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Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2080-2234
First Published
06 Apr 2009
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 7 (2015): Issue 1 (January 2015)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2080-2234
First Published
06 Apr 2009
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English

Search

25 Articles
Open Access

The resting salivary antimicrobial proteins and cortisol concentration in wrestlers during 12-week training

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of 12-week training on saliva immunoendocrine response in collegiate male and female wrestlers.

Material and methods: the control group was composed of men and women of the same age, not engaged in any sports activity except for physical education classes at the university. The examined athletes participated in a 12-week training program, which consisted of two sub-phases (preparatory period and competitive period). Saliva samples were collected at three time points: at the beginning (the first point), after six weeks of the preparatory period (the second point, which was the start of the competitive period) and after six weeks of the competitive period (the third point). Immunoglobulin A and cortisol concentration, and α-amylase activity were measured in saliva by respective ELISA kits. Immunoglobulin A was expressed as relative to total protein concentration (sIgA/total protein).

Results: at the third time point, the sIgA/total protein ratio was significantly lower in female compared to male athletes. α-Amylase activity was lower in all examined athletes at all three time points compared to respective control groups.

Conclusions: hormonal and mucosal antimicrobial system response can provide helpful information of body adaptive processes to physical strain as well as indicators of magnitude of training-induced stress.

Keywords

  • Wrestlers
  • Training
  • Saliva
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • α-amylase
  • Cortisol
Open Access

The changes in running economy during puberty in overweight and normal weight boys

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: running economy (RE) is important indicator of endurance performance. During puberty dynamic changes in body composition and function are observed, as such RE is also expected to change. The aim of the study was to compare the running economy (RE) in overweight and normoweight boys during a running exercise performed with constant velocity, and the assessment of changes in RE during puberty.

Material and methods: the RE of the subjects was evaluated twice: at the age of 11–12 and two years later. 18 overweight and 17 normal weight boys performed a graded test and a week later a submaximal run on a mechanical treadmill. During the exercise, physiological variables (oxygen uptake, heart rate, pulmonary ventilation, tidal volume and breathing frequency) were measured.

Results: the intensity of work in both tests (%VO2max, %HRmax) was significantly higher in the overweight boys and decreased with age (non significantly) in both groups. The physiological response during the run in the overweight boys was significantly higher compared to normal weight. When the oxygen uptake was expressed as VO2.BM–0.75, the RE was similar in normal weight and overweight boys. During puberty, the inter-group differences in the metabolic cost of work stay at a relatively stable level.

Conclusions: the lowered endurance performance in the overweight boys during puberty remains unchanged. The changes in physiological variables during puberty in both groups occurred in a similar way – the body composition did not influence the course of these changes in puberty.

Keywords

  • Body composition
  • Oxygen uptake
  • Running
  • Obesity
  • Boys
  • Puberty
Open Access

External torque as a factor to modify load in abdominal curl-up exercises

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of our study was to evaluate electromyography (EMG) activity in exercises where the load to the muscles is determined by the external torque. In a part of the exercises, we changed the value of the external force, while in the other we modified the length of the lever arm at which the force was applied.

Material and methods: the study was carried out on a group of 12 subjects (21 ± 2 years, 61 ± 4.8 mass, 172 ± 5 cm height). Electromyographic activity of the rectus abdominis (RA) muscle was evaluated by recording the EMG signal. The length of the lever arm of the external force was changed by using four different positions of the upper limbs, whereas the magnitude of the external force was changed through adding the weights of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 kg. The data recorded were normalized with respect to EMG activity measured under maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) conditions.

Results: it was found that the change of the lever arm at which the force was applied (any change in the position of the upper limbs) causes a change in EMG activity in each part of the RA muscle from ca. 50% to ca. 100% MVC (p < 0.001). Further, the change in the external load changes statistically significantly the EMG activity only in the left upper part of the RA muscle (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: activity in the RA muscle that increased for longer lever arms of the external force, offers opportunities for changing the load used during the exercise in a manner that is safe for the vertebral column.

Keywords

  • EMG
  • external torque
  • prevention of LBP
Open Access

Use of instrumented spasticity tests in clinical applications. Preliminary results

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the study was to evaluate whether the use of instrumented versions of spasticity tests would provide us with clinically more useful information on the patient’s status.

Material and methods: the study included 19 children, 8–17 years old: 7 girls and 12 boys. Pendulum, velocity, and popliteal tests were performed using the Vicon system (knee joint angle, 8 muscles EMG). Dynamic movement ranges of the knee joint during velocity and popliteal tests (ROM), indices of the pendulum test, and muscle activity in dependence of velocity of movement (MA, MAST) were calculated. Correlation coefficients between ROM, Vmax, MA, and MAST were calculated to show whether instrumentation of clinical tests can validate the patient’s status more precisely.

Results: Vmax value from the pendulum test does not always correlate with ROM. Scores of MA and MAST do not correlate with ROM. Vmax generally does not correlate with MA or MAST.

Conclusions: ROM is one of the most important parameters reflecting the level of spasticity but it is not sensitive enough to detect small changes in the patient’s status. In that case, Vmax of the pendulum test and the number of activated muscles in velocity and popliteal tests could become important tools to assess changes in spasticity level, especially when motion systems are more commonly available.

Keywords

  • Spasticity
  • Velocity test
  • Popliteal test
  • Pendulum test
  • Movement analysis system
Open Access

Effect of participating in fitness classes on postural stability of young women

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the study was to compare the postural stability and ability to control balance in active women who attend fitness classes versus inactive women.

Material and methods: the study included 41 women who exercise regularly (mean age 28.64±5.26 years). The control group consisted of 42 women not engaged in regular physical activity (mean age 28.55±5.05 years). In each subject, postural stability testing was performed using the Stabilometric Platform CQStab2P (the 2-platform version). Authors analysed the mean, median and standard deviation for each parameter of the stabilogram and statokinesiogram.

Results: for most of the studied parameters, the statistical analysis showed a positive effect of exercising on the level of fitness compared to the control group, for both the test with eyes open and the test with eyes closed.

Conclusions: attending fitness classes significantly affects postural stability and balance control in young women, and leads to lesser dependence on sight to maintain it.

Keywords

  • Women
  • Fitness
  • Postural stability
  • Balance
  • Stabilometric platform
Open Access

Sports as a preventive measure of at-risk behavior among urban youth: a presentation of the “Sports 2014 – Multifactorial Environmental Model”

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

The objective of this paper was to present an original project titled “Sports 2014 – Multifactorial Environmental Model”, designed to reinforce positive behavior and create a sense of community among urban youth. It evolved together with the subsequent phases of an urban health promotion program that began in 1994 in Wrocław, Poland. However, the basis of this model was in creating a health promotion initiative that included elements of the Mandala model of health, an ecological model, and the ‘Your Neighborhood’s Coach’ health promotion and at-risk prevention program, begun in 2003 by the Sports Department of the City of Wrocław and continued to this day. This type of initiative was designed to include measures typical of a prevention program while also promoting an active lifestyle through constructive leisure activities. Its guiding philosophy was the ‘get involved’ rather than ‘dissuade from’ approach, which has found popularity in programs of a similar nature across the world. The presented “Multifactorial Environmental Model” is addressed to active counselors, coaches, psychologists, health promotion figureheads, and policymakers whose goal is to reduce negative and anti-social behavior in today’s youth. It should also find value among the pedagogical community of physical education institutions, as the presented work may serve as a source of experience when deciding on any significant changes in the education of future physical education teachers, coaches, and recreation instructors working with adolescents.

Keywords

  • Sports
  • Preventive strategies
  • Youth
  • Urban area
  • Environmental model
Open Access

The effect of different doses of caffeine on cardiovascular variables and shooting performance

Published Online: 23 Apr 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the purpose of this study was to assess the effect of 3 mg and 5 mg per kg of body weight of caffeine on heart rate, blood pressure and shooting performance among elite shooters.

