Special Issue "Body Composition and Physical Health in Sports Practice"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Stefania Toselli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departments of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Interests: anthropometry; youth sports; health status; body composition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A Special Issue on body composition and physical health in sports practice, in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, is being organized. For detailed information on the journal, I refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

Research in human body composition has gained relevance given the recognized health impact of several body components. Many contemporary scientists have contributed to the field of body composition research as it exists today, even though interest in the topic extends back several thousand years. Quantifying human body composition in sports practice plays an important role in monitoring athlete health status, performance, and training regimens. Such analysis can be performed in different contexts and with different approaches, e.g., in cross-sectional studies that aim to characterize sporting group samples and in longitudinal research finalized to define short-term or long-term changes and implications for physical health and performance. Body composition is also fundamental to a correct interpretation of body mass and weight status, in order to plan specific interventions.

The purpose of this research collection is to add information on:

  • the effect of body composition on physical health and sport performance;
  • current body composition measurement techniques; and
  • strategies for improving physical health through sports practice.

This Special Issue is open to the subject area of body composition and physical health in sports practice. The keywords listed below provide an outline of some of the possible areas of interest.

Dr. Stefania Toselli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). 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

  • anthropometry
  • hydration status
  • bioimpedance vector analysis
  • physical performance
  • exercise training
  • body weight
  • weight status.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Lower Percentage of Fat Mass among Tai Chi Chuan Practitioners
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041232 - 14 Feb 2020
Abstract
The aim of the study was to analyze total and regional body composition in Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) middle-aged and elderly practitioners. A cross-sectional study on 139 Italian subjects was realized: 34 TCC practitioners (14 men, 20 women; 62.8 ± 7.4 years) and [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to analyze total and regional body composition in Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) middle-aged and elderly practitioners. A cross-sectional study on 139 Italian subjects was realized: 34 TCC practitioners (14 men, 20 women; 62.8 ± 7.4 years) and 105 sedentary volunteers (49 men, 56 women; 62.8 ± 6.4 years). Anthropometric measurements (height, weight, arm, waist, and calf circumferences), hand-grip strength, and physical capacity values were collected. Total and regional (arm, leg, and trunk) body composition was analyzed by means of specific bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (specific BIVA). TCC practitioners of both sexes were characterized by a normal nutritional status, normal levels of physical capacity, and normal values of hand-grip strength. Compared to controls, they showed lower percentages of fat mass (lower specific resistance) in the total body, the arm, and the trunk, and higher muscle mass (higher phase angle) in the trunk, but lower muscle mass in the arm. Sexual dimorphism was characterized by higher muscle mass (total body, arm, and trunk) and lower %FM (arm) in men; sex differences were less accentuated among TCC practitioners than in the control. TCC middle-aged and elderly practitioners appear to be less affected by the process of physiological aging and the associated fat mass changes, compared to sedentary people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body Composition and Physical Health in Sports Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of the Effect of Different Resistance Training Frequencies on Phase Angle and Handgrip Strength in Obese Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1163; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041163 (registering DOI) - 12 Feb 2020
Abstract
Phase angle (PA) is a strong predictor of sarcopenia, fragility, and risk of mortality in obese people, while an optimal muscular function and handgrip strength (HS) are required to perform different daily activities. Although there is a general agreement that resistance training improves [...] Read more.
