Publications by authors named "Carlo Baldari"

77 Publications

Are there sex differences in physiological parameters and reaction time responses to overload in firefighters?

PLoS One 2021 3;16(5):e0249559. Epub 2021 May 3.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome "Foro Italico", Rome, Italy.

Male and female firefighters work side-by-side in the same in strenuous and risky conditions. Anthropometrics, physiological, and reaction time (mean of reaction time -MRT-, and errors made -E) parameters of 12 Female and 13 Male firefighters were compared. Effect of overload (step test with and without equipment) on the MRT and E were analyzed on 3 trials (T1 = 1-1s, T2 = 0.5-1s, T3 = 0.5-0.5s), compared with a pre-test condition (basal). T-test between males and females was applied to assess differences (p<0.05) in all parameters. ANOVA with repeated measures and Bonferroni on 3 conditions of step test between males and females was applied in reaction time variables. Between MRT and E, in T1, T2 and T3 trials and the 3 test conditions, ANCOVA models with interactions were used. Differences (p<0.05) in anthropometric, physiological and reaction time data emerged across groups, and on the 3rd trials (T3 vs T1 and T2) in reaction time parameters of each group. ANCOVA showed differences (p<0.001) in E among trials. Post hoc showed significant differences in T1vsT3 and T1vsT2. MRT x trial interaction was extremely significant (P<0.001). Implementing fitness and reaction time exercise programs is important to decrease the injury risk and increase work capacity in firefighters with reference to female workers.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249559PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8092788PMC
May 2021

Initial validation of the Italian version of the Volition in Exercise Questionnaire (VEQ-I).

PLoS One 2021 9;16(4):e0249667. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Department of Medicine and Aging Sciences, University G. d'Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.

The purpose of this study was to validate the Volition in Exercise Questionnaire in Italian language (VEQ-I). The translation and cultural adaptation of the VEQ-I was conducted using the forward-backward translation method. VEQ-I eighteen items correspond to the six-factors structure of the original version. The construct validity was verified by the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) (CFI = 0.960; TLI = 0.943; RMSEA = 0.039; and SRMR = 0.040). The eighteen items were well distributed in six subscales and the six-factors structure of the questionnaire was supported. Internal Consistency value of the questionnaire was investigated for each subscale of the VEQ-I. Cronbach's alpha and Omega values of the Reasons, Postponing Training, Unrelated Thoughts, Self-Confidence, Approval from Others and Coping with Failure subscales were 0.76 (α) and 0.76 (ω), 0.76 (α) and 0.76 (ω), 0.87 (α) and 0.88 (ω), 0.85 (α) and 0.85 (ω), 0.70 (α) and 0.72 (ω) and 0.74 (α) and 0.74 (ω), respectively. They were acceptable in all the six subscales. The concurrent validity was assessed using the correlation among the subscales of VEQ-I measures and those contained in two questionnaires: Psychobiosocial States in Physical Education (PBS-SPE) and Exercise Motivations Inventory (EMI-2).
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249667PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034746PMC
April 2021

Effects of Ballroom Dance on Physical Fitness and Reaction Time in Experienced Middle-Aged Adults of Both Genders.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 02 19;18(4). Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, "Magna Graecia" University, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy.

Ballroom dance practice might play a pivotal role for successful aging, but its effects could differ depending on dancers' experience level. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of six months of ballroom dance (three times/w) on physical fitness and reaction time (RT) in 24 middle-aged adults who are experienced dancers (age: 59.4 ± 11.6 years). Body composition, handgrip test (HG), standing long-jump test (SLJ), step test (ST), one-legged stance balance test (OLSB), and RT were assessed before (T) and after six months (T) of dance practice. RT was re-evaluated four months later (T). RT was significantly (p < 0.05) lower at T (221.2 ± 20.3 ms) and T (212.0 ± 21.9 ms) than T (239.1 ± 40,7 ms); no significant differences were found between T and T. No significant differences were observed for all the other parameters between T and T: weight and muscle mass were significantly lower (p < 0.01) in females than in males, and percentage of fat mass was significantly higher (p < 0.01) in females than in males. HG was significantly higher in males than females (p < 0.01). Results suggest that in experienced middle-aged adults of both genders, ballroom dance may positively influence RT, and this result could be maintained for four months.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922230PMC
February 2021

Efficacy of Denosumab Therapy Following Treatment with Bisphosphonates in Women with Osteoporosis: A Cohort Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 02 10;18(4). Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Health Sciences Section, University Foro Italico of Rome, 00135 Rome, Italy.

Denosumab is a human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes RANKL, a cytokine able to interact with the RANK receptor on preosteoclasts and osteoclasts, decreasing their recruitment and differentiation, leading to a decreased bone resorption. The aim of this observational real-life study was to analyze adherence to denosumab therapy and assess its efficacy in increasing bone mineral density (BMD) and modulating biochemical skeletal markers following previous treatments with bisphosphonates in a group of post-menopausal women with osteoporosis. Women were recruited in the specialized center from March 2012 to September 2019. Biochemical markers were recorded at baseline and every six months prior to subsequent drug injection. Dual X-ray absorptiometry was requested at baseline and after 18/24 months. Comparing BMD at baseline and after denosumab therapy in naive patients and in those previously treated with bisphosphonates, a positive therapeutic effect was observed in both groups. The results of our real-life study demonstrate, as expected, that BMD values significantly increased upon denosumab treatment. Interestingly, denosumab showed an increased efficacy in patients previously treated with bisphosphonates. Moreover, biochemical markers data indicate that osteoporotic patients, without other concomitant unstable health conditions, could be evaluated once a year, decreasing the number of specialistic center access.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7916792PMC
February 2021

Dietary Habits and Psychological States during COVID-19 Home Isolation in Italian College Students: The Role of Physical Exercise.

