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Logan T. Markwell, Andrew J. Strick, and Jared M. Porter

Sports, along with nearly all facets of life, have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Basketball Association quickly adopted a unique method to finish the 2019–2020 regular season and playoffs. The entire league quarantined for months in what was known as the “NBA bubble” where games were played in spectator-less arenas. During this time, increases in shooting accuracy were reported, suggesting that free throws and field goals were made at record-breaking levels. This study examined differences in free throw shooting accuracy with and without spectators. Archival data were retrieved and analyzed to evaluate the potential differences. Free throw shooting accuracy with and without spectators were examined in multiple analyses. Our examination revealed free throw percentages were significantly greater in spectator-less arenas compared with the 2018 and 2019 seasons with spectators. Changes of the environmental characteristics, due to spectator-less arenas, were likely contributors to the improved free throw phenomenon reported in this study.

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Alexandra Stribing, Adam Pennell, Emily N. Gilbert, Lauren J. Lieberman, and Ali Brian

Individuals with visual impairments (VI) trend toward lower motor competence when compared with peers without VI. Various forms of perception often affects motor competence. Thus, it is important to explore factors that influence forms of perception and their differential effects on motor competence for those with VI. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to explore and describe the differential effects of age, gender, and degree of vision on self-perceptions, parents’ perceptions, metaperceptions, and locomotor skills, and to examine potential associations among all variables with actual locomotor competence for adolescents with VI. Adolescents with VI completed two questionnaires and the Test of Gross Motor Development-Third Edition. Parents completed a parent perception questionnaire. Mann–Whitney U and Kruskal–Wallis H analyses showed no differential effects for gender or age on any dependent measures. Degree of vision affected locomotor skills, but not any other factor. Spearman rho correlations showed significant associations among locomotor and self-perceptions, degree of vision and locomotor, and metaperceptions with parents’ perceptions. Adolescents reported relatively high self-perceptions and metaperceptions; however, their actual locomotor competence and parents’ perceptions were relatively low. Findings may help situate future intervention strategies targeting parents supporting their children’s locomotor skills through self-perceptions.

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Paul Bernard Rukavina

The deleterious effects of weight bias in physical activity spaces for children, adolescents, and adults are well documented. Different types of weight bias occur, and they interact at multiple levels within a person’s ecology, from the messaging of often unattainable sociocultural thin/muscular ideals and physical inequities (e.g., equipment not appropriate for body shapes and sizes) to interpersonal and public discriminatory comments. However, the most damaging is the internalization and application of negative weight-bias stereotypes by those with overweight and obesity to themselves. An imperative for social justice is now; there is great need to advocate for, provide support for, and design inclusive physical activity spaces to reduce weight bias so that all individuals feel welcome, accept their bodies, and are empowered to live a healthy, active lifestyle. To make this a reality, an interdisciplinary and preventive approach is needed to understand bias and how to minimize it in our spaces.

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William R. Low, Joanne Butt, Paul Freeman, Mike Stoker, and Ian Maynard

Pressure training (PT) strategically increases pressure in training to prepare athletes to perform under pressure. Although research has studied how to create pressure during training, PT’s effectiveness may depend on more than creating pressure. A practitioner’s delivery of sport psychology interventions can moderate their effectiveness, so the current study explored perspectives of sport psychologists and athletes on the characteristics of effective PT delivery in applied settings. Eight international-level athletes and eight sport psychologists participated in semistructured qualitative interviews in which they described their experience participating in or conducting PT, respectively. Thematic analysis produced four themes relating to effective delivery: (a) collaboration with athletes and coaches: “with,” not “to”; (b) integration into training; (c) upfront transparency; and (d) promoting learning before and after PT. The themes provide guidance for planning, conducting, and following up on PT sessions in applied settings. The best practices discussed could increase athletes’ receptiveness to PT.

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Becky Breau, Hannah J. Coyle-Asbil, Jess Haines, David W.L. Ma, Lori Ann Vallis, and on behalf of the Guelph Family Health Study

Purpose: Examine the effect of cutpoint selection on physical activity (PA) metrics calculated from young children’s accelerometer data and on the proportion of children meeting PA guidelines. Methods: A total of 262 children (3.6 ± 1.4 years, 126 males) wore ActiGraph wGT3X-BT accelerometers on their right hip for 7 days, 24 hr/day. Ten cutpoint sets were applied to the sample categorized by age, based on populations of the original cutpoint calibration studies using ActiLife software. Resulting sedentary behavior, light PA, moderate to vigorous PA, and total PA were compared using repeated-measures analysis of variance. Proportion of children meeting age-appropriate PA guidelines based on each cutpoint set was assessed using Cochran’s q tests. Results: Children wore the accelerometer for an average of 7.6 ± 1.2 days for an average of 11.9 ± 1.2 hr/day. Significant differences in time spent in each intensity were found across all cutpoints except for sedentary, and total PA for three comparisons (Trost vs. Butte Vertical Axis [VA], Pate vs. Puyau, and Costa VA vs. Evenson) and moderate to vigorous PA for four comparisons (Trost vs. Pate, Trost vs. Pate and Pfeiffer, Pate vs. Pate and Pfeiffer, and van Cauwenberghe vs. Evenson). When examined within age-appropriate groups, all sets of cutpoints resulted in significant differences across all intensities and in the number of children meeting PA guidelines. Conclusion: Choice of cutpoints applied to data from young children significantly affects times calculated for different movement intensities, which in turn impacts the proportion of children meeting guidelines. Thus, comparisons of movement intensities should not be made across studies using different sets of cutpoints.