Material and methods: sStudy participants comprised 8 male shooters among athletes at the national level with at least 2 years of experience, with the mean age (26.50±13.08 years), weight (73.02 ± 12.2 kg), height (174.62 ± 8.97 cm) and BMI (23.93 ± 2.88 kg/m2). The blood pressure and heart rate of all participants were measured at rest. Participants then randomly took caffeine (3 mg and 5 mg per kg of body weight) or placebo for 3 different days, 2 days apart. One hour after ingestion, they shot with rifle and air pistol. Statistical analysis was performed using the ANOVA with repeated measures and the Bonferroni test.

Results: the results of the survey showed that taking 5 mg/kg of caffeine caused a significant increase in systolic blood pressure (p < 0.001), diastolic blood pressure (p < 0.05) and also caused a significant increase in heart rate (p < 0.05) and a significant decrease in shooting performance (p < 0.05). Moreover, taking 3 mg/kg of caffeine caused a significant increase in systolic blood pressure (p < 0.05). But this amount of caffeine had no significant effect on the heart rate, diastolic blood pressure or shooting performance (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: the results of this study suggest that taking 5 mg/kg of caffeine can increase the blood pressure and heart rate of the shooters that leads to a decrease in shooting performance.

Keywords

  • Caffeine
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Shooting
Open Access

Factors associated with low back pain in workers: the influence of anthropometric measures, abdominal endurance and hip flexibility

Published Online: 07 May 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: to compare the physical fitness of bus drivers and fare collectors (working hours per day in sitting position = 7h) with and without low back pain. The subjects consisted of sixty-six bus drivers and fare collectors working in a public transport company.

Material and methods: the prevalence of low back pain, age and working time was determined for bus drivers and fare collectors using a questionnaire. All subjects underwent anthropometric assessment (weight, height and waist circumference), an abdominal endurance test and a hip flexibility test.

Results: there was a significant difference between the low back pain group (n = 27) and the group without pain (n = 39) in body mass index (27.5 ± 3.9 kg · m–2 vs. 25.6 ± 4.0 kg · m–2), waist circumference (92.5 ± 10 cm vs. 85.9 ± 9 cm), the abdominal endurance test (28.9 ± 17.5 repetitions vs. 38.4 ± 19.2 repetitions) and the hip flexibility test (69.1 ± 14.4 degrees vs. 78.3 ± 16.9 degrees). There was no significant difference in age and working time.

Conclusion: anthropometric measures, abdominal endurance and hip flexibility are deficient in bus drivers and fare collectors with low back pain. We suggest that workers with prevalent low back pain increase their physical fitness.

Keywords

  • Physical fitness
  • Prevention and Control
  • Occupational Diseases
Open Access

Determinants of women’s willingness to continue fitness training in spite of health risks

Published Online: 11 Jun 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between willingness to continue training in spite of health risks and the following variables: age, body parameters and selected elements of body image as well as duration, amount and intensity of training sessions.

Material and methods: the study’s participants were 140 women aged 18 to 35 years who had been training at a fitness club for between 1 and 15 years. The following tools were used: Figure Rating Scale, a modified Body Satisfaction Scale, and a questionnaire to investigate actual and ideal body parameters, motivation to begin training and training parameters.

Results: women who were willing to discontinue fitness training due to potential health risks exercised less often and engaged in shorter training sessions with less intensity. They were also more dissatisfied with their motor fitness. Higher readiness to continue training can be expected from women with more training experience, who are motivated by a need to improve their appearance, who are more satisfied with their motor fitness and who have a lower ideal BMI.

Conclusions: the results of the study suggest that women who complete greater amounts of exercise and are more motivated to train for aesthetic reasons rather than for reasons related to fitness are more prone to obligatory exercise.

Keywords

  • Fitness
  • Females
  • Exercise dependence
  • Body image
Open Access

The autotelic involvement of attention induced by EEG neurofeedback training improves the performance of an athlete’s mind

Published Online: 16 Jun 2015
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Abstract

Summary

immediate feedback concerning brain activity on autotelic engagement attention and the performance of athletes’ minds.

Material and methods: the experimental group (25 subjects) underwent twenty neurofeedback-EEG training sessions (in the relaxation armchair) and athletic training for four months (every 7 days). The control group (25 subjects) underwent athletic training sessions. Before and after the four months of neurofeedback-EEG training sessions, the athletes were evaluated using an involvement questionnaire and Kraepelin’s work curve test.

Results: the results of the analysis showed that changes in autotelic engagement were observed with an improvement in the performance of the mind (p < 0.01), which points to increased speed and mental work speed and efficiency. Among three measures of performance, we observed a significant correlation between the total number of addition operations in the test with autotelic experience (r = 0.769).

Conclusions: neurofeedback-EEG training opens up new opportunities for improvement in the performance of athletes’ minds.

Keywords

  • Autotelic experience
  • Autotelic engagement attention
  • Kraepelin’s work curve
  • Neurofeedback-EEG
  • Performance of the mind
  • Athletes
Open Access

Physical activity of female children and adolescents based on step counts: meeting the recommendation and relation to BMI

Published Online: 23 Jun 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of this study was to assess the step counts of children and adolescents with different BMIs and to present the results in relation to the step count recommendation.

Material and methods: the study included data from 175 girls, aged 12–18 (45 participants from primary school, 69 participants from junior high school and 61 participants from high school). Voluntary participants were recruited from public schools in Poland. Step counts were measured using pedometers (Yamax Digi-Walker SW 701) over seven consecutive days.

Results: the recommended level of 12000 steps per day was achieved by only 14.9% of participants. The step counts performed by girls, especially at the primary school age, are currently insufficient. Participants’ achievement of the recommended step count level correlated with a lower BMI.

Conclusions: few female children and adolescents are meeting daily step recommendations, which highlights the importance of school and community-based programmes designed to increase daily activity patterns.

Keywords

  • Pedometers
  • Step counts
  • BMI
  • Girls
  • Children
  • Adolescents
Open Access

Differences in anthropometric, motoric and cognitive abilities between athletically trained and untrained girls

Published Online: 24 Jun 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the study was to identify differences between athletically trained and untrained subjects with respect to body composition, motor and cognitive abilities.

Materials and methods: three groups of girls aged 12 to 14 years old participated in the study: young judokas (n = 42), volleyball players (n = 54) and their untrained peers (n = 54). Variables of interest were assessed through eight motor tests, nine anthropometric variables and the RSPM.

Results: this study showed differences in some anthropometric characteristics and almost all motoric abilities between trained girls and untrained girls (p < 0.05), indicating that well-programmed activity can positively influence these characteristics and abilities. In addition, group of volleyball players presented significantly better results in cognitive abilities (p < 0.01), indicating a need for intelligence in complex sports like volleyball.

Conclusions: generally, the trained groups of athletes possessed better coordination and strength than their untrained counterparts.

Keywords

  • The Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices
  • Judo
  • Volleyball
  • Training
  • Intelligence
Open Access

Structural asymmetry of foot arch formation in early school-age children

Published Online: 30 Jun 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the purpose of the study was to compare foot shapes in early school-age boys and girls.

Material and methods: the study included 90 boys and 98 girls aged seven to nine years old. The shape of the foot arch was examined using a podoscope. The longitudinal arch was assessed according to the Clarke angle value on the basis of Kasperczyk’s classification. The transverse arch was assessed according to the Wejsflog index. An analysis of variance, a post-hoc LSD test and a chi-square test were performed.

Results: normal transverse arches in both feet appeared in 84% of the examined children. An analysis of the average value of the Wejsflog index showed that it is similar and within limits in all of the test groups indiscriminately when it comes to gender and age. Normally, longitudinal arches in both feet occurr in 44% of children. The average value of Clarke’s index in a test group of school-age girls was within normal range while a functionally flattened foot appeared in the case of seven and eight-year-old boys.

