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Nuno Oliveira, David H. Saunders and Ross H. Sanders


To investigate the effects of fatigue on the vertical force and kinematics of the lower limbs during maximal water polo eggbeater kicking.


Twelve male water polo players maintained as high a position as possible while performing the eggbeater kick with the upper limbs raised out of the water until they were unable to keep the top of the sternum (manubrium) above water. Data comprising 27 complete eggbeater-kick cycles were extracted corresponding to 9 cycles of the initial nonfatigued (0%), 50% time point (50%), and final fatigued (100%) periods of the trial. Vertical force, foot speed, and hip-, knee-, and ankle-joint angles were calculated.


Mean vertical force (0%, 212.2 N; 50%, 184.5 N; 100%, 164.3 N) progressively decreased with time. Speed of the feet (0.4 m/s), hip abduction (2.9°), and flexion (3.6°) decreased with fatigue, while hip internal rotation (3.6°) and ankle inversion (4°) increased with fatigue. Average angular velocity decreased for all joint motions.


Eggbeater-kick performance decreases with fatigue. Inability to maintain foot speeds and hip and ankle actions with progressing fatigue diminishes the ability of the player to produce vertical force during the cycle. Increased internal rotation of the hip when fatigued and the large eversion/abduction of the ankle during the cycle may be predisposing factors for the prevalence of patellofemoral pain syndrome observed among eggbeater-kick performers. Appropriate training interventions that can limit the effects of fatigue on performance and injury risk should be considered.

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Matthew Pearce, David H. Saunders, Peter Allison and Anthony P. Turner

Background: The distribution of adolescent moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) across multiple contexts is unclear. This study examined indoor and outdoor leisure time in terms of being structured or unstructured and explored relationships with total daily MVPA. Methods: Between September 2012 and January 2014, 70 participants (aged 11–13 y) from 4 schools in Edinburgh wore an accelerometer and global positioning system receiver over 7 days, reporting structured physical activity using a diary. Time spent and MVPA were summarized according to indoor/outdoor location and whether activity was structured/unstructured. Independent associations between context-specific time spent and total daily MVPA were examined using a multivariate linear regression model. Results: Very little time or MVPA was recorded in structured contexts. Unstructured outdoor leisure time was associated with an increase in total daily MVPA almost twice that of unstructured indoor leisure time [b value (95% confidence interval), 8.45 (1.71 to 14.48) vs 4.38 (0.20 to 8.22) minute increase per hour spent]. The association was stronger for time spent in structured outdoor leisure time [35.81 (20.60 to 52.27)]. Conclusions: Research and interventions should focus on strategies to facilitate time outdoors during unstructured leisure time and maximize MVPA once youth are outdoors. Increasing the proportion of youth engaging in structured activity may be beneficial given that, although time spent was limited, association with MVPA was strongest.

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Claire F. Fitzsimons, Carolyn A. Greig, David H. Saunders, Susan J. Lewis, Susan D. Shenkin, Cynthia Lavery and Archie Young

This study examined the effect of age on descriptive walking-speed instructions commonly used in health promotion. Participants were 9 young (20–23 years) and 9 older (75–83 years) women. Oxygen uptake and walking speed were measured in response to descriptive walking instructions (“slow,” “comfortable,” “brisk,” and “fast”). Although the older women walked ≈20% slower in response to all walking instructions and with significantly lower oxygen costs for brisk and fast, the intensity of the exercise represented a much greater percentage of VO2max and showed greater interindividual variation. When asked to walk at a brisk pace, the older women averaged 67% VO2max (SD 20.6), whereas the young women averaged only 45% VO2max (SD 4.5). With older people, brisk might elicit an exercise intensity unnecessarily high for physiological benefit and that might compromise safety and adherence, which emphasizes the need for validation of carefully worded exercise and training guidance for older adults.