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Brantley K. Ballenger, Emma E. Schultz, Melody Dale, Bo Fernhall, Robert W. Motl, and Stamatis Agiovlasitis

This systematic review examined whether physical activity interventions improve health outcomes in adults with Down syndrome (DS). We searched PubMed, APA PsycInfo, SPORTDiscus, APA PsycARTICLES, and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection using keywords related to DS and physical activity. We included 35 studies published in English since January 1, 1990. Modes of exercise training programs included aerobic exercise, strength training, combined aerobic and strength training, aquatic, sport and gaming, and aerobic and strength exercise interventions combined with health education. The evidence base indicates that aerobic and strength exercise training improve physical fitness variables including maximal oxygen uptake, maximal heart rate, upper and lower body strength, body weight, and body fat percentage. Sport and gaming interventions improve functional mobility, work task performance, and sport skill performance. We concluded that adults with DS can accrue health benefits from properly designed physical activity and exercise interventions.

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Fernanda Metzen, João Breno Ribeiro-Alvares, Klauber Dalcero Pompeo, Francesca Chaida Sonda, Rodrigo Silva Santos, and Marco Aurélio Vaz

Développé à la seconde is a classic ballet movement that requires the maintenance of a high hip joint range of motion (ROM) and muscle strength. However, the contribution of these hip joint biomechanical parameters to this movement’s esthetic performance is unclear. Therefore, this study evaluated hip joint biomechanical characteristics of 21 experienced ballet dancers (15–29 y old) and verified the relationship between these variables with the développé à la seconde static and dynamic performance. Correlations between age, ballet practice time, gluteus maximus and gluteus medius thicknesses, ROM, and muscle strength with absolute and relative static and dynamic performances were verified. Flexors, extensors, and internal rotators peak strength and external rotation ROM were highly correlated with absolute and relative static performances (0.5–0.7). Flexors and extensors strength and external and internal rotation ROM showed the highest correlations with the développé dynamic performance (0.49–0.67). Flexor strength and flexor and internal rotation ROM predicted 26% to 41% of this movement’s static and dynamic performances. Thus, from a biomechanical perspective, clinical assessment of hip strength and ROM may be used to predict the quality of the ballet dancers’ performance of the développé à la seconde and guide classical ballet training.

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Lawrence P. Behmer Jr., Mathew J.C. Crump, and Kelly J. Jantzen

Several computational models make predictions about the activation states of individual elements of an action sequence during planning and execution; however, the neural mechanisms of action planning are still poorly understood. Simple chaining models predict that only the first response in an action sequence should be active during planning. Conversely, some parallel activation models suggest that during planning, a serial inhibition process places the individual elements of the action into a serial order across a winner-takes-all competitive choice gradient in which earlier responses are more active, and hence likely to be selected for execution compared with later responses. We triggered transcranial magnetic stimulation pulses at 200 or 400 ms after the onset of a five-letter word, in which all but one response was planned and typed with the left hand, except for a single letter which required a right index finger response exclusively at one of five serial positions. We measured the resulting motor-evoked potentials at the right index finger as a marker for the activation state of that planned response. We observed no difference in motor-evoked potential amplitude across any serial position when a right index finger response was planned at 200 ms after the onset of the word; however, we observed a graded pattern of activation at 400 ms, with earlier positions that required a right index finger response showing greater motor-evoked potentials amplitude compared with later positions. These findings provide empirical support for competitive queuing computational models of action planning.

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Brendan L. Pinto and Jack P. Callaghan

Computational approaches for movement onset detection can standardize and automate analyses to improve repeatability, accessibility, and time efficiency. With the increasing interest in assessing time-varying biomechanical signals such as force–time recordings, there remains a need to investigate the recently adopted 5 times the standard deviation (5 × SD) threshold method. In addition, other employed methods and their variations such as the reverse scanning and first derivative methods have been scarcely evaluated. The aim of this study was to compare the 5 × SD threshold method, 3 variations of the reverse scanning method, and 5 variations of the first derivative method against manually selected onsets, in the countermovement jump and squat. Limits of agreement with respect to onsets, manually selected from unfiltered data, were best for the first derivative method using a 10-Hz low-pass filter (limits of agreement: −0.02 to 0.05 s and −0.07 to 0.11 s for the countermovement jump and squat, respectively). Thus, even when the onset of unfiltered data is of primary interest, filtering before calculating the first derivative is necessary as it reduces the amplification of high frequencies. The first derivative approach is also less susceptible to inherent variation during the quiet phase prior to the onset compared to the other approaches investigated.

