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Predicting oxygen uptake responses during cycling at varied intensities using an artificial neural network

Summary

Study aim: Oxygen Uptake (VO2) is avaluable metric for the prescription of exercise intensity and the monitoring of training progress. However, VO2 is difficult to assess in anon-laboratory setting. Recently, an artificial neural network (ANN) was used to predict VO2 responses during aset walking protocol on the treadmill [9]. The purpose of the present study was to test the ability of an ANN to predict VO2 responses during cycling at self-selected intensities using Heart Rate (HR), time derivative of HR, power output, cadence, and body mass data.

Material and methods: 12 moderately-active adult males (age: 21.1 ± 2.5 years) performed a50-minute bout of cycling at a variety of exercise intensities. VO2, HR, power output, and cadence were recorded throughout the test. An ANN was trained, validated and tested using the following inputs: HR, time derivative of HR, power output, cadence, and body mass. A twelve-fold hold-out cross validation was conducted to determine the accuracy of the model.

Results: The ANN accurately predicted the experimental VO2 values throughout the test (R2 = 0.91 ± 0.04, SEE = 3.34 ± 1.07 mL/kg/min).

Discussion: This preliminary study demonstrates the potential for using an ANN to predict VO2 responses during cycling at varied intensities using easily accessible inputs. The predictive accuracy is promising, especially considering the large range of intensities and long duration of exercise. Expansion of these methods could allow ageneral algorithm to be developed for a more diverse population, improving the feasibility of oxygen uptake assessment.

Open access
Prevalence and factors associated with low back pain among Malaysian army personnel stationed in Klang Valley

Abstract

Study aim: The aims of this study were to examine the prevalence of low back pain (LBP) and explore possible factors associ­ated with LBP among Malaysian army personnel deployed in Klang Valley in the year 2018. Material and methods: A self-administered questionnaire on sociodemographic data, occupational background, occupational exposure and LBP evaluation was used in this study. A total of 330 respondents participated in this study and 321 (97%) of them completed and returned the questionnaires. Results: One hundred and fifty-seven respondents complained of LBP, giving a prevalence of 48.9%. LBP was found to be associated with smoking status, history of LBP, history of accident, military rank, category of regiment, lifting weights, push­ing weights, pulling weights and job-related physical activity. Logistic regression analysis identified four associated risk fac­tors of LBP: history of accident (OR = 4.42, 95% 2.29-8.55), history of LBP (OR=1.92, 95% 1.11-3.31), combat regiment (OR = 1.97, 95% 1.14-3.42) and high job-related physical activity (OR = 2.35, 95% 1.31-4.20). Conclusion: Almost half of Malaysian army personnel stationed in Klang Valley reported LBP symptoms. Smoking status, history of LBP, history of accident, junior non-commissioned officers (NCOs), combat regiments, manual handling of objects and moderate/high job-related physical activity are associated with LBP, but there is no evidence of a temporal relationship in the current study. Further exploration with a longitudinal study is needed to identify a cause and effect relationship between occupational exposure and LBP among Malaysian army personnel.

Open access
Student-centered approach and alternative assessments to improve students’ learning domains during health education sessions

Summary

Study aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of astudent-centered approach and alternative assessments on students’ learning domains (i.e., cognitive, affective, psychomotor) during health education learning sessions.

Material and methods: Four groups totaling 65 mixed-gender undergraduate students (ages 20–25) of physical and health education participated in this study of alternative assessments’ effects on students’ learning once per week (3 hours) in their respective classrooms for seven weeks at a central Malaysia university. Students’ knowledge on the lesson contents was gathered using a series of quizzes. Students’ self-efficacy was assessed using the modified Traits Sport-Confidence Inventory (TSCI), and students’ levels of physical activity were assessed using a mobile pedometer. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and t-tests to evaluate pre/post differences.

Results: The students’ perception and knowledge on health education improve across interventions with greater efficacy (7.64± 0.97) at the post-test compared to the pre-test (7.30± 1.38). Students’ recorded improvement in step counts between week two and week five. A slight reduction during weeks six and seven may be due to the end of the semester and preparation for the final examinations.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that astudent-centered approach and alternative assessment of learning were effective to engage students with contents and developing whole learning domains within the classroom.

