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Special Issue "Physical Activity and Physical Fitness in the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases"

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1010-660X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Luis Gracia-Marco

PROmoting FITness and Health through physical activity research group (PROFITH), Department of Physical Education and Sports, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Bone mass; paediatrics, healthy lifestyles; cancer survivors; exercise; physical activity programs; nutrition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, mental illness and diabetes are responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide. Physical inactivity is known to be one of the main factors behind the rise in NCDs and recent research has also linked physical fitness with NCDs. Advances in techniques and new devices have been crucial to better understand how being physically active and fit contribute to current and future health. Therefore, the purpose of this Special Issue is to highlight the role of physical activity and physical fitness in the prevention and control of NCD.

Dr. Luis Gracia-Marco
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Medicina is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • Osteoporosis
  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Body composition
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity
  • Physical fitness

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Body Composition on Arterial Stiffness in Middle-Aged Adults: Healthy UAL Cross-Sectional Study
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070334
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 1 July 2019 / Published: 3 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Several anthropometric and body composition parameters have been linked to arterial stiffness (AS) as a biomarker of cardiovascular disease. However, little is known about which of these closely related factors is more strongly associated with AS. The aim of the [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Several anthropometric and body composition parameters have been linked to arterial stiffness (AS) as a biomarker of cardiovascular disease. However, little is known about which of these closely related factors is more strongly associated with AS. The aim of the present study was to analyze the relationship of different anthropometric and body composition parameters with AS in middle-aged adults. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included 186 middle-aged participants (85 women, 101 men; age = 42.8 ± 12.6 years) evaluated as part of the Healthy UAL study, a population study conducted at the University of Almería with the main purpose of analyzing the etiology and risk factors associated with cardio-metabolic diseases. Anthropometric measures included neck, waist, and hip circumferences, as well as the waist-to-height ratio (WHtr). Bioimpedance-derived parameters included fat-free mass index (FFMI), fat mass index (FMI), and percent of body fat (%BF). AS was measured by pulse wave velocity (PWV). The relationships of interest were examined through stepwise regression analyses in which age and sex were also introduced as potential confounders. Results: Neck circumference (in the anthropometric model; R2: 0.889; β: age = 0.855, neck = 0.204) and FFMI (in the bio-impedance model; R2: 0.891; β: age = 0.906, FFMI = 0.199) emerged as significant cross-sectional predictors of AS. When all parameters were included together (both anthropometry and bio-impedance), both neck circumference and FFMI appeared again as being significantly associated with AS (R2: 0.894; β: age = 0.882, FFMI = 0.126, neck = 0.093). Conclusion: It was concluded that FFMI and neck circumference are correlated with AS regardless of potential confounders and other anthropometric and bioimpedance-derived parameters in middle-aged adults. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Is Self-Reported Physical Fitness Useful for Estimating Fitness Levels in Children and Adolescents? A Reliability and Validity Study
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55060286
Received: 4 November 2018 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 18 June 2019
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Abstract
Background and objective: The assessment of physical fitness has become a necessary issue in epidemiological studies, since a reduction in fitness is directly associated with early mortality. Therefore, the development of simple, accurate, and inexpensive methods is necessary to measure physical fitness. [...] Read more.
