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Per G. Svensson, Seungmin Kang and Jae-Pil Ha

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of shared leadership and organizational capacity on organizational performance and innovative work behavior (IWB) in sport for development and peace. An electronic survey was distributed to 1,120 sport for development and peace practitioners. A total of 215 completed surveys were recorded for a response rate of 19.2%. Structural equation modeling revealed significant relationships between shared leadership and both organizational performance and IWB. In addition, shared leadership fully mediated the relationship between capacity and IWB, and partially mediated the relationship between capacity and organizational performance. Altogether, the results indicate that shared leadership and capacity combined to explain a significant proportion of variance in performance and IWB. The results provide empirical support for the significant role of shared leadership in sport for development and peace. In addition, the significant direct and indirect effects in the tested model highlight the value of examining both capacity and shared leadership.

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Philip von Rosen and Maria Hagströmer

Background: This study investigates the association between self-rated health and the time spent in sedentary behavior (SB), low light-intensity physical activity (LLPA), high light-intensity physical activity (HLPA), and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), by controlling for demographics, socioeconomic status, and chronic diseases. Methods: A total of 1665 participants (55% women) completed a questionnaire about demographics, chronic diseases, and anthropometric characteristics and provided objective physical activity data on time in SB, LLPA, HLPA, and MVPA, using an ActiGraph 7164 accelerometer. Association between self-rated health and activity data was explored in a compositional data analysis. Results: The multinomial logistic regression analysis showed a significantly lower time spent in MVPA in proportion to time in other movement behaviors (SB, LLPA, and HLPA) for participants who rated their health as alright or poor compared with excellent (P < .001). Participants with poor, compared with excellent health, spent about a third of the time in MVPA (17 vs 50 min), marginally higher time in HLPA (134 vs 125 min), more time in LLPA (324 vs 300 min), and similar time in SB (383 vs 383 min), accounting for confounders and time in other movement behaviors. Conclusions: Promoting MVPA, as opposed to time in other movement behaviors, is suggested to be beneficial for excellent self-rated health.

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Timothy J. Gibbons and Marie-Louise Bird

Background: The training of abdominal muscles has a positive impact on the functional capacity of healthy adults, being applied practically in fields of athletics and fitness through rehabilitation for lower back pain. Objective: The study compares abdominal muscle activity while performing graded isometric exercises on stable and unstable surfaces. The authors also examined perceived stability and comfort for the different surfaces. Methods: A total of 30 young, healthy adults performed 3 graded isometric exercises on a Pilates table, foam roller, and Oov (a newly developed tool). Ultrasound investigation measured transversus abdominis, internal oblique abdominis, and external oblique abdominis thickness during each task, comparing muscle thickness between conditions using general linear modeling. Results: Core abdominal activation was greater on the foam roller than the Oov and Pilates table during crook lying (bilateral leg support). Both Oov and foam roller elicited greater contralateral transversus abdominis and internal oblique abdominis thickness than the Pilates table during tabletop and straight leg raises (unilateral leg exercises). For transversus abdominis only, the foam roller elicited more muscle thickness than the Oov during straight leg raises. The Oov was rated more comfortable than the foam roller. Discussion: Exercises performed on the Oov and foam roller elicit core greater abdominal muscle thickness than those performed on a Pilates table. Unilateral leg exercises in a supine position elicit more contralateral muscle thickness than those with bilateral leg support. Conclusions: These results provide information to support choices in exercise progression from flat stable to more unstable surfaces and from those with bilateral foot support to unilateral foot support. The Oov was more comfortable that the foam roller, and this may help with exercise adherence.

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Jungyun Hwang, I-Min Lee, Austin M. Fernandez, Charles H. Hillman and Amy Shirong Lu

Purpose: This study examined differences in energy expenditure and bodily movement among children of different weight status during exergames that varied in mode and intensity. Methods: Fifty-seven 8- to 12-year-old children including overweight/obesity (n = 28) and normal weight (n = 29) played three 10-minute interval Xbox One exergames (Fruit Ninja, Kung-Fu, and Shape Up) categorized based on predominantly upper-, whole-, or lower-limb movement, respectively. The authors measured bodily movement through accelerometry and obtained energy expenditure and metabolic equivalent (MET) via indirect calorimetry. Results: Energy expended during gameplay was the highest in Shape Up (P < .01) and higher in Kung-Fu than Fruit Ninja (P < .01). Absolute energy expenditure was significantly higher in overweight/obese children (P < .01), but not when controlling for body mass across 3 exergames (P > .05). Based on the MET cut-points, overweight/obese children spent more time at light intensity (<3 METs) for Fruit Ninja (P < .05) and Shape Up (P < .01), but less time at vigorous intensity (≥6 METs) for Kung-Fu (P < .01) and Shape Up (P < .01). Lower-limb movements during Shape Up were less in overweight/obese children (P = .03). Conclusion: Although children in both groups expended similar energy relative to their body mass during gameplay, overweight/obese children spent more time at light intensity but less time at vigorous intensity with fewer movements especially while playing a lower limb–controlled exergame.

