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Kathy Babiak and Stacy-Lynn Sant

Professional athletes are increasingly engaged in social impact efforts via charitable endeavors. Despite seemingly good intentions in these efforts, the media’s representation of athlete philanthropy varies widely. This study examines how discourses of athlete charity are represented in U.S. media coverage. Over 100 newspaper articles were obtained for the period of 2005–2017. The authors conducted a qualitative analysis which consisted of attribute coding for basic article characteristics, identification of both framing and reasoning devices, and deductive coding to identify generic media frames. The authors present an adapted frame matrix highlighting the salient frames in media coverage of athlete philanthropy. Our results show that athlete charitable efforts are related to a personal or emotional connection or linked to an economic perspective around philanthropy. A third frame reflected a moral underpinning to athletes’ charitable work. The authors discuss managerial implications for teams and leagues that provide support for athletes’ charitable work, as well as for the athletes themselves.

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Tomás Chacón Torrealba, Jaime Aranda Araya, Nicolas Benoit and Louise Deldicque

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a 6-week taekwondo-specific high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in simulated normobaric hypoxia on physical fitness and performance in taekwondoists. Methods: Eighteen male and female black-belt taekwondoists trained twice a week for 6 weeks in normoxia or in hypoxia (FiO2 = 0.143 O2). The HIIT was composed of specific taekwondo movements and simulated fights. Body composition analyses and a frequency speed of kick test during 10 seconds (FSKT10s) and 5 × 10 seconds (FSKTmult), countermovement jump (CMJ) test, Wingate test, and an incremental treadmill test were performed before and after training. Blood lactate concentrations were measured after the FSKTmult and Wingate tests, and a fatigue index during the tests was calculated. Results: A training effect was found for FSKT10s (+35%, P < .001), FSKTmult (+32%, P < .001), and fatigue index (−48%, P = .002). A training effect was found for CMJ height (+5%, P = .003) during the CMJ test. After training, CMJ height increased in hypoxia only (+7%, P = .005). No effect was found for the parameters measured during Wingate test. For the incremental treadmill test, a training effect was found for peak oxygen consumption (P = .002), the latter being 10% lower after than before training in normoxia only (P = .002). Conclusions: In black-belt taekwondoists, hypoxic HIIT twice a week for 6 weeks provides tiny additional gains on key performance parameters compared with normoxic HIIT. Whether the trivial effects reported here might be of physiological relevance to improve performance remains debatable and should be tested individually.

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Juliana S. Oliveira, Marina B. Pinheiro, Nicola Fairhall, Sarah Walsh, Tristan Chesterfield Franks, Wing Kwok, Adrian Bauman and Catherine Sherrington

Background: Frailty and sarcopenia are common age-related conditions associated with adverse outcomes. Physical activity has been identified as a potential preventive strategy for both frailty and sarcopenia. The authors aimed to investigate the association between physical activity and prevention of frailty and sarcopenia in people aged 65 years and older. Methods: The authors searched for systematic reviews (January 2008 to November 2019) and individual studies (January 2010 to March 2020) in PubMed. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials and longitudinal studies that investigated the effect of physical activity on frailty and/or sarcopenia in people aged 65 years and older. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach was used to rate certainty of evidence. Results: Meta-analysis showed that physical activity probably prevents frailty (4 studies; frailty score pooled standardized mean difference, 0.24; 95% confidence interval, 0.04–0.43; P = .017, I 2 = 57%, moderate certainty evidence). Only one trial investigated physical activity for sarcopenia prevention and did not provide conclusive evidence (risk ratio 1.08; 95% confidence interval, 0.10–12.19). Five observational studies showed positive associations between physical activity and frailty or sarcopenia prevention. Conclusions: Physical activity probably prevents frailty among people aged 65 years and older. The impact of physical activity on the prevention of sarcopenia remains unknown, but observational studies indicate the preventive role of physical activity.

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Erreka Gil-Rey, Kevin C. Deere, Sara Maldonado-Martín, Natalia Palacios-Samper, Agueda Azpeitia, Esteban M. Gorostiaga and Jon H. Tobias

How exercise intensity targets, calibrated according to oxygen consumption, relate to vertical impacts during weight-bearing exercise is currently unknown. The authors investigated the relationship between vertical peaks (VPs) and metabolic equivalents (METs) of oxygen consumption in 82 women during walking and running. The magnitude of VPs, measured using a hip-worn triaxial accelerometer, was derived from recommended aerobic exercise intensity targets. VPs were 0.63 ± 0.18g at the lower recommended absolute exercise intensity target (3 METs) but >1.5g at the upper end of moderate-intensity activities (1.90 ± 1.13g at 6 METs). Multilevel linear regression analyses identified speed and type of locomotion as the strongest independent predictors of VPs, explaining 54% and 11% of variance, respectively. The authors conclude that, in contrast to lower intensities, exercising close to or above the 6-MET threshold generates VPs of osteogenic potential, suggesting this could provide simultaneous benefits to decrease all-cause mortality and osteoporosis risk.