Background and objective: The assessment of physical fitness has become a necessary issue in epidemiological studies, since a reduction in fitness is directly associated with early mortality. Therefore, the development of simple, accurate, and inexpensive methods is necessary to measure physical fitness. This study aimed to determine the reliability and validity of the criteria and constructs of the International Fitness Scale (IFIS), Portuguese version, in Brazilian pediatric populations. Methods: A total of 190 children aged 3–10 years and 110 adolescents aged 11–17 years were enrolled in an observational study of reliability and validity. For reliability, the participants completed a questionnaire twice (with an interval of 15 days). To test the criterion validity, we analyzed the agreement between the questionnaire and physical tests (20-m shuttle run test, handgrip strength, standing long jump tests, 4 × 10-m shuttle run test, and back-saver sit and reach test), and the construct validity was estimated by agreement between the questionnaire and high blood pressure. The reliability was analyzed by kappa coefficients. The agreement between the testing and retesting of the questionnaire was evaluated by kappa coefficients. We applied a 2 × 2 table to estimate the specificity, sensitivity, and accuracy of the questionnaire. Results: The mean age of the children was 6.7 years (n = 190), and for the adolescents it was 14.6 years (n = 110). The questionnaire reliability showed an almost perfect score (κ ≥ 0.93 in children and κ ≥ 0.88 in adolescents). The questionnaire showed moderate criterion validity (κ ≥ 0.40 in children and adolescents) as well as moderate construct validity (κ ≥ 0.40) in the components of general conditioning, cardiorespiratory capacity, muscular strength, and speed/agility in children and in the components of cardiorespiratory capacity, muscle strength, and speed/agility in adolescents. The questionnaire was a sensitive method for measuring physical fitness. Conclusions: The Portuguese version of the IFIS is a reliable and valid method for measuring physical fitness in pediatric populations. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Automatic Assessment of Strength and Mobility in Older Adults: A Test-Retest Reliability Study
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55060270
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
Background: Simple field tests such as the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) and 30 s Chair Stand test are commonly used to evaluate physical function in the elderly, providing crude outcome measures. Using an automatic chronometer, it is possible to obtain additional [...] Read more.
Background: Simple field tests such as the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) and 30 s Chair Stand test are commonly used to evaluate physical function in the elderly, providing crude outcome measures. Using an automatic chronometer, it is possible to obtain additional kinematic parameters that may lead to obtaining extra information and drawing further conclusions. However, there is a lack of studies that evaluate the test-retest reliability of these parameters, which may help to judge and interpret changes caused by an intervention or differences between populations. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the test-retest reliability of the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) and 30 s Chair Stand test in healthy older adults. Methods: A total of 99 healthy older adults participated in this cross-sectional study. The TUG and the 30 s Chair Stand test were performed five times and twice, respectively, using an automatic chronometer. The sit-to-stand-to-sit cycle from the 30 s Chair Stand test was divided into two phases. Results: Overall, reliability for the 30 s Chair Stand test was good for almost each variable (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) >0.70). Furthermore, the use of an automatic chronometer improved the reliability for the TUG (ICC >0.86 for a manual chronometer and ICC >0.88 for an automatic chronometer). Conclusions: The TUG and the 30 s Chair Stand test are reliable in older adults. The use of an automatic chronometer in the TUG is strongly recommended as it increased the reliability of the test. This device enables researchers to obtain relevant and reliable data from the 30 s Chair Stand test, such as the duration of the sit-to-stand-to-sit cycles and phases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Associations of Cognitive Function with BMI, Body Fat Mass and Visceral Fat in Young Adulthood
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55060221
Received: 14 February 2019 / Revised: 1 May 2019 / Accepted: 1 May 2019 / Published: 28 May 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Existing studies concerning the associations of cognitive function with adiposity in young adults are sparse. The purpose of the study was to examine the associations of adiposity with cognitive control in young adults. Materials and Methods: Participants were 213 [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Existing studies concerning the associations of cognitive function with adiposity in young adults are sparse. The purpose of the study was to examine the associations of adiposity with cognitive control in young adults. Materials and Methods: Participants were 213 young adults (98 women and 115 men). Cognitive control was measured using a modified task-switching paradigm. Anthropometrics were measured by standardized procedures. Body fat mass and visceral fat area were measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis. Results: The results showed that increased body mass index (BMI, p = 0.02), body fat percentage (p = 0.02), and visceral fat area (p = 0.01) were significantly correlated with larger global switch costs of accuracy in women. In men, high levels of body fat percentage (p = 0.01) and visceral fat area (p = 0.03) were significantly correlated with larger local switch costs of reaction time. Conclusions: The results indicated that elevated adiposity was associated with worse performance on measures of cognitive control in young adults. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Physical Activity in Puberty Is Associated with Total Body and Femoral Neck Bone Mineral Characteristics in Males at 18 Years of Age
