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Denys Batista Campos, Isabella Christina Ferreira, Matheus Almeida Souza, Macquiden Amorim Jr, Leonardo Intelangelo, Gabriela Silveira-Nunes, and Alexandre Carvalho Barbosa

Objective: To examine the selective influences of distinct acceleration profiles on the neuromuscular efficiency, force, and power during concentric and eccentric phases of isoinertial squatting exercise. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory of the university. Participants: A total of 38 active adults were divided according to their acceleration profiles: higher (n = 17; >2.5 m/s2) and lower acceleration group (n = 21; <2.5 m/s2). Intervention: All subjects performed squats until failure attached to an isoinertial conic pulley device monitored by surface electromyography of rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, and semitendinosus. Main Outcome Measures: An incremental optical encoder was used to assess maximal and mean power and force during concentric and eccentric phases. The neuromuscular efficiency was calculated using the mean force and the electromyographic linear envelope. Results: Between-group differences were observed for the maximal and mean force (P range = .001–.005), power (P = .001), and neuromuscular efficiency (P range = .001–.03) with higher significant values for the higher acceleration group in both concentric and eccentric phases. Conclusion: Distinct acceleration profiles affect the neuromuscular efficiency, force, and power during concentric and eccentric phases of isoinertial squatting exercise. To ensure immediate higher levels of power and force output without depriving the neuromuscular system, acceleration profiles higher than 2.5 m/s2 are preferable. The acceleration profiles could be an alternative to evolve the isoinertial exercise.

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Arthur Alves Dos Santos, James Sorce, Alexandra Schonning, and Grant Bevill

This study evaluated the performance of 6 commercially available hard hat designs—differentiated by shell design, number of suspension points, and suspension tightening system—in regard to their ability to attenuate accelerations during vertical impacts to the head. Tests were conducted with impactor materials of steel, wood, and lead shot (resembling commonly seen materials in a construction site), weighing 1.8 and 3.6 kg and dropped from 1.83 m onto a Hybrid III head/neck assembly. All hard hats appreciably reduced head acceleration to the unprotected condition. However, neither the addition of extra suspension points nor variations in suspension tightening mechanism appreciably influenced performance. Therefore, these results indicate that additional features available in current hard hat designs do not improve protective capacity as related to head acceleration metrics.

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ZáNean McClain, Jill Pawlowski, and Daniel W. Tindall

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Ling Zhang, Shao-bai Wang, Shuai Fan, Jiling Ye, and Bin Cai

Context: Performance in strength and assessment of patellar tracking is important for patients with arthrofibrosis after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Objective: The study was to examine the difference of patellofemoral kinematics between the affected and the contralateral limb and to evaluate the relationship between knee extensor strength and patellofemoral kinematics in patients with arthrofibrosis after ACL reconstruction. Design: Cohort study (diagnosis); level of evidence, 3. Setting: Laboratory. Patients: A prospective cohort of 20 patients with arthrofibrosis after ACL reconstruction was recruited. Interventions: A total of 20 patients who underwent arthroscopic reconstruction of the double-bundle ACL with a hamstring tendon autograft received standardized patellofemoral kinematics testing and knee extensor strength testing within 6 months after primary ACL reconstruction. Computed tomography and dual fluoroscopic imaging were used to evaluate in vivo patellofemoral kinematics of affected and contralateral knees during a lunge task. Knee extensor mechanism strength was measured using a handheld dynamometer. Main Outcome Measures: A limb symmetry index of knee strength and patellar mobility was calculated and satisfactory performance defined as ≥90%. Results: There was a statistically significant decrease in the range of patellar inferior shift (P = .020; d = 0.81), flexion (P = .026; d = 0.95), lateral tilt (P = .001; d = 1.04), and lateral rotation (P < .001; d = 0.89) in the affected knee compared with the contralateral knee from 15° to 75° of knee flexion. There was a strong positive linear correlation between knee extensor strength and patellar inferior shift (r = .747; P = .008). A knee extensor strength limb symmetry index <90% was 89% sensitive and 9% specific for limited patellar inferior shift. Conclusions: Patients with arthrofibrosis after ACL reconstruction presented decreased patellar mobility in the arthrofibrotic knee compared with the contralateral knee. The strong correlation between knee extensor strength and patellar inferior shift of the arthrofibrotic knee demonstrates the importance of knee extensor strength in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with knee arthrofibrosis. The knee extensor mechanism strength has high sensitivity but low specificity in identifying a decrease in patellar inferior shift in patients with arthrofibrosis after ACL reconstruction.

