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Kathryn E. Wilson, Andrew Corbett, Andrew Van Horn, Diego Guevara Beltran, Jessica D. Ayers, Joe Alcock, and Athena Aktipis

Background: Physical activity (PA) mitigated psychological distress during the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet not much is known about whether PA had effects on stress in subsequent months. We examined the relationship between change over time in COVID-related stress and self-reported change in PA between March and July 2020. Methods: Latent growth modeling was used to examine trajectories of change in pandemic-related stress and test their association with self-reported changes in PA in an international sample (n = 679). Results: The participants reported a reduction in pandemic-related stress between April and July of 2020. Significant linear (factor mean = −0.22) and quadratic (factor mean = 0.02) changes (Ps < .001) were observed, indicating a deceleration in stress reduction over time. Linear change was related to change in PA such that individuals who became less active during the pandemic reported less stress reduction over time compared with those who maintained or increased their PA during the pandemic. Conclusions: Individuals who experienced the greatest reduction in stress over time during the pandemic were those who maintained their activity levels or became more active. Our study cannot establish a causal relationship between these variables, but the findings are consistent with other work showing that PA reduces stress.

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Sinan Yildirim and Ziya Koruç

The current study focuses on the effect of transformational leadership on athletes’ performance in the mediation of psychological need satisfaction, burnout, competition anxiety, life satisfaction, and positive–negative affect. The sample consisted of 391 soccer players aged between 16 and 20 years. Six scales were used in this study: Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, Needs Satisfaction Scale, Athlete Burnout Measure, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Positive and Negative Affect Scale, and Sport Competition Anxiety Test. The method of Vallerand was preferred to measure performance, and structural equation modeling was employed to analyze data. The model data fit was also verified. It was found that the transformational leadership behaviors of coaches signally influence athletes’ performance either directly or indirectly. From another perspective, increasing the psychological health or well-being of  athletes has important effects on sport performance.

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Leslie Tufano, Jon Hochstetler, Timothy Seminerio, and Rebecca M. Lopez

Clinical Question: During bouts of exercises in a hypohydrated state, do patients with sickle cell trait compared with patients without sickle cell trait demonstrate higher blood viscosity? Clinical Bottom Line: There is evidence that there is a difference in hematocrit levels in patients with sickle cell trait and patients without sickle cell trait both pre- and postexercise with suboptimal hydration status. Moreover, the effects on hematocrit levels increase over baseline levels in the recovery stages postexercise in patients with sickle cell trait.

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Pierpaolo Sansone, Alessandro Ceravolo, and Antonio Tessitore

Purpose: To quantify external, internal, and perceived training loads and their relationships in youth basketball players across different playing positions. Methods: Fourteen regional-level youth male players (age: 15.2 [0.3] y) were monitored during team-based training sessions across 10 in-season weeks. The players were monitored with BioHarness-3 devices, to measure external (Impulse Load, in Newtons per second) and internal (summated-heart-rate zones [SHRZ], in arbitrary units [AU]) loads, and with the session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE, in AU) method to quantify perceived training load. Multiple linear mixed models were performed to compare training loads between playing positions (backcourt and frontcourt). Repeated-measures correlations were performed to assess the relationships between the load models, for all players and within playing positions. Results: External load (backcourt: 13,599 [2260] N·s; frontcourt: 14,934 [2173] N·s) and sRPE (backcourt: 345 [132] AU; frontcourt: 505 [158] AU) were higher in the frontcourt (P < .05, effect size: moderate), while SHRZ was similar between positions (backcourt: 239 [45] AU; frontcourt: 247 [43] AU) (P > .05; effect size: trivial). The correlations were as follows: large between the external load and SHRZ (r = .57, P < .001), moderate between SHRZ and sRPE (r = .45, P < .001), and small between the external load and sRPE (r = .26, P = .02). The correlation magnitudes were equivalent for external load–SHRZ (large) and SHRZ–sRPE (moderate) across positions, but different for the external load–sRPE correlation (small in backcourt; moderate in frontcourt). Conclusions: In youth basketball, small–large commonalities were found between the training dose (external load) and players’ responses (internal and perceived loads). Practitioners should carefully manage frontcourt players’ training loads because they accumulate greater external and perceived loads than backcourt  players do.

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Miquel Martorell, Lorena Mardones, Fanny Petermann-Rocha, Maria Adela Martinez-Sanguinetti, Ana Maria Leiva-Ordoñez, Claudia Troncoso-Pantoja, Fernando Flores, Igor Cigarroa, Francisco Perez-Bravo, Natalia Ulloa, Daniel Mondaca-Rojas, Ximena Diaz-Martinez, Carlos Celis-Morales, Marcelo Villagran, and on behalf of the Epidemiology of Lifestyle and Health Outcomes in Chile Consortium

Background: Genetic variants within the FTO gene have been associated with increased adiposity and metabolic markers; however, there is limited evidence regarding the association of FTO gene variants with physical activity-related variables. The authors aimed to investigate the association of the rs17817449 single-nucleotide polymorphism of FTO with physical activity, sedentary time, and cardiorespiratory fitness in Chilean adults. Methods: A total of 409 participants from the GENADIO study were included and genotyped for the rs17817449 single-nucleotide polymorphism of FTO in this cross-sectional study. Physical activity and sedentary time were measured with ActiGraph accelerometers. Cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed using the Chester step test. The associations were assessed by using multivariate regression analyses. Results: No associations were found for FTO variant with physical activity levels and cardiorespiratory fitness. The risk allele (G) of the FTO was found to be associated with sedentary time in the minimally adjusted model (β = 19.7 min/d; 95% confidence interval, 4.0 to 35.5, per each copy of the risk allele; P = .006), but the association was no longer significant when body mass index was included as a confounder (P = .211). Conclusion: The rs17817449 single-nucleotide polymorphism of the FTO gene was not associated with the level of physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and sedentary behaviors in Chilean adults.

