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Logan T. Markwell, Andrew J. Strick, and Jared M. Porter

Sports, along with nearly all facets of life, have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Basketball Association quickly adopted a unique method to finish the 2019–2020 regular season and playoffs. The entire league quarantined for months in what was known as the “NBA bubble” where games were played in spectator-less arenas. During this time, increases in shooting accuracy were reported, suggesting that free throws and field goals were made at record-breaking levels. This study examined differences in free throw shooting accuracy with and without spectators. Archival data were retrieved and analyzed to evaluate the potential differences. Free throw shooting accuracy with and without spectators were examined in multiple analyses. Our examination revealed free throw percentages were significantly greater in spectator-less arenas compared with the 2018 and 2019 seasons with spectators. Changes of the environmental characteristics, due to spectator-less arenas, were likely contributors to the improved free throw phenomenon reported in this study.

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Alexandra Stribing, Adam Pennell, Emily N. Gilbert, Lauren J. Lieberman, and Ali Brian

Individuals with visual impairments (VI) trend toward lower motor competence when compared with peers without VI. Various forms of perception often affects motor competence. Thus, it is important to explore factors that influence forms of perception and their differential effects on motor competence for those with VI. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to explore and describe the differential effects of age, gender, and degree of vision on self-perceptions, parents’ perceptions, metaperceptions, and locomotor skills, and to examine potential associations among all variables with actual locomotor competence for adolescents with VI. Adolescents with VI completed two questionnaires and the Test of Gross Motor Development-Third Edition. Parents completed a parent perception questionnaire. Mann–Whitney U and Kruskal–Wallis H analyses showed no differential effects for gender or age on any dependent measures. Degree of vision affected locomotor skills, but not any other factor. Spearman rho correlations showed significant associations among locomotor and self-perceptions, degree of vision and locomotor, and metaperceptions with parents’ perceptions. Adolescents reported relatively high self-perceptions and metaperceptions; however, their actual locomotor competence and parents’ perceptions were relatively low. Findings may help situate future intervention strategies targeting parents supporting their children’s locomotor skills through self-perceptions.

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Paul Bernard Rukavina

The deleterious effects of weight bias in physical activity spaces for children, adolescents, and adults are well documented. Different types of weight bias occur, and they interact at multiple levels within a person’s ecology, from the messaging of often unattainable sociocultural thin/muscular ideals and physical inequities (e.g., equipment not appropriate for body shapes and sizes) to interpersonal and public discriminatory comments. However, the most damaging is the internalization and application of negative weight-bias stereotypes by those with overweight and obesity to themselves. An imperative for social justice is now; there is great need to advocate for, provide support for, and design inclusive physical activity spaces to reduce weight bias so that all individuals feel welcome, accept their bodies, and are empowered to live a healthy, active lifestyle. To make this a reality, an interdisciplinary and preventive approach is needed to understand bias and how to minimize it in our spaces.

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Kenta Hirohama, Hiroyuki Tamura, Kazuaki Hamada, Tsubasa Mitsutake, Takeshi Imura, Shigeharu Tanaka, and Ryo Tanaka

Increased physical activity is an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis that causes knee pain. However, due to the coronavirus disease 2019, noncontact and non-face-to-face interventions have increased, but the quality of evidence supporting their effectiveness remains unclear. The purpose of the study was to assess the quality of evidence of the effects of non-face-to-face and noncontact interventions on knee pain and physical activity in older adults with knee osteoarthritis. A meta-analysis was conducted to determine the effects of different intervention methods (education and exercise). The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Physiotherapy Evidence Database were systematically searched. Four randomized controlled trials were included in the analysis. The meta-analysis demonstrated that the educational intervention group was significantly effective, although supportive evidence was low quality. Educational intervention may be effective, but the effects need to be confirmed by higher quality clinical trials.

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Qiuhong Li, Bingyan Gong, Yiran Zhao, and Chao Wu

This study aimed to evaluate the effects of exercise cognitive combined training (ECCT) compared with non-ECCT on physical function in cognitively healthy older adults. Databases were searched for randomized controlled trials from inception to December 2, 2021, and 22 studies (1,091 participants, M age = 74.90) were included in the meta-review. The Cochrane Risk of Bias and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation tools were used for quality assessments. ECCT improved gait speed (mean difference: 0.06 m/s, 95% CI [confidence interval] [0.02, 0.11]; 446 participants, 11 studies) and balance (standardized mean difference: 0.38, 95% CI [0.14, 0.61]; 292 participants, seven studies). Simultaneous ECCT, but not nonsimultaneous ECCT, improved gait speed (mean difference: 0.11 m/s, 95% CI [0.07, 0.15]), balance (standardized mean difference: 0.40, 95% CI [0.16, 0.64]), and functional mobility (mean difference: −0.85 s, 95% CI [−1.63, −0.07]; 327 participants, nine studies). Future research should focus on the duration and form of ECCT intervention optimal for improving the functional activities of older individuals.

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Rochelle Eime, Jack Harvey, Melanie Charity, Sam Elliott, Murray Drummond, Aurelie Pankowiak, and Hans Westerbeek

The aim of this study was to determine the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on older adults’ perceived health and well-being according to different types of participation in sport and physical activity by gender and region. A survey was implemented during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Australia (June 2020) and information collected on demographics, sport and physical activity patterns pre-COVID-19, and health and well-being outcomes during lockdown and compared to 1 year earlier. During COVID-19 lockdown, older adults who participated in both club sport and informal activities had significantly better general health, physical health, and resilience than those who participated solely in a single setting. Those participating in both team and individual activities reported better general well-being. Older adults who were active in a range of settings and modes had improved health and well-being. Social support is especially important for older adults to become and remain active.

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Yang Li

The predictive power of three intersecting environmental dimensions (built structures, social infrastructure, and social capital) on late-life walking was investigated, conceptually based on the ecological framework of place, which posits that a living environment is simultaneously a physical place, a social place, and a set of social bonds. Multilevel models were used to examine the extent to which environments, defined as interactions of the social and material environmental dimensions, reliably predicted walking for transportation among U.S. adults aged 60 years or older in the 2015 National Health Interview Survey (n = 11,180). Random intercepts representing 221 environments showed an intraclass correlation of 21%, indicating high levels of between-environment variance in walking. Social infrastructure had the highest predictive power for walking, followed by material structures and social capital. Synergistic interventions that incorporate the intersecting nature of the sociomaterial environment may be most effective in promoting physical activity in later life.