- Journal Details
- First Published
- 06 Apr 2009
- Publication timeframe
- 1 time per year
- Open Access
Page range: 1 - 6
Study aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between low birth mass and concentration of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) as a cardiovascular risk factor in young women with various levels of physical activity.
Materials and methods: 102 female students aged 19.7 ± 0.8 (18.6-23.0) were included. The study group was divided according to the declared physical activity: high physical activity (HPA, n = 69) and low physical activity (LPA, n = 33). Anthropometric indices were measured: body mass, height, hip and waist circumference. hsCRP levels were obtained from venous blood samples. Birth body mass (BBM) and birth height were collected from medical documentation.
Results: Women with low BBM and LPA had a significantly higher concentration of hsCRP than women with low BBM and HPA, as well as women with normal BBM.
Conclusions: Low birth mass together with low physical activity is a strong predictor of raised concentration of hsCRP, which correlates with an increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Regular physical activity in women with low birth mass may prevent an increased hsCRP concentration, and as a result decrease the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
- Physical inactivity
- Birth weight
- Chronic inflammation
- Open Access
Body composition and somatotype of judo athletes and untrained male students as a reference group for comparison in sport
Page range: 7 - 13
Study aim: The aim of this study was to determine the body composition and somatotype of untrained male students studying at Warsaw University of Technology in 2011, in order to create a current reference group for comparison, and to investigate the difference in body build of male judoists compared with the non-athlete group.
Materials and methods: Fifteen male judo athletes (age 18.6 ± 1.9 years, body height 177.4 ± 8.5 cm, body mass 80.3 ± 15.8 kg, training experience 10.0 ± 2.8) and 154 male untrained students of the Warsaw University of Technology (age 20.1 ± 0.9 years, body height 180.9 ± 7.2 cm, body mass 75.6 ± 10.9 kg) participated in the study. Somatotype was determined using the Heath- Carter method.
Results: The mean somatotype of the untrained students was 188.8.131.52, whilst that of the judo athletes was 184.108.40.206; the groups differed significantly in their mesomorphy and ectomorphy components. Significant differences between the groups were found in breadth of wrist, bicristal diameter and arm circumference (p < 0.05). The groups were also significantly different in body composition as estimated by BIA and anthropometric methods (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The morphological characteristics of the judo athletes differed from those of the untrained men. The somatic profile of body build for athletes in this sport seems to be optimal for achieving high results, the somatotype not having changed since the 1990s.
- Male students
- New reference group
- Body composition
- Judo athletes
- Open Access
Page range: 14 - 18
Study aim: To determine whether a physiotherapy protocol improves the electromyographic activation (EA) during the hemiparetic gait in patients with delayed access to rehabilitation.
Material and methods: 40 post-stroke patients underwent clinical evaluation and gait assessment at the time of admission and at the end of treatment.
Results: The anterior leg muscles tibialis anterior and rectus femoris had earlier onset (p = 0.0001).
Conclusion: Electromyographic findings showed altered patterns during the hemiparetic gait cycle, even in patients with delayed access to treatment.
- Surface electromyography
- Gait assessment
- Open Access
Page range: 19 - 26
Study aim: Physical activity is crucial for a child’s development, as well as for the development of the foot. The aim of this study was to assess the correlation of the level of physical activity and physical fitness with the arches of the foot in children in non-weight-bearing and weight-bearing conditions.
Material and methods: The study population consisted of 92 children aged 10 to 14 years. We assessed their physical fitness with a modified Zuchora test. The modification consisted in choosing three (speed, jumping ability, and flexibility) out of a total of six trials. To assess the physical activity, we used a screening test - the anonymous Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity questionnaire. To analyze the arches of the foot, we used computer equipment based on the Moiré projection method.
Results: Pearson’s chi-squared test did not reveal any significant correlation between physical activity, physical fitness, and longitudinal and transversal arches in children. The percentage of normal and high foot arches increased with increasing levels of physical activity and physical fitness. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test analysis confirmed a statistically significant difference (with p < 0.001) in the longitudinal and transversal arches in measurements in non-weight-bearing and weight-bearing conditions.
