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Alex S. Ribeiro, João Pedro Nunes, Karina E. Coronado, Aluísio Andrade-Lima, Leandro dos Santos, Andreo F. Aguiar, Brad J. Schoenfeld and Edilson S. Cyrino

This study aimed to compare the effects of resistance training performed with low versus moderate loads on systemic resting blood pressure (BP) in older women. A total of 29 women (72.6 ± 5.1 years) were randomized into two groups: low load (LOW, n = 15) and moderate load (MOD, n = 14). An 8-week whole-body resistance training program was carried out 3 days/week (eight exercises, three sets, 10 or 15 repetition maximum). The LOW and MOD groups trained with a relative load of 15 and 10 repetition maximum, respectively. Outcome measures included resting systolic and diastolic BP. After 8 weeks, both groups presented significant changes (p < .05) in systolic BP (LOW = −3.0%; MOD = −4.6%) and mean BP (LOW = −1.9%; MOD = −3.1%). There was no change for diastolic BP in the posttest in both groups. The results suggest that low and moderate loads are equally effective for promoting decreases in resting BP in older women.

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Laurent Schmitt, Stéphane Bouthiaux and Grégoire P. Millet

Purpose: To report the changes in the training characteristics, performance, and heart-rate variability (HRV) of the world’s most successful male biathlete of the last decade. Method: During the analyzed 11-year (2009–2019) period, the participant won 7 big crystal globes, corresponding to the winner of the International Biathlon Union World Cup. The training characteristics are reported as yearly volume (in hours) of low-intensity training (LIT), moderate- and high-intensity training, and speed and strength training. Performance was quantified by the number of World Cup top-3 positions per season. HRV was expressed as low- and high-frequency spectral power (in milliseconds squared), root-mean-square difference of successive R–R interval (in milliseconds), and heart rate (in beats per minute). Results: The training volume increased from 530 to ∼700 hours per year in 2009–2019, with a large polarization in training intensity distribution (ie, LIT 86.3% [2.9%]; moderate-intensity training 3.4% [1.5%]; high-intensity training 4.0% [0.7%]; strength 6.3% [1.6%]). The number of top-3 positions increased from 2 to 24–26 in 2009–2018 but decreased to 6 in 2019. The mean supine values in the root-mean-square difference of successive R–R interval and high-frequency spectral power divided by heart rate increased until 2015, which were stable over 2016–2018 but decreased in 2019. The number of top-3 positions was related to the total (r = .66, P = .02) and LIT (r = .92, P < .001) volume and to several markers of supine parasympathetic activity. Conclusion: The improvement in performance of the participant was mainly determined by the progressive increase in training volume, especially performed at low intensity, and was correlated to parasympathetic activity markers. This case study confirms the effectiveness of the training method, with a large amount of LIT in an elite endurance athlete, and of regular HRV monitoring.

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Rachel A. Millstein, Jeff C. Huffman, Anne N. Thorndike, Melanie Freedman, Carlyn Scheu, Sonia Kim, Hermioni L. Amonoo, Margot Barclay and Elyse R. Park

Background: Positive psychological constructs (eg, optimism, positive affect) may help people engage in physical activity, though the details of these relationships and their directionality have not been studied in depth in people with cardiovascular risk factors. The objectives of this study were to use qualitative research to explore the relationships of positive psychological constructs with physical activity among people with metabolic syndrome. Methods: Participants with metabolic syndrome and low physical activity from an academic medical center completed semistructured phone interviews about associations between physical activity and positive psychological constructs, and perceptions about benefits, motivation, and barriers to physical activity. Results: The participants (n = 21) were predominantly older (mean age = 63 y) white (95.2%) women (61.9%). Engaging in physical activity was commonly associated with enjoyment, energy, relaxation, accomplishment, and determination. Experiencing positive psychological constructs like enjoyment, energy, connectedness, optimism, and determination also helped them engage in physical activity. Perceived benefits, facilitators, and barriers of physical activity engagement were noted. Conclusions: The participants at high risk for chronic diseases described many specific positive psychological constructs that both promote and result from physical activity. Testing ways to increase positive psychological constructs may be a novel way to help people at high risk of chronic diseases become more active.

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Elizabeth A. Schlenk, G. Kelley Fitzgerald, Joan C. Rogers, C. Kent Kwoh and Susan M. Sereika

A 6-month self-efficacy intervention was compared with attention-control intervention on physical activity, clinical outcomes, and mediators immediate postintervention and 6-month postintervention in 182 older adults with knee osteoarthritis and hypertension using a randomized controlled trial design. The intervention group received six weekly individual physical therapy sessions for lower-extremity exercise and fitness walking and nine biweekly nurse telephone counseling sessions. The attention-control group received six weekly and nine biweekly nurse telephone sessions on health topics. Lower-extremity exercise was assessed by e-diary; fitness walking was assessed by accelerometer and e-diary; blood pressure was assessed by automated monitor; function was assessed by performance-based tests and questionnaires; and pain, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancy were assessed by questionnaires. Self-reported lower-extremity exercise and fitness walking, function, pain, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancy showed significant group or group by time effects favoring intervention. The intervention did not improve physical activity by accelerometer and blood pressure. Mean minutes of fitness walking fell short of the 150 min/week goal.

