The ability to perform aerobic or anaerobic exercise varies widely among individuals, partially depending on their muscle-fiber composition. Variability in the proportion of skeletal-muscle fiber types may also explain marked differences in aspects of certain chronic disease states including obesity, insulin resistance, and hypertension. In untrained individuals, the proportion of slow-twitch (Type I) fibers in the vastus lateralis muscle is typically around 50% (range 5–90%), and it is unusual for them to undergo conversion to fast-twitch fibers. It has been suggested that the genetic component for the observed variability in the proportion of Type I fibers in human muscles is on the order of 40–50%, indicating that muscle fiber-type composition is determined by both genotype and environment. This article briefly reviews current progress in the understanding of genetic determinism of fiber-type proportion in human skeletal muscle. Several polymorphisms of genes involved in the calcineurin–NFAT pathway, mitochondrial biogenesis, glucose and lipid metabolism, cytoskeletal function, hypoxia and angiogenesis, and circulatory homeostasis have been associated with fiber-type composition. As muscle is a major contributor to metabolism and physical strength and can readily adapt, it is not surprising that many of these gene variants have been associated with physical performance and athlete status, as well as metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Genetic variants associated with fiber-type proportions have important implications for our understanding of muscle function in both health and disease.
Ildus I. Ahmetov, Olga L. Vinogradova and Alun G. Williams
Taru Manyanga, Joel D. Barnes, Chalchisa Abdeta, Ade F. Adeniyi, Jasmin Bhawra, Catherine E. Draper, Tarun R. Katapally, Asaduzzaman Khan, Estelle Lambert, Daga Makaza, Vida K. Nyawornota, Reginald Ocansey, Narayan Subedi, Riaz Uddin, Dawn Tladi and Mark S. Tremblay
Evidence from studies conducted mainly in countries with high or very high human development indices (HDIs) show that regular physical activity among children and youth is associated with physical, psychosocial, and cognitive well-being, 1 decreased adiposity, 2 , 3 improved academic achievement
Silvia A. González, Joel D. Barnes, Patrick Abi Nader, Dolores Susana Andrade Tenesaca, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Karla I. Galaviz, Marianella Herrera-Cuenca, Piyawat Katewongsa, Juan López-Taylor, Yang Liu, Bilyana Mileva, Angélica María Ochoa Avilés, Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Pairoj Saonuam and Mark S. Tremblay
with similar levels of development in various regions of the world. For this purpose, the 49 countries involved in the Global Matrix 3.0 were classified into 3 categories based on their Human Development Index (HDI): low and medium, high, and very high HDI, following the cutoff points defined by the
Marjan A. Admiraal, Martijn J.M.A.M. Kusters and Stan C.A.M. Gielen
A central problem in motor control relates to the coordination of the arm's many degrees of freedom. This problem concerns the many arm postures (kinematics) that correspond to the same hand position in space and the movement trajectories between begin and end position (dynamics) that result in the same arm postures. The aim of this study was to compare the predictions for arm kinematics by various models on human motor control with experimental data and to study the relation between kinematics and dynamics. Goal-directed arm movements were measured in 3-D space toward far and near targets. The results demonstrate that arm postures for a particular target depend on previous arm postures, contradicting Donders's law. The minimum-work and minimum-torque-change models, on the other hand, predict a much larger effect of initial posture than observed. These data suggest that both kinematics and dynamics affect postures and that their relative contribution might depend on instruction and task complexity.
Taija Finni and Paavo V. Komi
During dynamic activities it is difficult to assess in vivo length changes in human tendon and aponeurosis. The present study compared the outcome of two methods during unilateral squat jump and drop jump performances of four volunteers. Tendinous tissue elongation of vastus lateralis muscle was estimated using either (a) direct measurement of in vivo fascicle length change and muscletendon length estimation (kinematic method), or (b) prediction using a quadratic force function in combination with direct tendon force measurement (force method). In the kinematic method the most critical measures contributing to the 10% uncertainty were the fascicle angle and fraction of the estimated fascicle length. The force method was most sensitive to resting length, with 1% error margin. Both methods predicted the same pattern of tendinous elongation because of the monotonic force/length relationship. The magnitude of length change, however, differed considerably between both methods. Based on the force method, the changes were only 20% (absolute values) or 30% (strain values) of those obtained with the kinematic method. On average, the maximum strains were 5% with the force method and 15% with the kinematic method. This difference can be explained by the fact that the kinematic method characterizes not only the changes in tendon length but also includes aponeurosis strain along the muscle belly. In addition, the kinematic method may be affected by non-uniform distribution of fascicle length change along the length of the muscle. When applying either method for estimating the patterns of tendon and tendinous tissue length changes during human locomotion, the given methodological considerations should be acknowledged.