Phase angle (PA) is a strong predictor of sarcopenia, fragility, and risk of mortality in obese people, while an optimal muscular function and handgrip strength (HS) are required to perform different daily activities. Although there is a general agreement that resistance training improves health status in obese people, the optimal weekly training frequency for PA and physical performance parameters is not clear. This study aimed to compare the effects of different weekly resistance training frequencies performed over a 24 week exercise program on PA and HS in obese people. Forty-two women (56.2 ± 9.1 years, body mass index (BMI) 37.1 ± 4.9 kg/m2) were randomly allocated to one of two groups: a group with a high weekly training frequency of three times a week (HIGH, n = 21) and a group that performed only one weekly session (LOW, n = 21). The groups trained with an identical exercise intensity and volume per session for 6 months. Before and after the intervention period, the participants were assessed for anthropometric measures, bioimpedance analysis, and HS. There was a significant group × time interaction (p < 0.05) for waist circumference, bioimpedance reactance divided by body height (Xc/H), PA, and HS measures. In addition, only the HIGH group increased Xc/H, PA, and HS after the intervention period (p < 0.05), even after adjusting for weight loss and menopausal status. Physical exercise performed three times a week promotes better adaptations in PA and HS when compared with the same program performed once a week in obese women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body Composition and Physical Health in Sports Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Dehydration on Metabolic and Neuromuscular Functionality during Cycling
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041161 - 12 Feb 2020
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the effects of dehydration on metabolic and neuromuscular functionality performance during a cycling exercise. Ten male subjects (age 23.4 ± 2.7 years; body weight 74.6 ± 10.4 kg; height 177.3 ± 4.6 cm) cycled at 65% VO2max [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the effects of dehydration on metabolic and neuromuscular functionality performance during a cycling exercise. Ten male subjects (age 23.4 ± 2.7 years; body weight 74.6 ± 10.4 kg; height 177.3 ± 4.6 cm) cycled at 65% VO2max for 60 min followed by a time-to-trial (TT) at 95% VO2max, in two different conditions: dehydration (DEH) and hydration (HYD). The bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA) and body weight measurements were performed to assess body fluid changes. Heart rate (HR), energy cost, minute ventilation, oxygen uptake, and metabolic power were evaluated during the experiments. In addition, neuromuscular activity of the vastus medialis and biceps femoris muscles were assessed by surface electromyography. After exercise induced dehydration, the bioimpedance vector significantly lengthens along the major axis of the BIVA graph, in conformity with the body weight change (−2%), that indicates a fluid loss. Metabolic and neuromuscular parameters significantly increased during TT at 95% VO2max with respect to constant workload at 65% of VO2max. Dehydration during a one-hour cycling test and subsequent TT caused a significant increase in HR, while neuromuscular function showed a lower muscle activation in dehydration conditions on both constant workload and on TT. Furthermore, a significant difference between HYD and DEH for TT duration was found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body Composition and Physical Health in Sports Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Bout of Intense Exercise on Some Executive Functions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 898; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030898 - 31 Jan 2020
Abstract
The present study examined the effects of an exhaustive exercise on executive functions by using the Stroop Color Word Test (SCWT), Trail Making Test (TMT), A and B, and simple Reaction Time (RT). Thirty adults agreed to participate; 15 participants had a mean [...] Read more.
The present study examined the effects of an exhaustive exercise on executive functions by using the Stroop Color Word Test (SCWT), Trail Making Test (TMT), A and B, and simple Reaction Time (RT). Thirty adults agreed to participate; 15 participants had a mean age of 24.7 years ± 3.2 Standard Deviation (SD, Standard Deviation) (group YOUNG), while the remaining 15 had a mean age of 58.9 years ± 2.6 SD (group OLD). Each subject performed the cognitive tasks at rest and blood lactate was measured (pre); each subject executed the acute exhaustive exercise and, immediately after the conclusion, executed the cognitive tasks and blood lactate was again measured (end). Cognitive tests were repeated and blood lactate measured 15 min after its conclusion of the exhaustive exercise (post). We observed: (1) a significant positive correlation between blood lactate levels and RT levels; (2) a significant negative relationship between levels of blood lactate and the SCWT mean score; (3) no significant correlation between blood lactate levels and TMT scores (time and errors), both A and B; (4) variations in blood lactate levels, due to exhaustive exercise, and parallel deterioration in the execution of RT and SCWT are significantly more pronounced in the group YOUNG than in the group OLD. The present study supports the possibility that high levels of blood lactate induced by an exhaustive exercise could adversely affect the executive functions pertaining to the prefrontal cortex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body Composition and Physical Health in Sports Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
The Predictive Role of Raw Bioelectrical Impedance Parameters in Water Compartments and Fluid Distribution Assessed by Dilution Techniques in Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030759 - 24 Jan 2020
Abstract