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050203
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Studies indicate that genetic and lifestyle factors influence optimal bone development. Adaptations in bone mineral characteristics related to physical activity (PA) are most often observed in pre- and peri-puberty. Longitudinal associations between bone mineral accrual and objectively measured PA in [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Studies indicate that genetic and lifestyle factors influence optimal bone development. Adaptations in bone mineral characteristics related to physical activity (PA) are most often observed in pre- and peri-puberty. Longitudinal associations between bone mineral accrual and objectively measured PA in puberty are poorly understood. The present study aims to investigate whether pubertal PA at different intensities is related to bone mineral characteristics in individuals at 18 years of age. Materials and Methods: Anthropometrics, pubertal stage, bone age and PA by accelerometer were measured in 88 boys at the mean age of 12.1 (T1), 13.1 (T2), 14.0 (T3) and 18.0 years (T4). Different bone mineral parameters were measured by dual-energy X-ray at T4. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the effect of bone age, body mass and PA characteristics on measured bone mineral parameters at 18 years of age. Results: Total PA in puberty together with mean pubertal body mass predicted 35.5% of total body (TB) bone mineral density (BMD), 43.0% of TB less head (LH) bone mineral content (BMC) and 48.1% of BMC/height in individuals at 18 years of age. Vigorous PA and body mass in puberty predicted 43.2% of femoral neck (FN) BMD; bone age at T1, vigorous PA and body mass in puberty predicted 47.3% of FN BMC at 18 years of age. No associations between pubertal PA levels and lumbar spine bone mineral characteristics in individuals at 18 years of age were found. Conclusions: Physical activity in puberty has a significant impact on bone mineral characteristics in individuals at 18 years of age, with total PA being a significant predictor of TB BMD and TB LH BMC as well as BMC/height, whereas vigorous PA is a significant predictor of FN BMD and FN BMC. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Active Commuting to University and its Association with Sociodemographic Factors and Physical Activity Levels in Chilean Students
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050152
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Active commuting to and from university (ACU) could be a strategy to increase physical activity levels (PA) and promote health in young university students. We aimed to a) examine the patterns of commuting to university in Chilean students; b) the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Active commuting to and from university (ACU) could be a strategy to increase physical activity levels (PA) and promote health in young university students. We aimed to a) examine the patterns of commuting to university in Chilean students; b) the association between the mode of commuting to and from university and socio-demographic factors and PA-levels. Materials and Methods: A total of 496 university students (21.6 ± 2.4 years old) from two universities from Valparaíso (central coast of Chile) participated in this study. Personal data, home address, socio-economic status, PA, and the usual mode of commuting to and from the university were self-reported by a questionnaire. The commute distances were objectively measured using Google-Maps-software. Associations were examined using binary logistic regressions. Results: The main mode of commuting was by bus (to university: 55.2% vs. from university: 59.3%; p < 0.001). The least used mode was cycling (1.4% to and from university). Students living >5-km from university were less active commuters than those living in closer distances: (2–5 km, odds ratio (OR): 4.424, 95% and 95% confidence intervals (CI): 2.443–8.011, p < 0.001; 2 km, OR: 143.052, 95% CI: 55.154–371.030, p < 0.001). Students with low PA-levels were less active commuters than those with medium (OR: 1.446; 95% CI: 0.864–2.421; p = 0.160) or higher levels (OR: 1.880; 95% CI: 1.880–1.094; p = 0.022). Students who lived between 2 and 5 km, presented a significant association to be active commuters when they showed medium PA-levels (OR: 5.244, 95% CI: 1.358–20.246; p = 0.016). Conclusions: Chilean university students from Valparaíso are mainly passive commuters using public transport as the main mode of commuting to and from university; longer distances from home to the university are associated with low PA levels. ACU in distances between 2–5 km (mainly walking) could contribute to having medium PA-levels in Chilean university students. Thus, promoting the ACU walking to and from the university in such distances could be an effective strategy to increase the overall PA levels in Chilean university students. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Activity versus Psychological Stress: Effects on Salivary Cortisol and Working Memory Performance
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050119
