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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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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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Dheyani Malde, Natalie Pizzimenti, John McCamley, and Bonnie Sumner

There is limited research that directly compares the effect of reduced speed with reduced propulsive force production (PFP) on age-related gait changes. We aimed to determine how changes in the gait of older adults correlate with age, speed, or peak PFP over a 6-year span. We collected kinematics and kinetics of 17 older subjects at 2 time points. We determined which biomechanical variables changed significantly between visits and used linear regressions to determine whether combinations of self-selected walking speed, peak PFP, and age correlated to changes in these variables. We found a suite of gait-related changes that occurred in the 6-year period, in line with previous aging studies. Of the 10 significant changes, we found 2 with significant regressions. Self-selected walking speed was a significant indicator of step length, not peak PFP or age. Peak PFP was a significant indicator for knee flexion. None of the biomechanical changes were correlated to the chronological age of the subjects. Few gait parameters had a correlation to the independent variables, suggesting that changes in gait mechanics were not solely correlated to peak PFP, speed, and/or age. This study improves understanding of changes in ambulation that lead to age-related gait modifications.

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Kento Sabashi, Takeshi Chiba, Koji Iwasaki, Tomohiro Onodera, Eiji Kondo, Norimasa Iwasaki, and Harukazu Tohyama

Patients with knee osteoarthritis and varus knee deformity have impaired postural balance, resulting in decreased walking performance and an increased risk of falls. This study aimed to investigate the early changes in the postural balance following inverted V-shaped high tibial osteotomy (HTO). Fifteen patients with medial knee osteoarthritis were recruited. Postural balance was assessed using the center-of-pressure (COP) data during single-leg standing before and 6 weeks after inverted V-shaped HTO. The maximum range, mean velocity, and area of COP movements in the anteroposterior and mediolateral directions were analyzed. Preoperative and postoperative visual analog scale for knee pain was assessed. The maximum range of COP in the mediolateral direction decreased (P = .017), whereas the mean velocity of COP in the anteroposterior direction increased 6 weeks postoperatively (P = .011). The visual analog scale score for knee pain significantly improved at 6 weeks postoperatively (P = .006). Valgus correction with inverted V-shaped HTO resulted in improved postural balance in the mediolateral direction and good short-term clinical outcomes early following surgery. Early rehabilitation after inverted V-shaped HTO should focus on postural balance in the anteroposterior direction.

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Adam S. Forbes and Joonkoo Yun

Visual supports have been advocated as one strategy to teach children with autism in physical education. However, empirical studies documented inconsistencies in their effectiveness, with some demonstrating positive effects while others reported limited support for their use. Without a clear synthesis of information, physical educators may have difficulties in identifying and meaningfully utilizing visual supports. A systematic literature review on visual supports was conducted with synthesized current literature for physical educators to make informed decisions regarding their use for children with autism in physical education. A total of 27 articles were reviewed, which included empirical- and narrative-based manuscripts. Results suggest that picture task cards, visual activity schedules, and video prompting can be potential strategies that physical educators can use to teach motor skills to children on the spectrum. However, video modeling may need to be further investigated to fully understand how to use it in the context of physical education.

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Dan Wang, Man Wang, Vikki Wing-Shan Chu, Patrick Shu-Hang Yung, and Daniel T.P. Fong

Anterior cruciate ligament injury prevention should focus primarily on reduction of the knee abduction moment (KAM) in landing tasks. Gluteus medius and hamstring forces are considered to decrease KAM during landing. The effects of different muscle stimulations on KAM reduction were compared using 2 electrode sizes (standard 38 cm2 and half size 19 cm2) during a landing task. Twelve young healthy female adults (22.3 [3.6] y, 1.62 [0.02] m, 50.2 [4.7] kg) were recruited. KAM was calculated under 3 conditions of muscle stimulation (gluteus medius, biceps femoris, and both gluteus medius, and biceps femoris) using 2 electrode sizes, respectively versus no stimulation during a landing task. A repeated-measures analysis of variance determined that KAM differed significantly among stimulation conditions and post hoc analysis revealed that KAM was significantly decreased in conditions of stimulating either the gluteus medius (P < .001) or the biceps femoris (P < .001) with the standard electrode size, and condition of stimulating both gluteus medius and biceps femoris with half-size electrode (P = .012) when compared with the control condition. Therefore, stimulation on the gluteus medius, the biceps femoris, or both muscles could be implemented for the examination of anterior cruciate ligament injury potential.

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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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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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Roxy Helliker O’Rourke, Krystn Orr, Rebecca Renwick, F. Virginia Wright, James Noronha, Kirsten Bobbie, and Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos

School sports programs intentionally created for students with and without disabilities may increase social participation of students with intellectual disabilities (IDs). Special Olympics Unified Sports is one program where students with and without ID participate on one team. Guided by a critical realist paradigm, this study explored the perceptions of students with and without ID and coaches of in-school Unified Sports. Interviews were conducted with 21 youths (12 with ID) and 14 coaches. Thematic analysis resulted in four developed themes (identified is outdated language): Inclusion—Is it aweor a “they?” Roles and Responsibilities, Educational Context for Inclusion, and Buy-In. Findings suggest students with and without ID and coaches value the inclusive nature of Unified Sports. Future research should explore training for coaches on inclusive practices (e.g., language), and optimal methods for consistent training (e.g., use of training manuals) to foster the philosophy of inclusion within school sports.