Conclusions: the outcomes of the present study conducted on a randomly chosen group of developing boys and girls show that changes in foot structure are mostly symmetrical in nature (almost 90%), meaning that if the left foot is normal, the right one is normal, too. Gender had no effect on the foot build or arch type in either foot. The right and left feet showed symmetrical structure in the majority of the children.

Keywords

  • Foot assessment
  • Arch formation
  • Early school-age children
  • Photometric method
Open Access

Can traditional games be an option in increasing the physical activity of women following mastectomy?

Published Online: 10 Aug 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the purpose of the present study was to investigate the potential of traditional games as a method of increasing the physical activity (PA) of women following mastectomy. A cross-sectional survey during the 20th ONCO Games was conducted and the sample included data from women divided into two groups: up to 50 years old (n = 26) and over 50 years old (n = 86).

Material and methods: PA was assessed using a questionnaire, and the number of steps taking during 30-minute periods was measured using pedometers during each of the games. Exertion was evaluated using Borg’s Scale.

Results: there was no difference in levels of coherence between the age groups. The group of younger women were statistically more active (M = 3.34 days/week) than the older group (M = 2.77 days/week). All the games were evaluated to be of light intensity, with ringo perceived as being statistically more fatiguing in the over 50 age group. The highest number of steps was performed during the game of ring-net-ball (M = 1903 steps/30 min) in both age groups, with older women performing statistically more steps. Similar situations were observed in the cases of pétanque and speedminton. In ringo, the situation was reversed. The lowest number of steps was recorded in pétanque in the younger age group (M = 296 steps/30 min).

Conclusion: this study indicates that in the rehabilitation and recovery process after mastectomy, traditional games could be a bridging link between exercising and sports as they provide not just activity but also a unique and valuable social context.

Keywords

  • Mastectomy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical activity
  • Traditional games
Open Access

An investigation into a contactless photoplethysmographic mobile application to record heart rate post-exercise: Implications for field testing

Published Online: 11 Aug 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of a contactless photoplethysmographic mobile application (CPA) to record post-exercise heart rate and estimate maximal aerobic capacity after the Queen’s College Step Test. It was hypothesised that the CPA may present a cost effective heart rate measurement tool for educators and practitioners with limited access to specialised laboratory equipment.

Materials and Methods: seventeen participants (eleven males and six females, 28 ± 9 years, 75.5 ± 15.5 kg, 173.6 ± 9.8 cm) had their heart rate measured immediately after the 3-min test simultaneously using the CPA, a wireless heart rate monitor (HRM) and manually via palpation of the radial artery (MAN).

Results: both the CPA and MAN measurements had high variance compared to the HRM (CV = 31 and 11% respectively, ES = 1.79 and 0.65 respectively), and there were no significant correlations between the methods. Maximal oxygen consumption was estimated 17% higher in CPA compared to HRM (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: in conclusion it is recommended that field practitioners should exercise caution and assess the accuracy of new freely available technologies if they are to be used in practice.

Keywords

  • Field testing
  • Heart rate
  • Mobile technology
Open Access

Estimation of aerobic fitness among young men without exercise test

Published Online: 17 Aug 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: to develop and estimate the validity of non-exercise methods to predict VO2max among young male conscripts entering military service in order to divide them into the different physical training groups.

Material and methods: fifty males (age 19.7 ± 0.3 years) reported their physical activity before military service by IPAQ and SIVAQ questionnaires. Furthermore, Jackson’s non-exercise method was used to estimate VO2max. Body mass and height were measured, body mass index calculated and VO2max measured directly in a maximal treadmill test. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups. The results of the Group 1 (N = 25) were used to develop a regression equation to estimate VO2max. The results of the Group 2 (N = 25) were used to evaluate the validity of the developed non-exercise methods and Jackson’s non-exercise methods to estimate VO2max by Bland and Altman plot. The validity was further evaluated by comparing the results to 12-minute running test performed by 877 male conscripts (age 19.6 ± 0.2 years).

Results: the developed models explained 68–74% of the variation in VO2max. Mean difference between directly measured and estimated VO2max was not significant, while Jackson’s method overestimated VO2max (p &#60; 0.001). Both developed models were equally valid to divide conscripts into tertile group of fitness. However, 5% of the conscripts were classified into the highest fitness group based on both methods, but they were actually in the lowest fitness group based on a running test.

Conclusion: in practice, these findings suggest that developed methods can be used as a tool to divide conscripts into different fitness groups in the very beginning of their military service.

Keywords

  • Military
  • Regression analysis
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Exercise test
  • Men
Open Access

Review of the PE Metrics cognitive assessment tool for fifth grade students

Published Online: 08 Sep 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: this study examined the item difficulty and item discrimination scores for the HRFK PE Metrics cognitive assessment tool for 5th-grade students.

Materials and methods: ten elementary physical education teachers volunteered to participate. Based on convenience, participating teachers selected two 5th grade physical education classes. Teachers then gave students (N = 633) a 28-question paper and pencil HRFK exam using PE Metrics Standards 3 and 4. Item difficulty and discrimination analysis and Rasch Modeling were used data to determine underperforming items.

Results: analysis suggests that at least three items are problematic. The Rasch Model confirmed this result and identified similar items with high outfit mean square values and low Point Biserial correlation values.

Conclusions: teachers are in need of valid and reliable HRFK assessment tools. Without the removal of three items in the PE Metrics HRFK exam for 5th-grade students, complete use of the exam could offer incorrect conclusions.

Keywords

  • PE Metrics
  • Assessment
  • Cognitive
  • Exam
  • Health-related
Open Access

Obesity, food intake and exercise: Relationship with ghrelin

Published Online: 09 Sep 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Obesity, a disorder of body composition, is defined by a relative or absolute excess of body fat. In general adult population, obesity has been associated with a diverse array of adverse health outcomes, including major causes of death such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, as well as functional impairment from problems such as osteoarthritis and sleep apnea. Ghrelin is a newly discovered peptide hormone which plays an important role in obesity. It is a powerful, endogenous orexigenic peptide and has a crucial function in appetite regulation, as well as short – and long-term energy homeostasis. In the presence of increased obesity, decreased physical activity, and high food consumption, the relationship between exercise, appetite, food intake and ghrelin levels has important implications. In this review, we discuss the effect of acute and chronic exercise performance on appetite, food intake and ghrelin and their relationships.

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Apettite
  • Food intake
  • Ghrelin
Open Access

Effects of an eccentric training programme on hamstring strain injuries in women football players

Published Online: 25 Sep 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: to test the hypothesis that an eccentric training programme applied on women football players would reduce the hamstring injury rate by improving thigh muscle balance and, particularly, hamstring strength.

Material and methods: three football teams were recruited for this randomised controlled trial. They played in the first and second divisions in Spain. Players were randomised within clubs either to the intervention (eccentric exercises, n = 22) or control (control exercises, n = 21) groups, and randomisation was stratified according to previous history of thigh strains. The eccentric programme was divided into 3 phases, and each phase was composed of 7 weeks. Compliance level and all injuries were recorded throughout the season as well as training and game exposure times. Muscle strength and power of the lower extremities and flexibility of the hamstrings and lower back were measured before and after the intervention.

Results: the risk for sustaining a hamstring strain (RSHS) was reduced by 81%. However, differences were not significant due to the low number of subjects (relative risk 0.19; 95% coefficient interval 0.02–1.50). The strength of the hamstrings decreased in both groups (p < 0.05), whereas sprint time was improved only in the intervention group (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: the present findings suggest that a simple program of eccentric exercise could reduce RSHS.

Keywords

  • Hamstring strain
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • Eccentric training programme
  • Injury prevention
  • Football
Open Access

Postural balance assessment in children aged 7 to 9 years, as related to body weight, height, and physical activity

Published Online: 04 Nov 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of this study was to determine how body height, body weight, and moderate physical activity affected postural stability in young schoolchildren.

Materials and methods: the study population consisted of 148 primary school pupils. To assess postural stability, we used the CQStab2P stabilometric equipment (the bi-platform version), and an assessment of physical activity was conducted via questionnaire.