Received: 10 March 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objective: The present study was designed to investigate whether acute physical activity and psychological stress produce different effects on cortisol release and working memory performance. Materials and Methods: Male subjects (N = 12; 18–35 years) were recruited and [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: The present study was designed to investigate whether acute physical activity and psychological stress produce different effects on cortisol release and working memory performance. Materials and Methods: Male subjects (N = 12; 18–35 years) were recruited and scheduled to come four times to our lab (within-subject design). For each counterbalanced visit, they performed one of the following four protocols: control, moderate physical activity (MOD), vigorous physical activity (VIG), and acute stress. Heart rate was monitored during every protocol. MOD and VIG were performed for 15 min and were defined as 40–50% and 70–80%, respectively, of their maximum heart rate. Acute stress was imposed via the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Salivary samples were collected before and after every protocol to assess cortisol concentrations. Working memory (WM) performance was evaluated through the 2N-Back task right after ending the protocol (early WM) and after a delay of 35 min (late WM). Results: VIG and stress, but not MOD, increased salivary cortisol concentrations. However, the increases of cortisol produced by VIG and stress were not significantly different. Also, there were no significant differences in working memory performance (late and early) in any of the experimental protocols tested. Conclusions: These results show that exercise (VIG) and stress produce similar effects on cortisol release and do not support the hypothesis that working memory capacity is influenced by elevated cortisol levels, either from varying exercise intensities or psychological stress. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Tai Chi Chuan Versus Core Stability Training on Lower-Limb Neuromuscular Function in Aging Individuals with Non-Specific Chronic Lower Back Pain
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 3 March 2019
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Abstract
Objectives: For this paper, we aimed to investigate the effects of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) versus the Core Stability Training (CST) program on neuromuscular function (NF) in the lower extremities among aging individuals who suffered from non-specific chronic lower back pain (NLBP). [...] Read more.
Objectives: For this paper, we aimed to investigate the effects of Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) versus the Core Stability Training (CST) program on neuromuscular function (NF) in the lower extremities among aging individuals who suffered from non-specific chronic lower back pain (NLBP). Regarding the design, during a 12-week intervention, a single-blinded randomized controlled trial was used to compare two intervention groups with a control group on the parameters of NF. Methods: Forty-three Chinese community-dwellers were randomly assigned into two intervention groups (three sessions per week, with each session lasting 60 min in TCC and CST) and a control group. The patient-based Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was used to measure the level of perceived pain, while parameters of NF as primary outcomes were measured by the Biodex System 3 Isokinetic Dynamometer. Results: For the knee joint, we observed significant differences in the endurance of left extension at a speed of 60°/s: (1) between TCC and control groups (p < 0.01); (2) between CST and control groups (p < 0.01). For the ankle joint, significant differences between CST and control groups were observed on the peak torque of left dorsiflexion (p < 0.05) and the endurance of the left plantar flexion at a speed of 60°/s (p < 0.05). In addition, we observed a significant difference between TCC and control groups in the endurance of the right plantar flexion (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Chen-style TCC and CST were found to have protective effects on NF in aging individuals with NLBP, while alleviating non-specific chronic pain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Fitness and Body Composition in Women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Higher physical fitness is associated with a more favorable weight and body composition in the general population, although this association has not been studied in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The aim of the present study was to examine [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Higher physical fitness is associated with a more favorable weight and body composition in the general population, although this association has not been studied in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The aim of the present study was to examine the association of different components of physical fitness with body composition in women with SLE with mild disease activity. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included 77 women with SLE (43.2 ± 13.8 years old) and clinical stability during the previous 6 months. Body composition (including body mass index (BMI), fat mass index (FMI), waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio and waist-to-hip ratio) was assessed using a stadiometer, an anthropometric tape, and a bioimpedance device. Physical fitness included cardiorespiratory fitness (Siconolfi step test and 6 min walk test), muscular strength (handgrip strength test as upper body measure and 30 s chair stand as lower body measure), and flexibility (back-scratch test). Participants with a fitness level equal or above the median of the study sample were categorized as “fit” and those below the median were categorized as “unfit”. Linear regression assessed the association of physical fitness with body composition parameters. Results: Cardiorespiratory fitness and upper body muscular strength were negatively associated with BMI, FMI, waist circumference, and waist-to-height ratio (all, p < 0.05). Lower body muscular strength and flexibility were negatively related to FMI, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, and waist-to-hip ratio (all, p < 0.05). These relationships were still significant after controlling for age, disease duration, accrual damage, and SLE activity. Overall, fit patients presented significantly lower values in all body composition parameters compared to unfit patients (all, p < 0.05). Conclusions: The main findings of the present study suggest that physical fitness is inversely associated with body composition in women with SLE. Given the cross-sectional nature of this study, future clinical trials should study the causal pathways underlying these relationships. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Effects of High-Intensity Interval Exercise and Hypoxia on Cognition in Sedentary Young Adults
