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Special Issue "New Challenges for Physical Training and Health-Related Aspects of Sustainable Living"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Health, Well-Being and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021) | Viewed by 17003

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Battaglia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Educational Sciences and Human Movement, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Interests: quality of life; health promotion; sport; childhood; body balance; aging; disability; adapted physical activity; paralympic sport; exercise training; performance
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Antonio Palma
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Educational Sciences and Human Movement, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Interests: health professions; sport; exercise training; quality of life; health promotion; public health; aging

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The idea of this Special Issue is to collect studies that investigate the role of physical activity, exercise training, and sport on physical and mental health in people with or without specific diseases during life, from young adulthood to old age. In particular, exercise with adequate duration, intensity, and frequency for promoting health, which does not require excessive spending of energy for getting to practice it, training facilities operation, or equipment supply, represents sustainable physical activity. This Special Issue focuses on new approaches (e.g., ecological, nutritional), training protocols, and technologies (e.g., virtual exercise and sport, video analysis, etc.) applied to physical training and health-related aspects of sustainable living in specific locations (e.g., natural environment, gym, home, school, hospital, rehabilitation centers) or special situations such as public health emergencies (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic). New challenges are to be addressed by researchers in order to promote health-related aspects of sustainable living through sport and physical training among people with and without disabilities. Therefore, the aim of this Special Issue is to collect papers concerning the multi-dimensional concept of health-related quality of life, which includes domains associated with physical, mental, emotional, and social functioning.

Authors are invited to contribute to this Special Issue by submitting letters, original research papers, case studies, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews that contribute new knowledge related to physical exercise and sport science as well as psychology, neuroscience, education, medicine, and clinical practice.

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Battaglia
Prof. Dr. Antonio Palma
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 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 training
  • tools
  • HRQoL
  • disability
  • sport
  • life span
  • exercise
  • health