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Katie L. Kowalski, Ali Boolani, and Anita D. Christie

Compromised attentional resources during perceived fatigue has been suggested to alter motor control. The authors determined if measures of postural control and gait are predicted by state and trait physical and mental fatigue and energy, and how these relationships are modified by sex, sleep quality, and physical activity. Young adults (n = 119) completed the Modified Clinical Test of Sensory Integration, overground walking, and questionnaires to quantify fatigue and energy, sleep quality, and physical activity. Regression models indicated that trait fatigue, trait energy, and sleep quality were predictors of postural control (p ≤ .02, R 2 ≥ .04). State fatigue, state energy, and sex were predictors of gait (p ≤ .05, R 2 ≥ .03). While the variance explained was low (3–13%), the results demonstrate perceptions of fatigue and energy may influence posture and gait.

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Jessica Murphy, Karen A. Patte, Philip Sullivan, and Scott T. Leatherdale

The mental health benefits of physical activity may relate more to the context of the behavior, rather than the behavior of being active itself. The association between varsity sport (VS) participation, depression, and anxiety symptoms was explored using data from 70,449 high school students from the Cannabis use, Obesity, Mental health, Physical activity, Alcohol use, Smoking, and Sedentary behavior study. The model adjusted for potential covariates; interactions by sex and participation in outside of school sport (OSS) were explored. Overall, 70% and 24% of respondents met or exceeded cutoff values for depression and anxiety, respectively. Students participating in VS had lower symptoms of anxiety and depression compared with nonparticipants. Results were consistent regardless of OSS participation; associations were strongest among students who participated in both VS and OSS and males. Participation in VS may prove beneficial for the prevention and/or management of depression or anxiety symptoms, particularly among males. An additive beneficial effect of OSS on depression and anxiety scores may exist.

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Thiago R.T. Santos, Sergio T. Fonseca, Vanessa L. Araújo, Sangjun Lee, Fabricio Saucedo, Stephen Allen, Christopher Siviy, Thales R. Souza, Conor Walsh, and Kenneth G. Holt

The addition of a load during walking requires changes in the movement pattern. The investigation of the dynamic joint stiffness behavior may help to understand the lower limb joints’ contribution to these changes. This study aimed to investigate the dynamic stiffness of lower limb joints in response to the increased load carried while walking. Thirteen participants walked in two conditions: unloaded (an empty backpack) and loaded (the same backpack plus added mass corresponding to 30% of body mass). Dynamic stiffness was calculated as the linear slope of the regression line on the moment–angle curve during the power absorption phases of the ankle, knee, and hip in the sagittal plane. The results showed that ankle (P = .002) and knee (P < .001) increased their dynamic stiffness during loaded walking compared with unloaded, but no difference was observed at the hip (P = .332). The dynamic stiffness changes were different among joints (P < .001): ankle and knee changes were not different (P < .992), but they had a greater change than hip (P < .001). The nonuniform increases in lower limb joint dynamic stiffness suggest that the ankle and knee are critical joints to deal with the extra loading.

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Lazar Tomic, Danica Janicijevic, Aleksandar Nedeljkovic, Bojan Leontijevic, and Amador García-Ramos

Reliability and sensitivity of reaction time (RT) during quasi-realistic soccer situations was explored in 10 professional soccer players (skilled; age = 20.9 ± 3.6 years) and 10 males without soccer experience (nonskilled; age = 23.4 ± 0.5 years). The participants were instructed to react as fast as possible to a stimulus presented via the video-based method while standing on force platforms. RT was computed as the difference between the instant when the rate of force development of any leg reaches 5% of its maximal value and the instant of stimulus presentation. The results revealed acceptable to high reliability of RT (intraclass correlation coefficient median = .90; coefficient of variation ≤ 5.83%), and shorter RT for skilled compared with nonskilled participants in three out of eight comparisons (effect size range = 1.00–1.41). The video-based methods can be confidently used to assess the RT in soccer players.