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Joseph J. Murphy, Fiona Mansergh, Marie H. Murphy, Niamh Murphy, Benny Cullen, Sarah O’Brien, Stephen Finn, Grainne O’Donoghue, Niamh Barry, Shirley O’Shea, Kevin M. Leyden, Peter Smyth, Jemima Cooper, Enrique G. Bengoechea, Nick Cavill, Andrew J. Milat, Adrian E. Bauman, and Catherine B. Woods

Physical activity (PA) promotion is a complex challenge, with the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA) endorsing a systems approach and recommending countries assess existing areas of progress which can be strengthened. This paper reports a process facilitating a systems approach for identifying current good practice and gaps for promoting PA in Ireland. Elements of participatory action research were enabled through 3 stages: (1) aligning examples of actions from Irish policy documents (n = 3) to the GAPPA, (2) workshop with stakeholders across multiple sectors, and (3) review of outputs. Data collected through the workshop were analyzed using a deductive thematic analysis guided by the GAPPA. The policy context in Ireland aligns closely to the GAPPA with the creation of Active Systems the most common strategic objective across policy documents. Forty participants (50% male) took part in the systems approach workshop, which after revision resulted in 80 examples of good practice and 121 actions for greater impact. A pragmatic and replicable process facilitating a systems approach was adopted and showed current Irish policy and practices align with the GAPPA “good practices.” The process provides existing areas of progress which can be strengthened, as well as the policy opportunities and practice gaps.

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Liz Carlin, Maxine E. Whelan, Hayley Musson, and Emma J. Adams

Background: The benefits of physical activity for preventing and managing long-term health conditions are well established and health care professionals could promote physical activity to patients. The current study aims to evaluate the impact of the Clinical Champions Physical Activity Training Program. Methods: Health care professionals attend a one-off in-person training session delivered by a trained Clinical Champion. Attendees at the Clinical Champions Physical Activity Training Program were asked to complete a baseline survey prior to the training session and follow-up surveys 4 and 12 weeks posttraining. Results: A total of 5945 training attendees completed the baseline survey. A total of 1859 and 754 participants completed 4- and 12-week follow-up (31.3% and 12.7% response rate, respectively). Significant increases in confidence to deliver brief physical activity advice and knowledge of physical activity guidelines were reported at 12 weeks (P < .001). The perceived frequency of physical activity discussions with patients significantly increased (P < .001). Twelve weeks after training, fewer barriers in promoting physical activity were reported. Conclusions: The evaluation of the Clinical Champions Physical Activity Training Program demonstrated an increase in knowledge of physical activity guidelines, levels of confidence, and frequency of delivery of brief physical activity advice to patients. Further research is required to determine if this impact translates into changes to patients’ physical activity behavior.

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Suzanna Russell, David G. Jenkins, Shona L. Halson, Laura E. Juliff, Mark J. Connick, and Vincent G. Kelly

Purpose: Mental fatigue is emerging as an important consideration for elite sporting performance, yet it is rarely monitored. The present study assessed changes in mental fatigue in professional team-sport athletes across 2 seasons and examined the relationship between mental fatigue and other athlete self-report measures of well-being. Methods: Elite netballers contracted to all teams competing in Australia’s premier professional netball competition during the 2018 and 2019 seasons (N = 154) participated. Using 5-point Likert scales, mental fatigue, fatigue (physical), tiredness, sleep quality, stress, mood, and motivation were assessed daily across 2 seasons composed of 14 round and finals series. Results: The ratings of mental fatigue significantly changed during both seasons. In 2018, lower ratings of mental fatigue were reported in round 1 versus 3, 4, 6, 8, and 14; round 7 versus 6; and round 6 versus 10 (P < .05). In 2019, lower ratings of mental fatigue were identified for round 1 versus 3, 9, 10 to 14, and semifinal; round 2 versus 10 to 13; and 5 versus 10 to 12 (P < .05). Ordinal regression revealed significant differences between mental fatigue and physical fatigue (P < .001), tiredness (P < .001), stress (P < .001), mood (P < .001), and motivation (P < .05). Conclusions: The present study found mental fatigue to significantly fluctuate across a season in elite netballers. Moreover, perceived mental fatigue differed from physical fatigue, tiredness, stress, mood, and motivation. The data impress the need for mental fatigue to be included as an independent measure of athlete well-being. Monitoring of mental fatigue can allow practitioners to implement strategies to manage its influence on performance.

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Yasmin Rajwani, Audrey R. Giles, and Shawn Forde

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 2015 Calls to Action identified societal measures necessary for a successful reconciliation process between Indigenous peoples and settlers in Canada, five of which were specific to sport. Half a decade after the Calls to Action were published, the response by national sport organizations in Canada has escaped scholarly attention. Through a lens informed by settler colonial studies, the authors employed summative content analysis to examine the ways, if any, in which national sport organizations in Canada have implemented relevant Calls to Action. The results indicate a lack of response by most national sport organizations which, we argue, represents settler silence.