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Special Issue "Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 32433

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Víctor Arufe-Giráldez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Education, Universidade da Coruña, 15001 A Coruna, Spain
Interests: physical activity; physical education; children; psychomotricity; physical exercise
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Rubén Navarro Patón
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Education, University of Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Interests: physical activity; physical education; first aid; physical exercise
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Alberto Sanmiguel-Rodríguez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Language and Education, University of Camilo José Cela, 28692 Madrid, Spain
Interests: physical activity; physical education; children; healthy life style; physical exercise
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The latest reports prepared and published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and by different institutions dedicated to health in infancy and childhood warn of a high percentage of sedentary population in children.

The promotion of a healthy lifestyle from childhood can combat and reduce pathologies associated with sedentary lifestyle. The promotion of physical activity in children and adolescents must be one of the main objectives of all countries.

This Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) focuses on the current state of knowledge of physical activity in children. New research papers and reviews are welcome to this issue.

We will accept manuscripts from different disciplines, including sports sciences, physical education, medicine, physiotherapy, nutrition, psychology, and sociology, among others, as long as their research theme is physical activity in children.

Prof. Dr. Víctor Arufe-Giráldez
Prof. Dr. Rubén Navarro Patón
Prof. Dr. Alberto Sanmiguel-Rodríguez
Guest Editors

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

  • Physical education
  • Physical activity
  • Physical exercise
  • Motor skills
  • Children
  • Adolescents

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Research

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Article
Changes in Physical Fitness, Dietary Habits and Family Habits for Spanish Children during SARS-CoV-2 Lockdown
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13293; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413293 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Background: habits related to diet and physical activity in children were modified due to the lockdown that Spain had between March and June 2019 because of the health crisis caused by the appearance of SARS-CoV-2. The aim of the study was to know [...] Read more.
Background: habits related to diet and physical activity in children were modified due to the lockdown that Spain had between March and June 2019 because of the health crisis caused by the appearance of SARS-CoV-2. The aim of the study was to know the impact that the lockdown had on physical fitness values in children aged 11–12. Methods: the study consisted of 50 Spanish children aged 11–12 (M = 11.40; SD = 0.50), 33 (66%) boys and 17 (34%) girls. Data collection was performed using the Alpha-Fitness Battery, a validated instrument to assess dietary intake, habits and practices, and an ad hoc survey to collect sociodemographic data and other information relevant to the study. Results: there were significant differences (p < 0.05) in the results of fitness variables measured in the standing long jump, agility speed and aerobic capacity, as well as in the results of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) between, before and after lockdown in both boys and girls. No significant differences were found in measurements of right and left hand grip (p > 0.05). Conclusions: there is evidence of a significant impact of SARS-CoV-2 lockdown on physical fitness values in boys and girls aged 11–12. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
Influence of the Psychomotor Profile in the Improvement of Learning in Early Childhood Education
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12655; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312655 - 30 Nov 2021
Viewed by 745
Abstract
The development of psychomotor skills in childhood enables children to organise the outside world through their bodies, contributing to their intellectual, affective, and social development. The present study aimed to longitudinally evaluate the psychomotor profile, throughout three academic years, of 3, 4 and [...] Read more.
The development of psychomotor skills in childhood enables children to organise the outside world through their bodies, contributing to their intellectual, affective, and social development. The present study aimed to longitudinally evaluate the psychomotor profile, throughout three academic years, of 3, 4 and 5-year-olds belonging to the second cycle of infant school, relating it descriptively to academic performance. The sample consisted of 82 subjects aged between 3 and 6 years throughout the study. The distribution of the sample was homogeneous, with 47.6% boys (n = 39) and 52.4% girls (n = 43). The results not only highlight the importance of the development and stimulation of motor skills from an early age for the overall development of the child, but also, when related to previous studies, show how they influence the development of human beings in adulthood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
“Mummy, Can I Join a Sports Club?” A Qualitative Study on the Impact of Health-Promoting Schools on Health Behaviours in the Home Setting
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12219; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212219 - 21 Nov 2021
Viewed by 665
Abstract
Information regarding school-based health-promoting interventions’ potential effects in the home environment is scarce. Gaining more insight into this is vital to optimise interventions’ potential. The Healthy Primary School of the Future (HPSF) is a Dutch initiative aiming to improve children’s health and well-being [...] Read more.