The aims of this study were to analyze the usefulness of raw bioelectrical impedance (BI) parameters in assessing water compartments and fluid distribution in athletes. A total of 202 men and 71 female athletes were analyzed. Total body water (TBW) and extracellular water [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to analyze the usefulness of raw bioelectrical impedance (BI) parameters in assessing water compartments and fluid distribution in athletes. A total of 202 men and 71 female athletes were analyzed. Total body water (TBW) and extracellular water (ECW) were determined by dilution techniques, while intracellular water (ICW) was calculated. Fluid distribution was calculated as the ECW/ICW ratio (E:I). Phase angle (PhA), resistance (R) and reactance (Xc) were obtained through BI spectroscopy using frequency 50kHz. Fat (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. After adjusting for height, FM, FFM, age and sports category we observed that: PhA predicted ICW (females: β = 1.62, p < 0.01; males: β = 2.70, p < 0.01) and E:I (males and females: β = −0.08; p < 0.01); R explained TBW (females: β = −0.03; p < 0.01; males: β = −0.06; p < 0.01) and ECW (females: β = –0.02, p < 0.01; males: β = −0.03, p < 0.01) and ICW (females: β = –0.01, p < 0.053; males: β = –0.03 p < 0.01); and Xc predicted ECW (females: β = −0.06, p < 0.01; males: β = −0.12, p < 0.01). A higher PhA is a good predictor of a larger ICW pool and a lower E:I, regardless of body composition, age, height, and sports category. Lower R is associated with higher water pools whereas ECW expansion is explained by lower Xc. Raw BI parameters are useful predictors of total and extracellular pools, cellular hydration and fluid distribution in athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body Composition and Physical Health in Sports Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Overweight in Young Athletes: New Predictive Model of Overfat Condition
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 5128; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16245128 - 16 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of the study is to establish a simple and low-cost method that, associated with Body Mass Index (BMI), differentiates overweight conditions due to a prevalence of lean mass compared to an excess of fat mass during the evaluation of young athletes. [...] Read more.
The aim of the study is to establish a simple and low-cost method that, associated with Body Mass Index (BMI), differentiates overweight conditions due to a prevalence of lean mass compared to an excess of fat mass during the evaluation of young athletes. 1046 young athletes (620 male, 426 female) aged between eight and 18 were enrolled. Body composition assessments were performed with anthropometry, circumferences, skinfold, and bioimpedance. Overweight was established with BMI, while overfat was established with the percentage of fat mass: 3.5% were underweight, 72.8% were normal weight, 20.1% were overweight, and 3.5% were obese according to BMI; according to the fat mass, 9.5% were under fat, 63.6% were normal fat, 16.2% were overfat, and 10.8% were obese. Differences in overfat prediction were found using BMI alone or with the addition of the triceps fold (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC) for BMI = 0.867 vs. AUC for BMI + TRICEPS = 0.955, p < 0.001). These results allowed the creation of a model factoring in age, sex, BMI, and triceps fold that could provide the probability that a young overweight athlete is also in an overfat condition. The calculated probability could reduce the risk of error in establishing the correct weight status of young athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body Composition and Physical Health in Sports Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Classic Bioelectrical Impedance Vector Reference Values for Assessing Body Composition in Male and Female Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 5066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16245066 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Bioimpedance standards are well established for the normal healthy population and in clinical settings, but they are not available for many sports categories. The aim of this study was to develop reference values for male and female athletes using classic bioimpedance vector analysis [...] Read more.
Bioimpedance standards are well established for the normal healthy population and in clinical settings, but they are not available for many sports categories. The aim of this study was to develop reference values for male and female athletes using classic bioimpedance vector analysis (BIVA). In this study, 1556 athletes engaged in different sports were evaluated during their off-season period. A tetrapolar bioelectrical impedance analyzer was used to determine measurements of resistance (R) and reactance (Xc). The classic BIVA procedure, which corrects bioelectrical values for body height, was applied, and fat-free mass, fat mass, and total body water were estimated. In order to verify the need for specific references, classic bioelectrical values were compared to the reference values for the general male and female populations. Additionally, athletes were divided into three groups: endurance, velocity/power, and team sports. In comparison with the general healthy male and female populations, the mean vectors of the athletes showed a shift to the left on the R–Xc graph. Considering the same set of modalities, BIVA confidence graphs showed that male and female endurance athletes presented lower body fluids, fat mass, and fat-free mass than other sets of modalities. This study provides BIVA reference values for an athletic population that can be used as a standard for assessing body composition in male and female athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Body Composition and Physical Health in Sports Practice)
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