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Jongbum Ko, Dalton Deprez, Keely Shaw, Jane Alcorn, Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Corey Tomczak, Heather Foulds and Philip D. Chilibeck

Background: Aerobic exercise is recommended for reducing blood pressure; however, recent studies indicate that stretching may also be effective. The authors compared 8 weeks of stretching versus walking exercise in men and women with high–normal blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension (ie, 130/85–159/99 mm Hg). Methods: Forty men and women (61.6 y) were randomized to a stretching or brisk walking exercise program (30 min/d, 5 d/wk for 8 wk). Blood pressure was assessed during sitting and supine positions and for 24 hours using a portable monitor before and after the training programs. Results: The stretching program elicited greater reductions than the walking program (P < .05) for sitting systolic (146 [9] to 140 [12] vs 139 [9] to 142 [12] mm Hg), supine diastolic (85 [7] to 78 [8] vs 81 [7] to 82 [7] mm Hg), and nighttime diastolic (67 [8] to 65 [10] vs 68 [8] to 73 [12] mm Hg) blood pressures. The stretching program elicited greater reductions than the walking program (P < .05) for mean arterial pressure assessed in sitting (108 [7] to 103 [6] vs 105 [6] vs 105 [8] mm Hg), supine (102 [9] to 96 [9] vs 99 [6] to 99 [7] mm Hg), and at night (86 [9] to 83 [10] vs 88 [9] to 93 [12] mm Hg). Conclusions: An 8-week stretching program was superior to brisk walking for reducing blood pressure in individuals with high–normal blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension.

Open access

Leila Hedayatrad, Tom Stewart and Scott Duncan

Introduction: Accelerometers are commonly used to assess time-use behaviors related to physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep; however, as new accelerometer technologies emerge, it is important to ensure consistency with previous devices. This study aimed to evaluate the concurrent validity of the commonly used accelerometer, ActiGraph GT3X+, and the relatively new Axivity AX3 (fastened to the lower back) for detecting physical activity intensity and body postures when using direct observation as the criterion measure. Methods: A total of 41 children (aged 6–16 years) and 33 adults (aged 28–59 years) wore both monitors concurrently while performing 10 prescribed activities under laboratory conditions. The GT3X+ data were categorized into different physical activity intensity and posture categories using intensity-based cut points and ActiGraph proprietary inclinometer algorithms, respectively. The AX3 data were first converted to ActiGraph counts before being categorized into different physical activity intensity categories, while activity recognition models were used to detect the target postures. Sensitivity, specificity, and the balanced accuracy for intensity and posture category classification were calculated for each accelerometer. Differences in balanced accuracy between the devices and between children and adults were also calculated. Results: Both accelerometers obtained 74–96% balanced accuracy, with the AX3 performing slightly better (∼4% higher, p < .01) for detecting postures and physical activity intensity. Error in both devices was greatest when contrasting sitting/standing, sedentary/light intensity, and moderate/light intensity. Conclusion: In comparison with the GT3X+ accelerometer, AX3 was able to detect various postures and activity intensities with slightly higher balanced accuracy in children and adults.

Open access

Paddy C. Dempsey, Christine M. Friedenreich, Michael F. Leitzmann, Matthew P. Buman, Estelle Lambert, Juana Willumsen and Fiona Bull

Background: In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) released global guidelines on physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior, for the first time providing population-based recommendations for people living with selected chronic conditions. This article briefly presents the guidelines, related processes and evidence, and, importantly, considers how they may be used to support research, practice, and policy. Methods: A brief overview of the scope, agreed methods, selected chronic conditions (adults living with cancer, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and human immunodeficiency virus), and appraisal of systematic review evidence on PA/sedentary behavior is provided. Methods were consistent with World Health Organization protocols for developing guidelines. Results: Moderate to high certainty evidence (varying by chronic condition and outcome examined) supported that PA can reduce the risk of disease progression or premature mortality and improve physical function and quality of life in adults living with chronic conditions. Direct evidence on sedentary behavior was lacking; however, evidence extrapolated from adult populations was considered applicable, safe, and likely beneficial (low certainty due to indirectness). Conclusions: Clinical and public health professionals and policy makers should promote the World Health Organization 2020 global guidelines and develop and implement services and programs to increase PA and limit sedentary behavior in adults living with chronic conditions.

