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  • Author: Carlos Marta x
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Jorge Mota, Marta Almeida, Rute Santos, José Carlos Ribeiro and Maria Paula Santos

Specific behavior context such as type of PA (organized vs. nonorganized) might be associated with different environmental correlates. The main goal of this cross-sectional survey was to examine perceived environmental associations with type of adolescents’ physical activity (PA) choices (organized and nonorganized). A sample of this study comprised 425 girls with mean age of 14.5 years-old. Environmental variables and PA were assessed by questionnaire, which allowed to define the type (organized or nonorganized) of PA. No associations were found between environmental perceptions and the participation in organized activities. However, different dimensions of environmental variables such as accessibilities to facilities (p ≤ .05) aesthetics (p ≤ .05) and social environment (p ≤ .05) were associated to girls’ PA participation in nonorganized activities (NOPA). Our findings suggested that some environmental characteristics might play an important role in girls’ NOPA participation.

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Jordan Santos-Concejero, Jesús Oliván, José L. Maté-Muñoz, Carlos Muniesa, Marta Montil, Ross Tucker and Alejandro Lucia

Purpose:

This study aimed to determine whether biomechanical characteristics such as ground-contact time, swing time, and stride length and frequency contribute to the exceptional running economy of East African runners.

Methods:

Seventeen elite long-distance runners (9 Eritrean, 8 European) performed an incremental maximal running test and 3 submaximal running bouts at 17, 19, and 21 km/h. During the tests, gas-exchange parameters were measured to determine maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and running economy (RE). In addition, ground-contact time, swing time, stride length, and stride frequency were measured.

Results:

The European runners had higher VO2max values than the Eritrean runners (77.2 ± 5.2 vs 73.5 ± 6.0 mL · kg−1 · min−1, P = .011, effect sizes [ES] = 0.65), although Eritrean runners were more economical at 19 km/h (191.4 ± 10.4 vs 205.9 ± 13.3 mL · kg−1 · min−1, P = .026, ES = 1.21). There were no differences between groups for ground-contact time, swing time, stride length, or stride frequency at any speed. Swing time was associated with running economy at 21 km/h in the Eritrean runners (r = .71, P = .033), but no other significant association was found between RE and biomechanical variables. Finally, best 10-km performance was significantly correlated with RE (r = –.57; P = .013).

Conclusions:

Eritrean runners have superior RE compared with elite European runners. This appears to offset their inferior VO2max. However, the current data suggest that their better RE does not have a biomechanical basis. Other factors, not measured in the current study, may contribute to this RE advantage.

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Rafael Monge-Rojas, Tamara Fuster-Baraona, Carlos Garita-Arce, Marta Sánchez-López, Uriyoán Colon-Ramos and Vanessa Smith-Castro

Background:

In Latin America, more than 80% of adolescent girls are physically inactive. Inactivity may be reinforced by female stereotypes and objectification in the Latin American sociocultural context.

Methods:

We examined the influence of objectification on the adoption of an active lifestyle among 192 adolescents (14 and 17 years old) from urban and rural areas in Costa Rica. Analyses of 48 focus-groups sessions were grounded in Objectification Theory.

Results:

Vigorous exercises were gender-typed as masculine while girls had to maintain an aesthetic appearance at all times. Adolescents described how girls were anxious around the prospect of being shamed and sexually objectified during exercises. This contributed to a decrease in girls’ desire to engage in physical activities. Among males, there is also a budding tolerance of female participation in vigorous sports, as long as girls maintained a feminine stereotype outside their participation.

Conclusion:

Self-objectification influenced Costa Rican adolescent girls’ decisions to participate in physical activities. Interventions may include: procuring safe environments for physical activity where girls are protected from fear of ridicule and objectification; sensitizing boys about girl objectification and fostering the adoption of a modern positive masculine and female identities to encourage girls’ participation in sports.

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Carlos Marta, Ana R. Alves, Pedro T. Esteves, Natalina Casanova, Daniel Marinho, Henrique P. Neiva, Roberto Aguado-Jimenez, Alicia M. Alonso-Martínez, Mikel Izquierdo and Mário C. Marques

Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of an 8-week program of resistance training (RT) or suspension training (ST) on explosive strength in prepubescent boys. Methods: Fifty-seven boys aged 10–11 years were assigned to 2 training groups, RT or ST or a control group (no training program). Boys trained twice weekly for 8 weeks. Results: A significant interaction was reported with a large (P < .001, ηp2=.463), medium (P < .001, ηp2=.395), and small effect sized (P ≤ .001, ηp2=.218) in the 1-kg ball throw, 3-kg ball throw, and time-at-20-m test, respectively. There was no significant interaction in the countermovement vertical jump or the standing long jump. Changes from preintervention to postintervention for the 1-kg ball throw were 5.94% and 5.82% for the ST and RT, respectively, and 8.82% and 8.14% in the 3-kg ball throw for the ST and RT, respectively. The improvement in the 20-m sprint was 1.19% for the ST and 2.33% for the RT. Conclusion: Traditional RT and ST seem to be effective methods for improving explosive strength in prepubescent boys. ST could be considered as an alternative modality to optimize explosive strength training in school-based programs.