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Jeanette M. Thom, Sharon M. Nelis, Jennifer K. Cooney, John V. Hindle, Ian R. Jones and Linda Clare

The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to determine if behavior change through individual goal setting (GS) could promote healthy aging, including health and fitness benefits in older adults who attended a community “AgeWell” Center for 12 months. Seventy-five older adults were randomly allocated to either a control or a GS group. Health outcomes were measured at baseline and after 12 months of the participants’ having access to the exception of Agewell Center facilities. The findings demonstrate that participation in the Center in itself was beneficial, with improved body composition and reduced cardiovascular risk in both groups (p < .05), and that this kind of community-based resource offers valuable potential for promoting protective behaviors and reducing health risk. However, a specific focus on identifying individual behavior change goals was required in order to achieve increased activity engagement (p < .05) and to bring about more substantial improvements in a range of health, diet, and physical function measures (p < .05).

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Jonathon R. Lever, Alistair P. Murphy, Rob Duffield and Hugh H.K. Fullagar

Purpose: To investigate the effects of combined sleep hygiene recommendations and mindfulness on actigraphy-based sleep parameters, perceptual well-being, anxiety, and match outcomes during high-performance junior tennis tournaments. Methods: In a randomized crossover design, 17 high-performance junior tennis players completed the baseline, control, and intervention (INT) conditions across 3 separate weeks. The baseline consisted of unassisted, habitual sleep during a regular training week, and the control was unassisted sleep during a tournament week. The players attended a sleep education workshop and completed a nightly sleep hygiene protocol during a tournament week for the INT. Analysis was performed on the weekly means and on the night prior to the first match of the tournament (T-1). Results: Significant differences were observed for increased time in bed, total sleep time, and an earlier bedtime (P < .05) across the INT week. These parameters also significantly improved on T-1 of the INT. A moderate effect size (P > .05, d > 1.00) was evident for decreased worry on T-1 of the INT. Small effect sizes were also evident for improved mood, cognitive anxiety, and sleep rating across the INT week. The match performance outcomes remained unchanged (P > .05). Conclusions: Sleep hygiene INTs increase the sleep duration of high-performance junior tennis players in tournament settings, including the night prior to the tournament’s first match. The effects on perceptual well-being and anxiety are unclear, although small trends suggest improved mood, despite no effect on generic match performance outcomes.

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Daniel W. Sample, Tanner A. Thorsen, Joshua T. Weinhandl, Kelley A. Strohacker and Songning Zhang

The purpose of this study was to investigate effects of preferred step width and increased step width modification on knee biomechanics of obese and healthy-weight participants during incline and decline walking. Seven healthy-weight participants and 6 participants who are obese (body mass index ≥ 30) performed 5 walking trials on level ground and a 10° inclined and declined instrumented ramp system at both preferred and wide step-widths. A 2 × 2 (step-width × group) mixed-model analysis of variance was used to examine selected variables. There were significant increases in step-width between the preferred and wide step-width conditions for all 3 walking conditions (all P < .001). An interaction was found for peak knee extension moment (P = .048) and internal knee abduction moment (KAM) (P = .025) in uphill walking. During downhill walking, there were no interaction effects. As step-width increased, KAM was reduced (P = .007). In level walking, there were no interaction effects for peak medial ground reaction force and KAM (P = .007). There was a step-width main effect for KAM (P = .007). As step-width increased, peak medial ground reaction force and peak knee extension moment increased, while KAM decreased for both healthy weight and individuals who are obese. The results suggest that increasing step-width may be a useful strategy for reducing KAM in healthy and young populations.

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Aviv Emanuel, Isaac Rozen Smukas and Israel Halperin

Context: The Feeling Scale (FS) is a unique and underexplored scale in sport sciences that measures affective valence. The FS has the potential to be used in athletic environments as a monitoring and prescription tool. Purpose: To examine whether FS ratings, as measured on a repetition-by-repetition basis, can predict proximity to task failure and bar velocity across different exercises and loads. Methods: On the first day, 20 trained participants (10 females) completed 1-repetition-maximum (1-RM) tests in the barbell bench and squat exercises and were introduced to the FS. In the following 3 sessions, participants completed 3 sets to task failure with either (1) 70% 1-RM bench press, (2) 70% 1-RM squat (squat-70%), or (3) 80% 1-RM squat (squat-80%). Sessions were completed in a randomized, counterbalanced order. After every completed repetition, participants verbally reported their FS ratings. Bar velocity was measured via a linear position transducer. Results: FS ratings predicted failure proximity and bar velocity in all 3 conditions (P < .001, R 2 .66–.85). Based on the analysis, which included over 2400 repetitions, a reduction of 1 unit in the FS corresponded to approaching task failure by 14%, 11%, and 11%, and to a reduction in bar velocity of 10%, 4%, and 3%, in the bench, squat-70%, and squat-80%, respectively. Conclusion: This is the first study to investigate whether the FS can be used in resistance-training environments among resistance-trained participants on a repetition-by-repetition basis. The results indicate that the FS can be used to monitor and prescribe resistance training and that its benefits should be further explored.