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Special Issue "Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth"

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: closed (15 April 2021) | Viewed by 22069

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Panagiota Klentrou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada
Interests: health, training and performance in youth; bone physiology; integrated inflammatory and bone responses to exercise and nutrition; the role of adiposity and diet in skeletal growth, development and adaptation; sclerostin and tissue cross talk

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A Special Issue on Health, Physical Activity, and Performance in Youth is being organized in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. More detailed information is presented on the journal website, please refer to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

Physical activity (PA) and exercise enhance the optimal development and functioning of the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. PA is also known to confer benefits such as improvement in weight control, mental health and mood, ability to perform daily activities, and life span, as well as a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, certain cancers, osteoporosis, and falls. Furthermore, physical inactivity has been known to lead to a sedentary lifestyle that in turn may lead to overweight or obesity. Physical inactivity is also known to have adverse health effects. Therefore, adequate PA is considered important for good health.

Youth is an important period for establishing healthy habits for healthy adulthood. For example, approximately 80% of obese youth grow into obese adults. The results of previous studies also suggest that PA during childhood and adolescence is a key contributor to the overall health trajectory. In addition, appropriate training methods are important to help youth athletes stay healthy while improving their athletic performance.

This Special Issue is open to any contributions in the subject area of physical activity, performance, and youth health. The keywords listed below provide an outline of some of the possible areas of interest.

Prof. Dr. Panagiota (Nota) Klentrou
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. 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 2500 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

  • Youth
  • Exercise science
  • Exercise training
  • Health
  • Health risk behaviors
  • Physical activity
  • Athletic performance
  • Sport participation
  • Exercise interventions