Results: the study revealed that both greater body weight and greater body height positively affected postural stability in the studied population. We found a low, yet significant correlation regarding postural stability in children who attended sports classes. In the cases of path length and mean amplitude of sway with eyes closed, the children who were more active in sports had better vertical postural stability. We did not find any relationships between static balance and the number of sports classes attended in a week, or with participating in extra academic classes.

Conclusions: 1. Children’s postural stability improved with age. 2. Children who took part in sports classes had better body balance. 3. The number of sports classes attended did not correlate with better postural stability.

Keywords

  • Balance
  • Postural stability
  • Centre of pressure
  • Children
  • Physical activity
Open Access

Biomechanics Scholar Citations across Academic Ranks

Published Online: 05 Nov 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: citations to the publications of a scholar have been used as a measure of the quality or influence of their research record. A world-wide descriptive study of the citations to the publications of biomechanics scholars of various academic ranks was conducted.

Material and methods: Google Scholar Citations was searched for user profiles reporting “biomechanics” as an interest area and data recorded if they had at least one citation to their publications. Total citations, academic rank, and country were recorded for 2,067 scholars from 79 countries. Additional data were collected and analyzed for most cited (top 15%) biomechanics scholars holding the rank of professor.

Results: there was a significant (p < 0.0001) difference in the distribution of citations between all ranks, and all ranks had large variation and were positively skewed. The ranking of the most cited scholar profiles at the rank of professor was influenced by normalizing citation counts for numbers of co-authors.

Conclusions: percentile rank citation data from this study may be useful to supplement peer-evaluation of biomechanics scholar’s Google Scholar publication records, particularly if the number of co-authors contributing their citations is taken into account.

Keywords

  • Impact
  • Influence
  • Recognition
  • Research
Open Access

Teaching material based on biomechanical evidence: ‘high-jump hurdles’ for improving fundamental motor skills

Published Online: 06 Nov 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the purpose of this study has been to develop teaching materials to help improve junior high school students’ fundamental ability to repeatedly run and jump with a high and far-reaching travelling motion and to confirm the effectiveness of a new unit using teaching materials that are experimental in comparison to a conventional unit.

Materials and methods: one unit emphasized the conventional approach. This unit aims to improve the ability to step over hurdles. To help improve this ability, a ‘step-up hurdle’ was used as the conventional teaching material. This task focused on reducing the up-and-down motion using three hurdles whose height was set lower than those used in a competitive hurdle run. The other unit aims to improve the ability to jump high and far over hurdles. To help improve this ability, ‘high-jump hurdles’ were developed and used as the teaching material. The motor skill task was to clear three hurdles without knocking a hurdle down, with the hurdle height set as high as possible. Such conventional and new units were used for a group of 25 girls and a group of 18 girls in a junior high school (CON and EXP, respectively) and were conducted during six lessons.

Results: EXP’s high-jump hurdle scores significantly increased throughout the advanced lessons. While CON did not significantly improve its hurdle running times in a post-test, there was a significant improvement in EXP. Although CON did not significantly lengthen the horizontal clearance distance from take-off to landing in the post-test, there was a significant lengthening in EXP.

Conclusions: these findings suggest that new teaching material for teaching hurdling in physical education which aims to improve the ability to jump high and far over hurdles improves hurdle running time and improves the fundamental ability to repeat running and jumping travelling motor skills in contrast to traditional materials.

Keywords

  • Skill development
  • Physical education
  • Adolescents
  • Kinematics
Open Access

Change in movement patterns asymmetry in infants with central coordination disorder in continuous studies

Published Online: 30 Nov 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the study was to observe the dynamics of changes in postural symmetry in infants during the first year of life, undergoing a therapy using the NDT-Bobath method.

Material and methods: the study included a group of 60 term infants diagnosed with central coordination disorder. The course of psychomotor development in the children was compared with a control group of peers aged 3 and 12 months. Group I (study group) consisted of 40 infants who had been subjected to treatment using the NDT-Bobath method. Group II (control group) consisted of 20 infants who, by the decision of the parents, did not undergo the therapy. In group I, four studies were carried out at an interval of every 3 months ± 1 week. In group II, studies were carried out during the 3rd and 12th month.

Results: symmetry in body position patterns and movement patterns were analysed. Three levels of a child’s body were subject to the assessment of symmetry. In each study disparities in movement patterns of the left and right side were assessed. Individual features were expressed using scores, according to the principle of the higher the score, the more intense asymmetry.

Conclusions: 1. The observed changes in body postural asymmetry in infants during the first year of life are more favourable in the group of children undergoing rehabilitation. 2. The catch-up growth phenomenon among the infants from the control group proceeds more slowly and reaches beyond a child’s first year of life. This indicates the need to include appropriate methods of therapy.

Keywords

  • Infants
  • Movement patterns
  • Development
  • Asymmetry
  • The NDT-Bobath method
Open Access

The relationship between student athletes’ behaviour in the classroom and teachers’ burnout level

Published Online: 14 Dec 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: To examine the relationship between the behaviour of student athletes in the classroom in sport schools in Turkey and their teachers’ burnout level.

Material and methods: The sample of the study consisted of 226 teachers from sport high schools in Turkey. A questionnaire developed by Özdemir (2009) was used to ascertain students’ unwanted behaviour and the Maslach burnout inventory developed by Maslach and Jackson (1981) was used to assess the views of the research group. The data obtained were analysed through the SPSS 18.0 software.

Results: The research group complained of student behaviour including ‘speaking without permission’ during the course, ‘not having the necessary equipment for the course’, ‘not performing a given task’ and ‘not listening to the teacher’. A positive linear and moderate level relationship was found between the emotional burnout and depersonalization sub-dimensions. Suggesting that, as emotional burnout level increases so does the level of indifference. A positive and linear but low-level relationship was found between the emotional burnout and personal failure sub-dimensions. Suggesting that, as emotional burnout level increases so does personal failure. In addition, a positive and linear but low-level relationship was observed between the depersonalization and personal failure sub-dimensions. In other words, as the level of indifference increases so does personal failure. A significant difference was seen in the period of service variable of the depersonalization sub-dimension in the research group. Significant differences were observed in accordance with personal failure, period of service and fields of study.

Conclusions: Teachers should analyse their students in terms of academic and personal development in order to reduce negative behaviours in the classroom. Teachers should be able to help students in whatever field they need. Teachers in sports schools should receive support in adapting to the institutional culture of the schools.

Keywords

  • Student athlete code of conduct
  • Burnout
  • Sports High School Teachers
Open Access

Pre- performance routines followed by free throw shooting accuracy in secondary basketball players

Published Online: 18 Dec 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: The purpose of the current study was to determine whether existing pre-performance routines had an effect on free throw shooting accuracy in high school pupils as compared to shooting without a pre-performance routine.

Materials and methods: Participants were 34 freshman high school basketball players. Twenty male (n = 20) and fourteen female (n = 14) of various ethnic backgrounds were randomly assigned to a condition and were asked to implement a pre-performance routine in one condition and a non-pre-performance routine in another condition for free throw shooting. A within subjects crossover design was used to analyse the data based on a pre-performance routine and a non-pre-performance routine framework. The pre-performance routine conditions were considered the experimental conditions. A Missed-Made Shots table was used to track performance (miss-made shots) for the shots in both conditions.

Results: There were differences between the experimental condition (pre-performance routine) and the comparison condition (non-pre-performance routine) Z(22) = –4.61, p < 0.01 with the experimental condition’s median scores out-performing the comparison condition scores; however the differences were very small.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that there were differences between the experimental condition (pre-performance routine) and the comparison condition (non-pre-performance routine). Results suggest that there may be additional relevant factors in addition to pre-performance routines that should be considered in helping youth develop closed motor skills (e.g., mental imagery, physical exertion, outside factors – audience).