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Spencer E. Boyle, Melissa A. Fothergill, John Metcalfe, Sarah Docherty and Crystal F. Haskell-Ramsay

Background: Physical activity provides a number of physical and psychological benefits. Multimodal proprioceptive exercise represents a useful balance-based exercise with the potential to reduce falls in older adults. Previous research has also indicated cognitive benefits following multimodal proprioceptive exercise in young and older adults. This study aimed to assess cognition and mood following 2 types of physical activity (multimodal proprioception vs yoga) compared with control (classroom-based) in healthy older adults. Method: Nineteen older adults (Mage = 65, sex = 9 males) participated in this randomized controlled crossover trial. Participants completed a 20-minute multimodal proprioceptive exercise class, 20-minute yoga session, and 20-minute classroom-based control. Numeric working memory and mood were assessed before and immediately following each of the interventions. Results: The multimodal proprioceptive intervention significantly reduced numeric working memory reaction time versus the yoga (P = .043) and control (P = .023) group. There were no differences found for accuracy or mood. Conclusions: These results indicate that multimodal proprioceptive exercise is worthy of further investigation as an alternative mode of exercise alongside the more traditional aerobic and strength-based exercise for healthy older adults.

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Farzin Halabchi, Reza Mazaheri, Khashayar Sabeti, Masoud Yunesian, Zahra Alizadeh, Zahra Ahmadinejad, Seyed Mojtaba Aghili and Zahra Tavakol

Purpose: To compare the severity outcomes of COVID-19 disease between patients with and without regular sports participation. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, the authors investigated all patients who visited the emergency department of Imam Khomeini hospital with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 from February 20 to April 20, 2020. Then the authors assessed all patient outcomes (outpatient vs hospitalization or death). Finally, the authors compared the outcomes between athletes with regular sports participation and others, adjusting for confounding factors of age and sex. Results: Of all 4694 adult patients, 249 individuals (137 males and 112 females with mean [SD] age of 36.45 [9.77] y) had regular participation in different sport disciplines. Overall, 30 (12%) athletes were hospitalized or died (30 and 0, respectively) compared with 957 (21.5%) nonathletes (878 and 79, respectively). Athletes with regular sports participation were 1.49 times less likely to be hospitalized (P = .044). Conclusions: Regular sports participation may positively affect the clinical outcome, regardless of confounding factors of age and sex. The probability of hospitalization in athletes with regular sports participation was 33% lower than nonathletes. However, more longitudinal studies are needed to determine the causal effects.

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Michelle Ogrodnik, Jillian Halladay, Barbara Fenesi, Jennifer Heisz and Katholiki Georgiades

Background: Participation in physical activity (PA) is a modifiable factor that contributes to academic success, yet the optimal dose (ie, frequency) and mechanisms underlying the effect require further exploration. Methods: Using data from 19,886 elementary and 11,238 secondary school students across Ontario, Canada, this study examined associations between PA participation frequency, academic achievement, and inattention and hyperactivity. Results: Among elementary students, there was a positive association between PA frequency and academic achievement. Participating in 1 to 2 days per week of PA related to higher academic achievement compared with no days, whereas 7 days per week had the largest associations. For secondary students, a minimum of 3 to 4 days per week was associated with higher academic achievement with no significant benefit of additional days. Indirect effects of inattention and hyperactivity were found for both groups, suggesting that the benefits of PA on academic achievement may be partly explained by reductions in inattention and hyperactivity, especially for secondary school students. Conclusion: Students may experience academic benefits from PA even if they are not meeting the guidelines of exercising daily. These benefits may occur, in part, through reductions in inattention and hyperactivity. Further work is needed to determine the temporality and mechanism of these associations.

