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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.

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Alison Divine, Tanya Berry, Wendy Rodgers and Craig Hall

Background: Recent physical activity research is limited by intention–behavior discordance and is beginning to recognize the importance of automatic processes in exercise. The purpose of the current study was to examine the role of multidimensional exercise self-efficacy (SE), explicit–implicit evaluative discrepancies (EIEDs) for health, and appearance on the intention–behavior gap in exercise. Methods: A total of 141 middle-aged inactive participants (mean age = 46.12 [8.17] y) completed measures of intentions, SE, and explicit and implicit evaluations of exercise outcomes. The participants were classified as inclined actors (n = 107) if they successfully started the exercise program and inclined abstainers (n = 35) if they were not successful. Results: The inclined actors and abstainers did not differ on intentions to exercise; however, the inclined actors had higher coping SE and lower EIEDs for health. In addition, the coping SE (Exp [β] = 1.03) and EIEDs for health (Exp [β] = −0.405) were significant predictors of being an inclined actor. Conclusions: The interaction between explicit and implicit processes in regard to health motives for exercise appears to influence the successful enactment of exercise from positive intentions. As most physical activity promotion strategies focus on health as a reason to be active, the role of implicit and explicit evaluations on behavioral decisions to exercise may inform future interventions.

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Jongbum Ko, Dalton Deprez, Keely Shaw, Jane Alcorn, Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Corey Tomczak, Heather Foulds and Philip D. Chilibeck

Background: Aerobic exercise is recommended for reducing blood pressure; however, recent studies indicate that stretching may also be effective. The authors compared 8 weeks of stretching versus walking exercise in men and women with high–normal blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension (ie, 130/85–159/99 mm Hg). Methods: Forty men and women (61.6 y) were randomized to a stretching or brisk walking exercise program (30 min/d, 5 d/wk for 8 wk). Blood pressure was assessed during sitting and supine positions and for 24 hours using a portable monitor before and after the training programs. Results: The stretching program elicited greater reductions than the walking program (P < .05) for sitting systolic (146 [9] to 140 [12] vs 139 [9] to 142 [12] mm Hg), supine diastolic (85 [7] to 78 [8] vs 81 [7] to 82 [7] mm Hg), and nighttime diastolic (67 [8] to 65 [10] vs 68 [8] to 73 [12] mm Hg) blood pressures. The stretching program elicited greater reductions than the walking program (P < .05) for mean arterial pressure assessed in sitting (108 [7] to 103 [6] vs 105 [6] vs 105 [8] mm Hg), supine (102 [9] to 96 [9] vs 99 [6] to 99 [7] mm Hg), and at night (86 [9] to 83 [10] vs 88 [9] to 93 [12] mm Hg). Conclusions: An 8-week stretching program was superior to brisk walking for reducing blood pressure in individuals with high–normal blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension.

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Seungmin Lee, Adam McMahon, Isaac Prilleltensky, Nicholas D. Myers, Samantha Dietz, Ora Prilleltensky, Karin A. Pfeiffer, André G. Bateman and Ahnalee M. Brincks

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Fun For Wellness (FFW) online intervention to increase well-being actions in adults with obesity in the United States in relatively uncontrolled settings. The FFW intervention is guided by self-efficacy theory. The study design was a large-scale, prospective, double-blind, and parallel-group randomized controlled trial. Data collection occurred at baseline, 30 days after baseline, and 60 days after baseline. Participants (N = 667) who were assigned to the FFW group (n FFW = 331) were provided with 30 days of 24-hr access to FFW. Supportive evidence was provided for the effectiveness of FFW in real-world settings to promote, either directly or indirectly, three dimensions of well-being actions: community, occupational, and psychological. This study shows that theory-based intervention may be effective in promoting well-being actions in adults with obesity in the United States.

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Cheryl A. Coker and Brittney Herrick

The adoption of compensatory movement patterns occurs when limitations in mobility, stability, or motor control prevent proper motion from occurring. These dysfunctional movements may inhibit fundamental motor skill development and negatively influence perceived movement competence, impeding the development of physical literacy. Therefore, this study examined the relationship between functional movement and perceived and actual motor skill competence in young adolescents. Functional movement proficiency was determined using the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), which provides three variables of interest: (a) FMS total score, (b) number of asymmetries, and (c) number of movement pattern dysfunctions. Perceived physical competence was assessed through the Children and Youth Physical Self-Perception Profile. Finally, the Get Skilled: Get Active process-oriented motor skill assessment was used to evaluate vertical jump, kick, run, and overhand throw proficiency. A significant positive correlation between FMS total score and vertical jump performance was found. A positive relationship was also found between the number of asymmetries and overhand throw performance. The Children and Youth Physical Self-Perception Profile constructs of body attractiveness and physical condition were positively associated with FMS total score, and physical condition was also shown to be inversely related to the number of movement pattern dysfunctions. Results suggest that functional movement may underpin movement competence and confidence.