Special Issue "Sports and Health"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Beat Knechtle
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel. 0041 71 534 01 31; Fax: + 41 (0) 71 226 82 72
Interests: endurance; ultra-endurance; swimming; cycling; running; master athlete; sport nutrition
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Pantelis T. Nikolaidis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Exercise Physiology Laboratory, 18450 Nikaia, Greece
Tel. +30-6977820298
Interests: endurance sports; exercise physiology; exercise testing; pacing; recreational athletes; team sports
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The number of recreational athletes of both sexes and all age groups engaging in regular exercise training and participating in competitions (e.g., outdoors running races such as half-marathons) has increased during recent decades. This trend might be partially explained by the well-documented beneficial role of exercise for health. However, participating in sports has not been without risk for health, especially for recreational athletes who, unlike competitive runners, lack sport experience and the advantages of specialized and supervised training. Thus, the main challenge in this field is to provide evidence-based recommendations for optimal exercise levels to maximize the benefits for health and minimize the risks.

The aim of this Special Issue is to attract papers about the relationship between health and sport participation across all lifestyles with an emphasis on recreational athletes. We encourage submissions of cross-sectional studies on large datasets of endurance athletes focusing on the relationship between performance and health outcomes. In addition, we especially welcome experimental studies that examine the effect of different training programs (varying for volume, intensity, frequency, mode, and recovery) on physiology and pathophysiology. Review articles describing the current state of the art in relevant topics are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Beat Knechtle
Dr. Pantelis T. Nikolaidis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Age
  • Cycling
  • Endurance
  • Hyponatremia
  • Musculoskeletal injury
  • Marathon
  • Nutrition
  • Sex
  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Master athlete
  • Recreational athlete
  • Women in sport