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Physical Activity and Sports Practice in Children and Adolescents at the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Hypothetical Future Scenarios and Preventive Practical Applications
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 13787; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413787 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 470
Abstract
As a logical and direct consequence of the closure of schools and sports facilities, an expected reduction in the practice of physical activity (PA) and sports has been detected in both children and adolescents all over the world. Hence, we analysed the short-term [...] Read more.
As a logical and direct consequence of the closure of schools and sports facilities, an expected reduction in the practice of physical activity (PA) and sports has been detected in both children and adolescents all over the world. Hence, we analysed the short-term and long-term consequences of the lack/low level of PA and sports activity in this population, which we referred to as primary and secondary risks, respectively, the latter of which have to be considered in hypothetical future scenarios. Full article
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Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
Effects of Functional Strength Training on Functional Movement and Balance in Middle-Aged Adults
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1074; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031074 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Functional movement deficiencies cause falls and injuries in adults. Functional strength training (FST) is emerging as a new training method for athletes, middle-aged and older adults, to improve functional movement: The present study was conducted in order to investigate the effects of FST [...] Read more.
Functional movement deficiencies cause falls and injuries in adults. Functional strength training (FST) is emerging as a new training method for athletes, middle-aged and older adults, to improve functional movement: The present study was conducted in order to investigate the effects of FST on balance and functional movement in healthy and independent middle-aged adults. The sample for this study consisted of 46 physically active individuals (24 female and 22 male). A total of 46 subjects were divided based on randomly into the functional strength training (FST) group (n = 26) aged: 51.55 ± 3.73 years; height: 168.69 ± 8.8 cm; body mass: 75.88 ± 12.18; and traditional strength training (TST) group (n = 20) age: 52.85 ± 4.01; height: 166.9 ± 9.98; body mass: 76.15 ± 10.45. Each group performed 24 sessions of a training protocol three-time a week. The functional movement was assessed using the functional movement screen (FMS) protocol. Balance performance was determined by using the balance error scoring system (BESS). Bodyweight and body fat ratio were measured using bioelectric impedance. There was a significant statistical difference between FMS total scores after an eight-week FST in the FST group. After the intervention, the functional strength group tended to have significantly better balance control than the traditional strength group (p = 0.01). Statistically, significant differences were observed between pre-test and post-test in the intervention group on BMI, body fat, and body mass (p = 0.01). There were not found significant differences in balance control and FMS score in TST group. As a result of this study, FST positively affected the FMS total score and balance performance in middle-aged adults. Early detections of the deficiencies in functional movement and balance in the middle ages may reduce the risk of insufficiency and fall in adults through targeted functional strength training intervention. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Intervention for Health Promotion and Postural Control Improvement: Effects of Home-Based Oculomotor Training
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10552; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410552 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 739
Abstract
Currently, it is crucial to propose daily sustainable interventions that elicit healthy lifestyles and the promotion of favorable health outcomes beyond the usual medical prescriptions. Home confinement and pandemic limitations reduced physical activity and augmented sedentary behaviors that potentially also reflect on posture. [...] Read more.
Currently, it is crucial to propose daily sustainable interventions that elicit healthy lifestyles and the promotion of favorable health outcomes beyond the usual medical prescriptions. Home confinement and pandemic limitations reduced physical activity and augmented sedentary behaviors that potentially also reflect on posture. Health-related quality of life includes an effective postural control which is affected by visual performance. Therefore, the aim of the study was to analyze the effects of a single session of eye exercises and also of a home-based oculomotor training on postural control. Thirty active adults (mean age: 42.9 ± 14.4 years) were randomly assigned to three experimental conditions: subjects were evaluated on a stabilometric platform before (T0) and immediately after (T1) a training session consisting in clockwise ocular movements (C1), counterclockwise (C2) and mixed condition (C3). All subjects repeated, at home, the same ocular training and were re-evaluated after 5 weeks (T2). All measured variables tended to improve after 5-week home training, but significative differences were found, especially in acute measurement. C1 and C2 conditions showed better results than C3. Thus, a specific oculomotor training, a cost free and self-administered training, can represent a practical tool to improve postural control and health-related quality of life in active adults. Full article
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Article
Prosocial and Aggressive Behavior Occurrence in Young Athletes: Field Research Results in Six European Countries
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5085; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125085 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1241
Abstract
Aggression and violence among youth are researched as social phenomena in sport. This paper was designed to determine the occurrence of these behaviors as well as prosocial behaviors among young athletes. The current paper is a research report aiming to detect the frequency [...] Read more.
