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Pedro L. Valenzuela, Almudena Montalvo-Perez, Lidia B. Alejo, Mario Castellanos, Jaime Gil-Cabrera, Eduardo Talavera, Alejandro Lucia, and David Barranco-Gil

Purpose : Some power meters are available in both bilateral and unilateral versions. However, despite the popularity of the latter, their validity remains unknown. We aimed to analyze the validity of a unilateral pedal power meter for estimating actual (“bilateral”) power output (PO). Methods: Thirty-three male cyclists were assessed at different POs (steady cycling at 100–500 W, as well as all-out sprints), pedaling cadences (70, 85, and 100 repetitions·min−1), and cycling positions (seated and standing). The PO estimated by a left-only power meter (Favero Assioma Uno) was compared with the actual PO computed by a bilateral power meter (Favero Assioma Duo), and the level of bilateral asymmetry (most- vs least-powerful leg) with the latter system was also computed. Results: Nonsignificant differences, high intraclass correlation coefficients (≥.90), and low coefficients of variation (consistently ≤5% except for low PO levels, ie, 5%–7% at 100 W) were found between Favero Assioma Uno and Favero Assioma Duo. However, although a strong intraclass correlation coefficient (.995) was found between both legs, asymmetry values of 4% to 6% were found for all conditions except when pedaling at the lowest PO (100 W), in which asymmetry increased up to 10% to 13%. Conclusions: Although cyclists tend to present some level of bilateral asymmetry during cycling (particularly at low PO), Favero Assioma Uno provides overall valid estimates of actual PO and is, therefore, an economical alternative to bilateral power meters. Caution is needed, however, when interpreting data at the individual level in cyclists with high levels of asymmetry.

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Felipe Guimarães Teixeira, Paulo Tadeu Cardozo Ribeiro Rosa, Roger Gomes Tavares Mello, and Jurandir Nadal

Purpose: The study aimed to identify the variables that differentiate judo athletes at national and regional levels. Multivariable analysis was applied to biomechanical, anthropometric, and Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT) data. Method: Forty-two male judo athletes from 2 competitive groups (14 national and 28 state levels) performed the following measurements and tests: (1) skinfold thickness, (2) circumference, (3) bone width, (4) longitudinal length, (5) stabilometric tests, (6) dynamometric tests, and (7) SJFT. The variables with significant differences in the Wilcoxon rank-sum test were used in stepwise logistic regression to select those that better separate the groups. The authors considered models with a maximum of 3 variables to avoid overfitting. They used 7-fold cross validation to calculate optimism-corrected measures of model performance. Results: The 3 variables that best differentiated the groups were the epicondylar humerus width, the total number of throws on the SJFT, and the stabilometric mean velocity of the center of pressure in the mediolateral direction. The area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve for the model (based on 7-fold cross validation) was 0.95. Conclusion: This study suggests that a reduced set of anthropometric, biomechanical, and SJFT variables can differentiate judo athlete’s levels.

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Daniel Viggiani and Jack P. Callaghan

Viscoelastic creep generated in the lumbar spine following sustained spine flexion may affect the relationship between tissue damage and perceived pain. Two processes supporting this altered relationship include altered neural feedback and inflammatory processes. Our purpose was to determine how low back mechanical pain sensitivity changes following seated lumbar spine flexion using pressure algometry in a repeated-measures, cross-sectional laboratory design. Thirty-eight participants underwent a 10-minute sustained seated maximal flexion exposure with a 40-minute standing recovery period. Pressure algometry assessed pressure pain thresholds and the perceived intensity and unpleasantness of fixed pressures. Accelerometers measured spine flexion angles, and electromyography measured muscular activity during flexion. The flexion exposure produced 4.4° (2.7°) of creep that persisted throughout the entire recovery period. The perception of low back stimulus unpleasantness was elevated immediately following the exposure, 20 minutes before a delayed increase in lumbar erector spinae muscle activity. Women reported the fixed pressures to be more intense than men. Sustained flexion had immediate consequences to the quality of mechanical stimulus perceived but did not alter pressure pain thresholds. Neural feedback and inflammation seemed unlikely mechanisms for this given the time and direction of pain sensitivity changes, leaving a postulated cortical influence.

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Kerstin Bach, Atle Kongsvold, Hilde Bårdstu, Ellen Marie Bardal, Håkon S. Kjærnli, Sverre Herland, Aleksej Logacjov, and Paul Jarle Mork

Introduction: Accelerometer-based measurements of physical activity types are commonly used to replace self-reports. To advance the field, it is desirable that such measurements allow accurate detection of key daily physical activity types. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of a machine learning classifier for detecting sitting, standing, lying, walking, running, and cycling based on a dual versus single accelerometer setups during free-living. Methods: Twenty-two adults (mean age [SD, range] 38.7 [14.4, 25–68] years) were wearing two Axivity AX3 accelerometers positioned on the low back and thigh along with a GoPro camera positioned on the chest to record lower body movements during free-living. The labeled videos were used as ground truth for training an eXtreme Gradient Boosting classifier using window lengths of 1, 3, and 5 s. Performance of the classifier was evaluated using leave-one-out cross-validation. Results: Total recording time was ∼38 hr. Based on 5-s windowing, the overall accuracy was 96% for the dual accelerometer setup and 93% and 84% for the single thigh and back accelerometer setups, respectively. The decreased accuracy for the single accelerometer setup was due to a poor precision in detecting lying based on the thigh accelerometer recording (77%) and standing based on the back accelerometer recording (64%). Conclusion: Key daily physical activity types can be accurately detected during free-living based on dual accelerometer recording, using an eXtreme Gradient Boosting classifier. The overall accuracy decreases marginally when predictions are based on single thigh accelerometer recording, but detection of lying is poor.