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Liam P. Pellerine, Derek S. Kimmerly, Jonathon R. Fowles, and Myles W. O’Brien

The Physical Activity Vital Sign (PAVS) is a two-question assessment used to estimate habitual moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity (MVPA). Previous studies have shown active adults cannot estimate the physical activity intensity properly. The initial purpose was to investigate the criterion validity of the PAVS for quantifying habitual MVPA in young adults meeting weekly MVPA guidelines (n = 140; 21 ± 3 years). A previously validated PiezoRx waist-worn accelerometer served as the criterion measure (wear time, 6.7 ± 0.6 days). All participants completed the PAVS once before wearing the PiezoRx. Standardized activity monitor validation procedures were followed. The PAVS (201 ± 142 min/week) underestimated (p < .001) MVPA compared to the PiezoRx (381 ± 155 min/week). To correct for this large error, the sample was divided into calibration model development (n = 70; 21 ± 3 years) and criterion validation (n = 70; 21 ± 3 years) groups. The PAVS score, age, gender, and body mass index outcomes from the development group were used to construct a multiple linear regression model-based calibrated PAVS (cPAVS) equation. In the validation group, the cPAVS was similar (p = .113; 352 ± 23 min/week) compared to accelerometry. Equivalence testing demonstrated the cPAVS, but not the PAVS, was equivalent to the PiezoRx. Despite achieving most statistical criteria, the PAVS and cPAVS still had high degrees of variability, preventing their use on an individual level. Alternative strategies are needed for the PAVS in an active young adult population. These results caution using the PAVS in active young adults and identify a case where obvious variabilities in accuracy conflict with statistically congruent results.

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Kimberly A. Clevenger, Kelly A. Mackintosh, Melitta A. McNarry, Karin A. Pfeiffer, Alexander H.K. Montoye, and Jan Christian Brønd

ActiGraph counts are commonly used for characterizing physical activity intensity and energy expenditure and are among the most well-studied accelerometer metrics. Researchers have recently replicated the counts processing method using a mechanical setup, now allowing users to generate counts from raw acceleration data. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare ActiGraph-generated counts to open-source counts and assess the impact on free-living physical activity levels derived from cut points, machine learning, and two-regression models. Methods: Children (n = 488, 13.0 ± 1.1 years of age) wore an ActiGraph wGT3X-BT on their right hip for 7 days during waking hours. ActiGraph counts and counts generated from raw acceleration data were compared at the epoch-level and as overall means. Seven methods were used to classify overall and epoch-level activity intensity. Outcomes were compared using weighted kappa, correlations, mean absolute deviation, and two one-sided equivalence testing. Results: All outcomes were statistically equivalent between ActiGraph and open-source counts; weighted kappa was ≥.971 and epoch-level correlations were ≥.992, indicating very high agreement. Bland–Altman plots indicated differences increased with activity intensity, but overall differences between ActiGraph and open-source counts were minimal (e.g., epoch-level mean absolute difference of 23.9 vector magnitude counts per minute). Regardless of classification model, average differences translated to 1.4–2.6 min/day for moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity. Conclusion: Open-source counts may be used to enhance comparability of future studies, streamline data analysis, and enable researchers to use existing developed models with alternative accelerometer brands. Future studies should verify the performance of open-source counts for other outcomes, like sleep.

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Shani Batcir and Itshak Melzer

We examined whether older adults who cycle outdoors regularly have better reactive balance control than noncycling older adults. Sixteen cyclist older adults and 24 age-, sex-, and health-matched controls who did not cycle (noncyclists) were exposed to unannounced perturbations of increased magnitudes in standing. We evaluated the strategies and kinematics employed at each perturbation magnitude. We found that cyclists exhibited a significantly higher stepping threshold, lower probability of stepping at each perturbation magnitude, and lower number of trials in which the participant needed to make a step to retain their balance. Cyclists also tended to recover balance using unloaded leg strategies in the first recovery step rather than a loaded leg strategy; they showed faster swing phase duration in the first recovery step, better controlling the displacement of center of mass than noncyclists. Older adults who cycle regularly outdoors preserve their reactive balance functions, which may reduce fall risks.

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Stacy Goddard, Barbara Bushman, and Michael Chamberlin

The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine the reasons why older adults begin attending SilverSneakers exercise program and why they continue to participate. Participants completed a survey (104 complete surveys). Initial attendance was mainly due to SilverSneakers being a health insurance benefit or hearing from a friend, with a lower percentage hearing from a health care provider. Factors that encouraged ongoing attendance included the level of programming, liking the instructor, and working out with peers. Statistically significant relationships were found between long-term adherence and a desire to promote fitness (p = .024) and social aspects of SilverSneakers (p < .01). These insights can be of value when planning outreach to older adults, as well as to promote retention, with physical activity programming.