Keywords

  • Pre-performance
  • Free throw
  • Routine
  • Non-routine
  • Closed-skill
25 Articles
Open Access

The resting salivary antimicrobial proteins and cortisol concentration in wrestlers during 12-week training

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of 12-week training on saliva immunoendocrine response in collegiate male and female wrestlers.

Material and methods: the control group was composed of men and women of the same age, not engaged in any sports activity except for physical education classes at the university. The examined athletes participated in a 12-week training program, which consisted of two sub-phases (preparatory period and competitive period). Saliva samples were collected at three time points: at the beginning (the first point), after six weeks of the preparatory period (the second point, which was the start of the competitive period) and after six weeks of the competitive period (the third point). Immunoglobulin A and cortisol concentration, and α-amylase activity were measured in saliva by respective ELISA kits. Immunoglobulin A was expressed as relative to total protein concentration (sIgA/total protein).

Results: at the third time point, the sIgA/total protein ratio was significantly lower in female compared to male athletes. α-Amylase activity was lower in all examined athletes at all three time points compared to respective control groups.

Conclusions: hormonal and mucosal antimicrobial system response can provide helpful information of body adaptive processes to physical strain as well as indicators of magnitude of training-induced stress.

Keywords

  • Wrestlers
  • Training
  • Saliva
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • α-amylase
  • Cortisol
Open Access

The changes in running economy during puberty in overweight and normal weight boys

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: running economy (RE) is important indicator of endurance performance. During puberty dynamic changes in body composition and function are observed, as such RE is also expected to change. The aim of the study was to compare the running economy (RE) in overweight and normoweight boys during a running exercise performed with constant velocity, and the assessment of changes in RE during puberty.

Material and methods: the RE of the subjects was evaluated twice: at the age of 11–12 and two years later. 18 overweight and 17 normal weight boys performed a graded test and a week later a submaximal run on a mechanical treadmill. During the exercise, physiological variables (oxygen uptake, heart rate, pulmonary ventilation, tidal volume and breathing frequency) were measured.

Results: the intensity of work in both tests (%VO2max, %HRmax) was significantly higher in the overweight boys and decreased with age (non significantly) in both groups. The physiological response during the run in the overweight boys was significantly higher compared to normal weight. When the oxygen uptake was expressed as VO2.BM–0.75, the RE was similar in normal weight and overweight boys. During puberty, the inter-group differences in the metabolic cost of work stay at a relatively stable level.

Conclusions: the lowered endurance performance in the overweight boys during puberty remains unchanged. The changes in physiological variables during puberty in both groups occurred in a similar way – the body composition did not influence the course of these changes in puberty.

Keywords

  • Body composition
  • Oxygen uptake
  • Running
  • Obesity
  • Boys
  • Puberty
Open Access

External torque as a factor to modify load in abdominal curl-up exercises

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of our study was to evaluate electromyography (EMG) activity in exercises where the load to the muscles is determined by the external torque. In a part of the exercises, we changed the value of the external force, while in the other we modified the length of the lever arm at which the force was applied.

Material and methods: the study was carried out on a group of 12 subjects (21 ± 2 years, 61 ± 4.8 mass, 172 ± 5 cm height). Electromyographic activity of the rectus abdominis (RA) muscle was evaluated by recording the EMG signal. The length of the lever arm of the external force was changed by using four different positions of the upper limbs, whereas the magnitude of the external force was changed through adding the weights of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 kg. The data recorded were normalized with respect to EMG activity measured under maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) conditions.

Results: it was found that the change of the lever arm at which the force was applied (any change in the position of the upper limbs) causes a change in EMG activity in each part of the RA muscle from ca. 50% to ca. 100% MVC (p < 0.001). Further, the change in the external load changes statistically significantly the EMG activity only in the left upper part of the RA muscle (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: activity in the RA muscle that increased for longer lever arms of the external force, offers opportunities for changing the load used during the exercise in a manner that is safe for the vertebral column.

Keywords

  • EMG
  • external torque
  • prevention of LBP
Open Access

Use of instrumented spasticity tests in clinical applications. Preliminary results

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the study was to evaluate whether the use of instrumented versions of spasticity tests would provide us with clinically more useful information on the patient’s status.

Material and methods: the study included 19 children, 8–17 years old: 7 girls and 12 boys. Pendulum, velocity, and popliteal tests were performed using the Vicon system (knee joint angle, 8 muscles EMG). Dynamic movement ranges of the knee joint during velocity and popliteal tests (ROM), indices of the pendulum test, and muscle activity in dependence of velocity of movement (MA, MAST) were calculated. Correlation coefficients between ROM, Vmax, MA, and MAST were calculated to show whether instrumentation of clinical tests can validate the patient’s status more precisely.

Results: Vmax value from the pendulum test does not always correlate with ROM. Scores of MA and MAST do not correlate with ROM. Vmax generally does not correlate with MA or MAST.

Conclusions: ROM is one of the most important parameters reflecting the level of spasticity but it is not sensitive enough to detect small changes in the patient’s status. In that case, Vmax of the pendulum test and the number of activated muscles in velocity and popliteal tests could become important tools to assess changes in spasticity level, especially when motion systems are more commonly available.

Keywords

  • Spasticity
  • Velocity test
  • Popliteal test
  • Pendulum test
  • Movement analysis system
Open Access

Effect of participating in fitness classes on postural stability of young women

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the study was to compare the postural stability and ability to control balance in active women who attend fitness classes versus inactive women.

Material and methods: the study included 41 women who exercise regularly (mean age 28.64±5.26 years). The control group consisted of 42 women not engaged in regular physical activity (mean age 28.55±5.05 years). In each subject, postural stability testing was performed using the Stabilometric Platform CQStab2P (the 2-platform version). Authors analysed the mean, median and standard deviation for each parameter of the stabilogram and statokinesiogram.

Results: for most of the studied parameters, the statistical analysis showed a positive effect of exercising on the level of fitness compared to the control group, for both the test with eyes open and the test with eyes closed.

Conclusions: attending fitness classes significantly affects postural stability and balance control in young women, and leads to lesser dependence on sight to maintain it.

Keywords

  • Women
  • Fitness
  • Postural stability
  • Balance
  • Stabilometric platform
Open Access

Sports as a preventive measure of at-risk behavior among urban youth: a presentation of the “Sports 2014 – Multifactorial Environmental Model”

Published Online: 19 Mar 2015
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Abstract

Summary

The objective of this paper was to present an original project titled “Sports 2014 – Multifactorial Environmental Model”, designed to reinforce positive behavior and create a sense of community among urban youth. It evolved together with the subsequent phases of an urban health promotion program that began in 1994 in Wrocław, Poland. However, the basis of this model was in creating a health promotion initiative that included elements of the Mandala model of health, an ecological model, and the ‘Your Neighborhood’s Coach’ health promotion and at-risk prevention program, begun in 2003 by the Sports Department of the City of Wrocław and continued to this day. This type of initiative was designed to include measures typical of a prevention program while also promoting an active lifestyle through constructive leisure activities. Its guiding philosophy was the ‘get involved’ rather than ‘dissuade from’ approach, which has found popularity in programs of a similar nature across the world. The presented “Multifactorial Environmental Model” is addressed to active counselors, coaches, psychologists, health promotion figureheads, and policymakers whose goal is to reduce negative and anti-social behavior in today’s youth. It should also find value among the pedagogical community of physical education institutions, as the presented work may serve as a source of experience when deciding on any significant changes in the education of future physical education teachers, coaches, and recreation instructors working with adolescents.

Keywords

  • Sports
  • Preventive strategies
  • Youth
  • Urban area
  • Environmental model
Open Access

The effect of different doses of caffeine on cardiovascular variables and shooting performance

Published Online: 23 Apr 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the purpose of this study was to assess the effect of 3 mg and 5 mg per kg of body weight of caffeine on heart rate, blood pressure and shooting performance among elite shooters.

