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Astrid Reif, Markus Hackl, Alfred Nimmerichter, Stefan Oesen, Harald Tschan, Norbert Bachl, Christoph Triska, and Barbara Wessner

Background: Time constraints comprise one limiting factor for implementing school-based physical activity programs. The aim of this pilot cluster randomized controlled study was to explore the effects of a cycle ergometer intervention during regular lessons on physical fitness, body composition, and health-related blood parameters. Methods: Participants attended one of 2 classes selected from one school, which were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n = 23, 11.2 [0.5] y) consisting of cycling on classroom-based ergometers during 3 lessons per week at a self-selected intensity and a control group (n = 21, 11.3 [0.5] y) not receiving any treatment. Prior to and after the 5-month intervention period, physical fitness (with ventilatory threshold as primary outcome), body composition, and parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism were assessed. Results: A significant time × group interaction was revealed for ventilatory threshold (P = .035), respiratory compensation point (P = .038), gross efficiency (P < .001), maximal aerobic power (P = .024), triglycerides (P = .041), and blood glucose levels (P = .041) with benefits for the intervention group. Peak oxygen uptake and body composition were not affected. Conclusions: Children’s aerobic capacity benefited from the low-intensity school-based cycling intervention, while body composition and most blood parameters were not affected. The intervention using cycle ergometers is a feasible and time-saving strategy to elevate submaximal physical fitness.

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Bradley Beseler, Christopher Mesagno, Michael Spittle, Nicola F. Johnson, Jack Harvey, Scott Talpey, and Mandy S. Plumb

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the follow-through on thrown ball velocity, potentially justifying inclusion of the follow-through in Roberton’s five critical components. Method: Seventy-eight University students participated in the overarm, dominant hand, throwing task, which involved throwing a standard tennis ball with maximum force three times. Each throw was filmed by two cameras placed behind and to the open side of the thrower to assess the throwing technique. The velocity of the throws was recorded with a radar gun. Results: Results indicated that, after accounting for the effects of gender, age, and throwing experience, there was a significant effect of follow-through level on throw velocity. Analysis of covariance also revealed a significant gender effect, with males throwing significantly faster than females. Results indicated the follow-through had the second largest impact on thrown ball velocity of all six components. Discussion: These findings provide preliminary support that the follow-through should be added to Roberton’s developmental levels. The inclusion of the follow-through component could assist teachers and coaches to facilitate learner and athlete development and could also improve the accuracy of throwing development assessment.

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Laurie-Anne Kosak, Kianoush Harandian, Marie-Josée Harbec, and Linda S. Pagani

Background: Childhood sport helps children develop growth and maturation, while simultaneously offering self-regulation, motor, and social skills training. This study aims to estimate the influence of sport participation at age 6 years on indicators of health at age 8 years, using a prospective longitudinal birth cohort design. Methods: Participants were 1492 children aged 6–8 years from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development. Lower muscular power was measured with the standing long jump test. Girth used the children’s waist circumference in centimeters. Body mass index was computed from child height and weight. We regressed these directly measured health indicators at age 8 years on parent-reported physical activity at age 6 years using linear Ordinary Least Squares regression. Results: Boys who participated in more physical activity at age 6 years had better lower muscular power (b = 2.368; 95% CI, 0.341 to 4.395) and higher body mass index (b = 0.340; 95% CI, 0.055 to 0.626). No significant results were found for girls. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that physical activity in kindergarten has a positive impact on muscular power by the end of the second grade in boys. This supports the pertinence of implementing physical activity to a routine early in life to help children improve their general health.

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Kim Gammage, Jeff Caron, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Matt Hoffman, Christopher Hill, Sean Locke, Desi McEwan, Kathleen Mellano, Eva Pila, Matthew Stork, and Svenja Wolf

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Heidi Gilchrist, Abby Haynes, Juliana S. Oliveira, Anne Grunseit, Catherine Sherrington, Adrian Bauman, Roberta Shepherd, and Anne Tiedemann

Exercise that targets balance and strength is proven to prevent falls in older age. The Successful AGEing yoga trial is the first large randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of yoga on falls in people aged ≥60 years. We conducted a realist process evaluation to explain the strong participant engagement observed using interviews (21 participants and three yoga instructors) and focus groups (12 participants and four yoga instructors). Results showed that relaxation, breathing, and yoga’s mind–body connection created a satisfying internal focus on bodily sensation which was valued by participants. The mechanisms of mindfulness and embodiment appeared to facilitate this. Mindfulness and embodiment are also linked to, and enhance engagement with, other forms of physical activity. By focusing creatively on these mechanisms, we can develop a range of programs that target improvements in physical and mental health (including reducing falls and fear of falls) and appeal to older people.

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Martha J. Anderson, Yvette Ingram, Linda Meyer, Thomas West, and Ellen West

Collegiate athletes have demonstrated a need for social support to help cope with their daily responsibilities. The purpose of this research was to explore National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II athletes’ perception of social support from friends, teammates, family, coaches, significant others, and athletic trainers following injury, illness, or other identified life stressors. There were 546 participants who completed a five-part survey using the University Stress Scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Athletic Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Perceived Stress Scale, and a demographic section. Of the participants, 352 (64.5%) stated that they experienced moderate stress levels, and all participants indicated experiencing an identified life stressor within the last 12 months. The results indicated statistically significant differences when comparing providers of social support: females preferred the support of friends, significant others, and athletic trainers, and freshmen and sophomores perceived more social support from friends than did juniors and seniors.