Aggression and violence among youth are researched as social phenomena in sport. This paper was designed to determine the occurrence of these behaviors as well as prosocial behaviors among young athletes. The current paper is a research report aiming to detect the frequency of aggressive behavior, social exclusion, prosocial behavior and cohesion in the youth environment, the frequency of personal experience of peer violence or social exclusion, and to evaluate cross-national differences in terms of occurrence of these phenomena.The field research was conducted in six European countries (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, and Serbia) on a sample of 482 children aged 6 to 16. The conducted questionnaire consisted of pre-existing scales and measures for specific behaviors and social aspects that formed the Youth Environment Assessment and Youth Characteristics Questionnaire. Previous personal experience of violence and social exclusion determined groups in the sample. One-way ANOVA and discriminant analysis were conducted to compare various variables and groups within the sample. The results have shown that aggressive and social exclusion behaviors are rare or very rare, predominantly in the form of verbal aggression in the sports club environment. The results of the conducted discriminant analysis indicate that prosocial and cohesion behaviors occur “quite often” to “often” among sports club athletes’ samples. The percentage of athletes who have had personal experience of violence or social exclusion in the last two years and whose feeling of hurt by that experience was assessed as “a lot” or “fully” on the measurement scale is estimated to be approximately 25%. Mild cross-national differences emerged in the overmentioned variables, probably due to the sample specificity, or to cultural variety. The results indicate the need for longitudinal research on this topic since the sport is an environment in which cohesion can be developed among young athletes, but it is not free from social exclusion or aggression. Full article
Article
Physical Activity Levels and Related Energy Expenditure during COVID-19 Quarantine among the Sicilian Active Population: A Cross-Sectional Online Survey Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4356; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114356 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 93 | Viewed by 6950
Abstract
Background: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Italian government has adopted containment measures to control the virus’s spread, including limitations to the practice of physical activity (PA). The aim of this study was to estimate the levels of PA, expressed as [...] Read more.
Background: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Italian government has adopted containment measures to control the virus’s spread, including limitations to the practice of physical activity (PA). The aim of this study was to estimate the levels of PA, expressed as energy expenditure (MET–minute/week), among the physically active Sicilian population before and during the last seven days of the COVID-19 quarantine. Furthermore, the relation between this parameter and specific demographic and anthropometric variables was analyzed. Methods: 802 Sicilian physically active participants (mean age: 32.27 ± 12.81 years; BMI: 23.44 ± 3.33 kg/m2) were included in the study and grouped based on gender, age and BMI. An adapted version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire—short form (IPAQ-SF) was administered to the participants through an online survey. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test and the Kruskal-Wallis rank-sum test were used for statistical analyses. Results: As expected, we observed a significant decrease of the total weekly energy expenditure during the COVID-19 quarantine (p < 0.001). A significant variation in the MET–min/wk in the before quarantine condition (p = 0.046) and in the difference between before and during quarantine (p = 0.009) was found for males and females. The male group decreased the PA level more than the female one. Moreover, a significant difference in the MET–min/wk was found among groups distributions of BMI (p < 0.001, during quarantine) and of age (p < 0.001, both before and during quarantine). In particular, the highest and the lowest levels of PA were reported by the young and the elderly, respectively, both before and during quarantine. Finally, the overweight group showed the lowest level of PA during quarantine. Conclusion: Based on our outcomes, we can determine that the current quarantine has negatively affected the practice of PA, with greater impacts among males and overweight subjects. In regards to different age groups, the young, young adults and adults were more affected than senior adults and the elderly. Full article
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Article
Prospective Analysis of Levels and Correlates of Physical Activity during COVID-19 Pandemic and Imposed Rules of Social Distancing; Gender Specific Study among Adolescents from Southern Croatia
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4072; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104072 - 15 May 2020
Cited by 45 | Viewed by 5625
Abstract
Background: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global authorities have imposed rules of social distancing that directly influence overall physical activity in populations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the trends of changes in physical-activity levels (PALs) in adolescents and factors that [...] Read more.
Background: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global authorities have imposed rules of social distancing that directly influence overall physical activity in populations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the trends of changes in physical-activity levels (PALs) in adolescents and factors that may be associated with PALs among the studied boys and girls. Methods: Participants in this prospective study comprised 388 adolescents (126 females; mean age: 16.4 ± 1.9 years) from southern Croatia who were tested at a baseline (before the imposed rules of social distancing) and at a follow-up measurement (three weeks after the initiation). Baseline testing included anthropometric variables, variables of fitness status (done at the beginning of the school year), and PALs. At the follow-up, participants were tested on PALs. PALs were evaluated over an online platform using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents. Results: A significant decrease of PALs was evidenced for the total sample (t-test = 3.46, p < 0.001), which was primarily influenced by a significant decrease of PALs in boys (t-test = 5.15, p < 0.001). The fitness status (jumping capacity, abdominal strength, aerobic endurance, and anaerobic endurance) was systematically positively correlated with PALs at the baseline and follow-up among boys and girls, with the most evident association between aerobic and anaerobic endurance capacities and PALs. Correlations between anthropometric and fitness variables with changes in physical activity (e.g., the difference between baseline and follow-up PALs) were negligible. Conclusions: Differences in PAL changes between genders were probably related to the fact that PALs among boys were mostly related to participation in organized sports. Correlations between baseline fitness status and PALs indicated the importance of overall physical literacy in preserving PALs in challenging circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic observed here. Full article
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