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Beliefs of Chinese Physical Educators on Teaching Students With Disabilities in General Physical Education Classes

Lijuan Wang, Jing Qi, and Lin Wang

This study examined the behavioral beliefs of physical education (PE) teachers about teaching students with disabilities in their general PE (GPE) classes and to identify the factors that contribute to their beliefs. A total of 195 PE teachers from a region in eastern China were surveyed. Results of the Physical Educators’ Attitudes Toward Teaching Individuals With Disabilities-III survey indicate that although some teachers felt that including students with disabilities in GPE classes provides benefit for them, they were concerned about the practical difficulties of teaching students with disabilities in GPE classes, the lack of support, and the possible rejection of students with disabilities by their peers. Moreover, the behavioral beliefs of teachers vary according to the disability conditions of the students. Results show that there is no significant effect of demographic factors on the beliefs of PE teachers. Quality of experience predicts positive beliefs. The study has important implication for teacher training, provision of equipment, and support from teacher assistants.

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Sex Differences in Lower Limb Proprioception and Mechanical Function Among Healthy Adults

Xiaoyue Hu, Jingxian Li, and Lin Wang

Twenty-four healthy adults, including 12 females and 12 males, participated in the study. Each female participant completed three trials in three different phases of one menstrual cycle, which included follicular, ovulatory, and luteal phases. The study aimed to investigate whether there is any difference in joint kinetic sense, neuromuscular coordination, and isokinetic muscle strength (a) between healthy males and females at different phases of the menstrual cycle and (b) between females at different phases of the menstrual cycle. The outcome measures included the number of jumps in the square-hop test and ankle and knee proprioception, which were assessed by an electric-driven movable frame rotated at 0.4 deg/s and isokinetic muscle strength measured by a computerized dynamometer (Biodex). For the square-hop test (p = .006), ankle dorsiflexion/plantar flexion (p < .05), knee flexion/extension (p < .05), the relative peak torque of the isokinetic muscle strength at the 60° and 180° knee flexion/extension (p < .001), and the 30° and 120° ankle plantar flexion/dorsiflexion (p < .05) between females and males showed significant differences. For the females at different phases of the menstrual cycle, significant differences were found on ankle dorsiflexion (p = .003), plantar flexion (p = .023), knee extension (p = .029), the square-hop test (p = .036), and relative peak torque of isokinetic muscle strength at 180° knee flexion (p = .029). This study demonstrated that there are sex differences in lower limb proprioception and mechanical function. Females at ovulatory and luteal phases have better lower limb proprioception than at the follicular phase.

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Age-Related Changes in Plantar Sensation and Ankle Proprioception in Adolescents to Older Adults

Xiaoyue Hu, Ziwei Zeng, Meihua Tang, and Lin Wang

Background: Plantar sensation and ankle proprioception occur in a stage-like variance across the life span. However, changes in adolescents, young adults, middle-aged adults, and older adults remain unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences of plantar sensation and ankle proprioception in adolescents to older adults. Methods: A total of 212 participants were recruited in the study and were divided into four groups, including adolescents (n = 46), young adults (n = 55), middle-aged adults (n = 47), and older adults (n = 54). Plantar tactile sensitivity/tactile acuity/vibration threshold and ankle movement threshold/joint position sense/force sense were assessed in all groups. The Kruskal–Wallis H test was used to analyze the differences in Semmes–Weinstein monofilaments between different age groups in different plantar positions. One-way analysis of variance was used to determine differences in foot vibration threshold, two-point discrimination, and ankle proprioception between different age groups. Results: Significant differences were found in the Semmes–Weinstein monofilament test (p < .001), the two-point discrimination test (p < .05), and the vibration threshold test (p < .05) in the six tested plantar positions among adolescents, young adults, middle-aged adults, and older adults. For ankle proprioception, significant differences were found in movement thresholds in ankle plantar flexion (p = .01), ankle dorsiflexion (p < .001), ankle inversion (p < .001), and ankle eversion (p < .001), as well as relative absolute errors in the ankle force senses of ankle plantar flexion (p = .02) and ankle dorsiflexion (p = .02) across the four age groups. Conclusion: Plantar sensation and ankle proprioception were sensitive in adolescents and young adults than in middle-aged adults and older adults.

