Special Issue "Physical Activity, Wellness and Health: Challenges, Benefits and Strategies"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Luciana Zaccagni
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical and Specialty Surgical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Prevention, University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: sports sciences; motor learning; biomechanics; anthropometry; physical fitness; sports and performance; wellbeing; motor development
Prof. Dr. Emanuela Gualdi-Russo
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical and Specialty Surgical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Prevention, University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: anthropometry; physical activity; obesity; physical activity and sport; body composition; body image perception

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Regular physical activity is both a preventive measure and a cure for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In addition to these health effects, physical activity improves mental health, quality of life, and well-being (World Health Organization, 2018). Conversely, physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles have negative impacts on individuals, families, and society. 

This Special Issue is designed to provide an interdisciplinary and international forum for reporting the latest findings on topics that include anthropometric determinants of health and performance, physical activity and healthy habits, exercise and diet, exercise and body composition, interventions to promote physical activity for people of all ages, strategies for the implementation of an active life, and the beneficial effects of exercise on metabolic syndrome.

Researchers are invited to contribute novel work to be considered for publication in this Special Issue. Studies using advanced research methodologies will be particularly appreciated. All manuscripts will be examined by specialists in the field, and must be submitted by 15 December 2020 at the latest.

Dr. Luciana Zaccagni
Prof. Dr. Emanuela Gualdi-Russo
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 papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. 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 2300 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

  • exercise
  • wellbeing
  • health promotion
  • healthy habits
  • quality of life
  • anthropometry
  • sports practice
  • malnutrition
  • weight status
  • chronic diseases

