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Gail Frost, Oded Bar-Or, James Dowling and Catherine White

This study examined habituation to treadmill walking or running in children. Twenty-four boys and girls, ages 7–11, completed six 6-min trials of treadmill exercise at one of these speeds: (a) comfortable walking pace (CWP), (b) CWP + 15%, (c) running at CWP + 3 km·hr−1, or (d) running as above + 15%. The six trials were repeated in a second visit. The a priori criterion for habituation was a decrease in steady state values of oxygen uptake (V̇O2), heart rate (HR), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and stride rate (SR) or an increase in stride length (SL) and hip joint vertical amplitude (HA) from one trial to the next. There was no consistent pattern indicating habituation for the group. Many trials and more than one day of testing do not appear to improve the stability of the metabolic or kinematic variables. The lack of consistency in individual responses suggests that monitoring subjects’ habituation individually is important.

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Mack D. Rubley, William R. Holcomb and Mark A. Guadagnoli

Context:

Cryotherapy is initially uncomfortable, but habituation is thought to occur during treatment.

Objective:

To examine pain habituation to ice-bath immersion over 5 consecutive days.

Design:

Mean Borg ratings were analyzed by ANOVA.

Setting:

Athletic training laboratory.

Intervention:

Ankle immersion in a 1 °C ice bath for 20 min.

Participants:

28 healthy individuals.

Main Outcome Measure:

Level of discomfort was rated at immersion; during treatment at 1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 20 min; and 1 min posttreatment.

Results:

Analysis revealed significant main effects for day and time and a Day × Time interaction. Day 1 had higher pain ratings than days 4 and 5. From min 1 to 11 there was a progressive decline in pain rating; after that there was no significant decline.

Conclusions:

Discomfort was greatest during the first 5 min, and perception of discomfort at initial immersion was consistent across 5 days. In addition, after 3 days of treatments habituation occurred. Taken together, this suggests that treatment habituation is not the result of change in receptor sensitivity.

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Hairul A. Hashim, Golok Freddy and Ali Rosmatunisah

Background:

The current study was undertaken to examine the associations between self-determination, exercise habit, anxiety, depression, stress, and academic achievement among adolescents aged 13 and 14 years in eastern Malaysia.

Methods:

The sample consisted of 750 secondary school students (mean age = 13.4 years, SD = 0.49). Participants completed self-report measures of exercise behavioral regulation, negative affect, and exercise habit strength. Midyear exam results were used as an indicator of academic performance. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data.

Results:

The results of structural equation modeling revealed a close model fit for the hypothesized model, which indicates that higher levels of self-determination were positively associated with habituated exercise behavior. In turn, exercise habit strength fostered academic achievement and buffered the debilitative effect of stress, depression, and anxiety on student academic performance. The analysis of model invariance revealed a nonsignificant difference between male and female subjects.

Conclusion:

The findings support the notion that habituated exercise fosters academic performance. In addition, we found that habituated exercise buffers the combined effects of stress, anxiety and depression on academic performance. The finding also supports the roles of self-determination in promoting exercise habituation.

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Mark Evans, Peter Tierney, Nicola Gray, Greg Hawe, Maria Macken and Brendan Egan

to the physiological effects of caffeine ( Fredholm, 1982 ; Fredholm et al., 1999 ), suggesting that habitual consumers of caffeine may not benefit from the ergogenic potential of acute ingestion. However, the habituation effect and/or restoration of sensitivity upon withdrawal is not always

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Scott C. White, Louise A. Gilchrist and Kathryn A. Christina

Prescribing an appropriate adaptation period is an important consideration when using treadmills for locomotion studies. The present study investigated within-trial accommodation to running on a force measuring treadmill. Force measures were derived from vertical reaction force records of 16 runners; 8 were experienced in running on a treadmill. Three dependent measures, the peak impact force (F1), the loading rate of the impact force (LR), and the peak active force (F2) were tested for significant differences (p < 0.05) every 2 minutes of a continuous 20-min run using a two-factor ANOVA (group × time) with one repeated measure (time). Coefficients of variation (CV) for each dependent measure were tested for statistical significance in the same way. There were no significant differences in F1, LR, or F2 over any samples for the 20-min running trials. There were no significant changes in CV values for the duration of the run. The results from the present study suggest that after 30 seconds of treadmill running, there were no significant within-day accommodation effects on vertical force measures over a 20-min treadmill run. Variability between individuals in the consistency of force measures, however, could be a confounding factor. This lack of consistent response for individuals should be considered when exposing participants to experimental designs involving treadmill locomotion.

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Caroline Divert, Heiner Baur, Guillaume Mornieux, Frank Mayer and Alain Belli

When mechanical parameters of running are measured, runners have to be accustomed to testing conditions. Nevertheless, habituated runners could still show slight evolutions of their patterns at the beginning of each new running bout. This study investigated runners' stiffness adjustments during shoe and barefoot running and stiffness evolutions of shoes. Twenty-two runners performed two 4-minute bouts at 3.61 m·s–1 shod and barefoot after a 4-min warm-up period. Vertical and leg stiffness decreased during the shoe condition but remained stable in the barefoot condition, p < 0.001. Moreover, an impactor test showed that shoe stiffness increased significantly during the first 4 minutes, p < 0.001. Beyond the 4th minute, shoe properties remained stable. Even if runners were accustomed to the testing condition, as running pattern remained stable during barefoot running, they adjusted their leg and vertical stiffness during shoe running. Moreover, as measurements were taken after a 4-min warm-up period, it could be assumed that shoe properties were stable. Then the stiffness adjustment observed during shoe running might be due to further habituations of the runners to the shod condition. To conclude, it makes sense to run at least 4 minutes before taking measurements in order to avoid runners' stiffness alteration due to shoe property modifications. However, runners could still adapt to the shoe.

