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Judith Jiménez, Maria Morera, Walter Salazar and Carl Gabbard


Motor skill competence has been associated with physical activity level, fitness, and other relevant health-related characteristics. Recent research has focused on understanding these relationships in children and adolescents, but little is known about subsequent years. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between fundamental motor skill (FMS) ability and body mass index (BMI) in young adults.


Participants, 40 men and 40 women (M age = 19.25 yr, SD = 2.48), were assessed for BMI and motor competence with 10 fundamental motor skills (FMSs) using the Test for Fundamental Motor Skills in Adults (TFMSA).


BMI was negatively associated with total motor ability (r = –.257; p = .02) and object control skills (r = –.251; p = .02); the relationship with locomotor skills was marginally insignificant (r = –.204; p = .07). In regard to individual skills, a significant negative association was found for running, jumping, striking, and kicking (ps < .05). Multiple regression analysis indicated that BMI and gender predicted 42% of the variance in total FMS score; gender was the only significant predictor.


Overall, these preliminary findings suggest that young adults with higher FMS ability are more likely to have lower BMI scores.

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Timothy Gannon, Daniel Landers, Karla Kubitz, Walter Salazar and Steven Petruizello

To determine if the different EEG patterns noted in previous studies were due to between-task differences in muscular exertion, the present study examined the electroencephalographic (EEG) activity in the seconds prior to either holding the weight (without lifting) or executing an arm lift at either 25% or 95% of the subject's one-repetition maximum value. Temporal EEG and tempomandibular and trapezius electromyography (EMG) measures were obtained from subjects (N=20) in the half-second period during the holding of the weight or immediately before lifting the weight. The degree of attentional focus on the task was quantified through self-report measures after each set of trials. EMG activity was not significantly different between the hold and lift phases. The self-report degree of attentional focus was higher in the lift phase, compared to the hold phase, for both 25% and 95% conditions (p<.01). Increases in EEG activity for the 25% condition were observed between the hold and lift phases at 4 Hz (p<.003). This extended to 10 additional frequencies in the 95% condition (p<.004), with beta (13 to 30 Hz) activity greater in the right hemisphere (p<.004). Because there were no EMG differences between phases or conditions» it was concluded that the EEG changes were reflective of cognitive differences associated with attending to tasks that differed in level of muscular exertion.

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Steven J. Petruzzello, Daniel M. Landers and Walter Salazar

Although body temperature elevation resulting from exercise has been implicated as one mechanism underlying anxiety reduction, no published evidence exists which establishes the relationship between body temperature and anxiety with respect to exercise. To examine this relationship, 20 males ran for 30 min at 75% VO2max in three temperature-manipulated conditions: (a) Normal—normal temperature change associated with exercise; (b) Cooler—attenuation of normal rise in temperature; and (c) Warmer—accentuation of normal rise in temperature. Significant temperature differences resulted from the three conditions. Although anxiety was reduced following exercise in all conditions and relationships between changes in temperature and anxiety were strong (rs>.75), manipulations of temperature accounted for only a small percentage of the variance in anxiety. It appears that elevated body temperature may not be necessary for exercise-related anxiety reduction to occur. Other variables which might have a greater effect on anxiety reduction (e.g., brain temperature, blood pressure) need to be examined.

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Judith Jiménez-Díaz, Karla Chaves-Castro and Walter Salazar

Background: To use the meta-analytic approach to assess the effectiveness of different types of movement programs on motor competence (MC) in participants of all ages. Methods: Studies were retrieved by searching 13 databases and included when criteria were met. Studies were selected, and data were extracted by 2 authors. Random effects models using the standardized mean difference effect size (ES) were used to pool results. Risk of bias, heterogeneity, and inconsistency were examined. Results: Thirty-six studies met the inclusion criteria. A total of 374 ESs were calculated and partitioned into 4 groups (motor intervention, free play, physical education classes, and control group). Statistically significant improvements in MC were observed for the motor intervention (ES = 1.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18 to 1.82; n = 36), as well as for free play (ES = 0.33; 95% CI, 0.09 to 0.57; n = 5), physical education classes (ES = 0.52; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.97; n = 15), and smaller statistically significant differences in MC were observed for the control groups (ES = 0.16; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.31; n = 6). Conclusions: All 4 groups analyzed improved MC in children, adolescents, and young adults. However, motor interventions were superior to all other groups for improving MC.

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Jennifer L. Etnier, Walter Salazar, Daniel M. Landers, Steven J. Petruzzello, Myungwoo Han and Priscilla Nowell

Nearly 200 studies have examined the impact that either acute or long-term exercise has upon cognition. Subsets of these studies have been reviewed using the traditional narrative method, and the common conclusion has been that the results are mixed. Therefore, a more comprehensive review is needed that includes all available studies and that provides a more objective and reproducible review process. Thus, a meta-analytic review was conducted that included all relevant studies with sufficient information for the calculation of effect size (N = 134). The overall effect size was 0.25, suggesting that exercise has a small positive effect on cognition. Examination of the moderator variables indicated that characteristics related to the exercise paradigm, the participants, the cognitive tests, and the quality of the study influence effect size. However, the most important finding was that as experimental rigor decreased, effect size increased. Therefore, more studies need to be conducted that emphasize experimental rigor.