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 10 February 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Limited research has evaluated the effects of acute exercise on cognition under different conditions of inspired oxygenation. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of high-intensity interval exercise (HIE) under normoxia (inspired fraction of oxygen (FIO [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Limited research has evaluated the effects of acute exercise on cognition under different conditions of inspired oxygenation. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of high-intensity interval exercise (HIE) under normoxia (inspired fraction of oxygen (FIO2): 0.209) and moderate hypoxia (FIO2: 0.154) on cognitive function. Design: A single-blinded cross-over design was used to observe the main effects of exercise and oxygen level, and interaction effects on cognitive task performance. Methods: Twenty inactive adults (10 males and 10 females, 19–27 years old) performed a cognitive task (i.e., the Go/No-Go task) before and immediately after an acute bout of HIE under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. The HIE comprised 10 repetitions of 6 s high-intensity cycling against 7.5% body weight interspersed with 30 s passive recovery. Heart rate, peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) and rating of perceived exertion were monitored. Results: The acute bout of HIE did not affect the reaction time (p = 0.204, η2 = 0.083) but the accuracy rate decreased significantly after HIE under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions (p = 0.001, η2 = 0.467). Moreover, moderate hypoxia had no influence either on reaction time (p = 0.782, η2 = 0.004) or response accuracy (p = 0.972, η2 < 0.001). Conclusions: These results indicate that an acute session of HIE may impair response accuracy immediately post-HIE, without sacrificing reaction time. Meanwhile moderate hypoxia was found to have no adverse effect on cognitive function in inactive young adults, at least in the present study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Guidelines-Driven Educational Intervention Promotes Healthy Lifestyle Among Adolescents and Adults: A Serbian National Longitudinal Study
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 4 February 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: The effectiveness of short-term focused educational programs to change health behaviors across large populations seems to be poorly described so far. The main aim of the present study was to evaluate an age-specific 45-min educational program, designed in accordance with [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The effectiveness of short-term focused educational programs to change health behaviors across large populations seems to be poorly described so far. The main aim of the present study was to evaluate an age-specific 45-min educational program, designed in accordance with the current U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines and physical activity (PA) guidelines, among adolescents and adults. Materials and Methods: We evaluated the health-promoting lifestyle habits by the Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile (HPLP-II) at baseline and following 6–8 weeks post-education in a nationally representative sample of Serbian adolescents and adults (n = 3822). Results: The percentage of adolescents eating 3–5 servings of vegetables per day increased at follow-up (20.1% versus 23.1%, p = 0.001), with significantly more adolescents regularly reading food labels (from 12.2% at baseline to 14.2% at follow-up; p = 0.02). Taken together, mean HPLP-II scores in adolescents significantly improved for both diet (0.05 points; p < 0.0001) and PA (0.09 points; p < 0.0001), and for PA in adults (0.08 points; p < 0.0001). Hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that our model as a whole (including time of testing as a predictor variable, and age and gender as control variables) explained 3.0% of the variance in mean HPLP-II scores for diet (p = 0.942) and 3.0% for PA (p = 0.285) in adolescents, and 1.1% of the variance in HPLP-II scores for diet (p = 0.781) and 1.9% for PA (p = 0.075) in adults, respectively. Conclusions: It appears that a brief focused education can positively tackle unhealthy lifestyles in promoting good health in general population. Different modes of interactive communication used here appeared to strengthen participants’ capacities for lifestyle changes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Zumba® and Aquagym on Bone Mass in Inactive Middle-Aged Women
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 22 December 2018 / Accepted: 22 December 2018 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Regular exercise may stimulate bone formation and reduce the loss of bone mass in premenopausal women. This study aims to evaluate the effect of high-impact physical activity (Zumba®) and low-impact physical activity (Aquagym) on bone mass in [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Regular exercise may stimulate bone formation and reduce the loss of bone mass in premenopausal women. This study aims to evaluate the effect of high-impact physical activity (Zumba®) and low-impact physical activity (Aquagym) on bone mass in inactive middle-aged women. Materials and methods: Fifty-five healthy inactive women (30–50 years old) were recruited in Spain in 2016 and were randomly allocated into one of three groups: High impact group (HIG: n = 15), low impact group (LIG: n = 12) and control group (CG: n = 28). HIG and LIG were recruited from Madrid and the CG from Toledo. HIG and LIG completed a 12-week intervention program with three 40′ sessions per week of Zumba® or Aquagym; respectively. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measured bone mineral content (BMC) and areal bone mineral density (aBMD) at total body less head (TBLH), lumbar spine and right hip. Results: Post-intervention adjusted data showed no significant differences in BMC between any of the groups nor in aBMD between HIG and LIG. Interestingly; significant differences for the HIG vs. CG were found in the change in total hip aBMD (1.76% vs. −0.44%), femoral neck aBMD (1.80% vs. −2.71%), and intertrochanter aBMD (2.03% vs. −0.50%). Moreover, significant differences for the LIG vs. CG were also found in the change in femoral neck aBMD (−0.54% vs. −2.71%). Conclusions: The regular practice of Zumba® and Aquagym might reduce the progressive deterioration of bone mass in inactive middle-aged women Full article
