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Open access

Andreas Kuettel, Natalie Durand-Bush, and Carsten H. Larsen

The purpose of this study was (a) to investigate gender differences in mental health among Danish youth soccer players, (b) to discover the mental health profiles of the players, and (c) to explore how career progression and mental health are related. A total of 239 Danish youth elite soccer players (M = 16.85, SD = 1.09) completed an online questionnaire assessing mental well-being, depression, anxiety, along with other background variables. Female players scored significantly lower on mental well-being and had four times higher odds of expressing symptoms of anxiety and depression than males. Athletes’ mental health profiles showed that most athletes experience low depression while having moderate mental well-being. Depression, anxiety, and stress scores generally increased when progressing in age, indicating that the junior–senior transition poses distinct challenges to players’ mental health, especially for female players. Different strategies to foster players’ mental health depending on their mental health profiles are proposed.

Open access

Eleftherios Paraskevopoulos, Georgios Gioftsos, Georgios Georgoudis, and Maria Papandreou

Adherence to exercise rehabilitation has been shown to be an important factor that may influence successful treatment. In professional athletes, a significant reduction in exercise adherence delays recovery. The aim of this study was to explore barriers to and facilitators of exercise rehabilitation adherence in injured volleyball athletes. Eight professional volleyball athletes were recruited, and qualitative data were collected using semistructured interviews. All athletes had completed their rehabilitation program after they had suffered a musculoskeletal injury. All data were analyzed using thematic analysis after the investigators ensured that saturation had been reached. Pain was identified as a significant barrier to exercise adherence by all athletes. The provision of social support, including mental, practical, and task related, also had a significant positive impact. The athletes’ ability to develop the necessary coping strategies and confidence on performing exercises at home was also mentioned as a factor that affected exercise adherence, although less often.

Open access

Sara Oliveira, Marina Cunha, António Rosado, and Cláudia Ferreira

This study aimed to test a model that hypothesized that the compassionate coach, as perceived by the athletes, has an impact on athlete-related social safeness and psychological health, through shame and self-criticism. The sample comprised 270 Portuguese adult athletes, who practiced different competitive sports. The path analysis results confirmed the adequacy of the proposed model, which explained 45% of the psychological health’s variance. Results demonstrated that athletes who perceive their coaches as more compassionate tend to present higher levels of social safeness (feelings of belonging to the team) and of psychological health, through lower levels of shame and self-criticism. These novel findings suggest the importance of the adoption of supportive, warm, safe, and compassionate attitudes from coaches in athletes’ mental health. This study also offers important insights by suggesting that feelings of acceptance and connectedness in team relationships may be at the root of athletes’ emotional processes and well-being.

Open access

Linda S. Pescatello, Emily A. Hennessy, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, William E. Kraus, Anne F. Fish, Lynette L. Craft, and Blair T. Johnson

Background: Systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses (MAs) have proliferated with a concomitant increase in reviews of SRs/MAs or “meta-reviews” (MRs). As uncovered by the 2018 US Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee (PAGAC), there is a paucity of best practice guidance on MRs on physical activity health-related research. This manuscript aims to fill this gap. Methods: In total, the PAGAC conducted 38 literature searches across 3 electronic databases and triaged 20,838 titles, 4913 abstracts, and 2139 full texts from which 1130 articles qualified for the PAGAC Scientific Report. Results: During the MR process, the following challenges were encountered: (1) if the SR/MA authors had limited experience in synthesis methodology, they likely did not account for risk of bias in the conclusions they reached; (2) many SRs/MAs reviewed the same primary-level studies; (3) many SRs/MAs failed to disclose effect modifier analyses; (4) source populations varied; (5) physical activity exposures were nonstandardized; and (6) dose–response effects or effect modification of the physical activity exposure could not be identified. Conclusions: Using examples from the PAGAC Scientific Report, we provide (1) a high-level introduction to MRs; (2) recommended steps in conducting a MR; (3) challenges that can be encountered; and (4) guidance in addressing these challenges.

Open access

Matthew A. Ladwig, Christopher N. Sciamanna, Brandon J. Auer, Tamara K. Oser, Jonathan G. Stine, and Jennifer P. Agans

Background: Few Americans accumulate enough physical activity (PA) to realize its benefits. Understanding how and why individuals use their discretionary time for different forms of PA could help identify and rectify issues that drive individuals away from certain physical activities, and leverage successful strategies to increase participation in others. Methods: The authors analyzed approximately 30 years of changes in PA behavior by intensity, type, and mode, using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Results: Since 1988, the proportions of adults most frequently engaging in exercise, sport, or lifestyle physical activity have changed noticeably. The most apparent changes from 1988 to 2017 were the proportions most frequently engaging in Exercise and Sport. In addition, the proportion of time reportedly spent in vigorous-intensity PA decreased over time, particularly among male respondents. Moreover, the proportion of Americans reporting an “Other” PA mode increased substantially, suggesting a growing need for a greater variety of easily accessible options for adult PA. Conclusions: Over time, a smaller proportion of American adults reported participating in sport and exercise modalities and reported engaging more frequently in low-intensity physical activities.