Information regarding school-based health-promoting interventions’ potential effects in the home environment is scarce. Gaining more insight into this is vital to optimise interventions’ potential. The Healthy Primary School of the Future (HPSF) is a Dutch initiative aiming to improve children’s health and well-being by providing daily physical activity sessions and healthy school lunches. This qualitative study examines if and how HPSF influenced children’s and parents’ physical activity and dietary behaviours at home. In 2018–2019, 27 semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents from two HPSFs. Interviews were recorded and transcribed, and data were coded and interpreted through thematic analysis. HPSF resulted in various behavioural changes at home, initiated by both children and parents. Parents reported improvements in healthy behaviours, as well as compensatory, unhealthy behaviours. Reasons for behavioural change included increased awareness, perceived support to adopt healthy behaviours, and children asking for the same healthy products at home. Barriers to change included no perceived necessity for change, lack of HPSF-related information provision, and time and financial constraints. Both child-to-adult intergenerational learning and parent-initiated changes play an important role in the transfer of health behaviours from school to home and are therefore key mechanisms to maximise school-based health-promoting interventions’ impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
Individual vs. Team Sports—What’s the Better Strategy for Meeting PA Guidelines in Children?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12074; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212074 - 17 Nov 2021
Viewed by 574
Abstract
There is insufficient evidence from previous studies dealing with structure of sport preferences referring to the interconnection between individual factors (socio-economic status, organized/structured physical activity (PA), location, etc.), although these factors can considerably influence total level of PA as well as the structure [...] Read more.
There is insufficient evidence from previous studies dealing with structure of sport preferences referring to the interconnection between individual factors (socio-economic status, organized/structured physical activity (PA), location, etc.), although these factors can considerably influence total level of PA as well as the structure of sport preferences. The study investigated associations between PA frequency and specific sports activities according to the intensity with the impact on leisure, sport, and education domain, using data from an international health behavior in school-aged children survey. Participants were fifth and ninth grade students in the Czech Republic (seven schools) and Slovakia (nine schools). The results showed a significant association between intensity in team sports and PA frequency per week. Those who participated in high-intensity team sports were 2.5 times more likely to be more physically active. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
Article
Effects of a Home-Based Exercise Intervention (E-Fit) on Bone Density, Muscle Function, and Quality of Life in Girls with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS): A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10899; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010899 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1335
Abstract
Background: Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients have lower physical activity levels than normal adolescents, and there is an association with poorer bone and muscle health. This study evaluated the effects of a home-based exercise intervention (E-Fit) on bone mineral density (BMD), muscle function, [...] Read more.
Background: Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients have lower physical activity levels than normal adolescents, and there is an association with poorer bone and muscle health. This study evaluated the effects of a home-based exercise intervention (E-Fit) on bone mineral density (BMD), muscle function, and quality of life (QoL) in AIS-affected girls. Methods: A total of 40 AIS females aged 11 to 14 years were randomly assigned to the E-Fit or control group. The E-Fit group performed modified 7-min high-intensity interval training (HIIT) 5 days per week for 6 months. Outcome measures including BMD using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), muscle strength and endurance tests, physical activity levels, and QoL using self-reported questionnaires were assessed at baseline and at 6-month and 12-month follow-up. Results: In total, 14 patients in the E-Fit and 16 in the control group completed the study. The E-Fit group showed a marginally significant interaction effect in the whole body areal BMD at the 6- (p = 0.096) and 12-month follow-ups (p = 0.085). The left arm lean mass in the E-Fit group showed a statistically significant interaction effect between the 6- and 12-month follow-ups (p = 0.046). The E-Fit group showed improvements in physical activity participation, as measured by the Modified Baecke Questionnaire (MBQ), with a significant interaction effect in work index (p = 0.043), sport index (p = 0.050), and total score (p = 0.016) from baseline to the 12-month follow-up. Improvement on self-image were noted in E-Fit group across time. Conclusions: The present results provided some evidence to support the positive benefits of E-Fit for bone health and muscle function in AIS girls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
School Parks as a Community Health Resource: Use of Joint-Use Parks by Children before and during COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9237; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179237 - 01 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1797
Abstract
Parks are settings for physical activity that can support the physical and mental health of children during the COVID-19 pandemic. We determined the impact of the pandemic on the use of joint-use parks outside of school hours by children in Austin, TX, United [...] Read more.
