Now showing 1 - 10 of 36
  • Publication
    Open Access
    I think therefore I learn
    (National Institute of Education (Singapore), 2021) ;
      76  147
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Strength and conditioning programmes for improving back muscle fatigability in firefighters
    (2022) ;
    Kan, Tommy Yew Weng
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    Hostler, David
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    Roslan Abdul Ghani Mohamed Jamil
    Back pain and back-related injuries are common in firefighters. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two different types of strength and conditioning programmes in improving back muscle fatigability in firefighters. A total of 12 male firefighters completed 16 weeks on supervised exercise intervention programme. The Functional Group was prescribed unilateral movements that mimicked the asymmetrical nature of firefighting tasks. The Conventional Group performed more bilaterally loaded, symmetrical exercise training. The lumbar extensor muscles’ resistance to fatigue was assessed using the Modified Sorensen test with electromyography (EMG). The EMG median frequency slope was less steep (p = 0.023, η²p =0.420) after training, indicating improvement in fatigability. There was no difference between the groups (p = .605, η²p = 0.028) and no interaction effect (p = 0.245, η²p =0.132). In conclusion, a well-rounded strength and conditioning programme is promising in improving back muscle fatigability in firefighters.
      102  94
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Evidence of high-intensity exercise on lower limb functional outcomes and safety in acute and subacute stroke population: A systematic review
    (2022)
    Mah, Shi Min
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    ;
    Seow, Hui Chueng
    ;
    This systematic review investigated the effects of high-intensity exercise (HIE) on lower limb (LL) function in acute and subacute stroke patients. A systematic electronic search was performed in PubMed, CINAHL and the Web of Science from inception to 30 June 2022. Outcomes examined included LL function and measures of activities of daily living such as the Barthel index, 6 min walk test (6MWT), gait speed and Berg balance scale (BBS), adverse events and safety outcomes. The methodological quality and the quality of evidence for each study was assessed using the PEDro scale and the Risk of Bias 2 tool (RoB 2). HIE was defined as achieving at least 60% of the heart rate reserve (HRR) or VO2 peak, 70% of maximal heart rate (HRmax), or attaining a score of 14 or more on the rate of perceived exertion Borg scale (6–20 rating scale). This study included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) which compared an intervention group of HIE to a control group of lower intensity exercise, or no intervention. All participants were in the acute (0–3 months) and subacute (3–6 months) stages of stroke recovery. Studies were excluded if they were not RCTs, included participants from a different stage of stroke recovery, or if the intervention did not meet the pre-defined HIE criteria. Overall, seven studies were included that used either high-intensity treadmill walking, stepping, cycling or overground walking exercises compared to either a low-intensity exercise (n = 4) or passive control condition (n = 3). Three studies reported significant improvements in 6MWT and gait speed performance, while only one showed improved BBS scores. No major adverse events were reported, although minor incidents were reported in only one study. This systematic review showed that HIE improved LL functional task performance, namely the 6MWT and gait speed. Previously, there was limited research demonstrating the efficacy of HIE early after stroke. This systematic review provides evidence that HIE may improve LL function with no significant adverse events report for stroke patients in their acute and subacute rehabilitation stages. Hence, HIE should be considered for implementation in this population, taking into account the possible benefits in terms of functional outcomes, as compared to lower intensity interventions.
    WOS© Citations 3Scopus© Citations 4  52  78
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Development of a Parkinson’s disease specific falls questionnaire
    (2021)
    Harris, Dale M.
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    Duckham, Rachel L.
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    Daly, Robin M.
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    Abbott, Gavin
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    Johnson, Liam
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    Rantalainen, Timo
    ;
    Background: Falls are a major health burden for older adults with Parkinson's disease (PD), but there is currently no reliable questionnaire to capture the circumstances and consequences of falls in older adults with PD. This study aimed to develop a PD-specific falls questionnaire and to evaluate its test-retest reliability in older adults with PD.

    Methods: A novel PD-specific falls questionnaire (PDF-Q) was developed in two modes (online and paper-based version) and used to assess falls and near-falls events over the past 12-months. Questions were agreed upon by an expert group, with the domains based on previous falls-related questionnaires. The questions included the number and circumstances (activities, location and direction) of falls and near-falls, and consequences (injuries and medical treatment) of falls. The PDF-Q was distributed to 46 older adults with PD (online n = 30, paper n = 16), who completed the questionnaire twice, 4 weeks apart. Kappa (κ) statistics were used to establish test-retest reliability of the questionnaire items.

