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Christine W. St. Laurent, Sarah Burkart, Chloe Andre, and Rebecca M.C. Spencer

Background: Early childhood is an important age for brain and cognitive development. Given the support of physical activity and fitness on cognition and academic performance in older children, more research has emerged recently focusing on younger children. In this systematic review, the authors review the relations between physical activity/fitness and academic-related (ie, school readiness and cognitive) outcomes in early childhood. Methods: A search was conducted from PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, ERIC databases, and reference lists for articles that had participants aged less than 6 years were written in English, and were in peer-reviewed journals. Articles were excluded if the design was a case study or case series report. The Grading Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation framework was followed to assess the quality of evidence by study design. Results: Sixty-eight articles reporting on 72 studies (29 observational and 43 experimental) were included. The majority of study effects were mixed, and the quality of evidence varied from very low to low. Conclusions: A clear consensus about the role of physical activity and fitness on academic-related outcomes in early childhood is still lacking given the high heterogeneity in methodological approaches and overall effects. Additional high-quality studies are needed to determine what specific dosages of physical activity are impactful at this age.

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Hannah F. Sangan, James G. Hopker, Glen Davison, and Shaun J. McLaren

Purpose: To assess the reliability and construct validity of a self-paced, submaximal run test (SRTRPE) for monitoring aerobic fitness. The SRTRPE monitors running velocity (v), heart rate (HRex), and blood lactate concentration (B[La]), during three 3-minute stages prescribed by ratings of perceived exertion (RPEs) of 10, 13, and 17. Methods: Forty (14 female) trained endurance runners completed a treadmill graded exercise test for the determination of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), v at VO2max (vVO2max), and v at 2 mmol·L−1 (vLT1) and 4 mmol·L−1 (vLT2) B[La]. Within 7 days, participants completed the SRTRPE. Convergent validity between the SRTRPE and graded exercise test parameters was assessed through linear regression. Eleven participants completed a further 2 trials of the SRTRPE within a 72-hour period to quantify test–retest reliability. Results: There were large correlations between v at all stages of the SRTRPE and VO2max (r range = .57–.63), vVO2max (.50–.66), and vLT2 (.51–.62), with vRPE 17 displaying the strongest associations (r > .60). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC3,1) were moderate to high for parameters v (range = .76–.84), HRex (.72–.92), and %HRmax (.64–.89) at all stages of the SRTRPE. The corresponding coefficients of variation were 2.5% to 5.6%. All parameters monitored at intensity RPE 17 displayed the greatest reliability. Conclusions: The SRTRPE was shown to be a valid and reliable test for monitoring parameters associated with aerobic fitness, displaying the potential of this submaximal, time-efficient test to monitor responses to endurance training.

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Aamir R. Memon, Quyen G. To, and Corneel Vandelanotte

Background: To date, no citation analysis has been conducted in the physical activity field, which can contribute to assess the impact of this research field and identify knowledge gaps. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the 500 most cited physical activity publications and report their bibliometric characteristics. Methods: The Web of Science database (all database indexes) was searched, and bibliometric characteristics were imported and calculated. Results: A total of 520 publications were ranked as the top 500. The sum of the citations was 326,258, and the average citation density was 41.0 (45.1) citations per year. Original research articles constituted the major portion of included publications (53.7%; 170,774 citations). Papers reporting relationship of physical activity with health were the most prevalent type of publication included (43.7%; 141,027 citations). Journal impact factor had a weak but significant positive correlation with citation density (r = .12; P = .006). The United States was ranked first in terms of the contributions from institutions and authors contributing to the most cited physical activity papers. Conclusions: Top physical activity publications are well cited compared with other health behavior fields. Original research reporting on the associations between physical activity and health has a higher citation impact compared with other types of original research within the physical activity field. The physical activity research field continues to expand rapidly as newer publications attract more citations in a shorter time span compared with older publications.

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Ilona I. McMullan, Brendan P. Bunting, Nicole E. Blackburn, Jason J. Wilson, Manuela Deidda, Paolo Caserotti, Lee Smith, Dhayana Dallmeier, Marta Roque, Gudrun Weinmayr, Maria Giné-Garriga, Laura Coll-Planas, Mark A. Tully, and on behalf of the SITLESS group

Improving the capacity for physical activity interventions to maintain behavior change is a key public health concern and an important strategy for the health and independence of older adults. Ways of ensuring effective maintenance of physical activity levels in older adults are unclear. This study includes the objective measure of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA); self-reported self-efficacy; and self-regulation at four timepoints (baseline, intervention completion at 4 months, 12-, and 18-month follow-up) from the SITLESS study, a clinical trial conducted with a cohort of community-dwelling older adults (≥65 years) from Denmark, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. A cross-lagged analysis found that self-regulation and self-efficacy may be key determinants of MVPA behavior in community-dwelling older adults. More specifically, the use of behavioral support strategies represents an important correlate of MVPA behavior, and its association with MVPA may be mediated by self-regulation and self-efficacy in older adults in the short and long term.

