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Bone Mineral Status of Young Men With Different Levels of Physical Activity


Introduction. The study sought to assess bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) in men with different levels of physical activity during the period of reaching peak bone mass

Material and methods. The research included wrestlers (n = 31) and students of the University of Physical Education (n = 88) aged 18-24. The state of the bone tissue was assessed with the use of the bone densitometry (DEXA) method (lumbar spine L2-L4). Data concerning the physical activity levels and nutritional behaviours of the study participants were gathered in a diagnostic survey carried out using a specially prepared questionnaire.

Results. The analysis of the results revealed that as there were no statistically significant differences in nutritional behaviours between men from particular groups, physical activity proved to be the factor which significantly differentiated the groups under investigation in terms of their bone mass. The highest mean values of the bone parameters analysed were achieved by the wrestlers, who demonstrated a high level of physical activity.

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Comparative Analysis of the Use of Moderate-Altitude Training by Top Russian and Chinese Athletes


Introduction. The aim of our work was to study the effect of natural hypoxia applied by elite athletes in the course of common training. Data analysed in this paper were collected during joint Russian-Chinese research on the training of elite athletes, who were members of the Russian national team (8 male biathletes, B-team) and 2016 Chinese Olympic team (12 female rowers, R-team).

Material and methods. The study was held in the preparatory period, which lasted 4-5 months. The preparatory period in each team was divided into two stages. In the R-team, in the first stage, a training camp was organised at sea level (SL) (200 m, 57 days), and in the second stage, an altitude camp (AC) was held at 2,280 m (40 days). In the B-team, in the first stage, two training camps were held: the first one at 1,100 m (AC, June-July, 19 days) and the second one, a sea level camp (SLC), at 140 m (July-August, 31 days). Thus, the second control test was preceded by 31-day-long training at SL. In the second stage (September-October), three training camps were held: the first one at 1,100 m (AC, 19 days), the second one at 150 m (SLC, 13 days), and the third one at 1,100-2,800 m (AC, 11 days). Both teams underwent three control tests: prior to the first training stage, at the end of the first training stage, and 6-8 days after the end of the second training stage. All control tests were performed at SL.

Results. Monitoring of elite athletes’ training in the preparatory period showed positive changes in physical preparedness in both groups. However, we found that those positive changes might not be related to an additional effect of natural hypoxia.

Conclusion. Our study has shown that rational and well-balanced planning according to training goals is the key factor in improving general and specific athletic preparedness.

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Impact of the Organisation of Mega Sporting Events on Selected Elements of the Tourism Sector


Introduction. In the world-wide literature, there is no unanimity in the assessment of the impact of mega sporting events on the tourism sector. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to quantify the impact of mega sporting events on changes in tourist inflow and the amount of expenditure incurred by visitors.

Material and methods.In this study, an ex-post analysis of many different categories of mega sporting events was carried out in the context of their impact on selected aspects of the tourism sector in host countries. The study examined events organised in the years 1996-2014 classified into one of four categories: the Summer Olympic Games (SOG), the Winter Olympic Games (WOG), the Football World Cup (FIFA), and the European Football Championship (UEFA). The approach adopted made it possible to analyse the impact of sporting events on the tourism sector over 15 years. Data on both the inflow of tourists and the expenditure generated by them were taken from a single source – reports of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Results. The results obtained are characterised by ambiguity, although the study identified the categories of sporting events and the sporting event phase in which clearly positive or negative effects on the tourism sector could be observed.

Conclusions. The difficulty in confirming unambiguously positive, tangible effects on the tourism sector resulting from the organisation of mega sporting events makes it problematic to justify the commitment of large expenditure to preparing and conducting these events. It is necessary to look for other, intangible benefits related to the organisation of these events. It also seems appropriate to continue the research undertaken in the future on the basis of data disaggregated at the regional level.

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Postural Control in Female Rhythmic Gymnasts in Selected Balance Exercises: A Study of Two Cases


Introduction. The aim of the study was to determine the differences in the quality of postural control between two female rhythmic gymnasts with different training experience during the performance of balance exercises. In rhythmic gymnastics, the same balance exercises are performed by novice and elite gymnasts. Balance exercises involving standing on the toes of one leg with the free leg raised in different positions are considered to be extreme forms of exercise in terms of the postural balance abilities required. In coaching practice, it is important to have tools which facilitate the objective assessment of the process of maintaining balance in such exercises.

Material and methods.The study involved two female rhythmic gymnasts: a younger one (age = 8 years and training experience = 4 years) and an older one (age = 21 years and training experience = 14 years). The athletes performed three balance exercises standing on a Kistler platform: the split with hand support (lateral balance), the ring with hand support, and the back split without hand support (balance on the whole foot). The parameters describing the quality of postural control used in the current analysis were the range and velocity of COP displacements in the anterior-posterior and medial-lateral directions.