Nutrients 2020 Nov 28;12(12). Epub 2020 Nov 28.

Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, 61029 Urbino, Italy.

Social isolation has adverse effects on mental health, physical exercise, and dietary habits. This longitudinal observational study aimed to investigate the effects of mood states and exercise on nutritional choices, on 176 college students (92 males, 84 females; 23 ± 4 years old) during the COVID-19 lockdown. During 21 days, nutrition and exercise were daily monitored, and the mood states assessed. A factor analysis was used to reduce the number of nutritional variables collected. The relationships between exercise, mood and nutrition were investigated using a multivariate general linear model and a mediation model. Seven factors were found, reflecting different nutritional choices. Exercise was positively associated with fruit, vegetables and fish consumption ( = 0.004). Depression and quality of life were, directly and inversely, associated with cereals, legumes ( = 0.005; = 0.004) and low-fat meat intake ( = 0.040; = 0.004). Exercise mediated the effect of mood states on fruit, vegetables and fish consumption, respectively, accounting for 4.2% and 1.8% of the total variance. Poorer mood states possibly led to unhealthy dietary habits, which can themselves be linked to negative mood levels. Exercise led to healthier nutritional choices, and mediating the effects of mood states, it might represent a key measure in uncommon situations, such as home-confinement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12123660DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759990PMC
November 2020

Factors Influencing Weight Loss Practices in Italian Boxers: A Cluster Analysis.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 11 24;17(23). Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, 61027 Urbino, Italy.

It is common practice in combat sports that athletes rapidly lose body weight before a match, by applying different practices-some safer and others possibly dangerous. The factors behind the choice of practices utilised have not been fully studied. This study aimed to investigate the weight loss strategies used by Italian boxers and to look at the difference between higher and lower risk practice adaptors. A modified version of a validated questionnaire has been sent to 164 amateur (88%) and professional (12%) boxers by email. A heatmap with hierarchical clustering was used to explore the presence of subgroups. Weight loss strategies were used by 88% of the athletes. Two clusters were found, defined by the severity of weight loss behaviours. Professional fighters, high-level athletes and females were more represented in Cluster 2, the one with more severe weight-loss practices. These athletes were characterised by a higher weight loss magnitude and frequency throughout the season and reported being more influenced by physicians and nutritionists, compared with the boxers in Cluster 1. Not all the weight loss practices are used with the same frequency by all boxers. The level of the athlete and the boxing style have an influence on the weight-cutting practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238727DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7727866PMC
November 2020

Safety procedures for exercise testing in the scenario of COVID-19: a position statement of the Società Italiana Scienze Motorie e Sportive.

Sport Sci Health 2020 Sep 11:1-7. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health (SCIBIS), University of Milan, Milan, Italy.

Recent data on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic showed that the virus is mostly conveyed by respiratory droplets that are produced at high intensity especially when an infected subject coughs or sneezes. Therefore, elevated volume ventilations, usually reached during physical efforts and exercise, are a potential source of contamination. On the other hand, the lockdown period which has lasted for nearly 2 months and is actually involving several countries worldwide, obliged a large part of human population to sedentary behaviors, drastically reducing their physical activity level, and reducing their cardiopulmonary fitness. Therefore, cardiopulmonary exercise testing could be beneficial, so that a safe and well-weighted return to pre-lockdown active lifestyle can be efficiently planned. However, specific guidelines on exercise testing safety procedures in the era of COVID-19 are unavailable so far. This article is aimed to provide an overview of safety procedures for exercise testing during and after COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11332-020-00694-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7485923PMC
September 2020

Can Haematological and Hormonal Biomarkers Predict Fitness Parameters in Youth Soccer Players? A Pilot Study.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 08 29;17(17). Epub 2020 Aug 29.

Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, "Sapienza" University of Rome, 00189 Rome, Italy.

The study aimed to investigate the correlations among immune, haematological, endocrinological markers and fitness parameters, and assess if the physiological parameters could be a predictor of fitness values. Anthropometric, physical evaluations (countermovement jump-CMJ, 10 m sprint, VOmax, repeated sprint ability-RSA total time and index) and determination of blood (IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A and tumour necrosis factor) and salivary (testosterone and cortisol) samples parameters in 28 young male soccer players (age: 13.0 ± 0.2 years, body mass index (BMI): 19.5 ± 2.2 kg/m) were analysed. To evaluate the dependence of the variables related to athletic performance, multiple linear regression with backward stepwise elimination was considered. A significant regression equation was found in CMJ (F = 9.86, < 0.001, R adjusted = 0.679) and in the RSA index (F = 15.39, < 0.001, R adjusted = 0.774) considering only five variables, in a 10 m sprint (F = 20.25, < 0.001, R adjusted = 0.786) and in the RSA total time (F = 15.31, < 0.001, R adjusted = 0.732) considering only four variables and in VOmax (F = 32.09, < 0.001, R adjusted = 0.930) considering nine variables. Our study suggests the use of regression equations to predict the fitness values of youth soccer players by blood and saliva samples, during different phases of the season, short periods of match congestion or recovery from an injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7503944PMC
August 2020

Effects of Acute Whole-Body Vibration Practice on Maximal Fat Oxidation in Adult Obese Males: A Pilot Study.