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Nicole McCarthy, Kirsty Hope, Rachel Sutherland, Elizabeth Campbell, Rebecca Hodder, Luke Wolfenden and Nicole Nathan

Background: To determine Australian primary school principals’, teachers’, and parents’ attitudes to changing school uniform policies to allow students to wear sports uniforms every day and to assess associations between participant characteristics and their attitudes. A secondary aim was to identify principals’ and teachers’ perceived barriers to uniform changes. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys of principals, teachers, and parents of children in grades 2 to 3 (age 7–10 y) from 62 Australian primary schools (Oct 2017–Mar 2018) were undertaken. Mixed logistic regression analyses assessed the associations between participant characteristics and attitudes toward uniform changes. Results: In total, 73% of the principals (38/52) who responded reported that their school only allowed children to wear a sports uniform on sports days. Overall, 38% of the principals (18/47), 63% of the teachers (334/579), and 78% of the parents (965/1231) reported they would support a policy that allowed children to wear daily sports uniforms. The most commonly reported barrier was the perception that sports uniforms were not appropriate for formal occasions. Conclusions: Although the majority of the principals were not supportive of a change to a daily sports uniform, the majority of the teachers and parents were. Strategies to improve principal support may be required if broader adoption of physical activity–supporting uniforms is to be achieved.

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Leilani Madrigal

Mental toughness is a factor related to performance, better coping, and increased confidence. There has been a growing trend toward assessing mental toughness behaviorally. The purpose of this paper was to develop a behavioral assessment of mental toughness in volleyball. Following a five-stage process to develop a systematic observation instrument, the current study identified 10 mental toughness behaviors in volleyball, specifically, six behaviors occurring during a play and four behaviors after a play (i.e., when a point is scored from the opposing team). Furthermore, eight behaviors represent mentally tough actions, while two behaviors represent mentally weak actions. The results indicate that the behavioral checklist is a reliable systematic observation instrument. Coaches and certified mental performance consultants can benefit from using this checklist by discussing mental toughness and behaviors corresponding to mental toughness during game play, and then have a quantifiable way to track behaviors with individuals and volleyball teams.

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Rachel A. Van Woezik, Alex J. Benson and Mark W. Bruner

Injuries are commonplace in high-intensity sport, and research has explored how athletes are psychologically affected by such events. As injuries carry implications for the group environment in sport teams, the authors explored what occurs within a team during a time period of injury from a coach perspective and how high-performance coaches manage a group at this time. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 Canadian university basketball head coaches. Thematic analysis revealed four high-order themes in relation to how coaches managed group dynamics from the moment of the injury event to an athlete’s reintegration into the lineup. Strategies to mitigate the negative effects of injury on the group environment while prioritizing athlete well-being involved remaining stoic at the time of an injury event, maintaining the injured athlete’s sense of connection to the team, and coordinating with support staff throughout the recovery and reintegration process.

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Soultana Macridis, Christine Cameron, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Tala Chulak-Bozzer, Patricia Clark, Margie H. Davenport, Guy Faulkner, Jonathon Fowles, Lucie Lévesque, Michelle M. Porter, Ryan E. Rhodes, Robert Ross, Elaine Shelton, John C. Spence, Leigh M. Vanderloo and Nora Johnston

Background: The ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Adults is a knowledge exchange tool representing a synthesis of the literature and data available at the national level. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the results of the inaugural 2019 edition. Methods: Thirteen physical activity indicators, grouped into 4 categories, were graded by a committee of experts using a process that was informed by the best available evidence. Sources included national surveys, peer-reviewed literature, and gray literature such as government and nongovernment reports and online content. Results: Grades were assigned to Daily Behaviors (overall physical activity: D; daily movement: C; moderate to vigorous physical activity: F; muscle and bone strength: INC; balance: INC; sedentary behavior: INC; sleep: B−), Individual Characteristics (intentions: B+), Settings and Sources of Influence (social support: INC; workplace: INC; community and environment: B−; health and primary care settings: C−), and Strategies and Investments (government: B−). Conclusions: Generally, lower grades were given to behavior-related indicators (eg, overall physical activity) and better grades for indicators related to investments, community supports, and strategies and policies. Research gaps and future recommendations and directions are identified for each indicator to support future practice, policy, and research directions.

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Daniel G. Miner, Brent A. Harper and Stephen M. Glass

Context: Current tools for sideline assessment of balance following a concussion may not be sufficiently sensitive to identify impairments, which may place athletes at risk for future injury. Quantitative field-expedient balance assessments are becoming increasingly accessible in sports medicine and may improve sensitivity to enable clinicians to more readily detect these subtle deficits. Objective: To determine the validity of the postural sway assessment on the Biodex BioSway™ compared with the gold standard NeuroCom Smart Equitest System. Design: Cross-sectional cohort study. Setting: Clinical research laboratory. Participants: Forty-nine healthy adults (29 females: 24.34 [2.45] y, height 163.65 [7.57] cm, mass 63.64 [7.94] kg; 20 males: 26.00 [3.70] y, height 180.11 [7.16] cm, mass 82.97 [12.78] kg). Intervention(s): The participants completed the modified clinical test of sensory interaction in balance on the Biodex BioSway™ with 2 additional conditions (head shake and firm surface; head shake and foam surface) and the Sensory Organization Test and Head Shake Sensory Organization Test on the NeuroCom Smart Equitest. Main Outcome Measures: Interclass correlation coefficient and Bland–Altman limits of agreement for Sway Index, equilibrium ratio, and area of 95% confidence ellipse. Results: Fair–good reliability (interclass correlation coefficient = .48–.65) was demonstrated for the stance conditions with eyes open on a firm surface. The Head Shake Sensory Interaction and Balance Test condition on a firm surface resulted in fair reliability (interclass correlation coefficient = .50–.59). The authors observed large ranges for limits of agreement across outcome measures, indicating that the systems should not be used interchangeably. Conclusions: The authors observed fair reliability between BioSway™ and NeuroCom, with better agreement between systems with the assessment of postural sway on firm/static surfaces. However, the agreement of these systems may improve by incorporating methods that mitigate the floor effect in an athletic population (eg, including a head shake condition). BioSway™ may provide a surrogate field-expedient measurement tool.