    Results: Pooled results from both questionnaires for all participants were used to assess the overall test-retest reliability of the questionnaire. Questions assessing the number of falls (κ = 0.41) and the number of near-falls (κ = 0.51) in the previous 12-months demonstrated weak agreement, while questions on the location of falls (κ = 0.89) and near-falls (κ = 1.0) demonstrated strong to almost perfect agreement. Questions on the number of indoor (κ = 0.86) and outdoor (κ = 0.75) falls demonstrated moderate to strong agreement, though questions related to the number of indoor (κ = 0.47) and outdoor (κ = 0.56) near-falls demonstrated weak agreement. Moderate to strong agreement scores were observed for the most recent fall and near-fall in terms of the direction (indoor fall κ = 0.80; outdoor fall κ = 0.81; near-fall κ = 0.54), activity (indoor fall κ = 0.70; outdoor fall κ = 0.82; near-fall κ = 0.65) and cause (indoor fall κ = 0.75; outdoor fall κ = 0.62; near-fall κ = 0.56).

    Conclusions: The new PDF-Q developed in this study was found to be reliable for capturing the circumstances and consequences of recent falls and near-falls in older adults with PD.

    WOS© Citations 4Scopus© Citations 5  12
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Long-term strength adaptation: A 15-year analysis of powerlifting athletes
    (2020)
    Latella, Christopher
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    Spathis, Jemima
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    van den Hoek, Daniel
    Strength is a fundamental component of athletic performance and development. This investigation examined the long-term strength development of powerlifting (PL) athletes. The rate of strength gain/day was assessed in 1897 PL athletes (F = 626, M = 1,271) over a 15-year period (2003–2018). Independent T-tests explored sex differences in baseline absolute (kg) and relative strength (kg·body mass−1 [bm]) recorded from the first competition, and strength gain/day (kg·d−1). Analyses based on initial strength quartiles were conducted using one-way analysis of variances with significance set at p < 0.05. Bivariate correlational analysis tested for relationships between strength gain/day and baseline strength, the number of competitions, and mean days between competitions. Males had greater absolute (M: 513.3 ± 99.8 kg, F: 289.4 ± 55.7 kg, p < 0.001) and relative (M: 5.89 ± 1.04 kg·bm−1, F: 4.27 ± 0.85 kg·bm−1, p < 0.001) strength at baseline. Overall, strength gain/day (F: 0.12 ± 0.69 kg·d−1, M: 0.15 ± 0.44 kg·d−1, p = 0.318) was similar between sexes. However, the strongest males showed a lower rate of strength improvement (0.102 kg·d−1) compared with least strong males (0.211 kg·d−1), p = 0.010. No differences were observed across quartiles for females. Correlational analyses revealed significant but weak negative relationships between strength gain/day and the mean days between competitions for females (r2 = −0.120, p = 0.003) and males (r2 = −0.190, p < 0.001). Similar relationships were observed for baseline strength (r2 = −0.073, p = 0.009) and the number of competitions (r2 = −0.111, p < 0.001) for males. The results suggest similar strength adaptation between sexes. The strongest males improve more slowly, possibly due to a ceiling effect. Collectively, the findings provide novel evidence of real-world long-term strength adaptations that may be particularly useful to understand athlete development, to aid periodized programming, and to benchmark strength over time.
    WOS© Citations 19  129  69
  • Publication
    Open Access
    The use of human pose estimation to enhance teaching and learning in physical education
    Non-proficient demonstration, gross motor skill assessment, and subjective feedback are but a few of the perennial problems in physical education (PE). These problems stand to benefit from a technology-based solution that uses human pose estimation to guide learning. In this approach, a criterion motor action is embedded in a deep-learning algorithm (DLA). A learner can view this motor action on an iPad and uses its kinematic signatures to guide practice. The learner’s movement is captured by the device and the recorded motor action enters the DLA for computation of movement proficiency. The output of the DLA is a quantitative index that informs the learner how well the movement has been executed. In this way, the learner gains timely and objective feedback. A separate device held by the PE teacher collates the quantitative indices from other students in the class. Collectively, the information facilitates the teacher’s selection of instructional strategies.
      35  51
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Editorial: Understanding brain mechanisms underpinning physical movement and exercise
    (2022) ;
    Perrey, Stephane
    It is well-accepted that physical activity and exercise, exert a strong positive influence over the central nervous system. As such, there is significant interest on understanding how specifically exercise influences neuroplasticity, and how the brain controls movement to perform daily activities. To truly understanding these mechanisms, neuroimaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging have revealed some insights on how the brain controls motor function and responses to exercise. However, these techniques may be limited in terms of their temporal resolution and ecological validity in measuring brain responses to movement and exercise. Now, recent advances of neuroimaging devices such as portable electroencephalography, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can be used to study a broader range of dynamic movements and central changes associated with physical exercise. Portable neuroimaging methods can be applied concurrently with a motor task or exercise to understand its associated neural response, while the application of non-invasive brain stimulation can help to establish causality by experimentally-induced facilitation or inhibition of specific neural networks. Therefore, we hosted a special Research Topic issue for Frontiers in Neuroergonomics that focused on brain mechanisms underpinning physical movement and exercise. In total, 8 papers were accepted totalling 31 authors that covered three main domains: (1) Methods to elucidate fine motor control, (2) Exercise-related brain adaptations, and (3) Prospective considerations.
      50  57
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Brain activation associated with low‐ and high‐intensity concentric versus eccentric isokinetic contractions of the biceps brachii: An fNIRS study
    (Wiley, 2023)
    Studies have shown that neural responses following concentric (CON) and eccentric (ECC) muscle contractions are different, which suggests differences in motor control associated with CON and ECC contractions. This study aims to determine brain activation of the left primary motor cortex (M1) and left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (DLPFCs) during ECC and CON of the right bicep brachii (BB) muscle at low- and high-contraction intensities. Eighteen young adults (13M/5F, 21–35 years) were recruited to participate in one familiarization and two testing sessions in a randomized crossover design. During each testing session, participants performed either ECC or CON contractions of the BB (3 sets × 8 reps) at low- (25% of maximum ECC/CON, 45°/s) and high-intensity (75% of maximum ECC/CON, 45°/s) on an isokinetic dynamometer. Eleven-channel functional near-infrared spectroscopy was used to measure changes in oxyhemoglobin (O2Hb) from the left M1, and left and right DLPFC during ECC and CON contractions. Maximum torque for ECC was higher than CON (43.3 ± 14.1 vs. 46.2 ± 15.7 N m, p = 0.025); however, no differences in O2Hb were observed between contraction types at low or high intensities in measured brain regions. High-intensity ECC and CON contractions resulted in greater increases in O2Hb of M1 and bilateral DLPFC compared to low-intensity ECC and CON contractions (p = 0.014). Our findings suggest no differences in O2Hb responses between contraction types at high and low intensities. High-contraction intensities resulted in greater brain activation of the M1 and bilateral DLPFC, which may have implications for neurorehabilitation to increase central adaptations from exercise.
    Scopus© Citations 1  20
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Breaking up classroom sitting time with cognitively engaging physical activity: Behavioural and brain responses
    (2021)
    Mazzoli, Emiliano
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    Salmon, Jo
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    Pesce, Caterina
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    He, Jason
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    Ben-Soussan, Tal Dotan
    ;
    Barnett, Lisa Michele
    Introduction Classroom-based active breaks are a feasible and effective way to reduce and break up sitting time, and to potentially benefit physical health in school children. However, the effect of active breaks on children’s cognitive functions and brain activity remains unclear.

