Special Issue "Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Exercise and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Shaher A.I. Shalfawi
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Education and Sports Science, Faculty of Arts and Education, University of Stavanger, 4036 Stavanger, Norway
Interests: measurements in sport and exercise; health risk assessment; biomechanics; sport psychology; training load; public health; heartrate and mortality; scientific methods and the philosophy of science; training-load management and its impact on young athletes’ general health; strength and conditioning; exercise and sport science; exercise physiology; exercise and performance; physical activity assessment; physical education; data analysis; higher education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The significance of the effect of health on work, school, and athletic performance is well known. Nevertheless, scientific investigations that examine how sport and exercise affect young athletes’ performance in school and athletics are under-represented. Furthermore, there is a lack of scientific research on women’s health, specifically the menstruation cycle and its impact on health and performance. This Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is devoted to publishing recent findings on “sport and exercise for health and performance” and aims to make a substantial contribution to our knowledge about:

  • women’s health;
  • young athletes’ health and performance;
  • psychological and physiological testing methods that contribute to monitoring population and specific groups’ health and performance;
  • shared mental modelling and the related management in work/school/club environments;
  • mental toughness and its impact on health and performance; and
  • heart rate and its impact on mortality.

Hence, this Special Issue aims to address a wide range of topics related, but not limited, to Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance. Therefore, the scope of this Special Issue is all aspects of Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance that can contribute to the development of scientists, teachers, coaches, athletes, women, the young, the elderly, and to the optimization of practice, including health risk assessment and management combined with effective prevention methods.

Dr. Shaher A.I. Shalfawi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • young athlete wellbeing
  • women’s health
  • school performance
  • physiological performance testing
  • psychological performance testing
  • relational coordination
  • shared mental model
  • mental toughness
  • biomechanics
  • heartrate and mortality

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Bayesian Estimation of Correlation between Measures of Blood Pressure Indices, Aerobic Capacity and Resting Heart Rate Variability Using Markov Chain Monte Carlo Simulation and 95% High Density Interval in Female School Teachers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6750; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186750 - 16 Sep 2020
Abstract
Background: Several explanations regarding the disparity observed in the literature with regard to heart rate variability (HRV) and its association with performance parameters have been proposed: the time of day when the recording was conducted, the condition (i.e., rest, active, post activity) and [...] Read more.
Background: Several explanations regarding the disparity observed in the literature with regard to heart rate variability (HRV) and its association with performance parameters have been proposed: the time of day when the recording was conducted, the condition (i.e., rest, active, post activity) and the mathematical and physiological relationships that could have influenced the results. A notable observation about early studies is that they all followed the frequentist approach to data analyses. Therefore, in an attempt to explain the disparity observed in the literature, the primary purpose of this study was to estimate the association between measures of HRV indices, aerobic performance parameters and blood pressure indices using the Bayesian estimation of correlation on simulated data using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and the equal probability of the 95% high density interval (95% HDI). Methods: The within-subjects with a one-group pretest experimental design was chosen to investigate the relationship between baseline measures of HRV (rest; independent variable), myocardial work (rate–pressure product (RPP)), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and aerobic performance parameters. The study participants were eight local female schoolteachers aged 54.1 ± 6.5 years (mean ± SD), with a body mass of 70.6 ± 11.5 kg and a height of 164.5 ± 6.5 cm. Their HRV data were analyzed in R package, and the Bayesian estimation of correlation was calculated employing the Bayesian hierarchical model that uses MCMC simulation integrated in the JAGS package. Results: The Bayesian estimation of correlation using MCMC simulation reproduced and supported the findings reported regarding norms and the within-HRV-indices associations. The results of the Bayesian estimation showed a possible association (regardless of the strength) between pNN50% and MAP (rho = 0.671; 95% HDI = 0.928–0.004), MeanRR (ms) and RPP (rho = −0.68; 95% HDI = −0.064–−0.935), SDNN (ms) and RPP (rho = 0.672; 95% HDI = 0.918–0.001), LF (ms2) and RPP (rho = 0.733; 95% HDI = 0.935–0.118) and SD2 and RPP (rho = 0.692; 95% HDI = 0.939–0.055). Conclusions: The Bayesian estimation of correlation with 95% HDI on MCMC simulated data is a new technique for data analysis in sport science and seems to provide a more robust approach to allocating credibility through a meaningful mathematical model. However, the 95% HDI found in this study, accompanied by the theoretical explanations regarding the dynamics between the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system in relation to different recording conditions (supine, reactivation, rest), recording systems, time of day (morning, evening, sleep etc.) and age of participants, suggests that the association between measures of HRV indices and aerobic performance parameters has yet to be explicated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
The Physical Characteristics of Elite Female Rugby Union Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6457; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186457 - 04 Sep 2020
Abstract
This study explored the anthropometric and body composition characteristics of elite female rugby union players, comparing between and within different playing positions. Thirty elite female rugby union players (25.6 ± 4.3 y, 171.3 ± 7.7 cm, 83.5 ± 13.9 kg) from New Zealand [...] Read more.