Conclusions: 1. In the examined group, there were functional lateral and longitudinal flat feet. 2. A lowered longitudinal arch foot might reduce physical activity and fitness in adolescents.
- Physical activity
- Physical fitness
- Arches of the foot
- Foot arch measurement
- Open Access
Page range: 27 - 33
Study aim: The aim of this study was to compare the outcomes of a study of post-stroke gait reeducation using the Bobath neuro‑developmental treatment (NDT-Bobath) method and the traditional approach.
Material and methods: The study included 30 adult patients after ischemic stroke, aged 32-82. Patients were randomly assigned to one of the treatment groups: the study group (treated with the NDT-Bobath method combined with the traditional approach, ten sessions), and a reference group (treated with the traditional method only, ten sessions). The measurements (spatio-temporal gait parameters based on 10 m walking test: gait velocity, normalized gait velocity, cadence, normalized cadence, stride length, and normalized stride length) were administered twice: on admission (before the therapy) and after the last therapy session.
Results: Statistically significant and favorable changes in the gait velocity, cadence and stride length regarding their normalized values were observed. Moderate and high correlations among changes of assessed spatio-temporal gait parameters were observed in both groups.
Conclusions: The NDT-Bobath method may be regarded as a more effective form of gait post-stroke rehabilitation in young adults compared to traditional rehabilitation.
- Gait re-education
- Gait analysis
- Normalized parameters of gait
- Open Access
Positive effect of pedometer-based walking intervention on body image and physical activity enjoyment in adolescent girls
Page range: 34 - 42
Study aim: To assess the effects of an eight-week pedometer-based walking intervention, using different strategies of goalsetting, on self-efficacy, physical activity enjoyment, and body image.
Material and methods: The study included data from 82 girls, aged 16 to 18 years. The participants took part in the intervention using goal setting with the do your best strategy (do your best group, n = 26) or specific step goals predetermined by the researcher (predetermined goals group, n = 56). The group of participants from the predetermined goals group was divided into a group of those achieving the goals (n = 28) and a group where goals were not achieved (n = 28). Self-efficacy, body image, and physical activity enjoyment were assessed before and after the intervention.
Results: The results of ANOVA with repeated measures between the measurement times and groups showed a significant effect of body image (F = 3.60, p = 0.03, η² = 0.08) and physical activity enjoyment (F = 3.10, p = 0.05, η² = 0.07). Participants who achieved goals in step counts predetermined by the researcher had a more positive body image and a higher level of physical activity enjoyment after the intervention.
Conclusion: An eight-week pedometer-based walking program implemented in a school setting may improve body image and physical activity enjoyment in adolescent girls only if the set goals (the number of steps) are specific and fully achieved by participants. Using pedometers in conjunction with a goal setting program seems to be an effective motivational way to improve physical activity in female students.
- Pedometer - Girls - Goal-setting - Body image - Self-efficacy - Physical activity enjoyment
- Open Access
Page range: 43 - 50
Study aim: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a repeated sprint training program in addition to volleyball training on the aerobic capacity of college volleyball players.
Materials and methods: Eighteen male volleyball players were randomly assigned to either an experimental group (n = 9, age: 21.2 ± 1.3 years) or a control (n = 9, age: 21.2 ± 1.6 years) group. Both groups followed a traditional volleyball training program three times per week for 6 weeks. The experimental group additionally performed a repeated sprint training protocol immediately before each volleyball training session. The repeated sprint training consisted of 1-3 sets of 5 × 20 m maximal sprints with 20 seconds of active recovery between sprints and 4 min of passive recovery between sets. Before and after the 6-week training period, all participants performed an incremental treadmill test to determine maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and time to exhaustion, and the repeated sprint test (10 × 20 m with a 20‑second recovery between each sprint).
Results: The experimental group showed significant improvements in VO2max (+7.1 ± 4.8%; p = 0.001) and running time to exhaustion (+15.8 ± 6.8%; p = 0.004) after training. The best 20-m sprint time (−2.3 ± 2.5%; p = 0.029), mean sprint time (−5.3 ± 3.1%; p = 0.001) and fatigue index (−34.1 ± 28.2%; p = 0.012) also improved significantly in the experimental group. None of these variables changed significantly in the control group (p > 0.05).