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Levels and Correlates of Physical Activity in Rural Ingwavuma Community, uMkhanyakude District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186739 - 16 Sep 2020
Abstract
Physical activity, among others, confers cardiovascular, mental, and skeletal health benefits to people of all age-groups and health states. It reduces the risks associated with cardiovascular disease and therefore, could be useful in rural South Africa where cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden is increasing. [...] Read more.
Physical activity, among others, confers cardiovascular, mental, and skeletal health benefits to people of all age-groups and health states. It reduces the risks associated with cardiovascular disease and therefore, could be useful in rural South Africa where cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden is increasing. The objective of this study was to examine levels and correlates of physical activity among adults in the Ingwavuma community in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Self-reported data on physical activity from 392 consenting adults (female, n = 265; male, n = 127) was used. We used the one-sample t-test to assess the level of physical activity and a two-level multiple linear regression to investigate the relationship between total physical activity (TPA) and independent predictors. The weekly number of minutes spent on all physical activities by members of the Ingwavuma community was 912.2; standard deviation (SD) (870.5), with males having 37% higher physical activity (1210.6 min, SD = 994.2) than females (769.2, SD = 766.3). Livelihood activities constituted 65% of TPA, and sport and recreation contributed 10%. Participants without formal education (20%), those underweight (27%), and the obese (16%) had low physical activity. Notwithstanding this, in general, the Ingwavuma community significantly exceeded the recommended weekly time on physical activity with a mean difference of 762.1 (675.8–848.6) minutes, t (391) = 17.335, p < 0.001. Gender and age were significant predictors of TPA in level 1 of the multiple regression. Males were significantly more active than females by 455.4 min (β = −0.25, p < 0.001) and participants of at least 60 years were significantly less active than 18–29-year-olds by 276.2 min (β = −0.12, p < 0.05). Gender, marital status, and health awareness were significant predictors in the full model that included education level, employment status, body mass index (BMI), and physical activity related to health awareness as predictors. The high prevalence of insufficient physical activity in some vulnerable groups, notably the elderly and obese, and the general poor participation in sport and recreation activities are worrisome. Hence we recommend health education interventions to increase awareness of and reshape sociocultural constructs that hinder participation in leisure activities. It is important to promote physical activity as a preventive health intervention and complement the pharmacological treatment of CVDs in rural South Africa. Physical activity interventions for all sociodemographic groups have potential economic gains through a reduction in costs related to the treatment of chronic CVD. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Continuous Compared to Accumulated Walking-Training on Physical Function and Health-Related Quality of Life in Sedentary Older Persons
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6060; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176060 - 20 Aug 2020
Abstract
The present study aimed to analyze the impact of overground walking interval training (WIT) in a group of sedentary older adults, comparing two different dose-distributions. In this quasi-experimental and longitudinal study, we recruited twenty-three sedentary older adults (71.00 ± 4.10 years) who were [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to analyze the impact of overground walking interval training (WIT) in a group of sedentary older adults, comparing two different dose-distributions. In this quasi-experimental and longitudinal study, we recruited twenty-three sedentary older adults (71.00 ± 4.10 years) who were assigned to two groups of WIT. The continuous group (CWIT) trained for 60 min/session in the morning, while the accumulated group (AWIT) performed the same duration and intensity of exercise, but it was distributed twice a day (30 min in the morning and 30 more in the afternoon). After 15 weeks of an equal external-load training (3 days/week), Bonferroni post-hoc comparisons revealed significant (p < 0.050) and similar large improvements in both groups in cardiorespiratory fitness and lower limb strength; even larger gains in preferred walking speed and instrumental daily life activity, which was slightly superior for CWIT; and improvements in agility, which were moderate for CWIT and large for AWIT. However, none of the training protocols had an impact on the executive function in the individuals, and only the AWIT group improved health-related quality of life. Although both training protocols induced a general significant improvement in physical function in older adults, our results showed that the accumulative strategy should be recommended when health-related quality of life is the main target, and the continuous strategy should be recommended when weakness may be a threat in the short or medium term. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Providing Sports Venues on Mainland China: Implications for Promoting Leisure-Time Physical Activity and National Fitness Policies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145136 - 16 Jul 2020
Abstract
Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) has been well documented as having substantial health benefits. The 2014 Chinese Fitness Survey Report stated that a lack of physical activity (PA) spaces is the most important non-human factor, leading to 10% of leisure-time physical inactivity in people [...] Read more.
Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) has been well documented as having substantial health benefits. The 2014 Chinese Fitness Survey Report stated that a lack of physical activity (PA) spaces is the most important non-human factor, leading to 10% of leisure-time physical inactivity in people aged 20 and above. We investigated the provision of sports venues in China and discussed the development of sports venues and national fitness policies in the context of promoting LTPA and public health. We analyzed information from China’s most recent sport venue census, the Sixth National Sports Venues Census, conducted in 2013. The number of sports venues increased between 2000 and 2013, with an inflection point around the year 2008. At the end of 2013, there were 12.45 venues for every 10,000 residents, and the per capita area was 1.46 m2. However, numbers were still small compared with the United States and Japan. The percentages of full-time access, part-time access and membership venues were 51.5%, 14.3% and 34.2% respectively. Only half of sports venues were fully open to the public, meaning that the realized number and area per capita could be even lower. A lack of sports venues forces people who want to engage in PA to occupy other urban spaces that are not planned and designed for PA. Urban parks had 119,750 fitness station facilities (3.32% of the total), and 2366 urban fitness trails (19.24%), with a combined length of 6450 km (32.91%). On average, urban and rural areas had 13.17 and 10.80 venues per 10,000 persons, and 1.83 m2 and 0.97 m2 per capita. The urban-rural gap in sports venues exactly embodies some aspects of the “urban-rural dual structure” in China’s society. Measures to promote PA should focus on new and existing sports venues. In the policy making process, Chinese governments need to pay attention to the potential impact of related, external factors such as the gap between the urban and the rural and the potential advantage of indoor venues against summer heat and air pollution. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Urgent Need for Adolescent Physical Activity Policies and Promotion: Lessons from “Jeeluna”
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124464 - 21 Jun 2020
Abstract
Physical inactivity is a growing concern in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and globally. Data on physical activity (PA) trends, barriers, and facilitators among adolescents in KSA are scarce. This study aims to identify PA trends amongst adolescents in KSA and associated health [...] Read more.