This study explored the anthropometric and body composition characteristics of elite female rugby union players, comparing between and within different playing positions. Thirty elite female rugby union players (25.6 ± 4.3 y, 171.3 ± 7.7 cm, 83.5 ± 13.9 kg) from New Zealand participated in this study. Physical characteristics were assessed using anthropometric (height, body mass, skinfolds) and body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) measures. Forwards were significantly taller (p < 0.01; d = 1.34), heavier (p < 0.01; d = 2.19), and possessed greater skinfolds (p < 0.01; d = 1.02) than backs. Forwards also possessed significantly greater total (p < 0.01; d = 1.83–2.25) and regional (p < 0.01; d = 1.50–2.50) body composition measures compared to backs. Healthy bone mineral density values were observed in both forwards and backs, with significantly greater values observed at the arm (p < 0.01; d = 0.92) and femoral neck (p = 0.04; d = 0.77) sites for forwards. Tight-five players were significantly heavier (p = 0.02; d = 1.41) and possessed significantly greater skinfolds (p < 0.01; d = 0.97) than loose-forwards. Tight-five also possessed significantly greater total body composition measures (p < 0.05; d = 0.97–1.77) and significantly greater trunk lean mass (p = 0.04; d = 1.14), trunk fat mass (p < 0.01; d = 1.84), and arm fat mass (p = 0.02; d = 1.35) compared to loose-forwards. Specific programming and monitoring for forwards and backs, particularly within forward positional groups, appear important due to such physical characteristic differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
Open AccessArticle
Relationships between Linear Sprint, Lower-Body Power Output and Change of Direction Performance in Elite Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176119 - 22 Aug 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between linear sprint, power output obtained during a squat and change of direction (COD) performance. Fifteen elite soccer players participated in this study (age = 21.7 ± 0.72 years, body mass = 74.9 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between linear sprint, power output obtained during a squat and change of direction (COD) performance. Fifteen elite soccer players participated in this study (age = 21.7 ± 0.72 years, body mass = 74.9 ± 9.11 kg, body height = 180.4 ± 7 cm, training experience = 9 ± 1.5 years). To examine these correlations a following battery of tests were carried out: 20-m linear sprint, one-repetition maximum (1RM) squat strength, peak power output obtained during a squat at 50% 1RM and time obtained in two 20-m COD tests with different angles of direction change (90° and 135°). In addition, COD deficits (90°-CODDEF and 135°-CODDEF) for both COD tests were calculated. The Spearman’s rank order correlation showed a nearly perfect statistical relationship between the 90°-COD and the 90°-CODDEF (r = 0.9; p < 0.001). In the case of 90°-CODDEF, there was a large statistical relationship with 135°-CODDEF (r = 0.59; p = 0.021). Moreover, there was a nearly perfect statistical relationship between 135°-COD and 135°-CODDEF (r = 0.91; p < 0.001). The statistically insignificant (p > 0.05) relationship between 20-m linear sprint time, power output obtained during a squat at 50% 1RM, 1RM squat strength level and both COD test, as well as both COD deficits were found. Results of the present study showed that 20-m linear sprinting speed, 1RM squat strength, power output obtained during squat at 50% 1RM and COD ability at 90° and 135° angles, are separate physical qualities. Moreover, it seems that COD deficit provides a more isolated measure of COD ability than the COD tests alone and does not must be limited to a specific angle, but provides knowledge about the COD ability in a range of other angles, at least concerning 90° and 135° COD angles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Six Weeks of High-Intensity Functional Training on Physical Performance in Participants with Different Training Volumes and Frequencies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6058; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176058 - 20 Aug 2020
Abstract
High-intensity functional training (HIFT) is characterized by presenting high volumes and training intensities with constantly varied exercises. The aim of this study was to analyze the internal training load and the effects of high-intensity functional training on physical performance in subjects with different [...] Read more.