Conclusions: The current findings indicate that the addition of a repeated sprint training program can improve both the aerobic capacity and anaerobic performance of college volleyball players.
- Maximal oxygen uptake
- Repeated sprint ability
- Aerobic fitness
- Open Access
Page range: 51 - 56
Study aim: Was to investigate the relationship of anthropometrics with handgrip strength (HGS) among Nigerian school children.
Material and methods: A total of 200 school children participated in this study. An electronic handgrip dynamometer was used to measure handgrip strength (HGS) in kg. Body height and body weight were measured with a wall-mounted stadiometer in meters and a bathroom weighing scale in kg, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) was then calculated using the formula weight (kg)/height (m2). Also, hand span of both hands was measured from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the small finger with the hand opened as wide as possible. The distance from the distal wrist crease up to the base of the middle finger was taken for palm length and the distal wrist crease to the tip of the middle finger was considered for the measurement of hand length. However, the relationship between HGS and anthropometric parameters was analyzed using Pearson’s product moment coefficient of correlation.
Results: The outcome of this study showed that hand and palm length correlated disproportionately and insignificantly (p > 0.05) with both dominant and non-dominant HGS. Also, hand span was found to be a disproportionate correlate of HGS, though such a correlation was only significant (p < 0.05) with dominant HGS. However, BMI and handedness were observed to associate proportionately and significantly (p < 0.05) with HGS.
Conclusion: This study therefore concluded that the most important determinants of HGS among Nigerian school children are BMI, handedness and hand span, and thus could be considered as markers of nutritional and health status, as well as physical fitness of these individuals.
- Anthropometric properties - Hand strength and grade-schoolers
- Open Access
Anthropometric and physical fitness parameters versus specific performance tests in Brazilian field hockey athletes: a pilot study
Page range: 57 - 63
Study aim: To investigate the correlation between anthropometric parameters, Sargent jump test, core muscles endurance and agility performance versus specific tests with and without a ball in female Brazilian field hockey athletes.
Material and methods: Nine professional female field hockey players (age: 27.4 ± 2.5 years) participated in this study. Body height, body weight, body fat percentage, Sargent jump test (SJT), shuttle run agility test (SR), core muscular endurance tests and sport-specific tests - repeated sprint ability test (RSA) and repeated sprint ability with the ball (RSAB) - were assessed in a randomized order.
Results: A moderate correlation was noted between SR and RSAB (r = 0.58, p = 0.09) and RSA (r = 0.60, p = 0.08). In addition, a moderate correlation was noted between percentage of body fat with RSAB (r = 0.59, p = 0.09) and with RSA (r = 0.72, p = 0.08). The other variables showed slight agreement or no agreement.
Conclusions: These results indicated that the SR could be implemented in training and evaluation programs of hockey athletes due to the correlation with specific tests. Thus, the percentage of body fat was the only anthropometric parameter that showed a correlation with the specific tests, revealing the importance of maintaining a proper percentage of body fat for better performance in hockey.
- Hockey - Physical Fitness - Female - Athletes - Body Composition
- Open Access
Reliability and validity of time domain heart rate variability during daily routine activities – an alternative to the morning orthostatic test?
Page range: 64 - 68
Study aim: To determine the reliability and validity of a time domain heart rate variability (HRV) index during free-living physical activity (FLPA).
Material and methods: Eight white-collar workers participated in this study. RR intervals (time between consecutive R-peaks of the PQRS complex) were recorded using the Polar V800 heart rate (HR) monitor upon awakening and at work on 16 different days. A total of 127 cycles of sitting periods followed by walking breaks were included for consecutive pairwise analysis for reliability. The HR values from the orthostatic test (OT) were compared with the corresponding values at work.
Results: The HR values showed high levels of repeatability [the coefficient of variation (CV) during sitting and walking at work was 4.71 and 3.99%, respectively, with a typical error (TE) of 3.73 (3.34-4.25) and 3.65 (3.31-4.09)], but they did not correlate with the corresponding OT HR upon awakening (r = 0.28 for supine vs. sitting and r = 0.05 for standing vs. walking, p > 0.05). The root-mean-square difference of successive normal RR (RMSSD) was revealed not to be repeatable [CV values during sitting and walking were 19.99 and 29.05%, respectively, with a TE of 7.9 (7.15-8.85) and 9.43 (8.53-10.57)].
