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Anna Witkowska, Małgorzata Grabara, Dorota Kopeć, and Zbigniew Nowak

Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Nordic Walking compared to conventional walking on aerobic capacity, the lipid profile, left ventricular ejection fraction, body mass, and body mass index in women over 55 years old. Methods: The study was comprised of 74 women over 55 years of age. Participants were randomized to the Nordic Walking (n = 38) or conventional walking (n = 36) training groups. The echocardiogram, treadmill exercise stress test, lipid profile, and body mass were assessed at baseline (pretest) and after 12 weeks (posttest). Results: The authors found a significant main effect over time in duration (effect size [ES] = 0.59, P < .0001), distance covered (ES = 0.56, P < .0001), peak oxygen consumption (ES = 0.43, P < .0001), metabolic equivalent (ES = 0.29, P < .0001), peak heart rate (ES = 0.2, P < .0001), peak diastolic blood pressure (ES = 0.11, P = .0045), total cholesterol (ES = 0.26, P < .0001), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (ES = 0.16, P = .0005). The authors did not observe a time versus group interaction or the effect between groups. Post hoc tests revealed significant pretraining to posttraining differences in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol after the Nordic Walking training program and in peak diastolic blood pressure after the conventional walking training program. The heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure at rest, peak diastolic blood pressure, somatic parameters (body mass and body mass index), and left ventricular ejection fraction did not change in either group. Conclusions: Both training programs resulted in increases in aerobic capacity and decreases in total cholesterol.

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Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Olga López-Torres, Álvaro Martos-Bermúdez, Lorena Rodriguez-Garcia, Marcela González-Gross, and Amelia Guadalupe-Grau

Background: To evaluate the effectiveness of a multicomponent supervised and unsupervised training program focused on muscle power to counteract the potential changes in sedentary behavior, disability, physical activity (PA), and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) caused by the COVID-19 pandemic domiciliary confinement in prefrail older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods: Thirty-five older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus were assigned to 2 groups according to their frailty status: exercise training group (prefrail or frail; n = 21; 74.7 [4.5] y; 33.3% male) and control group (robust; n = 14; 73.1 [3.9] y; 42.9% male). The exercise training group followed a multicomponent training program focusing on muscle power: supervised (5 wk) and unsupervised (6 wk). The primary outcomes, including PA and sitting time, perceived disability, and HRQoL, were assessed at the baseline and after 11 weeks. Results: At the end of confinement, there were significant decreases in PA in both groups (P < .05). Thus, sitting time increased more in the control group than in the exercise training group (P < .05). The HRQoL measures remained unchanged. Conclusions: Muscle power training before and during mandatory COVID-19 self-isolation in type 2 diabetes mellitus older adults (1) attenuates the COVID-19 domiciliary confinement-related increase in sitting time and (2) slightly decreases the self-reported levels of disability and maintains HRQoL.

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Pierre Van Luchene and Cécile Delens

Background: Starting college or university is a significant life event that can impact students’ physical activity (PA). Social support specific to PA (SSPA) is a social determinant of PA among college and university students. This review had 3 aims: (1) to systematically review studies examining the association between SSPA and PA among students; (2) to examine whether potential associations differed in terms of types or sources of SSPA; and (3) to examine whether any potential associations differed in terms of gender. Methods: Studies were identified using Academic Search Premier, PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts, and SPORTDiscus. Results: This review included 25 papers. The results suggested that there is a positive association between SSPA and PA among college and university students. Although the importance of different sources of SSPA is not clear, the results suggested that family and friends provide significant SSPA. Conclusions: High variability in measurement methods made it difficult to compare studies and to come to a clear consensus. However, the findings suggested that SSPA may be a determinant of PA. In order to better understand the relationship between SSPA and PA among students, some elements, such as gender, socioeconomic level, and off- or on-campus housing, should be considered in future studies.

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Andreia Teixeira, Ronaldo Gabriel, Luis Quaresma, Ana Alencoão, José Martinho, and Helena Moreira

Background: Obesity is an important public health issue that has increased globally in the last decade and continues to be one of the main causes of morbidity and premature mortality. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that contact with nature is a valuable resource for the promotion of a more active lifestyle and seems to have a central role in maintaining a healthy weight. The authors conducted a systematic review to summarize the findings of studies that investigated the relationship between natural spaces and obesity. Methods: Following Primary Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, a literature search was conducted using 11 databases for studies fully available in English and published between 2010 and 2020, with adults (18–64 y) and/or older people (≥65 y). Results: Fifty studies were found that met all the inclusion criteria. The majority (68%) of papers found that higher availability and less distance to green and blue spaces are associated with lower levels of adiposity. These associations were positive, even after adjusting for the demographic and socioeconomic factors. Conclusions: Exploring the characteristics of green and blue spaces seems to be a promising tool for urban planning and health policies. The authors suggest the implementation of exercise programs in contact with nature for future interventions.

