Special Issue "Health Promotion in Children and Adolescents through Sport and Physical Activities"

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Special Issue Editor

Dr. Antonino Bianco
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Unit, University of Palermo, Via Giovanni Pascoli, 6, 90144. Palermo, Italy
Interests: physical activity; training; strength and conditioning; health promotion
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I made the important decision to handle a Special Issue because I believe it to be extremely crucial to focus on proper children’s and adolescents’ physiological and psychological development. The idea is to collect research that investigate the role of physical activity and sport on physical and mental well-being, with particular focus on practical implications, innovation, tools, and technique development. The Special Issue, “Health Promotion in Children and Adolescents through Sport and Physical Activities” addresses paediatric exercise science as a key scientific discipline able to help future generations to live longer and better. I want just to mention the fact that it is already clear that sedentariness and a low level of muscular strength and power significantly affects cognitive functions and daily relations, but it can be of interest to understand what the key determinants are and how we can help professionals to better manage those concerns in their daily activities. Authors are invited to submit letters, original research papers, case studies, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews.

Dr. Antonino Bianco
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 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. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1000 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
  • training
  • conditioning
  • health promotion
  • paediatric exercise science
  • sport
  • cognitive functions
  • sedentary lifestyle

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Published Papers (21 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
The Epidemic of Obesity and Poor Physical Activity Participation: Will We Ever See a Change?
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3020034 - 10 Jun 2018
Cited by 2
Open AccessEditorial
Preventing Violence and Social Exclusion through Sport and Physical Activity: The SAVE Project
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3020025 - 21 Apr 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Sport Against Violence and Exclusion (SAVE), a project cofounded by the Erasmus + Program of the European Union, seeks to prevent violent and socially exclusive behaviors through physical activity. The current editorial shows a range of possible interpretations of these two phenomena from [...] Read more.
Sport Against Violence and Exclusion (SAVE), a project cofounded by the Erasmus + Program of the European Union, seeks to prevent violent and socially exclusive behaviors through physical activity. The current editorial shows a range of possible interpretations of these two phenomena from both a psychological and sociological point of view, offering helpful methods to coaches who train children (ages 6 to 12)in grass-root sport clubs. Following a thorough analysis, partners from seven EU countries (Lithuania, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Austria, and Spain) will be able to identify skills and techniques for coaches to ensure inclusive training methods as well as to provide them with effective conflict resolution tools. Furthermore, both trainers and parents will have access to an online platform with useful information regarding these issues. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Cognitive and Motivational Monitoring during Enriched Sport Activities in a Sample of Children Living in Europe. The Esa Program
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2017, 2(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk2040046 - 13 Dec 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Enriched Sport Activities (ESA) Program is an Evidence-based Practice Exercise Program cofounded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union (Key action: Sport-579661-EPP-1-2016-2-IT-SPO-SCP) [...]
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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Joint Mobility Protection during the Developmental Age among Free Climbing Practitioners: A Pilot Study
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2020, 5(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk5010014 - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Sport-climbing popularity increased intensely over the past years. Particularly, children’s and adolescents’ interest therein is constantly growing. Despite a large effort in preventing injuries and muscle overloads, a fine-tuned training for each sensitive phase of child development is still needed. The objective of [...] Read more.
Sport-climbing popularity increased intensely over the past years. Particularly, children’s and adolescents’ interest therein is constantly growing. Despite a large effort in preventing injuries and muscle overloads, a fine-tuned training for each sensitive phase of child development is still needed. The objective of the study was to evaluate an innovative training program aimed at the preservation of joint mobility during the developmental age. This article relies on the results of a steady training program allowing to retain joints integrity among the practice of sport climbing in children. Joint mobility changes have been monitored before and after a one-year training program in fifteen subjects aged between 8 and 18 years. Subjects were divided into three groups depending on age (Turgor Secundus, Proceritas Secunda and Turgor Tertius). The motor tests administered were the sit-and-reach test, coxo-femoral mobility test and scapula–humeral mobility test. Our results showed that one-year training improved joint mobility at each analyzed phase, suggesting that this training program could improve mobility and flexibility. Given the importance of joint mobility preservation for discipline-related injuries prevention and eventually recovering, it is essential to provide a specific training program as a route to approach sport climbing, and even more importantly, at an early age. This work represents a preliminary study in order to demonstrate both efficacy on the joint mobility and the requirement of our playful work to support the global sport-climbing workout. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Accelerometer-Based Physical Activity Levels Differ between Week and Weekend Days in British Preschool Children
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk4030065 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Participation in physical activity (PA) is fundamental to children’s future health. Studies examining the temporal pattern of PA between weekdays and weekends in British preschool children are lacking. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare PA levels between week and weekend [...] Read more.
