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Pedro C. Hallal, Samuel Carvalho Dumith, Felipe Fossati Reichert, Ana M.B. Menezes, Cora L. Araújo, Jonathan C.K. Wells, Ulf Ekelund and Cesar G. Victora

Objectives:

To explore cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between self-reported and accelerometry-based physical activity (PA) and blood pressure (BP) between 11 and 14 years of age.

Methods:

Prospective birth cohort study in Pelotas, Brazil. Participants were 427 cohort members who were followed up with at 11, 12, and 14 years of age, and had questionnaire data on PA and BP at 11 and 14 years, as well as accelerometry and questionnaire data on PA at 12 years. Outcome measures were continuous systolic and diastolic BP at 14 years, and change in BP from 11 to 14 years.

Results:

PA was unrelated to systolic BP in any analyses. PA measured by accelerometry at 12 years, but not questionnaire-derived PA, was inversely associated with diastolic BP at 14 years of age in fully adjusted models. Those who exceeded the 300-minutes PA threshold at all 3 visits had a 2.6 mmHg lower mean increase in DBP from 11 to 14 years compared with those classified below the threshold in all visits.

Conclusions:

Accelerometry-based PA was longitudinally inversely associated with diastolic BP. This finding was not evident when analyzing self-reported PA at a given age, suggesting a possible underestimation of the association when using subjective data.

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Borut Fonda and Nejc Sarabon

It has been reported in practice that the application of lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) to elite athletes during periods of intense training can help aid recovery.

Purpose:

To examine the effects of LBNP on biochemical, pain, and performance parameters during a 5-d recovery period after a damaging plyometric-exercise bout.

Design:

Randomized controlled study.

Methods:

24 healthy young female adults were randomly allocated into 2 groups. Before and 1, 24, 48, and 96 h after the damaging exercise for hamstrings (50 drop jumps and 50 leg curls), participants underwent a series of tests (blood samples, pain sensation, countermovement jump, maximal isometric torque production, maximal explosive isometric torque production, and 10-m sprint). After the damaging exercise, the experimental group was exposed to intermittent LBNP therapy daily for 60 min.

Results:

There was a statistically significant interaction (P < .05) between the experimental and control groups for maximal strength, explosive strength, pain sensation, and vertical jumps (maximal power and force). No statistically significant interaction was present for the biochemical markers, jump height, and 100-m sprint.

Conclusions:

LBNP therapy could improve recovery by limiting the loss in muscle strength and power and limiting the presence of pain.

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Rodolfo B. Parreira, Marcela C. Boer, Lucas Rabello, Viviane de Souza P. Costa, Eros de Oliveira Jr. and Rubens A. da Silva

The aim of this study was to evaluate the changes in center of pressure (COP) movement in four time intervals (5, 10, 15 and 30 s) during a one-leg stance test performed by young and elderly adults. Twelve young adults (mean 20 years) and 12 elderly subjects (mean 68 years) participated in this study. The subjects performed three 30 s trials of an eyes open one-leg stance test on a force platform, in which the COP parameter was computed at four points in time from same original COP signal. Significant differences were found between the young and elderly adults (P < .007) only at the 10, 15 and 30 s intervals. For both groups, COP changes were significantly different between the 5 s time interval and other intervals (10, 15 and 30 s). In conclusion, these results pointed out that age-related difference in COP changes were time dependent. This suggests that the use of longer durations increases the possibility of distinguishing more subtle differences in postural strategy among different groups of subjects.