Physical inactivity is a growing concern in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and globally. Data on physical activity (PA) trends, barriers, and facilitators among adolescents in KSA are scarce. This study aims to identify PA trends amongst adolescents in KSA and associated health and lifestyle behaviors. Data from “Jeeluna”, a national study in KSA involving around 12,500 adolescents, were utilized. School students were invited to participate, and a multistage sampling procedure was used. Data collection included a self-administered questionnaire, anthropometric measurements, and blood sampling. Adolescents who performed PA for at least one day per week for >30 min each day were considered to “engage in PA”. Mean age of the participants was 15.8 ± 0.8 years, and 51.3% were male. Forty-four percent did not engage in PA regularly. Only 35% engaged in PA at school, while 40% were not offered PA at school. Significantly more 10–14-year old than 15–19-year-old adolescents and more males than females engaged in PA (<0.01). Mental health was better in adolescents who engaged in PA (<0.01). Adolescents who engaged in PA were more likely to eat healthy food and less likely to live a sedentary lifestyle (<0.01). It is imperative that socio-cultural and demographic factors be taken into consideration during program and policy development. This study highlights the urgent need for promoting PA among adolescents in KSA and addressing perceived barriers, while offering a treasure of information to policy and decision makers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Phase Angle as a Marker of Muscular Strength in Breast Cancer Survivors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4452; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124452 - 21 Jun 2020
Abstract
Background: accurate prognostic tools are relevant for decision-making in cancer care. Objective measures, such as bioelectrical impedance (BI), have the potential to improve prognostic accuracy for these patients. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate whether phase angle (PhA) derived from the electrical properties [...] Read more.
Background: accurate prognostic tools are relevant for decision-making in cancer care. Objective measures, such as bioelectrical impedance (BI), have the potential to improve prognostic accuracy for these patients. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate whether phase angle (PhA) derived from the electrical properties of the body tissues is a predictor of muscular strength in breast cancer survivors (BCS). Methods: a total of 41 BCS (age 54.6 ± 9.2 years) were evaluated. PhA, obtained at frequency 50 kHz, was assessed with BI spectroscopy, and muscular strength with a handgrip dynamometer. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Measurements were performed in the morning after an overnight fast. Results: linear regression analysis showed that PhA accounted for 22% (r2 = 0.22) of muscular strength variance. PhA remained a borderline predictor of muscular strength variance independently of age and MVPA. Conclusions: the findings of this study suggest that PhA is a significant predictor of maximal forearm isometric strength and a potential indicator of disease-related functionality in BCS. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Handgrip Strength in Young Adults: Association with Anthropometric Variables and Laterality
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4273; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124273 - 15 Jun 2020
Abstract
The measurement of handgrip strength (HGS) is an indicator of an individual’s overall strength and can serve as a predictor of morbidity and mortality. This study aims to investigate whether HGS is associated with handedness in young adults and if it is influenced [...] Read more.
The measurement of handgrip strength (HGS) is an indicator of an individual’s overall strength and can serve as a predictor of morbidity and mortality. This study aims to investigate whether HGS is associated with handedness in young adults and if it is influenced by anthropometric characteristics, body composition, and sport-related parameters. We conducted a cross-sectional study on a sample of 544 young Italian adults aged 18–30 years. We measured HGS using a dynamometer and collected data on handedness and physical activity, along with anthropometric measurements. In both sexes, the HGS of the dominant side was significantly greater than that of the non-dominant side. Furthermore, in ambidextrous individuals, the right hand was stronger than the left. A comparison between the lowest and the highest tercile of HGS highlighted its significant association with anthropometric and body composition parameters in both sexes. Moreover, sex, dominant upper arm muscle area, arm fat index, fat mass, and fat-free mass were found to be significant predictors of HGS by multiple regression analysis. Our findings suggest that HGS is especially influenced by body composition parameters and handedness category. Therefore, HGS can be used as a proxy for unhealthy conditions with impairment of muscle mass, provided that the dominance in the laterality of the subject under examination is taken into account. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Physical Activity Promotes Health and Reduces Cardiovascular Mortality in Depressed Populations: A Literature Overview
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5545; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155545 - 31 Jul 2020
Abstract
Major depression is associated with premature mortality, largely explained by heightened cardiovascular burden. This narrative review summarizes secondary literature (i.e., reviews and meta-analyses) on this topic, considering physical exercise as a potential tool to counteract this alarming phenomenon. Compared to healthy controls, individuals [...] Read more.
Major depression is associated with premature mortality, largely explained by heightened cardiovascular burden. This narrative review summarizes secondary literature (i.e., reviews and meta-analyses) on this topic, considering physical exercise as a potential tool to counteract this alarming phenomenon. Compared to healthy controls, individuals with depression consistently present heightened cardiovascular risk, including “classical” risk factors and dysregulation of pertinent homeostatic systems (immune system, hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and autonomic nervous system). Ultimately, both genetic background and behavioral abnormalities contribute to explain the link between depression and cardiovascular mortality. Physical inactivity is particularly common in depressed populations and may represent an elective therapeutic target to address premature mortality. Exercise-based interventions, in fact, have proven effective reducing cardiovascular risk and mortality through different mechanisms, although evidence still needs to be replicated in depressed populations. Notably, exercise also directly improves depressive symptoms. Despite its potential, however, exercise remains under-prescribed to depressed individuals. Public health may be the ideal setting to develop and disseminate initiatives that promote the prescription and delivery of exercise-based interventions, with a particular focus on their cost-effectiveness. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Predicting cardiovascular risk in athletes: A machine learning framework
Authors: Davide Barbieri, Nitesh Chawla, Luciana Zaccagni, Tonći Grgurinović, Jelena Šarac, Miran Čoklo, Saša Missoni.

Title: Handgrip strength in young adults: association with anthropometric variables and laterality
Authors: Luciana Zaccagni, Stefania Toselli, Barbara Bramanti, Emanuela Gualdi-Russo, Jessica Mongillo, Natascia Rinaldo.

Title: Physical activity levels and body composition in youth: a review from literature
Authors: Emanuela Gualdi-Russo, Natascia Rinaldo, Luciana Zaccagni.

Title: Physical activity to promote health and narrow the mortality gap in depressed populations
Authors: Martino Belvederi Murri, Luigi Grassi.

Title: Phase angle as a marker of muscular strength in breast cancer survivors
Authors: CN Matias, RM Cavaco-Silva, F. Campa, S. Toselli, LB Sardinha, AM Silva.

 

Title: Urgent need for adolescent physical activity policies and promotion: Lessons from “Jeeluna”
Authors: Omar Javed Baqal, Hassan Saleheen and Fadia S. AlBuhairan

   
Back to TopTop