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Manuel E. Hernandez, Erin O’Donnell, Gioella Chaparro, Roee Holtzer, Meltem Izzetoglu, Brian M. Sandroff and Robert W. Motl

Functional near-infrared spectroscopy was used to evaluate prefrontal cortex activation differences between older adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy older adults (HOA) during the performance of a balance- and attention-demanding motor task. Ten older adults with MS and 12 HOA underwent functional near-infrared spectroscopy recording while talking, virtual beam walking, or virtual beam walking while talking on a self-paced treadmill. The MS group demonstrated smaller increases in prefrontal cortex oxygenation levels than HOA during virtual beam walking while talking than talking tasks. These findings indicate a decreased ability to allocate additional attentional resources in challenging walking conditions among MS compared with HOA. This study is the first to investigate brain activation dynamics during the performance of balance- and attention-demanding motor tasks in persons with MS.

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Leslie K. Larsen and Christopher J. Clayton

In 2017–2018, more than 60% of NCAA Division I women’s basketball (DI WBB) players identified as women of color, while less than 17% of the head coaches of DI WBB teams identified as women of color. Larsen, Fisher, and Moret suggested differences in career pathways between black female head coaches and their white female and white and black male counterparts could be one explanation for the aforementioned discrepancy. However, there is currently limited research on the career pathways of DI WBB head coaches to support Larsen and colleagues’ hypothesis. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the career pathways of DI WBB head coaches to identify race and gender differences. To accomplish this, a content analysis was conducted on the online biographies of head coaches from all 351 DI WBB programs. Significant differences between groups were found in the number of years coaching in DI women’s basketball prior to receiving a first DI head coaching position; both white women (M = 6.97) and women of color (M = 7.94) had significantly more years in DI WBB coaching than white males (M = 4.95; F(3, 348) = 4.63, p = .003). Further, chi-square tests revealed a significant relationship between the race and gender of a coach and the highest level of playing experience and education. These results indicate that race and gender play a significant role in determining what pathway is required to obtain an DI WBB head coaching position. In addition to these research findings, practical implications are discussed.

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Aaron England, Timothy Brusseau, Ryan Burns, Dirk Koester, Maria Newton, Matthew Thiese and Benjamin Chase

In adult performers, research suggests that mental representations (MRs) mediate performance of skilled movement. During adolescence, cortical brain areas responsible for generating MRs develop rapidly along with limb size, which, together, may affect movement and movement representations. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between adolescent MRs and free-throw shooting expertise. Using structural dimensional analysis of MRs, skilled (n = 11) and less skilled (n = 11) participants sorted free-throw submovements according to their relatedness in movement execution. Data were analyzed using a hierarchical cluster analysis, factor analysis, and invariance test to examine between-group cluster comparisons. Cluster solutions for the skilled and less skilled participants were significantly variant (λ = 0.56). This method of measuring MRs distinguished expertise-related differences in MRs in an adolescent population. Findings may influence methods in which practitioners detect motor-planning faults, track development, and provide feedback to trainees.

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Oliver Gonzalo-Skok, Alejandro Moreno-Azze, José Luis Arjol-Serrano, Julio Tous-Fajardo and Chris Bishop

Purpose: To compare the effects of performing different unilateral strength training interventions on unilateral and bilateral jumping performance and their related asymmetries in young soccer players. Methods: Forty-five young (U-17) male soccer players were randomly assigned to 3 eccentric overload training programs. The first group executed the same volume with both legs starting with the weaker leg (SVW, n = 15); the second group carried out double volume with the weaker leg and also starting with the weaker leg (DVW, n = 15); and the third group performed the same volume with both legs starting with the stronger leg (SVS, n = 15). Jumping-performance assessment included a single-leg horizontal jump test, a triple single-leg horizontal jump test, a bilateral countermovement jump (CMJ) test, and a unilateral CMJ test. Asymmetries were also analyzed in the unilateral jumping tests. Results: CMJ was improved (effect size [ES]: 0.27–0.48) and CMJ asymmetry was possibly reduced (ES: 0.08–0.24) in all groups. Substantial improvements were found in triple hop (ES: 0.52–0.71) in SVW and DVW, and triple-hop asymmetry was substantially decreased (ES: 0.88) in DVW. Between-groups analysis showed a substantially better performance in triple hop and horizontal hop with right leg in SVW and DVW compared with SVS. Conclusions: Unilateral strength training programs were shown to substantially improve bilateral jumping performance, while unilateral jumping was substantially enhanced in the groups that started the training session with the weaker leg. Finally, between-limbs asymmetries in the triple hop were mainly reduced through performing double volume with the weaker leg.

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Astrid C.J. Balemans, Han Houdijk, Gilbert R. Koelewijn, Marjolein Piek, Frank Tubbing, Anne Visser-Meily and Olaf Verschuren

Background: It is questionable whether postures that are regarded as sedentary behavior in able-bodied persons evoke comparable physiological responses in adults with stroke or cerebral palsy (CP). This study aimed to compare metabolic demand and muscle activity in healthy controls, adults with stroke, and adults with CP during sedentary behavior and light physical activities. Methods: Seventy-one adults (45.6 [18.9] y, range 18–86) participated in this study, of which there were 18 controls, 31 with stroke, and 22 with CP. The metabolic equivalent of task (MET) and level of muscle activation were assessed for different sedentary positions (sitting supported and unsupported) and light physical activities (standing and walking). Results: During sitting supported and unsupported, people with mild to moderate stroke and CP show comparable MET and electromyographic values as controls. While sitting unsupported, people with severe stroke show higher METs and electromyographic values (P < .001), and people with severe CP only show higher METs compared with controls (P < .05) but all below 1.5 METs. Standing increased electromyographic values in people with severe stroke or CP (P < .001) and reached values above 1.5 METs. Conclusions: Physiologic responses during sedentary behavior are comparable for controls and adults with mild to moderate stroke and CP, whereas higher metabolic demands and muscle activity (stroke only) were observed in severely affected individuals.