Participation in physical activity (PA) is fundamental to children’s future health. Studies examining the temporal pattern of PA between weekdays and weekends in British preschool children are lacking. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare PA levels between week and weekend days for UK preschool children, using objective measurements. One hundred and eighty-five preschool children (99 boys, 86 girls, aged 4–5 years), from central England wore a triaxial accelerometer (GENEActiv) for 4 days to determine PA. The time (min) and percentage (%) of time spent in light, moderate and vigorous PA (MVPA) was determined using specific cut-points for counts per minute related to 3–5 year olds. Of the sample, none of the children met the UK recommended 180 min or more of PA per day. A significant difference (P < 0.05) was observed between the amount of time that preschool children spent in sedentary behaviours on weekdays (91.9%) compared to weekend days (96.9%). During weekdays and weekend days, 6.3% and 2.0% of time was spent in MVPA, respectively. Therefore, a substantial proportion of British preschool children’s day is spent in sedentary behaviours, with less MVPA accrued during the weekend. Regular engagement during the weekdays provides opportunities to accrue PA, which may not be present on weekend days. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anthropometric Obesity Indices, Body Fat Percentage, and Grip Strength in Young Adults with different Physical Activity Levels
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk4030051 - 31 Jul 2019
Abstract
The purposes of this study were to determine whether moderately physically active (MPA) and highly physically active (HPA) male (n = 96, age = 22.5 ± 1.7 years) and female (n = 85, age = 21.3 ± 1.6 years) young adults [...] Read more.
The purposes of this study were to determine whether moderately physically active (MPA) and highly physically active (HPA) male (n = 96, age = 22.5 ± 1.7 years) and female (n = 85, age = 21.3 ± 1.6 years) young adults differed in their anthropometric obesity indices (AOIs), body fat percentage (BF%), and muscular strength, and also to examine the associations between physical activity level (PAL) and the abovementioned variables. Participants were measured for body height and weight, BF%, waist and hip circumferences, and maximal isometric grip strength. According to their PAL, estimated by the short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, they were assigned to MPA and HPA subgroups. Regardless of gender, results indicated that participants in the MPA groups had significantly higher values of body weight, waist and hip circumference, BF%, and BMI than participants in the HPA groups. No significant differences were found between physical activity groups in terms of grip strength. The AOIs and BF% were found to be significantly and negatively correlated with the PAL in both genders. In conclusion, the findings of the study suggest that high habitual physical activity is associated with lower adiposity markers. However, the differences in the hand grip strength of the contrasting activity groups were negligible. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Validation of Cardiorespiratory Fitness Measurements in Adolescents
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk4030044 - 13 Jul 2019
Abstract
Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an important indicator of adolescent cardiovascular well-being and future cardiometabolic health but not always feasible to measure. The purpose of this study was to estimate the concurrent validity of the non-exercise test (NET) for adolescents against the Progressive Aerobic [...] Read more.
Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an important indicator of adolescent cardiovascular well-being and future cardiometabolic health but not always feasible to measure. The purpose of this study was to estimate the concurrent validity of the non-exercise test (NET) for adolescents against the Progressive Aerobic Capacity Endurance Run (PACER®) and direct measures of VO2max as well as to examine the concurrent validity of the PACER® with a portable metabolic system (K4b2™). Forty-six adolescents (12–17 years) completed the NET prior to performing the PACER® while wearing the K4b2™. The obtained VO2max values were compared using linear regression, intra-class correlation (ICC), and Bland–Altman plots, and α was set at 0.05. The VO2max acquired directly from the K4b2™ was significantly correlated to the VO2max indirectly estimated from the NET (r = 0.73, p < 0.001, r2 = 0.53, ICC = 0.67). PACER® results were significantly related to the VO2max estimates from the NET (r = 0.81, p < 0.001, r2 = 0.65, ICC = 0.72). Direct measures from the K4b2™ were significantly correlated to the VO2max estimates from the PACER® (r = 0.87, p < 0.001, r2 = 0.75, ICC = 0.93). The NET is a valid measure of CRF in adolescents and can be used when an exercise test is not feasible. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Acute Cardiometabolic Responses to Multi-Modal Integrative Neuromuscular Training in Children
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk4020039 - 24 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Integrative neuromuscular training (INT) has emerged as an effective strategy for improving health- and skill-related components of physical fitness, yet few studies have explored the cardiometabolic demands of this type of training in children. The aim of this study was to examine the [...] Read more.
