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The Evolution of Physical Activity and Health Research in China: A Bibliometric Analysis of Study Areas and Sex Balance in Authorship

Kaiyue Zhang, Diana Morales, Junshi Chen, Wenhua Zhao, Anne Tang, Eduardo Kohn, Ding Ding, Andrea Ramirez Varela, Michael Pratt, and Pedro C. Hallal

Background: This article evaluates the evolution of physical activity and health research in China through a bibliometric analysis focused on number of publications, study areas, and sex balance in authorship. Methods: A systematic review was conducted by the Global Observatory for Physical Activity for “physical activity and health” publications between 1950 and 2019. Here, we focus on the 610 Chinese publications identified, defined as those in which data collection took place in China. We assessed the number of publications, classified them into 5 areas (1) surveillance, (2) correlates and determinants, (3) health consequences, (4) interventions, and (5) policy, and analyzed female participation in authorship. Results: The first Chinese publication identified in the review was in 1990. Since, the average number of physical activity and health publications increased from one per year in the 1990s to 7.6 per year in the 2000s, and to 47 per year in the 2010s. Most publications focused on the correlates and determinants (38.7%) and the health consequences of physical activity (35.9%). Physical activity policy accounted for 2.3% of the publications. In the 1990s, 64% of the publications included at least one female author; this proportion increased to 90% in the 2010s. Conclusion: Despite a slow start, China’s research on physical activity and health has grown rapidly since 2000. The distribution of publications by study areas and female participation in authorship is similar to that observed globally, with fewer publications focused on interventions and policy as compared with other topics.

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Reactions From the Experts: Implications of Open-Source ActiGraph Counts for Analyzing Accelerometer Data

Alexander H.K. Montoye, Samuel R. LaMunion, Jan C. Brønd, and Kimberly A. Clevenger

In 2022, it became possible to produce ActiGraph counts from raw accelerometer data without use of ActiLife software. This supports the availability and use of transparent, open-source methods for producing physical behavior outcomes from accelerometer data. However, questions remain regarding the implications of the availability of open-source ActiGraph counts. This Expert Question and Answer paper solicited and summarized feedback from several noted physical behavior measurement experts on five questions related to open-source counts. The experts agreed that open-source, transparent, and translatable methods help with harmonization of accelerometer methods. However, there were mixed views as to the importance of open-source counts and their place in the field moving forward. This Expert Question and Answer provides initial feedback, but more research both within this special issue and to be conducted moving forward will help to inform whether and how open-source counts will be accepted and adopted for use for device-based physical behavior assessments.

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Process Evaluation of a Scaled-Up School-Based Physical Activity Program for Adolescents: Physical Activity 4 Everyone

Matthew Mclaughlin, Jed Duff, Elizabeth Campbell, Tom McKenzie, Lynda Davies, Luke Wolfenden, John Wiggers, and Rachel Sutherland

Background: Physical Activity 4 Everyone (PA4E1) is a whole-school physical activity program, with demonstrated efficacy (2012–2014). PA4E1 was adapted (scaled-up) and tested in a scale-up trial (2017–2020). This process evaluation study of the scale-up trial had 2 aims. First, to describe the acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility of PA4E1 in the scale-up trial, from the perspective of school staff involved in the program management and delivery. Second, to generate themes that may explain school staff assessments of acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility. Methods: Data were collected at various time points throughout the 2-year implementation phase. Online surveys were collected from In-School Champions, Head Physical Education teachers, Principals, and Physical Education teachers (quantitative data). Focus groups and interviews were conducted with In-School Champions, Principals, and Physical Education teachers (qualitative data). Existing published data on website engagement, adaptations, modifications, and the scale-up trial primary outcome (implementation of physical activity practices) were triangulated with the quantitative and qualitative during analysis, to generate themes. Results: School staff delivering PA4E1 reported it was highly acceptable, appropriate, and feasible. Seven themes were generated relating to acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility. The themes related to how the program was funded, the delivery modes of implementation support, the identification of easy-wins, the recruitment of the right in-school champion, facilitating principal buy-in, mitigating the impact of school staff turnover, and engaging the whole school. Conclusions: Recommendations are made to inform future adaptations for PA4E1 and potentially school-based physical activity programs more generally. The findings may inform future scalability assessments of the suitability of programs for scale-up.

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The Role of Musculoskeletal Training During Return to Performance Following Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport

Richard C. Blagrove, Katherine Brooke-Wavell, Carolyn R. Plateau, Carolyn Nahman, Amal Hassan, and Trent Stellingwerff

Background: Relative energy deficiency in sport (REDs) is a condition that is associated with negative health and performance outcomes in athletes. Insufficient energy intake relative to exercise energy expenditure, resulting in low energy availability, is the underlying cause, which triggers numerous adverse physiological consequences including several associated with musculoskeletal (MSK) health and neuromuscular performance. Purpose: This commentary aims to (1) discuss the health and performance implications of REDs on the skeletal and neuromuscular systems and (2) examine the role that MSK training (ie, strength and plyometric training) during treatment and return to performance following REDs might have on health and performance in athletes, with practical guidelines provided. Conclusions: REDs is associated with decreases in markers of bone health, lean body mass, maximal and explosive strength, and muscle work capacity. Restoration of optimal energy availability, mainly through an increase in energy intake, is the primary goal during the initial treatment of REDs with a return to performance managed by a multidisciplinary team of specialists. MSK training is an effective nonpharmacological component of treatment for REDs, which offers multiple long-term health and performance benefits, assuming the energy needs of athletes are met as part of their recovery. Supervised, prescribed, and gradually progressive MSK training should include a combination of resistance training and high-impact plyometric-based exercise to promote MSK adaptations, with an initial focus on achieving movement competency. Progressing MSK training exercises to higher intensities will have the greatest effects on bone health and strength performance in the long term.

