, DCD children and typically developing children responded comparably to the AVG training, thereby maintaining the gap in performance between the two groups. The changes in postural sway are interpreted as a sign of more confidence and less freezing of the joints, enabling greater flexibility of movements and balance strategies as supported by the improved performance on balance tests in the DCD children. This is the first study that showed long-term effects of AVG training on balance performance. However, these follow-up results should be interpreted with caution given that 35% of the children were lost in follow-up.

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Examining the Feasibility of a Mindfulness Flow Program for the Hong Kong Archers

Ka K. Lo, Mimi M.Y. Tse, Joanne W.Y. Chung, Queenie P.S. Law, and Fenghua Sun

Mindfulness-based interventions have gained popularity among elite athletes, but their effectiveness in enhancing archery performance has been inconsistent. This study examined the feasibility of a 12-week mindfulness flow program (MFP) specifically designed for the archers and assessed the effect of the MFP on shooting performance. Twelve members of the Hong Kong Archery Team voluntarily participated in the present study. Their shooting performance, anxiety, mindfulness, and flow state were assessed before and after the MFP intervention. The results showed that the MFP was highly feasible, with 100% attendance. The athletes highly enjoyed the MFP sessions (mean rating: 7.9/10). Improved shooting performance, increased mindfulness, and flow state levels, and reduced anxiety were also observed after the intervention. These findings suggest a positive reception from and potential benefits for athletes. However, it is suggested to conduct additional research using randomized controlled trials to explore the program’s effects and applicability in enhancing sports performance.

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An Exploration of the Sources of Self-Efficacy Information in Athletic Injury Rehabilitation

Amber M. Shipherd, John E. Coumbe-Lilley, and Chelsea K. Duncan

Self-efficacy plays a vital role in an athlete’s injury and rehabilitation experience and is linked to successful rehabilitation outcomes. We sought to develop a deeper understanding of self-efficacy sources throughout injury rehabilitation using an interpretative phenomenological analysis design grounded in a pragmatist paradigm. Semistructured interviews were conducted with nine male Division II collegiate athletes throughout injury rehabilitation. Seven themes were identified as sources of athletes’ self-efficacy during rehabilitation phases, and two themes were identified as influencing participants in their selection and weighing of the sources of self-efficacy. Athletes described several sources as negatively impacting their self-efficacy, and differences were observed in the sources reported across the phases of injury rehabilitation. Results suggest the influence of sources of efficacy information fluctuates over the course of injury rehabilitation. These findings can contribute to further research in the area, as well as strategies and interventions to better assist athletes through injury rehabilitation.

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The Effects of Various Cognitive Tasks Including Working Memory, Visuospatial, and Executive Function on Postural Control in Patients With Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury

Fatemeh Emami, Hossein Negahban, Ehsan Sinaei, Neda Mostafaee, Behnaz Shahtahmassebi, Mohammad Hossein Ebrahimzadeh, and Mohammad Mehravar

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture can impair balance performance, particularly during cognitive motor dual-tasks. This study aimed to determine the effects of various modalities of cognitive load (working memory, and visuospatial and executive function) on postural control parameters in individuals with ACL injury. Twenty-seven ACL-injured and 27 healthy participants were evaluated doing different cognitive tasks (silent backward counting, Benton’s judgment of line orientation, and Stroop color-word test) while standing on a rigid surface or a foam. Each task was repeated three times and then averaged. Center of pressure variables used to measure postural performance included sway area and sway velocity in anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions. Cognitive performance was also assessed by calculating errors and the score of cognitive tasks. A mixed model analysis of variance for center of pressure parameters indicated that patients had more sways than the healthy group. The interaction of group by postural difficulty by cognitive tasks was statistically significant for cognitive errors (p < .01), and patients with ACL injury indicated more cognitive errors compared to healthy controls while standing on the foam. The main effect of cognitive task was statistically significant for all postural parameters, representing reduced postural sways in both groups with all cognitive tasks. However, ACL-injured patients showed more cognitive errors in difficult postural conditions, suggesting that individuals with ACL injury may prioritize postural control over cognitive task accuracy and adopt the posture-first strategy to maintain balance under dual-task conditions.

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Comparison of Concurrent and Asynchronous Running Kinematics and Kinetics From Marker-Based and Markerless Motion Capture Under Varying Clothing Conditions

Robert M. Kanko, Jereme B. Outerleys, Elise K. Laende, W. Scott Selbie, and Kevin J. Deluzio

As markerless motion capture is increasingly used to measure 3-dimensional human pose, it is important to understand how markerless results can be interpreted alongside historical marker-based data and how they are impacted by clothing. We compared concurrent running kinematics and kinetics between marker-based and markerless motion capture, and between 2 markerless clothing conditions. Thirty adults ran on an instrumented treadmill wearing motion capture clothing while concurrent marker-based and markerless data were recorded, and ran a second time wearing athletic clothing (shorts and t-shirt) while markerless data were recorded. Differences calculated between the concurrent signals from both systems, and also between each participant’s mean signals from both asynchronous clothing conditions were summarized across all participants using root mean square differences. Most kinematic and kinetic signals were visually consistent between systems and markerless clothing conditions. Between systems, joint center positions differed by 3 cm or less, sagittal plane joint angles differed by 5° or less, and frontal and transverse plane angles differed by 5° to 10°. Joint moments differed by 0.3 N·m/kg or less between systems. Differences were sensitive to segment coordinate system definitions, highlighting the effects of these definitions when comparing against historical data or other motion capture modalities.

