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  • Author: Sinead Sheridan x
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Eric Tsz-Chun Poon, John O’Reilly, Sinead Sheridan, Michelle Mingjing Cai and Stephen Heung-Sang Wong

Weight-making practices, regularly engaged in by horse racing jockeys, have been suggested to impair both physiological and mental health. This study aimed to assess bone health markers, nutritional intake, bone-specific physical activity (PA) habits, and quality of life of professional jockeys in Hong Kong (n = 14), with gender-, age-, and body mass index-matched controls (n = 14). Anthropometric measurements, serum hormonal biomarkers, bone mineral density, bone-specific PA habits, nutritional intake, and quality of life were assessed in all participants. The jockey group displayed significantly lower bone mineral density at both calcanei than the control group (left: 0.50 ± 0.06 vs. 0.63 ± 0.07 g/cm2; right: 0.51 ± 0.07 vs. 0.64 ± 0.10 g/cm2, both ps < .01). Thirteen of the 14 jockeys (93%) showed either osteopenia or osteoporosis in at least one of their calcanei. No significant difference in bone mineral density was detected for either forearm between the groups. The current bone-specific PA questionnaire score was lower in the jockey group than the control group (5.61 ± 1.82 vs. 8.27 ± 2.91, p < .05). Daily energy intake was lower in the jockeys than the controls (1,360 ± 515 vs. 1,985 ± 1,046 kcal/day, p < .01). No significant group difference was found for micronutrient intake assessed by the bone-specific food frequency questionnaire, blood hormonal markers, and quality of life scores. Our results revealed suboptimal bone conditions at calcanei and insufficient energy intake and bone-loading PAs among professional jockeys in Hong Kong compared with healthy age-, gender-, and body mass index-matched controls. Further research is warranted to examine the effect of improved bone-loading PAs and nutritional habits on the musculoskeletal health of professional jockeys.

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Yan Shi, Wendy Yajun Huang, Jane Jie Yu, Sinead Sheridan, Cindy Hui-Ping Sit and Stephen Heung-Sang Wong

Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the factors that influence compliance and practical utility of a continuous wear protocols for activPAL among adolescents. Methods: Seven hundred and fifty-five (11–18 y; 50.6% girls) students wore the waterproof activPAL for 7 consecutive days. The effects of factors such as weather and practical strategies on compliance were assessed. Students were asked to note reasons for removing it in a log. After the 7-day period, students anonymously completed a practical utility questionnaire. Results: The final sample used to analyze compliance contained 588 available data points; 72.4% met the validity criteria, which were ≥4 valid days. Rainfall was inversely associated with total wear time, whereas using alcohol pads and cartoon stickers during the application were positively associated with total wear time. Sweating (25.2%) and skin irritation (39.0%) were the most reasons for 290 removal episodes by 235 students. The 131 questionnaires showed that 80.1% regarded the continuous wear period as too long and encountered problems, and 55% would rather not wear it again. Conclusion: Rainy weather affected girls’ compliance with the continuous wear protocol for activPAL. Skin irritation and sweat-induced inadvertent drops caused removal. Future studies should investigate more user-friendly protocols.