Special Issue "Health Promotion in Children and Adolescents through Sport and Physical Activities"

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Antonino Bianco

Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Unit, University of Palermo, Via Giovanni Pascoli, 6, 90144. Palermo, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: physical activity; training; strength and conditioning; health promotion

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I made the important decision to handle a Special Issue because I believe it to be extremely crucial to focus on proper children’s and adolescents’ physiological and psychological development. The idea is to collect research that investigate the role of physical activity and sport on physical and mental well-being, with particular focus on practical implications, innovation, tools, and technique development. The Special Issue, “Health Promotion in Children and Adolescents through Sport and Physical Activities” addresses paediatric exercise science as a key scientific discipline able to help future generations to live longer and better. I want just to mention the fact that it is already clear that sedentariness and a low level of muscular strength and power significantly affects cognitive functions and daily relations, but it can be of interest to understand what the key determinants are and how we can help professionals to better manage those concerns in their daily activities. Authors are invited to submit letters, original research papers, case studies, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews.

Dr. Antonino Bianco
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • physical activity
  • training
  • conditioning
  • health promotion
  • paediatric exercise science
  • sport
  • cognitive functions
  • sedentary lifestyle

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial The Epidemic of Obesity and Poor Physical Activity Participation: Will We Ever See a Change?
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3020034
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 10 June 2018
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Open AccessEditorial Preventing Violence and Social Exclusion through Sport and Physical Activity: The SAVE Project
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3020025
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract
Sport Against Violence and Exclusion (SAVE), a project cofounded by the Erasmus + Program of the European Union, seeks to prevent violent and socially exclusive behaviors through physical activity. The current editorial shows a range of possible interpretations of these two phenomena from
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Sport Against Violence and Exclusion (SAVE), a project cofounded by the Erasmus + Program of the European Union, seeks to prevent violent and socially exclusive behaviors through physical activity. The current editorial shows a range of possible interpretations of these two phenomena from both a psychological and sociological point of view, offering helpful methods to coaches who train children (ages 6 to 12)in grass-root sport clubs. Following a thorough analysis, partners from seven EU countries (Lithuania, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Austria, and Spain) will be able to identify skills and techniques for coaches to ensure inclusive training methods as well as to provide them with effective conflict resolution tools. Furthermore, both trainers and parents will have access to an online platform with useful information regarding these issues. Full article
Open AccessEditorial Cognitive and Motivational Monitoring during Enriched Sport Activities in a Sample of Children Living in Europe. The Esa Program
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2017, 2(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk2040046
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Enriched Sport Activities (ESA) Program is an Evidence-based Practice Exercise Program cofounded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union (Key action: Sport-579661-EPP-1-2016-2-IT-SPO-SCP) [...]
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Research

