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Volume 39 (2023): Issue 6 (Dec 2023)

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Volume 17 (2023): Issue 4 (Dec 2023): JCSP Special Issue Burnout in Sport and Performance, Part 2

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The Biomechanics Research and Innovation Challenge: Development, Implementation, Uptake, and Reflections on the Inaugural Program

Celeste E. Coltman, Martina Barzan, Manuela Besomi, Victoria Brackley, Jaquelin A. Bousie, Julie Choisne, Laura E. Diamond, Taylor J.M. Dick, Nicole D’Souza, Samantha Fien, Alycia Fong Yan, Sheridan A. Gho, Alexandra Giraldo-Pedroza, Laura A. Hutchinson, Laura V. Hutchison, Crystal O. Kean, Maddison M. Kirk, Amy Lewis, Jayishini N. Maharaj, Nina Maher, Kerry J. Mann, Suzanne Martin, Karen J. Mickle, Azadeh Nasseri, Isobel H. Oon, Rory Purdie, Shayan L. Quinlan, Ceridwen R. Radcliffe, Suzanne J. Snodgrass, Siddharth Verma, and Michelle Hall

Biomechanics as a discipline is ideally placed to increase awareness and participation of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A nationwide Biomechanics and Research Innovation Challenge (BRInC) centered on mentoring and role modeling was developed to engage high school girls (mentees) and early-mid-career women (mentors) in the field of biomechanics through the completion of a 100-day research and/or innovation project. This manuscript describes the development, implementation, and uptake of the inaugural BRInC program and synthesizes the research and innovation projects undertaken, providing a framework for adoption of this program within the global biomechanics community. Eighty-seven high school girls in years 9 and 10 (age range: 14–16 y) were mentored in teams (n = 17) by women in biomechanics (n = 24). Using a design thinking approach, teams generated solutions to biomechanics-based problem(s)/research question(s). Eight key reflections on program strengths, as well as areas for improvement and planned changes for future iterations of the BRInC program, are outlined. These key reflections highlight the innovation, impact, and scalability of the program; the importance of a program framework and effective communication tools; and implementation of strategies to sustain the program as well as the importance of diversity and building a sense of community.

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The Combined Influence of Infant Carrying Method and Motherhood on Gait Mechanics

Kathryn L. Havens, Sarah Goldrod, and Erin M. Mannen

Postpartum mothers are susceptible to lumbopelvic pain which may be exacerbated by loading, like carrying their infant in arms and with baby carriers. Nulliparous women carrying infant mannequins may biomechanically mimic mother–infant dyad, but this has not been studied. The purpose of our study was to investigate biomechanical differences of 10 mothers carrying their infants and 10 nulliparous women carrying infant mannequins under 3 gait conditions: carrying nothing, carrying in arms, and carrying in a baby carrier (babywearing). Spatiotemporal gait parameters, peak ground reaction forces and impulses, and lower extremity and trunk kinematics were collected using motion capture and force plates and compared using a mixed 2 × 3 (parity × condition) analysis of variance (α ≤ .05). The largest differences occurred between carrying conditions: carrying in arms or babywearing increased vertical and anteroposterior ground reaction forces, trunk extension, ankle dorsiflexion, and hip and knee flexion. Kinematic differences were identified between arms and babywearing conditions. Together this suggests alterations in joint loading for both groups. Our study also contributes a novel understanding of postpartum health by demonstrating alterations in step time, anterior forces, and ankle and knee mechanics, suggesting that during gait, mothers carrying their own infants choose different propulsive strategies than nulliparous women carrying mannequins.

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Sex-Related Differences in Shoulder Complex Joint Dynamics Variability During Pediatric Manual Wheelchair Propulsion

Joshua M. Leonardis, Alyssa J. Schnorenberg, Lawrence C. Vogel, Gerald F. Harris, and Brooke A. Slavens

More than 80% of adult manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injuries will experience shoulder pain. Females and those with decreased shoulder dynamics variability are more likely to experience pain in adulthood. Sex-related differences in shoulder dynamics variability during pediatric manual wheelchair propulsion may influence the lifetime risk of pain. We evaluated the influence of sex on 3-dimensional shoulder complex joint dynamics variability in 25 (12 females and 13 males) pediatric manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. Within-subject variability was quantified using the coefficient of variation. Permutation tests evaluated sex-related differences in variability using an adjusted critical alpha of P = .001. No sex-related differences in sternoclavicular or acromioclavicular joint kinematics or glenohumeral joint dynamics variability were observed (all P ≥ .042). Variability in motion, forces, and moments are considered important components of healthy joint function, as reduced variability may increase the likelihood of repetitive strain injury and pain. While further work is needed to generalize our results to other manual wheelchair user populations across the life span, our findings suggest that sex does not influence joint dynamics variability in pediatric manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury.

