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Special Issue "Physical Activity, Exercise on Chronic Disease Prevention and Human Health"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2023 | Viewed by 5619

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Takanobu Okamoto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Exercise Physiology, Nippon Sport Science University, Tokyo 158-8508, Japan
Interests: role of physical activity on improvement in physical fitness and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases in older adults; effect of acute and chronic exercise on vascular function and cognitive function; effect of polyphenol on vascular function; relationship between arterial stiffness and exercise performance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physical inactivity is known to be associated with increased morbidity and mortality in the general population. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the implementation of restrictive measures to reduce social contact and virus spread, which prevented a large portion of the population from taking part in physical activities outside of their homes. Therefore, people all over the world were unable to receive the important health benefits of physical activity and exercise.

Physical activity refers to all movement, including during leisure time, for getting to and from places as part of a person’s work, as well as moderate- and vigorous-intensity exercise carried out for the purpose of maintaining and improving physical fitness (WHO, 2020). Thus, physical activity and exercise help to prevent lifestyle-related diseases, also known as chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases, many types of cancer, as well as dementia and depression, and contributes to improving our overall health and physical fitness, and consequently, quality of life.

This Special Issue focuses on the effects of physical activity and exercise on chronic disease prevention and health promotion in people. The primary topics that are covered by this Special Issue include but are not limited to the prevention and management of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases, and several cancers. Papers focusing on physical activity and exercise-related women’s health, mental health, brain health (e.g., cognitive function), and/or muscle health are also welcome. I look forward to your submissions.

Prof. Dr. Takanobu Okamoto
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

  • physical activity
  • exercise
  • physical fitness
  • vascular endothelial function
  • arterial stiffness
  • diabetes metabolic syndrome
  • women's health
  • mental health
  • cognitive function
  • locomotive syndrome