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
Relationship between Posture and Non-Contact Lower Limb Injury in Young Male Amateur Football Players: A Prospective Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126424 - 14 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2530
Abstract
Posture, a potentially modifiable injury risk factor, is considered important in injury screening/prevention in athletes, yet few studies investigate relationships between posture and injury. This prospective cohort study investigated whether static posture is associated with lower limb injury risk in male football players [...] Read more.
Posture, a potentially modifiable injury risk factor, is considered important in injury screening/prevention in athletes, yet few studies investigate relationships between posture and injury. This prospective cohort study investigated whether static posture is associated with lower limb injury risk in male football players (n = 263). Nine aspects of static standing posture (left and right rearfoot, knee interspace, lateral knee, lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, scoliosis S and C, forward head) were assessed from photographs during the pre-season using the modified Watson and Mac Donncha scale, which was dichotomised for analysis (deviated or normal). Player characteristics (age, height, mass, body mass index, competition level), match/training exposure, and previous and in-season non-contact lower limb injuries were recorded. Binary logistic regression investigated relationships between posture and injury (previous and in-season). Eighty previous and 24 in-season lower limb injuries were recorded. Previous injury was not associated with any postural variable. In-season injury was associated with previous injury (OR = 3.04, 95% CI 1.20–7.68, p = 0.02) and having a normal thoracic curve compared to kyphosis (OR = 0.38, 95% CI 0.15–1.00, p = 0.05) but no other postural variables. Static postural deviations observed in male football players in the pre-season are not typically associated with non-contact lower limb injury risk; thus, they are unlikely to add value to pre-season screening programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth)
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Article
The Positive Relationship between Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity and Bone Mineral Content Is Not Mediated by Free Leptin Index in Prepubertal Children: The PANIC Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5365; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105365 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2007
Abstract
Purpose: Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) positively influences bone mineral content (BMC) in prepubertal children, but it is unknown whether this relationship is partially mediated by free leptin index. The aim of this study was to examine whether the relationship between MVPA and total [...] Read more.
Purpose: Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) positively influences bone mineral content (BMC) in prepubertal children, but it is unknown whether this relationship is partially mediated by free leptin index. The aim of this study was to examine whether the relationship between MVPA and total body less head (TBLH) BMC is mediated or moderated by free leptin index in prepubertal children. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis on 401 children (194 girls) from baseline examinations of the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Childhood Study. We applied the four-way decomposition mediation analysis method to assess whether free leptin index, measured from fasted blood samples, mediated the relationship between accelerometer-measured MVPA and TBLH BMC measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Results: MVPA had a positive controlled direct effect on TBLH BMC in girls and boys (β = 0.010 to 0.011, p < 0.05). There was no mediation or interaction between MVPA, free leptin index and TBLH BMC in girls or boys (β = −0.000 to 0.001, p > 0.05). Conclusion: Our study indicates that MVPA positively influences TBLH BMC through pathways not related to free leptin index in predominantly normal-weight prepubertal children, likely primarily through mechanical loading. The relationships between MVPA, free leptin index and TBLH BMC may be influenced by other factors such as pubertal status and adiposity, so it is unknown whether these observations extend to overweight and obese children at different stages of puberty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth)
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Article
Interactions with Home and Health Environments Discourage Physical Activity: Reports from Children with Complex Congenital Heart Disease and Their Parents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4903; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094903 - 04 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1729
Abstract
Children with complex congenital heart disease are less active than recommended for optimal health, with social and physical environments important determinants. The purpose of this study was to examine the physical activity perceptions of children with complex congenital heart disease and their parents [...] Read more.
Children with complex congenital heart disease are less active than recommended for optimal health, with social and physical environments important determinants. The purpose of this study was to examine the physical activity perceptions of children with complex congenital heart disease and their parents to identify social and physical environment intervention targets. A semi-structured discussion guide elicited physical activity perceptions from children (26 boys, 19 girls, 6.0–12.4 years) with complex congenital heart disease (single ventricle n = 42) and their parents during three child and three parent focus groups and 41 interviews. Interviews and focus groups were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim for inductive thematic analysis. Children and parents identified home, peer and health environments as impacting on their children’s physical activity participation. Peer environments, such as school or daycare, were supportive by providing physical activity facilities and enabling fun with peers and time outdoors. At home, parent and sibling interactions both encouraged and discouraged physical activity. The children’s unique health environment fostered physical activity uncertainty, discouraging activity despite minimal or no physician recommendations to restrict physical activity. Children with complex congenital heart disease and their parents recognize the importance of physical activity and fun with friends. Physical activity uncertainty contributes to their inactive lifestyles despite minimal restrictions from health professionals. Positive clinical encouragement and health environment interventions that better support physical activity are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth)
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Article
Acute Effects of Work Rest Interval Duration of 3 HIIT Protocols on Cycling Power in Trained Young Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084225 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2136
Abstract
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is described as a succession of short duration and maximum or near-maximum intensity efforts, alternated by recovery periods during which exercise continues at a lower intensity (active recovery) or is interrupted (passive recovery). Our objective was to evaluate the [...] Read more.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is described as a succession of short duration and maximum or near-maximum intensity efforts, alternated by recovery periods during which exercise continues at a lower intensity (active recovery) or is interrupted (passive recovery). Our objective was to evaluate the acute responses of three HIIT protocols of different work/rest interval times over the total time of the session, with self-selectable load and up to exhaustion, “all out”.The sample was composed of 22 male participants (n = 22) between 19 and 24 years old. The HIIT protocol consisted of one of the three HIIT protocols, of 30, 60 and 90 s density ratio 1:1 and with passive rest, with a total exercise duration of 10 min. The test was performed in a cycloergometer set in workload mode independent of the pedaling frequency. The comparison of the three HIIT protocols shows that the duration of the work/rest intervals, starting from 30 s of work, in the cycloergometer, there are no significant differences in the levels of lactate concentration in the blood, nor in the heart rate, since a similar amount is obtained in the three protocols. The percentage of maximum power developed reached in each HIIT protocol is related to the duration of the working intervals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth)
