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Volume 17 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024): Special Issue—Social Media and Sport Communication: Research Studies

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Volume 34 (2024): Issue 2 (Mar 2024)

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Volume 18 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 2 (Mar 2024)

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Social Media and Sport Research: Empirical Examinations Showcasing Diversity in Methods and Topics

Jimmy Sanderson and Gashaw Abeza

This commentary introduces the second of two special issues in the International Journal of Sport Communication centered on social media and sport. The empirical studies presented in this issue illustrate both the diversity of topics and methodological approaches utilized by researchers working at the intersection of social media and sport. Research articles in this issue analyze topics ranging from sport consumer behavior to online fan communities to coaches’ perceptions of activism-related content posted on team social media accounts. The research presented here also employs a variety of methodological approaches including experimental design, critical discourse analysis, rhetorical analysis, and applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Collectively, these studies offer a foundation on which future research in social media and sport can build to continue to enhance our understanding of social media’s impact on the sport world.

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Volume 41 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

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After-School Activities of Japanese Elementary School Children: Comparison of Children Who Attend Lessons and Cram Schools With Those Who Do Not

Yasuo Kojima

Background: This study examined the after-school activities of Japanese elementary school children in which little information is available for understanding the process by which participation in organized activities leads to the decrease in children’s independent mobility. Methods: One thousand eight hundred and twenty-four mothers of elementary school children participated in an online survey. The mothers responded to the questions on the number of lessons (or cram schools) their children attended weekdays, as well as their children’s behavior after classes, and parents providing transportation when their children go out to play. Results: The proportion of children attending lessons and/or cram schools increased as their grades progressed. A significant interaction existed between the degree of parental transportation and grade in terms of whether or not the children attended lessons and/or cram schools. Parental involvement included pick up or drop-off for a large percentage of younger children without lessons, whereas the degree of parental involvement was greater for older children attending lessons. In other words, parents of children without attending lessons or cram schools tended to allow children to engage in independent activities when they reached the higher grades, whereas parents of children who frequently attended lessons and cram schools tended to remain involved in transporting their children, even when they reached the higher grades. Conclusions: The results suggested that the participation of children in organized activities leads to a routine of parental pickup and/or drop-off, which renders difficult the facilitation of opportunities for children to independently participate in play activities.

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Common Wrist-Extensor Tendon and Pectoralis Muscle Stiffness in Healthy Recreational Tennis Players

Joseph M. Day and Harold Merriman

Context: Imbalances in upper-extremity soft tissue stiffness may play a role in the development of shoulder and elbow musculoskeletal injuries in tennis players. Ultrasound shear wave elastography provides quantifiable and specific data regarding muscle stiffness. The purpose of this study was to compare tendon and muscle stiffness in healthy tennis players to nontennis players. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: The shear wave modulus, measured in kilopascals, was obtained for the dominant pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and common wrist-extensor tendon using 2-dimensional shear wave elastography ultrasound imaging (GE Logiq S8, L9 linear transducer). Independent t test was run to compare age, body mass index, and the activity index score between both groups. Within-day intrarater reliability was assessed using a within-examiner intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC [3, 1]) with 95% confidence intervals. A multivariate general linear model was run to compare the mean differences between the tennis and nontennis players for each of the soft tissues. Results: Twenty-six individuals (13 tennis players and 13 nontennis players) were recruited. Within-day ICCs were very good (ICC > .78 for the pectoralis musculature) and excellent (ICC > .94 for the common wrist extensor). Common extensor tendon stiffness was significantly higher in tennis players compared to nontennis players (mean difference = 114.8 [61.8], confidence interval, −22.8 to 252.5 kPa for the dominant arm [P = .039]). Mean pectoralis major and minor stiffness differences were not significant (P > .214). Conclusions: Common wrist-extensor stiffness in healthy recreational tennis players is higher than those who do not play tennis. Therefore, clinicians may need to facilitate a greater soft tissue stiffness response with resistance training when rehabilitating recreational tennis players as compared to those not playing tennis. Additional normative data on a larger sample of recreational tennis players should be collected.

