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María Morales-Suárez-Varela, Eva Clemente-Bosch, Isabel Peraita-Costa, Agustín Llopis-Morales, Isabel Martínez and Agustín Llopis-González

Background: The practice of physical exercise during pregnancy has benefits for both the mother and baby. Currently, there is scientific evidence that supports the inclusion of a monitored physical activity program in the daily activities of pregnant women. The objective of this study is to provide an overview of the current status of the association between physical activity during pregnancy and the effects on the mother and the newborn. Methods: A systematic review of the literature, assessing each study using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, from different databases PubMed, Embase, or ScienceDirect, on the association between maternal physical activity and its effects on the mother and the newborn published from 2010 until 2018 was conducted. Results: About 25 studies were identified and divided into categories according to the health problems affecting the mother or newborn. It was found that 8% of all the studies received a grade B, 68% obtained a grade C, and the remaining 24% obtained less than a grade C. Improved cardiovascular function, decreased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and the limitation of weight gain are among the benefits to the mother with lower percentage of body fat, increased gestational age, and potentially improved neurodevelopment as benefits for the child. Conclusions: The realization of physical activity during pregnancy is supported by most of the studies reviewed. However, given the vulnerability of the studied populations, more studies on the association between physical activity and pregnancy are necessary.

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Carolina M. Bejarano, Linda C. Gallo, Sheila F. Castañeda, Melawhy L. Garcia, Daniela Sotres-Alvarez, Krista M. Perreira, Carmen R. Isasi, Martha Daviglus, Linda Van Horn, Alan M. Delamater, Kimberly L. Savin, Jianwen Cai and Jordan A. Carlson

Background: Total sedentary time and prolonged sedentary patterns can negatively impact health. This study investigated rates of various sedentary pattern variables in Hispanic/Latino youth. Methods: Participants were 956 youths (50.9% female) in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos Youth, a population-based cohort study of Hispanic/Latino 8- to 16-year-olds from 4 geographic regions in the United States (2012–2014). Total sedentary time and 10 sedentary pattern variables were measured through 1 week of accelerometer wear. Differences were examined by sociodemographic characteristics, geographic location, weekdays versus weekends, and season. Results: On average, youth were sedentary during 67.3% of their accelerometer wear time, spent 24.2% engaged in 10- to 29-minute sedentary bouts, and 7.2% in ≥60-minute bouts. 8- to 12-year-olds had more favorable sedentary patterns (less time in extended bouts and more breaks) than 13- to 16-year-olds across all sedentary variables. Sedentary patterns also differed by Hispanic/Latino background, with few differences across sex, household income, season, and place of birth, and none between weekdays versus weekends. Conclusions: Variables representing prolonged sedentary time were high among Hispanic/Latino youth. Adolescents in this group appear to be at especially high risk for unhealthy sedentary patterns. Population-based efforts are needed to prevent youth from engaging in increasingly prolonged sedentary patterns.

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Laura Zlibinaite, Albertas Skurvydas, Sandra Kilikeviciene and Rima Solianik

Background: The effect of globally recommended levels of physical activity on cognition and motor behavior is not completely understood. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to assess the effect of 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise on cognitive and motor performance among overweight and obese working-age women. Methods: Overweight and obese participants aged 38–56 years were randomized to either a control or an experimental group performing aerobic exercise at 50% to 60% of the peak oxygen consumption for a 2-month period. Changes in aerobic fitness, cardiac autonomic function, brain-derived neurotropic factor levels, and cognitive and motor performance were assessed. Results: Although aerobic exercise reduced body weight (P < .05) and improved peak oxygen consumption (P < .05), the brain-derived neurotropic factor levels and cognitive and motor performance remained unchanged. Heart rate and blood pressure decreased (P < .05), whereas heart rate variability indices were not affected. No significant correlations between changes in heart rate variability indices and cognition were observed. Conclusions: Two months of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise decreased sympathetic activity and improved cardiovascular fitness but had no impact on cognition or motor control among these middle-aged, overweight, and obese women.

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Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, F. Javier Rojas, John F.T. Fernandes, Federico Gómez-Martínez and Amador García-Ramos

This study examined the effect of different coaching conditions on the magnitude and reliability of drop jump height in men and women. Nineteen collegiate sport sciences students (10 men) performed two sets of 10 drop jumps under four different coaching conditions: neutral, augmented feedback, external focus of attention, and a combination of augmented feedback and external focus of attention. The augmented feedback condition revealed a significantly higher jump height than the neutral condition (p = .002), while no significant differences were observed for the remaining conditions (p ≥ .38). The external focus of attention condition was more reliable than the neutral and augmented feedback conditions (coefficient of variationratio ≥ 1.15), while no differences were observed between the remaining conditions. These results suggest that both the magnitude and reliability of the drop jump height performance are influenced by the coaching condition.

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Marko Milic, Danica Janicijevic, Aleksandar Nedeljkovic, Ivan Cuk, Milos Mudric and Amador García-Ramos

This study aimed to determine the instruction that maximizes fencing attack performance and to explore the sensitivity of a novel efficiency index (EI) that considers reaction time, attack velocity, and absolute error to discriminate between beginners and experienced fencers. Instructions that directed attentional focus internally (react as fast as possible and perform the attack movement as fast as possible) or externally (be as accurate as possible) were provided prior to stimulus presentation. The EI did not differ between the instructions in any group (p > .05), the instructions “react as fast as possible” and “be as accurate as possible” promoted in beginners the highest and the lowest EI, and the EI was higher for fencers. Our findings suggest that the EI could be recommended as a general index of fencing attack efficiency.