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Effect of Healthy Lifestyle Changes on Work Ability and Mental Health Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(20), 13206; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192013206 - 13 Oct 2022
Viewed by 738
Abstract
Objective: The effects of lifestyle interventions on the prevention of a decline in work ability and mental health are not well known. The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to examine the effects of healthy lifestyle changes on work ability, sleep, and [...] Read more.
Objective: The effects of lifestyle interventions on the prevention of a decline in work ability and mental health are not well known. The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to examine the effects of healthy lifestyle changes on work ability, sleep, and mental health. Methods: Workers aged 18–65 years, who were free from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and malignant diseases, and did not use medication for obesity or lipids were included (N = 319). Based on their cholesterol balance, participants were classified into medium-risk and high-risk groups and were randomized into four arms: group lifestyle coaching (N = 107), individual lifestyle coaching (N = 53), the control group for group coaching (N = 106), and the control group for individual coaching (N = 53). The intervention groups received eight sessions of mostly remote coaching for 8 weeks about healthy diet, physical activity, other lifestyle habits, and sources/management of stress and sleep problems, and the control groups received no intervention. In individual coaching, the coach focused more on individual problem solving and the possibilities for motivation and change. The intention-to-treat principle was applied, and missing data on the outcomes were imputed using multiple imputation. Results: After the completion of the intervention, the risk of depressive symptoms was lower by 53% (95% CI 1–77%) in participants who received individual lifestyle coaching compared with the control group. The intervention had no beneficial effects on anxiety, work ability, sleep duration, or daily stress. In subgroup analyses, group lifestyle coaching had beneficial effects on depressive symptoms and work ability in participants with less tight schedules or less stretching work, whereas individual lifestyle coaching lowered the risk of depressive symptoms in those with fewer overlapping jobs, less tight schedules, or less stretching work. Conclusion: Short but intensive remote lifestyle coaching can reduce depressive symptoms and improve work ability, and time-related resources at work may improve mental health in the context of individual lifestyle intervention. However, further randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm the findings. Full article
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Article
Comparing the Metabolic Profiles Associated with Fitness Status between Insulin-Sensitive and Insulin-Resistant Non-Obese Individuals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12169; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912169 - 26 Sep 2022
Viewed by 525
Abstract
(1) Background: Young non-obese insulin-resistant (IR) individuals could be at risk of developing metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes mellitus. The protective effect of physical activity in this apparently healthy group is expected but not well characterized. In this study, clinically relevant metabolic [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Young non-obese insulin-resistant (IR) individuals could be at risk of developing metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes mellitus. The protective effect of physical activity in this apparently healthy group is expected but not well characterized. In this study, clinically relevant metabolic profiles were determined and compared among active and sedentary insulin-sensitive (IS) and IR young non-obese individuals. (2) Methods: Data obtained from Qatar Biobank for 2110 young (20–30 years old) non-obese (BMI ≤ 30) healthy participants were divided into four groups, insulin-sensitive active (ISA, 30.7%), insulin-sensitive sedentary (ISS, 21.4%), insulin-resistant active (IRA, 20%), and insulin-resistant sedentary (IRS, 23.3%), using the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and physical activity questionnaires. The effect of physical activity on 66 clinically relevant biochemical tests was compared among the four groups using linear models. (3) Results: Overall, non-obese IR participants had significantly (p ≤ 0.001) worse vital signs, blood sugar profiles, inflammatory markers, liver function, lipid profiles, and vitamin D levels than their IS counterparts. Physical activity was positively associated with left handgrip (p ≤ 0.01) and levels of creatine kinase (p ≤ 0.001) and creatine kinase-2 (p ≤ 0.001) in both IS and IR subjects. Furthermore, physical activity was positively associated with levels of creatinine (p ≤ 0.01) and total vitamin D (p = 0.006) in the IR group and AST (p = 0.001), folate (p = 0.001), and hematocrit (p = 0.007) in the IS group. Conversely, physical inactivity was negatively associated with the white blood cell count (p = 0.001) and an absolute number of lymphocytes (p = 0.003) in the IR subjects and with triglycerides (p = 0.005) and GGT-2 (p ≤ 0.001) in the IS counterparts. (4) Conclusions: An independent effect of moderate physical activity was observed in non-obese apparently healthy individuals a with different HOMA-IR index. The effect was marked by an improved health profile including higher vitamin D and lower inflammatory markers in IRA compared to IRS, and a higher oxygen carrying capacity and lipid profile in ISA compared to the ISS counterparts. Full article
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Article
Decreases in Arterial Stiffness and Wave Reflection after Isometric Handgrip Training Are Associated with Improvements in Cognitive Function in Older Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9585; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159585 - 04 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 674
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate whether decreases in arterial stiffness and wave reflection after isometric handgrip (IHG) training improve cognitive function in older adults. Twenty-two older adults (mean age ± standard error: 75 ± 2 years) were randomly assigned to either a group [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate whether decreases in arterial stiffness and wave reflection after isometric handgrip (IHG) training improve cognitive function in older adults. Twenty-two older adults (mean age ± standard error: 75 ± 2 years) were randomly assigned to either a group that performed IHG training (IHG group, n = 11) or a sedentary control group (CON group, n = 11). The IHG exercise comprised four unilateral 2-minute isometric contractions at 30% of maximal voluntary contraction using a programmed handgrip dynamometer with 1-minute rest periods, performed 5 days per week for 8 weeks. Carotid pulse wave velocity (cPWV) and carotid augmentation index (cAIx) were measured, and the trail-making test (TMT) parts A (TMT-A) and B (TMT-B) were performed before (baseline) and after 8 weeks of training in both groups. After 8 weeks of training, cPWV, cAIx, TMT-A, and TMT-B were significantly reduced in the IHG group (p < 0.05). Significant positive correlations were found between the amount of change in cPWV and cAIx and that in TMT-A (p < 0.05 each). In addition, positive correlation trends were observed between the amount of change in cPWV and cAIx and that in TMT-B (p = 0.06, p = 0.05, respectively). The results of the present study suggest that IHG training-induced decreases in arterial stiffness and wave reflection are associated with improvements in cognitive function in older adults. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of a Hybrid Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Program in Acute Coronary Syndrome Low-Risk Patients Organised in Both Cardiac Rehabilitation and Sport Centres: A Model Feasibility Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9455; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159455 - 02 Aug 2022
Viewed by 864
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate the efficiency, the feasibility, and the safety of a hybrid cardiovascular rehabilitation program in low-risk acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients. Sixty low-risk patients with stable clinical status who experienced an ACS in the previous 3 [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate the efficiency, the feasibility, and the safety of a hybrid cardiovascular rehabilitation program in low-risk acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients. Sixty low-risk patients with stable clinical status who experienced an ACS in the previous 3 months were included in a 3-week rehabilitation program. The patients were randomized either to a group performing the rehabilitation totally in a rehabilitation centre or partially (only the first 5 days) and then in sport centres equipped for supervised adapted physical activities. The sport centres were located in the vicinity of the patient’s home. Both rehabilitation programs entailed endurance and resistance training and educational therapy. Before and after rehabilitation, cardiorespiratory functions were measured. Similar and significant improvements in peak V.O2 and power output were seen in patients after both types of rehabilitation (p < 0.05). No particular complications were associated with both of our programs. We conclude that a hybrid rehabilitation program in low-risk ACS patients is feasible, safe, and as beneficial as a traditional program organised in a rehabilitation centre, at least in a short-term. A longitudinal follow-up should nevertheless be organised to examine the long-term impacts of this hybrid rehabilitation program. Full article
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Article
Ischemic Preconditioning Improves Handgrip Strength and Functional Capacity in Active Elderly Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6628; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116628 - 29 May 2022
Viewed by 937
Abstract
Background: Aging decreases some capacities in older adults, sarcopenia being one of the common processes that occur and that interfered with strength capacity. The present study aimed to verify the acute effect of IPC on isometric handgrip strength and functional capacity in active [...] Read more.
Background: Aging decreases some capacities in older adults, sarcopenia being one of the common processes that occur and that interfered with strength capacity. The present study aimed to verify the acute effect of IPC on isometric handgrip strength and functional capacity in active elderly women. Methods: In a single-blind, placebo-controlled design, 16 active elderly women (68.1 ± 7.6 years) were randomly performed on three separate occasions a series of tests: (1) alone (control, CON); (2) after IPC (3 cycles of 5-min compression/5-min reperfusion at 15 mmHg above systolic blood pressure, IPC); and (3) after placebo compressions (SHAM). Testing included a handgrip isometric strength test (HIST) and three functional tests (FT): 30 s sit and stand up from a chair (30STS), get up and go time (TUG), and 6 min walk distance test (6MWT). Results: HIST significantly increased in IPC (29.3 ± 6.9 kgf) compared to CON (27.3 ± 7.1 kgf; 7.1% difference; p = 0.01), but not in SHAM (27.7 ± 7.9; 5.5%; p = 0.16). The 30STS increased in IPC (20.1 ± 4.1 repetitions) compared to SHAM (18.5 ± 3.5 repetitions; 8.7%; p = 0.01) and CON (18.5 ± 3.9 repetitions; 8.6%; p = 0.01). TUG was significantly lower in IPC (5.70 ± 1.35 s) compared to SHAM (6.14 ± 1.37 s; −7.2%; p = 0.01), but not CON (5.91 ± 1.45 s; −3.7%; p = 0.24). The 6MWT significantly increased in IPC (611.5 ± 93.8 m) compared to CON (546.1 ± 80.5 m; 12%; p = 0.02), but not in SHAM (598.7 ± 67.6 m; 2.1%; p = 0.85). Conclusions: These data suggest that IPC can promote acute improvements in handgrip strength and functional capacity in active elderly women. Full article
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Article
Effect of Walking Steps Measured by a Wearable Activity Tracker on Improving Components of Metabolic Syndrome: A Prospective Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5433; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095433 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 880
Abstract
We compared the improvement in components of metabolic syndrome (MS) before and after lifestyle modification, as determined by daily step counts (on a wrist-worn Fitbit®) in participants with and without MS recruited from volunteers attending medical health checkup programs. A linear [...] Read more.
We compared the improvement in components of metabolic syndrome (MS) before and after lifestyle modification, as determined by daily step counts (on a wrist-worn Fitbit®) in participants with and without MS recruited from volunteers attending medical health checkup programs. A linear mixed model was used to analyze the change in MS components between participants with and without MS by group × time interaction. Multiple logistic regression analysis after adjustment for confounders was used to obtain odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for improvements in MS components per 1000-steps/day increments. Waist circumference, triglycerides, fasting plasma glucose, and diastolic blood pressure were significantly different between participants with and without MS (group × time: p = 0.010, p < 0.001, p = 0.025, and p = 0.010, respectively). Multivariable-adjusted ORs (95% CI) of improvement in MS components per 1000-steps/day increments were 1.24 (1.01–1.53) in participants with and 1.14 (0.93–1.40) in participants without MS. Walking improved MS components more in individuals with than without MS. From a public health perspective, walking should be encouraged for high-risk MS individuals. Full article
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Review