Integrative neuromuscular training (INT) has emerged as an effective strategy for improving health- and skill-related components of physical fitness, yet few studies have explored the cardiometabolic demands of this type of training in children. The aim of this study was to examine the acute cardiometabolic responses to a multi-modal INT protocol and to compare these responses to a bout of moderate-intensity treadmill (TM) walking in children. Participants (n = 14, age 10.7 ± 1.1 years) were tested for peak oxygen uptake (VO2) and peak heart rate (HR) on a maximal TM test and subsequently participated in two experimental conditions on nonconsecutive days: a 12-min INT protocol of six different exercises performed twice for 30 s with a 30 s rest interval between sets and exercises and a 12-min TM protocol of walking at 50% VO2peak. Throughout the INT protocol mean VO2 and HR increased significantly from 14.9 ± 3.6 mL∙kg−1∙min−1 (28.2% VO2 peak) to 34.0 ± 6.4 mL∙kg−1∙min−1 (64.3% VO2 peak) and from 121.1 ± 9.0 bpm (61.0% HR peak) to 183.5 ± 7.9 bpm (92.4% HR peak), respectively. While mean VO2 for the entire protocol did not differ between INT and TM, mean VO2 and HR during selected INT exercises and mean HR for the entire INT protocol were significantly higher than TM (all Ps ≤ 0.05). These findings suggest that INT can pose a moderate to vigorous cardiometabolic stimulus in children and selected INT exercises can be equal to or more metabolically challenging than TM walking. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Organized Sports and Physical Activities as Sole Influencers of Fitness: The Homeschool Population
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk4010013 - 28 Jan 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Homeschool children may rely solely on organized sports and physical activities to achieve recommended levels of physical activity and fitness. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in fitness levels between homeschool children who did, and did not, participate in organized [...] Read more.
Homeschool children may rely solely on organized sports and physical activities to achieve recommended levels of physical activity and fitness. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in fitness levels between homeschool children who did, and did not, participate in organized sports or physical activities, and then examine relationships between hours per week in sports or physical activities and cardiorespiratory fitness as measured by portions of the FitnessGram® test battery. Organized sports/physical activity participation information was gathered on 100 children ages 10–17 years who completed tests of upper, abdominal, and cardiorespiratory fitness. The current investigation revealed that participation alone was not associated with higher levels of physical fitness as assessed by the 90° push-up test or curl-up test nor was time in participation related to cardiorespiratory fitness as assessed by the Progressive Aerobic Capacity Endurance Run (PACER). These activities alone may be insufficient for meeting physical activity recommendations and improving physical fitness. Therefore, children and adolescents educated at home may need additional opportunities to participate in unstructured daily physical activity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
School-Based Intervention on Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Brazilian Students: A Nonrandomized Controlled Trial
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk4010010 - 21 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: In response to the worldwide increasing prevalence of low cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), several interventions have been developed. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a school-based intervention on CRF in Brazilian students. Methods: A nonrandomised controlled design tested [...] Read more.
