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Hitoshi Oda, Yasushi Sawaguchi, Hiroshi Kunimura, Taku Kawasaki, and Koichi Hiraoka

This study examined whether the current movement follows the previous movement and whether this process is enhanced by somatosensory stimulation or is gated while retrieving and using the memory of the previously practiced target end point. Healthy humans abducted the index finger to a previously practiced target (target movement) or abducted it freely without aiming at the target (nontarget movement). The end point of the nontarget movement had a positive correlation with the previous nontarget movement only when somatosensory stimulation was given during the previous movement, indicating that the current nontarget movement follows the previous nontarget movement with somatosensory stimulation. No conclusive evidence of whether this process is gated by retrieving and using the memory of the previously practiced target was found.

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Michal Vágner, Zdeněk Bílek, Karel Sýkora, Vladimír Michalička, Lubomír Přívětivý, Miloš Fiala, Adam Maszczyk, and Petr Stastny

The aim of this study was to find the effect of holographic sight (HS) on short-distance shooting accuracy and precision during static and high-intensity dynamic actions. Twenty policemen (31 ± 2.2 years, 85.6 ± 6.1 kg, and 181.9 ± 4.4 cm) performed five shots in the 10-s limit under the static condition for 20 m and dynamic condition 15–5 m, and after 4 × 10 m sprint action, both with fixed sight (FS) and HS. The analysis of variance post hoc test revealed that HSstatic had higher shouting accuracy than FSstatic, FSdynamic, and HSdynamic (p = .03, p = .0001, and p = .0001, respectively) and FSdynamic had lower precision than FSstatic, HSstatic, and HSdynamic (p = .0003, p = .0001, and p = .01, respectively) in vertical sway. The HS for rifles has improved the accuracy of static shooting and vertical sway precision of dynamic shooting.

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David P. Schary and Carolina Lundqvist

In reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictive policies altered student-athletes’ academic and athletic life. Sparse research has investigated the pandemic’s effect on student-athlete mental health in terms of both negative (e.g., depression, anxiety) and positive (e.g., well-being, quality of life) dimensions. This study explored the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on well-being and quality of life among National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I student-athletes at different stages of their collegiate career. Ninety-nine student-athletes (M age = 19.7 years, SD = 1.5) completed assessments on their mental health. Regression analysis revealed experiences directly related to COVID-19 did not affect general well-being or quality of life, but anxiety, depression, and significant insomnia did. Social well-being was lower for student-athletes closer to graduation (e.g., juniors, seniors), independent of reported anxiety and depression levels. These findings highlight the importance of psychosocial support, particularly in times of crisis, and indicate that tailored support might be beneficial at later stages of the collegiate years.

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Mary D. Fry, Candace M. Hogue, Susumu Iwasaki, and Gloria B. Solomon

Psychological coping skills in sport are believed to be central to athlete performance and well-being. This study examined the relationship between the perceived motivational climate in elite collegiate sport teams and player psychological coping skills use. Division I athletes (N = 467) completed a questionnaire examining their perceptions of how caring, task-, and ego-involving their teams were and their use of sport specific psychological coping skills (i.e., coping with adversity, peaking under pressure, goal setting/mental preparation, concentration, freedom from worry, confidence/achievement motivation, and coachability). Structural equation modeling revealed positive relationships between perceptions of a task-involving climate and confidence/achievement motivation (β = 0.42) and goal setting/mental preparation (β = 0.27). Caring climate perceptions were positively associated with coachability (β = 0.34). These findings illustrate how encouraging athletes and coaches to create a caring, task-involving climate may facilitate athletes’ use of psychological coping skills and set athletes up to perform their best and have a positive sporting experience.

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Nathan Harrison, W. Zach Garrett, and Mark K. Timmons

Context: Fatigue of the scapular stabilizing muscles resulting from repeated arm motion has been reported to alter scapular kinematics, which could result in shoulder pathology, especially impingement. Objective: This study aimed to examine the effects of fatigue of the serratus anterior muscle on scapular kinematics, specifically, decrease scapular posterior tilt and upward scapular rotation during arm elevation. Design: Repeated measures. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: Thirty participants were included in the investigation. Interventions: Scapular kinematics and shoulder strength were measured before and immediately following a serratus anterior fatigue protocol. Main Outcome: Scapular 3-dimensional position during arm elevation. Results: No difference in upward rotation of the scapula between prefatigue and postfatigue conditions (ascending: P = .188; descending: P = .798). Scapular posterior tilt decreased during arm elevation following the fatigue protocol between 60° and 90° and 90° and 120° of arm elevation during the ascent (P = .004) and the descent (P = .013). Fatigue by arm elevation angle interaction was found for clavicular elevation during the ascent (P = .050) between 90° and 120° of arm elevation. Scapular internal rotation increased during the ascent (P = .027). There was no difference in clavicular protraction between the prefatigue and postfatigue conditions (ascending: P ≤ .001; descending: P ≤ .001). Conclusion: Fatigue of the serratus anterior decreases posterior scapular tilt and greater clavicular elevation and scapular internal rotation at higher arm elevation angles. These findings are consistent with the scapular kinematic patterns associated with shoulder pain. Improving serratus anterior endurance might delay the changes in scapular kinematics associated with repeated arm motion and shoulder injury mechanisms.