Conclusions: Analyzing RMSSD from daily routine activities was not reliable, and therefore validity cannot be assumed. RMSSD should therefore be calculated from RR intervals recorded in standardized conditions, such as during the OT upon awakening.
- Open Access
Page range: 69 - 74
Study aim: The aim was to assess the spinal curvatures of primary and lower secondary male and female students from Silesia and to identify individual variations that can determine spinal posture.
Material and methods: The study involved 331 girls and 286 boys aged 8 to 16 years. Eligible criteria were non-participation in any professional sport training, and participation in mandatory physical education classes. Posture was evaluated using the moiré method. Measurements of somatic parameters were made with a medical scale using a height meter and a Tanita electronic balance.
Results: Dimorphic postural differences of boys and girls were seen mainly in the shape of lumbar lordosis. Girls were more lordotic than boys at all ages except 10-years-olds. Angle γ was significantly greater in 9-, 15- and 16-year-old girls than boys. LLA was significantly more prominent in 15- and 16-year-old girls than boys. Thoracic kyphosis was significantly more prominent in 8- and 11-year-old boys than girls. We also found a significant effect of age and somatic parameters. In boys mean lumbar lordosis was more pronounced in 10-year-olds. In girls fat mass, fat percentage and BMI correlated with angle α and angle Δ. In boys body height and mass, fat mass, total body water and BMI correlated with angles β, γ, Δ, and lordosis lumbar angle.
Conclusions: The shape of lumbar lordosis is associated with age and gender. Lumbar lordosis decreases with age in male children and adolescents. Our study revealed poor correlations between sagittal spinal curvatures and somatic parameters.
- Anteroposterior spinal curvatures - Spine - Somatic parameters - Moiré method
- Open Access
Influence of foam rolling on the functional limitations of the musculoskeletal system in healthy women
Page range: 75 - 81
Study aim: To determine the effect of foam rolling on the functional limitations of the musculoskeletal system.
Material and methods: The study encompassed 37 healthy and physically active women divided into two groups. Group 1 comprised women who performed self-massage with a foam roller after physical effort twice a week, for two months. Group 2 (control) comprised women who did not undergo any exercises or treatment after physical effort. The study used the following research tools: the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) test, the Core Muscle Strength and Stability Test (CMS&ST), and the Sit and Reach Test.
Results: The study revealed that foam rolling minimized functional limitations (as measured with the FMS test). The differences between the first and second measurement in Group 1 were statistically significant (p=0.014). In the control group, the results of both measurements were similar. In the CMS&ST, the maximal result of three minutes was not achieved. Moreover, no improvement of results was observed. In the Sit and Reach Test, a statistically significant improvement in the flexibility of the posterior muscles of the thigh was noted in Group 1 (right lower limb p=0.009, left lower limb p = 0.007).
Conclusions: 1. Foam rolling may minimize the functional limitations of the musculoskeletal system. It is recommended to incorporate self-myofascial release techniques after physical effort into training. 2. Using foam rolling helped maintain the results obtained in the Core Muscle Strength and Stability Test. Therefore, foam rolling may help maintain the achieved core stability.
- Foam rolling - FMS - Range of motion - Self-massage - Myofascial relaxation
- Open Access
Page range: 82 - 93
Study aim: Mathematical models of the relationship between training and performance facilitate the design of training protocols to achieve performance goals. However, current linear models do not account for nonlinear physiological effects such as saturation and over-training. This severely limits their practical applicability, especially for optimizing training strategies. This study describes, analyzes, and applies a new nonlinear model to account for these physiological effects. Material and methods: This study considers the equilibria and step response of the nonlinear differential equation model to show its characteristics and trends, optimizes training protocols using genetic algorithms to maximize performance by applying the model under various realistic constraints, and presents a case study fitting the model to human performance data. Results: The nonlinear model captures the saturation and over-training effects; produces realistic training protocols with training progression, a high-intensity phase, and a taper; and closely fits the experimental performance data. Fitting the model parameters to subsets of the data identifies which parameters have the largest variability but reveals that the performance predictions are relatively consistent. Conclusions: These findings provide a new mathematical foundation for modeling and optimizing athletic training routines subject to an individual’s personal physiology, constraints, and performance goals.