Parks are settings for physical activity that can support the physical and mental health of children during the COVID-19 pandemic. We determined the impact of the pandemic on the use of joint-use parks outside of school hours by children in Austin, TX, United States. In autumn of 2019 and autumn of 2020 (i.e., before and during the COVID-19 pandemic), we used an adapted version of the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities to observe whether children aged 1–12 participated in physical activity (i.e., sedentary, light and moderate, vigorous) at three parks located at schools serving mostly economically disadvantaged Latinx families. In 2020, we also observed whether children maintained social distance and wore face coverings. Results of negative binomial regression modeling revealed the pandemic was associated with a 46% [95% CI: 20–63%] and 62% [95% CI: 39–76%] decrease in the number of girls and boys at parks, respectively, and a 42% [95% CI: 16–59%] and 60% [95% CI: 36–75%] decrease in the number of girls and boys engaging in physical activity, respectively (p < 0.01). In total, 60.6% of girls and 73.6% of boys were not social distancing, and 91.8% of the time no children wore masks. Interventions should be considered to safely reintroduce children to parks for health benefits during pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
Gender-Differentiated Analysis of the Correlation between Active Commuting to School vs. Active Commuting to Extracurricular Physical Activity Practice during Adolescence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5520; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115520 - 21 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
Active commuting to school in children and adolescents can help achieve compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for physical activity. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the mode of transport used to go to school and the mode of [...] Read more.
Active commuting to school in children and adolescents can help achieve compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for physical activity. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the mode of transport used to go to school and the mode of transport used to go to extracurricular sports practice. Multistage random cluster sampling was conducted to include 128 schools with the participation of 11,017 students between the ages of 5 and 19. Participants completed the survey of sports habits designed by the National Sports Council. The results revealed that the mode of transport used to go to school is significantly related to the mode of transport used to go to sports practice. A total of 54.3% of students aged 5 to 19 years walk to school. A total of 23.7% of boys walk and 7.9% bike to extracurricular physical activities vs. 24.1% of girls who walk. The fact that girls only walk to extracurricular physical activities implies that the organized sports activities were nearby. Therefore, it seems crucial to have a wide range of physical activities on offer locally to promote extracurricular physical activity participation for girls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
Article
Association between Tobacco Consumption and Problematic Internet Use and the Practice of Physical Activity in Spanish Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105464 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 1358
Abstract
The practice of physical activity (PA) is a healthy habit that offers health benefits. In contrast, the lack thereof may be associated with an increase in diseases, even at an early age. The objective of this study was to analyze the association between [...] Read more.
The practice of physical activity (PA) is a healthy habit that offers health benefits. In contrast, the lack thereof may be associated with an increase in diseases, even at an early age. The objective of this study was to analyze the association between unhealthy behaviors, such as tobacco consumption and problematic internet use, and the practice of PA in adolescents. Protective factors (physical activity and sport) and risk factors (leading a sedentary life, tobacco use, and problematic internet use) were evaluated. Other variables such as sex, the intensity of physical activity, and being a member of a sports federation were also evaluated. The sample consisted of a total of 1222 Spanish adolescents. Univariate descriptive analysis and multiple linear regression were used, and confirmatory factor analyses and structural models were also estimated. The results confirm a significant positive association between physical activity, intensity, and being a member of a sports federation, as well as between cigarette consumption and internet use. It is advisable to implement public policies that promote the practice of sports as a direct investment in health, preventing the consumption of tobacco and other habits that are harmful to the health of adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
What Do Children Think of Their Perceived and Ideal Bodies? Understandings of Body Image at Early Ages: A Mixed Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4871; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094871 - 03 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1256
Abstract
Research into children’s body perceptions and ideals is scarce despite evidence of body dissatisfaction in childhood. This study aimed to understand preschoolers’ body image by employing a mixed design. Using a novel figural scale (Preschoolers’ Body Scale) that comprises four child figures ranging [...] Read more.
