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Gal Dubnov-Raz, Harri Hemilä, Avner H. Cohen, Barak Rinat, Lauryn Choleva and Naama W. Constantini

Observational studies identified associations between vitamin D insufficiency (serum 25(OH)D > 30ng·ml−1) and risk of upper respiratory infection (URI). Swimmers are highly prone to URIs, which might hinder their performance. The aim of this study was to examine if vitamin D3 supplementation reduces URI burden in vitamin D-insufficient swimmers. Fifty-five competitive adolescent swimmers with vitamin D insufficiency were randomized to receive vitamin D3 (2,000IU·d4) or placebo for 12 winter weeks. A URI symptom questionnaire was completed weekly. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured by radio-immunoassay before and after supplementation. We used linear regression to examine the relation between the change in 25(OH)D concentrations during the trial, and the duration and severity of URIs. There were no between-group differences in the frequency, severity, or duration of URIs. Exploratory analyses revealed that in the placebo group only, the change in 25(OH)D concentrations during the trial was highly associated with the duration of URIs (r = −0.90,p > .001), and moderately associated with the severity of URIs (r = −0.65,p = .043). The between-group differences for duration were highly significant. Vitamin D3 supplementation in adolescent swimmers with vitamin D insufficiency did not reduce URI burden. However, larger decreases in serum 25(OH)D concentrations were associated with significantly longer and more severe URI episodes.

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Boris Cheval, Philippe Sarrazin, Luc Pelletier and Malte Friese

Background:

Promoting regular physical activity (PA) and lessening sedentary behaviors (SB) constitute a public health priority. Recent evidence suggests that PA and SB are not only related to reflective processes (eg, behavioral intentions), but also to impulsive approach-avoidance tendencies (IAAT). This study aims to test the effect of a computerized IAAT intervention on an exercise task.

Methods:

Participants (N = 115) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions, in which they were either trained to approach PA and avoid SB (ApPA-AvSB condition), to approach SB and avoid PA (ApSB-AvPA condition), or to approach and avoid PA and SB equally often (active control condition). The main outcome variable was the time spent carrying out a moderate intensity exercise task.

Results:

IAAT toward PA decreased in the ApSB-AvPA condition, tended to increase in the ApPA-AvSB condition, and remained stable in the control condition. Most importantly, the ApPA-AvSB manipulation led to more time spent exercising than the ApSB-AvPA condition. Sensitivity analyses excluding individuals who were highly physically active further revealed that participants in the ApPA-AvSB condition spent more time exercising than participants in the control condition.

Conclusions:

These findings provide preliminary evidence that a single intervention session can successfully change impulsive approach tendencies toward PA and can increase the time devoted to an exercise task, especially among individuals who need to be more physically active. Potential implications for health behavior theories and behavior change interventions are outlined.

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Terttu Parkatti, Jarmo Perttunen and Phyllis Wacker

This study examined the effects of an instructed structured Nordic walking (NW) exercise program on the functional capacity of older sedentary people. Volunteers were randomly assigned to an NW group (68.2 ± 3.8 yr old) or control group (69.9 ± 3.0 yr old). Before and at the end of the 9-wk intervention, functional tests and 2-dimensional ground-reaction-force (GRF) patterns of normal (1.40 m/s) and fast (1.94 m/s) walking speeds were measured. The intervention included a 60-min supervised NW session on an inside track twice a week for 9 wk. The mean changes in functional tests differed between groups significantly. Gait analyses showed no significant differences between the groups on any GRF parameters for walking speed either before or after the intervention. The study showed that NW has favorable effects on functional capacity in older people and is a suitable form of exercise for them.

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Birinder Singh B. Cheema, Marissa Lassere, Ronald Shnier and Maria A. Fiatarone Singh

The purpose of this article is to document a rotator cuff tear sustained by an elderly woman performing progressive resistance training (PRT) in a recent randomized controlled clinical trial. The patient was a sedentary 73-y-old Caucasian woman. Investigation revealed an acute, full-thickness tear of the right supraspinatus secondary to performing a shoulder press exercise. Further investigation via MRI revealed degenerative disease of the acromioclavicular joint including lateral downsloping of the acromion and an anteroinferior acromial spur, which would presdispose to impingement. Conservative management was implemented in this case for over 6 months with minimal success. The patient remained functionally limited in virtually all activities of daily living. Given the medical history, health status, physical condition, and age of our patient, it is probable that degenerative changes predisposed the patient to the injury. To our knowledge this is the first published report of an older adult sustaining a rotator cuff tear during PRT.

