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Miguel A. Sanchez-Lastra, Vicente de Dios Álvarez and Carlos Ayán Pérez

Background: The promotion of physical activity among imprisoned people is a public health strategy that could help to improve the health status of this collective. This systematic review is aimed at reviewing the scientific evidence regarding the effects of exercise training programs performed by inmates. Methods: A systematic search for randomized controlled trials aimed at identifying the characteristics and effects of prison-based exercise training programs on imprisoned people was carried through MEDLINE, SPORTDiscus, and Scopus. Results: A total of 11 randomized controlled studies were selected, and the methodological quality of these was acceptable according to the Downs and Black scale. The proposed interventions were mainly based on the performance of aerobic or combined exercise training programs. Generally, the participants were healthy men who were imprisoned for at least 2 months and up to 15 years. Ten out of the 11 studies reported significant changes on physical and mental health–related variables, after the intervention took place. Conclusion: These findings suggest that prison-based exercise programs constitute a feasible and useful strategy for improving the physical and mental health status of prisoners.

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Jill R. Reed, Paul Estabrooks, Bunny Pozehl, Kate Heelan and Christopher Wichman

Background: Most rural adults do not meet current guidelines for physical activity (PA). A 12-week feasibility study tested the effectiveness of using the 5A’s model for PA counseling on rural adults’ PA behaviors. Methods: Inactive rural adults recruited from a primary care clinic were randomized to an intervention (n = 30) or control (n = 29) group. All subjects wore a Fitbit to track steps and active minutes. The intervention group completed action plans to improve self-regulatory PA strategies and received weekly motivational text messages to improve PA behaviors. Theory of planned behavior constructs and self-regulatory strategies of planning, goal setting, and tracking (steps and active minutes) were measured with both groups. The control group received the Fitbit only. Results: All individuals became more physically active; however, no significant differences between groups in active minutes or steps were found. All subjects, regardless of group, increased steps (P > .05). There were no statistically significant differences between groups on any of the theoretical variables. Conclusions: It is vitally important to continue to find ways to make PA a priority to improve the overall health and well-being of rural adults. Future research warrants adjusting the intervention dose and strategies to increase PA that can be maintained long term.

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Simone Ciaccioni, Laura Capranica, Roberta Forte, Helmi Chaabene, Caterina Pesce and Giancarlo Condello

This study aimed to investigate the effects of a 4-month judo training (1 hr session, biweekly) on physical and mental health of older adults (69.7 ± 4.2 years). Participants (N = 30) were assigned to a judo novice practitioners group (n = 16) or a control group (n = 14), which did not receive any training. Before and after the program, they underwent anthropometric (body mass index and waist and hip circumferences); functional fitness (upper and lower body flexibility and strength, coordination); and psychological assessments (perceived physical and mental health, body image, and fear of falling). The judo group showed reductions of waist circumference (Δ = −1%, d = 0.2) and improvements for lower and upper body flexibility (Δ = +69%, d = 0.4 and Δ = +126%, d = 0.5, respectively) and strength (Δ = +12%, d = 0.6 and Δ = +31%, d = 1.6, respectively). The control group showed a decline in lower body strength (Δ = −12%, d = 0.8). Psychological variables did not reveal statistically significant effects. Judo seems beneficial for improving anthropometric and functional fitness variables, relevant aspects of successful aging.

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Talita Molinari, Tainara Steffens, Cristian Roncada, Rodrigo Rodrigues and Caroline P. Dias

Eccentric-focused training promotes greater gains in muscle strength compared with other types of training in adults. However, for older adults, these findings are still not well understood. A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed using manuscripts that performed eccentric-focused and conventional resistance training for at least 4 weeks and evaluated maximum muscle strength through tests of maximum repetitions in weight machine exercises (knee extension and leg press exercises). Five studies were included (n = 138). Increases in muscle strength were found in both resistance training groups, without a difference between them through meta-analysis. However, a large effect size has been observed only in eccentric-focused training. The findings suggest that resistance training protocols are similar for improving maximal strength in older adults, despite larger effect sizes for eccentric-focused training.