High-intensity functional training (HIFT) is characterized by presenting high volumes and training intensities with constantly varied exercises. The aim of this study was to analyze the internal training load and the effects of high-intensity functional training on physical performance in subjects with different training volumes and frequencies. A total of 31 volunteers involved in high-intensity functional training (14 men and 17 women) were divided according to their training volumes and frequencies (high training-volume and frequency—HTVF; (n = 17) (nine women and eight men; age: 31.0 ± 6.3 years; height: 168.8 ± 8.1 cm, body weight: 73.6 ± 11.9 kg; BMI: 25.96 kg/m2) and moderate training volume and frequency—MTVF; (n = 14) (eight women and six men; age: 26.6 ± 4.7 years; height: 167.2 ± 8.6 cm, body weight: 75.8 ± 18.0 kg; BMI: 27.33 kg/m2)). The internal training load was determined using the session-rating of perceived exertion method. The monotony index (MI) and training strain (TS) were used to determine training variability during the training weeks. Countermovement vertical jump height, 20-m sprinting and handgrip strength were assessed at baseline and after six weeks of training. There was a time effect for MI ((F(5, 145) = 5.942; p = 0.0001)), TS ((F(5, 145) = 5.734; p = 0.0001)), weekly internal training load ((F(4.006, 116.87) = 4.188; p = 0.003)) and mean weekly internal training load ((F(4.006, 116.87) = 4.188; p = 0.003)). There was no increase in performance in either group for countermovement vertical jump height ((F(1,29) = 6.081; p = 0.050)), sprinting ((F(1,29) = 1.014; p = 0.322)), right handgrip strength ((F(1,29) = 2.522; p = 0.123)) or left handgrip strength ((F(1,29) = 2.550; p = 0.121)). The current findings suggest that six weeks of high-intensity functional training was not able to increase performance in either group. Therefore, different volumes and frequencies do not seem to influence the increase in physical performance of HIFT practitioners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of a Six-Week Swimming Training with Added Respiratory Dead Space on Respiratory Muscle Strength and Pulmonary Function in Recreational Swimmers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165743 - 08 Aug 2020
Abstract
The avoidance of respiratory muscle fatigue and its repercussions may play an important role in swimmers’ health and physical performance. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether a six-week moderate-intensity swimming intervention with added respiratory dead space (ARDS) resulted in [...] Read more.
The avoidance of respiratory muscle fatigue and its repercussions may play an important role in swimmers’ health and physical performance. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether a six-week moderate-intensity swimming intervention with added respiratory dead space (ARDS) resulted in any differences in respiratory muscle variables and pulmonary function in recreational swimmers. A sample of 22 individuals (recreational swimmers) were divided into an experimental (E) and a control (C) group, observed for maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). The intervention involved 50 min of front crawl swimming performed at 60% VO2max twice weekly for six weeks. Added respiratory dead space was induced via tube breathing (1000 mL) in group E during each intervention session. Respiratory muscle strength variables and pulmonary and respiratory variables were measured before and after the intervention. The training did not increase the inspiratory or expiratory muscle strength or improve spirometric parameters in any group. Only in group E, maximal tidal volume increased by 6.3% (p = 0.01). The ARDS volume of 1000 mL with the diameter of 2.5 cm applied in moderate-intensity swimming training constituted too weak a stimulus to develop respiratory muscles and lung function measured in the spirometry test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Absolute Accelerometer-Based Intensity Prescription Compared to Physiological Variables in Pregnant and Nonpregnant Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5651; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165651 - 05 Aug 2020
Abstract
Estimation of the intensity of physical activity (PA) based on absolute accelerometer cut points (Cp) likely over- or underestimates intensity for a specific individual. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between absolute moderate intensity Cp and the first ventilatory [...] Read more.
Estimation of the intensity of physical activity (PA) based on absolute accelerometer cut points (Cp) likely over- or underestimates intensity for a specific individual. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between absolute moderate intensity Cp and the first ventilatory threshold (VT1). A group of 24 pregnant and 15 nonpregnant women who performed a submaximal incremental walking test with measures of ventilatory parameters and accelerations from three different accelerometers on the wrist (ActiGraph wGT3X-BT, GENEActiv, Axivity AX3) and one on the hip (Actigraph wGT3X-BT) were analyzed. Cp were determined corresponding to 3 metabolic equivalents of task (MET), using the conventional MET definition (Cp3.5) (3.5 mL/kg×min) and individual resting metabolic rate (Cpind). The ventilatory equivalent (VE/VO2) was used to determine VT1. Accelerations at VT1 were significantly higher (p < 0.01) compared to Cp3.5 and Cpind in both groups. Cp3.5 and Cpind were significantly different in nonpregnant (p < 0.01) but not in pregnant women. Walking speed at VT1 (5.7 ± 0.5/6.2 ± 0.8 km/h) was significantly lower (p < 0.01) in pregnant compared to nonpregnant women and correspondent to 3.8 ± 0.7/4.9 ± 1.4 conventional METs. Intensity at absolute Cp was lower compared to the intensity at VT1 independent of the device or placement in pregnant and nonpregnant women. Therefore, we recommend individually tailored cut points such as the VT1 to better assess the effect of the intensity of PA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Anthropometric Profile of Spanish Elite Reserve Soccer Players by Playing Position over a Decade
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155446 - 28 Jul 2020
Abstract
The aims of this study were to describe the evolution of the anthropometric profile of soccer players over a decade and to compare the anthropometric profiles of players promoted from an elite reserve team to high-level soccer with those players who were not [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to describe the evolution of the anthropometric profile of soccer players over a decade and to compare the anthropometric profiles of players promoted from an elite reserve team to high-level soccer with those players who were not promoted. We examined the body mass, height, body-mass index, and body fat of 98 players enrolled in the reserve team from 2008 to 2018. The players were classified in terms of (a) the highest competitive level they achieved up to the 2019/2020 season (i.e., Spanish 1st–2nd divisions or semi-professional); (b) the period in which they played their last season on the team; and (c) their playing position. Over time, the height of goalkeepers, lateral midfielders, and attackers has increased (effect size = 0.66 ± 1.13) but has decreased in central midfielders (effect size = 0.83). The body fat of defenders has also fallen (effect size = 0.55 ± 0.95). Spanish high-level goalkeepers, lateral midfielders, and attackers were taller than their semi-professional player counterparts (effect size = 1.20 ± 1.98). Body fat did not determine promotion from a reserve team to high-level soccer, but height may be an advantage for several playing positions. The assessment of the anthropometric profile and the application of interventions should be designed according to the playing position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Influence of the Practice of Physical Activity on the Self-Perceived Quality of Life of Women with Breast Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 4986; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144986 - 10 Jul 2020
Abstract
Background: There is still no consensus on the most suitable interventions for exercise practice in breast cancer survivors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a two-year physical activity intervention (strength, aqua fitness and aerobic exercise programs) on [...] Read more.