Open access
Temporal effects of final action on the performance of the Portuguese men’s volleyball teams

Summary

Study aim: The purpose of this study was twofold: (i) to compare total attacks, points in the defense phase and attack efficiency between playing positions; and (ii) to identify the main predictors of overall volleyball teams’ success related to points made during the game.

Material and methods: 282 sets with a total of 33 174 actions and 8 231 points were analyzed. The study included 14 teams participating in the male First Division Portuguese Championship (53 games from the 2016/2017 season and 27 from the first phase of the 2017/2018 season, for a total of 80 matches).

Results: The most important parameters for the overall performance are efficacy of points in defense phase, aces, block points, and attack efficiency. Overall team performance variables statistically significantly predicted the total points of the team, F 16,1091 = 39.375, p < 0.001, R 2 = 0.366. Considering the comparisons between players’ performances, it was found that the setter had the lowest number of points in the defense phase and total attacks. Opposites had more total attacks and points in the defense phase than the other players (at a small-to-moderate magnitude).

Conclusion: The results revealed the importance of the efficacy of points in the defense phase, namely regarding the service action, block point, and attack efficiency, to improve the possibilities of winning.

Open access
The three-way interplay of motor coordination, body fatness and physical activity in adolescents: a preliminary study

Summary

Study aim: The purposes of this study were to analyze: the influence of physical activity level on the association between motor coordination and body fatness; the influence of body fatness on the association between motor coordination and physical activity; and how much physical activity and body fatness, separately and together, explain motor coordination in adolescent boys.

Material and methods: Fifty-one boys (n = 51), aged between 12 and 14 years, participated in the study. Motor coordination and physical activity and body fat percentage were assessed with, respectively, the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder (KTK) and a validated self-administered questionnaire (PAQ-C). Skinfold thickness was measured to assess the participant’s body fat percentage. The Kruskal-Wallis test was performed to compare levels of motor coordination, physical activity, and body fat according to age (12, 13, 14 years). Bivariate and partial correlations were used to analyze the interrelationships among the selected variables.

Results: In the total studied group (n = 51 boys), motor coordination was positively associated with physical activity level (r = 0.300) and negatively associated with body fatness (r = –0.297). However, these associations were not statistically significant (p > 0.05) when controlled for body fatness and physical activity, respectively. Also, body fat and physical activity together explained 11% of the variance in the motor coordination level in adolescent boys.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that body fatness can influence the association between motor coordination and physical activity as well as that physical activity level can influence the association between motor coordination and body fat percentage. Also, body fat and physical activity together, but not separately, partially explained the variance in the motor coordination level. Therefore, body fat and physical activity seem to be complementarily associated with motor coordination in adolescent boys.

Open access
Effect of Applied Health-Oriented Exercises in Physical and Sport Education on Musculoskeletal System of Female Students

Summary

The aim of the research was to determine the effect of the health-oriented exercises included in the final part of the physical and sport education on the selected factors of the musculoskeletal system of the female students of the selected secondary school, as well as to point out the diversification and the realization of the innovative contents of the teaching lessons with the health aspect, especially from the point of view of the primary prevention of the female students’ health of secondary school, improving the level of the posture and the overall muscular system. The monitored group consisted of 33 female students of the selected secondary school in Trenčín (Slovakia). The experimental group (EG) A consisted of 17 female students (age = 16.9 ± 1.3 years, height = 168.6 ± 3.9 cm, weight = 57.3 ± 3.4 kg) and the control group (CG) B consisted of 16 female students (age = 16.3 ± 1.1 years, height = 167.3 ± 4.7 cm, weight = 58.9 ± 4.8 kg). From the point of view of the data acquisition methods, in initial, ongoing and final evaluations were applied standardized methods for assessing the posture and the muscular system for physical and medical practice. Subsequently, the applied health-oriented exercises were used in the final part of the physical and sport education for 3 months, 3 times per week, for the duration of 12 minutes. The results significantly showed the improvement of the monitored musculoskeletal system (p < 0.01), as well as the overall muscular system (p < 0.01). Based on the findings, we point out the suitability of including the health-oriented exercises in the teaching process of the physical and sport education with the focus on the musculoskeletal system. This study was supported by VEGA 1/0242/17 Physical activity as prevention of functional disorders related to the musculoskeletal system of secondary school students.

