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Open access

Przemysław Dębski, Ewelina Białas and Rafał Gnat


Self-myofascial release (SMR) is a well-known and popular therapy. Its growing popularity is based on high effectiveness and availability. However, there is a lack of agreement about which parameters should be used to optimize the effects of the therapy. The purpose of this review is to critically select and assess current literature and ascertain the values of the follow­ing parameters: (1) therapy duration, (2) volume of applied pressure, (3) speed and (4) frequency of roll, (5) type of roller, (6) the number of treatment applications during one session, (7) the duration of intervals between applications that yield the best results in terms of soft tissue.

The authors launched their research in May 2018. The search strategy included the electronic databases EBSCOhost and PubMed. The following inclusion criteria were assessed:

- English language, high quality manuscripts (evaluation in PEDro scale)

- at least one of the groups using the foam roller, tennis ball or the stick to fascial release

- basic parameters of therapy described.A total 55 articles met the inclusion criteria. Patients can usually withstand a maximum tolerable pressure for 30-120 seconds, repeated 1-3 times, separated by 30 seconds of rest. The intensity of a single rolling movement should be moderate, and the movement should last about 3 seconds. Keeping the roller on particularly sensitive areas is recommended to release tension and enhance blood perfusion.Currently, there is no consensus on an optimal FR programme. However, there is a tendency to use SMR tools with a physiol­ogy-based method to enhance therapeutic efficiency.

Open access

Lucas de Lucena de Simões, Eline Autran de Lima, Gabriela Carvalho Jurema Santos, Tafnes Oliveira, Elenilson Maximino Bernardo, Luana Olegário, Erika Rabelo Fortes Siqueira and Matheus Santos de Sousa Fernandes


Study aim: To verify the relationship between different durations of regular practice of physical activity in aspects related to the anthropometric profile and hepatic function of patients infected by hepatitis C virus (HCV). Material and methods: 125 patients (aged 55.2 ± 10.4 years) participated in the study. Clinical data were obtained through medical records available at the Pernambuco Liver Institute. Physical activity levels were obtained through the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short form to classify the patients according to the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Results: Significant differences were found in GGT 141 (28-378 U/L) and HDL 39 (27-56 mg/dL) respectively in insuffi­ciently active and physically active groups, AST 71 (26-268 U/L), ALT 83 (36-452 U/L), GGT 78 (3-532 U/L), alkaline phos­phatase 74 (47-302 mg/dL) and total bilirubin 0.7 (0.1-2.8 mg/dL) in insufficiently active and very physically active groups. Anthropometric data showed significant differences in chest (p < 0.01), abdomen (p < 0.02) and waist measurement (p < 0.01) between insufficiently active and very physically active groups.

Conclusion: Physical activity, when practiced regularly for more than 300 minutes per week, can improve the clinical and an­thropometric profile in patients infected with HCV.

Open access

Sema Can and Ayda Karaca


Study aim: The purpose of this study was to examine smartphone-using university students’ musculoskeletal system pain complaints, duration of smartphone and computer usage, participation in moderate-vigorous physical activities (MVPA), and prolonged sitting time.

Material and methods: This study was conducted on Hitit University students (n = 387; 206 female, 181 male) in the province of Çorum. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form (IPAQ-SF), the Physical Activity Assessment Ques­tionnaire (PAAQ) (sports/exercise activities section), and a personal information form prepared by the researchers were used as data collection tools. Descriptive statistics and the t-test were used to determine differences between groups. The Pearson chi-square test was used to examine the relationship between categorical variables.

Results: It was observed that half of the participants with musculoskeletal system pain complaints (54.5%) feel the pain in all four areas (neck, shoulder, upper and lower back). There was no statistically significant relationship between physical activity intensity and pain complaint (p > 0.05). The students with musculoskeletal pain complaints spend more time on the smartphone and computer than students who do not have pain complaints (p < 0.05). During electronic device usage, the students who are in the low-intensity physical activity category spend more time sitting down than students in the moderate/vigorous intensity physical activity category (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: In consequence, information can be provided about the importance of reducing sitting time during smartphone use and increasing the duration of moderate/vigorous-intensity physical activity (PA) so awareness can be raised on the issue among university students.

Open access

Ahmad Fahim Zulkifli


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

Ebby Waqqash Mohamad Chan, Mohamad Shariff A. Hamid, Faridzal Harrymen Mohd Din, Rozali Ahmad, Ali Md Nadzalan and Eliza Hafiz


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

Andrew Borror, Michael Mazzoleni, James Coppock, Brian C. Jensen, William A. Wood, Brian Mann and Claudio L. Battaglini


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

Mariusz Tomczak, Zofia Ignasiak and Teresa Sławińska


Study aim: The aim of this study was to examine whether in women over 50 years of age the rate of decline in physical fitness with age affects the self-assessment of health and quality of life.

