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Running Habits and Injury Frequency Following COVID-19 Restrictions in Adolescent Long-Distance Runners

Rachel N. Meyers, Micah C. Garcia, Jeffery A. Taylor-Haas, Jason T. Long, Mitchell J. Rauh, Mark V. Paterno, Kevin R. Ford, and David M. Bazett-Jones

Purpose: A decline in youth running was observed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated whether the resumption of organized running after social distancing restrictions changed running habits or injury frequency in adolescent runners. Methods: Adolescents (age = 16.1 [2.1] y) who participated in long-distance running activities completed an online survey in the Spring and Fall of 2020. Participants self-reported average weekly running habits and whether they sustained an injury during the Fall 2020 season. Poisson regression models and 1-way analysis of variance compared running habits while Fisher exact test compared differences in frequencies of injuries during Fall 2020 among season statuses (full, delayed, and canceled). Results: All runners, regardless of season status, increased weekly distance during Fall 2020. Only runners with a full Fall 2020 season ran more times per week and more high-intensity runs per week compared with their Spring 2020 running habits. There were no differences in running volume or running-related injury frequency among Fall 2020 season statuses. Conclusions: There were no significant differences in running-related injury (RRI) frequency among runners, regardless of season status, following the resumption of cross-country. Health care providers may need to prepare for runners to increase running volume and intensity following the resumption of organized team activities.

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Feasibility and Utility of a Fitbit Tracker Among Ambulatory Children and Youth With Disabilities

Emily Bremer, Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Brianna Tsui, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, Sarah A. Moore, Krista L. Best, and Christine Voss

Purpose: To examine the feasibility and utility of the Fitbit Charge HR to estimate physical activity among ambulatory children and youth with disabilities. Method: Participants (4–17 y old) with disabilities were recruited and asked to wear a Fitbit for 28 days. Feasibility was assessed as the number of participants who adhered to the 28-day protocol. Heat maps were generated to visually examine variability in step count by age, gender, and disability group. Between-group differences for wear time and step counts by age, gender, and disability type were assessed by independent sample t tests for gender and disability group, and a 1-way analysis of variance for age group. Results: Participants (N = 157; median age = 10 y; 71% boys; 71% nonphysical disabilities) averaged 21 valid days of wear time. Wear time was higher in girls than boys (mean difference = 18.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.8 to 29.1), and in preadolescents (mean difference = 27.6; 95% CI, 15.5 to 39.7) and adolescents (mean difference = −21.2; 95% CI, −33.6 to −8.7) than children. More daily steps were taken by boys than girls (mean difference = −1040; 95% CI, −1465 to −615) and individuals with a nonphysical disability than a physical disability (mean difference = −1120; 95% CI, −1474 to −765). The heat maps showed peaks in physical activity on weekdays before school, at recess, lunchtime, and after school. Conclusion: The Fitbit is a feasible tool for monitoring physical activity among ambulatory children and youth with disabilities and may be useful for population-level surveillance and intervention.

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Comparison Between Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Functions of Cognitive Control in Adolescents: A Tracking Study of 3 Years

Vinícius Muller Reis Weber, Jose Castro‐Piñero, Julio Cesar da Costa, Daniel Zanardini Fernandes, Marcelo Romanzini, and Enio Ricardo Vaz Ronque

Purpose: Compare tracking groups with cognitive control functions and plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factors concentrations from childhood to adolescence. Methods: This is a prospective study with 3 years of follow-up. At baseline, data from 394 individuals were collected (11.7 y), and data were obtained from 134 adolescents (14.9 y) at the 3-year follow-up. At both time points, anthropometric and maximal oxygen uptake data were collected. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) groups were classified into high or low CRF. At follow-up, cognitive outcomes were collected via the Stroop and Corsi block test; plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factors concentrations were also analyzed. Results: Comparisons demonstrated that maintaining high CRF over 3 years results in shorter reaction time, better inhibitory control, and higher working memory values. Likewise, the group that moved from low to high CRF over 3 years presented better reaction time. Plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factors concentrations were higher for the group that increased its CRF over the 3 years in relation to the low–low group (90.58 pg·mL−1; P = .004). However, after scaling by an allometric approach, differences were only found for reaction time and working memory between high–high and high–low groups. Conclusion: Maintaining high CRF over 3 years was positively related to reaction time and working memory in relation to adolescents that decreased their levels of CRF.