- Training - Fitness - Fatigue - Dynamical systems - Optimization
- Open Access
Comparison of a mobile application to estimate percentage body fat to other non-laboratory based measurements
Page range: 94 - 98
Study aim: The measurement of body composition is important from a population perspective as it is a variable associated with a person’s health, and also from a sporting perspective as it can be used to evaluate training. This study aimed to examine the reliability of a mobile application that estimates body composition by digitising a two-dimensional image. Materials and methods: Thirty participants (15 men and 15 women) volunteered to have their percentage body fat (%BF) estimated via three different methods (skinfold measurements, SFM; bio-electrical impedance, BIA; LeanScreenTM mobile application, LSA). Intra-method reproducibility was assessed using intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC), coefficient of variance (CV) and typical error of measurement (TEM). The average measurement for each method were also compared. Results: There were no significant differences between the methods for estimated %BF (p = 0.818) and the reliability of each method as assessed via ICC was good (≥0.974). However the absolute reproducibility, as measured by CV and TEM, was much higher in SFM and BIA (≤1.07 and ≤0.37 respectively) compared with LSA (CV 6.47, TEM 1.6). Conclusion: LSA may offer an alternative to other field-based measures for practitioners, however individual variance should be considered to develop an understanding of minimal worthwhile change, as it may not be suitable for a one-off measurement.
- Mobile technology - Field testing - Body composition - Reproducibility
- Open Access
Page range: 99 - 106
Study aim: Research suggests that physical activity rates decline sharply after high school. The pattern of activity or inactivity during college tends to persist into adulthood. A critical need exists for examination of strategies to engage college-age students in physical activity habits. One way to do this is through physical activity courses offered in colleges. This study examines the relationship between perceptions of a caring psychological climate and group connectedness, enjoyment, and attitudes toward classmates and the instructor in group physical activity courses. Material and methods: Participants were 174 students (107 males and 67 females; Mage = 21.71) enrolled in exercise, martial arts, and sports courses at a large university in the Mountain West. Results: Perceptions of a caring climate were significantly related to enhanced feelings of group connectedness, heightened enjoyment, and more positive attitudes toward classmates and instructor. Discussion: These findings suggest that a strategy to foster engagement in physical activity courses on campus is to train instructors to value, support, and welcome students.
- College students - Physical activity - Group exercise - Caring - Motivation
- Open Access
Effects of training on postural control and agility when wearing socks of different compression levels
Page range: 107 - 114
Study aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of training while wearing socks differing in compression level (clinical, sub-clinical, regular) on performance of static and dynamic balancing and agility tasks in healthy, physically active people. We sought to understand whether socks with different compression properties supported postural regulation and agility task performance by enhancing somatosensory perception, unskewed by specific age range effects. Material and methods: Participants comprised 61 adults aged 18-75 years, divided into three groups (two experimental groups wearing clinical or sub-clinical level compression socks, and one control group wearing regular non-compression socks during training). An 8-week (2 × 1h per week) intervention programme was administered to train static and dynamic balance and postural control, leg strength and agility. Results: A mixed model ANOVA revealed no differences in static and dynamic balance and postural control and agility performance between clinical, sub-clinical, and control groups before and after training. All groups significantly improved their test performance, suggesting that training had some benefit on motor performance. Conclusions: These results raised interesting questions requiring further investigation to examine the effects of wearing socks (with and without different levels of compression) on motor behaviours in specific groups of elderly vs. young participants, in physically active vs. less physically active people, and in performance settings outside standardized laboratory tests to study applications in natural performance environments.
