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Jocelyn S. Carter, Sabrina Karczewski, Draycen D. DeCator and Alescia M. Hollowell

Background:

Children who engage in regular physical activity are protected from developing behavioral problems at home and school, but many children do not have the opportunity to participate in regular physical activity. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a noncurricular school-based physical activity program resulted in reductions in children’s psychological problems in 2 domains: internalizing (eg, depression) and externalizing (eg, aggression) and whether these effects varied according to ethnicity, gender, and baseline psychological symptoms.

Methods:

One hundred and eleven third-grade students (mean age = 8.47; 55% African American, 42% Latino) from 4 schools participated in the study. Children in 2 schools received the Work to Play physical activity intervention during the study (intervention condition) and children in the other 2 schools did not receive the program until after the study was complete (waitlist control condition). Teachers and parents reported on children’s psychological symptoms at baseline and at follow-up approximately 9 months later.

Results:

Regression analyses showed that children who participated in the program had fewer internalizing symptoms at follow-up. Ethnicity moderated intervention effects with significant decreases in internalizing symptoms for African American, but not Hispanic participants. Neither gender nor baseline psychological symptoms moderated the program’s effectiveness.

Conclusions:

The Work-to-Play intervention program appeared to be effective in reducing internalizing symptoms for ethnic minority participants who are at the greatest risk for psychological problems.

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Jennifer L. Etnier, William B. Karper, Jennifer I. Gapin, Lisa A. Barella, Yu Kai Chang and Karen J. Murphy

Background:

This pilot study was designed to test the efficacy of a physical activity program for improving psychological variables and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) symptoms and to provide preliminary evidence regarding the effects on perceived cognitive symptoms and objectively measured cognitive performance by FMS patients.

Methods:

Sixteen women diagnosed with FMS were randomly assigned to an 18-week physical activity program or to a control condition. Psychological measures, FMS symptoms, perceived cognitive function, objective measures of cognition, and walking capacity were assessed at baseline and post-test.

Results:

At posttest, there were significant differences in fatigue (effect size, ES = 1.86), depression (ES = 1.27), FMS symptoms (ES = 1.56), self-reported cognitive symptoms (ES = 1.19), and delayed recall performance (ES = 1.16) between the physically active group and the control group, indicating that the FMS patients benefited from physical activity. Beneficial effects were also observed for 6 of the 7 objective measures of cognition and ranged from small to large (ESs = 0.26 to 1.06).

Conclusions:

Given that all FMS patients do not respond well to conventional treatments, these beneficial effects of physical activity are important. Future studies with larger samples are warranted to test the reliability of the findings for the objective measures of cognition.

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Rodrigo de Marche Baldon, Daniel Ferreira Moreira Lobato, Lívia Pinheiro Carvalho, Paulo Roberto Pereira Santiago, Benedito Galvão Benze and Fábio Viadanna Serrão

The purposes of this study were to compare lower-limb kinematics between genders, and determine the relationships among eccentric hip abductor and lateral rotator torques and lower-limb kinematics. The movements of the pelvis, femur, and knee were calculated for 16 women and 16 men during the single-leg squat. Eccentric hip abductor and lateral rotator torques were measured using an isokinetic dynamometer. The results showed that women had greater contralateral pelvic depression, femur adduction, and knee abduction than men. The eccentric hip abductor and lateral rotator torques were correlated with coronal plane femur and knee movements in the overall sample. When the genders were analyzed separately, it was observed that women with greater eccentric hip abductor torque exhibited less femur adduction and femur medial rotation, and greater knee adduction excursion. No significant relationship was observed between the isokinetic and kinematic variables in the male group. The differences between the genders help to explain the greater rate of knee disorders observed in women. Moreover, the eccentric hip abduction action seemed to be more important in women to control the lower-limb movements.

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Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, Joan M. Fair, William L. Haskell, Ann N. Varady, Carlos Iribarren, Mark A. Hlatky, Alan S. Go and Stephen P. Fortmann

Background:

This study examined the construct validity and reliability of the new 2-item Stanford Brief Activity Survey (SBAS).