Background: In response to the worldwide increasing prevalence of low cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), several interventions have been developed. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a school-based intervention on CRF in Brazilian students. Methods: A nonrandomised controlled design tested 432 students (intervention group: n = 247) from 6th to 9th grade recruited from two public secondary schools in Florianopolis, in 2015. The intervention entitled “MEXA-SE” (move yourself), applied over 13 weeks, included four components: (1) increases in physical activity during Physical Education classes; (2) active recess; (3) educational sessions; and (4) educational materials. CRF (20-m shuttle run test) was the primary outcome. Results: The effect size of the intervention on CRF was 0.15 (CI 95% = –0.04; 0.34). In the within-group comparisons, VO2max decreased significantly from baseline to follow-up in the control group but remained constant in the intervention group. After adjustment variables, differences between intervention and control group were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Conclusion: The “MEXA-SE” intervention did not have an effect on adolescents’ CRF. However, maintenance of VO2max in intervention group and a reduction within control group demonstrates that this intervention may be beneficial for long-term CRF and, possibly, the increased intervention time could result in a better effect. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Testing the Motor Competence and Health-Related Variable Conceptual Model: A Path Analysis
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(4), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3040061 - 28 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to empirically test a comprehensive conceptual model linking gross motor skills, school day physical activity and health-related variables in a sample of sixth graders. Participants were a convenience sample of 84 sixth grade students (Mean age = [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to empirically test a comprehensive conceptual model linking gross motor skills, school day physical activity and health-related variables in a sample of sixth graders. Participants were a convenience sample of 84 sixth grade students (Mean age = 11.6 ± 0.6 years). Gross motor skills were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-3rd Edition (TGMD-3), school day physical activity was assessed using pedometers, health-related fitness was assessed using Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) laps, perceived competence assessed using a validated questionnaire and the health-related outcome was assessed using Body Mass Index (BMI). The relationship between school day step counts and TGMD-3 scores was mediated through both perceived competence and PACER laps (p = 0.015) and the direct path coefficient between TGMD-3 scores and BMI was statistically significant (b = −0.22 kg/m2, p < 0.001). Overall there was good model fit with all indices meeting acceptable criteria (χ2 = 3.7, p = 0.293; Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = 0.062, 90% Confidence Interval (C.I.): 0.00–0.23; Comparative Fit Index (CFI) = 0.98; Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) = 0.96; Standardized Root Mean Square Residual (SRMR) = 0.052). The comprehensive conceptual model explaining the inter-relationships among motor competence and health-related variables was empirically validated with the relationship between physical activity and gross motor skills mediated through both perceived competence and cardiorespiratory endurance in a sample of sixth graders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Relationships between Motor Competence, Physical Activity, and Obesity in British Preschool Aged Children
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3040057 - 21 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Background: This cross-sectional study aimed to examine associations between motor competence, physical activity, and obesity in British children aged three to five years. Method: Motor competence (MC) was assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. Physical activity (PA) was assessed using triaxial [...] Read more.
Background: This cross-sectional study aimed to examine associations between motor competence, physical activity, and obesity in British children aged three to five years. Method: Motor competence (MC) was assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. Physical activity (PA) was assessed using triaxial wrist-worn accelerometers. Children were assessed on compliance to current PA recommendations of ≥180 min of total PA (TPA) and ≥60 min of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) for health benefits. Associations were explored with Pearson’s product moments and weight-status, and sex-differences were explored with independent t-tests and chi-squared analysis. Results: A total of 166 children (55% males; 4.28 ± 0.74 years) completed MC and PA assessments. Associations were found between PA and MC (TPA and overall MC, TPA and object-control MC (OC), MVPA and overall MC, and MVPA and OC). This study suggests that good motor competence is an important correlate of children meeting physical activity guidelines for health. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Sports-Oriented Primary School on Students’ Physical Literacy and Cognitive Performance
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3030037 - 27 Jun 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
As only a small group of children fulfil the guidelines for physical activity, interventions are necessary to promote active lifestyles. We examined the effects of a sports-oriented primary school (N = 79) in comparison to a regular primary school (N = [...] Read more.