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Article
Changes in Body Composition, Energy Expenditure, and Energy Intake during Four Years of University—A Follow-Up Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3990; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083990 - 10 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1383
Abstract
Purpose: The transition to university is often accompanied by the adoption of negative lifestyle habits, which may result in weight and fat gain. While this has been demonstrated during 1st year, little is known about subsequent years. We investigated changes in body [...] Read more.
Purpose: The transition to university is often accompanied by the adoption of negative lifestyle habits, which may result in weight and fat gain. While this has been demonstrated during 1st year, little is known about subsequent years. We investigated changes in body composition, energy expenditure, and dietary/energy intake from 1st to 4th year university. Methods: Thirty-eight students (14 males, 24 females) completed a lifestyle questionnaire and had their body mass, fat mass, lean body mass (LBM), and body fat percentage (%BF) measured three times: at the beginning and end of 1st year, and end of 4th year. Results: During 1st year, body mass, fat mass, LBM, and %BF increased (+3.2 ± 3.8 kg, +2.5 ± 3.0 kg, +0.7 ± 2.1 kg, +2.3 ± 4.9%, respectively; p < 0.01), while daily energy intake and expenditure decreased (−359 ± 1019 kcal·d−1 and −434 ± 786 kcal·d−1, respectively; p < 0.01). Between the end of 1st year and end of 4th year, body mass, LBM, and energy expenditure increased (+3.2 ± 3.8 kg, +1.3 ± 2.9 kg, +209 ± 703 kcal·d−1, respectively; p ≤ 0.05), while %BF, fat mass, and energy intake did not change. Conclusions: Although %BF and fat mass remained stable from the end of 1st year to the end of 4th year in this group of university students, the positive increase in energy expenditure was not enough to reverse the weight and fat gained during 1st year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth)
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Article
Testing the Functional Model of Bone Development: Direct and Mediating Role of Muscle Strength on Bone Properties in Growing Youth
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3154; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063154 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1725
Abstract
This study examines the functional model of bone development in peri-pubertal boys and girls. Specifically, we implemented a mixed-longitudinal design and hierarchical structural models to provide experimental evidence in support of the conceptual functional model of bone development, postulating that the primary mechanical [...] Read more.
This study examines the functional model of bone development in peri-pubertal boys and girls. Specifically, we implemented a mixed-longitudinal design and hierarchical structural models to provide experimental evidence in support of the conceptual functional model of bone development, postulating that the primary mechanical stimulus of bone strength development is muscle force. To this end, we measured radial and tibial bone properties (speed of sound, SOS), isometric grip and knee extensors strength, bone resorption (urinary NTX concentration), body mass index (BMI), somatic maturity (years from peak height velocity) and skeletal maturity (bone age) in 180 children aged 8–16 years. Measurements were repeated 2–4 times over a period of 3 years. The multilevel structural equation modeling of 406 participant-session observations revealed similar results for radial and tibial SOS. Muscle strength (i.e., grip strength for the radial and knee extension for tibial model) and NTX have a significant direct effect on bone SOS (β = 0.29 and −0.18, respectively). Somatic maturity had a direct impact on muscle strength (β = 0.24) and both a direct and indirect effect on bone SOS (total effect, β = 0.30). Physical activity and BMI also had a significant direct impact on bone properties, (β = 0.06 and −0.18, respectively), and an additional significant indirect effect through muscle strength (β = 0.01 and 0.05, respectively) with small differences per bone site and sex. Muscle strength fully mediated the impact of bone age (β = 0.14) while there was no significant effect of energy intake on either muscle strength or bone SOS. In conclusion, our results support the functional model of bone development in that muscle strength and bone metabolism directly affect bone development while the contribution of maturity, physical activity, and other modulators such as BMI, on bone development is additionally modulated through their effect on muscle strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth)
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Article
The Mediating Role of Lean Soft Tissue in the Relationship between Somatic Maturation and Bone Density in Adolescent Practitioners and Non-Practitioners of Sports
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3008; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063008 - 15 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1560
Abstract
This study aimed to identify the mediating effect of lean soft tissue (LST) in the association between somatic maturation and areal bone mineral density (aBMD) in adolescents by sex and sport participation. The sample included 558 adolescents (401 males, mean age of 14.0 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify the mediating effect of lean soft tissue (LST) in the association between somatic maturation and areal bone mineral density (aBMD) in adolescents by sex and sport participation. The sample included 558 adolescents (401 males, mean age of 14.0 years) that were practitioners of sports (11 sport modalities, n = 402) and a non-sport group (n = 157). Somatic maturation was assessed by using a validated peak height velocity prediction equation. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to assess aBMD (upper and lower limbs, spine and total body less head—TBLH) and LST. For both sexes, LST mediated the association between somatic maturation and aBMD at all skeletal sites (mediation percentage ranging from 36.3% to 75.4%). For sport and non-sport groups, the LST also mediated the association between somatic maturation and aBMD at all skeletal sites (mediation percentage ranging from 51.6% to 85.6%). The direct effect was observed in all groups, except for lower limbs and TBLH in the non-sport group. The association between somatic maturation and aBMD was mediated by LST in adolescents of both sexes and regardless of involvement in organized sports. Our findings highlighted the role of improving LST to mitigate the association of somatic maturation with aBMD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth)
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Article
The Preliminary Effects of a Multi-Recess School Intervention: Using Accelerometers to Measure Physical Activity Patterns in Elementary Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8919; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238919 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2047
Abstract
This pilot study used accelerometers to investigate the effectiveness of a multiple recess school intervention on physical activity patterns in younger elementary children using a post-test only with nonequivalent groups design. First and second grade students (N = 157) participating in a [...] Read more.
