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Assumpta Ensenyat, Gemma Espigares-Tribo, Leonardo Machado-Da-Silva, Xenia Sinfreu-Bergués and Alfonso Blanco

Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a high-intensity semisupervised exercise program alongside lifestyle counseling as an intervention for managing cardiometabolic risk in sedentary adults. Methods: A 40-week 3-arm randomized controlled clinical trial (16-wk intervention and 24-wk follow-up) was used. Seventy-five sedentary adults (34–55 y) with at least 1 cardiometabolic risk factor were randomized into one of the following arms: (1) aerobic interval training (AIT) plus lifestyle counseling (n = 25), (2) low- to moderate-intensity continuous training plus lifestyle counseling (traditional continuous training, TCT) (n = 27), or (3) lifestyle counseling alone (COU) (n = 23). Metabolic syndrome severity scores, accelerometer-based physical activity, and self-reported dietary habits were assessed at baseline, after the intervention, and at follow-up. Results: AIT was well accepted with high enjoyment scores. All groups showed similar improvements in metabolic syndrome severity scores (standardized effect size = 0.46) and dietary habits (standardized effect size = 0.30). Moderate to vigorous physical activity increased in all study groups, with the number of responders higher in AIT and TCT groups (50%) than in COU group (21%). Both AIT and TCT had a greater impact on sedentary behavior than COU (63.5% vs 30.4% responders). Conclusions: AIT appears to be a feasible and effective strategy in sedentary individuals with cardiometabolic risk factors. AIT could be included in intervention programs tackling unhealthy lifestyles.

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Kwok W. Ng, Gorden Sudeck, Adilson Marques, Alberto Borraccino, Zuzana Boberova, Jana Vasickova, Riki Tesler, Sami Kokko and Oddrun Samdal

Background: Regular physical activity and doing well in school are important for growing adolescents. In this study, the associations between physical activity and perceived school performance (PSP) are examined together. Methods: Young adolescents from 42 countries (n = 193,949) in Europe and Canada were examined for associations between self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and PSP. Multinominal analyses were conducted with 0 to 2 days of MVPA and below average PSP as reference categories. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were reported for pooled data and individual countries after controlling for family affluence scale. Results: Girls had better PSP than boys, yet more boys participated in daily MVPA than girls. The associations between PSP and MVPA were inverted U shaped. The strongest association for very good PSP was among young adolescents who reported 5 to 6 days MVPA (odds ratios = 2.3; 95% confidence interval, 2.1–2.4) after controlling for family affluence scale. Conclusions: Young adolescents with average or better PSP took part in at least 3 days of MVPA in a week, suggesting that participating in some MVPA was positively associated with PSP. More days of MVPA in a week, especially for young adolescents with below average PSP, would be beneficial for health and school performance.

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Johannes Carl, Gorden Sudeck and Klaus Pfeifer

Background: The World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018–2030 states that physical activity interventions should strengthen peoples’ competencies for health. Yet, frameworks that bundle pivotal competencies for a healthy and physically active lifestyle have not been extensively discussed in the past. Results: In the present article, the authors therefore present the model of Physical Activity-related Health Competence (PAHCO), an integrative structure model including the 3 areas of movement competence, control competence, and self-regulation competence. After providing a rationale for the use of the competence concept, the authors focus on implications from the PAHCO model to guide interventions for the promotion of a healthy and physically active lifestyle. The authors argue that the PAHCO model is located at the interface between health literacy and physical literacy, research areas that have gained increasing scholarly attention in recent years. In addition, PAHCO appears to be compatible with the concept of health capability because it can represent the important aspect of agency. Conclusions: The article concludes with a scientific positioning of model components and some empirical results that have been accumulated so far.

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Harry E. Routledge, Stuart Graham, Rocco Di Michele, Darren Burgess, Robert M. Erskine, Graeme L. Close and James P. Morton

The authors aimed to quantify (a) the periodization of physical loading and daily carbohydrate (CHO) intake across an in-season weekly microcycle of Australian Football and (b) the quantity and source of CHO consumed during game play and training. Physical loading (via global positioning system technology) and daily CHO intake (via a combination of 24-hr recall, food diaries, and remote food photographic method) were assessed in 42 professional male players during two weekly microcycles comprising a home and away fixture. The players also reported the source and quantity of CHO consumed during all games (n = 22 games) and on the training session completed 4 days before each game (n = 22 sessions). The total distance was greater (p < .05) on game day (GD; 13 km) versus all training days. The total distance differed between training days, where GD-2 (8 km) was higher than GD-1, GD-3, and GD-4 (3.5, 0, and 7 km, respectively). The daily CHO intake was also different between training days, with reported intakes of 1.8, 1.4, 2.5, and 4.5 g/kg body mass on GD-4, GD-3, GD-2, and GD-1, respectively. The CHO intake was greater (p < .05) during games (59 ± 19 g) compared with training (1 ± 1 g), where in the former, 75% of the CHO consumed was from fluids as opposed to gels. Although the data suggest that Australian Football players practice elements of CHO periodization, the low absolute CHO intakes likely represent considerable underreporting in this population. Even when accounting for potential underreporting, the data also suggest Australian Football players underconsume CHO in relation to the physical demands of training and competition.

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Nicholas Stanger and Susan H. Backhouse

Moral identity and moral disengagement have been linked with doping likelihood. However, experiments testing the temporal direction of these relationships are absent. The authors conducted one cross-sectional and two experimental studies investigating the conjunctive effects of moral identity and moral disengagement on doping likelihood (or intention). Dispositional moral identity was inversely (marginally), and doping moral disengagement, positively, associated with doping intention (Study 1). Manipulating situations to amplify opportunities for moral disengagement increased doping likelihood via anticipated guilt (Study 2). Moreover, dispositional moral identity (Study 2) and inducing moral identity (Study 3) were linked with lower doping likelihood and attenuated the relationship between doping moral disengagement and doping likelihood. However, the suppressing effect of moral identity on doping likelihood was overridden when opportunities for moral disengagement were amplified. These findings support multifaceted antidoping efforts, which include simultaneously enhancing athlete moral identity and personal responsibility alongside reducing social opportunities for moral disengagement.