As only a small group of children fulfil the guidelines for physical activity, interventions are necessary to promote active lifestyles. We examined the effects of a sports-oriented primary school (N = 79) in comparison to a regular primary school (N = 90) on students’ physical literacy and cognitive performance. To evaluate the implementation of the sports-oriented school curriculum a process evaluation was conducted, in which the school curriculum was analysed and guideline-based interviews were carried out with the schoolteachers and the school director. To measure students’ physical literacy and cognitive performance several tests were used. Small positive effects of the sports-oriented primary school on students’ physical literacy were shown in standing long jump and attitudes towards physical activity. There were no differences between the groups regarding cognitive performance. This study provides the first insights on how a sports-oriented school can promote students’ physical literacy in the future. The results are in line with previous research that shows that when children spend more time in physical education and overall physical activities at school, no negative consequences result for their cognitive performance. In future, long-term evaluations of the effects of sports-oriented schools are required to receive valid results on the effects on students. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Actual vs. Perceived Motor Competence in Children (8–10 Years): An Issue of Non-Veridicality
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3020020 - 22 Mar 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the between- and within-sex differences in actual and perceived locomotor and object control skills in children (8–10 year). All participants (58 children (29 boys; 9.5 ± 0.6 years; 1.44 ± 0.09 m; 39.6 ± 9.5 [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the between- and within-sex differences in actual and perceived locomotor and object control skills in children (8–10 year). All participants (58 children (29 boys; 9.5 ± 0.6 years; 1.44 ± 0.09 m; 39.6 ± 9.5 kg; body mass index; 18.8 ± 3.1 kg·m2)) completed the Test of Gross Motor Development (2nd edition) and the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children. Between- and within-sex differences were assessed using independent and paired samples t-tests, respectively. For all tests, effect sizes and Bayes factors were calculated. There were significant differences (p < 0.001) between sexes for perceived locomotor and perceived object control skills (boys > girls), with Bayes factors extremely in favour of the alternate hypothesis (BF: 55,344 and 460, respectively). A significant difference (p < 0.001) was found between girls’ actual and perceived locomotor skills (d = −0.88; 95% confidence interval: −0.46 to −1.34), with Bayes factors extremely in favour of the alternate hypothesis (BF: 483). A significant difference (p < 0.001) was found between boys’ actual and perceived object control skills (d = 0.69; 95% CI: 0.2 to 1.12), with Bayes factors very strongly in favour of the alternate hypothesis (BF: 41). These findings suggest that there exists an issue of non-veridicality between actual and perceived motor competence skills, and their subsets, and a sex-mediated discord in children (8–10 years). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Relationship between Sedentary Time, Physical Activity and Multiple Lifestyle Factors in Children
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3010015 - 02 Mar 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
An improved understanding of relationships between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), screen-time and lifestyle factors is imperative for developing interventions, yet few studies have explored such relationships simultaneously. Therefore, the study’s aim was to examine the relationship between sufficient MVPA (≥60 min·day–1) [...] Read more.
An improved understanding of relationships between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), screen-time and lifestyle factors is imperative for developing interventions, yet few studies have explored such relationships simultaneously. Therefore, the study’s aim was to examine the relationship between sufficient MVPA (≥60 min·day–1) and excessive screen-time (≥2 h·day–1) with lifestyle factors in children. In total, 756 children (10.4 ± 0.6 years) completed a questionnaire, which assessed sleep duration, MVPA, homework/reading, screen-time and diet, and a 20 metre multi-stage shuttle run test to assess cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). Body mass and stature were measured and used to calculate BMI (body mass index) for age/sex z-scores. Fruit and vegetable consumption and CRF were positively associated with sufficient MVPA, irrespective of sex (p < 0.05). Excessive screen-time was positively associated with sugary snack consumption in boys and girls, and diet soft drink intake in boys (p < 0.05). In addition, excessive screen-time was negatively associated with MVPA before school for both boys and girls, as well as with sleep duration and fruit and vegetable consumption for girls (p < 0.05). Sufficient MVPA and excessive screen-time were associated with healthy and unhealthy factors, respectively, with relationships sometimes differing by sex. Future health promoting interventions should consider targeting change in multiple lifestyle factors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Fitness Evaluation of School Children in Southern Italy: A Cross Sectional Evaluation
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3010014 - 26 Feb 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
The aim of this work was to evaluate the fitness levels of different physical components in schoolchildren in southern Italy and identify age-related effects of physical performance. One hundred and fifty-four schoolchildren with ages ranging between 6 and 10 years (age 8.1 ± [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to evaluate the fitness levels of different physical components in schoolchildren in southern Italy and identify age-related effects of physical performance. One hundred and fifty-four schoolchildren with ages ranging between 6 and 10 years (age 8.1 ± 1.45 years; 33.70 ± 10.25 kg; 131.50 ± 13.60 cm) were recruited for the investigation. Each scholar underwent a fitness-test battery composed of five elements. A Hand-Grip Strength Test to assess the strength of the hand muscles, a Standing Broad Jump Test to assess lower body explosive strength, a Sit-Up Test to exhaustion to evaluate abdominal muscular endurance, a 4 × 10-m Shuttle Run Test to assess agility, and a 20-m sprint test to assess speed. Cross-sectional analysis revealed that boys perform better than girls and that age affects performance. Lower limb measures show a significant increase after 8 years of age, whereas upper limb measures show a significant increase at 7 and 10 years of age. No age-related differences were found in muscular endurance measures. It is possible to consider age-related performance measures to program exercise interventions that follow the growth characteristics of schoolchildren. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Do Young Elite Football Athletes Have the Same Strength and Power Characteristics as Senior Athletes?
