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Thomas A. Haugen, Espen Tønnessen, Jonny Hisdal and Stephen Seiler

The overall objective of this review was to investigate the role and development of sprinting speed in soccer. Time–motion analyses show that short sprints occur frequently during soccer games. Straight sprinting is the most frequent action before goals, both for the scoring and assisting player. Straight-line sprinting velocity (both acceleration and maximal sprinting speed), certain agility skills, and repeated-sprint ability are shown to distinguish groups from different performance levels. Professional players have become faster over time, indicating that sprinting skills are becoming more and more important in modern soccer. In research literature, the majority of soccer-related training interventions have provided positive effects on sprinting capabilities, leading to the assumption that all kinds of training can be performed with success. However, most successful intervention studies are time consuming and challenging to incorporate into the overall soccer training program. Even though the principle of specificity is clearly present, several questions remain regarding the optimal training methods within the larger context of the team-sport setting. Considering time-efficiency effects, soccer players may benefit more by performing sprint-training regimens similar to the progression model used in strength training and by world-leading athletics practitioners, compared with the majority of guidelines that traditionally have been presented in research literature.

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Shreela V. Sharma, Deanna M. Hoelscher, Steven H. Kelder, Pamela M. Diamond, R. Sue Day and Albert C. Hergenroeder

Background:

The purpose of this study was to identify pathways used by psychosocial factors to influence physical activity and bone health in middle-school girls.

Methods:

Baseline data from the Incorporating More Physical Activity and Calcium in Teens (IMPACT) study collected in 2001 to 2003 were used. IMPACT was a 1 1/2 years nutrition and physical activity intervention study designed to improve bone density in 717 middle-school girls in Texas. Structural Equations Modeling was used to examine the interrelationships and identify the direct and indirect pathways used by various psychosocial and environmental factors to influence physical activity and bone health.

Results:

Results show that physical activity self-efficacy and social support (friend, family engagement, and encouragement in physical activity) had a significant direct and indirect influence on physical activity with participation in sports teams as the mediator. Participation in sports teams had a direct effect on both physical activity (β= 0.20, P < .05) and bone health and (β=0.13, P < .05).

Conclusion:

The current study identified several direct and indirect pathways that psychosocial factors use to influence physical activity and bone health among adolescent girls. These findings are critical for the development of effective interventions for promoting bone health in this population.

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Jennifer L. Copeland, Samuel Y. Chu and Mark S. Tremblay

Women experience significant changes in endocrine function during aging. Decreasing levels of anabolic hormones may be associated with musculoskeletal atrophy and decrease in function that is observed in older women and, as a result, there has been an increase in the use of pharmacological hormone therapies. It is difficult to distinguish, however, between physiological changes that are truly age related and those that are associated with lifestyle factors such as physical activity participation. Some research has shown that circulating levels of anabolic hormones such as DHEA(S) and IGF-I in older women are related to physical activity, muscle function, and aerobic power. Exercise-intervention studies have generally shown that increasing age blunts the acute hormonal response to exercise, although this might be explained by a lower exercise intensity in older women. There have been relatively few studies that examine hormonal adaptations to exercise training. Physical activity might have an effect on hormone action as a result of changes in protein carriers and receptors, and future research needs to clarify the effect of age and exercise on these other components of the endocrine system. The value and safety of hormone supplements must be examined, especially when used in combination with an exercise program.

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Eeva Aartolahti, Sirpa Hartikainen, Eija Lönnroos and Arja Häkkinen

This study was conducted to determine the characteristics of health and physical function that are associated with not starting strength and balance training (SBT). The study population consisted of 339 community-dwelling individuals (75–98 years, 72% female). As part of a population-based intervention study they received comprehensive geriatric assessment, physical activity counseling, and had the opportunity to take part in SBT at the gym once a week. Compared with the SBT-adopters, the nonadopters (n = 157, 46%) were older and less physically active, had more comorbidities and lower cognitive abilities, more often had sedative load of drugs or were at the risk of malnutrition, had lower grip strength and more instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) difficulties, and displayed weaker performance in Berg Balance Scale and Timed Up and Go assessments. In multivariate models, higher age, impaired cognition, and lower grip strength were independently associated with nonadoption. In the future, more individually-tailored interventions are needed to overcome the factors that prevent exercise initiation.

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Menno Slingerland and Lars Borghouts

Background:

Physical education (PE) has the potential of stimulating physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents in a direct and an indirect manner. By providing in-class activity, PE could directly contribute to the accumulation of physical activity. In addition, it is often claimed that PE could have an effect on physical activity by stimulating out-of-class activity, or even physical activity in adult life.

Methods:

We reviewed intervention studies using a PE component that directly or indirectly aimed to increase physical activity in primary and secondary school students. An electronic literature search was conducted and articles’ reference lists were scanned for additional papers.

Results:

Fourteen studies matched our criteria. A review of these studies showed that interventions are able to directly increase activity in PE classes with relatively simple modifications, whereas the evidence for increasing out-of-class PA through interventions utilizing PE as a component is less convincing.

Conclusions:

We propose that evidence-based interventions aimed at increasing PA in children and adolescents through PE should at this moment be aimed at the direct effect of PE. There is a need for high quality PE-based interventions directed at out-of-class activity and long-term active life style.

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Carlos Mario Arango, Diana C. Parra, Amy Eyler, Olga Sarmiento, Sonia C. Mantilla, Luis Fernando Gomez and Felipe Lobelo

Background:

Active school transport (AST) is a recommended strategy to promote physical activity (PA) and prevent overweight (OW) in school-aged children. In many developing countries, such as Colombia, this association has not been well characterized.