- Postural control - Agility - Training intervention - Socks - Compression
- Open Access
Page range: 115 - 123
Study aim: The purpose of the present research was to determine the physical and physiological features of international level karate athletes. Material and methods: Eleven male karate athletes who were ranked at the top of their weight categories participated in this study. All of them were evaluated for anthropometric, body composition, somatotype and bio-motor characteristics in detail. Results: The main results (mean ± SD) were height: 181.54 ± 4.71 cm; sitting height: 97.27 ± 3.03 cm; arm span: 185.72 ± 7.28 cm; BMI: 25.02 ± 3.32 kg ∙ m-2; Rohrer’s index: 137.68 ± 16.72; skelic index: 53.58 ± 1.29; arm span (ape) index: 1.02 ± 0.02; fat mass: 7.51 ± 4.56 kg; fat-free mass: 75.26 ± 10.04 kg; body fat: 8.66 ± 3.65; endomorphy: 2.4 ± 0.85; mesomorphy: 5.2 ± 1.13; ectomorphy: 2.11 ± 0.99; VO2max: 51.58 ± 3.39 ml ∙ kg-1 ∙ min-1; anaerobic power: 45.45 ± 4.39 W ∙ kg-1; long jump: 249.7 ± 16.81 cm; upper-body strength: 100.27 ± 15.61 kg (1.21 ± 0.07 kg ∙ kg-1); lower-body strength: 155.94 ± 19.49 kg (1.89 ± 0.14 kg ∙ kg-1); whole-body strength: 156.97 ± 21.38 kg (1.9 ± 0.13 kg ∙ kg-1) and flexibility: 37.63 ± 10.73 cm. Conclusions: A tall stature and long arm span, low body fat, markedly high mesomorphic build, moderately high aerobic power, outstanding anaerobic power, excellent lower-body explosive power, great muscular strength and high flexibility seem to be advantageous features for karate contestants.
- Karate kumite
- Weight divisions
- Aerobic power
- Anaerobic power
- Body fat percentage
- Open Access
Association between physical activity patterns and anthropometric characteristics of adults: an issue of public health?
Page range: 124 - 132
Study aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between objectively measured daily physical activity (PA) and body fat mass (BF) and body mass index (BMI). A further aim was to analyse the variance of PA between quartiles of BF and BMI.
Material and methods: A cross-sectional, observational study of 126 university students (53 males aged 20.46 ± 2.04 years and 73 female aged 19.69 ± 1.32 years) was conducted.
Results: The female participants and PA characteristics explain 57.10% of BF variance and the model was statistically significant (F(6, 875) = 196.38; p = 0.001). BMI was also included in the model. Standard binary logistic regression was used to test the hypothesis that female sex and PA characteristics can influence overweight. The full model containing all variables was statistically significant (G2(6) = 58.598, p-value = 0.001). Analysis of variance between BF quartiles revealed statistically significant differences in male participants in light PA (p = 0.001; ES = 0.09), moderate PA (p = 0.001; ES = 0.042) and vigorous PA (p = 0.001; ES = 0.130).
Conclusions: The statistical model in the regression analysis suggests that low and vigorous levels of PA explain 57% of BF variance in female participants.
- Physical activity - Accelerometry - Body fat mass - Body mass index - Young adults
- Open Access
MRI findings and physical performance as predictors of flight-induced musculoskeletal pain incidence among fighter pilots
Page range: 133 - 139
Study aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible association of pre-career magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and physical performance level with possible musculoskeletal disorders during jet flight training. Material and methods: The study group consisted of 73 fighter pilots who had undergone pre-career cervical and lumbar spine MRI. Physical performance of a subgroup of the pilots (n = 67) was measured initially at the same time and followed up to the fast jet training phase (ranging from 3.8 to 7.0 years). Musculoskeletal pain history during pilot training was taken from the medical charts. MRI findings and physical performance were associated with perceived clinical complaints during the follow-up. Results: 82% of the cervical and 92% of the lumbar spines showed abnormalities at at least one disk level. MRI did not reveal significant cervical degeneration. Thirteen disk bulges in the lumbar spine were discovered, while 5 pilots had listhesis and/or osteophyte formation on the spine (lumbar vertebra 4/sacroiliac joint level, L4-SI). 41% of the studied pilots suffered spinal symptoms during the follow-up, but only 16% and 17% of the cervical and lumbar MRI findings, respectively, were associated with subsequent symptoms. Endurance and strength levels were not, but lower body motor skills were, strongly (relative risk, RR 0.46) associated with a decreased number of flight-induced medical appointments in the early flight career. Conclusions: Minor MRI findings have no predictable value in the very early flight career. Nevertheless, versatile, skills/power-oriented exercises before the flight career seem to be occupationally beneficial in reducing musculoskeletal disorders.
