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Associations Between Sedentary Time, Physical Activity, and Cardiovascular Health in 6-Year-Old Children Born to Mothers With Increased Cardiometabolic Risk

Linda Litwin, Johnny K.M. Sundholm, Rasmus F.W. Olander, Jelena Meinilä, Janne Kulmala, Tuija H. Tammelin, Kristiina Rönö, Saila B. Koivusalo, Johan G. Eriksson, and Taisto Sarkola

Purpose: To assess associations between sedentary time (ST), physical activity (PA), and cardiovascular health in early childhood. Method: Cross-sectional study including 160 children (age 6.1 y [SD 0.5], 86 boys, 93 maternal body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2, and 73 gestational diabetes) assessed for pulse wave velocity, echocardiography, ultra-high frequency 48–70 MHz vascular ultrasound, and accelerometery. Results: Boys had 385 (SD 53) minutes per day ST, 305 (SD 44) minutes per day light PA, and 81 (SD 22) minutes per day moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA). Girls had 415 (SD 50) minutes per day ST, 283 (SD 40) minutes per day light PA, and 66 (SD 19) minutes per day MVPA. In adjusted analyses, MVPA was inversely associated with resting heart rate (β = −6.6; 95% confidence interval, −12.5 to −0.7) and positively associated with left ventricular mass (β = 6.8; 1.4–12.3), radial intima-media thickness (β = 11.4; 5.4–17.5), brachial intima-media thickness (β = 8.0; 2.0–14.0), and femoral intima-media thickness (β = 1.3; 0.2–2.3). MVPA was inversely associated with body fat percentage (β = −3.4; −6.6 to −0.2), diastolic blood pressure (β = −0.05; −0.8 to −0.1), and femoral (β = −18.1; −32.4 to −0.8) and radial (β = −13.4; −24.0 to −2.9) circumferential wall stress in boys only. ST and pulse wave velocity showed no significant associations. Conclusions: In young at-risk children, MVPA is associated with cardiovascular remodeling, partly in a sex-dependant way, likely representing physiological adaptation, but ST shows no association with cardiovascular health in early childhood.

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The Effects of Using a Cycling Desk at School on Executive Function, Physical Fitness, and Body Composition in Primary School Children: Impact of Socioeconomic Status

Camille Chambonnière, Lore Metz, Alicia Fillon, Pauline Demonteix, Nicole Fearnbach, Mélina Bailly, Audrey Boscaro, Bruno Pereira, David Thivel, and Martine Duclos

Context: Physical inactivity and sedentary behaviors are associated with adverse health outcomes in both adults and children. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a 9-week program using a Cycle Desk during school time in French primary school children from high or low socioeconomic status (SES) on body composition, physical fitness (PF), and executive function. Methods: Seventy-five (n = 75) children completed a test battery before and after 9 weeks of use of Cycle Desk to evaluate anthropometric characteristics, body composition, PF, and executive function. Results: Body mass index increased significantly (P = .0095), while body fat decreased after the use of Cycle Desks (P < .0001). Specifically, lean mass increased in the high-SES group while it decreased in the low-SES group (P < .0001). After 9 weeks, there was an improvement in motor skills (P < .0001), upper and lower limbs’ strength (P < .0001), and executive function performance (P < .0001). More specifically, the low-SES group had a greater improvement in motor skills and maximal aerobic speed between T0 and T1, compared to the high-SES group (P = .001, P = .023, respectively). In contrast, the high-SES group had a greater improvement in executive function at 9 weeks of use of Cycle Desk compared with the low-SES group (P = .0084). Conclusions: The promotion of low-intensity physical activity with the use of a Cycle Desk at school may help offset some adverse effects of excess sedentary behavior among children. Moreover, this strategy appears to be particularly effective in children from low-SES backgrounds. What’s New: The use of a Cycle Desk during school time has no deleterious effects on PF as well as cognitive executive functions in primary children. Modifications are more beneficial in children from low SES.

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An 8-Week Virtual Exercise Training Program for Pediatric Solid Organ Transplant Recipients

Nikol K. Grishin, Astrid M. De Souza, Julie Fairbairn, A. William Sheel, E. Puterman, Tom Blydt-Hansen, James E. Potts, and Kathryn R. Armstrong

Purpose: Musculoskeletal strength can be impaired in pediatric solid organ transplant recipients. Exercise training programs can be beneficial but in-person delivery can be challenging; virtual exercise programs can alleviate some of these challenges. This feasibility study aimed to deliver an 8-week virtual exercise program in pediatric solid organ transplant recipients. Method: Program delivery occurred 3 times per week for 30 minutes. An exercise stress test was completed prior to program start. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency strength subtest and self-report surveys were used to assess musculoskeletal strength, quality of life, fatigue, and physical activity. Contact was maintained through a text messaging platform. Z scores were calculated using standardized normative data. Medians (interquartile range) are reported for all other data. Results: Eleven participants completed the program (2 liver, 5 kidney, 4 heart; 58% females; median age = 11.5 [10.3–13.8] y). Six participants attended ≥60% of classes, 5 participants attended <50% of classes. After 8 weeks, strength scores improved (Z score, Pre: −1.0 [−1.65 to −0.60] to Post: −0.2 [−1.30 to 0.40]; P = .007) with no change in other outcome measures. Conclusion: The virtual exercise program was delivered without technical issues and received positive participant feedback. Engagement and costs need to be considered.

