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  • Author: George M. Balanos x
  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
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Julie K. Black, Anna C. Whittaker and George M. Balanos

Cardiovascular disease is a negative health outcome of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Risk factors associated with OSA development include low physical activity (PA), high body mass index (BMI), and increasing age (>50 years), and weight loss is usually recommended as treatment. This cross-sectional study examined the association between PA, BMI, and OSA severity in manual workers. Fifty-five participants (23 females and 32 males; mean age 55.2 years), were examined for OSA and completed a PA and anthropometric assessment. On average, OSA severity was mild, PA levels were moderate, and 32% of the sample was classified as obese. PA was negatively associated with OSA severity, but BMI strongly independently predicted OSA severity, with no evidence of mediation. As both PA and BMI were significantly associated with OSA in older manual workers, increasing PA should also be a focus of treatment for OSA.

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Sarah E. Williams, Jennifer Cumming and George M. Balanos

The present study investigated whether imagery could manipulate athletes’ appraisal of stress-evoking situations (i.e., challenge or threat) and whether psychological and cardiovascular responses and interpretations varied according to cognitive appraisal of three imagery scripts: challenge, neutral, and threat. Twenty athletes (M age = 20.85; SD = 1.76; 10 female, 10 male) imaged each script while heart rate, stroke volume, and cardiac output were obtained using Doppler echocardiography. State anxiety and self-confidence were assessed following each script using the Immediate Anxiety Measures Scale. During the imagery, a significant increase in heart rate, stroke volume, and cardiac output occurred for the challenge and threat scripts (p < .05). Although there were no differences in physiological response intensities for both stress-evoking scripts, these responses, along with anxiety symptoms, were interpreted as facilitative during the challenge script and debilitative during the threat script. Results support using imagery to facilitate adaptive stress appraisal.