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Observation Criteria for Physical Education Teachers to Identify Gifted Children through Invasion Games
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234830 - 01 Dec 2019
Abstract
Whilst in other curriculum subjects, it exists observation criteria to detect gifted pupils, there is a paucity of information in Physical Education. For that reason, we aimed to reveal the observation criteria for identifying gifted pupils in Physical Education in an invasion game. [...] Read more.
Whilst in other curriculum subjects, it exists observation criteria to detect gifted pupils, there is a paucity of information in Physical Education. For that reason, we aimed to reveal the observation criteria for identifying gifted pupils in Physical Education in an invasion game. Physical Education (PE) talent was evaluated combining results of questionnaire to experts, parents, and students. A validated nomination scale (NSIFT) and the Game Performance Evaluation Tool (GPET) were used. The research approach used in this study was transversal, descriptive, and inferential. The talent pool was composed of 18 gifted pupils aged 8–14 (Mage = 11.67, SD = 1.53). The results showed that the most discriminating criteria to identify PE talent were found to be precocity in both execution and decision-making in the acquisition of tactical principles and tactical-technical skills. Getting free was the skill that they best mastered. In conclusion, the importance of tactical principles and decision-making as observation criteria is emphasized. Future studies should focus on developing mentoring programs in Physical Education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
Open AccessArticle
Specific Eccentric–Isokinetic Cluster Training Improves Static Strength Elements on Rings for Elite Gymnasts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4571; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224571 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
In gymnastics, coaches are constantly searching for efficient training methods in order to improve the athletes’ performance. Therefore, in this study we aimed to investigate the effects of a novel, four-week, gymnastic-specific, eccentric–isokinetic (0.1 m/s) cluster training on a computer-controlled training device on [...] Read more.
In gymnastics, coaches are constantly searching for efficient training methods in order to improve the athletes’ performance. Therefore, in this study we aimed to investigate the effects of a novel, four-week, gymnastic-specific, eccentric–isokinetic (0.1 m/s) cluster training on a computer-controlled training device on the improvement of two static strength elements on rings (swallow and support scale). Nine elite male gymnasts participated in this study. Outcome parameters were maximum strength and strength endurance in maintaining the static position of both elements. After four weeks of training, specific maximum strength increased significantly (swallow: +4.1%; d = 0.85; p = 0.01; support scale: +3.6%; d = 2.47; p = 0.0002) and strength endurance tended to improve (swallow: +104.8%; d = 0.60; p = 0.07; support scale: +26.8%; d = 0.27; p = 0.19). Our results demonstrate that top athletes can considerably improve ring-specific strength and strength endurance in only four weeks. We assumed that the high specificity but also the unfamiliar stimulus of slow eccentric movements with very long times under maximal muscle tension led to these improvements. We suggest to use this type of training periodically and during phases in which the technical training load is low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Aquatic Exercise on Postural Mobility of Healthy Older Adults with Endomorphic Somatotype
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4387; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224387 - 10 Nov 2019
Abstract
The fear of falling (FOF) limits the movements of the older adults, which, in turn, might impair postural mobility. An aquatic environment has a relatively low risk of falling and can improve motor abilities. The aim of this study was to investigate the [...] Read more.
The fear of falling (FOF) limits the movements of the older adults, which, in turn, might impair postural mobility. An aquatic environment has a relatively low risk of falling and can improve motor abilities. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of aquatic exercise on postural mobility of the healthy endomorph elderly somatotype. Therefore, 37 healthy endomorphic older adults with an average age of 64.38 ± 4.12 years participated in this study. Participants were randomly divided into four groups (i.e., Aquatic exercise, Dry-land exercise, Aquatic control, and Dry-land control). The Heath-Carter method was used to estimate the criterion somatotype, and the Tinetti method was used to determine postural mobility. Covariance analysis was used to examine the mean differences at a significance level of p < 0.05. The results showed that there was a significant difference between the aquatic exercise group and the two control groups (p < 0.01), and the dry-land exercise group was significantly different from the aquatic control (p < 0.05) and dry-land control groups (p < 0.01). The results indicate that the design of aquatic exercise programs, especially for endomorphic older adults with inappropriate body shape, for whom dry-land exercises are not appropriate, likely, has a positive effect on the motor control and both the balance and gait and provide appropriate postural mobility without FOF in older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Hand Preference and Performance in Basketball Tasks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4336; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224336 - 07 Nov 2019
Abstract
The aims of this study were to develop and validate an instrument to quantitatively assess the handedness of basketballers in basketball tasks (Basketball Handedness Inventory, BaHI) and to compare it with their handedness in daily activities by the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (EHI). The [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to develop and validate an instrument to quantitatively assess the handedness of basketballers in basketball tasks (Basketball Handedness Inventory, BaHI) and to compare it with their handedness in daily activities by the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (EHI). The participants were 111 basketballers and 40 controls. All subjects completed the EHI and only basketballers filled in the BaHI. To validate the BaHI, a voluntary subsample of basketballers repeated the BaHI. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a two-factor model. Our results show that: (i) Handedness score (R) in daily actions did not differ between basketball players (R by EHI = 69.3 ± 44.6) and the control group (R by EHI = 64.5 ± 58.6); (ii) basketballers more frequently favored performing certain sport tasks with the left hand or mixed hands (as highlighted by R by BaHI = 50.1 ± 47.1), although their choice was primarily the right hand in everyday gestures; and (iii) this preference was especially true for athletes at the highest levels of performance (R by BaHI of A1 league = 38.6 ± 58.3) and for those playing in selected roles (point guard’s R = 29.4 ± 67.4). Our findings suggest that professional training induces handedness changes in basketball tasks. The BaHI provides a valid and reliable measure of the skilled hand in basketball. This will allow coaches to assess mastery of the ball according to the hand used by the athlete in the different tasks and roles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Match Performance of Soccer Teams in the Chinese Super League—Effects of Situational and Environmental Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4238; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214238 - 01 Nov 2019
Abstract
To investigate the effects of situational factors (match location, strength of team and opponent) and environmental factors (relative air humidity, temperature and air quality index) on the technical and physical match performance of Chinese Soccer Super League teams (CSL). The generalized mixed modelling [...] Read more.
To investigate the effects of situational factors (match location, strength of team and opponent) and environmental factors (relative air humidity, temperature and air quality index) on the technical and physical match performance of Chinese Soccer Super League teams (CSL). The generalized mixed modelling was employed to determine the effects by using the data of all 240 matches in the season 2015 collected by Amisco Pro®. Increase in the rank difference would increase the number of goal-scoring related, passing and organizing related actions to a small-to-moderate extent (Effect size [ES]: 0.37–0.99). Match location had small positive effects on goal-scoring related, passing and organizing related variables (ES: 0.27–0.51), while a small negative effect on yellow card (ES = −0.35). Increment in relative air humidity and air quality index would only bring trivial or small effects on all the technical performance (ES: −0.06–0.23). Increase in humidity would decrease the physical performance at a small magnitude (ES: −0.55–−0.38). Teams achieved the highest number in the physical performance-related parameters at the temperature between 11.6 and 15.1 °C. In the CSL, situational variables had major effects on the technical performance but trivial effects on the physical performance, on the contrary, environmental factors affected mainly the physical performance but had only trivial or small impact on the technical performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Why Are You Running and Does It Hurt? Pain, Motivations and Beliefs about Injury Prevention among Participants of a Large-Scale Public Running Event
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3766; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193766 - 07 Oct 2019
Abstract
Organized running events have gained substantial popularity. This study aimed to elucidate the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain, knowledge about injury prevention as well as the attitudes and motivations of individuals participating in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Frankfurt (Germany). A total of [...] Read more.
Organized running events have gained substantial popularity. This study aimed to elucidate the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain, knowledge about injury prevention as well as the attitudes and motivations of individuals participating in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Frankfurt (Germany). A total of 720 recreational runners completed a digital questionnaire immediately prior to the start. The majority of them displayed low to moderate physical activity levels and were rather unambitious regarding targeted finishing time. One quarter (25.3%) participated for the first time in an organized race. The most stated reasons to register were team building (76.4%) and experiencing the run’s atmosphere (50.6%). In contrast, improving health played a minor role (19.4%). More than one in five individuals (n = 159 runners) reported pain, with the most common locations being the knee and lower back. Both at rest (3.2/10 on a numerical rating scale) and during activity (4.7/10), average pain intensity was clinically relevant. Almost three thirds of the participants believed that stretching and wearing appropriate shoes would be effective for injury prevention while other methods such as resistance training, balance exercise or wearing of orthoses were rarely named. Musculoskeletal pain is a significant burden in runners participating in an urban mass event. In view of the poor knowledge about injury prevention, organizers and coaches may consider offering structured preparation programs as well as tailored running-related health education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Transformational Leadership, Task-Involving Climate, and Their Implications in Male Junior Soccer Players: A Multilevel Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3649; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193649 - 28 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Despite the well-known positive consequences of transformational coaches in sport, there is still little research exploring the mechanisms through which coaches’ transformational leadership exerts its impact on athletes. Multilevel SEM was used to examine the relationship between coaches’ transformational leadership style, a task-involving [...] Read more.
Despite the well-known positive consequences of transformational coaches in sport, there is still little research exploring the mechanisms through which coaches’ transformational leadership exerts its impact on athletes. Multilevel SEM was used to examine the relationship between coaches’ transformational leadership style, a task-involving climate, and leadership effectiveness outcome criteria (i.e., players’ extra effort, coach effectiveness, and satisfaction with their coach), separately estimating between and within effects. A representative sample of 625 Spanish male soccer players ranging from 16 to 18 years old and nested in 50 teams completed a questionnaire package tapping the variables of interest. Results confirmed that at the team level, team perceptions of transformational leadership positively predicted teams’ perceptions of task climate, which in turn positively predicted the three outcome criteria. At the individual level, players’ perceptions of transformational leadership positively predicted teams’ perceptions of task climate, which in turn positively predicted teams’ extra effort and coach effectiveness. Mediation effects appeared at the team level for all the outcome criteria, and at the individual only for extra effort. Transformational leadership is recommended to enhance task climate, in order to increase players’ extra effort, their perceptions of the effectiveness of their coach, and their satisfaction with his/her leadership style. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Time-of-Day-Exercise in Group Settings on Level of Mood and Depression of Former Elite Male Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3541; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193541 - 22 Sep 2019