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Open AccessArticle Effects of a Sports-Oriented Primary School on Students’ Physical Literacy and Cognitive Performance
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3030037
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 23 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
As only a small group of children fulfil the guidelines for physical activity, interventions are necessary to promote active lifestyles. We examined the effects of a sports-oriented primary school (N = 79) in comparison to a regular primary school (N =
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As only a small group of children fulfil the guidelines for physical activity, interventions are necessary to promote active lifestyles. We examined the effects of a sports-oriented primary school (N = 79) in comparison to a regular primary school (N = 90) on students’ physical literacy and cognitive performance. To evaluate the implementation of the sports-oriented school curriculum a process evaluation was conducted, in which the school curriculum was analysed and guideline-based interviews were carried out with the schoolteachers and the school director. To measure students’ physical literacy and cognitive performance several tests were used. Small positive effects of the sports-oriented primary school on students’ physical literacy were shown in standing long jump and attitudes towards physical activity. There were no differences between the groups regarding cognitive performance. This study provides the first insights on how a sports-oriented school can promote students’ physical literacy in the future. The results are in line with previous research that shows that when children spend more time in physical education and overall physical activities at school, no negative consequences result for their cognitive performance. In future, long-term evaluations of the effects of sports-oriented schools are required to receive valid results on the effects on students. Full article
Open AccessArticle Actual vs. Perceived Motor Competence in Children (8–10 Years): An Issue of Non-Veridicality
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3020020
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the between- and within-sex differences in actual and perceived locomotor and object control skills in children (8–10 year). All participants (58 children (29 boys; 9.5 ± 0.6 years; 1.44 ± 0.09 m; 39.6 ± 9.5
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the between- and within-sex differences in actual and perceived locomotor and object control skills in children (8–10 year). All participants (58 children (29 boys; 9.5 ± 0.6 years; 1.44 ± 0.09 m; 39.6 ± 9.5 kg; body mass index; 18.8 ± 3.1 kg·m2)) completed the Test of Gross Motor Development (2nd edition) and the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children. Between- and within-sex differences were assessed using independent and paired samples t-tests, respectively. For all tests, effect sizes and Bayes factors were calculated. There were significant differences (p < 0.001) between sexes for perceived locomotor and perceived object control skills (boys > girls), with Bayes factors extremely in favour of the alternate hypothesis (BF: 55,344 and 460, respectively). A significant difference (p < 0.001) was found between girls’ actual and perceived locomotor skills (d = −0.88; 95% confidence interval: −0.46 to −1.34), with Bayes factors extremely in favour of the alternate hypothesis (BF: 483). A significant difference (p < 0.001) was found between boys’ actual and perceived object control skills (d = 0.69; 95% CI: 0.2 to 1.12), with Bayes factors very strongly in favour of the alternate hypothesis (BF: 41). These findings suggest that there exists an issue of non-veridicality between actual and perceived motor competence skills, and their subsets, and a sex-mediated discord in children (8–10 years). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Relationship between Sedentary Time, Physical Activity and Multiple Lifestyle Factors in Children
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3010015
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
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Abstract
An improved understanding of relationships between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), screen-time and lifestyle factors is imperative for developing interventions, yet few studies have explored such relationships simultaneously. Therefore, the study’s aim was to examine the relationship between sufficient MVPA (≥60 min·day–1)
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An improved understanding of relationships between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), screen-time and lifestyle factors is imperative for developing interventions, yet few studies have explored such relationships simultaneously. Therefore, the study’s aim was to examine the relationship between sufficient MVPA (≥60 min·day–1) and excessive screen-time (≥2 h·day–1) with lifestyle factors in children. In total, 756 children (10.4 ± 0.6 years) completed a questionnaire, which assessed sleep duration, MVPA, homework/reading, screen-time and diet, and a 20 metre multi-stage shuttle run test to assess cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). Body mass and stature were measured and used to calculate BMI (body mass index) for age/sex z-scores. Fruit and vegetable consumption and CRF were positively associated with sufficient MVPA, irrespective of sex (p < 0.05). Excessive screen-time was positively associated with sugary snack consumption in boys and girls, and diet soft drink intake in boys (p < 0.05). In addition, excessive screen-time was negatively associated with MVPA before school for both boys and girls, as well as with sleep duration and fruit and vegetable consumption for girls (p < 0.05). Sufficient MVPA and excessive screen-time were associated with healthy and unhealthy factors, respectively, with relationships sometimes differing by sex. Future health promoting interventions should consider targeting change in multiple lifestyle factors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Physical Fitness Evaluation of School Children in Southern Italy: A Cross Sectional Evaluation