Methods:

Secondary analysis was conducted using data collected from the healthy older controls (n = 1023) enrolled in the Atherosclerotic Disease Vascular Function and Genetic Epidemiology (ADVANCE) study. Construct validity was examined by regression analyses to evaluate significant trends (P ≤ .05) across the SBAS activity categories for the selected psychological health factors measured at baseline and year 2, adjusted for gender, ethnicity and education level. Test-retest reliability was performed using Spearman’s rank correlation.

Results:

At baseline, subjects were 66 ± 2.8 years old, 38% female, 77% married, 61% retired, 24% college graduate, and 68% Caucasian. At baseline, lower self-reported stress, anxiety, depression, and cynical distrust, and higher self-reported mental and physical well-being were significantly associated with higher levels of physical activity (p trend ≤ 0.01). These associations held at year 2. The test-retest reliability of the SBAS was statistically significant (rs= 0.62, P < .001).

Conclusion:

These results provide evidence of the construct validity and reliability of the SBAS in older adults. We also found a strong dose-response relationship between regular physical activity and psychological health in older adults, independent of gender, education level and ethnicity.

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Anamica Batra, Stefany Coxe, Timothy F. Page, Michael Melchior and Richard C. Palmer

Despite the well-known benefits of exercise, only 50% of U.S. women met recommended physical activity levels in 2014. To combat this issue, the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative of South Florida has been offering the EnhanceFitness (EF) program in community-based settings since 2008. In the current study, we examined the factors associated with the program completion among older women (≥ 60 years). During the first 4 years, 3,829 older women attended EF sessions. Of these, 924 (24.2%) attended the recommended 32 sessions within first 4 months. Results revealed that women who lived in Miami-Dade County, were ≥ 80 years, and did not report depression and/or risk factors for chronic conditions were more likely to complete EF. Black women were less likely to complete the program. Recognition of these factors might help identify at-risk individuals. More efforts are needed to improve completion rates. Theory-based interventions would allow comprehensive understanding of all factors and, therefore, should be explored in the future.

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Maria Francesca Piacentini and Romain Meeusen

Purpose:

This longitudinal case study evaluated the effectiveness of an online training-monitoring system to prevent nonfunctional overreaching (NFOR).

Methods:

A female master track and field athlete was followed by means of a daily online training diary (www.spartanova.com) and a weekly profile of mood state (POMS). The online diary consists of objective training data and subjective feelings reported on a 10-cm visual analog scale. Furthermore, parameters that quantify and summarize training and adaptation to training were calculated. The novelty consists in the inclusion of a specific measuring parameter tested to detect NFOR (OR score).

Results:

During track-season preparation, the athlete was facing some major personal changes, and extratraining stress factors increased. Despite the fact that training load (TL) did not increase, the or score showed a 222% and then a 997% increase compared with baseline. POMS showed a 167% increase in fatigue, a 38% decrease in vigor, a 32% increase in depression scores, and a total mood increase of 22%, with a 1-wk shift compared with the OR score. A 41% decrease in TL restored the OR score and POMS to baseline values within 10 d.

Conclusion:

The results demonstrate that immediate feedback obtained by “warning signals” to both athletes and coaches, based on individual baseline data, seems an optimal predictor of FOR/NFOR.

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Takaaki Mishima, Takashi Yamada, Makoto Sakamoto, Minako Sugiyama, Satoshi Matsunaga, Hirohiko Maemura, Muneshige Shimizu, Yoshihisa Takahata, Fumiki Morimatsu and Masanobu Wada

This study was conducted to determine whether dietary chicken-breast extract (CBEX), a rich source of histidine-containing dipeptides, could modify exerciseinduced changes in sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) function. After 5 weeks of dietary CBEX, SR Ca2+-handling ability was examined in the vastus lateralis muscles of rats subjected to high-intensity running for 2.5 min. Dietary CBEX caused an approximately 15% and 45% increase (p < .01) in muscle carnosine and anserine concentrations, respectively. In resting muscles, depressions in SR Ca2+–ATPase activity were evoked by dietary CBEX without concomitant changes in SR Ca2+ uptake and release rates. The data confirm that high-intensity exercise depresses SR Ca2+ handling. In spite of the same run time, SR Ca2+ handling was reduced to a lesser degree in muscles of CBEX-containing-chow-fed rats than in standard-chow-fed rats (p < .05). These results suggest that dietary CBEX might attenuate deteriorations in SR Ca2+-handling ability that occur with high-intensity exercise.