Full access

Sarah Morgan Hughey, Julian A. Reed, and Sarah B. King

Purpose: Physical education (PE) provides opportunities for youth physical activity during the school day, yet daily PE policies remain low. This study investigated whether daily PE was linked to youth aerobic capacity across a 4-year period in Greenville (South Carolina). Methods: Youth in grade levels second to eighth at 2 schools providing daily PE and 2 schools that did not provide daily PE participated in the study (N = 466). The 2 schools used as comparisons provided standard PE outlined by South Carolina, which included one 50-minute session per week (elementary) and daily PE for one semester (middle school). Aerobic fitness was measured using the FITNESSGRAM® Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run test (May 2011–2015). Number of Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run laps completed, age, gender, ethnicity, body composition, and school attended were included in multilevel linear regression analyses. Results: Across the sample, aerobic fitness increased with age. Throughout the study, males demonstrated growth in aerobic fitness compared with a slight decline for females (P < .001). Youth participation in daily PE was linked to increases in aerobic fitness compared with youth who did not receive daily PE (P < .001). Conclusions: Findings suggest that exposure to daily PE may contribute to increased aerobic fitness in youth.

Open access

Satoshi Kurita, Takehiko Doi, Kota Tsutsumimoto, Sho Nakakubo, Hideaki Ishii, Yuto Kiuchi, and Hiroyuki Shimada

Background: This study aimed to examine whether physical activity measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form (IPAQ-SF) can predict incident disability in Japanese older adults. Methods: Community-dwelling older adults participated in a prospective cohort survey. The time spent in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity was assessed at the survey baseline using the IPAQ-SF. The participants were categorized into those who spent ≥150 minutes per week (physically active) or <150 minutes per week (physically inactive) in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity. Incident disability was monitored through Long-Term Care Insurance certification during a follow-up lasting 5 years. Results: Among the 4387 analyzable participants (mean age = 75.8 y, 53.5% female), the IPAQ-SF grouped 1577 (35.9%) and 2810 (64.1%) participants as those who were physically active and inactive, respectively. A log-rank test showed a significantly higher incidence of disability among the inactive group of participants (P < .001). The Cox proportional hazards model showed that physically inactive participants had a higher risk of incident disability than the physically active ones did, even after adjusting for covariates (hazard ratio, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.07–1.45, P < .001). Conclusions: Older adults identified as physically inactive using the IPAQ-SF had a greater risk of developing disabilities than those identified as physically active. The IPAQ-SF seems to be appropriate to estimate the incidence risk of disability.

Open access

Doris Gebhard and Filip Mess

The objective of this multicenter randomized controlled trial was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a physical activity intervention for institutionalized people with dementia, individualized by capacity and biography. The intervention group (n = 34; age: mean = 86.09 years; 79.40% female; mean Mini-Mental State Examination value = 18.59) participated in a multicomponent training program, which included daily activities, dancing, gardening, and sports/games, twice weekly for 3 months. The control group (n = 29; age: mean = 86.34 years; 75.90% female; mean Mini-Mental State Examination value = 19.90) received standard care. Feasibility was evaluated by means of focus groups and feedback questionnaires. Functional performance (Short Physical Performance Battery and Timed Up and Go Test), activities of daily living, and gait were outcomes for effectiveness. A high adherence rate (80.46%) and uniformly positive feedback indicate that the piloted training program is feasible. The results show preliminary effectiveness on functional performance (Short Physical Performance Battery mean t0 = 3.15; mean t1 = 4.50; p = .006) and gait (e.g., velocity mean t 0 = 46.97; mean t 1 = 58.04; p = .007).

Full access

Bridget Coyle-Asbil, Hannah J. Coyle-Asbil, David W.L. Ma, Jess Haines, and Lori Ann Vallis

Sleep is vital for healthy development of young children; however, it is not understood how the quality and quantity vary between the weekends and weekdays (WE–WD). Research focused on older children has demonstrated that there is significant WE–WD variability and that this is associated with adiposity. It is unclear how this is experienced among preschoolers. This study explored: (a) the accuracy of WE–WD sleep as reported in parental logbooks compared with accelerometers; (b) the difference between WE and WD total sleep time, sleep efficiency, and timing, as assessed by accelerometers; and (c) the association between the variability of these metrics and adiposity. Eighty-seven preschoolers (M = 46; 4.48 ± 0.89 years) wore an accelerometer on their right hip for 7 days. Parents were given logbooks to track “lights out” times (sleep onset) and out of bed time (sleep offset). Compared with accelerometers, parental logbook reports indicated earlier sleep onset and later sleep offset times on both WEs and WDs. Accelerometer-derived total sleep time, sleep efficiency, and onset/offset were not significantly different on the WEs and WDs; however, a sex effect was observed, with males going to bed and waking up earlier than females. Correlation analyses revealed that variability of sleep onset times throughout the week was positively correlated with percentage of fat mass in children. Results suggest that variability of sleep onset may be associated with increased adiposity in preschool children. Additional research with larger and more socioeconomically and racially diverse samples is needed to confirm these findings.