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3010014
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this work was to evaluate the fitness levels of different physical components in schoolchildren in southern Italy and identify age-related effects of physical performance. One hundred and fifty-four schoolchildren with ages ranging between 6 and 10 years (age 8.1 ±
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The aim of this work was to evaluate the fitness levels of different physical components in schoolchildren in southern Italy and identify age-related effects of physical performance. One hundred and fifty-four schoolchildren with ages ranging between 6 and 10 years (age 8.1 ± 1.45 years; 33.70 ± 10.25 kg; 131.50 ± 13.60 cm) were recruited for the investigation. Each scholar underwent a fitness-test battery composed of five elements. A Hand-Grip Strength Test to assess the strength of the hand muscles, a Standing Broad Jump Test to assess lower body explosive strength, a Sit-Up Test to exhaustion to evaluate abdominal muscular endurance, a 4 × 10-m Shuttle Run Test to assess agility, and a 20-m sprint test to assess speed. Cross-sectional analysis revealed that boys perform better than girls and that age affects performance. Lower limb measures show a significant increase after 8 years of age, whereas upper limb measures show a significant increase at 7 and 10 years of age. No age-related differences were found in muscular endurance measures. It is possible to consider age-related performance measures to program exercise interventions that follow the growth characteristics of schoolchildren. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Do Young Elite Football Athletes Have the Same Strength and Power Characteristics as Senior Athletes?
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2017, 2(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk2040048
Received: 2 December 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
An increasing number of young football athletes are competing in elite senior level competitions. However, comparison of strength, power, and speed characteristics between young elite football athletes and their senior counterparts, while controlling for anthropometric parameters, is yet to be investigated. Knee extension
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An increasing number of young football athletes are competing in elite senior level competitions. However, comparison of strength, power, and speed characteristics between young elite football athletes and their senior counterparts, while controlling for anthropometric parameters, is yet to be investigated. Knee extension concentric peak torque, jump performance, and 20 m straight-line speed were compared between age groups of under 17 (U17: n = 24), under 19 (U19: n = 25), and senior (seniors: n = 19) elite, national and international level, male football athletes. Analysis of covariance was performed, with height and body mass used as covariates. No significant differences were found between age groups for knee extension concentric peak torque (p = 0.28–0.42), while an effect was observed when the covariates of height and body mass were applied (p < 0.001). Senior players had greater jump and speed performance, whereas an effect was observed only for the covariate of body mass in the 15 m and 20 m (p < 0.001) speed testing. No differences were observed between U17 and U19 groups for jump and speed performance (p = 0.26–0.46). The current study suggests that younger elite football athletes (<19 years) have lower jump and speed performance than their senior counterparts, but not for strength when height and body mass are considered as covariates. Emphasis should be on power development capacities at the late youth phase when preparing athletes for the senior competition level. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview The Role of Exercise in Pediatric and Adolescent Cancers: A Review of Assessments and Suggestions for Clinical Implementation
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3010007
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 4 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 14 January 2018
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Abstract
In the European Union, five-year survival rates for childhood cancer patients are approaching 72–80%, which is a testament to better diagnostics and improved treatment. As a result, a large proportion of childhood cancer patients go on to live productive lives well past reproductive
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In the European Union, five-year survival rates for childhood cancer patients are approaching 72–80%, which is a testament to better diagnostics and improved treatment. As a result, a large proportion of childhood cancer patients go on to live productive lives well past reproductive age. While this is encouraging, childhood cancer treatment is accompanied by multiple long-term adverse effects on physical and mental wellbeing. While there are several approaches to address mental health, reproductive integrity, secondary pathologies, and recurrence, in order to optimize quality of life in childhood cancer patients, exercise and nutrition should also be considered. It is clear that physical activity plays an important role in the prevention and reduction of long-term adverse side effects associated with cancer treatment in both children and adults. However, the current exercise guidelines for cancer survivors are based on adult data and accordingly are not appropriate for children. As children and adults are markedly different, including both the pathophysiology of cancer and exercise response, treatment plans incorporating exercise for children should be age-specific and individually tailored to both reduce the development of future comorbidities and enhance physical health. The purpose of this paper is to review the predominant cancer types and effects of cancer treatment in children, describe several special considerations, and propose a framework for assessment and exercise guidelines for this population. Full article
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