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Chih-Chia (JJ) Chen, Shannon D.R. Ringenbach, Nathaniel E. Arnold, and Kahyun Nam

Deficits in motor performance have been well documented in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). However, only a few studies have focused on manipulative skills and older adults in this population. Given the associations between manipulative skills and daily living activities, more work is needed to examine the aging effect on individuals with DS. A total of 54 adults with DS participated in this study. The results indicated that older participants showed more lateralization than younger participants. They exhibited superior dominant hand preference compared to younger participants. In addition, participants with DS with high verbal ability had better performance in manual dexterity and handgrip force. Therefore, in the clinical setting, assessing mental age may help in identifying individuals with DS at a higher risk of motor impairment. Future work should examine additional determinants with a large sample size to understand the development of manipulative skills in individuals with DS. Furthermore, additional studies are needed to investigate the associations between mental age and other cognitive functions and motor performance in this population.

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Mary Page Leggett-James, Matthew E. Vanaman, Danielle Lindner, and Robert L. Askew

While regular exercise is associated with a number of physical and mental health benefits, basing one’s self-esteem largely on exercise is likely associated with negative outcomes. In the present studies, the authors developed a novel measure of this construct, something they term “exercise overvaluation.” In Study 1, 820 participants completed an online survey measuring self-esteem, exercise attitudes and behaviors, and eating disorder symptoms. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were employed to develop the 14-item Exercise Overvaluation Scale. The results provided evidence of discriminant and convergent validity and internal consistency reliability of scale scores. In Study 2, the Exercise Overvaluation Scale was administered to 134 university athletes, including those who participated in intramural sports, club sports, and collegiate athletics. The results from Study 2 supported the criterion validity and test–retest reliability of scale scores. This scale offers researchers a new tool to help understand the relationships among exercise, self-esteem, and physical and mental health outcomes.

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Megan M. Gardner, Jeff T. Grimm, and Bradley T. Conner

This study explored the relations between sensation seeking, impulsivity, risk compensation, and extreme-sports injury to better understand contributing factors to risk taking in extreme sports and subsequent adverse outcomes. Data included cross-sectional survey responses from 1,107 college students (M age = 19.47, SD = 2.14). Poisson, logistic, and negative binomial regressions were used to investigate the relations of interest. Results indicate that sensation seeking and impulsivity are significantly associated with both risk compensation and extreme-sports injury. Risk compensation is significantly and positively associated with extreme-sports injury in mountain biking and snowboarding. Risk compensation did not significantly moderate the relation between the personality constructs of interest and extreme-sports injury. These results show that the role of risk compensation in extreme-sports injury is highly sport-specific. These results highlight the importance of considering both personality and risk compensation in prevention and intervention efforts.

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Eszter Somogyi, Laurent Salomon, and Jacqueline Fagard

As a step toward understanding the developmental relationship between handedness and language lateralization, this longitudinal study investigated how infants (N = 21) move their hands in noncommunicative and communicative situations at 2 weeks and at 3 months of age. The authors looked at whether left-right asymmetry in hand movements and in duration of self-touch appeared across conditions and whether the direction of asymmetry depended on the communicative nature of the situation. The authors found that asymmetries appeared less consistently than suggested in literature and did not only depend on the communicative nature of the situation. Instead, hand activity and self-touch patterns depended on age, the presence of the mother, the degree of novelty of the situation, and the presence of an object. The results partly support previous studies that pointed out an early differentiation of communicative hand movements versus noncommunicative ones in infants. It is in terms of the amount of global hand activity, rather than in those of the laterality of hand movements that this differentiation emerged in this study. At 3 months, infants moved their hands more in the communicative conditions than in the noncommunicative conditions and this difference appeared as a tendency already at 2 weeks of age.

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Raphael M. Cunha, Gisela Arsa, Iransé Oliveira-Silva, Izabela Ferreira Rocha, and Alexandre Machado Lehnen

This study investigated the acute blood pressure (BP) effects of different exercise modalities in older adults with hypertension. Sixty volunteers were randomly assigned (n = 15/group) into different exercise protocols: resistance, bike, water-based exercise (WE), and a control session—all for ∼45 min. Clinic BP measurements were taken before, immediately after, and 15 and 30 min after protocols. The data were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance; generalized estimating equations, following Bonferroni post hoc (p < .05). Immediately after exercise, the systolic BP (SBP) increased in all exercise protocols (resistance exercise = Δ10.3, bike exercise = Δ5.8, WE = Δ9.5 mmHg; p < .001), while the diastolic BP was not altered. Afterward, the SBP reached the value observed before exercise. In Minute 30, only WE presented a significant reduction for SBP (WE = Δ−4.6 mmHg; p < .05). This study has important clinical implications in hemodynamic safety for acute BP increases immediately after exercises, as well as, in the SBP, reduction benefits for older adults with hypertension.