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Volume 35 (2023): Issue 2 (May 2023)

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Reporting of Adverse Events in Muscle Strengthening Interventions in Youth: A Systematic Review

Diane E. Mack, Daniel Anzovino, Malcolm Sanderson, Raffy Dotan, and Bareket Falk

Clear definition, identification, and reporting of adverse event (AE) monitoring during training interventions are essential for decision making regarding the safety of training and testing in youths. Purpose: To document the extent to which AEs, resulting from intervention studies targeting muscle strengthening training (MST) in youth, are reported by researchers. Methods: Electronic databases (CINAHL, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science) were searched for English peer-reviewed articles published before April 2018. Inclusion criteria were: (1) average age <16 years, (2) use of MST, (3) statement(s) linked to the presence/absence of AEs, and (4) randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental designs. Risk of reporting bias for AEs followed recommendations by the Cochrane Collaboration group. Results: One hundred and ninety-one full-text articles were screened. One hundred and thirty met all MST criteria, out of which only 44 (33.8%; n = 1278, age = 12.1 [1.1] y) included a statement as to the presence/absence of adverse events. The 86 other studies (66.2%) included no such statement. Of the reporting 44 studies, 18 (40.1%) indicated one or more adverse events. Of the 93 reported adverse events, 55 (59.1%) were linked to training or testing. Conclusions: Most MST studies in youth do not report presence/absence of adverse events, and when reported, adverse events are not well defined.

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Mobile Electroencephalography Reveals Differences in Cortical Processing During Exercises With Lower and Higher Cognitive Demands in Preadolescent Children

Linda Becker, Daniel Büchel, Tim Lehmann, Miriam Kehne, and Jochen Baumeister

Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine whether cortical activity changes during exercise with increasing cognitive demands in preadolescent children. Method: Twenty healthy children (8.75 [0.91] y) performed one movement game, which was conducted with lower and higher cognitive demands. During a baseline measurement and both exercise conditions, cortical activity was recorded using a 64-channel electroencephalographic system, and heart rate was assessed. Ratings of perceived excertion and perceived cognitive engagement were examined after each condition. To analyze power spectral density in the theta, alpha-1, and alpha-2 frequency bands, an adaptive mixture independent component analysis was used to determine the spatiotemporal sources of cortical activity, and brain components were clustered to identify spatial clusters. Results: One-way repeated-measures analyses of variance revealed significant main effects for condition on theta in the prefrontal cluster, on alpha-1 in the prefrontal, central, bilateral motor, bilateral parieto-occipital, and occipital clusters, and on alpha-2 in the left motor, central, and left parieto-occipital clusters. Compared with the lower cognitive demand exercise, cortical activity was significantly higher in theta power in the prefrontal cluster and in alpha-1 power in the occipital cluster during the higher cognitive demand exercise. Conclusion: The present study shows that exercise complexity seems to influence cortical processing as it increased with increasing cognitive demands.