Open access
Axiological Aspects of Human Body, Spirit and Soul Composition

Abstract

The theme presented is aimed at attempting to perceive the fundamental qualities of the man’s personality (body, soul and spirit) from the philosophical, anthropological and theological point of view and, at the same time, to establish the value reflections towards its (current and universal) existential orientations. Namely, today's experience shows us that tendencies with notable prevailing of corporality over the other constitutive properties of the human being are constantly getting stronger. The body cult is vigorously stressed: body building and fitness clubs, as well as special gyms and wellness facilities (saunas, hydro massage baths, tepidariums are advertised, which should satisfy the increased corporal‐hedonistic and corporal‐aesthetic motives. This disturbing of the essential and human structure established by God demands the return to the original settings of Christian trichotomy (not serving the body but serving of the body), whereby a balanced and harmonious relationship between the body, the soul, and the spirit is developed by equally bearing in mind all three areas on which all three "gymnastics" are tuned and effectively performed, which leads to overall development and fulfilment of a human being.

Open access
Evaluation and Review of Sport in the Context of Current Social Trends

Abstract

General level of culture does not mean that everyone is expected to become, for example, a writer, an artist, a poet, an actor or a painter but it assumes enabling people to enjoy culture and arts, and expand the range of possible enjoyments in life and the world. Likewise, introduction of children, boys and girls into the world of body culture should enrich them in this regard. Ethical and moral changes will significantly change the form of physical culture and education, and the sports life in general. Aggressiveness, false prestige, self‐centredness, foul motive of achievement will be found under review. There may come a time when the sports victory will be considered and respected primarily as a result of successful mastering the strengths of one's own nature and their reasonable use. Any violence against one's own body will be considered as educational and sports misfortune or accident, as something that belongs to the ethical despise and not to the established and existing ethical norms.

Open access
Eye tracking in high-performance sports: Evaluation of its application in expert athletes

Abstract

In the last thirty years, an increasing interest in sport sciences regarding the analysis of expert athletes’ gaze behavior has become apparent. This narrative review provides an overview of the use of eye tracking systems in high-performance sports from 1987 to 2016. A systematic search of the PubMed, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and WebofScience databases was conducted. The search was performed using the keywords eye tracking, eye movement, gaze behavior/patterns, and visual search strategies in combination with high-performance sports, elite athletes, high-class athletes, sport experts, and top-athletes. It yielded a total of 86 studies of which almost half were conducted computer-based or in front of a screen. Most studies dealt with the analysis of gaze behavior during dead ball situations while also focusing on differences between expert athletes and novices. More high-quality intervention studies are essential to determine if there are ideal gaze strategies and, if yes, how it is possible to learn/implement these.

Open access
Formation-based modelling and simulation of success in soccer

Abstract

The players’ positions of tactical groups in soccer can be mapped to formation-patterns by means of artificial neural networks (Kohonen, 1995). This way, the hundreds of positional situations of one half of a match can be reduced to about 20 to 30 types of formations (Grunz, Perl & Memmert, 2012; Perl, 2015), the coincidences of which can be used for describing and simulating tactical processes of the teams (Memmert, Lemmink & Sampaio, 2017): Developing and changing formations in the interaction with the opponent activities can be understood as a tactical game in the success context of ball control, space control and finally generating dangerous situations. As such it can be simulated using mathematical approaches like Monte Carlo-simulation and game theory in order to generate optimal strategic patterns. However, in accordance with results from game theory it turns out that in most cases the one optimal strategy does not exist (e.g. see Durlauf & Blume, 2010). Instead, a variety of partial strategies with different frequencies were necessary – an approach that is mathematically interesting but has nothing to do with soccer reality. An alternative approach, which is developed in the following, is to interrupt the strictness of a single strategic concept by creative elements, which improves flexible response to opponent activities as well as prevents from being analyzed by the opponent team.

The results of respective simulation reach from improving strategic behaviour to recognizing strategic patterns and in particular to analyzing role and meaning of creative elements.

Open access