Obes Facts 2020 23;13(2):117-129. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Section of Health Sciences, University "Foro Italico" of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Objective: Whole-body vibration (WBV) training has been established as a useful method to improve physical fitness in obese individuals. However, the effects of WBV exercise on maximal fat oxidation (MFO) have not been examined in obese subjects yet.

Method: MFO was eval-uated during a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) on a treadmill in 12 adult obese males (BMI = 34.9 ± 3.3 kg/m2) after three different warm-up conditions: static half squat plus WBV (HSV), static half squat without WBV (HSWV), and rest (REST). Cortisol levels were evaluated before and after the warm-up, and 1 min (T1), 10 min (T10), and 30 min (T30) of the recovery phase.

Results: MFO was significantly higher in HSV (p = 0.013; 569.4 ± 117.9 mg/min) and HSWV (p = 0.033; 563.8 ± 142.9 mg/min) than REST (445.5 ± 117.9 mg/min). Cortisol concentrations at T1 were significantly higher in HSV (p = 0.023) and HSWV (p = 0.015) than REST. Moreover, cortisol concentrations were significantly lower at T30 than T1 in HSWV (p = 0.04). No differences were found between T30 and T1 in HSV.

Conclusions: Active warm-up increases MFO; however, vibration stimulus during half squatting does not increase MFO during a CPET in obese subjects. The lack of significant differences of cortisol concentrations in HSV during the recovery phase might suggest a long-term effect of WBV on the endocrine system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000505665DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7250328PMC
September 2020

Effect of pre-season training phase on anthropometric, hormonal and fitness parameters in young soccer players.

PLoS One 2019 25;14(11):e0225471. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Faculty of Psychology, eCampus University, Novedrate, Como, Italy.

The aims of the study were to investigate 1) the effect of 8 weeks of PSP training on anthropometrics, salivary hormones and fitness parameters in youth soccer players, 2) the correlations between fitness and hormonal parameters, and 3) the impact of the experience of the coach and his methodology of training on these parameters. Weight, height, BMI, pubertal development (PDS), salivary Cortisol (sC), salivary Testosterone (sT), salivary sDHEAS, intermittent tests (VO2max), and countermovement jump test (CMJ) modifications of 35 youth soccer players (age: 14±0 yrs; BMI: 20.8±1.8 k/m2) from two Italian clubs ("Lupa Frascati" -LF-; "Albalonga" -AL) were analysed. A significant (p<0.05) time by club effect was observed in sC (F(1,31) = 9.7, ES = 1.13), sT (F(1,31) = 4.2, ES = 0.74), CMJ (F(1,28) = 26.5, ES = 1.94), and VO2max (F(1,28) = 8.5, ES = 1.10). Statistical differences (p<0.05) in weight (F(1,32) = 25.5, ES = 0.11), sC (F(1,31) = 32.1, ES = 1.43), sT/sC ratio (F(1,31) = 10.1, ES = 0.97), sDHEAS/sC ratio (F(1,31) = 6.3, ES = 0.70), and VO2max (F(1,28) = 64.3, ES = 1.74) were found within time factor. Between clubs, differences (p<0.05) in sC (F(1,32) = 8.5, ES = 1.17), sT (F(1,31) = 4.2, ES = 0.74), CMJ (F(1,28) = 26.5, ES = 1.50), and VO2max (F(1,28) = 8.5, ES = 1.10) were found. CMJ was inversely correlated with sDHEAS (r = -0.38) before PSP, while Δ of CMJ showed significant correlations with Δ of sC (r = 0.43) and ΔVO2max was inversely correlated with ΔBMI (r = -0.54) and ΔsC (r = -0.37) in all subjects. Considering each single club, ΔVO2max showed correlations with ΔBMI (r = -0.45) in AL, while ΔCMJ showed correlations with ΔPDS (r = 0.72) in LF club. Since the PSP is often limited training time to simultaneously develop physical, technical and tactical qualities, an efficient method to distribute the training load is important in youth soccer players to increase the performance and to avoid injuries.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225471PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6876839PMC
March 2020

Characterization of the Effects of a Six-Month Dancing as Approach for Successful Aging.

Int J Endocrinol 2019 17;2019:2048391. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, "Magna Graecia" University, Catanzaro, Italy.

Aging is accompanied by a decline in multiple domains. Positive effects of dance practice on several health issues have been evaluated in young adults, while the effects of regular social dance practice on physical fitness, sexual health, and cognitive functions have not been studied yet in older experienced dancers. Thus, the aim of this study has been to investigate whether a 6-month social dance practice might influence fitness performance, sexual health, and specific cognitive functions and/or mood characteristics in older experienced dancers. Thirty experienced dancers (age: 71.2±5.1 years, 18 females/12 males) were enrolled from the dance school "NonSoloLiscio" of Catanzaro. Body composition, physical fitness, sexual health, and cognitive functions were assessed before (T0) and after (T6) intervention. After 6 months of dance practice, percent of fat mass (%FM) significantly decreased (p<0.01), while fat-free mass (FFM) significantly increased (p<0.01) in both genders. Moreover, significant main effects of time on physical fitness tests, such as chair stand test (CST) (p<0.01), gait speed (p<0.05), and timed up and go (p<0.05), were found. Sexual health was significantly higher in males than in females at T0 and no significant effects of dance on subjects' sexual health were found. Interestingly, trait of anxiety significant decreased (p<0.05) and perception of retrospective memory significantly increased (p=0.05) after training independently of gender. Our preliminary results suggest that, even in older intermediate-level dancer, the practice of social dance might positively influence body composition and also increase fitness performance, memory functions, and anxiety. In contrast, no effects on sexual health were observed after 6 months of dancing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/2048391DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6601485PMC
June 2019

Oxygen Uptake On-Kinetics during Low-Intensity Resistance Exercise: Effect of Exercise Mode and Load.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 07 15;16(14). Epub 2019 Jul 15.

Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, CIDESD, 5000-103 Vila Real, Portugal.

Oxygen uptake (VO) kinetics has been analyzed through mathematical modeling of constant work-rate exercise, however, the exponential nature of the VO response in resistance exercise is currently unknown. The present work assessed the VO on-kinetics during two different sub maximal intensities in the inclined bench press and in the seated leg extension exercise. Twelve males (age: 27.2 ± 4.3 years, height: 177 ± 5 cm, body mass: 79.0 ± 10.6 kg and estimated body fat: 11.4 ± 4.1%) involved in recreational resistance exercise randomly performed 4-min transitions from rest to 12% and 24% of 1 repetition maximum each, of inclined bench press (45°) and leg extension exercises. During all testing, expired gases were collected breath-by-breath with a portable gas analyzer (K4b, Cosmed, Italy) and VO on-kinetics were identified using a multi-exponential mathematical model. Leg extension exercise exhibited a higher R-square, compared with inclined bench press, but no differences were found in-between exercises for the VO kinetics parameters. VO on-kinetics seems to be more sensitive to muscle related parameters (upper vs. lower body exercise) and less to small load variations in the resistance exercise. The absence of a true slow component indicates that is possible to calculate low-intensity resistance exercise energy cost based solely on VO measurements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6678115PMC
July 2019

Dynamic motor imagery mentally simulates uncommon real locomotion better than static motor imagery both in young adults and elderly.

PLoS One 2019 26;14(6):e0218378. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Section of Health Sciences, University of Rome "Foro Italico", Rome, Italy.

A new form of Motor Imagery (MI), called dynamic Motor Imagery (dMI) has recently been proposed. The dMI adds to conventional static Motor Imagery (sMI) the presence of simultaneous actual movements partially replicating those mentally represented. In a previous research conducted on young participants, dMI showed to be temporally closer than sMI in replicating the real performance for some specific locomotor conditions. In this study, we evaluated if there is any influence of the ageing on dMI. Thirty healthy participants were enrolled: 15 young adults (27.1±3.8 y.o.) and 15 older adults (65.9±9.6y.o.). The performance time and the number of steps needed to either walk to a target (placed at 10m from participants) or to imagine walking to it, were assessed. Parameters were measured for sMI, dMI and real locomotion (RL) in three different locomotor conditions: forward walking (FW), backward walking (BW), and lateral walking (LW). Temporal performances of sMI and dMI did not differ between RL in the FW, even if significantly different to each other (p = 0.0002). No significant differences were found for dMI with respect to RL for LW (p = 0.140) and BW (p = 0.438), while sMI was significantly lower than RL in LW (p<0.001). The p-value of main effect of age on participants' temporal performances was p = 0.055. The interaction between age and other factors such as the type of locomotion (p = 0.358) or the motor condition (p = 0.614) or third level interaction (p = 0.349) were not statistically significant. Despite a slight slowdown in the performance of elderly compared to young participants, the temporal and spatial accuracy was better in dMI than sMI in both groups. Motor imagery processes may be strengthened by the feedback generated through dMI, and this effect appears to be unaffected by age.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0218378PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6594612PMC
February 2020

Relationship between individual ventilatory threshold and maximal fat oxidation (MFO) over different obesity classes in women.

PLoS One 2019 11;14(4):e0215307. Epub 2019 Apr 11.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Section of Health Sciences, University of Rome "Foro Italico", Rome, Italy.

Objective: The use of the Individual Ventilatory Threshold (IVT), as parameter to prescribe exercise intensity in individuals with obesity, has become more frequent during the last years. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between IVT and Maximal Fat Oxidation (MFO) in women with obesity.

Methods: Fifty-two obese female adults (age = 43.6±10.9 years; BMI = 38.5±5.2 kg/m2) were included in this study. According to the BMI classification, subjects were divided into three groups: Obese Class I (OBI, n = 16); Obese Class II (OBII, n = 20) and Obese Class III (OBIII, n = 16). All subjects performed an incremental graded exercise test to evaluate peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), IVT and MFO. MFO was evaluated using a stoichiometric equation. Fat max zone was determined for each subject within 10% of fat oxidation rates at MFO. For each HR, %HRmax, VO2 and %VO2peak variable, Pearson's correlation test was done between IVT and MFO exercise intensity. When statistical correlation was found we used a comparative statistical analysis to assess differences between IVT and MFO. Statistical significance was set at P ≤ 0.05.

Results: For each HR, %HRmax, VO2 and %VO2peak variable there was a positive significant correlation (P<0.01) between IVT and MFO. No significant differences were found for HR, %HRmax, and VO2 between IVT and MFO. %VO2peak was significantly higher at IVT than at MFO (P = 0.03). MFO rates were significantly higher in OBIII women than in women of the other two classes. In all subjects, IVT was within the fat max zone.

Conclusion: The use of HR and VO2 corresponding to IVT could be a useful parameter not only to improve cardiorespiratory fitness but also to prescribe physical activity that maximize fat oxidation in obese subjects.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0215307PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6459513PMC
January 2020

Effects of Continuous vs Discontinuous Aerobic Training on Cardiac Autonomic Remodeling.

Int J Sports Med 2019 Mar 10;40(3):180-185. Epub 2019 Jan 10.

HES, Appalachian State University, Boone, United States.