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Ann-Charlotte Grahn Kronhed, Claes Möller, Boel Olsson and Margareta Möller

This study evaluated a balance-training program’s influence in healthy older adults. Fifteen community-dwelling participants aged 70–75 years were randomized to an exercise group, and 15 gender- and age-matched participants, to a control group. The 9-week training program comprised ordinary-life balance, vestibular-habituation, and ball exercises and station training. Clinical balance tests were conducted before and after training. Tests that showed significant improvement in the exercise group after the intervention included standing on the right leg with eyes closed, standing on the right leg and the left leg while turning the head and walking 30 m. Significant between-group differences were found at posttest. A significant decrease was seen in the control group in the walking-forward test, and this change was significantly different between groups. The study indicates that balance performance in healthy older adults might be improved by balance training including exercises that stimulate multiple sensory systems and their central integration.

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Jana Hagen, Carl Foster, Jose Rodríguez-Marroyo, Jos J. de Koning, Richard P. Mikat, Charles R. Hendrix and John P. Porcari

Music is widely used as an ergogenic aid in sport, but there is little evidence of its effectiveness during closedloop athletic events. In order to determine the effectiveness of music as an ergogenic aid, well-trained and task-habituated cyclists performed 10-km cycle time trials either while listening to self-selected motivational music or with auditory input blocked. There were no statistically significant differences in performance time or physiological or psychological markers related to music (time-trial duration 17.75 ± 2.10 vs 17.81 ± 2.06 min, mean power output 222 ± 66 vs 220 ± 65 W, peak heart rate 184 ± 9 vs 183 ± 8 beats/min, peak blood lactate 12.1 ± 2.6 vs 11.9 ± 2.1 mmol/L, and final rating of perceived exertion 8.4 ± 1.5 vs 8.5 ± 1.6). It is concluded that during exercise at competitive intensity, there is no meaningful effect of music on either performance or physiology.

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Simon P. Roberts, Keith A. Stokes, Lee Weston and Grant Trewartha

Purpose:

This study presents an exercise protocol utilizing movement patterns specific to rugby union forward and assesses the reproducibility of scores from this test.

Methods:

After habituation, eight participants (mean ± SD: age = 21 ± 3 y, height = 180 ± 4 cm, body mass = 83.9 ± 3.9 kg) performed the Bath University Rugby Shuttle Test (BURST) on two occasions, 1 wk apart. The protocol comprised 16 × 315-s cycles (4 × 21-min blocks) of 20-m shuttles of walking and cruising with 10-m jogs, with simulated scrummaging, rucking, or mauling exercises and standing rests. In the last minute of every 315-s cycle, a timed Performance Test was carried out, involving carrying a tackle bag and an agility sprint with a ball, followed by a 25-s recovery and a 15-m sprint.

Results:

Participants traveled 7078 m, spending 79.8 and 20.2% of time in low- and high-intensity activity, respectively. The coefficients of variation (CV) between trials 1 and 2 for mean time on the Performance Test (17.78 ± 0.71 vs 17.58 ± 0.79 s) and 15-m sprint (2.69 ± 0.15 vs 2.69 ± 0.15 s) were 1.3 and 0.9%, respectively. There was a CV of 2.2% between trials 1 and 2 for mean heart rate (160 ± 5 vs 158 ± 5 beats⋅min−1) and 14.4% for blood lactate (4.41 ± 1.22 vs 4.68 ± 1.68 mmol⋅L−1).

Conclusion:

Results suggest that measures of rugby union-specifc high-intensity exercise performed during the BURST were reproducible over two trials in habituated participants.

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Jennifer N. Ahrens, Lisa K. Lloyd, Sylvia H. Crixell and John L. Walker

People of all ages and fitness levels participate regularly in aerobic-dance bench stepping (ADBS) to increase fitness and control body weight. Any reasonable method for enhancing the experience or effectiveness of ADBS would be beneficial. This study examined the acute effects of a single dose of caffeine on physiological responses during ADBS in women. When compared with a placebo, neither a 3- nor a 6-mg/kg dose of caffeine altered physiological responses or rating of perceived exertion (RPE) in 20 women (age 19–28 y) of average fitness level, not habituated to caffeine, while they performed an ADBS routine. Since neither dose of caffeine had any effect on VO2, Vco2, minute ventilation, respiratory-exchange ratio, rate of energy expenditure, heart rate, or RPE during ADBS exercise, it would not be prudent for a group exercise leader to recommend caffeine to increase energy cost or decrease perception of effort in an ADBS session. Furthermore, caffeine ingestion should not interfere with monitoring intensity using heart rate or RPE during ADBS.