Open AccessArticle
Association between Physical and Motor Fitness with Cognition in Children
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract
Background and objective: There is an increased interest in exploring the association between fitness components with cognitive development in children in recent years. One of the scopes is to find the best exercise prescription to enhance health and cognition. Most of the studies [...] Read more.
Background and objective: There is an increased interest in exploring the association between fitness components with cognitive development in children in recent years. One of the scopes is to find the best exercise prescription to enhance health and cognition. Most of the studies so far have focused on cardiorespiratory fitness with little evidence on other fitness components. The present study aimed to explore the association between physical fitness (PF) and motor fitness (MF) with cognitive performance in children. Methods: Two hundred and six schoolboys (11.0 ± 0.8 y) underwent a battery of tests to measure information processing speed (i.e., simple and choice reaction time) and inhibitory control (i.e., Simon task). PF components (i.e., flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance) and MF components (speed and agility) were measured. Results: Multiple linear regression analysis adjusted for potential confounders (i.e., age, socioeconomic status, %fat and physical activity) revealed no relationship between flexibility, speed, muscular strength, and endurance with either information processing tasks or inhibitory control tasks. However, a positive association was observed between agility with both congruent reaction time and incongruent reaction time. Conclusions: No relationship was observed between the underlying fitness components with either information processing or inhibitory control. However, an association was observed between agility with inhibitory control. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Activity Level Using Doubly-Labeled Water in Relation to Body Composition and Physical Fitness in Preschoolers
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 9 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 27 December 2018
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Abstract
Background and objectives: There is a lack of studies investigating associations of physical activity level (PAL) and activity energy expenditure (AEE) using the doubly-labeled water (DLW) method with body composition and physical fitness in young children. Thus, we aimed to examine cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: There is a lack of studies investigating associations of physical activity level (PAL) and activity energy expenditure (AEE) using the doubly-labeled water (DLW) method with body composition and physical fitness in young children. Thus, we aimed to examine cross-sectional associations of PAL and AEE with body composition indices and physical fitness components in Swedish preschool children. Materials and methods: PAL was calculated as total energy expenditure measured using DLW divided by the predicted basal metabolic rate in 40 children aged 5.5 (standard deviation 0.2) years. AEE was calculated as total energy expenditure minus basal metabolic rate and the thermic effect of food, and divided by fat-free mass. Body composition was assessed using the 3-component model by combining measurements based on isotope dilution and air-displacement plethysmography. Physical fitness (muscular strength, motor fitness, and cardiorespiratory fitness) was evaluated using the PREFIT test battery. Multiple linear regression models were conducted. Results: PAL and AEE were negatively associated with body mass index, percent body fat, and fat mass index (PAL: standardized β −0.35, −0.41, and −0.45, all p < 0.036; AEE: standardized β −0.44, −0.44, and −0.47, all p < 0.006, respectively). Furthermore, PAL and AEE were positively associated with the standing long jump test (PAL: standardized β 0.37, p = 0.017; AEE: standardized β 0.38, p = 0.014). There were no statistically significant associations found regarding PAL or AEE with fat-free mass index or any other physical fitness test. Conclusions: Greater PAL and AEE at the age 5.5 were significantly associated with body fatness and improved lower-body muscular strength. Therefore, increasing physical activity, and thus energy expenditure, at young ages may be beneficial for preventing overweight/obesity. However, further studies with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm the results. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Association between Cluster of Lifestyle Behaviors and HOMA-IR among Adolescents: ABCD Growth Study
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 25 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 1 December 2018
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Abstract
Objective: To analyze the association of potential risk factors to health with body fatness and insulin resistance. Baseline measures of the ongoing longitudinal Analysis of Behaviors of Children During (ABCD) Growth Study. Materials and Methods: The sample was composed of 280 adolescents of [...] Read more.