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Susanne James-Burdumy, Nicholas Beyler, Kelley Borradaile, Martha Bleeker, Alyssa Maccarone and Jane Fortson

Background:

The Playworks program places coaches in low-income urban schools to engage students in physical activity during recess. The purpose of this study was to estimate the impact of Playworks on students’ physical activity separately for Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, and non-Hispanic white students.

Methods:

Twenty-seven schools from 6 cities were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Accelerometers were used to measure the intensity of students’ physical activity, the number of steps taken, and the percentage of time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during recess. The impact of Playworks was estimated by comparing average physical activity outcomes in treatment and control groups.

Results:

Compared with non-Hispanic black students in control schools, non-Hispanic black students in Playworks schools recorded 338 more intensity counts per minute, 4.9 more steps per minute, and 6.3 percentage points more time in MVPA during recess. Playworks also had an impact on the number of steps per minute during recess for Hispanic students but no significant impact on the physical activity of non-Hispanic white students.

Conclusions:

The impact of Playworks was larger among minority students than among non-Hispanic white students. One possible explanation is that minority students in non-Playworks schools typically engaged in less physical activity, suggesting that there is more room for improvement.

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Brittany T. MacEwen, Travis J. Saunders, Dany J. MacDonald and Jamie F. Burr

Background:

Sit-stand desks reduce workplace sitting time among healthy office workers; however, their metabolic and behavioral impact in higher risk populations remains unknown.

Methods:

25 office workers with abdominal obesity were randomized to an intervention (sit-stand workstation) or control group (seated desk) for 12 weeks. Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and cardiometabolic risk factors were assessed before and after the intervention period in both groups.

Results:

In comparison with the control group, which did not change, the intervention group experienced significant reductions in workday (344 ± 107 to 186 ± 101 min/day) and total (645 ± 140 to 528 ± 91 min/day) sitting time, as well as increases in workday standing time (154 ± 108 to 301 ± 101 min/day, P < .05). There were no changes in sitting or standing time outside of work hours, steps taken each day, or any marker of cardiometabolic risk in either group (all P > .05).

Conclusion:

Sit-stand desks were effective in reducing workplace sedentary behavior in an at-risk population, with no change in sedentary behavior or physical activity outside of work hours. However, these changes were not sufficient to improve markers of cardiometabolic risk in this population.

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Marie Carmen Valenza, Irene Cabrera-Martos, Irene Torres-Sánchez, Aurelio Garcés-García, Sara Mateos-Toset and Gerald Valenza-Demet

Context:

Taking into account the complex structure of the diaphragm and its important role in the postural chain, the authors were prompted to check the effects of a diaphragm technique on hamstring flexibility.

Objective:

To evaluate the effects of the doming-of-the-diaphragm (DD) technique on hamstrings flexibility and spine mobility.

Design:

Randomized placebo-controlled trial.

Setting:

University laboratory.

Patients:

Sixty young adults with short-hamstring syndrome were included in this randomized clinical trial using a between-groups design.

Intervention:

The sample was randomly allocated to a placebo group (n = 30) or an intervention group (n = 30). Duration, position, and therapist were the same for both treatments.

Main Outcome Measures:

Hamstring flexibility was assessed using the forward-flexion-distance (FFD) and popliteal-angle test (PAT). Spinal motion was evaluated using the modified Schober test and cervical range of movement.

Results:

Twoway ANOVA afforded pre- to postintervention statistically significant differences (P < .001) in the intervention group compared with the placebo group for hamstring flexibility measured by the FFD (mean change 4.59 ± 5.66 intervention group vs 0.71 ± 2.41 placebo group) and the PAT (mean change intervention group 6.81 ± 8.52 vs placebo group 0.57 ± 4.41). Significant differences (P < .05) were also found in the modified Schober test (mean change intervention group –1.34 ± 3.95 vs placebo group 1.02 ± 3.05) and cervical range of movement. Significant between-groups differences (P < .05) were also found in all the variables measured.