Background: There is still no consensus on the most suitable interventions for exercise practice in breast cancer survivors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a two-year physical activity intervention (strength, aqua fitness and aerobic exercise programs) on the self-perceived quality of life and physical functionality of female breast cancer survivors. Methods: A randomized, controlled, experimental trial with a sample of 316 women (63 ± 7 years), who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The evaluations were performed using the Rikli & Jones Senior Fitness Test, and the Short Form 12 Health Survey (SF-12). Results: The participants in the strength program showed statistically significant improvements in all the items of the SF-12. The aqua fitness program obtained significant improvements in Physical Functioning and Limitations, Pain and Emotional Limitations, General Health, Vitality, Social Functioning and the physical and mental components of the SF-12. The participants in the aerobic program showed a progressive deterioration of Vitality and Mental Health. Conclusion: When assigning breast cancer survivors to an exercise program, the preferential or predominant activity should include strength exercises. On the other hand, as the second choice, those patients with particularly low levels of Vitality or Physical Limitations will show greater improvement with an aqua fitness program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Efficacy of a Six-Week Dispersed Wingate-Cycle Training Protocol on Peak Aerobic Power, Leg Strength, Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Lipids and Quality of Life in Healthy Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4860; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134860 - 06 Jul 2020
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a six-week dispersed Wingate Anaerobic test (WAnT) cycle exercise training protocol on peak aerobic power (VO2peak), isokinetic leg strength, insulin sensitivity, lipid profile and quality of life, in [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a six-week dispersed Wingate Anaerobic test (WAnT) cycle exercise training protocol on peak aerobic power (VO2peak), isokinetic leg strength, insulin sensitivity, lipid profile and quality of life, in healthy adults. Methods: We conducted a match-controlled cohort trial and participants were assigned to either the training (intervention, INT, N = 16) or non-training (control, CON, N = 17) group. INT performed 30-s WAnT bouts three times a day in the morning, afternoon and evening with each bout separated by ~4 h of rest, performed for 3 days a week for 6 weeks. Criterion measures of peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), leg strength, insulin markers such as homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) and quantitative insulin-sensitivity check index (QUICKI), blood lipids profile and health-related quality of life (HRQL) survey were assessed before and after 6 weeks in both groups. Results: Absolute VO2peak increased by 8.3 ± 7.0% (p < 0.001) after INT vs. 0.9 ± 6.1% in CON (p = 0.41) group. Maximal voluntary contraction at 30°·s−1 of the dominant lower-limb flexors in INT increased significantly post-training (p = 0.03). There were no changes in the INT individuals’ other cardiorespiratory markers, HOMA, QUICKI, blood lipids, and HRQL measures (all p > 0.05) between pre- and post-training; but importantly, no differences were observed between INT and CON groups (all p > 0.05). Conclusions: The results indicate that 6 weeks of dispersed sprint cycle training increased cardiorespiratory fitness and dynamic leg strength but had minimal impact on insulin sensitivity, blood lipids and quality of life in the exercising individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Acute Effects of Open Kinetic Chain Exercise Versus Those of Closed Kinetic Chain Exercise on Quadriceps Muscle Thickness in Healthy Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4669; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134669 - 29 Jun 2020
Abstract
This study aimed to compare immediate changes in the thickness of the rectus femoris (RF), vastus intermedius (VI), vastus lateralis (VL), vastus medialis (VM), and vastus medialis oblique (VMO) muscles after open kinetic chain exercise (OKCE) and closed kinetic chain exercise (CKCE) and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare immediate changes in the thickness of the rectus femoris (RF), vastus intermedius (VI), vastus lateralis (VL), vastus medialis (VM), and vastus medialis oblique (VMO) muscles after open kinetic chain exercise (OKCE) and closed kinetic chain exercise (CKCE) and identify the effect of both exercise types on each quadricep muscle for early rehabilitation to prevent knee joint injury. Twenty-six healthy participants (13 males and 13 females) were randomly divided into the OKCE (n = 13) and CKCE (n = 13) groups. The thickness of their quadriceps muscles was measured using a portable ultrasonic imaging device before and after exercise in the sequence RF, VI, VL, VM, and VMO. A