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2017, 2(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk2040048 - 19 Dec 2017
Abstract
An increasing number of young football athletes are competing in elite senior level competitions. However, comparison of strength, power, and speed characteristics between young elite football athletes and their senior counterparts, while controlling for anthropometric parameters, is yet to be investigated. Knee extension [...] Read more.
An increasing number of young football athletes are competing in elite senior level competitions. However, comparison of strength, power, and speed characteristics between young elite football athletes and their senior counterparts, while controlling for anthropometric parameters, is yet to be investigated. Knee extension concentric peak torque, jump performance, and 20 m straight-line speed were compared between age groups of under 17 (U17: n = 24), under 19 (U19: n = 25), and senior (seniors: n = 19) elite, national and international level, male football athletes. Analysis of covariance was performed, with height and body mass used as covariates. No significant differences were found between age groups for knee extension concentric peak torque (p = 0.28–0.42), while an effect was observed when the covariates of height and body mass were applied (p < 0.001). Senior players had greater jump and speed performance, whereas an effect was observed only for the covariate of body mass in the 15 m and 20 m (p < 0.001) speed testing. No differences were observed between U17 and U19 groups for jump and speed performance (p = 0.26–0.46). The current study suggests that younger elite football athletes (<19 years) have lower jump and speed performance than their senior counterparts, but not for strength when height and body mass are considered as covariates. Emphasis should be on power development capacities at the late youth phase when preparing athletes for the senior competition level. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Recovery Following Resistance Exercise: A Systematic Review
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk4030041 - 26 Jun 2019
Abstract
Background: The aim of this manuscript was to describe the effects of alcohol ingestion on recovery following resistance exercise. Methods: A literature search was performed using the following database: Web of Science, NLM Pubmed, and Scopus. Studies regarding alcohol consumption after resistance exercise [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this manuscript was to describe the effects of alcohol ingestion on recovery following resistance exercise. Methods: A literature search was performed using the following database: Web of Science, NLM Pubmed, and Scopus. Studies regarding alcohol consumption after resistance exercise evaluating recovery were considered for investigation. The main outcomes took into account biological, physical and cognitive measures. Multiple trained researchers independently screened eligible studies according to the eligibility criteria, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. Results: A total of 12 studies were considered eligible and included in the quantitative synthesis: 10 included at least one measure of biological function, 10 included at least one measure of physical function and one included measures of cognitive function. Conclusions: Alcohol consumption following resistance exercise doesn’t seem to be a modulating factor for creatine kinase, heart rate, lactate, blood glucose, estradiol, sexual hormone binding globulin, leukocytes and cytokines, C-reactive protein and calcium. Force, power, muscular endurance, soreness and rate of perceived exertion are also unmodified following alcohol consumption during recovery. Cortisol levels seemed to be increased while testosterone, plasma amino acids, and rates of muscle protein synthesis decreased. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Relation between Weight Status, Physical activity, Maturation, and Functional Movement in Adolescence: An Overview
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk4020031 - 30 May 2019
Abstract
Obesity, low level of physical activity and dysfunctional movement patterns presents one of the leading health issues that can contribute to increased risk for developing not only metabolic and cardiovascular disease, but also musculoskeletal problems. The aim of this paper is to summarize [...] Read more.