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Tanya Tripathi, Stacey C. Dusing, Peter E. Pidcoe, Yaoying Xu, Mary S. Shall and Daniel L. Riddle

Aims: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “parents to incorporate supervised, awake ‘prone play’ in their infant’s routine to support motor development and minimize the risk of plagiocephaly”. The purpose of this feasibility study was to compare usual care to a reward contingency–based intervention, developed to increase prone tolerance and improve motor skills. Methods: Ten full-term infants, 3–6- months old, with poor prone tolerance were randomized to either the Education group or Reward contingency group. Each group participated in three parent education sessions and 15 intervention sessions, over the period of three weeks. Infants in the Reward contingency group used the Prone Play Activity Center, a technology developed to reinforce motor behavior of infants in prone position. Intervention frequency and parent feedback data determined the feasibility of the interventions. Results: Infants in the Reward contingency group practiced a median of 12 of the 15 anticipated intervention sessions in the Prone Play Activity Center. These infants used the device for a mean of 18 minutes per day. Parents of infants in the Education group practiced a median of 10 sessions of the 15 anticipated intervention sessions. Conclusion: The reward contingency–based intervention is feasible for use in a future clinical trial with some modifications.

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Jessica Gorzelitz, Chloe Farber, Ronald Gangnon and Lisa Cadmus-Bertram

Background: The evidence base regarding validity of wearable fitness trackers for assessment and/or modification of physical activity behavior is evolving. Accurate assessment of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) is important for measuring adherence to physical activity guidelines in the United States and abroad. Therefore, this systematic review synthesizes the state of the validation literature regarding wearable trackers and MVPA. Methods: A systematic search of the PubMed, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and Cochrane Library databases was conducted through October 2019 (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018103808). Studies were eligible if they reported on the validity of MVPA and used devices from Fitbit, Apple, or Garmin released in 2012 or later or available on the market at the time of review. A meta-analysis was conducted on the correlation measures comparing wearables with the ActiGraph. Results: Twenty-two studies met the inclusion criteria; all used a Fitbit device; one included a Garmin model and no Apple-device studies were found. Moderate to high correlations (.7–.9) were found between MVPA from the wearable tracker versus criterion measure (ActiGraph n = 14). Considerable heterogeneity was seen with respect to the specific definition of MVPA for the criterion device, the statistical techniques used to assess validity, and the correlations between wearable trackers and ActiGraph across studies. Conclusions: There is a need for standardization of validation methods and reporting outcomes in individual studies to allow for comparability across the evidence base. Despite the different methods utilized within studies, nearly all concluded that wearable trackers are valid for measuring MVPA.

Open access

Fahim A. Salim, Fasih Haider, Dees Postma, Robby van Delden, Dennis Reidsma, Saturnino Luz and Bert-Jan van Beijnum

Automatic tagging of video recordings of sports matches and training sessions can be helpful to coaches and players and provide access to structured data at a scale that would be unfeasible if one were to rely on manual tagging. Recognition of different actions forms an essential part of sports video tagging. In this paper, the authors employ machine learning techniques to automatically recognize specific types of volleyball actions (i.e., underhand serve, overhead pass, serve, forearm pass, one hand pass, smash, and block which are manually annotated) during matches and training sessions (uncontrolled, in the wild data) based on motion data captured by inertial measurement unit sensors strapped on the wrists of eight female volleyball players. Analysis of the results suggests that all sensors in the inertial measurement unit (i.e., magnetometer, accelerometer, barometer, and gyroscope) contribute unique information in the classification of volleyball actions types. The authors demonstrate that while the accelerometer feature set provides better results than other sensors, overall (i.e., gyroscope, magnetometer, and barometer) feature fusion of the accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope provides the bests results (unweighted average recall = 67.87%, unweighted average precision = 68.68%, and κ = .727), well above the chance level of 14.28%. Interestingly, it is also demonstrated that the dominant hand (unweighted average recall = 61.45%, unweighted average precision = 65.41%, and κ = .652) provides better results than the nondominant (unweighted average recall = 45.56%, unweighted average precision = 55.45, and κ = .553) hand. Apart from machine learning models, this paper also discusses a modular architecture for a system to automatically supplement video recording by detecting events of interests in volleyball matches and training sessions and to provide tailored and interactive multimodal feedback by utilizing an HTML5/JavaScript application. A proof of concept prototype developed based on this architecture is also described.