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Jesús Díaz-García, Bart Roelands, Jelle Habay, Inmaculada González-Ponce, Miguel Ángel López-Gajardo, Tomás García-Calvo, and Jeroen Van Cutsem

This study aimed to assess, for the first time, how self-reported sleep, mental toughness, and reaction time are impacted by a professional padel tournament. In addition, we evaluated whether sex, age, and/or ranking play a role in this possible effect of a tournament on these variables. Twenty-three professional players (15 men, M age = 24 ± 6 years; eight women, M age = 21 ± 5 years) were evaluated on two occasions: (a) baseline, in a noncompetitive week and (b) postmeasure, the morning after an individual was eliminated from the tournament. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Mental Toughness Questionnaire, and the psychomotor vigilance task were used to evaluate the dependent variables. Wilcoxon tests or paired samples t tests were employed to assess the effect of participating in the tournament. To test correlations between variables, Pearson correlation coefficients (quantitative variables) or chi-square distributions (qualitative variables) were employed. Results showed that self-reported sleep (p < .01), mental toughness (p = .01), and reaction time (p = .04) were significantly impaired by the tournament. Exploring moderating variables, results showed that mental toughness did not correlate with sleep impairments (p > .05). In contrast, a nearly significant correlation between sleep impairments and higher reaction times was found (p = .066). No significant effects of age, sex, and ranking were observed. In conclusion, participating in a padel competition impairs the self-reported sleep, mental toughness, and reaction time of professional padel players. A trend toward a significant correlation between the competition-related impairment in sleep and reaction time was observed, whereas age, ranking, and sex were not found to be moderators of any of these impairments.

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Xiaoxia Zhang, Zackary G. Kern, and Joonkoo Yun

This study aimed to examine physical activity (PA) levels and mental health status (i.e., anxiety and depression) among parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Secondary data analysis was conducted using the 2018 National Health Interview Survey. We identified 139 parents of children with ASD and 4,470 parents of children with no disability. Their PA levels, anxiety, and depression were analyzed. Compared with parents of children with no disability, parents of children with ASD were significantly less likely to meet the PA guideline for Americans and had lower odds of vigorous PA (aOR = 0.702), strengthening PA (aOR = 0.885), and light to moderate PA (aOR = 0.994). Parents of children with ASD reported significantly higher odds of anxiety (aOR = 1.559) and depression (aOR = 1.885). This study revealed lower PA levels and higher risks of anxiety and depression in parents of children with ASD.

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Jurate Pozeriene, Arūnas Emeljanovas, Vida Ostaseviciene, Kestutis Skucas, Kristina Bradauskiene, Renatas Mizeras, Ausrine Packeviciute, Kristina Venckuniene, Vaida Pokvytyte, Diana Reklaitiene, and Kwok Ng

Despite the recognized benefits of physical activity (PA) for children and adolescents with disabilities (CAWD), collective information on this is lacking in Lithuania. The purpose of this study was to investigate the current “state of the nation” PA levels of CAWD, based on the 10 indicators from the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Global Matrix 4.0 methodology. Scientific articles, practical reports, and published theses related to the 10 indicators from the Global Matrix 4.0 on CAWD age 6–19 years were reviewed, and data were converted to grades from A to F. (A) Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis was carried out to interpret the grades by four experts. Data on organized sport participation (F), school (D), community & environment (D), and government (C) were available. Data on other indicators are largely missing yet are needed for policymakers and researchers to be aware of the current state of PA among CAWD.

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Shigetada Kudo, Yuji Matsuda, Yoshihisa Sakurai, and Yasushi Ikuta

This study aims to investigate the difference in hand acceleration induced by rapid changes in hand movement directions and propulsion between fast and slow groups of swimmers during front crawl swimming. Twenty-two participants, consisting of 11 fast and 11 slow swimmers, performed front crawl swimming at their maximal effort. Hand acceleration and velocity and the angle of attack were measured using a motion capture system. The dynamic pressure approach was used to estimate hand propulsion. In the insweep phase, the fast group attained significantly higher hand acceleration than the slow group in the lateral and vertical directions (15.31 [3.44] m·s−2 vs 12.23 [2.60] m·s−2 and 14.37 [1.70] m·s−2 vs 12.15 [1.21] m·s−2), and the fast group exerted significantly larger hand propulsion than the slow group (53 [5] N vs 44 [7] N). Although the fast group attained large hand acceleration and propulsion during the insweep phase, the hand velocity and the angle of attack were not significantly different in the 2 groups. The rapid change in hand movement direction could be considered in the technique of underwater arm stroke, particularly in the vertical direction, to increase hand propulsion during front crawl swimming.

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José Francisco López-Gil, Susana Aznar, Blanca Roman-Viñas, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Rocío Izquierdo-Gómez, Sabina Barrios-Fernández, Olga Rodríguez Ferrán, and Salome Aubert

This report aims to provide a better understanding of physical activity (PA) and related factors among Spanish children and adolescents living with disabilities. The 10 indicators used for the Global Matrix on Para Report Cards of children and adolescents living with disabilities were evaluated based on the best available data in Spain. An analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats based on data provision was drafted by three experts and critically reviewed by the authorship team to provide a national perspective for each evaluated indicator. Government was the indicator with the highest grade (C+), followed by Sedentary Behaviors (C−), School (D), Overall PA (D−), and Community & Environment (F). The remaining indicators received an incomplete grade. There were low levels of PA in Spanish children and adolescents living with disabilities. Yet, opportunities to improve the current surveillance of PA among this population exist.