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Yonglin Liang, Francisco T.T. Lai, Joyce L.Y. Kwan, Wai Chan, and Eng-Kiong Yeoh

Multimorbidity is associated with increased depression risks. Little research examines how physical exercise moderates this association. From an existing cohort of community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong recruited in 2001–2003, the authors included participants who were successfully interviewed after 14 years (2015–2017). Geriatric depressive symptoms were used as the primary outcome and measured by the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale, while multimorbidity was operationalized using a list of 19 conditions. Subscores of the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly measuring light, moderate, and strenuous sport/recreational activities were included as moderators. In total, 1,056 participants were included, of whom 50.7% were multimorbid. Multimorbidity was associated with 12% more geriatric depressive symptoms, but strenuous physical activities were associated with a smaller risk elevation only among multimorbid patients (adjusted relative risk = 0.99, 95% confidence interval [0.98, 0.99]; p = .001). In conclusion, strenuous sport and recreational activities may attenuate the association between multimorbidity and geriatric depressive symptoms.

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Anna Posbergh and Shannon Jette

In contrast to the sex-segregated model that dominates sport and contributes to its tradition of hegemonic masculinity, collegiate track and field typically follows a sex-integrated structure whereby men and women train, travel, and compete together. In this article, the authors examined how six collegiate male track-and-field athletes who are part of a sex-integrated team navigate gendered norms and hierarchies with a particular focus on their understandings of gender(ed) performance and abilities. Grounded in a feminist poststructuralist framework, the authors’ analysis found that although the participants were accepting of a sex-integrated training environment and challenged some gender stereotypes and instances of sexism, they simultaneously reified these same gender stereotypes by characterizing women athletes as “emotional” or “less competitive” and advocated individual solutions to institutional sexism.

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Cindy M.T. van der Avoort, Luc J.C. van Loon, Lex B. Verdijk, Paul P.C. Poyck, Dick T.J. Thijssen, and Maria T.E. Hopman

Previous studies have used supplements to increase dietary nitrate intake in clinical populations. Little is known about whether effects can also be induced through vegetable consumption. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the impact of dietary nitrate, through nitrate-rich vegetables (NRV) and beetroot juice (BRJ) supplementation, on plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations, exercise tolerance, muscle oxygenation, and cardiovascular function in patients with peripheral arterial disease. In a randomized crossover design, 18 patients with peripheral arterial disease (age: 73 ± 8 years) followed a nitrate intake protocol (∼6.5 mmol) through the consumption of NRV, BRJ, and nitrate-depleted BRJ (placebo). Blood samples were taken, blood pressure and arterial stiffness were measured in fasted state and 150 min after intervention. Each intervention was followed by a maximal walking exercise test to determine claudication onset time and peak walking time. Gastrocnemius oxygenation was measured by near-infrared spectroscopy. Blood samples were taken and blood pressure was measured 10 min after exercise. Mean plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations increased (nitrate; Time × Intervention interaction; p < .001), with the highest concentrations after BRJ (494 ± 110 μmol/L) compared with NRV (202 ± 89 μmol/L) and placebo (80 ± 19 μmol/L; p < .001). Mean claudication onset time and peak walking time did not differ between NRV (413 ± 187 s and 745 ± 220 s, respectively), BRJ (392 ± 154 s and 746 ± 176 s), and placebo (403 ± 176 s and 696 ± 222 s) (p = .762 and p = .165, respectively). Gastrocnemius oxygenation, blood pressure, and arterial stiffness were not affected by the intervention. NRV and BRJ intake markedly increase plasma nitrate and nitrite, but this does not translate to improved exercise tolerance, muscle oxygenation, and/or cardiovascular function.

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Oriana Wong, Keiko Marshall, Marc Sicova, Nanci S. Guest, Bibiana García-Bailo, and Ahmed El-Sohemy

Caffeine is commonly used to improve athletic performance across a variety of sports. Previously, the CYP1A2 gene has been shown to modify the effects of caffeine on endurance performance. The effect of caffeine on strength and power activities is unclear and may differ depending on an individual’s CYP1A2 genotype. A randomized controlled trial was used to determine whether caffeine impacts strength and power, determined by the handgrip and vertical jump tests, respectively, and whether CYP1A2 genotype modifies any effects. Competitive male athletes (age = 25 ± 4 years) completed vertical jump (n = 97), and handgrip tests (n = 102) under three conditions: 0 (placebo), 2, or 4 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body mass (in milligrams per kilogram). CYP1A2 (rs762551) genotype was determined from saliva samples. No differences between caffeine doses and placebo were observed for strength or power; however, significant Caffeine × Gene interactions were observed for all exercise tests. Individuals with the CC genotype experienced a 12.8% decrease in handgrip strength with 4 mg/kg of caffeine compared with placebo (53 ± 11 kg vs. 61 ± 17 kg, p = .02). No differences were observed in those with the AC or AA genotypes. Despite observing a significant Caffeine × Gene interaction for vertical jump performance, no differences were observed between caffeine doses and placebo for all genotypes. In summary, caffeine (4 mg/kg) worsened handgrip strength performance in those with the CC genotype, but no differences were observed in those with the AC or AA genotypes. Athletes may want to consider their CYP1A2 genotype prior to using caffeine to improve muscle strength.