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Charlotte Skau Pawlowski, Henriette Bondo Andersen and Jasper Schipperijn

Background: It remains unclear if schoolyard interventions “just” provide more opportunities for those children who are already active. The authors wanted to investigate schoolyard use and physical activity (PA) among the least-active children during recess following schoolyard renewals. Methods: An intervention study design with preresults and postresults comparison was used. Accelerometer and global positioning system data were collected at 6 Danish schools from 553 children at baseline and 439 after renewals (grades 4–9). Based on mean minutes of recess moderate to vigorous PA per child per school, the least-active children were defined as all children in the lowest activity quartile at baseline and follow-up, respectively. Results: One hundred and thirty-five children (70% girls) at baseline and 108 (76% girls) at follow-up were categorized as the least-active children. At follow-up they accumulated more time (12.1 min/d) and PA (4.4 min/d) in the schoolyard during recess compared with baseline. The difference in schoolyard PA found for the least-active children was relatively small compared with the difference for all children. Conclusions: Solely improving the physical schoolyard environment seemed to have limited impact on the least-active children’s PA. Future studies should investigate the complex interrelations between the least-active children and the entire schoolyard environment.

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Sanne L.C. Veldman, Rachel A. Jones, Rebecca M. Stanley, Dylan P. Cliff, Stewart A. Vella, Steven J. Howard, Anne-Maree Parrish and Anthony D. Okely

Background: The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of an embedded after-school intervention, on promoting physical activity and academic achievement in primary-school-aged children. Methods: This 6-month, 2-arm cluster randomized controlled trial involved 4 after-school centers. Two centers were randomly assigned to the intervention, which involved training the center staff on and implementing structured physical activity (team sports and physical activity sessions for 75 min) and academic enrichment activities (45 min). The activities were implemented 3 afternoons per week for 2.5 hours. The control centers continued their usual after-school care practice. After-school physical activity (accelerometry) and executive functions (working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility) were assessed pre- and postintervention. Results: A total of 60 children were assessed (7.7 [1.8] y; 50% girls) preintervention and postintervention (77% retention rate). Children in the intervention centers spent significantly more time in moderate to vigorous physical activity (adjusted difference = 2.4%; 95% confidence interval, 0.6 to 4.2; P = .026) and scored higher on cognitive flexibility (adjusted difference = 1.9 units; 95% confidence interval, 0.9 to 3.0; P = .009). About 92% of the intervention sessions were implemented. The participation rates varied between 51% and 94%. Conclusion: This after-school intervention was successful at increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity and enhancing cognitive flexibility in children. As the intervention was implemented by the center staff and local university students, further testing for effectiveness and scalability in a larger trial is required.

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Anna Lee, Tanvi Bhatt, Xuan Liu, Yiru Wang, Shuaijie Wang and Yi-Chung (Clive) Pai

The purpose was to examine and compare the longer-term generalization between 2 different practice dosages for a single-session treadmill slip-perturbation training when reexposed to an overground slip 6 months later. A total of 45 older adults were conveniently assigned to either 24 or 40 slip-like treadmill perturbation trials or a third control group. Overground slips were given immediately after initial training, and at 6 months after initial training in order to examine immediate and longer-term effects. The performance (center of mass stability and vertical limb support) and fall percentage from the laboratory-induced overground slips (at initial posttraining and at 6 mo) were measured and compared between groups. Both treadmill slip-perturbation groups showed immediate generalization at the initial posttraining test and longer-term generalization at the 6-month retest. The higher-practice-dosage group performed significantly better than the control group (P < .05), with no difference between the lower-practice-dosage and the control groups at the 6-month retest (P > .05). A single session of treadmill slip-perturbation training showed a positive effect for reducing older adults’ fall risk for laboratory-induced overground slips. A higher-practice dosage of treadmill slip perturbations could be more beneficial for further reducing fall risk.

Open access

Jeffrey Sallen, Christian Andrä, Sebastian Ludyga, Manuel Mücke and Christian Herrmann

Background: The relationship between engagement in physical activity and the development of motor competence (MC) is considered to be reciprocal and dynamic throughout childhood and adolescence. The 10-month follow-up study aimed to explore this reciprocal relationship and investigated whether the relationship is mediated by the corresponding self-perception of MC (PMC). Methods: A total of 51 children aged between 10 and 11 years (M = 10.27 [0.45]) participated in the study (52.9% boys, 47.1% girls). As an indicator for physical activity, the average vigorous physical activity (VPA) per day was measured by ActiGraph accelerometers. Two aspects of MC and PMC were recorded: self-movement and object movement. Saturated pathway models in a cross-lagged panel design with 2 measurement points were analyzed. Results: Reciprocal and direct relationships between VPA and MC object movement respectively MC self-movement were not found in longitudinal analyses with PMC as a mediator. Indirect effects of MC at t1 on VPA at t2 via PMC were identified (self-movement: β = 0.13, 95% confidence interval, 0.04 to 0.26; object movement: β = 0.14, 95% confidence interval, 0.01 to 0.49). Conclusion: The results highlight the importance of MC and PMC in promoting children’s VPA. However, VPA does not drive the development of MC.