two-way repeated measures analysis of variance was used to compare the thickness of each component of the quadriceps muscles between the two groups. The thickness of the RF, VL, VM, and VMO muscles increased after OKCE, and the thickness of the VI muscle showed the greatest increase with a medium–large effect size (F = 8.52, p = 0.01, and d = 0.53). The thickness of the VI, VL, VM, and VMO muscles increased after CKCE, and the VMO muscle had the largest effect size (F = 11.71, p = 0.00, and d = 1.02). These results indicate that the thickness of the quadriceps muscles can be selectively improved depending on the type of exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Physical Education Intervention on Academic Performance: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4287; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124287 - 16 Jun 2020
Abstract
Background: We investigated the effects of three different interventions on academic performance in students enrolled in the first year of high school. Methods: This was a cluster randomised controlled trial conducted with 1200 students enrolled in the first year of high school. Schools [...] Read more.
Background: We investigated the effects of three different interventions on academic performance in students enrolled in the first year of high school. Methods: This was a cluster randomised controlled trial conducted with 1200 students enrolled in the first year of high school. Schools were randomly assigned to: 1. Doubling physical education (PE) classes (3:20 h of PE/week); 2. workshop with the PE teachers; 3. workshop with the PE teachers and doubling the PE classes; and 4. control group (1:40 h of PE/week). We assured that the schools within the groups were equal regarding: The structural condition of the sports court; number of PE teachers; number of school classes; and the average number of students per classroom. Results: Overall, the intervention was not effective in improving the students’ academic performance. However, the subgroup analysis showed that the workshop intervention group increased the academic performance of students who had failed an academic year (from 16 years of age), compared to their peers in the doubling the PE classes (1.3 points on average) and the control groups (1.4 points on average). Conclusions: Enhancing the pedagogical skills of the teachers is a promising approach in improving the academic performance of students who failed an academic year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Sprint Interval Running and Continuous Running Produce Training Specific Adaptations, Despite a Similar Improvement of Aerobic Endurance Capacity—A Randomized Trial of Healthy Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3865; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113865 - 29 May 2020
Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to investigate training-specific adaptations to eight weeks of moderate intensity continuous training (CT) and sprint interval training (SIT). Young healthy subjects (n = 25; 9 males and 16 females) performed either continuous training (30–60 min, [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate training-specific adaptations to eight weeks of moderate intensity continuous training (CT) and sprint interval training (SIT). Young healthy subjects (n = 25; 9 males and 16 females) performed either continuous training (30–60 min, 70–80% peak heart rate) or sprint interval training (5–10 near maximal 30 s sprints, 3 min recovery) three times per week for eight weeks. Maximal oxygen consumption, 20 m shuttle run test and 5·60 m sprint test were performed before and after the intervention. Furthermore, heart rate, oxygen pulse, respiratory exchange ratio, lactate and running economy were assessed at five submaximal intensities, before and after the training interventions. Maximal oxygen uptake increased after CT (before: 47.9 ± 1.5; after: 49.7 ± 1.5 mL·kg−1·min−1, p < 0.05) and SIT (before: 50.5 ± 1.6; after: 53.3 ± 1.5 mL·kg−1·min−1, p < 0.01), with no statistically significant differences between groups. Both groups increased 20 m shuttle run performance and 60 m sprint performance, but SIT performed better than CT at the 4th and 5th 60 m sprint after the intervention (p < 0.05). At submaximal intensities, CT, but not SIT, reduced heart rate (p < 0.05), whereas lactate decreased in both groups. In conclusion, both groups demonstrated similar improvements of several performance measures including VO2max, but sprint performance was better after SIT, and CT caused training-specific adaptations at submaximal intensities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Post-Activation Performance Enhancement Occur during the Bench Press Exercise under Blood Flow Restriction?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113752 - 26 May 2020
Abstract