Research into children’s body perceptions and ideals is scarce despite evidence of body dissatisfaction in childhood. This study aimed to understand preschoolers’ body image by employing a mixed design. Using a novel figural scale (Preschoolers’ Body Scale) that comprises four child figures ranging in BMI, 395 children ages 4–6 (54% boys) selected their perceived and ideal body and explained why they picked these bodies. Children tended to underestimate their body size and many of them desired slimmer bodies, especially girls and older participants, although body-size perception improved with age. Most children showed body satisfaction, especially boys and younger children. Ideal body choices were not always explained by beauty ideals but by physical abilities, desire to grow up, mothers’ comments, and nutrition. Many responses reflected limited body awareness, suggesting body image may not yet be fully formed in preschoolers due to their incipient cognitive development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
Article
Teaching Methodologies and School Organization in Early Childhood Education and Its Association with Physical Activity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3836; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073836 - 06 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
Early childhood represents a crucial period for child development. Physical activity is essential in this process, but studies show that children are very inactive and do not meet the recommended minimums. Due to the large proportion of time they spend at school, it [...] Read more.
Early childhood represents a crucial period for child development. Physical activity is essential in this process, but studies show that children are very inactive and do not meet the recommended minimums. Due to the large proportion of time they spend at school, it is necessary to examine active and sedentary behaviors in these environments. The aim of the study is to analyze the amount and intensity of physical activity in preschool children during the school day according to the methodology used. Using accelerometry, the amount and intensity of physical activity and sedentary behavior of 156 children aged 4–6 years at different times of the school day were evaluated. The results revealed that preschoolers spend most of their class time sedentary, with children participating in active methodologies registering the highest amount and intensity of physical activity. Recess and specific motor sessions are the most active times, although the latter should increase the time of intense activity that they imply. To increase physical activity during the school day, it is necessary to establish movement integration methodologies, while increasing the number and adjusting the duration of specific motor sessions and of recesses, so that the maximum possible use is made of them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
Article
Gender Differences on Motor Competence in 5-Year-Old Preschool Children Regarding Relative Age
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063143 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1292
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the differences on motor competence between 5-year-old boys and girls and to investigate the existence of Relative Age Effect (RAE) on their motor competence. A total of 232 preschool children were evaluated of whom 134 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the differences on motor competence between 5-year-old boys and girls and to investigate the existence of Relative Age Effect (RAE) on their motor competence. A total of 232 preschool children were evaluated of whom 134 (57.8%) were boys and 98 (42.2%) were girls. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2) was used to collect data. The data show a main effect on gender factor; there was a main effect in total score of manual dexterity (MD; p = 0.010), in total score of balance (Bal; p < 0.001), in total test score (TTS; p < 0.001), and in total percentile score (TPS, p < 0.001). In the semester of birth factor, there were differences in aiming and catching (A&C, p < 0.001), in Bal (p = 0.029) and in total percentile score (TPS, p = 0.010). Girls perform better in MD, Bal, TTS, and TPS than boys. Preschool children born in the first semester obtain, in general, a higher percentage and a higher percentile than their peers born in the second one. RAE is present in A&C, Bal, and TPS, with higher scores obtained by preschool children born in the first semester compared to those born in the second one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
Associations between Sociodemographic, Dietary, and Substance Use Factors with Self-Reported 24-Hour Movement Behaviors in a Sample of Brazilian Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2527; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052527 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
We aimed to identify sociodemographic, dietary, and substance use factors associated with self-reported sleep duration, physical activity (PA), and sedentary behavior (SB) indicators in a sample of Brazilian adolescents. Adolescents (n = 731, 51% female, mean age: 16.4 years) answered a questionnaire. [...] Read more.