Material and methods: sStudy participants comprised 8 male shooters among athletes at the national level with at least 2 years of experience, with the mean age (26.50±13.08 years), weight (73.02 ± 12.2 kg), height (174.62 ± 8.97 cm) and BMI (23.93 ± 2.88 kg/m2). The blood pressure and heart rate of all participants were measured at rest. Participants then randomly took caffeine (3 mg and 5 mg per kg of body weight) or placebo for 3 different days, 2 days apart. One hour after ingestion, they shot with rifle and air pistol. Statistical analysis was performed using the ANOVA with repeated measures and the Bonferroni test.

Results: the results of the survey showed that taking 5 mg/kg of caffeine caused a significant increase in systolic blood pressure (p < 0.001), diastolic blood pressure (p < 0.05) and also caused a significant increase in heart rate (p < 0.05) and a significant decrease in shooting performance (p < 0.05). Moreover, taking 3 mg/kg of caffeine caused a significant increase in systolic blood pressure (p < 0.05). But this amount of caffeine had no significant effect on the heart rate, diastolic blood pressure or shooting performance (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: the results of this study suggest that taking 5 mg/kg of caffeine can increase the blood pressure and heart rate of the shooters that leads to a decrease in shooting performance.

Keywords

  • Caffeine
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Shooting
Open Access

Factors associated with low back pain in workers: the influence of anthropometric measures, abdominal endurance and hip flexibility

Published Online: 07 May 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: to compare the physical fitness of bus drivers and fare collectors (working hours per day in sitting position = 7h) with and without low back pain. The subjects consisted of sixty-six bus drivers and fare collectors working in a public transport company.

Material and methods: the prevalence of low back pain, age and working time was determined for bus drivers and fare collectors using a questionnaire. All subjects underwent anthropometric assessment (weight, height and waist circumference), an abdominal endurance test and a hip flexibility test.

Results: there was a significant difference between the low back pain group (n = 27) and the group without pain (n = 39) in body mass index (27.5 ± 3.9 kg · m–2 vs. 25.6 ± 4.0 kg · m–2), waist circumference (92.5 ± 10 cm vs. 85.9 ± 9 cm), the abdominal endurance test (28.9 ± 17.5 repetitions vs. 38.4 ± 19.2 repetitions) and the hip flexibility test (69.1 ± 14.4 degrees vs. 78.3 ± 16.9 degrees). There was no significant difference in age and working time.

Conclusion: anthropometric measures, abdominal endurance and hip flexibility are deficient in bus drivers and fare collectors with low back pain. We suggest that workers with prevalent low back pain increase their physical fitness.

Keywords

  • Physical fitness
  • Prevention and Control
  • Occupational Diseases
Open Access

Determinants of women’s willingness to continue fitness training in spite of health risks

Published Online: 11 Jun 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between willingness to continue training in spite of health risks and the following variables: age, body parameters and selected elements of body image as well as duration, amount and intensity of training sessions.

Material and methods: the study’s participants were 140 women aged 18 to 35 years who had been training at a fitness club for between 1 and 15 years. The following tools were used: Figure Rating Scale, a modified Body Satisfaction Scale, and a questionnaire to investigate actual and ideal body parameters, motivation to begin training and training parameters.

Results: women who were willing to discontinue fitness training due to potential health risks exercised less often and engaged in shorter training sessions with less intensity. They were also more dissatisfied with their motor fitness. Higher readiness to continue training can be expected from women with more training experience, who are motivated by a need to improve their appearance, who are more satisfied with their motor fitness and who have a lower ideal BMI.

Conclusions: the results of the study suggest that women who complete greater amounts of exercise and are more motivated to train for aesthetic reasons rather than for reasons related to fitness are more prone to obligatory exercise.

Keywords

  • Fitness
  • Females
  • Exercise dependence
  • Body image
Open Access

The autotelic involvement of attention induced by EEG neurofeedback training improves the performance of an athlete’s mind

Published Online: 16 Jun 2015
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Abstract

Summary

immediate feedback concerning brain activity on autotelic engagement attention and the performance of athletes’ minds.

Material and methods: the experimental group (25 subjects) underwent twenty neurofeedback-EEG training sessions (in the relaxation armchair) and athletic training for four months (every 7 days). The control group (25 subjects) underwent athletic training sessions. Before and after the four months of neurofeedback-EEG training sessions, the athletes were evaluated using an involvement questionnaire and Kraepelin’s work curve test.

Results: the results of the analysis showed that changes in autotelic engagement were observed with an improvement in the performance of the mind (p < 0.01), which points to increased speed and mental work speed and efficiency. Among three measures of performance, we observed a significant correlation between the total number of addition operations in the test with autotelic experience (r = 0.769).

Conclusions: neurofeedback-EEG training opens up new opportunities for improvement in the performance of athletes’ minds.

Keywords

  • Autotelic experience
  • Autotelic engagement attention
  • Kraepelin’s work curve
  • Neurofeedback-EEG
  • Performance of the mind
  • Athletes
Open Access

Physical activity of female children and adolescents based on step counts: meeting the recommendation and relation to BMI

Published Online: 23 Jun 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of this study was to assess the step counts of children and adolescents with different BMIs and to present the results in relation to the step count recommendation.

Material and methods: the study included data from 175 girls, aged 12–18 (45 participants from primary school, 69 participants from junior high school and 61 participants from high school). Voluntary participants were recruited from public schools in Poland. Step counts were measured using pedometers (Yamax Digi-Walker SW 701) over seven consecutive days.

Results: the recommended level of 12000 steps per day was achieved by only 14.9% of participants. The step counts performed by girls, especially at the primary school age, are currently insufficient. Participants’ achievement of the recommended step count level correlated with a lower BMI.

Conclusions: few female children and adolescents are meeting daily step recommendations, which highlights the importance of school and community-based programmes designed to increase daily activity patterns.

Keywords

  • Pedometers
  • Step counts
  • BMI
  • Girls
  • Children
  • Adolescents
Open Access

Differences in anthropometric, motoric and cognitive abilities between athletically trained and untrained girls

Published Online: 24 Jun 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the study was to identify differences between athletically trained and untrained subjects with respect to body composition, motor and cognitive abilities.

Materials and methods: three groups of girls aged 12 to 14 years old participated in the study: young judokas (n = 42), volleyball players (n = 54) and their untrained peers (n = 54). Variables of interest were assessed through eight motor tests, nine anthropometric variables and the RSPM.

Results: this study showed differences in some anthropometric characteristics and almost all motoric abilities between trained girls and untrained girls (p < 0.05), indicating that well-programmed activity can positively influence these characteristics and abilities. In addition, group of volleyball players presented significantly better results in cognitive abilities (p < 0.01), indicating a need for intelligence in complex sports like volleyball.

Conclusions: generally, the trained groups of athletes possessed better coordination and strength than their untrained counterparts.

Keywords

  • The Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices
  • Judo
  • Volleyball
  • Training
  • Intelligence
Open Access

Structural asymmetry of foot arch formation in early school-age children

Published Online: 30 Jun 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the purpose of the study was to compare foot shapes in early school-age boys and girls.

Material and methods: the study included 90 boys and 98 girls aged seven to nine years old. The shape of the foot arch was examined using a podoscope. The longitudinal arch was assessed according to the Clarke angle value on the basis of Kasperczyk’s classification. The transverse arch was assessed according to the Wejsflog index. An analysis of variance, a post-hoc LSD test and a chi-square test were performed.

Results: normal transverse arches in both feet appeared in 84% of the examined children. An analysis of the average value of the Wejsflog index showed that it is similar and within limits in all of the test groups indiscriminately when it comes to gender and age. Normally, longitudinal arches in both feet occurr in 44% of children. The average value of Clarke’s index in a test group of school-age girls was within normal range while a functionally flattened foot appeared in the case of seven and eight-year-old boys.

Conclusions: the outcomes of the present study conducted on a randomly chosen group of developing boys and girls show that changes in foot structure are mostly symmetrical in nature (almost 90%), meaning that if the left foot is normal, the right one is normal, too. Gender had no effect on the foot build or arch type in either foot. The right and left feet showed symmetrical structure in the majority of the children.