Objective: To analyze the association of potential risk factors to health with body fatness and insulin resistance. Baseline measures of the ongoing longitudinal Analysis of Behaviors of Children During (ABCD) Growth Study. Materials and Methods: The sample was composed of 280 adolescents of both sexes (198 boys and 82 girls) aged from 10 to 18 years. Four risk factors were considered, as follows: no sports practice, skipping breakfast, poor sleep quality, and TV viewing. The outcomes considered were insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and body fatness (densitometer scanner). Age, sex, maturity offset, and ethnicity were treated as covariates. Results: No sports practice and skipping breakfast were associated with higher body fatness (Sports practice: Wald: 8.786; p = 0.003. Breakfast: Wald: 9.364; p = 0.002). Poor sleep quality was related to a greater HOMA-IR index (Wald: 6.013; p = 0.014). Adolescents with ≥3 risk factors presented a higher risk of high HOMA-IR (OR = 4.89 (95%CI: 1.61 to 14.84)) than their counterparts with no risk factors. Conclusion: Lifestyle risk factors seem relevant to affect obesity and insulin resistance, while the aggregation of these risk factors affects insulin resistance, independent of adiposity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Sleep Quality and Body Composition in Sedentary Middle-Aged Adults
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract
Background: Ageing is associated with sleep pattern changes and body composition changes, which are related to several diseases. Purpose: This study aimed to analyse the association between sleep quality and an extensive set of body composition parameters (waist-hip ratio, body mass index, bone [...] Read more.
Background: Ageing is associated with sleep pattern changes and body composition changes, which are related to several diseases. Purpose: This study aimed to analyse the association between sleep quality and an extensive set of body composition parameters (waist-hip ratio, body mass index, bone mineral content, bone mineral density, lean mass, lean mass index, fat mass, fat mass percentage, fat mass index, visceral adipose tissue) and sleep quality in sedentary middle-aged adults. We also aimed to evaluate whether the possible associations accord between subjective and objective measurements of sleep quality. Methods: 74 (39 women) middle-aged sedentary adults (40–65 years old) participated in the present study. The sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI) scale and accelerometers. A PSQI global score more than 5 indicates poor sleep quality. Weight, height, waist and hip circumferences were measured, and body mass index and waist-hip ratio were also calculated. Body composition was assessed with a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanner. Results: The PSQI global score was negatively associated with bone mineral content, bone mineral density, lean mass, lean mass index and positively associated with fat mass percentage. No association was found between accelerometer parameters and body composition variables. Conclusion: We showed that a subjective poor sleep quality was negatively associated with bone mineral content (BMC), bone mineral density (BMD), lean mass and lean mass index (LMI) whereas was positively associated with fat mass percentage in middle-aged adults. We also observed that these associations did not accord with objective sleep quality measurements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Sports Participation in Early Life and Arterial Intima-Media Thickness among Adults
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 8 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 13 November 2018
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Abstract
Background: Early sports practice is associated with several health benefits during childhood and adolescence, moreover, recent evidence also suggests that sports during childhood and adolescence can produce some benefits during adulthood. However, the association between early sports practice and arterial thickness is not [...] Read more.