Background: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of post-activation performance enhancement (PAPE) during successive sets of the bench press (BP) exercise under blood flow restriction (BFR). Methods: The study included 10 strength-trained males (age = 29.8 [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of post-activation performance enhancement (PAPE) during successive sets of the bench press (BP) exercise under blood flow restriction (BFR). Methods: The study included 10 strength-trained males (age = 29.8 ± 4.6 years; body mass = 94.3 ± 3.6 kg; BP 1-repetition maximum (1RM) = 168.5 ± 26.4 kg). The experiment was performed following a randomized crossover design, where each participant performed two different exercise protocols: under blood flow restriction (BFR) and control test protocol (CONT) without blood flow restriction. During the experimental sessions, the study participants performed 3 sets of 3 repetitions of the BP exercise at 70%1RM with a 5 min rest interval between sets. The differences in peak power output (PP), mean power output (MP), peak bar velocity (PV), and mean bar velocity (MV) between the CONT and BFR conditions were examined using 2-way (condition × set) repeated measures ANOVA. Furthermore, t-test comparisons between conditions were made for the set 2–set 1, set 3–set 1, and set 3–set 2 delta values for all variables. Results: The post hoc results for condition × set interaction in PP showed a significant increase in set 2 compared to set 1 for BFR (p < 0.01) and CONT (p = 0.01) conditions, a significant increase in set 3 compared to set 1 for the CONT (p = 0.01) condition, as well as a significant decrease in set 3 compared to set 1 for BFR condition occurred (p < 0.01). The post hoc results for condition × set interaction in PV showed a significant increase in set 2 compared to set 1 for BFR (p < 0.01) and CONT (p = 0.01) conditions, a significant increase in set 3 compared to set 1 for CONT (p = 0.03) condition, as well as a significant decrease in set 3 compared to set 1 for BFR condition (p < 0.01). The t-test comparisons showed significant differences in PP (p < 0.01) and PV (p = 0.01) for set 3–set 2 delta values between BFR and CONT conditions. Conclusion: The PAPE effect was analyzed through changes in power output and bar velocity that occurred under both the CONT and BFR conditions. However, the effects of PAPE have different kinetics in successive sets for BFR and for CONT conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Lung Diffusion in a 14-Day Swimming Altitude Training Camp at 1850 Meters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3501; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103501 - 17 May 2020
Abstract
Swimming exercise at sea level causes a transient decrease in lung diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO). The exposure to hypobaric hypoxia can affect lung gas exchange, and hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction may elicit pulmonary oedema. The purpose of this study is [...] Read more.
Swimming exercise at sea level causes a transient decrease in lung diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO). The exposure to hypobaric hypoxia can affect lung gas exchange, and hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction may elicit pulmonary oedema. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether there are changes in DLCO during a 14-day altitude training camp (1850 m) in elite swimmers and the acute effects of a combined training session of swimming in moderate hypoxia and 44-min cycling in acute normobaric severe hypoxia (3000 m). Participants were eight international level swimmers (5 females and 3 males; 17–24 years old; 173.5 ± 5.5 cm; 64.4 ± 5.3 kg) with a training volume of 80 km per week. The single-breath method was used to measure the changes in DLCO and functional gas exchange parameters. No changes in DLCO after a 14-day altitude training camp at 1850 m were detected but a decrease in alveolar volume (VA; 7.13 ± 1.61 vs. 6.50 ± 1.59 L; p = 0.005; d = 0.396) and an increase in the transfer coefficient of the lung for carbon monoxide (KCO; 6.23 ± 1.03 vs. 6.83 ± 1.31 mL·min−1·mmHg−1·L−1; p = 0.038; d = 0.509) after the altitude camp were observed. During the acute hypoxia combined session, there were no changes in DLCO after swimming training at 1850 m, but there was a decrease in DLCO after cycling at a simulated altitude of 3000 m (40.6 ± 10.8 vs. 36.8 ± 11.2 mL·min−1·mmHg−1; p = 0.044; d = 0.341). A training camp at moderate altitude did not alter pulmonary diffusing capacity in elite swimmers, although a cycling session at a higher simulated altitude caused a certain degree of impairment of the alveolar–capillary gas exchange. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Influence of Interval Training Frequency on Time-Trial Performance in Elite Endurance Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3190; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093190 - 04 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Purpose: To determine the impact of interval training frequency in elite endurance athletes. It was hypothesized that two longer sessions would elicit greater performance improvements and physiological adaptation than four shorter sessions at the same intensity. Methods: Elite cross-country skiers and biathletes were [...] Read more.
