Abstract: Strategies to early develop and implement motor skill promotion in preschoolers are lacking. Thus, we examined the effects of a card-based exercise promotion program in a kindergarten setting. 214 preschool children (5.5 ± 0.6 y, range 4.2–6.7 y) were examined in the present intervention study. Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference were measured. Children were randomly assigned to the KIDZ-Box® physical activity intervention program (INT: n = 107) or the control group (CON: n = 107). Children were trained daily for 15 min over 7 month at the preschool for agility, balance, endurance and jump performance, employing the card-based KIDZ-Box® media package. At pre- and post-testing, dynamic balance, jump and agility performance were tested. Cross-sectionally, agility testing differed between sexes (p = 0.01) and BMI (p = 0.02). Trends towards a significant association were found between BMI and side-to-side jumping (p = 0.1) and beam balancing (p = 0.05). Relevant interventional effects favoring the intervention group were slightly found for agility (p = 0.04, ηp2 = 0.02) and moderately for side-to-side jumping (p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.08). Balance performance did not relevantly improve. As jumping cards have been used frequently by the teachers, jumping improvements are plausible. The activity cards are feasibly applicable but should be employed with more structure during longer training sessions.
Abstract: Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, the Westlawn neighborhood is home to the State of Wisconsin’s largest public housing development. Westlawn is a low-income, African-American urban community that suffers from a wide range of health and environmental disparities. A community-based participatory action (CBPA) team was formed to address environmental health issues in Westlawn, and found asthma rates there are among the highest in the State. Decreasing air pollution, and corresponding asthma triggers, became a priority for the community. The CBPA team developed a bicycling program to reduce trips made by car and improve air quality in the Westlawn neighborhood. Input from focus group meetings shaped the development, implementation and expansion of the bicycling program. While the program was originally conceived to address environmental health issues, it provided key findings about how to encourage bicycling in low-income minority urban communities.
Abstract: Environmental conditions affect outdoor sports performance. This is particularly true in some sports, especially in the sport of sailing, where environmental parameters are extremely influential as they interact directly with strategic analysis of the race area and then with strategic analysis of the performance itself. For these reasons, this research presents an innovative methodology for the strategic analysis of the race course that is based on the integrated assessment of meteorological data measured on the ground, meteorological data measured at sea during the training activities and the results of the CALMET model in hindcasting over a limited scale. The results obtained by the above analysis are then integrated into a graphical representation that provides to coaches and athletes the main strategic directions of the race course in a simple and easy-to-use way. The authors believe that the innovative methodology that has been adopted in the present research may represent a new approach to the integrated analysis of meteorological data on coastal environments. On the other hand, the results of this analysis, if presented with an appropriate technique of meta‑communication adapted to the sport sectors, can be used effectively for the improvement of athletes’ performances.
Abstract: Few studies have examined the role of shoe height in the context of American football cleats. Eighteen adult males (28.4 ± 1.9 years, 182.3 ± 0.6 cm, 75.7 ± 1.6 kg) performed four football drills (60-yd dash, 54-yd cutting drill, 5-10-5 drill [pro agility drill], and ladder jumping drill) in low-top, mid-top, and high-top American football cleats. Drill-specific performance outcomes were measured after each drill, and the subjects’ ankle range-of-motion (dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, eversion, inversion) and perception of the footwear (comfort, heaviness, stability) were assessed before and after each drill sequence. Performance outcomes were not influenced by shoe height. The high-top cleat limited dorsiflexion and inversion, but not plantarflexion or eversion, compared to low-top and mid-top cleats. Athletes rated the high-top cleats as less comfortable and heavier than either the low-top or mid-top cleats, but perceived the mid-top and high-top cleats to be equally stable to each other, and both more stable than the low-top cleats. Range-of-motion and performance scores did not change as a result of acute exercise. These findings suggest that high-top cleats may limit ankle motions associated with injury without deleteriously influencing performance, though athletes may not perceive the high-top cleats as favorably as low- or mid-top cleats.
Abstract: Technological developments have led to the increased use of carbon fiber and prosthetic lower-limbs in running events at the Paralympic Games. This study aims to exploit a series of statistical techniques in order to prepare a response to the vital question of whether utilizing prosthetic feet can affect an athletes ability when running competitively at the Paralympics Games by comparing both within and between different classifications. The study also considers the differences between running on biological limbs and prosthetic lower-limbs from a mechanical point of view. The results from the male 100 m, 200 m and 400 m at the 2012 London Paralympic Games have been the source of this investigation. The investigation provides statistical evidence to propose that the number of prosthetic limbs used and the structure of such limbs have a significant impact on the outcome of track events at the Paralympic Games.
Abstract: Impaired exercise capacity is the core symptom of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). We assessed effects of exercise training and Crataegus extract WS 1442 in HFpEF and aimed to identify mechanisms of action in an exploratory trial (German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00000259). 140 sedentary HFpEF NYHA II patients on standard treatment received eight weeks of aerobic endurance training and half were randomized to WS 1442 900 mg/day. Symptoms, 2 km walking time (T2km), parameters of exercise tolerance, cardiac and vascular function, muscular efficiency and skeletal muscular haemoglobin oxygen saturation (SO2) measured during a treadmill protocol were captured at baseline and after eight weeks. Adverse events were recorded during the trial. Mechanisms of action were explored by correlation and path analyses of changes. Symptoms and exercise capacity improved with training, but correlations between improvements were low and path models were rejected. SO2 increased, decreased or undulated with increasing exercise intensity in individual patients and was not altered by training. WS 1442 improved T2km (-12.7% vs. -8.4%, p = 0.019), tended to improve symptoms and to pronounce SO2-decrease with increasing exercise, an indicator of oxygen utilisation. Endurance training and WS 1442 were safe and well tolerated in combination with standard drug treatment.