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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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Jennifer L. Gay and David M. Buchner

Introduction: Little is known about the stability of occupational physical activity (PA) and documented compensation effects over time. Study objectives were to (a) determine the stability of accelerometer estimates of occupational and nonoccupational PA over 6 months and 1 year in adults who do not change jobs, (b) examine PA stability in office workers relative to employees with nonoffice jobs who may be more susceptible to seasonal perturbations in work tasks, and (c) examine the stability data for compensation effects seen at baseline in this sample. Methods: City/county government workers from a variety of labor sectors wore an accelerometer at initial data collection, and at 6 (n = 98) and 12 months (n = 38) following initial data collection. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated for accelerometer counts and minutes by intensity, domain, and office worker status. Partial correlation coefficients were examined for compensation effects. Results: ICCs ranged from .19 to .91 for occupational and nonwork activity variables. ICCs were similar by office worker status. In both counts and minutes, greater occupational PA correlated with lower total nonwork PA. However, as minutes of occupational moderate to vigorous physical activity increased, nonoccupational moderate to vigorous physical activity did not decrease. Conclusions: There was moderate to high stability in occupational and nonoccupational PA over 6- and 12-month data collection. Occupational PA stability was greater in nonoffice workers, suggesting that those employees’ PA may be less prone to potential cyclical factors at the workplace. Confirmation of the compensation effect further supports the need for workplace intervention studies to examine changes in all intensities of activity during and outside of work time.

Open access

Alannah K.A. McKay, Trent Stellingwerff, Ella S. Smith, David T. Martin, Iñigo Mujika, Vicky L. Goosey-Tolfrey, Jeremy Sheppard, and Louise M. Burke

Throughout the sport-science and sports-medicine literature, the term “elite” subjects might be one of the most overused and ill-defined terms. Currently, there is no common perspective or terminology to characterize the caliber and training status of an individual or cohort. This paper presents a 6-tiered Participant Classification Framework whereby all individuals across a spectrum of exercise backgrounds and athletic abilities can be classified. The Participant Classification Framework uses training volume and performance metrics to classify a participant to one of the following: Tier 0: Sedentary; Tier 1: Recreationally Active; Tier 2: Trained/Developmental; Tier 3: Highly Trained/National Level; Tier 4: Elite/International Level; or Tier 5: World Class. We suggest the Participant Classification Framework can be used to classify participants both prospectively (as part of study participant recruitment) and retrospectively (during systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses). Discussion around how the Participant Classification Framework can be tailored toward different sports, athletes, and/or events has occurred, and sport-specific examples provided. Additional nuances such as depth of sport participation, nationality differences, and gender parity within a sport are all discussed. Finally, chronological age with reference to the junior and masters athlete, as well as the Paralympic athlete, and their inclusion within the Participant Classification Framework has also been considered. It is our intention that this framework be widely implemented to systematically classify participants in research featuring exercise, sport, performance, health, and/or fitness outcomes going forward, providing the much-needed uniformity to classification practices.

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Fernando Pareja-Blanco, Lucas A. Pereira, Valter P. Reis, Victor Fernandes, Ademir F.S. Arruda, Aristide Guerriero, Pedro E. Alcaraz, Tomás T. Freitas, and Irineu Loturco

Purpose: To examine the changes in resisted sprint performance and kinematics provoked by different sled loads in elite sprinters and rugby players. Methods: Eight elite male sprinters and 10 rugby union players performed 20-m sprints under 3 loading conditions (0%, 20%, and 60% body mass [BM]). Sprint time was measured in 0 to 5, 5 to 10, and 10 to 20 m, while stride length and hip, knee, and ankle angles were measured using an 8-sensor motion analysis system at the same distances. Results: Sprinters were significantly faster than rugby players in unresisted and resisted sprints using 20% BM (effect size, “ES” [90% confidence limit, CL] range: 0.65 [0.03 to 1.27]; 3.95 [3.10 to 4.81]), but these differences were not significant at 60% BM. Compared to rugby players, sprinters showed lower velocity decrement in resisted sprints using 20% BM (ES [90% CL] range: 0.75 [0.06 to 1.44]; 2.43 [0.83 to 4.02], but higher velocity decrement using 60% BM (ES [90% CL] range: 1.13 [0.43 to 1.82]; 1.46 [0.81 to 2.11]). No significant differences were detected in stride length between sprinters and rugby players for any sprint condition (ES [90% CL] range: 0.02 [−0.72 to 0.76]; 0.84 [0.13 to 1.54]). Rugby players showed higher hip flexion in resisted sprints (ES [90% CL] range: 0.30 [−0.54 to 1.14]; 1.17 [0.20 to 2.15]) and lower plantar flexion in both unresisted and resisted sprints (ES [90% CL] range: 0.78 [0.18 to 1.38]; 1.69 [1.00 to 2.38] than sprinters. Conclusions: The alterations induced by resisted sprints in sprint velocity and running technique differed between sprinters and rugby players. Some caution should be taken with general sled loads prescriptions, especially when relative loads are based on distinct percentages of BM, as training responses vary among sports and individuals.

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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.