- Disk degeneration
- Cervical spine
- Lumbar spine
- Military pilot
- Open Access
Page range: 140 - 145
Study aim: To evaluate energy, macronutrient, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate daily intake in young healthy Polish male students. Material and methods: Two hundred and sixteen participants were physical education students engaged in regular physical activity (about 9 h/week) and were recognized as physically active. One hundred and fourteen students were from other specializations participating in 1.5 h/week gymnastics classes and were recognized as sedentary. Body mass and height were measured using standard medical equipment. Body fat was evaluated from four skinfold measurements. In all subjects daily intake of energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium and phosphate was briefly assessed from 24-hour food records taken over 4 days. Results: The active students’ diet was characterized by significantly higher energy, macronutrient and mineral daily intake. Moreover, calcium to phosphorus and calcium to magnesium ratios in active subjects were higher than in sedentary ones. There was no significant difference between groups in protein or magnesium intake expressed per 1000 kcal. In contrast, daily intake of fat and phosphate expressed per 1000 kcal was significantly lower in the active students vs. sedentary ones (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05 for fat and phosphate, respectively). Active students were characterized by significantly higher carbohydrate and calcium intake per 1000 kcal in comparison with their sedentary counterparts (p < 0.001 for both variables). Conclusions: The dietary pattern of active students was found to be slightly but significantly better than that of their sedentary counterparts. However, in both groups it was far from being a healthy one.
- Mineral intake - Physical activity - Polish students
- Open Access
Timing of electromyographic activity and ranges of motion during simple motor tasks of upper extremities
Page range: 146 - 157
Study aim: Improvement of the upper extremities’ performance is one of the key aims in the rehabilitation process. In order to achieve high effectiveness of this process the amount of functional improvement achieved by a patient during the therapy needs to be assessed. The aim of this study was to obtain electromyographic (EMG) activity profiles of the upper extremity muscles during execution of simple tasks in healthy subjects. Additionally the ranges of wrist, elbow and shoulder joints were measured and reported during performed trials. The second aim was to determine whether the movement execution and ranges of movements and muscular activity depend on age. Material and methods: Twenty-eight healthy adults, age range 21 to 65 years old, participated in the study. Surface electrodes were placed bilaterally on 7 upper extremity muscles. To obtain information about the beginning and end of the movement task and ranges of upper extremity joints, 13 markers were placed on the elbows and wrists of both upper extremities. The movements of the segments were calculated (distal vs proximal) in five simple functional tasks (each task involved only one joint), performed while sitting. Kinematic data were collected by the VICON 460 system, and electromyographic data with the Motion Lab EMG system. Results: Charts of timing of EMG activity of the upper extremity muscles together with ranges of upper extremity joint motion were obtained. Conclusion: The results show that the number of muscles activated and the time (or percentage) of the task during which they are active depend on the type of the task and age. These data can be used as a reference in evaluation of functional deficits of patients.
- Upper extremities
- Simple motor tasks
- Reference data
- Open Access
Page range: 158 - 164
Many publications have indicated the positive impact of step aerobics on health. Although step aerobics aims to improve endurance and other health parameters, injuries incurred from overload happen to both instructors and participants. Values of vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) while stepping on and off the bench do not lead to overload on the motor system - they are similar to the values obtained for walking or stair climbing. One reason for injuries may be the step workout technique. Overloads may be caused by incorrect technique of foot positioning on the bench, small knee angle during stepping off, and small angle of trunk flexion. This study presents an overview of current research on the load of the motor system in step aerobics.