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A Longitudinal Study on the Influence of Peer Network Status on University and College Students’ Academic Records in Hurdle Class

Ronghai Su, Meiling Wang, Deng Wang, Lin Chen, Bingxin Su, Xuanyan Su, and Maochou Hsu

Purpose: To examine the longitudinal impact and mechanism of peer network status on university students’ hurdle running academic records. Methods: Conduct a follow-up survey in the hurdle teaching, an experimental class, and analyze the data using the latent growth model. Results: (a) The intercept and slope of peer network status positively predict the slope of academic records. (b) Peer network status influences the slope of academic records through the slope of learning engagement, and the intercept of learning engagement acts as a masking effect between the two. (c) Personality traits moderated the relationship between peer network status and the academic records slope. Conclusions: (a) The impact of peer network status on academic records exhibits social effects. (b) The impact of peer network status on academic records has a double-edged sword effect. (c) Extroverted personality is most advantageous in enhancing peer network status and predicting the rate of improvement in academic records.

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Foot Forces Induced Through Tai Chi Push-Hand Exercises

Shiu Hong Wong, Tianjian Ji, Youlian Hong, Siu Lun Fok, and Lin Wang

The low impact forces of Tai Chi push-hand exercises may be particularly suited for older people and for those with arthritis; however, the biomechanics of push-hand exercises have not previously been reported. This paper examines the ground reaction forces (GRFs) and plantar force distributions during Tai Chi push-hand exercises in a stationary stance with and without an opponent. Ten male Tai Chi practitioners participated in the study. The GRFs of each foot were measured in three perpendicular directions using two force plates (Kistler). The plantar force distribution of each foot was measured concurrently using an insole sensor system (Novel). The results showed that the average maximum vertical GRF of each foot was not more than 88% ± 6.1% of the body weight and the sum of the vertical forces (103% ± 1.4%) generated by the two feet approximately equals the body weight at any one time. The horizontal GRFs generated by the two feet were in the opposite directions and the measured mean peak values were not more than 12% ± 2.8% and 17% ± 4.3% of the body weight in the medio-lateral and antero-posterior directions respectively. Among the nine plantar areas, the toes sustained the greatest plantar force. This study indicates that push-hand exercises generate lower vertical forces than those induced by walking, bouncing, jumping and Tai Chi gait, and that the greatest plantar force is located in the toe area, which may have an important application in balance training particularly for older adults.

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Does Hepatic Hepcidin Play an Important Role in Exercise-Associated Anemia in Rats?

Yu-Qian Liu, Yan-Zhong Chang, Bin Zhao, Hai-Tao Wang, and Xiang-Lin Duan

Some athletes are diagnosed as suffering from sports anemia because of iron deficiency, but the regulatory mechanism remains poorly understood. It is reported that hepcidin may provide a way to illuminate the regulatory mechanism of exercise-associated anemia. Here the authors investigate the hepcidin-involved iron absorption in exercise-associated anemia. Twelve male Wistar rats (300 ± 10 g) were randomly divided into 2 groups, 6 in a control group (CG) and 6 in an exercise group (EG, 5 wk treadmill exercise of different intensities with progressive loading). Serum samples were analyzed for circulating levels of IL-6 by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The expression of hepatic hepcidin mRNA was examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis. The protein levels of divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1), ferroportin1 (FPN1), and heme-carrier protein 1 (HCP1) of duodenum epithelium were examined by Western blot. The results showed that the amount of iron and ferritin in serum were lower in EG than in CG (p < .05). The levels of IL-6 and white blood cells were greater in EG than in CG (p < .01). The expression of DMT1, HCP1, and FPN1 was significantly lower in EG than in CG (p < .01). The mRNA expressions of hepatic hepcidin and hemojuvelin in skeletal muscle were remarkably higher in EG than in CG. The data indicated that inflammation was induced by strenuous exercise, and as a result, the transcriptional level of the hepatic hepcidin gene was increased, which further inhibited the expression of iron-absorption proteins and led to exercise-associated anemia.