Abstract
Since the prevalence of depression is high among athletes at the end of their athletic career, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of time-of-day-exercise in group settings on the level of the mood and depression of former elite male [...] Read more.
Since the prevalence of depression is high among athletes at the end of their athletic career, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of time-of-day-exercise in group settings on the level of the mood and depression of former elite male athletes.Out of 187 volunteers referring to the sports counseling clinic, 71 retired male athletes who had a national championship record were randomly divided into two morning and evening exercise groups. The inclusion criteria were severe depression (high score in the Beck Depression Inventory-II), the age range of 50 to 60 years, the absence of metabolic syndrome, and the body mass index (BMI) between 28 and 35. All body composition variables were measured using body composition analysis (In Body 320; Korea). The second stage was the collection of data after three months (completion of the training protocol). After data collection, independent and dependent t-tests were used to analyze the data. The results indicated that both groups had a significant improvement in depression compared to the pre-test (p ≤ 0.05), while there was no significant difference between the two groups (p ≥ 0.05). The overall conclusion is that exercise at different times of the morning or evening can improve the psychological state and reduce depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Tobacco Use on Pulmonary Function in Elite Athletes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3515; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193515 - 20 Sep 2019
Abstract
Objective: We sought to investigate the prevalence of smoking and lung function in the large cohort of elite athletes. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 804 athletes competing at international level who were consecutively examined from January to December 2017. Elite athletes were classified [...] Read more.
Objective: We sought to investigate the prevalence of smoking and lung function in the large cohort of elite athletes. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 804 athletes competing at international level who were consecutively examined from January to December 2017. Elite athletes were classified in four groups of sport disciplines (skill, power, endurance and mixed): skill (n = 141), power (n = 107), endurance (n = 105) and mixed sport disciplines (n = 451). All participants underwent pre-participation screening, including spirometry. Results: Study included 745 (92.7%) non-smokers, 20 (2.5%) former smokers and 39 (4.8%) active smokers. The percentage of body fat was higher and the percentage of muscle was lower in active smokers than in non-smokers and former smokers. Active smokers were more prevalent among skill and mixed than in power and endurance sports. FEV1 and FVC, as well as FEV1/FVC ratio, were significantly lower in active smokers than in non-smokers. There was no significant difference in PEF assessed in absolute values and in percentages. Forced expiratory flows, evaluated at the usual intervals (25%, 50% and 75% of FVC), were significantly lower in active smokers than in non-smokers. FEV1 and MEF25 were the lowest among active smokers in the skill sport group, whereas FEV1/FVC, MEF50 and MEF25 were the lowest among active smokers in the power sport group. In mixed and endurance disciplines there was no difference in pulmonary function between non-smokers, former smokers and active smokers. Conclusions: Pulmonary function was reduced in active smokers and these differences were the most prominent in skill and power sports. The percentage of body fat was the highest and percentage of muscle was the lowest in active smokers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
Open AccessArticle
The Associations of Vitamin D Status with Athletic Performance and Blood-borne Markers in Adolescent Athletes: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3422; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183422 - 14 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of vitamin D status with athletic performance and blood-borne markers in adolescent athletes. This cross-sectional study included forty-seven Taekwondo athletes, aged 15–18 years old. Athletic performance was assessed using maximal oxygen consumption (VO [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of vitamin D status with athletic performance and blood-borne markers in adolescent athletes. This cross-sectional study included forty-seven Taekwondo athletes, aged 15–18 years old. Athletic performance was assessed using maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), Wingate anaerobic power test, vertical jump, agility T-test, lower limb muscle strength, and fatigue resistance. Blood samples were collected to assess serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], free-testosterone, cortisol, creatine kinase, and urea. One-way ANOVAs were applied using Bonferroni adjusted alpha levels, which was 0.02 (i.e., 0.05/3). Multiple linear regressions analyses as well as Pearson and partial correlation analyses were used to examine the relationship among 25(OH)D concentration, athletic performance, and blood-borne markers. The participants 25(OH)D concentration were ranged from 16 to 73.25 nmol/L, indicating that 74.5% of the adolescent athletes have vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. The vitamin D status did not show any significant effects on the performance factors or blood-borne markers. Serum 25(OH)D concentration was positively correlated with mean power output (r = 0.359, p < 0.05) and relative mean power output (r = 0.325, p < 0.05) after adjusting for bone age, height, weight, training experience, lean body mass, and fat mass. However, 25(OH)D concentration was not associated with other performance-related factors and blood-borne markers. In addition, multiple linear regressions analyses revealed that serum 25(OH)D concentration were not significant predictors of athletic performance in adolescent athletes. In conclusion, vitamin D status is weakly correlated with anaerobic capacity; moreover, the underlying mechanisms of how vitamin D influence anaerobic performance is unclear in the present study. Nevertheless, the importance of vitamin D on health benefits should not be underestimated, especially during growth periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