The aim of this study was to examine the cardiac autonomic nervous system differences following either continuous vs. discontinuous exercise in males and females. Forty-seven healthy male and female subjects (M=19, F=28; Age=36.95±13.79) underwent a baseline test for VO and tilt table testing. They were assigned to a one-month control period before returning to repeat the testing and then begin one month of either continuous aerobic treadmill work for 30 min at 70% peak heart rate (N=23) or 3 bouts of 10 min at 70% of peak heart rate with two 10-min break periods in between (N=24). Following exercise, both groups demonstrated a significant improvement in VO (p<0.001). Treatment differences were detected while tilted in continuous as a decreases in the percentage of instances within an hour that the normal sinus interval exceeds 50 ms (p=0.036) and in the high-frequency component (p=0.023). While supine, the discontinuous group saw reduction in heart rate (p=0.004), and an increase in high-frequency (p=0.018). These data suggest that for healthy people either continuous or discontinuous aerobic training is effective in improving measures of fitness; however discontinuous is better able to improve supine indices of vagal activity on heart rate variability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0044-100921DOI Listing
March 2019

Validity, reliability and minimum detectable change of COSMED K5 portable gas exchange system in breath-by-breath mode.

PLoS One 2018 31;13(12):e0209925. Epub 2018 Dec 31.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome "Foro Italico", Rome, Italy.

Purpose: This study aimed to examine the validity, reliability and minimum detectable change (MDC) of the Cosmed K5 in breath by breath (BxB) mode, against VacuMed metabolic simulator. Intra and inter-units reliability was also assessed.

Methods: Fourteen metabolic rates (from 0.9 to 4 L.min-1) were reproduced by a VacuMed system and pulmonary ventilation (VE), oxygen consumption (VO2) and carbon dioxide production (VCO2) were measured by two different K5 units. Validity was assessed by ordinary least products (OLP) regression analysis, Bland-Altman plots, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), mean percentage differences, technical errors (TE) and MDC for VE, VO2, and VCO2. Intra- and inter-K5 reliability was evaluated by absolute percentage differences between measurements (MAPE), ICCs, TE, and MDC.

Results: Validity analysis from OLP regression data and Bland- Altman plots indicated high agreement between K5 and simulator. ICC values were excellent for all variables (>0.99). Mean percentage differences in VE (-0.50%, p = 0.11), VO2 (-0.04%, p = 0.80), and VCO2 (-1.03%, p = 0.09) showed no significant bias. The technical error (TE) ranged from 0.73% to 1.34% (VE and VCO2 respectively). MDC were lower than 4% (VE = 2.0%, VO2 = 3.8%, VCO2 = 3.7%). The intra and inter K5 reliability assessment reveled excellent ICCs (>0.99), MAPE <2% (no significant differences between trials), TE < or around 1%, MDC
Conclusions: K5 in BxB mode is a valid and reliable system for metabolic measurements. This is the first study assessing the MDC accounting only for technical variability reporting intra- and inter-units MDCs <3.3%.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0209925PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6312326PMC
May 2019

Lifestyle and fertility: the influence of stress and quality of life on male fertility.

Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2018 Nov 26;16(1):115. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy.

Background: Male infertility is a widespread condition among couples. In about 50% of cases, couple infertility is attributable to the male partner, mainly due to a failure in spermatogenesis. In recent times, the crucial role that modifiable lifestyle factors play in the development of infertility have generated a growing interest in this field of study, i.e. aging, psychological stress, nutrition, physical activity, caffeine, high scrotal temperature, hot water, mobile telephone use. Several studies have investigated associations between semen quality and the presence of lifestyle stressors i.e. occupational, life events (war, earthquake, etc.) or couple infertility; overall, these studies provide evidence that semen quality is impaired by psychological stress. In this review, we will discuss the impact of quality of life (modifiable lifestyle factors) and psychological stress on male fertility. In addition, the role that increased scrotal temperature along with inappropriate nutritional and physical exercise attitudes exert on male fertility will be presented.

Conclusion: The decline of male fertility, particularly associated with advancing age, incorrect lifestyles and environmental factors plays an important role on natality, and its consequences on the future on human population makes this an important public health issue in this century. Thus, modification of lifestyle through a structured program of educational, environmental, nutritional/physical exercise and psychological support, combined with the use of nutraceutical antioxidants can prevent infertility and therefore, may help couples to obtain better quality of life and improved possibility to conceive spontaneously or optimize their chances of conception.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12958-018-0436-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6260894PMC
November 2018

Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Psychophysiological Responses to Maximal Incremental Exercise Test in Recreational Endurance Runners.

Front Psychol 2018 9;9:1867. Epub 2018 Oct 9.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome "Foro Italico", Rome, Italy.

Previous studies have suggested that transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) might improve exercise performance and alter psychophysiological responses to exercise. However, it is presently unknown whether this simple technique has similar (or greater) effects on running performance. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to test the hypothesis that, compared with sham and cathodal tDCS, anodal tDCS applied over the M1 region would attenuate perception of effort, improve affective valence, and enhance exercise tolerance, regardless of changes in physiological responses, during maximal incremental exercise. In a double-blind, randomized, counterbalanced design, 13 healthy recreational endurance runners, aged 20-42 years, volunteered to participate in this study. On three separate occasions, the subjects performed an incremental ramp exercise test from rest to volitional exhaustion on a motor-driven treadmill following 20-min of brain stimulation with either placebo tDCS (sham) or real tDCS (cathodal and anodal). Breath-by-breath pulmonary gas exchange and ventilation and indices of muscle hemodynamics and oxygenation were collected continuously during the ramp exercise test. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and affective valence in response to the ramp exercise test were also measured. Compared with sham, neither anodal tDCS nor cathodal tDCS altered the physiological responses to exercise ( > 0.05). Similarly, RPE and affective responses during the incremental ramp exercise test did not differ between the three experimental conditions at any time ( > 0.05). The exercise tolerance was also not significantly different following brain stimulation with either sham (533 ± 46 s) or real tDCS (anodal tDCS: 530 ± 44 s, and cathodal tDCS: 537 ± 40 s; > 0.05). These results demonstrate that acute tDCS applied over the M1 region did not alter physiological responses, perceived exertion, affective valence, or exercise performance in recreational endurance runners.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01867DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6189328PMC
October 2018

Effects of body weight loss program on parameters of muscle performance in female obese adults.

