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Orjan Ekblom, Gisela Nyberg, Elin Ekblom Bak, Ulf Ekelund and Claude Marcus

Background:

Wrist-worn accelerometers may provide an alternative to hip-worn monitors for assessing physical activity as they are easier to wear and may thus facilitate long-term recordings. The current study aimed at a) assessing the validity of the Actiwatch (wrist-worn) for estimating energy expenditure, b) determining cut-off values for light, moderate, and vigorous activities, c) studying the comparability between the Actiwatch and the Actigraph (hip-worn), and d) assessing reliability.

Methods:

For validity, indirect calorimetry was used as criterion measure. ROC-analyses were applied to identify cut-off values. Comparability was tested by simultaneously wearing of the 2 accelerometers during free-living condition. Reliability was tested in a mechanical shaker.

Results:

All-over correlation between accelerometer output and energy expenditure were found to be 0.80 (P < .001).Based on ROC-analysis, cut-off values for 1.5, 3, and 6 METs were found to be 80, 262, and 406 counts per 15 s, respectively. Energy expenditure estimates differed between the Actiwatch and the Actigraph (P < .05). The intra- and interinstrument coefficient of variation of the Actiwatch ranged between 0.72% and 8.4%.

Conclusion:

The wrist-worn Actiwatch appears to be valid and reliable for estimating energy expenditure and physical activity intensity in children aged 8 to 10 years.

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Rafael F. Escamilla, Glenn S. Fleisig, Coop DeRenne, Marcus K. Taylor, Claude T. Moorman III, Rodney Imamura, Edward Barakatt and James R. Andrews

A motion system collected 120-Hz data from 14 baseball adult hitters using normal and choke-up bat grips. Six swings were digitized for each hitter, and temporal and kinematic parameters were calculated. Compared with a normal grip, the choke-up grip resulted in 1) less time during stride phase and swing; 2) the upper torso more opened at lead foot contact; 3) the pelvis more closed and less bat linear velocity at bat-ball contact; 4) less range of motion of the upper torso and pelvis during swing; 5) greater elbow flexion at lead foot contact; and 6) greater peak right elbow extension angular velocity. The decreased time during the stride phase when using a choke-up grip implies that hitters quicken their stride when they choke up. Less swing time duration and less upper torso and pelvis rotation range of motion using the choke-up grip supports the belief of many coaches and players that using a choke-up grip results in a “quicker” swing. However, the belief that using a choke-up grip leads to a faster moving bat was not supported by the results of this study.

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Rafael F. Escamilla, Glenn S. Fleisig, Coop DeRenne, Marcus K. Taylor, Claude T. Moorman III, Rodney Imamura, Edward Barakatt and James R. Andrews

We propose that learning proper hitting kinematics should be encouraged at a young age during youth baseball because this may help reinforce proper hitting kinematics as a player progresses to higher levels of baseball in their adult years. To enhance our understanding between youth and adult baseball hitting, kinematic and temporal analyses of baseball hitting were evaluated with a high-speed motion analysis system between 12 skilled youth and 12 skilled adult baseball players. There were only a small number of temporal differences between youth and adult hitters, with adult hitters taking significantly greater time than youth hitters during the stride phase and during the swing. Compared with youth hitters, adult hitters a) had significantly greater (p < .01) lead knee flexion when the hands started to move forward; b) flexed the lead knee over a greater range of motion during the transition phase (31° versus 13°); c) extended the lead knee over a greater range of motion during the bat acceleration phase (59° versus 32°); d) maintained a more open pelvis position at lead foot off ground; and e) maintained a more open upper torso position when the hands started to move forward and a more closed upper torso position at bat-ball contact. Moreover, adult hitters had greater peak upper torso angular velocity (857°/s versus 717°/s), peak left elbow extension angular velocity (752°/s versus 598°/s), peak left knee extension angular velocity (386°/s versus 303°/s), and bat linear velocity at bat-ball contact (30 m/s versus 25 m/s). The numerous differences in kinematic and temporal parameters between youth and adult hitters suggest that hitting mechanics are different between these two groups.