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Vincent Shieh, Ashwini Sansare, Minal Jain, Thomas Bulea, Martina Mancini and Cris Zampieri

Aims: Clinical evaluation of balance has relied on forceplate systems as the gold standard for postural sway measures. Recently, systems based on wireless inertial sensors have been explored, mostly in the adult population, as an alternative given their practicality and lower cost. Our goal was to validate body-worn sensors against forceplate balance measures in typically developing children during tests of quiet stance. Methods: 18 participants (8 males) 7 to 17 years old performed a quiet stance test standing on a forceplate while wearing 3 inertial sensors. Three 30-second trials were performed under 4 conditions: firm surface with eyes open and closed, and foam surface with eyes open and closed. Sway area, path length, and sway velocity were calculated. Results: We found 20 significant and 8 non-significant correlations. Variables found to be significant were represented across all conditions, except for the foam eyes closed condition. Conclusions: These results support the validity of wearable sensors in measuring postural sway in children. Inertial sensors may represent a viable alternative to the gold standard forceplate to test static balance in children.

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Christina Zong-Hao Ma, Wing-Kai Lam, Bao-Chi Chang and Winson Chiu-Chun Lee

This systematic review investigated the effects of orthopedic, vibrating, and textured insoles on the postural balance of community-dwelling older adults. Articles published in English from 1999 to 2019 investigating the effects of (a) orthopedic, (b) vibrating, and (c) textured insoles on static and dynamic balance in community-dwelling older adults were considered. Twenty-four trials with a total of 634 older adults were identified. The information gathered generally supported the balance-improving effects of orthopedic, vibrating, and textured insoles in both static and dynamic conditions among community-dwelling older adults. Further examination found that rigidity, texture patterns, vibration thresholds, and components like arch supports and heel cups are important factors in determining whether insoles can improve balance. This review highlights the potential of insoles for improving the static and dynamic balance of community-dwelling older adults. Good knowledge in insole designs and an understanding of medical conditions of older adults are required when attempts are made to improve postural balance using insoles.

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Cassidy Preston, Veronica Allan, Lauren Wolman and Jessica Fraser-Thomas

Extensive research highlights the important roles of coaches and parents in fostering positive youth development (PYD). However, little research has examined the complex coach–parent relationship in the bidirectional interactions of the coach-parent-athlete triad. This research is particularly pertinent in elite youth sport, wherein the performance-oriented environment may impede the pursuit of PYD. As such, this study aimed to deepen understandings of the coach–parent relationship in relation to athletes’ PYD. Specifically, the first author critically analyzed and reflected on his experiences as an elite youth ice hockey coach, thus offering a unique portrayal of reflective practice in the context of sport coaching. Two interconnected themes emerged: understanding conflict in the coach-parent-athlete relationship and fostering collaboration through enhanced coach–parent communication. Findings and reflections are discussed in relation to the dual-concern model of conflict resolution, and strategies to help practitioners foster cooperative coach–parent relationships are presented.

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Dereck L. Salisbury and Fang Yu

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among peak exercise parameters on 6-min walk test, shuttle walk test, and laboratory-based cardiopulmonary exercise testing in persons with Alzheimer’s dementia. This study is a cross-sectional analysis of the baseline data of 90 participants (age 77.1 [6.6] years, 43% female) from the FIT-AD trial. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing produced significantly higher peak heart rate (118.6 [17.5] vs. 106 [22.8] vs. 106 [18.8] beats/min), rating of perceived exertion (16 [2.1] vs. 12 [2.3] vs. 11 [2.1]), and systolic blood pressure (182 [23.7] vs. 156 [18.9] vs. 150 [16.9] mmHg) compared with the shuttle walk test and 6-min walk test, respectively. Peak walking distance on shuttle walk test (241.3 [127.3] m) and 6-min walk test (365.0 [107.9] m) significantly correlated with peak oxygen consumption (17.1 [4.3] ml·kg−1·min−1) on cardiopulmonary exercise testing (r = .449, p ≤ .001 and r = .435, p ≤ .001), respectively, which is considerably lower than what is seen in older adults and persons with cardiopulmonary diseases.

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Mariane F.B. Bacelar, Keith R. Lohse and Matthew W. Miller

It is unknown whether rewards improve the capability to select appropriate targets for one’s movement (action selection) and/or the movement itself (action execution). Thus, we devised an experimental task wherein participants categorized a complex visual stimulus to determine toward which one of two targets to execute an action (putt a golf ball) on each trial under one of three conditions: reward, punishment, or neutral. After practicing the task under their assigned condition, participants performed an immediate, 24-hr, and 7-day post-test. Results revealed participants putted to the correct target more frequently during the post-tests than the first practice block, and putted more accurately during the post-tests than a pretest. However, the condition in which participants practiced did not moderate post-test performance (for either task component). Additionally, motivation scores explained action selection and action execution for the immediate post-test performance but not long-term retention, suggesting that motivation might be related to immediate performance, but not long-term learning. Further, the present task may be useful for researchers studying action selection and execution, since the task yielded learning effects that could be moderated by factors of interest.