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Review
The Potential of Exerkines in Women’s COVID-19: A New Idea for a Better and More Accurate Understanding of the Mechanisms behind Physical Exercise
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15645; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315645 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 620
Abstract
The benefits of physical exercise are well-known, but there are still many questions regarding COVID-19. Chow et al.’s 2022 study, titled Exerkines and Disease, showed that a special focus on exerkines can help to better understand the underlying mechanisms of physical exercise and [...] Read more.
The benefits of physical exercise are well-known, but there are still many questions regarding COVID-19. Chow et al.’s 2022 study, titled Exerkines and Disease, showed that a special focus on exerkines can help to better understand the underlying mechanisms of physical exercise and disease. Exerkines are a group of promising molecules that may underlie the beneficial effects of physical exercise in diseases. The idea of exerkines is to understand the effects of physical exercise on diseases better. Exerkines have a high potential for the treatment of diseases and, considering that, there is still no study of the importance of exerkines on the most dangerous disease in the world in recent years, COVID-19. This raises the fundamental question of whether exerkines have the potential to manage COVID-19. Most of the studies focused on the general changes in physical exercise in patients with COVID-19, both during the illness and after discharge from the hospital, and did not investigate the basic differences. A unique look at the management of COVID-19 by exerkines, especially in obese and overweight women who experience high severity of COVID-19 and whose recovery period is long after discharge from the hospital, can help to understand the basic mechanisms. In this review, we explore the potential of exerkines in COVID-19 by practicing physical exercise to provide compelling practice recommendations with new insights. Full article
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