Material and methods: The survey was conducted among 113 women, aged 50–70. The women were divided into two groups: of low and high assessment of their own health and quality of life (WHOQOL-bref). The strength of the dominant hand muscles was tested and the Senior Functional Fitness Test was performed [21]. Linear regression analysis was used in the studies.

Results: Women satisfied with their health and quality of life were characterized by alower rate of decline in physical fitness after the age of 50, in particular the strength of the dominant hand muscles, aerobic capacity, upper body flexibility, and speed and coordination, than the dissatisfied or undecided women.

Conclusions: Physical fitness of women is important in assessing one’s own health and quality of life.

Open access

Małgorzata Bronikowska and Agata Korcz


Study aim: The main purpose of this study was to examine the level of moral competences of 437 pre-service physical educa­tion (PE) university students. It was also designed to evaluate the level of moral competency and the correlations with factors (i.e. Parents, Religion, School education, PE teacher, Sport coach, Studies, Media and Peers) potentially influencing moral development in pre-service PE teachers. Material and methods: The study included data collected in 2017 from 216 male and 221 female students aged 21.5 ± 1.85 from the faculty of Physical Education in Poznań, Poland. The students were categorised into three levels of moral competences, after which possible correlations between the factors influencing moral development were examined. The Moral Competence Test (MCT) survey was used to measure the ability to rate arguments by their moral quality. Participants were requested to confront two moral dilemmas and agree or disagree with the statements which were presented to them. Results: The results suggest that a vast majority of students (78.7%) present a very low level of moral competences, and with regard to the factors influencing moral development, the lowest value was attributed to PE teachers. Moderate positive correla­tions were found between School education and PE teacher, and between Sport coach and PE teacher. Conclusions: The findings indicate the need for more attention to be paid to moral education in teacher training in PE.

Open access

Dariusz Boguszewski, Jakub Grzegorz Adamczyk, Katarzyna Boguszewska, Dominika Wrzosek, Natalia Mrozek, Marta Waloch and Dariusz Białoszewski


Study aim: The objective of the study was to reveal the functional limits of the motor system in women practising combat sports and team sports.

Material and methods: 102 women (mean age 25.2 years, body mass 62.2 kg, body height 168.3 cm) practising competitive ITF (International Taekwon-Do Federation) taekwon-do (n = 22), Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) (n = 15), football (n = 35) and basketball (n = 30) participated in the study. The assessment tool was the FMS test, comprising 7 movement patterns scored on a scale of 0–3.

Results: The studied female athletes earned medium scores. Women practising combat sports scored generally higher in the FMS test, although the difference was not significant (combat sports – mean value 15.57 ± 2.39, team sports – mean value 14.72 ± 1.93, difference – p = 0.07). Statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed in the second (hurdle step) and the fifth pattern (active straight leg raise – ASLR). The aggregated FMS results of female taekwon-do (15.77) and BJJ athletes (15.22) were similar. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed in one pattern (ASLR). Women practising football (14.77) and basketball (14.67) attained a similar level of results in the test. Statistically significant differences were noted in two trials: footballers scored higher in the ASLR task (p < 0.05), and basketball players scored higher in rotary stability (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: A statistically significant result in the FMS test was obtained by martial arts athletes, which may point to a higher level of functional movement, which may be a result of more universal training.

Open access

Benedict Jain A.R. Tony and Masilamany S. Alphin


Study aim: Interactions between the fingers and a handle can be analyzed using a finite element finger model. Hence, the biomechanical response of a hybrid human finger model during contact with varying diameter cylindrical handles was investigated numerically in the present study using ABAQUS/CAE.

Materials and methods: The finite element index finger model consists of three segments: the proximal, middle, and distal phalanges. The finger model comprises skin, bone, subcutaneous tissue and nail. The skin and subcutaneous tissues were assumed to be non-linearly elastic and linearly visco-elastic. The FE model was applied to predict the contact interaction between the fingers and a handle with 10 N, 20 N, 40 N and 50 N grip forces for four different diameter handles (30 mm, 40 mm, 44mm and 50 mm). The model predictions projected the biomechanical response of the finger during the static gripping analysis with 200 incremental steps.

Results: The simulation results showed that the increase in contact area reduced the maximal compressive stress/strain and also the contact pressure on finger skin. It was hypothesized in this study that the diameter of the handle influences the stress/strain and contact pressure within the soft tissue during the contact interactions.

Conclusions: The present study may be useful to study the behavior of the finger model under the static gripping of hand-held power tools.