    Objective We investigated the impact of an active break intervention on typically developing children’s cognitive functions and brain activity, sitting/standing/stepping, on-task behaviour, and enjoyment.

    Methods Up to 141 children, aged between 6 and 8 years (46% girls), were included, although about half of them completed two of the assessments (n = 77, working memory; n = 67, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex haemodynamic response). Classrooms from two consenting schools were randomly allocated to a six-week simple or cognitively engaging active break intervention. Classrooms from another school acted as a control group. The main analyses used linear mixed models, clustered at the class level and adjusted for sex and age, to investigate the effects of the interventions on response inhibition, lapses of attention, working memory, event-related brain haemodynamic response (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). The mediating effects of sitting/standing/stepping on cognition/brain activity were also explored. To test intervention fidelity, we investigated differences by group on the change values in children’s sitting, standing, and moving patterns during class/school time using linear mixed models. Generalized linear mixed models clustered at the individual level were used to examine on-task behaviour data. For the intervention groups only, we also assessed children’s perceived enjoyment, physical exertion and mental exertion related to the active breaks and compared the results using independent t-tests.

    Results There was a significantly greater positive change in the proportion of deoxygenated haemoglobin in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of children assigned to cognitively engaging active breaks compared to the control group (B = 1.53 × 10−07, 95% CI [0.17 × 10−07, 2.90 × 10−07]), which under the same cognitive performance is suggestive of improved neural efficiency. Mixed models showed no significant effects on response inhibition, lapses of attention, working memory. The mediation analysis revealed that the active breaks positively affected response inhibition via a change in sitting and standing time. The sitting, standing, and moving patterns and on-task behaviour were positively affected by the active breaks at end of trial, but not at mid-trial. Children in both intervention groups showed similarly high levels of enjoyment of active breaks.

    Conclusion Cognitively engaging active breaks may improve brain efficiency in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the neural substrate of executive functions, as well as response inhibition, via effects partially mediated by the change in sitting/stepping time. Active breaks can effectively reduce sitting and increase standing/stepping and improve on-task behaviour, but the regular implementation of these activities might require time for teachers to become familiar with. Further research is needed to confirm what type of active break best facilitates cognition.

    WOS© Citations 15Scopus© Citations 20  11