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Hayley M. Ericksen, Caitlin Lefevre, Brittney A. Luc-Harkey, Abbey C. Thomas, Phillip A. Gribble and Brian Pietrosimone

Context: High vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) when initiating ground contact during jump landing is one biomechanical factor that may increase risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury. Intervention programs have been developed to decrease vGRF to reduce injury risk, yet generating high forces is still critical for performing dynamic activities such as a vertical jump task. Objective: To evaluate if a jump-landing feedback intervention, cueing a decrease in vGRF, would impair vertical jump performance in a separate task (Vertmax). Design: Randomized controlled trial. Patients (or Other Participants): Forty-eight recreationally active females (feedback: n = 31; 19.63 [1.54] y, 1.6 [0.08] cm, 58.13 [7.84] kg and control: n = 15; 19.6 [1.68] y, 1.64 [0.05] cm, 60.11 [8.36] kg) participated in this study. Intervention: Peak vGRF during a jump landing and Vertmax were recorded at baseline and 4 weeks post. The feedback group participated in 12 sessions over the 4-week period consisting of feedback provided for 6 sets of 6 jumps off a 30-cm box. The control group was instructed to return to the lab 28 days following the baseline measurements. Main Outcome Measures: Change scores (postbaseline) were calculated for peak vGRF and Vertmax. Group differences were evaluated for peak vGRF and Vertmax using a Mann–Whitney U test (P < .05). Results: There were no significant differences between groups at baseline (P > .05). The feedback group (−0.5 [0.3] N/kg) demonstrated a greater decrease in vGRF compared with the control group (0.01 [0.3] N/kg) (t(46) = −5.52, P < .001). There were no significant differences in change in Vertmax between groups (feedback = 0.9 [2.2] cm, control = 0.06 [2.1] cm; t(46) = 0.46, P = .64). Conclusions: While the feedback intervention was effective in decreasing vGRF when landing from a jump, these participants did not demonstrate changes in vertical jump performance when assessed during a different task. Practitioners should consider implementing feedback intervention programs to reduce peak vGRF, without worry of diminished vertical jump performance.

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Heidi A. Wayment, Ann H. Huffman, Monica Lininger and Patrick C. Doyle

Social network analysis (SNA) is a uniquely situated methodology to examine the social connections between players on a team, and how team structure may be related to self-reported team cohesion and perceived support for reporting concussion symptoms. Team belonging was positively associated with number of friendship ties (degree; r = .23, p < .05), intermediate ties between teammates (betweenness; r = .21, p < .05), and support from both teammates (r = .21, p < .05) and important others (r = .21, p < .05) for reporting concussion symptoms. Additionally, an SNA-derived measure of social influence, eigenvector centrality, was associated with football identity (r = .34, p < .01), and less support from important others (r = –.24, p < .05) regarding symptom reporting. Discussion focuses on why consideration of social influence dynamics may help improve concussion-related education efforts.

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Jason P. Brandenburg and Luisa V. Giles

Blueberries are abundant with anthocyanins possessing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As these properties combat fatigue and promote recovery, blueberry supplementation may enhance performance and recovery. Thus, the objectives were to examine the effects of two blueberry supplementation protocols on running performance, physiological responses, and short-term recovery. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo (PLA)-controlled crossover design, 14 runners completed an 8-km time trial (TT) after supplementation with 4 days of blueberries (4DAY), 4 days of a PLA, or 2 days of placebo followed by 2 days of blueberries (2DAY). Heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion were monitored during the TT. Blood lactate, vertical jump, reactive strength index, and salivary markers were assessed before and after. No significant differences were observed for time to complete the TT (PLA: 3,010 ± 459 s; 2DAY: 3,014 ± 488 s; 4DAY: 3,011 ± 423 s), heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, or any of the salivary markers. An interaction effect (p = .027) was observed for blood lactate, with lower post-TT concentrations in 4DAY (5.4 ± 2.0 mmol/L) than PLA (6.6 ± 2.5 mmol/L; p = .038) and 2DAY (7.4 ± 3.4 mmol/L; p = .034). Post-TT decreases in vertical jump height were not different, whereas the decline in reactive strength index was less following 4DAY (−6.1% ± 13.5%) than the other conditions (PLA: −12.6% ± 10.1%; 2DAY: −11.6% ± 11.5%; p = .038). Two days of supplementation did not influence performance or physiological stress. Although 4 days of supplementation did not alter performance, it blunted the increase in blood lactate, perhaps reflecting altered lactate production and/or clearance, and offset the decrease in dynamic muscle function post-TT, as indicated by the reactive strength index differences.