We aimed to identify sociodemographic, dietary, and substance use factors associated with self-reported sleep duration, physical activity (PA), and sedentary behavior (SB) indicators in a sample of Brazilian adolescents. Adolescents (n = 731, 51% female, mean age: 16.4 years) answered a questionnaire. The volume of total PA, sports, non-sports, total SB, leisure-time SB, involuntary SB, sleep duration, dietary behaviors, sociodemographic, and substance use indicators were self-reported. Multilevel linear models were fitted. Females engaged in less total PA, sports, total SB, and leisure-time SB, but in more involuntary SB than males. Age was positively associated with non-sports and involuntary SB. Socioeconomic status was positively associated with total PA. Adolescents who lived with the mother only practiced more sports compared to those living with two parents. Unprocessed food was positively associated with total PA and sports. Processed food was inversely associated with total PA and non-sports, and positively associated with total SB and leisure-time SB. Alcohol use was positively associated with total PA, and tobacco smoking was negatively associated with total PA. No associations were observed for sleep duration. In conclusion, sociodemographic, dietary, and substance use factors are associated with the 24 h movement behaviors among Brazilian adolescents, and some associations are type specific. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
Article
Internal and External Load Variations in Young Students: Comparisons between Small-Sided Games and Small-Sided Games Combined with Strength Training during Physical Education Classes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1926; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041926 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1848
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of internal and external load in soccer small-sided games (SSGs) and a strength program based on CrossFit combined with SSGs for 7 weeks. Fifty-five students participated in this research (age: 9.04 ± 0.19 [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of internal and external load in soccer small-sided games (SSGs) and a strength program based on CrossFit combined with SSGs for 7 weeks. Fifty-five students participated in this research (age: 9.04 ± 0.19 years) and were randomly assigned to SSGs (n = 27) or strength combined with SSGs (n = 29) group. Two sessions/week were implemented. The results revealed that internal load on SSGs promoted higher levels (p ≤ 0.001; d = 0.35) of light physical activity (PA) (12.24 cpm) compared with strength combined with SSGs (11.46) and % heart rate (%HR) max (p = 0.002; d = 0.48) between SSGs (96.21) regarding strength combined with SSGs (92.09). On external load, significant differences appear in total distance (p ≤ 0.001; d = 0.80) on SSGs (1326 m) compared with strength combined with SSGs (1004 m) and mean velocity (p ≤ 0.001; d = 0.63) in both groups; 2.71 km/h on SSGs and 2.26 km/h on strength combined with SSGs. The SSGs seem to be more appropriate at the beginning of sessions, but as the weeks advance, strength combined with SSGs results in improved internal load compared with SSGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
Physical Activity and Daily Routine among Children Aged 0–12 during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Spain
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020703 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3428
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of many people. Objective: The aim of the present study was to analyse the physical activity (PA) and daily routine among children (0–12 years) during lockdown and to establish the main relationships among the variables. Methods: [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of many people. Objective: The aim of the present study was to analyse the physical activity (PA) and daily routine among children (0–12 years) during lockdown and to establish the main relationships among the variables. Methods: A quantitative study with a descriptive–comparative and cross-sectional design carried out. The sample, selected for convenience, consisted of 837 Spanish children aged 0–12. The “Children and confinement” questionnaire was used, distributed electronically through Google Forms and social networks and activated for 45 days. The individuals participating in this study were mainly children (50.2%) who were in primary education (44.8%). Predominantly, the families of participants were biparental (87.9%), with established routines and schedules (85.7%). Results and conclusions: The use of digital screens is an important part of children’s daily routine. Their daily activities were practiced for more than three–six years, with more by girls. The time children devoted to sleep was directly proportional to the time they devoted to physical activity and indirectly proportional to the time they spent watching screens. The children who slept the most were those aged zero–three years, especially girls, who belonged to large families. The levels of physical activity in the sample were low, as were the times spent on activities such as music or games. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
Article
How Does the Execution of the Pilates Method and Therapeutic Exercise Influence Back Pain and Postural Alignment in Children Who Play String Instruments? A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7436; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207436 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2451
Abstract
Background: Inappropriate posture in children while playing some string instruments can cause back pain and alterations of the spine. To date, there is no research on the effect of exercise on children who play a musical instrument, although it is known that [...] Read more.