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Alexei Wong and Arturo Figueroa

The present study examined the effects of a 12-week low-intensity resistance exercise training (LIRET) regimen on heart rate variability, strength, and body composition in obese postmenopausal women. Participants were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of either LIRET (n = 10) or nonexercising control group (n = 10). Heart rate variability, leg muscle strength, and body composition were measured before and after 12 weeks. There were significant decreases (p < .05) in sympathovagal balance (LnLF/LnHF) and sympathetic tone (nLF), as well as significant increases (p < .05) in parasympathetic tone (nHF) and strength following LIRET compared with no changes after control. There were no significant changes in body composition after LIRET or control. LIRET may be an effective therapeutic intervention for improving sympathovagal balance and strength in obese postmenopausal women. As obese postmenopausal women are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and physical disability, they could potentially benefit from LIRET.

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Nathanial J. Kapsal, Theresa Dicke, Alexandre J.S. Morin, Diego Vasconcellos, Christophe Maïano, Jane Lee and Chris Lonsdale

Background: The physical and psychosocial benefits of physical activity for typically developing youth are well established; however, its impact on youth with intellectual disabilities is not as well understood. The aims of this review and meta-analysis were to synthesize the literature and quantify the effects of physical activity on the physical and psychosocial health of youth with intellectual disabilities. Method: Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were grouped by their focus on physical health and/or psychosocial health outcomes. Meta-analyses were performed using 3-level, random effects and mixed effects models. Results: One hundred nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Physical activity had a large effect on physical health (g = 0.773, P < .001) and a moderately large effect (g = 0.682, P < .001) on psychosocial health. Participant age, intellectual disability level, other developmental disabilities, outcome type, and intervention type moderated the effects of physical activity on physical health, whereas study design, risk of bias, other developmental disabilities, outcome type, and intervention type were moderators on psychosocial health. Conclusions: Physical activity has positive effects on the physical and psychosocial health of youth with intellectual disabilities. Although resistance training shows the most physical benefits, teaching movement and sports skills appear to benefit their physical and psychosocial health.

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Wonjae Choi and Seungwon Lee

Deterioration of physical and psychological health is an important issue in older adults aged 65 years or more. This study aimed to determine whether a virtual kayak paddling (VKP) exercise could improve postural balance, muscle performance, and cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Sixty participants were randomly assigned to the VKP (n = 30) or control group (n = 30). Participants in the VKP group performed the paddling exercise in a virtual environment for 60 min twice a week for 6 weeks, whereas those in the control group performed home exercises. Postural balance (p < .05), muscle performance (p < .05), and cognitive function (p < .05) were significantly improved in the VKP group and were superior to those in the control group (p < .05). Thus, the findings indicate that VKP exercise improves postural balance, muscle performance, and cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

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Bradley Donohue, Marina Galante, Julia Maietta, Bern Lee, Nina Paul, Joanne E. Perry, Arianna Corey and Daniel N. Allen

The conspicuous absence of validated screening measures specific to mental health symptomology in collegiate athletes has negatively affected clinical practice in this population. Therefore, this study was performed to develop a sport specific measure to optimally identify collegiate athletes who are particularly likely to benefit from mental health programming. Participants were 289 collegiate-athletes who were assessed for mental health symptomology using the Global Severity Index of Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (GSI), factors that interfere with sport performance using the Problems in Sport Competition Scale (PSCS) and Problems in Sport Training Scale (PSTS), and motivation to pursue professional counseling using the Desire to Pursue Sport Psychology Scale (DSPS). As hypothesized, a hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that PSCS, PSTS and DSPS scores significantly predicted GSI scores, controlling gender and sport status (NCAA, club, intramural). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis indicated that high-risk athletes (GSI T-scores ≥ 60) could be correctly classified by PSTS and PSCS scores. Results suggest the PSCS and PSTS may assist identification of collegiate athletes who are especially appropriate for mental health programs. These scales additionally identify factors directly relevant to athletes’ sport performance.

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Jack Thomas Sugden, Daryl Adair, Nico Schulenkorf and Stephen Frawley

There is a key tension associated with ethnographic explorations into the lives of people in the Global South – ‘outsider’ researchers from the Global North who lack experience of the environments they are seeking to understand. A considered response, therefore, is for scholars to seek physical immersion in a field—to live among those they are trying to understand. Such ethnographic inquiries are optimal when researchers have the capacity to engage over long periods of time. However, in some circumstances, this may not feasible. Thus, questions arise about the veracity of field work investigations that are not only temporally brief but undertaken by scholars who lack local experience. This paper reflects on the experiences of a researcher who was faced with those challenges. It provides guidance as to how scholars might prepare for short-term ethnography (STE) in field work, along with the limitations and constraints of such an approach. The research centered on a sport for development and peace study into intergroup relations and ethnic separatism in Fijian sport.