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Shireen W. Eid, Rhonda F. Brown, Carl L. Birmingham, and Shane K. Maloney

Background: Several behaviors have been reported to interfere with sleep in otherwise healthy adults, including low physical activity (PA) levels. However, few studies have compared low PA with the other behavioral risk factors of objective sleep impairment, despite the behavior tending to cooccur in highly stressed and affectively distressed individuals. Thus, the authors compared objective and subjective measures of PA and other potential sleep disrupting behaviors as predictors of objective sleep (sleep onset latency, actual sleep time, total sleep duration, awake time, and sleep efficacy) at baseline (T1) and 3 months later (T2). Methods: A community-derived sample of 161 people aged 18–65 years were asked about PA, other behavior (ie, night eating, electronic device use, watching television, caffeine and alcohol use), stress, affective distress (ie, anxiety, depression), and demographics including shift work and parenting young children in an online questionnaire at T1 and T2. PA and sleep were also monitored for 24 hours each at T1 and T2 using actigraphy. Results: Multiple regression analyses indicated that sleep at T1 was associated with PA (ie, total number of steps, metabolic equivalents/time, time spent travelling) after controlling mean ambient temperature and relevant demographics. At T2, longer sleep onset latency was predicted by parenting young children and night time television viewing; shorter sleep duration was predicted by female gender; and awake time and sleep efficacy were predicted by alcohol intake after controlling T1 sleep measures, demographics, and mean ambient temperature. Conclusion: The risk factors for objective sleep impairment included parenting young children and watching television at night, whereas better sleep outcomes were associated with greater engagement with PA.

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Nathan Hill, Sonia Fihosy, and Paul M. Camic

There is a paucity of evidence regarding the effects of sport and physical activity on wellbeing in dementia. The present study is the first known study to involve golf with this population. People with dementia (n = 10) and carers (n = 5) participated in a 6-week golf program, facilitated by golf center staff (n = 3). Multiple avenues of data collection were utilized and were subject to thematic analysis. Five central themes were identified: emotion, respite, losing the “dementia” label, friendship/camaraderie, and improving relationships. Underlying subthemes were also identified, while potential links between themes were highlighted. Themes were also considered in terms of which participants (person with dementia, carer, and staff) provided evidence for each theme. This study presents preliminary support for the role of golf to enhance the psychological and social wellbeing of people with early stages of dementia, carers, and staff. Potential mechanisms and future research are discussed.

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ZáNean McClain, Jill Pawlowski, and Daniel W. Tindall

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Katie L. Kowalski, Ali Boolani, and Anita D. Christie

Compromised attentional resources during perceived fatigue has been suggested to alter motor control. The authors determined if measures of postural control and gait are predicted by state and trait physical and mental fatigue and energy, and how these relationships are modified by sex, sleep quality, and physical activity. Young adults (n = 119) completed the Modified Clinical Test of Sensory Integration, overground walking, and questionnaires to quantify fatigue and energy, sleep quality, and physical activity. Regression models indicated that trait fatigue, trait energy, and sleep quality were predictors of postural control (p ≤ .02, R 2 ≥ .04). State fatigue, state energy, and sex were predictors of gait (p ≤ .05, R 2 ≥ .03). While the variance explained was low (3–13%), the results demonstrate perceptions of fatigue and energy may influence posture and gait.

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Jingjing Xue, Shuo Li, Rou Wen, and Ping Hong

Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the accuracy of the published prediction equations for determining level overground walking energy cost in young adults. Methods: In total, 148 healthy young adults volunteered to participate in this study. Resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure variables at speeds of 4, 5, and 6 km/h were measured by indirect calorimetry, walking energy expenditure was estimated by 3 published equations. Results: The gross and net metabolic rate per mile of level overground walking increased with increased speed (all P < .01). Females were less economical than males. The present findings revealed that the American College of Sports Medicine and Pandolf et al equations significantly underestimated the energy cost of overground walking at all speeds (all P < .01) in young adults. The percentage mean bias for American College of Sports Medicine, Pandolf et al, and Weyand et al was 12.4%, 16.8%, 1.4% (4 km/h); 21.6%, 15.8%, 7.1% (5 km/h); and 27.6%, 12%, 6.6% (6 km/h). Bland–Altman plots and prediction error analysis showed that the Weyand et al was the most accurate in 3 existing equations. Conclusions: The Weyand et al equation appears to be the most suitable for the prediction of overground walking energy expenditure in young adults.