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Joowon Lee, Baojiang Chen, Harold W. Kohl III, Carolyn E. Barlow, Chong Do Lee, Nina B. Radford, Laura F. DeFina and Kelley P. Gabriel

The purpose of the current investigation was to examine the cross-sectional associations of participation in muscle-strengthening activities (MSAs) with carotid intima–media thickness (CIMT) among older adults. The data are from 2,557 older adult participants enrolled in an observational cohort who reported no history of cardiovascular disease. MSA was determined using a questionnaire. Carotid ultrasound was performed to measure the CIMT of the common carotid artery bilaterally. Logistic regression models were constructed to estimate the association of MSA with CIMT after adjustment for potential confounders. The participants were aged 68.6 ± 7.0 years, and the majority were male (71.7%) and White (96.5%); 18% had abnormal CIMT. Meeting the physical activity guidelines for MSA was inversely associated with abnormal CIMT after adjustment for age and sex. However, this observed inverse relation became statistically null after further adjustment for cardiovascular disease risk factors, including aerobic physical activity.

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Mitali S. Thanawala, Juned Siddique, John A. Schneider, Alka M. Kanaya, Andrew J. Cooper, Swapna S. Dave, Nicola Lancki and Namratha R. Kandula

Background: Eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in physical activity remains a challenge in the United States. South Asian immigrants in the United States have particularly low physical activity levels, and evidence suggests that social context may be important. This study examined associations between personal social networks and moderate to vigorous leisure-time physical activity (MVPA) among South Asians in the United States. Methods: We used cross-sectional data (2014–2017) from 689 South Asians (aged 43–85 y) who participated in the Mediators of Atherosclerosis in South Asians Living in America study. Self-reported physical activity and egocentric network data were collected from participants about their network members. Regression models were used to determine associations between social network characteristics and participants’ MVPA. Results: Participants were on average 59 years old (SD = 9) and reported 1335 metabolic equivalent minutes per week of MVPA (interquartile range = 735, 2212). Having network members who exercised or who were exercise partners associated with increased MVPA in men (β coefficient = 241 MET min/wk [95% confidence interval, 63 to 419] and β = 520 MET min/wk [95% confidence interval, 322 to 718], respectively). For women, the association was only significant if the exercise partner was a spouse. Conclusion: Physical activity interventions utilizing network members as exercise partners may have potential in South Asians but must consider gender differences.

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Jennifer J. Sherwood, Cathy Inouye, Shannon L. Webb and Jenny O

The study aims were to analyze the reliability and validity of the GymAware linear position transducer’s velocity and power measures during the sit-to-stand, compared with the Dartfish 2D videography analysis, and to assess the relationship of age and handgrip strength with velocity and power in 48 older men and women (77.6 ± 11.1 years). The results showed excellent agreement between GymAware- and Dartfish-derived sit-to-stand velocity (intraclass correlation coefficient2-1 = .94 and power intraclass correlation coefficient2-1 = .98) measures. A moderate and negative relationship was found between age and velocity (r = −.62; p < .001) and age and power (r = −.63; p < .001). A moderate and positive relationship was found between handgrip strength and velocity (r = .43; p = .002) and handgrip strength and power (r = .54; p < .001). The results show the GymAware velocity and power measures during the sit-to-stand in older adults to be reliable and valid.

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Junga Lee

Several controversial studies linking handgrip strength and health have suggested that low handgrip strength in older adults may be related to health problems and have investigated whether there is a minimum handgrip strength level associated with reduced mortality. Thus, by meta-analysis, the authors identified an association between handgrip strength in older adults and disease-specific mortality and all-cause mortality. Thirty studies with a total of 194,767 older adult participants were included in this meta-analysis. Higher handgrip strength was associated with an 18% decrease in all-cause mortality. Lower handgrip strength was associated with increased all-cause mortality. The minimum handgrip strength in older women that did not increase all-cause mortality was 18.21 kg. Increased handgrip strength showed a decreased all-cause mortality, whereas decreased handgrip strength was associated with increased all-cause mortality. Strengthening the handgrip may help improve disease-specific mortality in older adults.

