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  • Author: Caroline F. Finch x
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Timothy J.H. Lathlean, Paul B. Gastin, Stuart V. Newstead and Caroline F. Finch

Purpose: To investigate the association between training and match loads and injury in elite junior Australian football players over 1 competitive season. Methods: Elite junior Australian football players (n = 290, age 17.7 [0.3] y, range 16–18 y) were recruited from the under-18 state league competition in Victoria to report load and injury information. One-week load (session rating of perceived exertion multiplied by duration) and all time-loss injuries were reported using an online sport-injury surveillance system. Absolute load measures (weekly sums) enabled the calculation of relative measures such as the acute:chronic workload ratio. Load measures were modeled against injury outcome (yes/no) using a generalized estimating equation approach, with a 1-wk lag for injury. Results: Low (<300 arbitrary units [au]) and high (>4650 au) 1-wk loads were associated with significantly higher risk of injury. Furthermore, low (<100 au) and high (>850 au) session loads were associated with a higher risk of injury. High strain values (>13,000) were associated with up to a 5-fold increase in the odds of injury. There was a relatively flat-line association between the acute:chronic workload ratio and injury. Conclusions: This study is the first investigation of elite junior athletes demonstrating linear and nonlinear relationships between absolute and relative load measures and injury. Coaches should focus player loads on, or at least close to, the point at which injury risk starts to increase again (2214 au for 1-wk load and 458 au for session load) and use evidence-based strategies across the week and month to help reduce the risk of injury.

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Timothy J.H. Lathlean, Paul B. Gastin, Stuart V. Newstead and Caroline F. Finch

Purpose: To investigate associations between load (training and competition) and wellness in elite junior Australian Football players across 1 competitive season. Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted during the 2014 playing season in 562 players from 9 teams. Players recorded their training and match intensities according to the session-rating-of-perceived-exertion (sRPE) method. Based on sRPE player loads, a number of load variables were quantified, including cumulative load and the change in load across different periods of time (including the acute-to-chronic load ratio). Wellness was quantified using a wellness index including sleep, fatigue, soreness, stress, and mood on a Likert scale from 1 to 5. Results: Players spent an average of 85 (21) min in each match and 65 (31) min per training session. Average match loads were 637 (232) arbitrary units, and average training loads were 352 (233) arbitrary units. Over the 24 wk of the 2014 season, overall wellness had a significant linear negative association with 1-wk load (B = −0.152; 95% confidence interval, −0.261 to −0.043; P = .006) and an inverse U-curve relationship with session load (B = −0.078; 95% confidence interval, 0.143 to 0.014; P = .018). Mood, stress, and soreness were all found to have associations with load. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that load (within a session and across the week) is important in managing the wellness of elite junior Australian Football players. Quantifying loads and wellness at this level will help optimize player management and has the potential to reduce the risk of adverse events such as injury.

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Brendon P. Hyndman, Amanda C. Benson, Shahid Ullah, Caroline F. Finch and Amanda Telford

Background:

Enjoyment and play during school lunchtime are correlated with children’s physical activity. Despite this, there is an absence of studies reporting children’s enjoyment of play during school lunchtime breaks. The purpose of this study was to examine the intraday and interday reliability of children’s enjoyment of school lunchtime play.

Methods:

Surveys used to assess children’s enjoyment of lunchtime play were distributed to and completed by 197 children (112 males, 85 females), aged 8–12 years attending an elementary school in Victoria, Australia. Children completed the surveys during class before lunch (expected enjoyment) and after lunch (actual enjoyment) for 5 days. The intra- and interday enjoyment of school lunchtime play reliability were determined using a weighted kappa.

Results:

Intraday kappa values ranged from fair (0.31) to substantial (0.75) within each of the 5 days (median kappa = 0.41). In comparison, “expected” (0.09–0.40; median 0.30) and “actual” (0.05–0.46; median 0.28) interday enjoyment of lunchtime play displayed low reliability.

Conclusions:

Children’s enjoyment of lunchtime play appears to be more consistent within days than across days. The findings suggest that assessment of children’s enjoyment of lunchtime play once on a single day would be representative of a particular day but not necessarily that particular school week.

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Lesley Day, Margaret J. Trotter, Alex Donaldson, Keith D. Hill and Caroline F. Finch

The study aim was to evaluate the implementation of group- and home-based exercise falls prevention programs delivered through community health agencies to community-dwelling older people. Interviews with program staff were guided by the Diffusion of Innovations theory. Highly consistent themes emerged for the two types of programs. Both had high overall compatibility, high relative advantage, good observability and high inherent trialability—all factors known to strengthen implementation. The level of complexity and low financial compatibility emerged as the strongest potential inhibitors to program implementation in the context examined. The two main factors contributing to complexity were the need to challenge balance safely across a broad range of capability, and practical considerations associated with program delivery.A range of strategies to provide more technical support for exercise program leaders to tailor balance challenge for exercise program leaders may enhance implementation of falls prevention exercise programs.

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Lucy McPhate, Emily M. Simek, Terry P. Haines, Keith D. Hill, Caroline F. Finch and Lesley Day

Background:

Group exercise has been shown to be effective in preventing falls; however, adherence to these interventions is often poor. Older adults’ preferences for how these programs can be delivered are unknown.

Objective:

To identify older people’s preferences for how group exercise programs for falls prevention can be delivered.

Design:

A two-wave, cross-sectional, state-wide telephone survey was undertaken. Respondents were community-dwelling men and women aged 70+ in Victoria, Australia.

Methods:

Open-ended questions were asked to elicit information regarding respondent preferences of the program, which were analyzed using a framework approach.

Results:

Ninetyseven respondents completed the follow-up survey. The results indicate that older adults most frequently report the short-term advantages and disadvantages when describing their preferences for group exercise, such as enjoyment, social interaction, and leader qualities. Longer-term advantages such as falls prevention were described less frequently.

Conclusions:

This study indicates the importance of interpersonal skills, and that the opportunity for social interaction should not be overlooked as a positive feature of a group exercise program.

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Den-Ching A. Lee, Lesley Day, Caroline F. Finch, Keith Hill, Lindy Clemson, Fiona McDermott and Terry P. Haines

This paper examines whether involvement in an observational study may prompt participants to change their exercise behaviors. Data were collected from 394 older community dwellers in Victoria, Australia using a baseline survey, and 245 of these participated in a follow-up survey one year later. Survey domains were drawn from constructs of relevant health behavior models. Results showed that the proportion of respondents who were currently participating in exercises to prevent falls at follow-up was 12% higher than at baseline (Wilcoxon p value < .001). Twenty-nine percent reported they had changed their perceptions about falls and their risk of falls, with comments focused on threat appraisal. Forty-four percent reported having taken strategies to reduce their risk of falling, with comments based on implementation of different preventive strategies. Respondents who held favorable views toward exercises for the prevention of falls appear to change their behaviors that might address falls when participating in observational studies.