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  • Author: Maria Michalopoulou x
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Anastasia Bounova, Maria Michalopoulou, Nikolaos Agelousis, Thomas Kourtessis and Vassilios Gourgoulis

Background:

Nowadays, the majority of adolescents exceed the AAP guidelines for screen use and this is likely to be a risk factor for obesity. The current study aims at investigating adolescent screen viewing in the context of home and neighborhood environment.

Methods:

A sample of 1141 adolescents as well as their parents participated in this survey. Adolescents were asked to complete a questionnaire about time spent on screen viewing behaviors. Respectively, parents completed a questionnaire concerning environmental predictors.

Results:

Almost two-thirds of the adolescents surveyed spend more than 2 hours per day on screen entertainment, with boys dealing with personal computers (PCs) and electronic games more than girls. The likelihood for an adolescent to exceed 2 hours of screen time is 3.87 times more when he has his meals in front of a TV screen on a daily basis, 1.69 times more when the TV is on, often as not on his return from school and 1.74 times more when there is a PC in the adolescent’s bedroom.

Conclusion:

Certain environmental predictors influence adolescents’ screen time, as a result, corrective intervention should aim at the family as a whole, as this whole shapes home environment.

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Vasilios I. Kalapotharakos, Maria Michalopoulou, George Godolias, Savvas P. Tokmakidis, Paraskevi V. Malliou and Vasilios Gourgoulis

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a 12-week resistance-training program on muscle strength and mass in older adults. Thirty-three inactive participants (60–74 years old) were assigned to 1 of 3 groups: high-resistance training (HT), moderate-resistance training (MT), and control. After the training period, both HT and MT significantly increased 1-RM body strength, the peak torque of knee extensors and flexors, and the midthigh cross-sectional area of the total muscle. In addition, both HT and MT significantly decreased the abdominal circumference. HT was more effective in increasing 1-RM strength, muscle mass, and peak knee-flexor torque than was MT. These data suggest that muscle strength and mass can be improved in the elderly with both high- and moderate-intensity resistance training, but high-resistance training can lead to greater strength gains and hypertrophy than can moderate-resistance training.

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Eleni Michopoulou, Alexandra Avloniti, Antonios Kambas, Diamanda Leontsini, Maria Michalopoulou, Symeon Tournis and Ioannis G. Fatouros

This study determined dietary intake and energy balance of elite premenarcheal rhythmic gymnasts during their preseason training. Forty rhythmic gymnasts and 40 sedentary age-matched females (10–12 yrs) participated in the study. Anthropometric profile and skeletal ages were determined. Dietary intake and physical activity were assessed to estimate daily energy intake, daily energy expenditure, and resting metabolic rate. Groups demonstrated comparable height, bone age, pubertal development, resting metabolic rate. Gymnasts had lower body mass, BMI, body fat than age-matched controls. Although groups demonstrated comparable daily energy intake, gymnasts exhibited a higher daily energy expenditure resulting in a daily energy deficit. Gymnasts also had higher carbohydrate intake but lower fat and calcium intake. Both groups were below the recommended dietary allowances for fiber, water, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin intake. Gymnasts may need to raise their daily energy intake to avoid the energy deficit during periods of intense training.

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Antonis Kambas, Maria Michalopoulou, Ioannis G. Fatouros, Christos Christoforidis, Eirini Manthou, Dimitra Giannakidou, Fotini Venetsanou, Elke Haberer, Athanassios Chatzinikolaou, Vassilios Gourgoulis and Renate Zimmer

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between motor proficiency and pedometer-determined physical activity in 5–6 year-old children. Participants (n = 232) were randomly recruited and assessed from 30 kindergartens in Northern Greece. Two trained researchers administered the measurements for the assessment of children’s motor proficiency by using the BOTMP-SF. Physical activity was assessed by OMRON pedometers. Significant relationships between BOTMP-SF standard score and steps (S), aerobic walking time (AWT) and aerobic steps (AS), (p < .05) were found. When motor proficiency was divided into quartiles to assess the distribution of the relationship between motor proficiency and pedometer- derived variables, significant associations were found for AWT, S and AS (p < .001). Young children with high levels of motor proficiency were more active in contrast to their peers with lower motor proficiency. The findings add to the growing body of literature that considers motor skills/abilities as important elements of physical activity participation. (Abbreviations: S-steps per day; AS-aerobic steps per day; AWT-aerobic walking time (minutesfiay−1); BOTMP-SF-Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-Short Form (standard score))