Keywords

  • Foot assessment
  • Arch formation
  • Early school-age children
  • Photometric method
Open Access

Can traditional games be an option in increasing the physical activity of women following mastectomy?

Published Online: 10 Aug 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the purpose of the present study was to investigate the potential of traditional games as a method of increasing the physical activity (PA) of women following mastectomy. A cross-sectional survey during the 20th ONCO Games was conducted and the sample included data from women divided into two groups: up to 50 years old (n = 26) and over 50 years old (n = 86).

Material and methods: PA was assessed using a questionnaire, and the number of steps taking during 30-minute periods was measured using pedometers during each of the games. Exertion was evaluated using Borg’s Scale.

Results: there was no difference in levels of coherence between the age groups. The group of younger women were statistically more active (M = 3.34 days/week) than the older group (M = 2.77 days/week). All the games were evaluated to be of light intensity, with ringo perceived as being statistically more fatiguing in the over 50 age group. The highest number of steps was performed during the game of ring-net-ball (M = 1903 steps/30 min) in both age groups, with older women performing statistically more steps. Similar situations were observed in the cases of pétanque and speedminton. In ringo, the situation was reversed. The lowest number of steps was recorded in pétanque in the younger age group (M = 296 steps/30 min).

Conclusion: this study indicates that in the rehabilitation and recovery process after mastectomy, traditional games could be a bridging link between exercising and sports as they provide not just activity but also a unique and valuable social context.

Keywords

  • Mastectomy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical activity
  • Traditional games
Open Access

An investigation into a contactless photoplethysmographic mobile application to record heart rate post-exercise: Implications for field testing

Published Online: 11 Aug 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of a contactless photoplethysmographic mobile application (CPA) to record post-exercise heart rate and estimate maximal aerobic capacity after the Queen’s College Step Test. It was hypothesised that the CPA may present a cost effective heart rate measurement tool for educators and practitioners with limited access to specialised laboratory equipment.

Materials and Methods: seventeen participants (eleven males and six females, 28 ± 9 years, 75.5 ± 15.5 kg, 173.6 ± 9.8 cm) had their heart rate measured immediately after the 3-min test simultaneously using the CPA, a wireless heart rate monitor (HRM) and manually via palpation of the radial artery (MAN).

Results: both the CPA and MAN measurements had high variance compared to the HRM (CV = 31 and 11% respectively, ES = 1.79 and 0.65 respectively), and there were no significant correlations between the methods. Maximal oxygen consumption was estimated 17% higher in CPA compared to HRM (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: in conclusion it is recommended that field practitioners should exercise caution and assess the accuracy of new freely available technologies if they are to be used in practice.

Keywords

  • Field testing
  • Heart rate
  • Mobile technology
Open Access

Estimation of aerobic fitness among young men without exercise test

Published Online: 17 Aug 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: to develop and estimate the validity of non-exercise methods to predict VO2max among young male conscripts entering military service in order to divide them into the different physical training groups.

Material and methods: fifty males (age 19.7 ± 0.3 years) reported their physical activity before military service by IPAQ and SIVAQ questionnaires. Furthermore, Jackson’s non-exercise method was used to estimate VO2max. Body mass and height were measured, body mass index calculated and VO2max measured directly in a maximal treadmill test. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups. The results of the Group 1 (N = 25) were used to develop a regression equation to estimate VO2max. The results of the Group 2 (N = 25) were used to evaluate the validity of the developed non-exercise methods and Jackson’s non-exercise methods to estimate VO2max by Bland and Altman plot. The validity was further evaluated by comparing the results to 12-minute running test performed by 877 male conscripts (age 19.6 ± 0.2 years).

Results: the developed models explained 68–74% of the variation in VO2max. Mean difference between directly measured and estimated VO2max was not significant, while Jackson’s method overestimated VO2max (p &#60; 0.001). Both developed models were equally valid to divide conscripts into tertile group of fitness. However, 5% of the conscripts were classified into the highest fitness group based on both methods, but they were actually in the lowest fitness group based on a running test.

Conclusion: in practice, these findings suggest that developed methods can be used as a tool to divide conscripts into different fitness groups in the very beginning of their military service.

Keywords

  • Military
  • Regression analysis
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Exercise test
  • Men
Open Access

Review of the PE Metrics cognitive assessment tool for fifth grade students

Published Online: 08 Sep 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: this study examined the item difficulty and item discrimination scores for the HRFK PE Metrics cognitive assessment tool for 5th-grade students.

Materials and methods: ten elementary physical education teachers volunteered to participate. Based on convenience, participating teachers selected two 5th grade physical education classes. Teachers then gave students (N = 633) a 28-question paper and pencil HRFK exam using PE Metrics Standards 3 and 4. Item difficulty and discrimination analysis and Rasch Modeling were used data to determine underperforming items.

Results: analysis suggests that at least three items are problematic. The Rasch Model confirmed this result and identified similar items with high outfit mean square values and low Point Biserial correlation values.

Conclusions: teachers are in need of valid and reliable HRFK assessment tools. Without the removal of three items in the PE Metrics HRFK exam for 5th-grade students, complete use of the exam could offer incorrect conclusions.

Keywords

  • PE Metrics
  • Assessment
  • Cognitive
  • Exam
  • Health-related
Open Access

Obesity, food intake and exercise: Relationship with ghrelin

Published Online: 09 Sep 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Obesity, a disorder of body composition, is defined by a relative or absolute excess of body fat. In general adult population, obesity has been associated with a diverse array of adverse health outcomes, including major causes of death such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, as well as functional impairment from problems such as osteoarthritis and sleep apnea. Ghrelin is a newly discovered peptide hormone which plays an important role in obesity. It is a powerful, endogenous orexigenic peptide and has a crucial function in appetite regulation, as well as short – and long-term energy homeostasis. In the presence of increased obesity, decreased physical activity, and high food consumption, the relationship between exercise, appetite, food intake and ghrelin levels has important implications. In this review, we discuss the effect of acute and chronic exercise performance on appetite, food intake and ghrelin and their relationships.

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Apettite
  • Food intake
  • Ghrelin
Open Access

Effects of an eccentric training programme on hamstring strain injuries in women football players

Published Online: 25 Sep 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: to test the hypothesis that an eccentric training programme applied on women football players would reduce the hamstring injury rate by improving thigh muscle balance and, particularly, hamstring strength.

Material and methods: three football teams were recruited for this randomised controlled trial. They played in the first and second divisions in Spain. Players were randomised within clubs either to the intervention (eccentric exercises, n = 22) or control (control exercises, n = 21) groups, and randomisation was stratified according to previous history of thigh strains. The eccentric programme was divided into 3 phases, and each phase was composed of 7 weeks. Compliance level and all injuries were recorded throughout the season as well as training and game exposure times. Muscle strength and power of the lower extremities and flexibility of the hamstrings and lower back were measured before and after the intervention.

Results: the risk for sustaining a hamstring strain (RSHS) was reduced by 81%. However, differences were not significant due to the low number of subjects (relative risk 0.19; 95% coefficient interval 0.02–1.50). The strength of the hamstrings decreased in both groups (p < 0.05), whereas sprint time was improved only in the intervention group (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: the present findings suggest that a simple program of eccentric exercise could reduce RSHS.

Keywords

  • Hamstring strain
  • Randomised controlled trial
  • Eccentric training programme
  • Injury prevention
  • Football
Open Access

Postural balance assessment in children aged 7 to 9 years, as related to body weight, height, and physical activity

Published Online: 04 Nov 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of this study was to determine how body height, body weight, and moderate physical activity affected postural stability in young schoolchildren.

Materials and methods: the study population consisted of 148 primary school pupils. To assess postural stability, we used the CQStab2P stabilometric equipment (the bi-platform version), and an assessment of physical activity was conducted via questionnaire.