Open AccessArticle
Association between Club Sports Participation and Physical Fitness across 6- to 14-Year-Old Austrian Youth
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3392; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183392 - 12 Sep 2019
Abstract
Changes in social and built environments most likely contribute to a decline in physical activity (PA) and physical fitness in children and adolescents. Organized sports may be an important component in ensuring adequate fitness, which is an important aspect in general health and [...] Read more.
Changes in social and built environments most likely contribute to a decline in physical activity (PA) and physical fitness in children and adolescents. Organized sports may be an important component in ensuring adequate fitness, which is an important aspect in general health and well-being. The present study examines differences by club sports participation in cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, power, speed, agility, flexibility and balance in 3293 (55.1% male) Austrian children and adolescents between 6 and 14 years of age. Anthropometric measurements (height and weight) were taken and participants completed the German motor test during regular class time. Even though there was no significant difference in body weight between club sports participants and non-club sports participants, club sports participation was associated with higher physical fitness, particularly regarding endurance, strength, power, and agility. Differences by club sports participation, however, declined during the elementary school years (6–10 years of age), while they became more pronounced during middle school years (10–14 years of age). Club sports participation, therefore, may be a viable option in the promotion of physical fitness, particularly during adolescence. At younger ages, other sources of PA, such as physical education and free play, however, should be considered to ensure sufficient fitness levels that contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Does the Mode of Exercise Influence the Benefits Obtained by Green Exercise?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 3004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16163004 - 20 Aug 2019
Abstract
Green exercise studies have tended to use walking as a modality of exercise to establish benefits to mental health. Whether green exercise benefits translate into different forms of green exercise has been deemed an important research gap. A mixed-methods study design was used [...] Read more.
Green exercise studies have tended to use walking as a modality of exercise to establish benefits to mental health. Whether green exercise benefits translate into different forms of green exercise has been deemed an important research gap. A mixed-methods study design was used to compare psychological responses between two forms of green exercise; golf and walking. A total of 20 participants (10 in each group), with a range of ages and experience were recruited to take part in the study. Participants in the walking condition exhibited significantly greater levels of dissociative cognitions than golf condition participants. Consequently, only the walking condition significantly improved in a directed attention test. Results from the Exercise-Induced Feeling Inventory questionnaire found the walking condition demonstrated increases in all four subscales, whereas the golf condition showed no significant improvements. Based on the findings from the qualitative analysis, distinct differences were seen with regards to the perception of the environment. Participants in the golf condition noted natural elements as obstacles to effective performance, whereas the walking group noted natural stimuli as evoking positive feelings. In agreement with the Attention Restoration Theory, the current study demonstrates that the benefits of green exercise are somewhat reduced when greater levels of directed attention towards the activity are exhibited during green exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Static and Dynamic Stretching Exercises on Sprint Ability of Recreational Male Volleyball Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2835; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162835 - 08 Aug 2019
Abstract
The aim of the present trial was to investigate the effect of two stretching programs, a dynamic and a static one, on the sprint ability of recreational volleyball players. The sample consisted of 27 male recreational volleyball players (age 21.6 ± 2.1 years, [...] Read more.
The aim of the present trial was to investigate the effect of two stretching programs, a dynamic and a static one, on the sprint ability of recreational volleyball players. The sample consisted of 27 male recreational volleyball players (age 21.6 ± 2.1 years, mean ± standard deviation, body mass 80.3 ± 8.9 kg, height 1.82 ± 0.06 m, body mass index 24.3 ± 2.5 kg.m−2, volleyball experience 7.7 ± 2.9 years). Participants were randomly divided into three groups: (a) the first performing dynamic stretching exercises three times per week, (b) the second following a static stretching protocol on the same frequency, and (c) the third being the control group, abstaining from any stretching protocol. The duration of the stretching exercise intervention period was 6 weeks, with all groups performing baseline and final field sprinting tests at 4.5 and 9 m. The post-test sprint times were faster in both the 4.5 (p = 0.027, η2 = 0.188) and 9 m tests (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.605) compared to the pre-test values. A large time × group interaction was shown in both the 4.5 (p = 0.007, η2 = 0.341) and 9 m tests (p = 0.004, η2 = 0.363) with the static and dynamic stretching groups being faster in the post-test than in the pre-test, whereas no change was found in the control group. The percentage change in the 4.5 m sprint time correlated with volleyball experience (r = −0.38, p = 0.050), i.e., the longer the volleyball experience, the larger the improvement in the 4.5 m sprint. Thus, it is concluded that both stretching techniques have a positive effect on the velocity of recreational male volleyball players, when performed at a frequency of three times per week for 6 weeks under the same conditions as defined in the study protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effectiveness of Reverse vs. Traditional Linear Training Periodization in Triathlon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2807; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152807 - 06 Aug 2019
