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Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel

In this study, the authors examined female competitive figure skaters’ experiences of weight pressure in sport. Perceptions of the ideal skating body; sources of weight pressure; ways that body image, weight-management behaviors, and athletic performance have been affected; and recommendations for improving body image were explored. Aligning with a social constructivist view (Creswell, 2014), data were analyzed using an inductive thematic approach (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Skaters described the ideal skating body in an inflexible fashion with little room for deviation and acceptance of body diversity. Skaters cited their first weightpressure experience between 7 and 14 years of age, which most notably involved coaches, parents, skating partners, and other aspects of the skating culture. These experiences were characterized as promoting body-image concerns, unhealthy weight-management strategies, and interference with the psychological aspects of on-ice performance. Results from this study demonstrate the need to construct and maintain body-positive skating environments.

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Heather M. Hayes, Joey C. Eisenmann, Kate A. Heelen, Greg J. Welk and Jared M. Tucker

The purpose of this study was to determine the joint association of fatness and physical activity on resting blood pressure in children. Subjects included 157 children (age 5.5–9.5 years). Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA, min/day), body fatness, and resting blood pressure were measured. Four categories were created by cross tabulation of high/normal levels of fatness and high/low levels of MVPA. There were significant differences in systolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure across the fat/MVPA groups (p < .05). Regardless of participating in an acceptable level of MVPA, overfat children had higher resting systolic blood pressure than normal fat children. MVPA did not significantly attenuate blood pressure within a fat category.

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Stephen F. Burns, Hnin Hnin Oo and Anh Thanh Thuy Tran

The current study examined the effect of sprint interval exercise on postexercise oxygen consumption, respiratory-exchange ratio (RER), substrate oxidation, and blood pressure in adolescents. Participants were 10 normal-weight healthy youth (7 female), age 15–18 years. After overnight fasts, each participant undertook 2 trials in a random balanced order: (a) two 30-s bouts of sprint interval exercise on a cycle ergometer and (b) rested in the laboratory for an equivalent period. Timematched measurements of oxygen consumption, RER, and blood pressure were made 90 min into recovery, and substrate oxidation were calculated over the time period. Total postexercise oxygen uptake was significantly higher in the exercise than control trial over the 90 min (mean [SD]: control 20.0 [6.0] L, exercise 24.8 [9.8] L; p = .030). After exercise, RER was elevated above control but then fell rapidly and was lower than control 30–60 min postexercise, and fat oxidation was significantly higher in the exercise than control trial 45–60 min postexercise. However, total fat oxidation did not differ between trials (control 4.5 [2.5] g, exercise 5.4 [2.7] g; p = .247). Post hoc tests revealed that systolic blood pressure was significantly lower than in control at 90 min postexercise (control 104 [10] mm Hg, exercise 99 [10] mm Hg; p < .05). These data indicate that acute sprint interval exercise leads to short-term increases in oxygen uptake and reduced blood pressure in youth. The authors suggest that health outcomes in response to sprint interval training be examined in children.

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Mark A. Sarzynski, Joey C. Eisenmann, Gregory J. Welk, Jared Tucker, Kim Glenn, Max Rothschild and Kate Heelan

The present study examined the association between the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism, physical activity, and resting blood pressure (BP) in a sample of 132 children (48.4% female). Children attaining 60 min/day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) possessed lower % body fat (29% vs 24%, p < .05). Resting BP did not significantly differ between genotypes. Furthermore, partial correlations between MVPA and BP were low and did not vary by ACE genotype. Thus, the ACE I/D genotype is not associated with BP and does not modify the relationship between physical activity and BP in this sample of children.

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Zachary S. Zeigler, Pamela D. Swan, Dharini M. Bhammar and Glenn A. Gaesser


The acute effect of low-intensity walking on blood pressure (BP) is unclear.


To determine if the acute use of a walking workstation reduces ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) in prehypertensive men and women.


Ten prehypertensive adults participated in a randomized, cross-over study that included a control workday and a walking workstation workday. ABP was measured for 7 hour during the workday and for 6 hour after work.


Both systolic BP (SBP) (134 ± 14 vs. 137 ± 16 mmHg; P = .027) and diastolic BP (DBP) (79 ± 10 vs. 82 ± 12 mmHg; P = .001) were lower on the walking workstation day. Postwork hours (4:00 PM–10:00 PM), SBP (129 ± 13 vs. 133 ± 14 mmHg; P = .008), and DBP (74 ± 11 vs. 78 ± 13 mmHg; P = .001) were also lower on the walking workstation day. DBP load was significantly lower during the walking workstation day, with only 14% of the readings above 90 mmHg compared with 22% of the control day readings (P = .037).


Accumulation of very-light-intensity physical activity (~2 METs) over the course of a single work day using a walking workstation may reduce BP burden in prehypertensive individuals.