J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2019 Apr 18;59(4):624-631. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

Section of Health Sciences, Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome "Foro Italico", Rome, Italy.

Background: Body weight loss program may lead to a decrease in lean body mass affecting negatively muscle performance in obese subjects. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the effect of weight loss on muscle performance in female obese subjects.

Methods: Eighty obese female adults were enrolled for a 2-month unsupervised aerobic training (UAT) plus nutritional program. In the pre- and postintervention body composition was evaluated by hand-to-foot bioelectrical impedance method, body strength using handgrip test, and lower muscle power was assessed by a 5-repetition chair stand test (CST) and 30-s chair stand test (30sCST) wearing a dynamometer.

Results: Thirty-six subjects completed the protocol, 39% had high compliance (HC), while 61% had low compliance (LC) to exercise prescription. HC group showed a significant decreased body weight, percent of fat mass and lean muscle mass after training. Both groups significantly increased CST performance while only HC significantly increased 30sCST. No differences were found in CST muscle power in both groups between pre- and post-training. However, evaluation of muscle power during 30sCST showed significantly higher value in HC group than LC group after training.

Conclusions: The results of our study show that although total lean muscle mass decreased after UAT, lower body muscle efficiency increased while muscle power did not change suggesting that in obese patients UAT can help to optimize weight loss and body efficiency. The data might be helpful for exercise professionals to evaluate correctly the muscle performance in obese adults after weight loss programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08578-XDOI Listing
April 2019

Prediction equation to estimate heart rate at individual ventilatory threshold in female and male obese adults.

PLoS One 2018 11;13(5):e0197255. Epub 2018 May 11.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Section of Health Sciences, University of Rome "Foro Italico", Rome, Italy.

Objective: Prescribing individualized moderate exercise intensity is a useful method to reach positive effects on health status in obese adults. This study aimed to establish a practical reference equation to estimate the heart rate (HR) at individual ventilatory threshold (IVT) (HRIVT).

Methods: One hundred sixty-one obese subjects were clinically evaluated and characterized by anthropometric and body composition. Participants performed the six-minute walking test (6-MWT) and the cardiopulmonary exercise test to assess IVT. Multiple regression analysis for HRIVT, including 6-MWT, anthropometric, and body composition parameters, as independent variables, was performed for both gender separately. A cross-validation study was also performed to determine the accuracy of the prediction equation.

Results: Whereas HRIVT was not significantly different between males (121.5±18.3 bpm) and females (117.6±17.1 bpm), it differently correlated with physical and performance parameters. Therefore, two sex-specific equations were developed including 6-MWTHR and HRrest (R2 = 0.69 and 0.65 and root mean square errors of 8.8 and 10.1 bpm for females and males, respectively).

Conclusion: In conclusion, in female and male obese adults, the 6-MWT might be used to predict HR at IVT. These outcomes are useful to prescribe optimal physical activity intensity when gold standard methods (e.g. gas exchange analysis) are unavailable.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0197255PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5947910PMC
December 2018

Relationship Among Repeated Sprint Ability, Chronological Age, and Puberty in Young Soccer Players.

J Strength Cond Res 2018 Feb;32(2):364-371

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome "Foro Italico", Rome, Italy.

Perroni, F, Pintus, A, Frandino, M, Guidetti, L, and Baldari, C. Relationship among repeated sprint ability, chronological age, and puberty in young soccer players. J Strength Cond Res 32(2): 364-371, 2018-The aim of this study was to analyzed the relationship of repeated sprint ability (RSA) with chronological age and puberty in 100 young soccer players (age: 13 ± 3 years-160 ± 33 months-; height: 159 ± 16 cm, mass: 49.7 ± 14.1 kg; body mass index [BMI] 19.2 ± 2.5 kg/m) grouped on "Pulcini" (9-10 years), "Esordienti" (11-12 years), "Giovanissimi" (13-14 years), "Allievi" (15-16 years), and "Juniores" (>17 years) categories. Anthropometric (weight, height, BMI), RSA (7 × 30 m sprint with 25 seconds active rest: total time-TT, the lowest sprinting time, and the fatigue index percentage-%IF), and development (self-administered rating scale for pubertal development PDS; puberty) parameters were measured. ANOVA among categories was applied to asses differences (p ≤ 0.05) in TT and %IF. When a significant effect was found, Bonferroni's post hoc analysis was used. Pearson correlation among all variables was calculated considering all subjects and also within categories. Among categories, statistical analysis showed significant differences (p < 0.001) in TT and a considerable trend toward significance (p = 0.06) in %IF. Significant correlations among variables were found in all subjects and within categories. In particular, TT showed large significant correlation with PDS (r = -0.66) and puberty (r = -0.67) only in "Esordienti." This study provides useful information for the coach to propose an appropriate training and to obtain the optimal training effect and to minimize the risk of injury and overtraining during the different phases of growth and maturation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001799DOI Listing
February 2018

Metabolomic Shifts Following Play-Based Activity in Overweight Preadolescents.