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Physical Activity and Engagement Coping: A Key for Stress-Recovery in Mexican University Students

Erick-Yael Fernández-Barradas, María-Luisa Marván-Garduño, Tamara Cibrián-Llanderal, Felipe Reynoso-Sánchez, and Socorro Herrera-Meza

Physical activity and coping styles are factors that contribute to health status and to the reduction of stress. The aim of this research was to analyze the influence of physical activity and coping styles on recovery-stress state among Regular Physical Activity University Students (n = 67) and High-Performance University Athletes (n = 67) from a Mexican university. The results show statistically significant differences in the capacity of recovery from stress in High-Performance University Athletes. Additionally, two positive correlations emerged: one of engagement coping and recovery, and one of disengagement coping and stress. The interaction between engagement coping and physical activity predicted general well-being. In females, the engagement coping style predicts recovery from stress. We concluded that physical activity in combination with an engagement coping style contributes to the development of health in university students.

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Unrestrained Versus Vertically Restrained Loaded Countermovement Jumps: Are There Any Differences in the Components of Force Application?

Marcos Gutiérrez-Dávila, Daniel Marcos-Frutos, Carmen Gutiérrez-Cruz, and Amador García-Ramos

The objective of this study was to compare a number of variables derived from the vertical and horizontal force components between loaded countermovement jumps performed in a Smith machine (SM modality; vertically restrained jumps) and with free weights (FW modality; unrestrained jumps). Twenty-three recreationally trained individuals, 6 women and 17 men, performed on a 3D force platform 5 maximal countermovement jump trials against 3 external loads (30%, 50%, and 70% of the SM 1-repetition maximum) using the SM and FW jumping modalities on separate sessions. The SM modality promoted greater values for virtually all the variables derived from the vertical force component (maximal force, maximal and minimum velocity, and impulse) and also shorter durations of the braking and propulsive phases. Regardless of the countermovement jump phase (braking or propulsive), the impulse directed toward the backward direction was always considerably greater for the SM compared with the FW modality. These results evidence that for recreationally trained individuals, the SM modality could be more effective to increase the general force capacity of the leg muscles due to increased external stability, while the FW modality is preferable when the orientation of force application is a crucial consideration, as it reduces the horizontal force component.

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Characteristics of Physical Activity Interventions for People With Visual Impairments: A Scoping Review

Soyoung Choi and JJ Pionke

This study evaluated physical activity interventions designed for individuals with visual impairments and sought to guide health intervention scientists aiming to promote physical activity in this demographic. We delved into the specifics of participants’ visual impairments, intervention features, accommodation approaches, and replicability prospects. The search spanned four databases, namely PubMed, CINAHL, SportDiscus, and Scopus, providing a wide scope and diversity of potential studies. There were no restrictions on publication years. We reviewed 13 studies, totaling 15 interventions. A consensus on visual-impairment definitions remains elusive, and the intervention dosages displayed variability. Notably, 66.7% (n = 7) integrated behavior-change techniques to amplify physical activity levels. Multiple studies employed audio descriptions as an accommodation method. While most studies provided adequate information for potential replication, detailed study protocols were frequently absent. It is essential for developed interventions to be persistently evaluated and fine-tuned to optimize results.

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Effects of Static Hamstring Stretching on Maximal Sprint Speed and Relationship With Nordic Hamstring Strength

Yusuke Ozaki and Takeshi Ueda

This study aimed to determine the acute effects of static stretching of the hamstrings on maximal sprint speed and its spatiotemporal variables and lower-limb kinematics during the late swing phase, as well as the relationship with Nordic hamstring strength. The study had a within-participant experimental design. Sixteen healthy male college sprinters were asked to sprint 80 m without static stretching and with static stretching of the hamstrings for 4 × 30 s per leg before the sprint; both conditions were counterbalanced. The knee flexion peak torque was measured using the Nordic hamstring. The differences between no static stretching and static stretching as well as their relationship with Nordic hamstring strength were investigated. The results showed that the touchdown distance (p = .036) significantly increased following static stretching. Although not significant, maximal sprint speed decreased (p = .086), and the theoretical hamstring length (difference between knee angle and hip angle) at ipsilateral touchdown was greater (p = .069) following static stretching. In addition, a lower peak torque of the Nordic hamstring resulted in a more significant decrease in maximal sprint speed following static stretching. Therefore, static stretching of the hamstring just before sprinting may increase the theoretical hamstring length during the late swing phase at maximal sprint speed and induce kinematics that increases the hamstring strain injury risk. Moreover, it is suggested that improving the Nordic hamstring strength may help minimize the negative effects of static stretching on the hamstrings.

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Perceptions of Collaboration Between General and Special Educators in Physical Education

Christopher Mihajlovic

This article describes the perceptions and experiences of collaboration between teachers of physical education (n = 3) and special educators (n = 3) on teaching pupils with disabilities. Using a qualitative approach, the study seeks to establish the nature and extent of collaboration among these teachers and to identify the benefits and barriers to implementation. Semistructured interviews were used as the main data source. Data were collected from teachers working in the public school system in the southern part of Finland. The findings indicate that while teachers are mostly aware of the value of collaboration, its implementation varies immensely among the different schools. While the special educators in this study see themselves mainly responsible for supporting pupils with disabilities, the physical education teachers showed a strong commitment to the subject matter of their teaching. Participants also reported several challenges relating to time constraints, a lack of classroom support, and a shared vision of inclusive teaching.