This pilot study used accelerometers to investigate the effectiveness of a multiple recess school intervention on physical activity patterns in younger elementary children using a post-test only with nonequivalent groups design. First and second grade students (N = 157) participating in a larger study, the LiiNK Project® (Let’s inspire innovation ‘N Kids), wore accelerometers for the duration of the school day for two weeks to measure physical activity intensity and number of steps taken daily. Students attended either an intervention school (N = 90), participating in four 15-min unstructured, outdoor recesses and one 15-min character development lesson daily, or a control school (N = 67), participating in two 15-min unstructured, outdoor recesses daily and no character development program. The intervention students, grades 1 and 2, took more steps (p < 0.001) and time spent in moderate (p < 0.001) and vigorous (p < 0.001) physical activity (MVPA) than the control school students. Intervention students averaged approximately 900 more steps per day than the control school students. These results show young children given 60 min of recess daily continue to increase physical activity patterns over those with 30 min of recess daily. Next steps are to evaluate if children demonstrate healthier body fat levels as a result of these higher patterns of MVPA daily. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth)
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Article
Health-Risk Behavior-, Mental Health-, and Physical Exercise-Related Risk Factors for Tooth Fractures in Korean Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7815; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217815 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1229
Abstract
We aimed to determine factors related to tooth fracture experience in Korean adolescents. This study used data from the 14th Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2018, a cross-sectional web-based survey of health-risk behaviors among a representative sample of Korean middle- and high-school [...] Read more.
We aimed to determine factors related to tooth fracture experience in Korean adolescents. This study used data from the 14th Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2018, a cross-sectional web-based survey of health-risk behaviors among a representative sample of Korean middle- and high-school students aged 12–17 years. A total of 60,040 participants were selected using a complex sampling design of the survey from 400 middle schools and 400 high schools. They answered a self-administered questionnaire survey in classrooms. Explanatory variables included those pertaining to health-risk behaviors, mental health, and physical exercise. Complex-sample multivariable logistic regression models were applied to identify factors related to tooth fracture experience in the past 12 months. The overall prevalence of dental fracture experience was 11.4%. Risk factors related to tooth fractures in Korean adolescents were unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol and tobacco consumption; mental health problems including stress, depression, and suicidal ideation; and intensive physical exercise. The major risk factor related to tooth fractures was depression. To prevent tooth fractures among adolescents, schools should strengthen mental health education, encourage mouthguard use during intensive physical exercise, and develop school environments to prevent orofacial injuries. Further studies on various risk factors related to tooth fractures are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth)
Article
Effects of Post-Exercise Whey Protein Consumption on Recovery Indices in Adolescent Swimmers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7761; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217761 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2817
Abstract
Purpose: This study examined the effect of whey protein consumption following high-intensity interval swimming (HIIS) on muscle damage, inflammatory cytokines and performance in adolescent swimmers. Methods: Fifty-four swimmers (11–17 years-old) were stratified by age, sex and body mass to a whey [...] Read more.
Purpose: This study examined the effect of whey protein consumption following high-intensity interval swimming (HIIS) on muscle damage, inflammatory cytokines and performance in adolescent swimmers. Methods: Fifty-four swimmers (11–17 years-old) were stratified by age, sex and body mass to a whey protein (PRO), isoenergetic carbohydrate (CHO) or a water/placebo (H2O) group. Following baseline blood samples (06:00 h) and a standardised breakfast, participants performed a maximal 200 m swim, followed by HIIS. A total of two post-exercise boluses were consumed following HIIS and ~5 h post-baseline. Blood and 200 m performance measurements were repeated at 5 h, 8 h and 24 h from baseline. Muscle soreness was assessed at 24 h. Creatine kinase (CK), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) were measured in plasma. Results: No difference in 200 m swim performance was observed between groups. CK activity was elevated at 5 h compared to baseline and 24 h and at 8 h compared to all other timepoints, with no differences between groups. Muscle soreness was lower in PRO compared to H2O (p = 0.04). Anti-inflammatory IL-10 increased at 8 h in PRO, while it decreased in CHO and H2O. Conclusions: Post-exercise consumption of whey protein appears to have no additional benefit on recovery indices following HIIS compared to isoenergetic amounts of carbohydrate in adolescent swimmers. However, it may assist with the acute-inflammatory response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth)
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Systematic Review
Comparison of Muscle Strength, Aerobic Capacity and Body Composition between Healthy Adolescents and Those Living with HIV: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115675 - 26 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1892
Abstract
Background: The adverse effects of antiretroviral therapy associated with complications generated by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) promote impairments in physical fitness in adolescents. Objective: To analyze the aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and body composition of adolescents living with HIV compared with [...] Read more.
Background: The adverse effects of antiretroviral therapy associated with complications generated by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) promote impairments in physical fitness in adolescents. Objective: To analyze the aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and body composition of adolescents living with HIV compared with a healthy population of the same age. Methods: Searches were performed in the MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus and SportDiscus databases until September 2019 and updated in April 2020. Eligibility Criteria: adolescents of both sexes in the age group from 10 to 19 years; living with HIV; cross-sectional, case–control, cohort studies; comparing with a healthy population. Mean differences and 95% Confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using RevMan (software for systematic reviews). Results: Five articles were included, involving 197 adolescents living with HIV (16 to 18 years) and 185 without infection (13 to 18 years), with the sample in each study ranging from 15 to 65 adolescents. Aerobic capacity and muscle strength were reduced in adolescents with HIV, and body mass index was also significantly lower in this group. Conclusion: Adolescents living with HIV have impaired cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, and body composition when compared to their uninfected peers. However, this systematic review provides limited evidence on the differences between the physical fitness outcomes of adolescents living with HIV compared to healthy adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health, Physical Activity and Performance in Youth)
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