- Load - GRF - Technique - Injury
- Open Access
Family leisure-time physical activities – results of the “Juniors for Seniors” 15-week intervention programme
Page range: 165 - 174
Study aim: Both adequate time and quality time are important for the wellbeing of a family. The study evaluated the effectiveness of a 15-week family-based physical activity (PA) intervention entitled “Junior for Seniors”. It included both children and parents. The paper focuses on an important topic - family-based leisure-time physical activity (LTPA). It is set in Polish primary schools, which is a novel approach. Regular physical activity for young people and their parents improves health and fitness including strength and endurance, promotes development of healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight and increases self-esteem.
Material and methods: In 2015, 24 children (“juniors”, 14 girls and 10 boys, aged (mean ± SD) 7.96 ± 0.69 years) and 22 parents (“seniors”, 14 mothers aged 38.86 ± 2.96 years and 8 fathers aged 37.38 ± 2.97 years) were voluntarily enrolled in a study encompassing three primary schools in the city of Poznań, Poland. To measure factors associated with LTPA, selected questions from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) questionnaire were used.
Results: As a result of the intervention, children increased both the amount of time they spent on intense LTPA and the frequency with which they undertook LTPA (values for “time spent on intense physical exercises during leisure time” were statistically significantly higher in the post-test; Z = -2.57; p < 0.05). In the post-test, statistically significant relations were obtained between the following variables: reason for physical activity: for better sport results - with family: playing together; r = 0.41, p < 0.05. In the parents’ group no statistically significant increase was observed in any of the variables measured.
Conclusions: The research issues presented in this paper require further exploration in larger scale studies. However, based on the present study, it may be concluded that one important goal has been achieved: that of more frequent family social behaviours and improved quality of LTPA.
- Leisure time
- Physical activity
- Parent-child intervention
- Health promotion
- Open Access
Effects of eight weeks of physical training on physical performance and heart rate variability in children
Page range: 175 - 180
Study aim: Physically active adults have been shown to have higher heart rate variability (HRV) than less active adults, but less is known about children in this regard. In adults, training-induced changes in physical performance have been shown to be related to increase in HRV, especially in its high frequency component (HF), which is a marker of parasympathetic activity. The purpose of this study was to examine whether 8 weeks of instructed physical training would improve physical performance and cardiac autonomic function (HRV) in secondary school pupils and to examine the relationship between changes in physical performance and the function of the autonomic nervous system. Material and methods: The test group included 12 girls and 12 boys and the control group 7 girls and 7 boys. All the subjects were 13-15 years old. Physical training included warm up, circuit training, endurance training, stretching and relaxation 3 times a week for eight weeks. Endurance training intensity was 70-75% of maximal heart rate. Endurance, flexibility, speed and power were measured before and after training. The low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) components of HRV were recorded in supine rest and in standing conditions before and after the eight-week period. Results: Time to exhaustion in the endurance test increased in the test group (p < 0.001), flexibility and ball throwing improved in the test group (p < 0.05), while no changes were observed in the control group. No significant changes were observed in HRV in either group. Conclusions: In conclusion, eight weeks of physical training improves physical performance in children, but it might not affect autonomic cardiac function.
- Adolescents - Endurance exercise - Heart rate variability
- Open Access
Page range: 181 - 186
Study aim: Premature birth is one of the major problems of obstetrics, leading to numerous complications that are associated with prematurity, for instance balance disorders. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of premature birth on the ability to maintain balance in children commencing their school education. Material and methods: The study included children aged 6-7 years. The study group consisted of 59 children (31 girls and 28 boys, mean age 6.38 ± SD 0.73) born prematurely between 24 and 35 weeks of gestation. The control group consisted of 61 children (28 girls and 33 boys, mean age 6.42 ± 0.58) born at term. The research utilized standardized test tools - one-leg open-eyed and closed-eyed standing test, one-leg jumping test - and an original questionnaire survey. Results: The children born at term achieved better results in the majority of tests. The comparison of girls and boys born prematurely and at term showed no statistically significant difference between them in terms of dynamic balance, static balance or total balance control. The comparison of the tests performed on the right and left lower limb in prematurely born children showed no statistically significant differences. Conclusion: Premature birth affects the ability to maintain body balance. The results of the study indicate the need to develop coordination skills that shape body balance in prematurely born children.
- Child - Postural balance - Premature