Obesity, low level of physical activity and dysfunctional movement patterns presents one of the leading health issues that can contribute to increased risk for developing not only metabolic and cardiovascular disease, but also musculoskeletal problems. The aim of this paper is to summarize literature and evidence about relationship between functional movement (FM) patterns, physical activity (PA) level and weight status in average adolescent population. In addition, this paper summarized current evidence about relations between maturation effects and functional movement among athletic adolescent populations. Summary of current evidence suggests that decreased physical activity level is negatively correlated to functional movement in adolescence. Additionally, most studies suggest that weight status is negatively correlated to functional movement patterns although there is conflicting evidence in this area. Evidence consistently showed that overweight and obese adolescents exhibit poorer functional movement compared to normal weight adolescents. In addition, it appears that maturation has effects on functional movement in athletic populations of adolescents. It is therefore important that practitioners consider interventions which develop optimal functional movement alongside physical activity and weight management strategies in children, in order to reduce the risks of injuries and pathological abnormality arising from suboptimal movement patterns in later life. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Role of Exercise in Pediatric and Adolescent Cancers: A Review of Assessments and Suggestions for Clinical Implementation
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3010007 - 14 Jan 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
In the European Union, five-year survival rates for childhood cancer patients are approaching 72–80%, which is a testament to better diagnostics and improved treatment. As a result, a large proportion of childhood cancer patients go on to live productive lives well past reproductive [...] Read more.
In the European Union, five-year survival rates for childhood cancer patients are approaching 72–80%, which is a testament to better diagnostics and improved treatment. As a result, a large proportion of childhood cancer patients go on to live productive lives well past reproductive age. While this is encouraging, childhood cancer treatment is accompanied by multiple long-term adverse effects on physical and mental wellbeing. While there are several approaches to address mental health, reproductive integrity, secondary pathologies, and recurrence, in order to optimize quality of life in childhood cancer patients, exercise and nutrition should also be considered. It is clear that physical activity plays an important role in the prevention and reduction of long-term adverse side effects associated with cancer treatment in both children and adults. However, the current exercise guidelines for cancer survivors are based on adult data and accordingly are not appropriate for children. As children and adults are markedly different, including both the pathophysiology of cancer and exercise response, treatment plans incorporating exercise for children should be age-specific and individually tailored to both reduce the development of future comorbidities and enhance physical health. The purpose of this paper is to review the predominant cancer types and effects of cancer treatment in children, describe several special considerations, and propose a framework for assessment and exercise guidelines for this population. Full article
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Open AccessProtocol
Feasibility Study of the Secondary Level Active School Flag Programme: Study Protocol
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk4010016 - 26 Mar 2019
Abstract
Taking part in regular physical activity (PA) is important for young adolescents to maintain physical, social and mental health. Schools are vibrant settings for health promotion and the complexity of driving a whole-school approach to PA has not been tested in the Irish [...] Read more.
Taking part in regular physical activity (PA) is important for young adolescents to maintain physical, social and mental health. Schools are vibrant settings for health promotion and the complexity of driving a whole-school approach to PA has not been tested in the Irish school context. The feasibility of the pilot programme of the Department of Education and Skills second level Active School Flag (SLASF) is needed. SLASF is a two year process that consists of the Active School Flag (ASF) certificate programme (year 1) and the ASF flag programme (year 2). This protocol paper is specific to the first year certificate process. Three schools around Ireland were recruited as pilot schools to carry out the year-long SLASF programme with 17 planned actions involving the entire school. Students in the transition year programme have a particular role in the promotion of PA in SLASF. Data collection consists of physical measures, accelerometers, survey data and interviews at the beginning and the end of the academic year. The primary focus on the feasibility of the programme is through process evaluation tools and fidelity checks consisting of implementation of the SLASF programme through whole-school surveys, focus group discussions of key stakeholder groups, as well as one-to-one interviews with a member of management at each school and the SLASF coordinator of the school. Secondary outcomes include PA levels and its social cognitive theories based correlates through physical health measures, surveys carried out pre- and post-intervention, as well as focus group discussions of the students. The results of this study are needed to improve the development of the SLASF through a predetermined stopping criteria and inclusion into systems thinking approaches such as the Healthy Ireland Demonstration Project. Full article
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