Abstract
The present research aimed to analyze the modification in performance, body composition, and autonomic modulation of reverse and traditional linear training periodization in amateur triathletes. We analyzed running and swimming performance, strength manifestation, body composition, and autonomic modulation before and after a traditional [...] Read more.
The present research aimed to analyze the modification in performance, body composition, and autonomic modulation of reverse and traditional linear training periodization in amateur triathletes. We analyzed running and swimming performance, strength manifestation, body composition, and autonomic modulation before and after a traditional linear training periodization (four weeks of volume-based training plus four weeks of intensity-based training plus two-week tapering), a reverse linear training periodization (four weeks of intensity-based training plus four weeks of volume-based training plus two-week tapering), and a free training control physical active group (10-week free training) in 32 amateur athletes. Independently of the periodization model, the combination of two four-week mesocycles followed by a two-week taper is an efficiency strategy to avoid overreaching, obtaining an increase in parasympathetic modulation. Moreover, both types of training periodization proposed in this study do not modified body composition of amateur triathletes. Also, compared with traditional periodization, reverse periodization efficiently improves horizontal jump performance. Finally, reverse and traditional periodization were an effective strategy to improve running biomechanical, performance, and physiological variables, as well as efficient periodization strategies to improve swimming technical ability, aerobic, and anaerobic swimming performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Motivational Climate on Psychological Needs Satisfaction, Motivation and Commitment in Teen Handball Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2702; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152702 - 29 Jul 2019
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the motivational climate created by the coach and perceived by a group of young high-performance handball players on their sport motivation, self-determination, sport psychological needs and sport commitment. The study participants were [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the motivational climate created by the coach and perceived by a group of young high-performance handball players on their sport motivation, self-determination, sport psychological needs and sport commitment. The study participants were 479 young handball players. The age range was 16–17 years old. Players were administered a battery composed of a Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire, Sport Motivation Scale, the Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Scale and Sport Commitment Questionnaire to measure the above-mentioned theoretical constructs. Results showed that the handball players showed high levels of a task-involving climate, of basic psychological needs satisfaction and of self-determined motivation and commitment. Higher levels of basic psychological needs such as autonomy and competence were associated with a higher task-involving climate, self-determined index and sport commitment (task-involving climate–basic psychological needs (β = 0.55; 95% IC 0.387/0.682; p = 0.001); Ego-involving climate–basic psychological needs (β = 0.06; 95% IC −0.069/0.181; p = 0.387); Basic psychological needs–self-determined index (β = 0.48; 95% IC 0.376/0.571; p = 0.001); Self-determined index–commitment (β = 0.58; 95% IC 0.488/0.663; p = 0.001). The obtained model showed that basic psychological needs mediated the association between a task-involving climate and self-determination, and self-determination mediated the association between basic psychological needs satisfaction and commitment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Motivation in the Athens Classic Marathon: The Role of Sex, Age, and Performance Level in Greek Recreational Marathon Runners
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2549; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142549 - 17 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to examine the motivation of recreational runners and its variation by sex, age, and performance level. Finishers (female: n = 32, age 40.1 ± 9.0 years old, height 162 ± 7 cm, body mass 57.7 ± [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to examine the motivation of recreational runners and its variation by sex, age, and performance level. Finishers (female: n = 32, age 40.1 ± 9.0 years old, height 162 ± 7 cm, body mass 57.7 ± 7.5 kg, race record 4:34 ± 0:39 h:min; male: n = 134, 44.2 ± 8.6 years, 176 ± 6 cm, 77.0 ± 9.3 kg, 4:02 ± 0:44 h:min) in the Athens Classic Marathon 2017 completed the Motivations of Marathoners Scales (MOMS) 56-item questionnaire. The highest scores in the MOMS were observed in the general health orientation and personal goal achievement categories, and the lowest in the recognition and competition areas. Female participants scored higher in coping, self-esteem, and goal achievement than their male counterparts (p < 0.05). The <30 age group scored higher than the 35–40 and 40–45 age groups in “competing with other runners” for male participants (p < 0.05). The average performance group outscored the slowest group in “achieving personal goals” and “competing with other runners” in female participants, whereas an effect of performance on these two themes was shown in male participants as well (p < 0.05). In summary, we partially confirmed that female and male marathon runners differ for their motivations. In addition, novel findings were the identification of age and performance level as correlates of motivations. The knowledge of these trends would be of great practical value for practitioners to optimize the motivation of their athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Women Reduce the Performance Difference to Men with Increasing Age in Ultra-Marathon Running