Purpose: To determine the impact of interval training frequency in elite endurance athletes. It was hypothesized that two longer sessions would elicit greater performance improvements and physiological adaptation than four shorter sessions at the same intensity. Methods: Elite cross-country skiers and biathletes were randomly assigned to either a high-frequency group (HF group) (5 M, 1 F, age 22 (19–26), VO2max 67.8 (65.5–70.2) mL/kg/min) doing four short interval sessions per week or a low-frequency group (LF group) (8 M, 1 F, age 22 (18–23), VO2max 70.7 (67.0–73.9) mL/kg/min) doing two longer interval sessions. All interval sessions were performed at ~85% of maximum heart rate, and groups were matched for total weekly training volume. Pre- and post-intervention, athletes completed an 8 km rollerski time-trial, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) test, and an incremental, submaximal exercise test. Results: The LF group had a statistically significant improved time-trial performance following the intervention (p = 0.04), with no statistically significant changes in the HF group. Similarly, percentage utilization of VO2max at anaerobic threshold (p = 0.04) and exercise economy (p = 0.01) were statistically significantly improved following the intervention in the LF group only. No statistically significant changes in VO2max were observed in either group. Conclusions: Two longer interval sessions appear superior to four shorter sessions per week in promoting endurance adaptations and performance improvements in elite endurance athletes. Despite matched training volume and exercise intensity, the larger, more concentrated exercise stimulus in the LF group appears to induce more favorable adaptations. The longer time between training sessions in the LF group may also have allowed athletes to recover more effectively and better “absorb” the training. These findings are in line with the “best practice” observed by many of the world’s best endurance athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Type and Volume of Recreational Physical Activity on Heart Rate Variability in Men
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2719; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082719 - 15 Apr 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of recreational aerobic physical activity (PA) type and volume on heart rate variability (HRV) in Arab men. This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study, and included men (n = 75, age = 37.6 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of recreational aerobic physical activity (PA) type and volume on heart rate variability (HRV) in Arab men. This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study, and included men (n = 75, age = 37.6 ± 7.1 years, body mass index (BMI) = 26.7 ± 3.1 kg/m2) who were members of a walking group, cycling group, or were inactive controls. Monthly distances from the past three months were obtained from walking and cycling groups, and the volume of PA was classified into three subgroups (high, moderate, low). HRV was measured using a computerized electrocardiographic data acquisition device. R–R interval recordings were performed while participants rested in a motionless supine position. RR intervals were recorded for 15 minutes, and a five-minute segment with minimal ectopic beats and artifacts was selected for HRV analysis. Time-domain parameters included the mean R–R interval, standard deviation of the mean R–R interval (SDNN), and root-mean-squared difference of successive RR intervals (RMSSD). The frequency-domain parameters included high-frequency power (HF), low-frequency power (LF), and LF to HF ratio (LF/HF). Results showed that there were no significant differences between walking, cycling, and control groups for all HRV parameters. Time-domain analyses based on PA volume showed that age-adjusted SDNN for the high-active group was greater than the low-active group (P = 0.03), and RMSSD for the moderate-active group was greater than the control group (P = 0.009). For the frequency domain, LF for the high-active group was greater than the low-active and control groups (P = 0.006), and HF for the moderate-active group was greater than the low-active group (P = 0.04). These data indicate that walking >150 km per month, or cycling >100 km per month at a speed >20 km/h may be necessary to derive cardiac autonomic benefits from PA among Arab men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Can Post-Activation Performance Enhancement (PAPE) Improve Resistance Training Volume during the Bench Press Exercise?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2554; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072554 - 08 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of post-activation performance enhancement (PAPE) on resistance training volume during the bench press exercise (BP). The study included 12 healthy strength-trained males (age 25.2 ± 2.1 years, body mass 92.1 [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of post-activation performance enhancement (PAPE) on resistance training volume during the bench press exercise (BP). The study included 12 healthy strength-trained males (age 25.2 ± 2.1 years, body mass 92.1 ± 8.7 kg, BP one-repetition maximum (1RM) 28.8 ± 10.5 kg, training experience 6.3 ± 2.1 years). Methods: The experiment was performed following a randomized crossover design, where each participant performed two different exercise protocols with a conditioning activity (CA) consisting of the BP with three sets of three repetitions at 85% 1RM (PAPE), and a control without the CA (CONT). To assess the differences between PAPE and CONT, the participants performed three sets of the BP to volitional failure at 60% 1RM. The differences in the number of performed repetitions (REP), time under tension (TUT), peak power output (PP), mean of peak power output (PPMEAN), mean power output (MP), peak bar velocity (PV), mean of peak bar velocity (PVMEAN), and mean bar velocity (MV) between the CONT and PAPE conditions were examined using repeated measures ANOVA. Results: The post-hoc analysis for the main condition effect indicated significant increases in TUT (p < 0.01) for the BP following PAPE, compared to the CONT condition. Furthermore, there was a significant increase in TUT (p < 0.01) in the third set for PAPE compared to the CONT condition. No statistically significant main effect was revealed for REP, PP, PV, PPMEAN, PVMEAN, MP, and MV. Conclusion: The main finding of the study was that the PAPE protocol increased training volume based on TUT, without changes in the number of preformed REP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Double-Taped Kinesio Taping on Pain and Functional Performance due to Muscle Fatigue in Young Males: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2364; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072364 - 31 Mar 2020
Abstract
Kinesio taping (KT) is widely applied for pain control and rehabilitation in clinical settings. Tape tension is a key factor in the taping method. However, limited evidence exists regarding the reinforced tension effects of KT on functional performance and pain in healthy individuals. [...] Read more.