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Osamu Yanagisawa, Kenta Wakamatsu and Hidenori Taniguchi

Context: Compared to shoulder and elbow functions, the hip functional characteristics of baseball pitchers have not been fully investigated. Therefore, little is known about the relationship between hip function and pitching performance. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the characteristics of hip flexibility and strength, focusing on their influences on the ball velocity in baseball pitchers. Design: Descriptive laboratory study. Setting: Laboratory and university baseball facility. Participants: Twenty-three college baseball pitchers. Interventions: Passive hip range of motion (ROM) and isometric hip muscle strength were bilaterally measured. The pitchers threw 20 fastballs at an official pitching distance. Main Outcome Measures: Bilateral hip ROM and strength in flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, and external and internal rotation; the maximal ball velocity. Results: The pivot side showed smaller hip external rotation ROM (P < .01), larger hip internal rotation ROM (P = .03), and greater hip adduction strength (P = .03) than the stride side. The hip extension ROM on the stride side had a negative correlation with the maximal ball velocity (r = −.58, P < .01). The maximal ball velocity (135.3 [4.1] km/h) positively correlated with the hip extension (r = .59, P < .01), flexion (r = .57, P < .01), abduction (r = .55, P < .01), and adduction (r = .55, P < .01) strength on the pivot leg, and the hip flexion (r = .53, P = .01), abduction (r = .67, P < .01), and adduction (r = .46, P = .03) strength on the stride leg. Conclusions: These findings suggest that baseball pitchers do not have marked side-to-side differences in hip flexibility and strength, and that an important fitness factor for increasing ball velocity is not the hip flexibility but the hip muscle strength of both legs.

Open access

Brianna J. Stubbs, Pete J. Cox, Tom Kirk, Rhys D. Evans and Kieran Clarke

Exogenous ketone drinks may improve athletic performance and recovery, but information on their gastrointestinal tolerability is limited. Studies to date have used a simplistic reporting methodology that inadequately represents symptom type, frequency, and severity. Herein, gastrointestinal symptoms were recorded during three studies of exogenous ketone monoester (KME) and salt (KS) drinks. Study 1 compared low- and high-dose KME and KS drinks consumed at rest. Study 2 compared KME with isocaloric carbohydrate (CHO) consumed at rest either when fasted or after a standard meal. Study 3 compared KME+CHO with isocaloric CHO consumed before and during 3.25 hr of bicycle exercise. Participants reported symptom type and rated severity between 0 and 8 using a Likert scale at regular intervals. The number of visits with no symptoms reported after ketone drinks was n = 32/60 in Study 1, n = 9/32 in Study 2, and n = 20/42 in Study 3. Following KME and KS drinks, symptoms were acute but mild and were fully resolved by the end of the study. High-dose KS drinks caused greater total-visit symptom load than low-dose KS drinks (13.8 ± 4.3 vs. 2.0 ± 1.0; p < .05) and significantly greater time-point symptom load than KME drinks 1–2 hr postdrink. At rest, KME drinks caused greater total-visit symptom load than CHO drinks (5.0 ± 1.6 vs. 0.6 ± 0.4; p < .05). However, during exercise, there was no significant difference in total-visit symptom load between KME+CHO (4.2 ± 1.0) and CHO (7.2 ± 1.9) drinks. In summary, exogenous ketone drinks cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms that depend on time, the type and amount of compound consumed, and exercise.

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Claire E. Badenhorst, Katherine E. Black and Wendy J. O’Brien

Hepcidin, a peptide hormone with an acknowledged evolutionary function in iron homeostasis, was discovered at the turn of the 21st century. Since then, the implications of increased hepcidin activity have been investigated as a potential advocate for the increased risk of iron deficiency in various health settings. Such implications are particularly relevant in the sporting community where peaks in hepcidin postexercise (∼3–6 hr) are suggested to reduce iron absorption and recycling, and contribute to the development of exercise-induced iron deficiency in athletes. Over the last decade, hepcidin research in sport has focused on acute and chronic hepcidin activity following single and repeated training blocks. This research has led to investigations examining possible methods to attenuate postexercise hepcidin expression through dietary interventions. The majority of macronutrient dietary interventions have focused on manipulating the carbohydrate content of the diet in an attempt to determine the health of athletes adopting the low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diets, a practice that is a growing trend among endurance athletes. During the process of these macronutrient dietary intervention studies, an observable coincidence of increased cumulative hepcidin activity to low energy availability has emerged. Therefore, this review aims to summarize the existing literature on nutritional interventions on hepcidin activity, thus, highlighting the link of hepcidin to energy availability, while also making a case for the use of hepcidin as an individualized biomarker for low energy availability in males and females.