Background: Inappropriate posture in children while playing some string instruments can cause back pain and alterations of the spine. To date, there is no research on the effect of exercise on children who play a musical instrument, although it is known that transversus abdominis muscle control through the Pilates method has shown pain reduction and posture improvement in this population. Objective: To assess the effectiveness of the Pilates method combined with therapeutic exercise with respect to therapeutic exercise exclusively in reducing pain and improving postural alignment in children playing string instruments applying a protocol of low dose to increase children’s adherence to training. Methods: A randomized controlled pilot study was designed with two parallel intervention groups. Twenty-five children (10–14 years old) were randomized in two intervention groups: Pilates method with therapeutic exercise (experimental) and therapeutic exercise (control) for 4 weeks (50 min per day, one day per week). Two assessments were performed (before and after treatment) to assess back pain and shoulders and hips alignment using a visual analog scale and the Kinovea program. Results: Statistically significant differences were obtained for pain reduction before (p = 0.04) and after (p = 0.01) playing the instrument in the experimental group. There were no significant changes in alignment improvement in any of the two groups. Conclusion: The application of a low dose of the Pilates method combined with therapeutic exercise could be a beneficial intervention for pain reduction before and after musical practice in children who play string instruments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Article
Evolution of the Habits of Physical Activity and Television Viewing in Spanish Children and Pre-Adolescents between 1997 and 2017
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6836; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186836 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1366
Abstract
Background: Promoting healthy lifestyles in children, has become a priority for public health institutions. However, electronic devices with screens encourage sedentary behaviors. The aim of this study was to analyze the evolution of the habits of physical activity practice and television watching in [...] Read more.
Background: Promoting healthy lifestyles in children, has become a priority for public health institutions. However, electronic devices with screens encourage sedentary behaviors. The aim of this study was to analyze the evolution of the habits of physical activity practice and television watching in a cohort of 20 years of research in Spanish children. Methods: A cross-sectional, observational study was based on data from the Spain National Health Surveys between 1997 and 2017 (N = 11,444). The dependent variables considered were the frequency with which the minor practiced physical activity (PA) in his/her spare time, the daily TV viewing habit, and the daily hours of TV viewing. Results: The children who practiced physical activity daily has decreased 7.3% throughout the study period. The proportion of children who watched the television daily for more hours increased significantly (6.3%). Such increase was constant throughout the years, and the analysis by sex showed that the proportion of boys who watched television for more than three hours per day increased three percent, and that of girls increased fourfold. Conclusions: The habits of physical activity practice and television viewing have changed towards sedentary lifestyle. Particularly, the girls and the children between 12 and 14 years showed the most sedentary behavior. Public health policies must consider the differences between sexes in order for such interventions to be effective in the population of pre-adolescents, in general, and girls, in particular. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Review

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Review
Assessment of Dysfunctional Movements and Asymmetries in Children and Adolescents Using the Functional Movement Screen—A Narrative Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12501; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312501 - 27 Nov 2021
Viewed by 891
Abstract
The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a screening tool that identifies dysfunctional movements in seven test items requiring an interplay of cognitive, perceptual, proprioceptive, and motor functions that involve muscular strength/endurance, flexibility, mobility, coordination, and balance. The results of the FMS include an [...] Read more.
The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a screening tool that identifies dysfunctional movements in seven test items requiring an interplay of cognitive, perceptual, proprioceptive, and motor functions that involve muscular strength/endurance, flexibility, mobility, coordination, and balance. The results of the FMS include an overall composite score, scores on the individual test items, and identification of compensatory movement patterns and left-right asymmetries on 5 bilateral test items. Although there is a plethora of literature on the use of the FMS in adults, there is a growing body of evidence indicating its use in children. The available research in children involves school children and young athletes in at least 20 different sports in over 20 countries and comparisons between pre- and post-pubescent children, and normal weight, overweight, and obese children. Studies that include measures of adiposity and physical activity levels, or report prevalence of asymmetries and dysfunctional movement patterns are not well represented in the children’s literature. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the currently available literature in children and suggest potential uses of the FMS by coaches, physical educators, and other health/fitness professionals, appropriate interpretation of results, and future research in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
Review
Determining Factors in the Use of Urban Parks That Influence the Practice of Physical Activity in Children: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073648 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1532
Abstract
The design and/or remodelling of urban parks is a good health strategy to alleviate the lack of physical activity (PA) in children and, consequently, the different health problems derived from this. The main objective of the present study was to obtain a systematic [...] Read more.