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2377; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132377 - 04 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Age and sex are well-known factors influencing ultra-marathon race performance. The fact that women in older age groups are able to achieve a similar performance as men has been documented in swimming. In ultra-marathon running, knowledge is still limited. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Age and sex are well-known factors influencing ultra-marathon race performance. The fact that women in older age groups are able to achieve a similar performance as men has been documented in swimming. In ultra-marathon running, knowledge is still limited. The aim of this study was to analyze sex-specific performance in ultra-marathon running according to age and distance. All ultra-marathon races documented in the online database of the German Society for Ultra-Marathon from 1964 to 2017 for 50-mile races (i.e., 231,980 records from 91,665 finishers) and from 1953 to 2017 for 100-mile races (i.e., 107,445 records from 39,870 finishers) were analyzed. In 50-mile races, race times were 11.74 ± 1.95 h for men and 12.31 ± 1.69 h for women. In 100-mile races, race times were 26.6 ± 3.49 h for men and 27.47 ± 3.6 h for women. The sex differences decreased with older age and were smaller in 100-mile (4.41%) than in 50-mile races (9.13%). The overall age of peak performance was 33 years for both distances. In summary, women reduced the performance difference to men with advancing age, the relative difference being smaller in 100-mile compared to 50-mile races. These findings might aid coaches and ultra-marathon runners set long-term training goals considering their sex and age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
American Masters Road Running Records—The Performance Gap Between Female and Male Age Group Runners from 5 Km to 6 Days Running
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132310 - 29 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Recent studies investigating elite and master athletes in pool- and long-distance open-water swimming showed for elite swimmers that the fastest women were able to outperform the fastest men, and for master athletes that elderly women were able to achieve a similar performance to [...] Read more.
Recent studies investigating elite and master athletes in pool- and long-distance open-water swimming showed for elite swimmers that the fastest women were able to outperform the fastest men, and for master athletes that elderly women were able to achieve a similar performance to elderly men. The present study investigating age group records in runners from 5 km to 6 days aimed to test this hypothesis for master runners. Data from the American Master Road Running Records were analyzed, for 5 km, 8 km, 10 km, 10 miles, 20 km, half-marathon, 25 km, 30 km, marathon, 50 km, 50 miles, 100 km, 100 miles, 12 h, 24 h, 48 h and 144 h, for athletes in age groups ranging from 40 to 99 years old. The performance gap between men and women showed higher effects in events lengthening from 5 km to 10 miles (d = 0.617) and lower effects in events lengthening from 12 to 144 h (d = 0.304) running. Both other groups showed similar effects, being 20 km to the marathon (d = 0.607) and 50 km to 100 miles (d = 0.563). The performance gap between men and women showed higher effects in the age groups 85 years and above (d = 0.953) followed by 55 to 69 years (d = 0.633), and lower effects for the age groups 40 to 54 years (d = 0.558) and 70 to 84 years (d = 0.508). In summary, men are faster than women in American road running events, however, the sex gap decreases with increasing age but not with increasing event length. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
New 20 m Progressive Shuttle Test Protocol and Equation for Predicting the Maximal Oxygen Uptake of Korean Adolescents Aged 13–18 Years
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2265; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132265 - 27 Jun 2019
Abstract
Background: Although several equations for predicting VO2max in children and adolescents have been reported, the validity of application of these equations to the Korean population has not been verified. The purpose of study was to develop and validate regression models to [...] Read more.
Background: Although several equations for predicting VO2max in children and adolescents have been reported, the validity of application of these equations to the Korean population has not been verified. The purpose of study was to develop and validate regression models to estimate maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) using a newly developed 20 m progressive shuttle test (20 m PST) protocol in Korean male (n = 80, 15.3 ± 1.86 years) and female (n = 81, 15.5 ± 1.73 years) adolescents aged 13–18 years. Methods: The modified 20 m PST was performed and the VO2max was assessed in a sample of 161 participants. The participants underwent a treadmill test (TT) in the laboratory and the modified 20 m PST in a gymnasium. For the validation study, the participants performed the TT with a stationary metabolic cart and the 20 m PST with a portable metabolic cart once. In addition, they performed the 20 m PST two more times to establish test–retest reliability. Results: The mean VO2max (49.6 ± 8.7 mL·kg−1·min−1) measured with the potable metabolic cart was significantly higher than that measured in the graded exercise test with the stationary metabolic cart (46.6 ± 8.9 mL·kg−1·min−1, p < 0.001) using the new 20 m PST protocol. The standard error of the estimate (SEE) between these two measurements was 1.35 mL·kg−1·min−1. However, the VO2max derived from the newly developed equation was 46.7 ± 7.3 mL·kg−1·min−1 (p > 0.05) and the SEE was 2.90 mL·kg−1·min−1. The test and retest trials of the 20 m PST yielded comparable results (laps, r = 0.96; last speed, r = 0.93). Conclusions: Our data suggest that the new 20 m PST protocol is valid and reliable and that the equation developed in this study provides a valid estimate of VO2max in Korean male and female adolescents aged 13–18 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Atrial Fibrillation in Athletes—Features of Development, Current Approaches to the Treatment, and Prevention of Complications
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 4890; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244890 - 04 Dec 2019
Abstract
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common types of cardiac arrhythmias. This review article highlights the problem of the development of atrial fibrillation in individuals engaged in physical activity and sports. Predisposing factors, causes, and development mechanisms of atrial fibrillation in [...] Read more.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common types of cardiac arrhythmias. This review article highlights the problem of the development of atrial fibrillation in individuals engaged in physical activity and sports. Predisposing factors, causes, and development mechanisms of atrial fibrillation in athletes from the perspective of the authors are described. Methods of treatment, as well as prevention of thromboembolic complications, are discussed. Directions for further studies of this problem and prevention of complications are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
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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.