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Bradley Fawver, Garrett F. Beatty, Kelly M. Naugle, Chris J. Hass and Christopher M. Janelle

Emotional states influence whole-body movements during quiet standing, gait initiation, and steady state gait. A notable gap exists, however, in understanding how emotions affect postural changes during the period preceding the execution of planned whole-body movements. The impact of emotion-induced postural reactions on forthcoming posturomotor movements remains unknown. We sought to determine the influence of emotional reactions on center of pressure (COP) displacement before the initiation of forward gait. Participants (N = 23, 14 females) stood on a force plate and initiated forward gait at the offset of an emotional image (representing five discrete categories: attack, sad faces, erotica, happy faces, and neutral objects). COP displacement in the anteroposterior direction was quantified for a 2 second period during image presentation. Following picture onset, participants produced a posterior postural response to all image types. The greatest posterior displacement was occasioned in response to attack or threat stimuli compared with happy faces and erotica images. Results suggest the impact of emotional states on gait behavior begins during the motor planning period before the preparatory phase of gait initiation, and manifests in center of pressure displacement alterations.

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Max J. Kurz, Joan E. Deffeyes, David J. Arpin, Gregory M. Karst and Wayne A. Stuberg

The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of a lower body positive pressure support system on the joint kinematics and activity of the lower extremity antigravity musculature of adults and children during walking. Adults (age = 25 ± 4 years) and children (age = 13 ± 2 years) walked at a preferred speed and a speed that was based on the Froude number, while 0–80% of their body weight was supported. Electrogoniometers were used to monitor knee and ankle joint kinematics. Surface electromyography was used to quantify the magnitude of the vastus lateralis and gastrocnemius muscle activity. There were three key findings: (1) The lower extremity joint angles and activity of the lower extremity antigravity muscles of children did not differ from those of adults. (2) The magnitude of the changes in the lower extremity joint motion and antigravity muscle activity was dependent upon an interaction between body weight support and walking speed. (3) Lower body positive pressure support resulted in reduced activation of the antigravity musculature, and reduced range of motion of the knee and ankle joints.

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Joey C. Eisenman, Mark A. Sarzynski, Jerod Tucker and Kate A. Heelan

The purpose of this study was to examine if offspring physical activity may affect the relationship between maternal overweight and offspring fatness and blood pressure (BP). Subjects included 144 maternal-child pairs (n = 74 boys and 70 girls, mean age = 7.3 yrs). Maternal prepregnancy BMI was determined by self-report. Offspring characteristics included resting systolic and diastolic BP, body fatness by dual energy x-ray absorbtiometry, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) using the Actigraph accelerometer. Children whose mothers were overweight or obese prepregnancy (Prepreg OW) were significantly larger and fatter than children from mothers with a normal prepregnancy BMI (Prepreg NORM). Prepreg OW children also had higher mean arterial pressure than Prepreg NORM children. BP values were not different across maternal Prepreg BMI/MVPA groups. Percent fat was significantly different across Prepreg BMI/MVPA groups. Prepreg OW children that did not meet the daily recommended value of MVPA were the fattest. Prepreg OW children that attained 360 min of MVPA/day had a mean percent body fat that was similar to Prepreg NORM children of either MVPA group.

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Daniel A. Jacobs and Daniel P. Ferris

Instrumented insoles could benefit locomotion research on healthy and clinical populations by providing data in natural settings outside of the laboratory. We designed a low-cost, instrumented insole with 8 pneumatic bladders to measure localized plantar pressure information. We collected gait data during treadmill walking at 1.0 m/s and 1.5 m/s and for sit-to-stand and stand-tosit tasks for 10 subjects. We estimated a common representation of ground kinetics (3-component force vector, 2-component center of pressure position vector, and a single-component torque vector) from the insole data. We trained an intertask neural network for each component of the kinetic data. For the walking tasks at 1.0 m/s and 1.5 m/s, the normalized root mean square error was between 3.1% and 12.9% and for the sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit tasks, the normalized root mean square error was between 3.3% and 21.3% Our findings suggest that the proposed low-cost, instrumented insoles could provide useful data about movement kinetics during real-world activities.

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David R. Dolbow, Richard S. Farley, Jwa K. Kim and Jennifer L. Caputo

The purpose of this study was to examine the cardiovascular responses to water treadmill walking at 2.0 mph (3.2 km/hr), 2.5 mph (4.0 km/hr), and 3.0 mph (4.8 km/hr) in older adults. Responses to water treadmill walking in 92 °F (33 °C) water were compared with responses to land treadmill walking at 70 °F (21 °C) ambient temperature. After an accommodation period, participants performed 5-min bouts of walking at each speed on 2 occasions. Oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were significantly higher during therapeutic water treadmill walking than during land treadmill walking. Furthermore, VO2, HR, and RPE measures significantly increased with each speed increase during both land and water treadmill walking. SBP significantly increased with each speed during water treadmill walking but not land treadmill walking. Thus, it is imperative to monitor HR and blood pressure for safety during this mode of activity for older adults.