Results: the study revealed that both greater body weight and greater body height positively affected postural stability in the studied population. We found a low, yet significant correlation regarding postural stability in children who attended sports classes. In the cases of path length and mean amplitude of sway with eyes closed, the children who were more active in sports had better vertical postural stability. We did not find any relationships between static balance and the number of sports classes attended in a week, or with participating in extra academic classes.

Conclusions: 1. Children’s postural stability improved with age. 2. Children who took part in sports classes had better body balance. 3. The number of sports classes attended did not correlate with better postural stability.

Keywords

  • Balance
  • Postural stability
  • Centre of pressure
  • Children
  • Physical activity
Open Access

Biomechanics Scholar Citations across Academic Ranks

Published Online: 05 Nov 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: citations to the publications of a scholar have been used as a measure of the quality or influence of their research record. A world-wide descriptive study of the citations to the publications of biomechanics scholars of various academic ranks was conducted.

Material and methods: Google Scholar Citations was searched for user profiles reporting “biomechanics” as an interest area and data recorded if they had at least one citation to their publications. Total citations, academic rank, and country were recorded for 2,067 scholars from 79 countries. Additional data were collected and analyzed for most cited (top 15%) biomechanics scholars holding the rank of professor.

Results: there was a significant (p < 0.0001) difference in the distribution of citations between all ranks, and all ranks had large variation and were positively skewed. The ranking of the most cited scholar profiles at the rank of professor was influenced by normalizing citation counts for numbers of co-authors.

Conclusions: percentile rank citation data from this study may be useful to supplement peer-evaluation of biomechanics scholar’s Google Scholar publication records, particularly if the number of co-authors contributing their citations is taken into account.

Keywords

  • Impact
  • Influence
  • Recognition
  • Research
Open Access

Teaching material based on biomechanical evidence: ‘high-jump hurdles’ for improving fundamental motor skills

Published Online: 06 Nov 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the purpose of this study has been to develop teaching materials to help improve junior high school students’ fundamental ability to repeatedly run and jump with a high and far-reaching travelling motion and to confirm the effectiveness of a new unit using teaching materials that are experimental in comparison to a conventional unit.

Materials and methods: one unit emphasized the conventional approach. This unit aims to improve the ability to step over hurdles. To help improve this ability, a ‘step-up hurdle’ was used as the conventional teaching material. This task focused on reducing the up-and-down motion using three hurdles whose height was set lower than those used in a competitive hurdle run. The other unit aims to improve the ability to jump high and far over hurdles. To help improve this ability, ‘high-jump hurdles’ were developed and used as the teaching material. The motor skill task was to clear three hurdles without knocking a hurdle down, with the hurdle height set as high as possible. Such conventional and new units were used for a group of 25 girls and a group of 18 girls in a junior high school (CON and EXP, respectively) and were conducted during six lessons.

Results: EXP’s high-jump hurdle scores significantly increased throughout the advanced lessons. While CON did not significantly improve its hurdle running times in a post-test, there was a significant improvement in EXP. Although CON did not significantly lengthen the horizontal clearance distance from take-off to landing in the post-test, there was a significant lengthening in EXP.

Conclusions: these findings suggest that new teaching material for teaching hurdling in physical education which aims to improve the ability to jump high and far over hurdles improves hurdle running time and improves the fundamental ability to repeat running and jumping travelling motor skills in contrast to traditional materials.

Keywords

  • Skill development
  • Physical education
  • Adolescents
  • Kinematics
Open Access

Change in movement patterns asymmetry in infants with central coordination disorder in continuous studies

Published Online: 30 Nov 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: the aim of the study was to observe the dynamics of changes in postural symmetry in infants during the first year of life, undergoing a therapy using the NDT-Bobath method.

Material and methods: the study included a group of 60 term infants diagnosed with central coordination disorder. The course of psychomotor development in the children was compared with a control group of peers aged 3 and 12 months. Group I (study group) consisted of 40 infants who had been subjected to treatment using the NDT-Bobath method. Group II (control group) consisted of 20 infants who, by the decision of the parents, did not undergo the therapy. In group I, four studies were carried out at an interval of every 3 months ± 1 week. In group II, studies were carried out during the 3rd and 12th month.

Results: symmetry in body position patterns and movement patterns were analysed. Three levels of a child’s body were subject to the assessment of symmetry. In each study disparities in movement patterns of the left and right side were assessed. Individual features were expressed using scores, according to the principle of the higher the score, the more intense asymmetry.

Conclusions: 1. The observed changes in body postural asymmetry in infants during the first year of life are more favourable in the group of children undergoing rehabilitation. 2. The catch-up growth phenomenon among the infants from the control group proceeds more slowly and reaches beyond a child’s first year of life. This indicates the need to include appropriate methods of therapy.

Keywords

  • Infants
  • Movement patterns
  • Development
  • Asymmetry
  • The NDT-Bobath method
Open Access

The relationship between student athletes’ behaviour in the classroom and teachers’ burnout level

Published Online: 14 Dec 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: To examine the relationship between the behaviour of student athletes in the classroom in sport schools in Turkey and their teachers’ burnout level.

Material and methods: The sample of the study consisted of 226 teachers from sport high schools in Turkey. A questionnaire developed by Özdemir (2009) was used to ascertain students’ unwanted behaviour and the Maslach burnout inventory developed by Maslach and Jackson (1981) was used to assess the views of the research group. The data obtained were analysed through the SPSS 18.0 software.

Results: The research group complained of student behaviour including ‘speaking without permission’ during the course, ‘not having the necessary equipment for the course’, ‘not performing a given task’ and ‘not listening to the teacher’. A positive linear and moderate level relationship was found between the emotional burnout and depersonalization sub-dimensions. Suggesting that, as emotional burnout level increases so does the level of indifference. A positive and linear but low-level relationship was found between the emotional burnout and personal failure sub-dimensions. Suggesting that, as emotional burnout level increases so does personal failure. In addition, a positive and linear but low-level relationship was observed between the depersonalization and personal failure sub-dimensions. In other words, as the level of indifference increases so does personal failure. A significant difference was seen in the period of service variable of the depersonalization sub-dimension in the research group. Significant differences were observed in accordance with personal failure, period of service and fields of study.

Conclusions: Teachers should analyse their students in terms of academic and personal development in order to reduce negative behaviours in the classroom. Teachers should be able to help students in whatever field they need. Teachers in sports schools should receive support in adapting to the institutional culture of the schools.

Keywords

  • Student athlete code of conduct
  • Burnout
  • Sports High School Teachers
Open Access

Pre- performance routines followed by free throw shooting accuracy in secondary basketball players

Published Online: 18 Dec 2015
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Abstract

Summary

Study aim: The purpose of the current study was to determine whether existing pre-performance routines had an effect on free throw shooting accuracy in high school pupils as compared to shooting without a pre-performance routine.

Materials and methods: Participants were 34 freshman high school basketball players. Twenty male (n = 20) and fourteen female (n = 14) of various ethnic backgrounds were randomly assigned to a condition and were asked to implement a pre-performance routine in one condition and a non-pre-performance routine in another condition for free throw shooting. A within subjects crossover design was used to analyse the data based on a pre-performance routine and a non-pre-performance routine framework. The pre-performance routine conditions were considered the experimental conditions. A Missed-Made Shots table was used to track performance (miss-made shots) for the shots in both conditions.

Results: There were differences between the experimental condition (pre-performance routine) and the comparison condition (non-pre-performance routine) Z(22) = –4.61, p < 0.01 with the experimental condition’s median scores out-performing the comparison condition scores; however the differences were very small.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that there were differences between the experimental condition (pre-performance routine) and the comparison condition (non-pre-performance routine). Results suggest that there may be additional relevant factors in addition to pre-performance routines that should be considered in helping youth develop closed motor skills (e.g., mental imagery, physical exertion, outside factors – audience).

Keywords

  • Pre-performance
  • Free throw
  • Routine
  • Non-routine
  • Closed-skill

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