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Katie L. Kowalski, Ali Boolani, and Anita D. Christie

Compromised attentional resources during perceived fatigue has been suggested to alter motor control. The authors determined if measures of postural control and gait are predicted by state and trait physical and mental fatigue and energy, and how these relationships are modified by sex, sleep quality, and physical activity. Young adults (n = 119) completed the Modified Clinical Test of Sensory Integration, overground walking, and questionnaires to quantify fatigue and energy, sleep quality, and physical activity. Regression models indicated that trait fatigue, trait energy, and sleep quality were predictors of postural control (p ≤ .02, R 2 ≥ .04). State fatigue, state energy, and sex were predictors of gait (p ≤ .05, R 2 ≥ .03). While the variance explained was low (3–13%), the results demonstrate perceptions of fatigue and energy may influence posture and gait.

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Jessica Murphy, Karen A. Patte, Philip Sullivan, and Scott T. Leatherdale

The mental health benefits of physical activity may relate more to the context of the behavior, rather than the behavior of being active itself. The association between varsity sport (VS) participation, depression, and anxiety symptoms was explored using data from 70,449 high school students from the Cannabis use, Obesity, Mental health, Physical activity, Alcohol use, Smoking, and Sedentary behavior study. The model adjusted for potential covariates; interactions by sex and participation in outside of school sport (OSS) were explored. Overall, 70% and 24% of respondents met or exceeded cutoff values for depression and anxiety, respectively. Students participating in VS had lower symptoms of anxiety and depression compared with nonparticipants. Results were consistent regardless of OSS participation; associations were strongest among students who participated in both VS and OSS and males. Participation in VS may prove beneficial for the prevention and/or management of depression or anxiety symptoms, particularly among males. An additive beneficial effect of OSS on depression and anxiety scores may exist.

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Thiago R.T. Santos, Sergio T. Fonseca, Vanessa L. Araújo, Sangjun Lee, Fabricio Saucedo, Stephen Allen, Christopher Siviy, Thales R. Souza, Conor Walsh, and Kenneth G. Holt

The addition of a load during walking requires changes in the movement pattern. The investigation of the dynamic joint stiffness behavior may help to understand the lower limb joints’ contribution to these changes. This study aimed to investigate the dynamic stiffness of lower limb joints in response to the increased load carried while walking. Thirteen participants walked in two conditions: unloaded (an empty backpack) and loaded (the same backpack plus added mass corresponding to 30% of body mass). Dynamic stiffness was calculated as the linear slope of the regression line on the moment–angle curve during the power absorption phases of the ankle, knee, and hip in the sagittal plane. The results showed that ankle (P = .002) and knee (P < .001) increased their dynamic stiffness during loaded walking compared with unloaded, but no difference was observed at the hip (P = .332). The dynamic stiffness changes were different among joints (P < .001): ankle and knee changes were not different (P < .992), but they had a greater change than hip (P < .001). The nonuniform increases in lower limb joint dynamic stiffness suggest that the ankle and knee are critical joints to deal with the extra loading.

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Lazar Tomic, Danica Janicijevic, Aleksandar Nedeljkovic, Bojan Leontijevic, and Amador García-Ramos

Reliability and sensitivity of reaction time (RT) during quasi-realistic soccer situations was explored in 10 professional soccer players (skilled; age = 20.9 ± 3.6 years) and 10 males without soccer experience (nonskilled; age = 23.4 ± 0.5 years). The participants were instructed to react as fast as possible to a stimulus presented via the video-based method while standing on force platforms. RT was computed as the difference between the instant when the rate of force development of any leg reaches 5% of its maximal value and the instant of stimulus presentation. The results revealed acceptable to high reliability of RT (intraclass correlation coefficient median = .90; coefficient of variation ≤ 5.83%), and shorter RT for skilled compared with nonskilled participants in three out of eight comparisons (effect size range = 1.00–1.41). The video-based methods can be confidently used to assess the RT in soccer players.

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Takuya Ibara, Makoto Takahashi, Koichi Shinkoda, Mahito Kawashima, and Masaya Anan

This study aimed to investigate the hip sway and the relationship between the center of pressure (CoP) and kinematic parameters regarding the time series scaling component α in patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA) during a one-leg standing task. The scaling exponent α, SD, hip sway maximal acceleration change, and balance performance, which was measured using CoP parameters, were compared between hip OA and control groups during a one-leg standing task. The relationships between balance performance with CoP parameters and kinematic parameters were investigated with the regression analysis. In the hip OA group, the scaling exponent α was smaller in the medial–lateral direction, and the SD and maximal amount of change in hip sway acceleration were larger in the anterior–posterior direction in the hip OA group. In this group, the CoP parameters were significantly associated with α in the medial–lateral direction (negatively) and in the anterior–posterior direction (positively). In the hip OA group, hip sway adaptability in the medial–lateral direction was limited, while the anterior–posterior direction showed greater movement.

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Samantha M. Ross, Kathleen McCarty, Bridgette M. Schram, and Layne Case

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Kyle Pushkarenko, Janice Causgrove Dunn, and Donna L. Goodwin

Countering the declining physical activity patterns of children labeled with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has gained considerable research attention given its impact on health and quality of life. The purpose of this study was to explore how parents of children labeled with ASD understand the concept of physical literacy, based on their children’s participation in community-based physical activity programs. Using interpretive phenomenological analysis, six mothers of children labeled with ASD participated in one-on-one semistructured interviews. The conceptual framework of ecological systems theory supported the rationale for the study purpose, provided structure for the interview guide, and offered a reflexive context for interpretation. Four themes were generated from the thematic analysis: From embodied movement to normative skill expectations, Be flexible, not rigid, Systematic exclusion, and Valuable? . . . Absolutely! Despite experiences of marginalization, exclusion, and trauma within physical activity programs, mothers valued physical literacy development for their children given the positive outcomes of increasing family connections, engagement with peers, and enhanced wellness.

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Amanda Young, Seán Healy, Lisa Silliman-French, and Ali Brian

To inform the development of scalable and sustainable fundamental motor skill interventions for children with Down syndrome, this study examined the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of Project Skill Intervention Implemented by Parents (Project SKIP), a web-based, parent-mediated intervention intended to improve ball skills among children with Down syndrome. Twenty-four families enrolled in the study (including 13 boys and 11 girls; M age = 4.92). Fourteen children were assigned to an experimental group and participated in the 6-week intervention, and 10 children served as the inactive comparison group. The Test of Gross Motor Development-3 was administered preintervention and postintervention. In addition, parents of children in the experimental group completed a postintervention survey to assess their perceptions of Project SKIP. Following the intervention, there was a significant improvement in ball skills (p = .023, d = 0.86) for children in the experimental group, whereas the comparison group did not show significant improvement. Moreover, parents perceived Project SKIP to be feasible and effective; all parents reported being satisfied with their overall experience in the program, and 11 parents indicated that their child’s fundamental motor skills were positively influenced by the intervention. Engagement was high, with the majority of parents (n = 8, 57%) interacting with Project SKIP content three to four times a week.