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Miguel A. Sanchez-Lastra, Antonio J. Molina, Vicente Martin, Tania Fernández-Villa, Jose M. Cancela and Carlos Ayan

This study aimed to determine if stretching exercise can be implemented as an adequate control therapy in exercise randomized controlled trials aimed at improving physical fitness and physical function in older adults. Five electronic databases were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials focused in the physical fitness and function of older adults using stretching exercise as control group. The methodological quality was assessed and a meta-analysis was carried out. Sixteen studies were included, 13 in the meta-analysis. The methodological quality ranged from fair to good. The meta-analysis only in the controls resulted in significant improvements in different functional parameters related to walking, balance, knee flexion strength, or global physical function. The interventions, compared with the controls, significantly improved balance and knee strength parameters. Stretching exercise as control therapy in older people can lead to beneficial effects and could influence the interpretation of the effect size in the intervention groups.

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Kirsten Ward, Anne Pousette and Chelsea A. Pelletier

Although the benefits of maintaining a physical activity regime for older adults are well known, it is unclear how programs and facilities can best support long-term participation. The purpose of this study is to determine the facilitating factors of physical activity maintenance in older adults at individual, program, and community levels. Nine semistructured interviews were conducted with individuals aged 60 years and older and long-term participants (>6 months) in community-based group exercise at a clinical wellness facility in northern British Columbia, Canada. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed via inductive thematic analysis. Themes identified as facilitators of physical activity included (a) social connections, (b) individual contextual factors, and (c) healthy aging. Older adults are more likely to maintain physical activity when environments foster healthy aging and provide opportunity for social engagement.

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Johanna Belz, Jens Kleinert and Moritz Anderten

Adolescent soccer players experience many stressors and negative stress-related outcomes. Short-term stress-prevention programs are frequently implemented in youth sports, although there is limited evidence of their usefulness and effectiveness. Thus, the present study evaluated the usefulness and effectiveness of a stress-prevention workshop for adolescent soccer players. Ninety-two soccer players (age: M = 15.5 years, SD = 1.43; 31.5% female) were randomly allocated to either an intervention group or an intervention control group. To evaluate effectiveness, stress, coping, and depression were assessed at baseline (t1) and 4 weeks postworkshop (t2). To investigate usefulness, the perceived quality of results was assessed at t2. No intervention effects on stress, coping, and depression emerged, but both groups exhibited high values regarding perceived quality of results. Although one workshop might not be enough to modify stress-related parameters, it may be useful for adolescent soccer players and pave the way for long-term interventions.

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Dori E. Rosenberg, Melissa L. Anderson, Anne Renz, Theresa E. Matson, Amy K. Lee, Mikael Anne Greenwood-Hickman, David E. Arterburn, Paul A. Gardiner, Jacqueline Kerr and Jennifer B. McClure

Background: The authors tested the efficacy of the “I-STAND” intervention for reducing sitting time, a novel and potentially health-promoting approach, in older adults with obesity. Methods: The authors recruited 60 people (mean age = 68 ± 4.9 years, 68% female, 86% White; mean body mass index = 35.4). The participants were randomized to receive the I-STAND sitting reduction intervention (n = 29) or healthy living control group (n = 31) for 12 weeks. At baseline and at 12 weeks, the participants wore activPAL devices to assess sitting time (primary outcome). Secondary outcomes included fasting glucose, blood pressure, and weight. Linear regression models assessed between-group differences in the outcomes. Results: The I-STAND participants significantly reduced their sitting time compared with the controls (–58 min per day; 95% confidence interval [–100.3, –15.6]; p = .007). There were no statistically significant changes in the secondary outcomes. Conclusion: I-STAND was efficacious in reducing sitting time, but not in changing health outcomes in older adults with obesity.

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Aaron D. Sciascia, Arthur J. Nitz, Patrick O. McKeon, Jennifer Havens and Timothy L. Uhl

Athletic preinjury function is typically determined via patient recall, however obtaining preinjury function before injury occurs should be attempted. The purpose of this study was to obtain preinjury physical function baseline values using the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), single-leg hop for distance (SLH), and Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) anterior reach to determine if athletes return to those baseline values following knee injury. Out of 27 qualifying injuries, KOOS scores were significantly reduced at initial injury compared to baseline and all follow-up points (p ≤ .02). In most instances, baseline KOOS scores were not met at the discharge time point. SLH and SEBT recovered to baseline values by discharge. Injury severity and previous injury created variations in KOOS scores across multiple time points. Subjective and objective preinjury function can be re-established following knee injury but recovery may not occur at discharge from rehabilitation.