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Effects of Tai Chi Chuan and Brisk Walking Exercise on Balance Ability in Elderly Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Wei Sun, Xiujie Ma, Lin Wang, Cui Zhang, Qipeng Song, Houxin Gu, and Dewei Mao

This study aims to investigate the effects of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) and brisk walking (BW) on balance and training duration for the two exercises to significantly improve balance. A total of 48 elderly women were randomly divided into three groups. The TCC and BW groups completed a 60-min intervention training program with five sessions weekly for 16 weeks. Single-leg standing balance was tested every 4 weeks. Results showed that all the variables with eyes open improved on the eighth week (p < .05) in the TCC group and on the 12th week (p < .01) in the BW group. All variables with eyes closed improved on the 12th week (p < .01) in the TCC group and on the 16th week (p < .05) in the BW group. The results showed that 12 and 16 weeks of TCC and BW, respectively were essential to improve balance with eyes closed among the women aged 60–70 years.

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The Analysis of Axisymmetric Viscoelasticity, Time-Dependent Recovery, and Hydration in Rat Tail Intervertebral Discs by Radial Compression Test

Leou-Chyr Lin, Thomas P. Hedman, Shyu-Jye Wang, Michael Huoh, and Shih-Youeng Chuang

The goal of this study was to develop a nondestructive radial compression technique and to investigate the viscoelastic behavior of the rat tail disc under repeated radial compression. Rat tail intervertebral disc underwent radial compression relaxation testing and creep testing using a custom-made gravitational creep machine. The axisymmetric viscoelasticity and time-dependent recovery were determined. Different levels of hydration (with or without normal saline spray) were supplied to evaluate the effect of changes in viscoelastic properties. Viscoelasticity was found to be axisymmetric in rat-tail intervertebral discs at four equidistant locations. Complete relaxation recovery was found to take 20 min, whereas creep recovery required 25 min. Hydration was required for obtaining viscoelastic axisymmetry and complete viscoelastic recovery.

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Effects of Acute Aerobic and Resistance Exercise on Cognitive Function and Salivary Cortisol Responses

Chun-Chih Wang, Brandon Alderman, Chih-Han Wu, Lin Chi, Su-Ru Chen, I-Hua Chu, and Yu-Kai Chang

This study aimed to determine the comparative effectiveness of aerobic vs. resistance exercise on cognitive function. In addition, salivary cortisol responses, as an indicator of arousal-related neuroendocrine responses, were assessed as a potential mechanism underlying the effects of these 2 modes of acute exercise on cognition. Forty-two young adults were recruited and performed the Stroop task after 1 session of aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, and a sedentary condition performed on separate days. Saliva samples were collected at baseline and immediately and 30 min after treatment conditions. Acute exercise, regardless of exercise modality, improved multiple aspects of cognitive function as reflected by the Stroop task. Cortisol responses were higher after both modes of acute exercise compared with the sedentary condition and were higher at baseline and 30 min afterward compared with immediately after treatment conditions. These findings suggest that acute exercise of moderate intensity facilitates cognitive function, and, although salivary cortisol is influenced by acute exercise, levels were not related to improvements in cognition.

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Proprioceptive Acuity Assessment in Multiple Directions Across Multiple Joints in the Upper Limb

Kai-Qi Zhang, Yan-Xia Li, Na Lv, Qiang Ma, Shu-Jun Zhang, Xi Zhao, Kai Wang, Li Li, and Lin Li

Proprioception is essential for precise movement as it helps the body transmit important data about its surroundings to the central nervous system for maintaining body posture and position. This study aimed to investigate the effect of direction and joint angle on upper limb proprioception. Thirty individuals (all males) completed a position reproduction activity in 13 directions and three joint angles. It was discovered that upper limb proprioception is dependent on joint angle, direction, and range of motion. The position reproduction error was found to be dependent on the direction, which had a significantly lower accuracy in the direction with a larger range of motion. In addition, upper limb repositioning errors increased at greater limb elevation angles. Our findings also showed that the joint angle did not significantly affect the absolute error of elbow flexion. With an increase in the elbow flexion, the increase of the gravitational moment of the upper arm and hand coupled with the increase of the muscle arm of the biceps brachii possibly causes slight changes in muscle length perceived by spindles or muscular force perceived by Golgi tendon organs.