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The Effects of Optical Flow Perturbations on Standing Balance in People With Multiple Sclerosis

Olivia S. Elie, Jason R. Franz, and Brian P. Selgrade

Multiple sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease that causes balance deficits, even in early stages. Evidence suggests that people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) rely more on vision to maintain balance, and challenging balance with optical flow perturbations may be a practical screening for balance deficits. Whether these perturbations affect standing balance in PwMS is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine how optical flow perturbations affect standing balance in PwMS. We hypothesized that perturbations would cause higher variability in PwMS compared with matched controls during standing and that standing balance would be more susceptible to anterior–posterior (A–P) perturbations than medial–lateral (M–L) perturbations. Thirteen PwMS and 13 controls stood under 3 conditions: unperturbed, M–L perturbation, and A–P perturbations. A–P perturbations caused significantly higher A–P trunk sway variability in PwMS than controls, although both groups had similar center-of-pressure variability. Both perturbations increased variability in A–P trunk sway and center of pressure. Trunk variability data supported the hypothesis that PwMS were more susceptible to optical flow perturbations than controls. However, the hypothesis that A–P perturbations would affect balance more than M–L perturbations was partially supported. These results suggest potential for optical flow perturbations to identify balance deficits in PwMS.

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Changes in Physical Activity Associated With a Multicomponent Weight-Loss Randomized Controlled Trial for Youth With Intellectual Disabilities

Richard K. Fleming, Misha Eliasziw, Gretchen A. Dittrich, Carol Curtin, Melissa Maslin, Aviva Must, and Linda G. Bandini

Youth with intellectual disabilities engage in low levels of physical activity (PA). An aim of this family-based weight-loss behavioral intervention (FBBI) trial was to increase and sustain PA in these youth. Accelerometry data were available from 21 individuals with intellectual disabilities, age 14–22 years. Each completed the 6-month FBBI, after which 10 completed a 6-month maintenance intervention (FBBI-M), and 11 received no further intervention (FBBI-C). Twenty participated in a further 6-month follow-up. Accelerometry data were analyzed using linear mixed models. During FBBI, mean (SE) moderate to vigorous PA increased by 4.1 (2.5) min/day and light PA by 24.2 (13.5) min/day. Mean (SE) difference in moderate to vigorous PA between participants in FBBI-M and FBBI-C at 18 months was 14.0 (5.1) min/day (p = .005); mean (SE) difference in light PA was 47.4 (27.4) min/day (p = .08). Increasing PA through behavioral intervention is possible in youth with intellectual disabilities.

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The Effectiveness of a Sleep Optimization Program on Insomnia, Anxiety, Perceived Stress, and Emotion Dysregulation Among Football Players With Sleep Complaints

Kazem Emami, Shahram Nazari, Amy M. Bender, Rasool Norouzi Seyed Hossini, and Ebrahim Norouzi

Research has shown that elite athletes frequently experience both insufficient and poor-quality sleep. In the present study, we examined the effectiveness of a sleep optimization intervention comprised of mindfulness and sleep hygiene on insomnia severity, symptoms of anxiety, stress, and emotion dysregulation among football players with sleep complaints. Sixty male football players with sleep complaints (mean age = 29.31, SD = 3.8) were randomly assigned to the active control condition (wellness program) or the sleep optimization intervention program (mindfulness plus sleep hygiene). All participants filled out questionnaires on insomnia severity, anxiety, perceived stress, and emotion dysregulation. Three data assessments were made: one at the start of the intervention (baseline), one at the end of the intervention 8 weeks later (posttest), and one 4 weeks after the posttest (follow-up). The severity of insomnia, anxiety, stress, and emotion dysregulation decreased over time in the sleep optimization group from baseline to posttest and at the follow-up. According to the present results, a sleep optimization intervention reduced insomnia, anxiety, stress symptoms, and emotion dysregulation in football players with sleep complaints.

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The Future of Para Report Cards on Physical Activity of Children and Adolescents With Disabilities—A Global Call for Engagement, Data, and Advocacy

Mark S. Tremblay, Iryna Demchenko, John J. Reilly, Salomé Aubert, and Cindy Sit

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Trait Perfectionism, Perfectionistic Self-Presentation, and Muscle Dysmorphia in Male Exercisers: A Structural Equation Modeling Strategy

Michael C. Grugan and Kieran J. Wright

Perfectionism is positively related to muscle dysmorphia (MD). However, research on this relationship is limited by conceptual and methodological issues (e.g., conceptualizing perfectionism as unidimensional, suboptimal analytical techniques, and failing to examine whether perfectionistic self-presentation is also related to MD). To address these issues, we used a structural equation modeling strategy to examine whether dimensions of perfectionistic self-presentation add incrementally to the prediction of MD. A sample of 402 adult males who exercise regularly completed the study. We found that perfectionistic self-promotion, nondisplay of imperfection, and nondisclosure of imperfection accounted for significant increases in variance explained in MD (ΔR 2 = .126–.192). This means that clinicians and practitioners need to consider not only whether exercisers are motivated by a drive to be perfect (inherent in dimensions of trait perfectionism), but also whether they are motivated by a drive to appear perfect to others (inherent in dimensions of perfectionistic self-presentation).