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Mariana R. Silva, Cristine L. Alberton, Caroline O. Braga and Stephanie S. Pinto

Background: To compare the acute effects of water-based aerobic–resistance and resistance–aerobic concurrent training (CT) sessions on energy expenditure (EE) during and postexercise in young women. Methods: Nine active women (24 [3] y; 60 [5] kg) completed 4 sessions: (1) familiarization, (2) aquatic maximal test to determine the heart rate corresponding to the anaerobic threshold, (3) CT protocol with aerobic–resistance sequence, and (4) CT protocol with resistance–aerobic sequence. Both protocols started and ended with the participants in the supine position for 30 minutes to perform resting and postexercise oxygen consumption measurements. The water-based resistance protocol comprised 4 sets of 15 seconds at maximal velocity, and the water-based aerobic protocol was performed at a continuous intensity (heart rate corresponding to the anaerobic threshold). EE measurements were calculated based on oxygen consumption and the corresponding caloric equivalent. Paired t test was used to compare the EE values between the water-based CT intrasession exercise sequences (α = .05). Results: There was no difference between the water-based aerobic–resistance and resistance–aerobic in total EE (330.78 vs 329.56 kcal; P = .96), EE per minute (7.35 vs 7.32 kcal·min−1; P = .96), and postexercise EE (63.65 vs 59.92 kcal; P = .50). Conclusions: The intrasession exercise sequence during water-based CT had no influence on the EE in young women.

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Brigid M. Lynch, Suzanne C. Dixon-Suen, Andrea Ramirez Varela, Yi Yang, Dallas R. English, Ding Ding, Paul A. Gardiner and Terry Boyle

Background: It is not always clear whether physical activity is causally related to health outcomes, or whether the associations are induced through confounding or other biases. Randomized controlled trials of physical activity are not feasible when outcomes of interest are rare or develop over many years. Thus, we need methods to improve causal inference in observational physical activity studies. Methods: We outline a range of approaches that can improve causal inference in observational physical activity research, and also discuss the impact of measurement error on results and methods to minimize this. Results: Key concepts and methods described include directed acyclic graphs, quantitative bias analysis, Mendelian randomization, and potential outcomes approaches which include propensity scores, g methods, and causal mediation. Conclusions: We provide a brief overview of some contemporary epidemiological methods that are beginning to be used in physical activity research. Adoption of these methods will help build a stronger body of evidence for the health benefits of physical activity.

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Ignacio Perez-Pozuelo, Thomas White, Kate Westgate, Katrien Wijndaele, Nicholas J. Wareham and Soren Brage

Background: Wrist-worn accelerometry is the commonest objective method for measuring physical activity in large-scale epidemiological studies. Research-grade devices capture raw triaxial acceleration which, in addition to quantifying movement, facilitates assessment of orientation relative to gravity. No population-based study has yet described the interrelationship and variation of these features by time and personal characteristics. Methods: 2,043 United Kingdom adults (35–65 years) wore an accelerometer on the non-dominant wrist and a chest-mounted combined heart-rate-and-movement sensor for 7 days free-living. From raw (60 Hz) wrist acceleration, we derived movement (non-gravity acceleration) and pitch and roll (forearm) angles relative to gravity. We inferred physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) from combined sensing and sedentary time from approximate horizontal arm angle coupled with low movement. Results: Movement differences by time-of-day and day-of-week were associated with forearm angles; more movement in downward forearm positions. Mean (SD) movement was similar between sexes ∼31 (42) mg, despite higher PAEE in men. Women spent longer with the forearm pitched >0°, above horizontal (53% vs 36%), and less time at <0° (37% vs 53%). Diurnal pitch was 2.5–5° above and 0–7.5°below horizontal during night and daytime, respectively; corresponding roll angles were ∼0° (hand flat) and ∼20° (thumb-up). Differences were more pronounced in younger participants. All diurnal profiles indicated later wake-times on weekends. Daytime pitch was closer to horizontal on weekdays; roll was similar. Sedentary time was higher (17 vs 15 hours/day) in obese vs normal-weight individuals. Conclusions: More movement occurred in forearm positions below horizontal, commensurate with activities including walking. Findings suggest time-specific population differences in behaviors by age, sex, and BMI.