Conclusions:

The DD technique provides sustained improvement in hamstring flexibility and spine mobility.

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Leigh F. Callahan, Rebecca J. Cleveland, Mary Altpeter and Betsy Hackney

Objective:

Evaluate effectiveness of the Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program for community participants with arthritis.

Methods:

343 individuals were randomized to either the intervention or wait-list control group. Performance and self-reported outcome (SRO) measures were assessed at baseline and eight weeks. At one year, SROs only were assessed. Adjusted means were determined using regression models adjusting for covariates, and effect sizes (ES) were calculated.

Results:

Average participant age was 66 years, 87% were female, and 87% were Caucasian. Among 284 (83%) participants who returned at eight weeks, balance by reach (ES = 0.30) and helplessness, sleep, and role participation satisfaction (ES = 0.24–0.54) improved significantly; pain, fatigue, and stiffness improvement (ES = 0.15–0.23) approached significance. No change was noted in mobility, lower extremity strength, or single-leg stance balance. At one year, improvements in pain, fatigue, stiffness, helplessness, and role participation satisfaction at eight weeks were maintained; 30% continued tai chi practice.

Conclusion:

Moderate effectiveness of the Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program was confirmed.

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Maria Giné-Garriga, Míriam Guerra, Esther Pagès, Todd M. Manini, Rosario Jiménez and Viswanath B. Unnithan

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a 12-wk functional circuit-training program (FCT) could alter markers of physical frailty in a group of frail community-dwelling adults. Fifty-one individuals (31 women, 20 men), mean age (± SD) 84 (± 2.9) yr, met frailty criteria and were randomly assigned into groups (FCT = 26, control group [CG] = 25). FCT underwent a 12-wk exercise program. CG met once a week for health education meetings. Measures of physical frailty, function, strength, balance, and gait speed were assessed at Weeks 0, 12, and 36. Physical-frailty measures in FCT showed significant (p < .05) improvements relative to those in CG (Barthel Index at Weeks 0 and 36: 73.41 (± 2.35) and 77.0 (± 2.38) for the FCT and 70.79 (± 2.53) and 66.73 (± 2.73) for the CG. These data indicate that an FCT program is effective in improving measures of function and reducing physical frailty among frail older adults.

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Derya Ozer Kaya, Irem Duzgun, Gul Baltaci, Selma Karacan and Filiz Colakoglu

Objective:

To assess and compare the effects of 6 mo of Pilates and calisthenics on multijoint coordination and proprioception of the lower limbs at the 3rd and 6th mo of training.

Design:

Randomized, controlled, assessor-blinded, repeated-measures.

Setting:

University research laboratory.

Participants and Intervention:

Healthy, sedentary, female participants age 25–50 y were recruited and randomly divided into 3 groups: a calisthenic exercise group (n = 34, mean age ± SD 40 ± 8 y, body-mass index [BMI] 31.04 ± 4.83 kg/m2), a Pilates exercise group (n = 32, mean age ± SD 37 ± 8 y, BMI 31.04 ± 4.83 kg/m2), and a control group (n = 41, mean age ± SD 41 ± 7 y, BMI 27.09 ± 4.77 kg/m2). The calisthenics and Pilates groups underwent related training programs for 6 mo, while the controls had no specific training.

Main Outcome Measures:

Coordination and proprioception of the lower extremities with concentric and eccentric performances in the closed kinetic chain assessed with the monitored rehab functional squat system at baseline and at the 3rd and 6th mo of training.

Results:

For the within-group comparison, coordinative concentric and eccentric deviation values were significantly decreased for both dominant and nondominant lower limbs at pretraining and at the 3rd and 6th mo posttraining in the calisthenics group (P < .05). In contrast, there was no improvement in the Pilates group throughout the training. However, for comparisons between groups, the baseline values of coordinative concentric and eccentric deviations were different in the calisthenics group than in Pilates and the controls (P < .05). There were no differences in the proprioception values of either visible or nonvisible movement in any group throughout the training (P > .05).

Conclusions:

It seems that calisthenic exercises are more likely to improve coordination of the lower extremity after 3 and 6 mo of training than Pilates exercises. Calisthenic exercises may be useful for individuals who require improved coordination.