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Physical Activity Levels and Adiposity in Ambulant Children and Adolescents With Cerebral Palsy Compared With Their Typically Developing Peers

Leticia Janzen, Clodagh M. Toomey, Laura K. Brunton, Elizabeth G. Condliffe, Shane Esau, Adam Kirton, Carolyn A. Emery, and Gregor Kuntze

Purpose: This study assessed physical activity (PA) and body composition of ambulatory children and adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP) and their typically developing peers. Methods: Participants included youth with CP (ages 8–18 y and Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS] levels I–III) and their typically developing peers. Outcomes included PA (actigraphy) and fat/lean mass index (FMI/LMI; dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry). Statistical analyses included linear mixed effects models with Bonferroni adjustment. Fixed effects were study group (CP and typically developing); random effects were participant clusters (sex and age). Exploratory analyses included association of body composition and PA, GMFCS level, and CP involvement (unilateral and bilateral). Results: Seventy-eight participants (CP: n = 40, girls: n = 29; GMFCS I: n = 20; GMFCS II: n = 14; GMFCS III: n = 6) met inclusion criteria. Individuals with CP had lower moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA; β = −12.5; 98.3% confidence interval, −22.6 to −2.5 min; P = .004) and lower LMI (β = −1.1; 97.5% confidence interval, −2.1 to −0.0 kg/m2; P = .020). Exploratory analyses indicated increased LMI with greater MVPA (P = .001), reduced MVPA for GMFCS II (P = .005) and III (P = .001), increased sedentary time for GMFCS III (P = .006), and greater fat mass index with unilateral motor impairment (P = .026). Conclusions: The findings contribute to the knowledge base of increasing MVPA and LMI deficits with the greater functional impact of CP. Associations of increasing LMI with greater MVPA support efforts targeting enhanced PA participation to promote independent mobility.

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Volume 35 (2023): Issue 1 (Feb 2023)

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Identifying Risk Profiles for Nonadherence to the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth 6 Months Into the COVID-19 Pandemic

Michelle D. Guerrero, Sarah Moore, Guy Faulkner, Karen C. Roberts, Raktim Mitra, Leigh M. Vanderloo, Ryan E. Rhodes, and Mark S. Tremblay

Purpose: The purposes of the current study were to identify risk profiles for nonadherence among children and youth (5–17 y) at the 6-month mark of the COVID-19 pandemic and to discuss similarities and differences between risk profiles identified in the current study and those identified at the 1-month mark of the pandemic. Methods: Data were part of a nationally representative sample of 1143 parents (M age = 43.07 y, SD = 8.16) of children and youth (5–17 y) living in Canada. Survey data were collected in October 2020. Results: Results showed that 3.8% met all movement behavior recommendations, 16.2% met the physical activity recommendation, 27% met the screen time recommendation, and 63.8% met the sleep recommendation. Characteristics associated with nonadherence to all movement behaviors included low parental perceived capability to restrict screen time and decreased overall time spent outdoors. Characteristics associated with nonadherence to the physical activity and screen time recommendations included youth (12–17 y), low parental perceived capability to restrict screen time, decreased time spent outdoors, and increased screen time. Conclusion: Results emphasized the importance of parental perceived capability to restrict screen time and children’s and youth’s outdoor time and showed that pandemic-related factors have impacted children and youth differently.

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Reliability of Fitness Assessments in Children With Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties

Ashley C. Almarjawi, Kemi E. Wright, Brett D. Buist, John Cairney, Tony T. Ton, and Bonnie J. Furzer

Purpose: Examine the reliability of field-based fitness assessments in school-aged children with emotional or behavioral difficulties (EBD). Understanding the impact of fitness on physical activity participation for children with EBD is limited by our ability to reliably measure it. Methods: Fifteen children aged 7–12 years with EBD completed 7 assessments—standing broad jump, overhead throw, grip strength, isometric plank hold, isometric wall squat, unilateral heel raise, and modified 6-minute walk test—in a random order on 2 separate occasions. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were computed to evaluate reliability. Results: ICCs ranged from .65 to .99 representing moderate to excellent reliability for all assessments. Shorter assessments requiring less attention and behavior regulation tended to demonstrate higher ICC values while assessments with greater attention or behavioral regulation demands tended to have lower ICC values. Conclusion: Results demonstrate varied reliability for fitness tests in children with EBD. Practitioners can use grip strength and standing broad jump assessments with confidence. Other assessments have good reliability but greater variability indicating they may be a challenge for some children with EBD.