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Clemens von Schacky, Maximilian Kemper, Robert Haslbauer and Martin Halle

The Omega-3 Index is defined as erythrocyte eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and represents an individual’s status in these two marine omega-3 fatty acids. A target range of 8 to 11% has been suggested, because values below predispose to cardiovascular events, especially sudden cardiac death, as well as to suboptimal brain function, like prolonged reaction times or even depression. Compared with the general population, elite athletes have an increased incidence of sudden death. The Omega-3 Index has not yet been investigated in elite athletes. In an exploratory approach, we determined the Omega-3 Index in 106 consecutive German national elite winter endurance athletes presenting for preparticipation screening, using a well-established analytical procedure (HS-Omega-3 Index). Surprisingly, only one athlete had a value within the target range, but all others had values <8%. We conclude that we have identified a deficiency of EPA and DHA in these elite athletes. This deficiency presents a potential option for prevention of cardiovascular events such as sudden cardiac death, and improving aspects of brain function. It will be important to scrutinize our finding by more thorough epidemiologic studies and appropriate intervention trials.

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Vaithehy Shanmugam, Sophia Jowett and Caroline Meyer

In the current study, we had two aims. First, we investigated the associations between eating psychopathology, situational interpersonal difficulties, and dispositional interpersonal difficulties among athletes and nonathletes. Second, we examined the mediating role of self-critical perfectionism, self-esteem, and depression in these associations. A total of 152 athletes and 147 nonathletes completed self-report instruments pertaining to relationship quality with significant others, as well as social anxiety, loneliness, self-critical perfectionism, self-esteem, depression, and eating psychopathology. Social anxiety and loneliness were found to be the only significant independent predictors of eating psychopathology among both athletes and nonathletes. However, such associations were indirectly mediated through depression for athletes and through self-critical perfectionism, self-esteem, and depression for nonathletes. The findings of this study suggest that the psychosocial mechanisms involved in the eating psychopathology of athletes are relatively similar to that of nonathletes. Thus, it can be tentatively proposed that treatments and interventions that target reducing interpersonal conflicts currently available for the general population should also be offered to athletes.

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Andres E. Carrillo, René J. L. Murphy and Stephen S. Cheung

Purpose:

Prolonged physical exertion and environmental heat stress may elicit postexercise depression of immune cell function, increasing upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) susceptibility. We investigated the effects of acute and short-term vitamin C (VC) compared with placebo (PL) supplementation on URTI susceptibility, salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA), and cortisol responses in healthy individuals following prolonged exercise-heat stress.

Methods:

Twelve participants were randomized into the VC or PL group in a double-blind design. For 12 days, participants consumed 3 × 500 mg tablets of VC or PL per day, with testing completed at baseline, then following acute (1 d) and short-term (8 d) supplementation. Participants performed 120.1 ± 49.6 min of cycling at 54 ± 6% VO2max in a hot (34.8 ± 1.0°C and 13 ± 3% relative humidity) environment, with saliva samples collected at pre-, post-, and 72 h postexercise. Health logs specifying URTI symptoms were completed for 7 days postexercise.

Results:

A 2 × 3 × 3 mixed ANOVA with a post hoc Bonferroni correction factor revealed a significant linear trend in postexercise cortisol attenuation in the VC group, 21.7 ± 15.1 nmol/L (mean ± SD) at baseline, to 13.5 ± 10.0 at acute, to 7.6 ± 4.2 after short term (P = .032). No differences were detected in ratio of s-IgA to protein or URTI symptoms between groups.

Conclusions:

These data suggest that vitamin C supplementation can decrease postexercise cortisol in individuals performing exercise similar to that of a half-marathon or marathon in hot conditions. However, no changes in s-IgA and URTI were evident, possibly due to previous moderate training and reduced physical and psychological stress compared with athletes participating in ultramarathons.