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Alessandra Prioreschi and Lisa K. Micklesfield

Background: This study reported compliance with 24-hour physical activity and sedentary behavior guidelines, and associations with adiposity in the first 2 years of life. Methods: Participants (N = 119) were recruited from Soweto, South Africa. Visceral and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue was measured by ultrasound. Participation in 2 movement behaviors (physical activity and sedentary time) was reported by mothers. Differences in adiposity between those meeting each individual guideline, as well as the combination of both movement guidelines, compared with those not meeting the guidelines were assessed. Results: Only 5% of infants met the sedentary guidelines; however, 58% met the physical activity guidelines. Subcutaneous adipose tissue was significantly higher in those meeting the physical activity guideline (0.50 [0.01] vs 0.47 [0.01] cm, P = .03) compared with those not meeting the guideline. Meeting the screen time component of the sedentary guideline was associated with higher visceral adipose tissue (β = 0.96, P < .01), while meeting one guideline compared with meeting none was associated with higher subcutaneous adipose tissue (β = 0.05, P = .01). Conclusions: Most infants and toddlers from this low- to middle-income setting were not meeting sedentary behavior guidelines. Both behaviors were associated with abdominal adiposity, but not with body mass index z score; implying these movement behaviors may impact abdominal fat deposition rather than body size.

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Christina M. Patch, Caterina G. Roman, Terry L. Conway, Ralph B. Taylor, Kavita A. Gavand, Brian E. Saelens, Marc A. Adams, Kelli L. Cain, Jessa K. Engelberg, Lauren Mayes, Scott C. Roesch and James F. Sallis

Background: A common hypothesis is that crime is a major barrier to physical activity, but research does not consistently support this assumption. This article advances research on crime-related safety and physical activity by developing a multilevel conceptual framework and reliable measures applicable across age groups. Methods: Criminologists and physical activity researchers collaborated to develop a conceptual framework. Survey development involved qualitative data collection and resulted in 155 items and 26 scales. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were computed to assess test–retest reliability in a subsample of participants (N = 176). Analyses were conducted separately by age groups. Results: Test–retest reliability for most scales (63 of 104 ICCs across 4 age groups) was “excellent” or “good” (ICC ≥ .60) and only 18 ICCs were “poor” (ICC < .40). Reliability varied by age group. Adolescents (aged 12–17 y) had ICCs above the .40 threshold for 21 of 26 scales (81%). Young adults (aged 18–39 y) and middle-aged adults (aged 40–65 y) had ICCs above .40 for 24 (92%) and 23 (88%) scales, respectively. Older adults (aged 66 y and older) had ICCs above .40 for 18 of 26 scales (69%). Conclusions: The conceptual framework and reliable measures can be used to clarify the inconclusive relationships between crime-related safety and physical activity.

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Zachary Zenko and Panteleimon Ekkekakis

Studies of automatic associations of sedentary behavior, physical activity, and exercise are proliferating, but the lack of information on the psychometric properties of relevant measures is a potential impediment to progress. The purpose of this review was to critically summarize measurement practices in studies examining automatic associations related to sedentary behavior, physical activity, and exercise. Of 37 studies, 27 (73%) did not include a justification for the measure chosen to assess automatic associations. Additional problems have been noted, including the nonreporting of psychometric information (validity, internal consistency, test–retest reliability) and the lack of standardization of procedures (e.g., number, type of stimuli). The authors emphasize the need to select measures based on conceptual arguments and psychometric evidence and to standardize measurement procedures. To facilitate progress, the review concludes with a proposal for conceptually appropriate validation criteria to be used in future studies.

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Guy El Hajj Boutros, José A. Morais and Antony D. Karelis

Physical activity plays an important role for achieving healthy aging by promoting independence and increasing the quality of life. However, current guidelines for physical activity in older adults may be difficult to achieve in an older population. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that increasing exercise intensity in older adults may be associated with greater reductions in the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Therefore, the idea prescribing high-intensity exercise protocols such as high-intensity interval training and high-intensity resistance training becomes an intriguing strategy for healthy aging. Collectively, the literature review in this viewpoint will briefly focus on summarizing alternative/novel time-efficient approaches in physical activity toward healthy aging. Our goal is to hopefully open a discussion on possibly revising the current physical activity guidelines in older adults.

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Sarah Danthony, Nicolas Mascret and François Cury

Purpose: There is currently no scale assessing test anxiety in physical education (PE), despite the specificities of this class (e.g., body image, failure in front of peers). Accordingly, the aim of the present study was to develop a specific scale named the “Revised Test Anxiety and Regulatory Dimension of Anxiety in Physical Education” (RTAR-PE). Method: Self-report data were collected from 281 (Study 1) and 390 (Study 2) students in French schools (age range: 13–18 years). Results: Study 1 showed that the RTAR-PE scale has acceptable psychometric properties. Study 2 confirmed the results of Study 1 and showed the convergent, discriminant, and predictive validities of the scale. Gender differences were found, with girls showing higher PE test anxiety than boys. Discussion/Conclusion: The RTAR-PE is a newly available scale assessing the different facets of test anxiety in PE (worry, self-focus, bodily symptoms, somatic tension, and perceived control) considering the specificities of this class.