Curr Pediatr Rev 2017 ;13(2):144-151

Vascular Biology and Autonomic Studies Laboratory, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC. United States.

Background: Play-based activities can be a positive intervention to increase participation of overweight children. Metabolomics can reveal elemental shifts in the metabolome, lending to potential mechanistic explanations behind improvements in physiological systems.

Objective: To elucidate dose-response urinary metabolomic signature shifts in overweight preadolescents following four or eight weeks of supervised play-based activity versus a typical summer break control group. We hypothesized that eight weeks of activity would cause the greatest shift in the metabolites.

Study Design: Twenty-two recreationally active preadolescents (12 males, 10 females) were randomly assigned to a four-week (4w) or eight-week (8w) activity group or to a control group (C). Participants reported to the laboratory on two separate occasions during which descriptive characteristics were recorded and urine samples were obtained. Children in the 4w and 8w cohort were tested at the beginning and end of the four and eight weeks of a supervised play-based physical activity program where they were active for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. Children in the C group were tested before and after eight weeks of an unsupervised summer break.

Results: A valid supervised partial least squares discriminant analysis model was obtained between post-exercise subjects in 8w and C (3 components, R2X = 0.332, R2Y = 0.976, Q2 = 0.091). The eight week intervention yielded significant metabolomic changes in several identified compounds.

Conclusion: When compared to a typical unsupervised summer break, a supervised play-based intervention provides enough of a stimulus for a shift in the metabolome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1573396313666170113145553DOI Listing
February 2018

Physical activity and hypocaloric diet recovers osteoblasts homeostasis in women affected by abdominal obesity.

Endocrine 2017 Nov 16;58(2):340-348. Epub 2016 Dec 16.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Section of Health Sciences, Foro Italico University, Rome, Italy.

Obesity is a multifactorial disease linked to metabolic chronic disorders such as diabetes, and hypertension. Also, it has recently been associated with skeletal alterations and low bone mineral density. We previously demonstrated that exposure of osteoblasts to sera of sedentary subjects affected by obesity alters cell homeostasis in vitro, leading to disruption of intracellular differentiation pathways and cellular activity. Thus, the purpose of the present study has been to evaluate whether sera of sedentary obese women, subjected to physical activity and hypocaloric diet, could recover osteoblast homeostasis in vitro as compared to the sera of same patients before intervention protocol. To this aim, obese women were evaluated at time 0 and after 4, 6, and 12 months of individualized prescribed physical activity and hypocaloric diet. Dual-energy-X-ray absorptiometry measurements were performed at each time point, as well as blood was collected at the same points. Cells were incubated with sera of subjects before and after physical activity as described: obese at baseline and after for 4, 6, and 12 months of physical activity and nutritional protocol intervention. Osteoblasts exposed to sera of patients, who displayed increased lean and decreased fat mass (from 55.5 ± 6.5 to 57.1 ± 5.6% p ≤ 0.05; from 44.5 ± 1.1 to 40.9 ± 2.6% p ≤ 0.01 respectively), showed a time-dependent increase of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, versus cells exposed to sera of obese patients before intervention protocol, suggesting recovery of osteoblast homeostasis upon improvement of body composition. An increase in β-catenin nuclear accumulation and nuclear translocation was also observed, accompanied by an increase in Adiponectin receptor 1 protein expression, suggesting positive effect on cell differentiation program. Furthermore, a decrease in sclerostin amount and an increase of type 1 procollagen amino-terminal-propeptide were depicted as compared to baseline, proportionally to the time of physical activity, suggesting a recovery of bone remodeling modulation and an increase of osteoblast activity induced by improvement of body composition. In conclusion, our results show for the first time that sera of obese sedentary women who increased lean mass and decreased fat mass, by physical activity and hypocaloric diet, rescue osteoblasts differentiation and activity likely due to a reactivation of Wnt/β-catenin-pathway, suggesting that a correct life style can improve skeletal metabolic alteration induced by obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12020-016-1193-1DOI Listing
November 2017

Differential Effects of Continuous Versus Discontinuous Aerobic Training on Blood Pressure and Hemodynamics.

J Strength Cond Res 2018 Jan;32(1):97-104

Department of Health and Exercise Science, Vascular Biology and Autonomic Studies Laboratory, College of Health Sciences, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina.