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Jonathan Sinclair, Sarah J. Hobbs, Paul J. Taylor, Graham Currigan and Andrew Greenhalgh

In running analyses where both kinetic and kinematic information is recorded, participants are required to make foot contact with a force and/or pressure measuring transducer. Problems arise if participants modify their gait patterns to ensure contact with the device. There is currently a paucity of research investigating the influence of different underfoot kinetic measuring devices on 3-dimensional kinematics of running. Fifteen participants ran at 4.0 m/s in four different conditions: over a floor embedded force plate, Footscan, Matscan, and with no device. Three-dimensional angular kinematic parameters were collected using an eight camera motion analysis system. Hip, knee, and ankle joint kinematics were contrasted using repeated-measures ANOVAs. Participants also rated their subjective comfort in striking each of the three force measuring devices. Significant differences from the uninhibited condition were observed using the Footscan and Matscan in all three planes of rotation, whereas participants subjectively rated the force plate significantly more comfortable than either the Footscan/Matscan devices. The findings of the current investigation therefore suggest that the disguised floor embedded force plate offers the most natural running condition. It is recommended that analyses using devices such as the Footscan/Matscan mats overlying the laboratory surface during running should be interpreted with caution.

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Joaquin U. Gonzales, Dustin M. Grinnell, Martha J. Kalasky and David N. Proctor

The authors examined interindividual and sex-specific variation in systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure responses to graded leg-extension exercise in healthy older (60–78 yr) women (n = 21) and men (n = 19). Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), body composition, physical activity (accelerometry), and vascular function were measured to identify predictors of exercise BP. Neither VO2max nor activity counts were associated with the rise in SBP or DBP during exercise in men. The strongest predictors of these responses in men were age (SBP: r 2 = .19, p = .05) and peak exercise leg vasodilation (DBP: r 2 = –.21, p < .05). In women, the modest relationship observed between VO2max and exercise BP was abolished after adjusting for central adiposity and activity counts (best predictors, cumulative r 2 = .53, p < .05, for both SBP and DBP). These results suggest that determinants of variation in submaximal exercise BP responses among older adults are sex specific, with daily physical activity influencing these responses in women but not men.

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Cyril Burdet and Patrice Rougier

To question the relation between uni- and bipedal postural skills, 21 subjects were required to stand on a force platform through uni- and bipedal conditions. These two protocols are commonly used paradigms to assess the balance capacities of healthy and disabled patients. The recorded displacements of the center of pressure (CP) were decomposed along mediolateral and anteroposterior axes and assessed through variance positions and parameters obtained from fractional Brownian motion (fBm) modeling to determine the nature and the spatiotemporal organization of the successive controlling mechanisms. The variances underline the relative independence of the two tasks. Nevertheless, as highlighted by the fBm framework, postural correction is initiated for the unipedal stance after shorter time delays and longer covered distances. When compared to bipedal standing, one of the main characteristics of unipedal standing is to induce better-controlled CP trajectories, as deduced from the scaling regimes computed from the fBm modeling. Lastly, the control of the CP trajectories during the shortest time intervals along the anteroposterior axis appears identical for both uni- and bipedal conditions. Unipedal and bipedal standing controls should thus be viewed as two complementary tasks, each providing specific and complementary insights into the postural control organization.

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W. Jack Rejeski, Karen M. Neal, Martine E. Wurst, Peter H. Brubaker and Walter H. Ettinger Jr.

An elderly patient population was used to investigate whether an acute bout of aerobic exercise (AE) would reduce systolic blood pressure (SBP) to a greater extent than would a bout of weight lifting (WL). SBPs were studied in the context of a laboratory Stressor as well as during activities of daily living using ambulatory monitoring devices (AMBPs). Patients participated in a laboratory Stressor and were monitored via AMBP for 8 hr. SBPs were lower for up to 5 hr postexercise for the AE treatment only. In addition, in comparison to no-exercise control data, baseline SBP was lower for the AE group than the WL group prior to the Stressor. Subjects in the AE condition also tended to have lower SBP responses following exercise than patients in the WL group, although these differences did not reach a conventional level of statistical significance. These data provide evidence that single bouts of AE, but not WL, may lower SBP in elderly patients, even for those who have compromised function due to osteoarthritis of the knee.