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Active Learning Through Video Conferencing to Maintain Physical Activity Among Older Adults: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Kazuki Uemura, Tsukasa Kamitani, Atsuya Watanabe, Hiroshi Okamoto, Kenshi Saho, and Minoru Yamada

This randomized pilot trial investigated the feasibility of an active learning physical activity intervention through video conferencing and its preliminary effects. Participants comprised community-dwelling older adults who could use e-mail. The intervention group underwent a 12-week active learning intervention via video conferencing to promote a healthy lifestyle, particularly physical activity. The control group received information via e-mail once per week. The amount of physical activity and sedentary behavior was measured using an accelerometer at baseline, postintervention, and 24-week postintervention (36 weeks). Of the 31 participants, 29 were eligible and randomized into two groups (15 for the intervention and 14 for the control). Adherence to the intervention was 83%–100% (mean, 97%). Compared with the control group, the intervention group showed moderate maintenance effects on total physical activity and sedentary behavior at 36 weeks. Active learning physical activity intervention through video conferencing was found to be feasible and contributed to the prevention of physical activity decline in older adults.

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A Biopsychosocial Framework for Sport Science: “A Jack of All Trades Is Oftentimes Better Than a Master of One”

Kerry McGawley

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Effects of Different Conditioning Activities on the Sprint Performance of Elite Sprinters: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis

Irineu Loturco, Lucas A. Pereira, Túlio B.M.A. Moura, Michael R. McGuigan, and Daniel Boullosa

Purpose: Postactivation performance enhancement (PAPE), which refers to the phenomena associated with the attainment of enhanced performance in sport-specific tasks after a conditioning activity, is an important objective of warming-up practices in many sports. This is even more relevant for sprinters, as potential increases in sprinting speed will directly influence their competitive results. This systematic review with meta-analysis evaluated the effects of different PAPE protocols (ie, using plyometrics, strength-power exercises, and resisted/assisted sprints) on the sprinting performance (ie, sprint time or sprint speed) of competitive sprinters. Methods: Initially, 1205 records published until last December 18 were identified, using the following databases: PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, and Clarivate Web of Science. After removing duplicates and screening titles and abstracts, 14 high-quality studies met the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. Results: Overall, there were no significant changes in sprint performance after implementing various types of conditioning activities (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.16 [95% CI, −0.02 to 0.33]; Z = 1.78; P = .08; I 2 = 0%). In addition, when comparing prechanges and postchanges between experimental, control, and other conditions, no significant differences were found in sprint speed or time across all studies (SMD = 0.09 [95% CI, −0.10 to 0.28]; Z = 0.92; P = .36; I = 0%). Conclusions: Results revealed that different types of conditioning activities may not be capable of acutely enhancing the sprint speed of competitive sprinters. This aligns with previous observations indicating that sprinting is a highly stable physical capacity, a phenomenon that is even more consistent among elite sprinters. Coaches and sport scientists should collaborate to develop more efficient PAPE protocols for these highly specialized athletes, with special attention to study design and individualization, while considering their effects on acceleration versus top speed.

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Synchronous Group-Based Online Exercise Programs for Older Adults Living in the Community: A Scoping Review

Maria Fernanda Fuentes Diaz, Brianna Leadbetter, Vanessa Pitre, Sarah Nowell, Martin Sénéchal, and Danielle R. Bouchard

Older adults are the least physically active group with specific barriers to regular exercise, and online exercise programs could overcome some of those barriers. This scoping review aimed to describe the characteristics of supervised group-based synchronous online exercise programs for older adults living in the community, their feasibility, acceptability, and potential benefits. MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase, SPORTDiscus, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature were searched until November 2022. The included studies met the following criteria: participants aged 50 years and above, a minimum of a 6-week group-based supervised and synchronous intervention, and original articles available in English. Eighteen articles were included, with 1,178 participants (67% female, average age of 71 [57–93] years), most (83%) published in the past 3 years. From the limited reported studies, delivering supervised, synchronous online exercise programs (one to three times/week, between 8 and 32 weeks) for older adults living in the community seems feasible, accepted, and can improve physical function.

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International Society of Research and Advocacy for Developmental Coordination Disorder (ISRA-DCD)—15th Biannual Conference and International Motor Development Research Consortium (I-MDRC)—6th Assembly

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Mindfulness and Psychological Inflexibility in Portuguese Adolescent Athletes: A Novel Framework for Understanding the Link Between Shame and Sports Anxiety

Sara Margarida Simões de Oliveira, Marina Isabel Vieira Antunes Cunha, António Fernando Boleto Rosado, Mariana Saraiva, and Cláudia Rute Carlos Ferreira

This study aimed to test a comprehensive model in adolescent athletes that explores the effect of shame on sports anxiety and whether psychological inflexibility and mindfulness influence this association. The sample study included 210 young Portuguese athletes from different competitive sports. The path analysis results confirmed the adequacy of the proposed model, which explained 49% of the variance in sports anxiety. Results demonstrated that athletes who experienced higher levels of shame tended to exhibit elevated levels of sports anxiety through lower levels of mindfulness and higher psychological inflexibility. The study offers new empirical data that may be relevant for clinical and sport psychology practitioners. These findings seem to underline the importance of addressing shame and, consequently, sports anxiety in adolescent athletes by developing greater psychological flexibility and, inherently, more mindfulness skills among adolescent athletes who are in a phase of their lives where sport can play a crucial role.