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Physical Activity and Children’s Episodic Memory: A Meta-Analysis

Daphne G. Schmid, Nathan M. Scott, and Phillip D. Tomporowski

Purpose: The purpose of this review was to evaluate the effects of physical activity on children’s free recall, cued recall, and recognition episodic memory and to explore potential moderating factors. Methods: The following databases were searched: PubMed, ERIC, APA Psych Info, CINHAL, SPORTDiscus, and Google Scholar. Studies were included if: (1) participants were aged 4–18 years, (2) participants were typically developed, (3) participants were randomized to groups, (4) interventions employed gross movements, (5) sedentary group was used for control, (6) memory tests were quantitative, and (7) employed acute or chronic intervention. Results: 14 studies met inclusion criteria resulting in the analysis of data from 7 free recall, 7 cued recall, and 8 recognition memory tests. Physical activity was found to have a positive influence on tests free (g = 0.56), cued recall (g = 0.67), and no influence on tests of recognition (g = 0.06). While some moderator analyses were significant, the authors do not consider these results to be meaningful in application. Conclusions: The effects of acute and chronic physical activity enhance specific aspects of long-term episodic memory. These findings suggest physical activity interventions developed for children may be expected to benefit some, but not all, types of memory processing.

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Youths Are Less Susceptible to Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage Than Adults: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis

John F.T. Fernandes, Lawrence D. Hayes, Amelia F. Dingley, Sylvia Moeskops, Jon L. Oliver, Jorge Arede, Craig Twist, and Laura J. Wilson

Purpose: This meta-analysis aimed to (1) provide a comparison of peak changes in indirect markers of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) in youths versus adults and (2) determine if the involved limb moderated this effect. Method: Studies were eligible for inclusion if they (1) provided a human youth versus adult comparison; (2) provided data on muscle strength, soreness, or creatine kinase markers beyond ≥24 hours; and (3) did not provide a recovery treatment. Effect sizes (ES) were presented alongside 95% confidence intervals. Results: EIMD exhibited larger effects on adults than in youths for muscle strength (ES = −2.01; P < .001), muscle soreness (ES = −1.52; P < .001), and creatine kinase (ES = −1.98; P < .001). The random effects meta-regression indicated that the effects of upper- and lower-limb exercise in youths and adults were significant for muscle soreness (coefficient estimate = 1.11; P < .001) but not for muscle strength or creatine kinase (P > .05). As such, the between-group effects for muscle soreness (ES = −2.10 vs −1.03; P < .05) were greater in the upper than lower limbs. Conclusion: The magnitude of EIMD in youths is substantially less than in their adult counterparts, and this effect is greater in upper than lower limbs for muscle soreness. These findings help guide practitioners who may be concerned about the potential impact of EIMD when training youth athletes.

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Volume 35 (2023): Issue 4 (Nov 2023)

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The Effect of Sex, Maturity, and Training Status on Maximal Sprint Performance Kinetics

Adam Runacres, Kelly A. Mackintosh, and Melitta A. McNarry

Purpose: The development of sprint running during youth has received renewed interest, but questions remain regarding the development of speed in youth, especially the influences of sex, training, and maturity status. Methods: One hundred and forty-seven team sport trained (69 girls; 14.3 [2.1] y) and 113 untrained (64 girls; 13.8 [2.7] y) youth completed two 30-m sprints separated by 2-minute active rest. Velocity was measured using a radar gun at >46 Hz, with power and force variables derived from a force–velocity–power profile. Results: Boys produced a significantly higher absolute peak power (741 [272] vs 645 [229] W; P < .01) and force (431 [124] vs 398 [125] N; P < .01) than girls, irrespective of maturity and training status. However, there was a greater sex difference in relative mean power and peak velocity in circa peak height velocity adolescents (46.9% and 19.8%, respectively) compared with prepeak height velocity (5.4% and 3.2%) or postpeak height velocity youth (11.6% and 5.6%). Conclusions: Sprint development in youth is sexually dimorphic which needs considering when devising long-term training plans. Further research is needed to explore the independent, and combined, effects of sex, training, and maturity status on sprint performance kinetics in youth.

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Factors That Influence Physical Activity Behavior in Children and Adolescents During and After Cancer Treatment: A Qualitative Systematic Review of the Literature

Laura Kappelmann, Miriam Götte, Arno Krombholz, Jan Hüter, and Britta Fischer

Purpose: The aim of this systematic review is to reveal the social, personal, and contextual factors that influence physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents during and after cancer treatment. Method: SPORTDiscus, Cochrane, Web of Science, PubMed, and FIS Education electronic database were systematically searched. Results: The 13 included studies show that social support (parents, siblings, and friends) in particular is rated as important by cancer survivors; for example, doing PA together. Depending on the treatment status and state of health, particularities arise. During the acute treatment phase, parents issued more prohibitions regarding PA than after treatment. The state of health and concern about infections are described as inhibiting factors. Not all hospitals generally offer special exercise programs for cancer patients, and in some cases, only sporadic exercise sessions were conducted by specialized staff. In addition, the hospital atmosphere, such as cramped rooms, tends to be associated with demotivating effects. Conclusions: Both inhibiting and promoting factors in the area of social, personal, and contextual factors could be identified. The most fundamental factor for PA is the physical condition. Social factors, such as parents or friends, often have a motivating effect and can promote PA. Inhibiting factors are mainly context-related, such as an environment unsuitable for PA. Although the review highlights interesting aspects, further treatment-related and longitudinal studies could provide deeper insights.

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Abstracts From the XXXIII Pediatric Work Physiology Conference Hosted by Swansea University (September 2023, Chepstow, Wales)

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Volume 35 (2023): Issue S1 (Oct 2023)