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Ksenia I. Ustinova, Valery M. Goussev, Ramesh Balasubramaniam and Mindy F. Levin

To determine how arm movements influence postural sway in the upright position after stroke, interactions between arm, trunk, and center of pressure (CoP) displacements in the sagittal direction were investigated in participants with hemiparesis and healthy subjects. Participants swung both arms sagittally in either of 2 directions (in-phase, anti-phase) and at 2 speeds (preferred, fast) while standing on separate force plates. Variables measured included amplitude and frequency of arm swinging, shoulder and trunk range of motion, CoP displacements under each foot and of the whole body, and the relationships between the arm, trunk, and CoP displacements. CoP displacements under the non-paretic leg were greater than those under the paretic leg, which may in part be related to the larger amplitude of swinging of the non-paretic arm. CoP displacements under each foot were not related to arm swinging during in-phase swinging at the preferred speed in healthy subjects. When speed of arm swinging was increased, however, the CoP moved in a direction opposite to the arm movement. In contrast, in individuals with hemiparesis, CoPs and arms moved in the same direction for both speeds. During anti-phase swinging in healthy subjects, the trunk counterbalanced the arm movements, while in participants with hemiparesis, the trunk moved with the affected arm. Results show that stroke resulted in abnormal patterns of arm-trunk-CoP interactions that may be related to a greater involvement of the trunk in arm transport, an altered pattern of coordination between arm and CoP displacements, and an impaired ability of the damaged nervous system to adapt postural synergies to changes in movement velocity.

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Raymonde E. Jean, Manideep Duttuluri, Charlisa D. Gibson, Sadaf Mir, Katherine Fuhrmann, Edward Eden and Azhar Supariwala

Background:

Exercise improves sleep quality, yet people with untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may engage in less physical activity (PA) due to fatigue and daytime sleepiness. We examined changes in PA and sleep quality before and after treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in OSA patients.

Methods:

In this prospective longitudinal study, persons with a primary diagnosis of OSA were enrolled at a community-based hospital in New York City. At 3 time intervals pre- and post-CPAP (3–8 months), we measured sleep quality using validated questionnaires, perceived PA using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), and actual PA using pedometer steps per day. We sought to investigate how CPAP use and changes in sleep quality impacted the number of steps taken, as recorded in pedometer steps.

Results:

In total, 62 patients were enrolled in the study from March 2012 to July 2014. In all, patients averaged 53 years of age, and 26 patients (42%) were female. Among all participants, 86% of persons had moderate to severe sleep apnea (AHI ≥15). Approximately 73% of participants were compliant with CPAP use. Poor sleep quality correlated with lower actual PA (P = .004) at baseline. At 3 and 7 months, there was significant improvement in sleep quality (Δ –2.63 ± 3.4 and Δ –3.5 ± 3.8; P < .001) and actual PA (Δ 840 ± 1313 and Δ 1431 ± 1419 steps/day, P < .001) compared with baseline. On multivariate analyses, participants with a higher waist circumference had a significantly greater increase in actual PA (P = .018).

Conclusion:

Treatment of OSA with CPAP had a progressive incremental improvement in sleep quality and actual PA.

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James L. Croft, Vinzenz von Tscharner and Ronald F. Zernicke

Compliant surfaces are used to challenge postural stability, but assessments are frequently limited to summary measures of center of pressure that do not provide insights into the temporal dynamics of motor coordination. Here, we measured center-of-pressure changes on three surfaces (solid, foam, and air-filled disc) and quantified the relative timing of changes in joint angles and muscle activity with respect to center-of-pressure changes. Nine active male subjects (20–30 years old) performed ten 30-s trials of unipedal stance on each of the three surfaces. Sway range, mean sway, mean sway velocity, path length, and fitted ellipse area increased, monotonically, from solid surface to foam to air-filled disc. The number of significant cross-correlations was greater for the compliant surfaces compared with the solid surface. Muscle activity preceded changes in center-of-pressure displacement, with the type of surface affecting the magnitude of the lead in the mediolateral direction. Center of pressure was more constrained on less stable surfaces and in the mediolateral direction.