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E. Kipling Webster, Leah E. Robinson and Danielle D. Wadsworth

Background: Activity breaks are an established way physical activity may be incorporated into the preschool day. The purpose of this study was to examine what factors influenced moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during a teacher-implemented classroom-based activity break (CBAB) in a Head Start population. Methods: Ten-minute CBAB was conducted over 2 days in a quasi-experimental design; 99 preschoolers (mean age 3.80 [0.65] y; 49.5% male) from a convenience sample participated. Accelerometers measured MVPA, fundamental motor skill competency was assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development—second edition, and weight classification status used body mass index percentiles. Results: A significant, moderate regression was found (r = .328, P = .001) between fundamental motor skill and MVPA. There was no significant correlation between body mass index percentile and MVPA during the CBAB. In addition, the locomotor subscale was the best predictor for MVPA for children during the CBAB (r = .32, β = 0.82, P < .001). Conclusions: CBAB equally elicited MVPA for normal and overweight preschoolers. Fundamental motor skill competency was associated with MVPA during the CBAB; in particular, locomotor skills were the best predictor for physical activity. Structured activity opportunities that focus on locomotor skills may be a useful integration to prompt more MVPA in a preschool-age population.

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Bianca Fernandes, Fabio Augusto Barbieri, Fernanda Zane Arthuso, Fabiana Araújo Silva, Gabriel Felipe Moretto, Luis Felipe Itikawa Imaizumi, Awassi Yophiwa Ngomane, Guilherme Veiga Guimarães and Emmanuel Gomes Ciolac

Purpose: To investigate the effect of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) versus moderate-intensity continuous exercise training (MICE) on hemodynamic and functional variables in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Methods: Twenty participants (13 men) were randomly assigned to a thrice-weekly HIIT (n = 12) or MICE (n = 8) for 12 weeks. Hemodynamic (resting heart rate and blood pressure, carotid femoral pulse wave velocity, endothelial reactivity, and heart rate variability) and functional variables (5-time sit-to-stand, timed up and go, and 6-min walking tests) assessed before and after training. Results: Demographic, hemodynamic and functional variables were similar between groups at baseline. Endothelial reactivity tended to increase after HIIT, but not after MICE, resulting in improved level (∼8%, P < .01) of this variable in HIIT versus MICE during follow-up. Six-minute walking test improved after HIIT (10.4 ± 3.8%, P < .05), but did not change after MICE. Sit to stand improved similarly after HIIT (27.2 ± 6.1%, P < .05) and MICE (21.5 ± 5.4%, P < .05). No significant changes were found after HIIT or MICE in any other variable assessed. Conclusion: These results suggest that exercise intensity may influence training-induced adaptation on endothelial reactivity and aerobic capacity in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

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Richard Tahtinen, Michael McDougall, Niels Feddersen, Olli Tikkanen, Robert Morris and Noora J. Ronkainen

Individual differences in vulnerability to depression are still underexplored in athletes. We tested the influence of different brooding and reflective rumination profiles (i.e., repetitive thought processes in response to low/depressed mood) on the odds of experiencing clinically relevant depressive symptoms in competitive athletes (N = 286). The Patient Health Questionnaire–9 and the Ruminative Responses Scale–short form were utilized to measure depression and rumination, respectively. Compared to athletes with a low brooding/reflection profile, athletes with a high brooding/reflection profile had significantly higher odds of experiencing clinical levels of depressive symptoms (OR = 13.40, 95% CI = 3.81–47.11). A high reflection/low brooding profile was not, however, related to increased odds of depressive symptoms. Future research could extend our findings by exploring determinants of ruminative tendencies, especially brooding, in athletes. Furthermore, psychological interventions targeting rumination could be examined as a potential prevention and treatment approach to tackling depressive symptoms in athletes.