The design and/or remodelling of urban parks is a good health strategy to alleviate the lack of physical activity (PA) in children and, consequently, the different health problems derived from this. The main objective of the present study was to obtain a systematic review of the design features and characteristics that influence users’ visits to urban parks and the PA engagement in them. A literature search was carried out in the Web of Science (WOS) and Scopus databases during the months of June and July 2020. After considering and applying inclusion criteria, the final review sample was formed of 31 scientific papers published between 2010–2020. The results obtained in the review lead us to conclude that the needs of the population (children and family members who care for them) and socio-economic context of the area in which they are built must be considered when constructing and/or remodelling parks. Involving community members in playground renovations can have a positive effect on park use and PA engagement in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Review
Factors That Influence Participation in Physical Activity in School-Aged Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review from the Social Ecological Model Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063147 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3822
Abstract
High prevalence of physical inactivity and obesity in children and adolescents has become a global problem. This systematic review aimed to examine the existing literature regarding the factors that influence participation in physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents with reference to the [...] Read more.
High prevalence of physical inactivity and obesity in children and adolescents has become a global problem. This systematic review aimed to examine the existing literature regarding the factors that influence participation in physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents with reference to the social ecological model (SEM) proposed by McLeroy et al. (1988). The SEM provides a framework under which the influencing factors are categorized into five levels: intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, community, and public policy. A systematic search of relevant literature published before July 2020 was conducted through Ebsco, ProQuest, PubMed Central, Scopus, and Web of Science. A total of fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria. The selected articles were all of high quality as assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (2018). The results indicated that gender, age, ethnicity, and self-concept were the most common influencing factors at the intrapersonal level. At the interpersonal and organization levels, supports from friends, parents, and teachers were positive predictors of students’ PA participation. Accessibility of facilities and safe neighborhoods was a crucial factor that influenced children and adolescents’ participation in PA at the community level. Future studies on the effective types of policies or practices that could successfully promote facilities’ accessibility and improve neighborhood safety are required. The outcomes of this systematic review are expected to inform practice and support the development and implementation of sound policies for the promotion of PA participation in children or adolescents from a comprehensive social ecological viewpoint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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Systematic Review
Parents’ and Children’s (6–12 Years Old) Physical Activity Association: A Systematic Review from 2001 to 2020
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12651; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312651 - 30 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Worldwide, studies reveal that a significant proportion of adults and children do not meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity (PA). Therefore, it is crucial that proxy determinants for child physical activity enhancement could be identified. Parents have been considered to have a [...] Read more.
Worldwide, studies reveal that a significant proportion of adults and children do not meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity (PA). Therefore, it is crucial that proxy determinants for child physical activity enhancement could be identified. Parents have been considered to have a key role in child adherence to physical activity. Thus, this systematic review aimed to identify association between parents’ and children’s PA. The search of scientific papers was conducted from 31 October 2020 until 31 January 2021, on the Web of Science, Scopus, Psycinfo, SportDiscus, and Pubmed databases. The PRISMA protocol was used. Findings indicate a consistent association between parents’ and children’s (6–12 years old) PA. Despite the imbalance of the number of assessed fathers and mothers with the latter clearly overrepresented, a trend towards the same gender dyads on PA significant and positive association (father/son, mother/daughter) was evidenced. Results support the relevant importance of parents’ PA as role modeling (either explicitly or implicitly) for children’s PA. Besides, results revealed the importance of promoting PA in family for the enhancement of children’s PA. Moreover, and given the positive impact of exerting PA with the children on children’s PA, parents should spend more time practicing PA with their children, especially on MVPA and meeting the recommended guidelines for PA. Future studies should highlight the role of mediator variables on this interaction process, extending the knowledge on the contribution of other factors to the requested enhancement of children adherence to PA practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Childhood and Adolescence)
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