Landram, MJ, Utter, AC, Baldari, C, Guidetti, L, McAnulty, SR, and Collier, SR. Differential effects of continuous versus discontinuous aerobic training on blood pressure and hemodynamics. J Strength Cond Res 32(1): 97-104, 2018-The purpose of this study was to compare the hemodynamic, arterial stiffness, and blood flow changes after 4 weeks of either continuous or discontinuous aerobic exercise in adults. Forty-seven subjects between the ages of 18 and 57 were recruited for 1 month of either continuous aerobic treadmill work for 30 minutes at 70% max heart rate or 3 bouts of 10 minutes of exercise at 70% of max heart rate with two 10 minutes break periods in between, totaling 30 minutes of aerobic work. After exercise, both continuous (CON) and discontinuous (DIS) groups demonstrated a significant improvement in maximal oxygen uptake (V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, CON 35.39 ± 1.99 to 38.19 ± 2.03; DIS 36.18 ± 1.82 to 39.33 ± 1.75), heart rate maximum (CON 183.5 ± 3.11 to 187.17 ± 3.06; DIS 179.06 ± 2.75 to 182 ± 2.61), decreases in systolic blood pressure (CON 119 ± 1.82 to 115.11 ± 1.50; DIS 117.44 ± 1.90 to 112.67 ± 1.66), diastolic blood pressure (CON 72.56 ± 1.65 to 70.56 ± 1.06; DIS 71.56 ± 1.59 to 69.56 ± 1.43), augmentation index (CON 17.17 ± 2.17 to 14.9 ± 1.92; DIS 19.71 ± 2.66 to 13.91 ± 2.46), central pulse wave velocity (CON 8.29 ± 0.32 to 6.92 ± 0.21; DIS 7.85 ± 0.30 to 6.83 ± 0.29), peripheral pulse wave velocity (CON 9.49 ± 0.35 to 7.72 ± 0.38; DIS 9.11 ± 0.37 to 7.58 ± 0.47), and significant increases in average forearm blood flow (CON 4.06 ± 0.12 to 4.34 ± 0.136; DIS 4.26 ± 0.18 to 4.53 ± 0.15), peak forearm blood flow (FBF) after reactive hyperemia (CON 28.45 ± 0.094 to 29.96 ± 0.45; DIS 29.29 ± 0.46 to 30.6 ± 0.38), area under the curve (AUC) of FBF (CON 28.65 ± 1.77 to 30.4 ± 1.08; DIS 30.52 ± 1.9 to 31.67 ± 1.44), and AUC peak FBF after reactive hyperemia (CON 222.3 ± 5.68 to 231.95 ± 4.42; DIS 230.81 ± 6.91 to 237.19 ± 5.39). These data suggest that for healthy people either 4 weeks of continuous or discontinuous aerobic training is effective in improving measures of fitness and vascular health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001661DOI Listing
January 2018

Effects of different physical education programmes on children's skill- and health-related outcomes: a pilot randomised controlled trial.

J Sports Sci 2017 Aug 3;35(15):1547-1555. Epub 2016 Sep 3.

a Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences , University of Rome "Foro Italico" , Rome , Italy.

Aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two different 5-month physical education (PE) interventions conducted by a specialist PE teacher on primary school children's skill- and health-related outcomes. About 230 children were randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups: experimental_1 group, experimental_2 group or control group (school curriculum given by the generalist teacher). Pre- and post-intervention tests assessed pupils' fitness (pacer, curl-up, push-up, trunk lift, sit and reach tests) and gross motor coordination (shifting platforms, balance beam, jumping laterally, hopping on one leg over an obstacle tests). Both experimental groups significantly improved some fitness and coordinative tests after the intervention period when compared with control group. However, no differential changes on coordinative development were observed between the 2 experimental groups. Results of this study demonstrated that children benefitted from a well-structured PE intervention conducted and supervised by a specialist PE teacher improving their motor skills and fitness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2016.1225969DOI Listing
August 2017

Wii Fit is effective in women with bone loss condition associated with balance disorders: a randomized controlled trial.

Aging Clin Exp Res 2016 Dec 6;28(6):1187-1193. Epub 2016 May 6.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Piazza Lauro De Bosis, 15, 00135, Rome, Italy.

The use of exergame for balance competencies was recently explored in women affected by balance ability reduction with non-conclusive results. The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of a supervised exergame performed with the Wii Fit compared to conventional exercises on balance function, quality of life, fear of fall and well-being in women with bone loss. Thirty-eight female participants aged over 65 years, with a bone loss condition, were enrolled and random allocated in the Wii group or control group. Subject enrolled in Wii group performed a balance training with a Wii Fit supervised by a physiotherapist (1 h, 2 days per week, during 8 weeks) while in control subjects performed the same amount of conventional balance exercises. Subject enrolled in experimental group showed significantly higher scores in terms of Berg Balance Scale (p = 0.027). In SF-36 scores, a significant difference was reported for physical activity score after treatment (p = 0.031). Fear of falling and the psychological scales were not significantly different between the two groups. In women with bone loss condition, a supervised Wii Fit training has shown better efficacy in improving balance performance with respect to conventional balance exercises.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40520-016-0578-6DOI Listing
December 2016

Effects of combined physical education and nutritional programs on schoolchildren's healthy habits.

PeerJ 2016 11;4:e1880. Epub 2016 Apr 11.

Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome "Foro Italico," Rome , Italy.

Background. A multidisciplinary approach seems to be effective in creating healthy habits in children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of three 5-month combined physical education (PE) and nutritional interventions on body composition, physical activity (PA) level, sedentary time and eating habits of schoolchildren. Methods. Anthropometric data, weekly PA level, sedentary time and eating habits of 230 healthy students were analysed using a repeated-measures ANOVA with Group (experimental group 1 vs experimental group 2 vs control group), Adiposity Status (under fat vs normal fat vs obese), and Time (pre vs post) as factors. Results. Body fat mass percentage increased after intervention (18.92 ± 8.61% vs 19.40 ± 8.51%) in all groups. The weekly PA level significantly increased after intervention in both experimental groups. Sedentary time significantly decreased after the intervention period (565.70 ± 252.93 vs 492.10 ± 230.97 min/week, p < 0.0001). Moreover, obese children were more sedentary than under fat and normal fat children. Children significantly changed the consumption of some specific foods after intervention. Discussion. This study revealed the effectiveness of a combined PE and nutritional intervention to improve children's healthful dietary practices and to encourage an active lifestyle. However, it needs a further appropriate development to establish patterns of healthful dietary practices that encourage an active lifestyle with which to maintain healthy habits through life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1880DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4830254PMC
April 2016
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