Background: Early sports practice is associated with several health benefits during childhood and adolescence, moreover, recent evidence also suggests that sports during childhood and adolescence can produce some benefits during adulthood. However, the association between early sports practice and arterial thickness is not clear. Thus, our aim was analyze the association between sports participation in childhood and adolescence, carotid/femoral intima–media thickness, and blood flow index in adulthood. Material and Methods: Sample was composed of 107 adults (64 males) between 30 years and 50 years, which were recruited from different gyms and university staff from São Paulo State University. Participants were divided according to sports participation in early life (engaged in sports during childhood and adolescence (n = 52) and no engagement in sports during childhood and adolescence (n = 55)). Carotid and femoral intima–media thickness were measured through Doppler ultrasonography method. Carotid and femoral index were estimated from ultrasonography measures. As covariates, the following were adopted: chronological age, sex, body fat (through dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), c-reactive protein, HOMA, alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, mean arterial pressure and current physical activity (pedometer). General estimating equations were used, adopting p < 0.05. Results: In the adjusted analyses, early sports participation was associated with lower carotid intima–media index (early sports participation: 0.64 mm ± 0.14 mm vs. no early sports participation: 0.71 mm ± 0.21 mm; p = 0.011), but not associated with femoral intima–media thickness, carotid resistive index and femoral resistive index after the adjustment by potential confounders. Conclusions: Sports participation in childhood and adolescence was associated with a reduced carotid intima–media thickness, independently of relevant confounders. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Physical Activity and Depressive Disorders in Pregnant Women—A Systematic Review
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050212
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 5 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 26 May 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Pregnancy is a unique period in the life of every woman. The lifestyle of a pregnant woman has a significant impact on her and her child’s health. Regular physical activity is one of the elements that help maintain normal mental [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Pregnancy is a unique period in the life of every woman. The lifestyle of a pregnant woman has a significant impact on her and her child’s health. Regular physical activity is one of the elements that help maintain normal mental and physical well-being. In pregnant women who regularly have moderate physical activity, there is a lower risk of developing obesity and overweight. Physical exercises have an impact on maintaining proper muscular tonus, reduce pain and prepare for the exertion during labour. Based on the available literature, the aim of this study was to present the impact of physical activity on depressive disorders in pregnant women. Materials and Methods: A review of the literature was carried out in the Medline PubMed database. The basic search terms were: “pregnancy” AND “physical activity AND depression”. The work included only English-language publications published in the years 2000–2018. Results: A total of 408 references were found. On the basis of an analysis of titles, abstracts and the language of publication (other than English), 354 articles were rejected, and 54 articles were fully read, of which five were rejected due to lack of access to the full version. Finally, 17 references were included in the review. Conclusions: Physical activity, at least once a week, significantly reduces the symptoms of depression in pregnant women and may be an important factor in the prevention of depression in this period. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness on Memory Function: Systematic Review
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050127
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 27 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Cardiorespiratory fitness is an important predictor of cardiovascular and cardiometabolic health. To extend our knowledge on the health effects associated with cardiorespiratory fitness, the objective of this study was to evaluate the association of cardiorespiratory fitness on memory function. [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Cardiorespiratory fitness is an important predictor of cardiovascular and cardiometabolic health. To extend our knowledge on the health effects associated with cardiorespiratory fitness, the objective of this study was to evaluate the association of cardiorespiratory fitness on memory function. Materials and Methods: Embase/PubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Sports Discus, and PsychInfo databases were searched. Inclusionary criteria included: (1) were conducted among adult humans (18+ years), (2) evaluated cardiorespiratory fitness as the independent variable, (3) measured cardiorespiratory fitness with an objective device (e.g., indirect calorimetry), (4) evaluated memory function (any type) as the outcome measure, and (5) included either a cross-sectional, prospective, or experimental-study design. Information on the participant’s characteristics, study design, cardiorespiratory fitness assessment, memory type, whether the study statistically controlled for exercise behavior, and study results were extracted. The relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and memory was synthesized while considering the data extraction parameters. Results: In total, 17 articles met the inclusionary criteria, including two prospective cohort studies and 15 cross-sectional studies. The main findings of this review are twofold: (1) across the 17 evaluated studies, 15 (88.2%) studies demonstrated some evidence of a positive association between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and memory function, and (2) none of these 17 studies statistically controlled for physical activity behavior. Conclusion: CRF appears to be positively associated with memory function, however, it is uncertain as to whether this association occurs independently of physical activity or is mediated via physical activity behavior. Full article
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