James G. Hay
There have been few attempts to synthesize the knowledge gleaned from the study of cyclic human locomotion and, specifically, to determine whether there are general laws that describe or govern all such forms of locomotion. The purpose of this paper was to test the hypothesis that, when a human participant performs multiple trials of a given form of cyclic locomotion at a wide range of speeds (S) and without constraint on cycle rate (CR) or cycle length (CL), the relationships of CR vs. S and CL vs. S have the same basic characteristics as do those for any other form of cyclic locomotion. Data were gathered from published and unpublished sources. For each participant and form of locomotion, CR-vs.-S and CL-vs.-S relationships were plotted on a common scattergram with S on the abscissa and both CR and CL on the ordinate. Analysis of data collected on 49 participants and 12 forms of locomotion showed that, for every combination of participant and form of locomotion considered (excluding combinations involving simulated locomotion), the relationships of CR vs. S and CL vs. S had the same basic characteristics. These relationships were quadratic in form with CR-vs.-S concave upward and CL-vs.-S concave downward. The factor that made the greater contribution to increases in S was a function of S, with CL the primary factor at low S and CR the primary factor at high S. In short, the results obtained provided unequivocal support for the hypothesis of the study. The basic CR-vs.-S and CL-vs.-S relationships observed for forms of actual locomotion were also observed for some, but not all, of the forms of simulated locomotion examined.
Joel A. Vilensky and Sid Gilman
From the late 1800s until approximately the middle of the 20th century, neurosurgeons made discrete motor cortex lesions in humans in attempts to reduce or eliminate a variety of involuntary movements, resulting mainly from epilepsy. In some cases, the neurosurgeons tested and recorded their patients' ability to perform various movements and to perceive various types of sensory stimuli after the operation. Although these studies have been largely forgotten, they have an immense advantage over primate lesion studies for understanding the function of the motor cortex because the patients were able to attempt to perform complex movements upon request, and to describe their perceptions of cutaneous stimuli, including integrated sensations (e.g., recognition of objects by palpation alone). We provide here a table containing the results of these studies pertaining to sensory deficits. The most consistent and persistent sensory deficits reported relate to object recognition and position sense. This finding is in keeping with recent electrophysiological studies in primates. Our analysis suggests that the “motor” cortex serves important sensory functions; hence, the term sensorimotor cortex, remains appropriate for the primate precentral (and postcentral) cortex.
Chip Wade and Mark S. Redfern
Locomotion over ballast surfaces provides a unique situation for investigating the biomechanics of gait. Although much research has focused on level and sloped walking on a smooth, firm surface in order to understand the common kinematic and kinetic variables associated with human locomotion, the literature currently provides few if any discussions regarding the dynamics of locomotion on surfaces that are either rocky or uneven. The purpose of this study was to investigate a method for using force plates to measure the ground reaction forces (GRFs) during gait on ballast. Ballast is a construction aggregate of unsymmetrical rock used in industry for the purpose of forming track bed on which railway ties are laid or in yards where railroad cars are stored. It is used to facilitate the drainage of water and to create even running surfaces. To construct the experimental ballast surfaces, 31.75-mm (1¼-in.) marble ballast at depths of approximately 63.5 mm (2.5 in.) or 101.6 mm (4 in.) were spread over a carpeted vinyl tile walkway specially designed for gait studies. GRF magnitudes and time histories from a force plate were collected under normal smooth surface and under both ballast surface conditions for five subjects. GRF magnitudes and time histories during smooth surface walking were similar to GRF magnitudes and time histories from the two ballast surface conditions. The data presented here demonstrate the feasibility of using a force plate system to expand the scope of biomechanical analyses of locomotion on ballast surfaces.
Lawrence E. Armstrong, Amy C. Pumerantz, Kelly A. Fiala, Melissa W. Roti, Stavros A. Kavouras, Douglas J. Casa and Carl M. Maresh
It is difficult to describe hydration status and hydration extremes because fluid intakes and excretion patterns of free-living individuals are poorly documented and regulation of human water balance is complex and dynamic. This investigation provided reference values for euhydration (i.e., body mass, daily fluid intake, serum osmolality; M ± SD); it also compared urinary indices in initial morning samples and 24-hr collections. Five observations of 59 healthy, active men (age 22 ± 3 yr, body mass 75.1 ± 7.9 kg) occurred during a 12-d period. Participants maintained detailed records of daily food and fluid intake and exercise. Results indicated that the mean total fluid intake in beverages, pure water, and solid foods was >2.1 L/24 hr (range 1.382–3.261, 95% confidence interval 0.970–3.778 L/24 hr); mean urine volume was >1.3 L/24 hr (0.875–2.250 and 0.675–3.000 L/24 hr); mean urine specific gravity was >1.018 (1.011–1.027 and 1.009–1.030); and mean urine color was ≥4 (4–6 and 2–7). However, these men rarely (0–2% of measurements) achieved a urine specific gravity below 1.010 or color of 1. The first morning urine sample was more concentrated than the 24-h urine collection, likely because fluids were not consumed overnight. Furthermore, urine specific gravity and osmolality were strongly correlated (r2 = .81–.91, p < .001) in both morning and 24-hr collections. These findings provide euhydration reference values and hydration extremes for 7 commonly used indices in free-living, healthy, active men who were not exercising in a hot environment or training strenuously.
Bruno G.G. da Costa, Kelly S. da Silva, Rafael M. da Costa, Edio L. Petroski, Isabela C. Back, Paulo H.A. Guerra and Luiz R.A. de Lima
, owing to chronic diseases, vulnerable children and adolescents are at risk of high SB and cardiometabolic abnormalities ( 16 , 31 ). Children and adolescents living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may experience impairments as a result of the HIV infection and the adverse effects of drugs like