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Samuel R. Nyman

Despite interest as to the benefits of Tai Chi, there remains a controversy over its effectiveness as an exercise intervention for preventing falls among older adults. This review synthesizes the evidence base with a focus on meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials with community-dwelling older adults. It provides a critical lens on the evidence and quality of the trials. High-quality evidence suggests that Tai Chi is an effective intervention for preventing falls in community settings; however, there is unclear evidence for long-term care facilities and an absence of evidence for hospital settings. When compared directly with other exercise interventions, Tai Chi may offer a superior strategy for reducing falls through its benefits on cognitive functioning. Using data from the current Cochrane review, a new synthesis is presented suggesting that 71–81% of community-dwelling older adults are adherent to class-based Tai Chi interventions. The practical opportunities and challenges for practitioners are discussed.

Open access

Kristin Suorsa, Anna Pulakka, Tuija Leskinen, Jaana Pentti, Andreas Holtermann, Olli J. Heinonen, Juha Sunikka, Jussi Vahtera and Sari Stenholm

Background: The accuracy of wrist-worn accelerometers in identifying sedentary time has been scarcely studied in free-living conditions. The aim of this study was to compare daily sedentary time estimates between a thigh-worn accelerometer, which measured sitting and lying postures, and a wrist-worn accelerometer, which measured low levels of movement. Methods: The study population consisted of 259 participants (M age = 62.8 years, SD = 0.9) from the Finnish Retirement and Aging Study (FIREA). Participants wore an Axivity AX3 accelerometer on their mid-thigh and an Actigraph wActiSleep-BT accelerometer on their non-dominant wrist simultaneously for a minimum of 4 days in free-living conditions. Two definitions to estimate daily sedentary time were used for data from the wrist-worn accelerometer: 1) the count cutpoint, ≤1853 counts per minute; and 2) the Euclidean Norm Minus One (ENMO) cutpoint, <30 mg. Results: Compared to the thigh-worn accelerometer, daily sedentary time estimate was 63 min (95% confidence interval [CI] = −53 to −73) lower by the count cutpoint and 50 min (95% CI = 34 to 67) lower by the ENMO cutpoint. The limits of agreement in daily sedentary time estimates between the thigh- and cutpoint methods for wrist-worn accelerometers were wide (the count cutpoint: −117 to 243, the ENMO cutpoint: −212 to 313 min). Conclusions: Currently established cutpoint-based methods to estimate sedentary time from wrist-worn accelerometers result in underestimation of daily sedentary time compared to posture-based estimates of thigh-worn accelerometers. Thus, sedentary time estimates obtained from wrist-worn accelerometers using currently available cutpoint-based methods should be interpreted with caution and future work is needed to improve their accuracy.

Open access

Andreas M. Kasper, S. Andy Sparks, Matthew Hooks, Matthew Skeer, Benjamin Webb, Houman Nia, James P. Morton and Graeme L. Close

Rugby is characterized by frequent high-intensity collisions, resulting in muscle soreness. Players consequently seek strategies to reduce soreness and accelerate recovery, with an emerging method being cannabidiol (CBD), despite anti-doping risks. The prevalence and rationale for CBD use in rugby has not been explored; therefore, we recruited professional male players to complete a survey on CBD. Goodness of fit chi-square (χ2) was used to assess CBD use between codes and player position. Effects of age on use were determined using χ2 tests of independence. Twenty-five teams provided 517 player responses. While the majority of players had never used CBD (p < .001, V = 0.24), 26% had either used it (18%) or were still using it (8%). Significantly more CBD use was observed in rugby union compared with rugby league (p = .004, V = 0.13), but player position was not a factor (p = .760, V = 0.013). CBD use increased with players’ age (p < .001, V = 0.28), with mean use reaching 41% in the players aged 28 years and older category (p < .0001). The players using CBD primarily used the Internet (73%) or another teammate (61%) to obtain information, with only 16% consulting a nutritionist. The main reasons for CBD use were improving recovery/pain (80%) and sleep (78%), with 68% of players reporting a perceived benefit. These data highlight the need for immediate education on the risks of CBD, as well as the need to explore the claims regarding pain and sleep.