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Sebastien Pollet, James Denison-Day, Katherine Bradbury, Rosie Essery, Elisabeth Grey, Max Western, Fiona Mowbray, Kirsten A. Smith, Joanna Slodkowska-Barabasz, Nanette Mutrie, Paul Little and Lucy Yardley

Purpose: This study explored participant views of a web-based physical activity intervention for older adults and examined how they resonate with the key principles that guided intervention development. Methods: Qualitative interviews were carried out with 52 older adults. A deductive qualitative analysis approach was taken, based around the intervention’s key principles. Results: Participants expressed mostly positive views of the intervention features, broadly confirming the appropriateness of the key principles, which were to: (a) encourage intrinsic motivation for physical activity, (b) minimize the risk of users receiving activity suggestions that are inappropriate or unsafe, (c) offer users choice regarding the activities they engage with and build confidence to undertake more activity, and (d) minimize the cognitive load and need to engage with the intervention website. The findings also identified ways in which content could be improved to further increase acceptability. Conclusion: This study illustrates how using the person-based approach has enabled the identification and implementation of features that older adults appreciate.

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Hannah E. Kling, Emily M. D’Agostino, Ja’mese Booth, Eric Hansen, Emily Hawver, M. Sunil Mathew and Sarah E. Messiah

This proof-of-concept study examined feasibility of assessing longitudinal changes in body mass index, strength, mobility, and cardiovascular health outcomes in older, racial/ethnic minority adults participating in a park-based physical activity program. Study feasibility was based on follow-through data collection procedures and ability to manage and implement data collection, enrollment, and repeated measures data collection in older adults (≥50 years; n = 380; 45% Hispanic, 41% non-Hispanic Black) over a 28-month period. Mixed models were developed to estimate the effects of program participation over time on participant cardiovascular and fitness outcomes and across poverty and age subgroups. Model estimates adjusted for individual-level sociodemographics showed improvements across each 4 month time point in arm strength (0.55 arm curl; 95% confidence interval [0.33, 0.77]) and systolic (−0.68 mmHg; 95% confidence interval [−1.22, −0.13]) and diastolic (−0.47 mmHg; 95% confidence interval [−0.79, −0.16]) blood pressure. An Age × Poverty interaction found greater improvements in systolic and diastolic blood pressure among younger participants living in low poverty (vs. older in higher poverty). Study of the longitudinal association between fitness class participation and health outcomes was feasible in park-based settings.

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Ilona I. McMullan, Brendan P. Bunting, Annette Burns, Lee Smith, Connor Cunningham, Roger O’Sullivan, Nicole E. Blackburn, Jason J. Wilson and Mark A. Tully

Social relationships are central to the health and well-being of older adults. Evidence exploring the association of physical activity (PA) with social isolation and loneliness is limited. This study uses a path analysis to investigate the longitudinal association between loneliness and social isolation with PA using the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. Higher levels of social isolation measured using the Berkman–Syme Social Network Index were directly and indirectly associated with lower levels of walking, moderate PA, and vigorous PA over 6 years. Additionally, higher levels of walking were associated with lower levels of loneliness measured using a modified version of the University of California, Los Angeles loneliness scale over a 3-year period. Future interventions should target individuals who are more socially isolated and explore the effects of different types of PA on loneliness over time.

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Brian J. Diefenbach, Anthony S. Kulas, Christopher J. Curran and Patrick M. Rider

Shear wave elastography imaging of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is used to help understand changes in material properties of the ligament. Ensuring that the wrist flexors are relaxed is essential as muscle contractions can alter the alignment of the medial elbow. The purpose of this study was to determine how the structural and material properties of the medial elbow respond to various elbow torques. The medial elbows of 20 healthy adults, free from upper extremity disorders, were imaged in 3 of the following torque conditions: (1) neutral relaxed, (2) passive valgus, and (3) active varus. Structural properties (ulnohumeral gap and UCL length) using B-mode and material properties (UCL and flexor muscle stiffness) using shear wave were measured. Passive valgus torque opened the ulnohumeral gap (P < .001), and increased UCL (P < .001) and wrist flexor stiffness (P = .001), compared with the neutral condition. Under an active varus contraction, the gap returned back to the neutral position, but UCL (P < .008) and wrist flexor stiffness (P < .004) remained elevated compared with neutral, meaning low-intensity torques can influence structural and material properties of the medial elbow. Therefore, effort should be taken to minimize muscle activation during imaging in order to accurately measure medial elbow properties.

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Teri J. Hepler and Matt Andre

In two experiments, the authors investigated the influence of stress type (i.e., low/no stress, mental, and physical), level (i.e., low, moderate, and high), and Type × Level interaction on intuitive decision frequency, decision quality, and decision speed. Participants were exposed to mental (i.e., color word task, mental arithmetic) and/or physical stress (i.e., running) and then required to make decisions regarding videotaped offensive situations in basketball. Intuitive decision frequency, decision quality, and decision speed were measured for each trial. Study 1 used a between-subjects design whereby 20 participants were randomly assigned to each of the five stress conditions. Results revealed that moderate stress was associated with faster decisions. Study 2 replicated the design and aim of Study 1 using a within-subject methodology (n = 42). Results suggested that moderate stress levels produced better, faster decisions. In conclusion, moderate levels of stress were associated with the most desirable decision outcomes.