1. Title: HeRo-FiT study: Healthy promotion for fighting metabolic syndrome

Author: Luigi Gianturco

2. Title: Transformational leadership, task-involving climate and their implications in junior soccer players: A multilevel approach

Authors: Octavio Álvarez, PhD1; Isabel Castillo, PhD1, Vladimir Molina-García, PhD2, & Inés Tomás, PhD1

Affiliation: 1: University of Valencia (Spain); 2: University of Almeria (Spain)

3. Title: Lacrosse Athletes Load and Recovery Monitoring: Comparison Between Objective and Subjective Methods

Authors: Hauer R.1, Tessitore A. & Tschan H.2

Affiliation:  1University of Vienna, Austria; ² University of Rome “Foro Italico”, Italy

4. Title: An experimental study on the effect of if-then planning on performance and performance quality in a standardized exercise task

Authors: Anna Hirsch1, Maik Bieleke2, Julia Schüler1 & Wanja Wolff1

Affiliation: 1Sport Psychology, Department of Sport Science, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany

2Social Psychology & Motivation, Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany

5. Title: Too much of a good thing? Exercise addiction in endurance athletes: relationships with personal and social resources

Authors: Zsuzsanna Zimanyi1, Wanja Wolff1,2, Julia Schüler1

Affiliation: 1Universität Konstanz 2Universität Bern

6. Title: Cardiac autonomic nervous system assessment in sport and exercise

Authors: Daniela Lucini MD PhD, Mara Malacarne BS and Massimo Pagani MD

Affiliation: BIOMETRA Department, University of Milano

7. Title: Specific eccentric-isokinetic cluster training improves static strength elements on rings of elite gymnasts
Short running title: Eccentric-isokinetic training in gymnastics

Authors: Christoph Schärer1,2, Lisa Tacchelli2, Beat Göpfert3, Micah Gross1, Fabian Lüthy1, Wolfgang Taube2, Klaus Hübner1

Affiliation: 1 Swiss Federal Institute of Sport Magglingen (SFISM), Switzerland
2 University of Fribourg, Department of Medicine, Movement and Sport Science, Switzerland
3 University of Basel, Department Biomedical Engineering (DBE), Switzerland

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