Results. Postural control in the balance exercises in the younger rhythmic gymnast was characterised by almost two times greater COP displacements in the anterior-posterior direction and more rapid than that of the older gymnast. COP displacements in the medial-lateral direction in all the exercises described did not differentiate the subjects. In the back split without hand support, the older athlete showed greater variability of postural control with smaller COP displacement and velocity than the younger gymnast.

Conclusion. Gymnastics training should include exercises strengthening the muscles acting on the ankle and hip joints, which could improve the stability of these joints during the performance of difficult balance exercises. Improving the stabilising function of these muscles helps to minimise anterior-posterior movements in these joints.

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Prevalence of Rapid Weight Loss Practices and Their Profiles Among Non-Elite Combat Athletes in Kuching, East Malaysia


Introduction. Rapid Weight Loss (RWL) is a common practice in combat sports where weight is classified to ensure equitable competition in terms of strength and agility. This study aimed to investigate the profiles of non-elite combat athletes and their RWL practices.

Material and methods. This research was a cross-sectional study conducted in Kuching, Sarawak. Data were collected using a validated self-administered dual-language questionnaire.

Results. A total of 65 respondents participated in the study; two-thirds were male, and the majority were taekwondo athletes. About 66% of the respondents reported to have practised rapid weight loss, with average weight loss of 3.4 kg (SD = 1.90) and highest weight loss of 4.9 kg (SD = 3.16). The most common RWL methods used were exercising more (69.8%), gradual dieting (51.1%), and training in heated rooms (20.8%). Physical trainers and training colleagues were rated as persons having the most influence on the use of RWL by the respondents. The perceived adverse effects which were mentioned the most frequently by the respondents were fatigue (69.2%), decreased vigour (50.8%), and muscle cramps (46.2%). As for the type of combat sport practised, muay thai and jiu jitsu had the highest number of respondents who used RWL. There were significant differences in RWL practices depending on the influences of training colleagues, physicians/doctors, physical trainers, parents, dieticians, and former athletes as well as perceived adverse effects of RWL.

Conclusions. The findings of the current study were observed to be similar to those of research involving elite combat sport athletes where the prevalence of RWL was reasonably high, with similar characteristics. A proper regulatory programme should be put in place to assist both the athletes and their coaches/trainers in implementing proper weight control.

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Secular Trends in the Physical Fitness of Underweight, Overweight, and Obese Girls


Introduction. Along with the changing socio-economic status of the Polish society, differences in the nutritional statuses of children and adolescents as well as a decrease in their physical fitness are becoming apparent. The aim of the study was to determine ten-year changes in the physical fitness of girls with normal weight-to-height ratios compared to their underweight, overweight, and obese peers.

Material and methods.A total of 5,760 girls aged 13-18 years were examined in 2006, and 2,669 girls were evaluated ten years later. The participants of the study underwent the Eurofit tests, and their height and weight were measured, which made it possible to calculate BMI. The subjects were divided into groups based on the recommendations of the International Obesity Task Force. Ten-year differences in physical fitness were expressed in T-scale points, and their magnitude was estimated using Student’s t-test for independent samples. The frequency of underweight and excess weight was expressed in percentages, and the size of statistical differences between the groups was evaluated using the χ2 test.

Results. During the decade analysed, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the group of girls increased and that of underweight decreased. From 2006 to 2016, there were no significant changes in the physical fitness of the girls, neither in the calculations for the entire population nor in the group with normal BMI. On the other hand, an improvement in the level of physical fitness of under-weight girls and its decrease in overweight and obese subjects were observed. However, the changes were not consistent across all Eurofit tests.

Conclusion. The changes in the weight-to-height ratios and physical fitness of the girls who participated in the study show that there is a need to undertake inter-ministerial corrective actions aimed at increasing the physical activity of children and adolescents, with particular emphasis on students with excess body weight.

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Determination of musculoskeletal system pain, physical activity intensity, and prolonged sitting of university students using smartphone


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.

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Different levels of physical activity and anthropometric profile in patients infected with hepatitis C virus


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.

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The Parameters of Foam Rolling, Self-Myofascial Release Treatment: A Review of the Literature


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.

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Are there correlations between attention, physical endurance and anthropometric parameters of athletes?


Study aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between attention and physical endurance (running) and anthropometric parameters of athletes.

Material and methods: The study examined 61 students aged 19 to 25 years, divided into two groups: athletes (33 participants) and non-athletes (28 participants). We employed anthropometric measurements and the Vienna System Test, including tools to measure focused attention, such as LVT (visual orientation performance test) and DAUF (test for examination of sustained attention) and the Cooper test to measure endurance.

Results: Analysis of the results demonstrated a relationship between attention and physical endurance with median time from LVT (r = –0.552). A relationship was also found between the Cooper test results and the mean time to incorrect answer (r = –0.900).

Conclusions: The analysis demonstrated a relationship between attention, physical endurance and anthropometric parameters of athletes.

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