Kinesio taping (KT) is widely applied for pain control and rehabilitation in clinical settings. Tape tension is a key factor in the taping method. However, limited evidence exists regarding the reinforced tension effects of KT on functional performance and pain in healthy individuals. This study aimed to investigate the immediate effects of double-taped Kinesio taping (DTKT) on functional performance and pain caused by muscle fatigue after exercise. A total of 44 healthy male students (mean age, 23.3 ± 2.2 years) were randomly assigned to the following three groups: DTKT, normal-tape Kinesio taping (NTKT), and placebo. The single-hopping (SH) distance, vertical jump height (VJH), and power (VJP) were assessed at baseline. The muscle fatigue protocol was then applied to induce muscle soreness. Outcome measures including subjective pain, SH distance, VJH and VJP were evaluated immediately after the muscle fatigue protocol, and KT was then applied; the measures were then again evaluated immediately and 24 h after KT application. No significant interactions between pain and functional performance were observed (p > 0.05), and there were no significant differences in SH, VJH, and VJP among the groups (p > 0.05). Notably, the DTKT had an immediate effect on the alleviation of pain caused by muscle fatigue. The present findings indicate that DTKT is not superior to NTKT or placebo in terms of pain relief and enhancing functional performance after tape application in healthy male students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
High Level of Physical Activity Reduces the Risk of Renal Progression in Hypertensive Patients
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1669; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051669 - 04 Mar 2020
Abstract
Physical activity has long been associated with chronic diseases. However, the association between physical activity and renal progression in hypertensive patients remains unclear. This study investigated the relationship between the level of physical activity and renal function in hypertensive patients. We analyzed 3543 [...] Read more.
Physical activity has long been associated with chronic diseases. However, the association between physical activity and renal progression in hypertensive patients remains unclear. This study investigated the relationship between the level of physical activity and renal function in hypertensive patients. We analyzed 3543 patients with hypertension. Data on patients’ demographic characteristics, comorbidities, physical activity, and lifestyle characteristics were collected via questionnaires. An estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) that was reduced by more than 25% from the baseline eGFR was defined as renal progression. This study divided physical activity into three levels (low, moderate, and high) based on their metabolic equivalent of tasks (METs) levels. The mean age was 63.32 ± 12.29 years. After we adjusted for covariates, renal progression was significantly higher among patients with low levels of physical activity (odds ratio (OR), 1.39; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01–1.90)) and moderate levels of physical activity (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.04–1.86) than among patients with high levels of physical activity. We found a significant association between physical activity and renal progression in hypertensive patients, especially in elderly patients and men. Therefore, to reduce the risk of renal progression, we recommend that clinicians should encourage patients to improve their physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)
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Open AccessArticle
Systematic Observation of the Verbal Behavior of Families of Youth Athletes in Grassroots and Team Sports
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1286; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041286 - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Some of the more protective and favorable factors for the development and health in children and teenagers are family and sport, so family involvement in the children’s sports activities is vital in their sports process. The purpose of this study was to analyze [...] Read more.
Some of the more protective and favorable factors for the development and health in children and teenagers are family and sport, so family involvement in the children’s sports activities is vital in their sports process. The purpose of this study was to analyze the verbal behavior (positive, negative, and neutral comments) of family spectators of school-age athletes regarding sociodemographic and sporting variables. The sample consisted of 190 family spectators of 215 male and female (Mage = 11.66; SD = 1.60) football, basketball, and volleyball players. The Parents’ Observation Instrument at Sport Events (POISE) was used for the observation and LINCE was used to codify the verbal comments made. After registering 38,829 comments, the results showed statistically significant differences in relation to the comments made and the gender of athletes, geographical area, kind of sport, and the sporting category. The findings highlight that in a competitive environment, the comments made by spectators related to athletes do not seem to be initiators of potentially violent situations but rather are dependent on the atmosphere in question. Further research is required in this area to foster positive conduct relating to grassroots sports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise for Health and Performance)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The relationship between measures of blood pressure, aerobic capacity and resting heart rate variability in female schoolteachers over 30 years old
Authors:
Shaher A.I. Shalfawi
Affiliation: 
Department of Education and Sports Science, Faculty of Arts and Education, University of Stavanger

Title: Comparison of the acute effects of open kinetic versus closed kinetic chain exercise on quadriceps muscle thickness in healthy adults
Authors: Soul Cheon; Eunwook Chang
Affiliation: Department of Kinesiology, Inha University, Incheon, South Korea

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