Objective:

To determine the association between AST and weight status in a representative sample of adolescents from Montería, Colombia.

Methods:

Participants were 546 adolescents (278 boys) aged 11 to 18 years old from 14 randomly selected schools in Montería, Colombia in 2008. The PA module of the Global School Health Survey (GSHS-2007) was used to determine the prevalence of AST. To identify OW, participants were classified according to CDC 2000 criteria (BMI ≥85th percentile). Association between AST and OW was determined by binomial logistic regression.

Results:

Odds ratios adjusted for age, sex, location of school, compliance with PA, and screen time recommendations showed that adolescents who reported AST had a significantly lower likelihood to be OW compared with adolescents who reported nonactive transportation (OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3−0.8, P < .05).

Conclusions:

These results support the importance of AST as a useful PA domain with potential implications for overweight prevention, in rapidly developing settings. Further epidemiologic and intervention studies addressing AST are needed in the region.

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Scott J. Strath, Ann M. Swartz, Sarah J. Parker, Nora E. Miller, Elizabeth K. Grimm and Susan E. Cashin

Background:

Increasing physical activity (PA) levels in older adults represents an important public health challenge. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of combining individualized motivational messaging with pedometer walking step targets to increase PA in previously inactive and insufficiently active older adults.

Methods:

In this 12-week intervention study older adults were randomized to 1 of 4 study arms: Group 1—control; Group 2—pedometer 10,000 step goal; Group 3—pedometer step goal plus individualized motivational feedback; or Group 4—everything in Group 3 augmented with biweekly telephone feedback.

Results:

81 participants were randomized into the study, 61 participants completed the study with an average age of 63.8 ± 6.0 years. Group 1 did not differ in accumulated steps/day following the 12-week intervention compared with participants in Group 2. Participants in Groups 3 and 4 took on average 2159 (P < .001) and 2488 (P < .001) more steps/day, respectively, than those in Group 1 after the 12-week intervention.

Conclusion:

In this 12-week pilot randomized control trial, a pedometer feedback intervention partnered with individually matched motivational messaging was an effective intervention strategy to significantly increase PA behavior in previously inactive and insufficiently active older adults.

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Murray C. Lee, Marla R. Orenstein and Maxwell J. Richardson

Background:

The recent decline in children’s active commuting (walking or biking) to school has become an important public health issue. Recent programs have promoted the positive effects of active commuting on physical activity (PA) and overweight. However, the evidence supporting such interventions among schoolchildren has not been previously evaluated.

Methods:

This article presents the results of a systematic review of the association between active commuting to school and outcomes of PA, weight, and obesity in children.

Results:

We found 32 studies that assessed the association between active commuting to school and PA or weight in children. Most studies assessing PA outcomes found a positive association between active commuting and overall PA levels. However, almost all studies were cross-sectional in design and did not indicate whether active commuting leads to increased PA or whether active children are simply more likely to walk. Only 3 of 18 studies examining weight found consistent results, suggesting that there might be no association between active commuting and reduced weight or body mass index.

Conclusion:

Although there are consistent findings from cross-sectional studies associating active commuting with increased total PA, interventional studies are needed to help determine causation.

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John Manor, Elizabeth Hibberd, Meredith Petschauer and Joseph Myers

Context:

Rounded-shoulder and forward-head posture can be contributing factors to shoulder pain. Corrective techniques such as manual therapy and exercise have been shown to improve these altered postures, but there is little evidence that corrective garments such as posture shirts can alter posture.

Objectives:

To determine the acute effects of corrective postureshirt use on rounded-shoulder and forward-head posture in asymptomatic college students.

Design:

Repeated-measures intervention study with counterbalanced conditions.

Setting:

Research laboratory.

Participants:

24 members of the general student body of a university, 18–25 y old, with a forward shoulder angle (FSA) >52° and no history of upper-extremity surgery, scoliosis, active shoulder pain, or shoulder pain in the previous 3 mo that restricted participation for 3 consecutive days.

Interventions:

Photographic posture assessment under a control condition, under a sham or treatment condition (counterbalanced), under another control condition, and treatment or sham.

Main Outcome Measures:

FSA and forward head angle (FHA) calculated from a lateral photograph.

Results:

FSA decreased relative to the control condition while participants wore the sham shirt (P = .029) but not the corrective posture shirt (P = 1.00). FHA was unchanged between groups (P = .371).

Conclusions:

Application of a corrective posture shirt did not acutely alter FSA or FHA, while application of a sham shirt may decrease FSA at rest.

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Richard Cooke, Helena Trebaczyk, Peter Harris and Alison J. Wright

The present study tests whether a self-affirmation intervention (i.e., requiring an individual to focus on a valued aspect of their self-concept, such as honesty) can increase physical activity and change theory of planned behavior (TPB) variables linked to physical activity. Eighty young people completed a longitudinal intervention study. Baseline physical activity was assessed using the Godin Leisure-Time Physical Activity Questionnaire (LTPAQ). Next, participants were randomly allocated to either a self-affirmation or a nonaffirmation condition. Participants then read information about physical activity and health, and completed measures of TPB variables. One week later, participants again completed LTPAQ and TPB items. At follow up, self-affirmed participants reported significantly more physical activity, more positive attitudes toward physical activity, and higher intentions to be physically active compared with nonaffirmed participants. Neither attitudes nor intentions mediated the effects of self-affirmation on physical activity. Self-affirmation can increase levels of physical activity and TPB variables. Self-affirmation interventions have the potential to become relatively simple methods for increasing physical activity levels.