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The Efficiency of Respiratory Exercises in Rehabilitation of Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Haiting Zhai, Liqing Zhang, JiXiang Xia, and Cheng Li

Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a common musculoskeletal disorder, and respiratory exercise is considered a nonsurgical management method. Therefore, this systematic review and meta-analysis aims to estimate the results of randomized controlled trials on the effect of respiratory training in reducing LBP and its dose relationship. Methods: The present study was conducted from January 2020 to January 2022, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines (2020). Relevant studies were searched in multiple databases including PubMed, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, EBSCO, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Wan Fang and China Knowledge Network, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Google Scholar, using a combination of MeSH/Emtree terms and free-text words. The heterogeneity of the studies was assessed using the I 2 statistic. Results: A total of 14 publications were included in the meta-analysis, with a total sample size of 698 individuals, aged 60–80 years. Respiratory exercise was effective in relieving LBP (standardized mean difference = −0.87, P < .00001) and improving physical disability (standardized mean difference = −0.79, P < .00001). The type of breathing and the total duration of breathing exercises were found to be the source of heterogeneity in this study by subgroup analysis. Subgroup analysis revealed that the most significant effect sizes of breathing resistance exercise to reduce LBP and the most significant effect sizes of breathing relaxation techniques to alleviate physical disability were performed 3 to 5 times per week and period >4 weeks. Respiratory exercise reducing LBP and improving functional disability was most effective when the total duration of the intervention was >500 minutes. Funnel plots showed that the results of the 2 overall studies were reliable without publication bias. Conclusions: Respiratory exercise can effectively reduce LBP and improve physical disability. Therefore, these exercises can be regarded as a part of a LBP management plan. We recommend an exercise program with 30 to 50 minutes, 3 to 5 times per week, and >4 weeks of breathing resistance exercise program as the most effective for treating LBP.

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Mixed-Method Precooling Enhances Self-Paced 20-km Cycling Time-Trial Performance When Apparent Temperature Is >46 °C but May Not Be a Priority in <46 °C

Julian Andro P. Ramos, Kagan J. Ducker, Hugh Riddell, Olivier Girard, Grant J. Landers, and Carly J. Brade

Purpose: Precooling (PreC) may only benefit performance when thermal strain experienced by an individual is sufficiently high. We explored the effect of mixed-method PreC on 20-km cycling time-trial (CTT) performance under 3 different apparent temperatures (AT). Methods: On separate days, 12 trained or highly trained male cyclists/triathletes completed six 20-km CTTs in 3 different ATs: hot-dry (35 °C AT), moderately hot-humid (40 °C AT), and hot-humid (46 °C AT). All trials were preceded by 30 minutes of mixed-method PreC or no PreC (control [CON]). Results: Faster 2.5-km-split completion times occurred in PreC compared with CON in 46 °C AT (P = .02), but not in 40 °C AT (P = .62) or 35 °C AT (P = .57). PreC did not affect rectal and body temperature during the 20-km CTT. Skin temperature was lower throughout the CTT in PreC compared with CON in 46 °C AT (P = .01), but not in 40 °C AT (P = 1.00) and 35 °C AT (P = 1.00). Heart rate had a greater rate of increase during the CTT for PreC compared with CON in 46 °C AT (P = .01), but not in 40 °C AT (P = .57) and 35 °C AT (P = 1.00). Ratings of perceived exertion (P < .001) and thermal comfort (P = .04) were lower for PreC compared with CON in 46 °C AT only, while thermal sensation was not different between PreC and CON. Conclusion: Mixed-method PreC should be applied prior to 20-km CTTs conducted in hot-humid conditions (≥46 °C AT). Alternatively, mixed-method PreC may be a priority in moderately hot-humid (∼40 °C AT) conditions but should not be in hot-dry (∼35 °C AT) conditions for 20-km CTT.