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  • Author: Ángel Cuevas x
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Quarterly Regional GDP Flash Estimates by Means of Benchmarking and Chain Linking

Abstract

In this article we propose a methodology for estimating the GDP of a country’s different regions, providing quarterly profiles for the annual official observed data. Thus the article offers a new instrument for short-term monitoring that allows the analysts to quantify the degree of synchronicity among regional business cycles. Technically, we combine time-series models with benchmarking methods to process short-term quarterly indicators and to estimate quarterly regional GDPs ensuring their temporal and transversal consistency with the National Accounts data. The methodology addresses the issue of nonadditivity, explicitly taking into account the transversal constraints imposed by the chain-linked volume indexes used by the National Accounts, and provides an efficient combination of structural as well as short-term information. The methodology is illustrated by an application to the Spanish economy, providing real-time quarterly GDP estimates, that is, with a minimum compilation delay with respect to the national quarterly GDP. The estimated quarterly data are used to assess the existence of cycles shared among the Spanish regions.

Open access
Plantar Pressure Differences Between Nordic Walking Techniques

Abstract

High plantar pressure has been associated with increased risk of injury. The characteristics of each physical activity determine the load on the lower limbs. The influence of Nordic Walking (NW) technique on plantar pressure is still unknown. The aim of this study was to analyze the differences between plantar pressure during NW with the Diagonal technique (DT) versus Alpha technique (AT) and compare them with the pressure obtained during normal walking (W). The normality and sphericity of the plantar pressure data were checked before performing a two-way repeated measures ANOVA in order to find differences between speeds (preferred, fast) and the gait (NW, W) as within-subject factors. Then, a t-test for independent measures was used to identify the specific differences between NW techniques. The strength of the differences was calculated by means of the effect size (ES). The results demonstrated that during NW with AT at preferred speed the pressure was lower under the Calcaneus, Lateral Metatarsal and Toes compared to the DT group (p = 0.046, ES = 1.49; p = 0.015, ES = 1.44; p = 0.040, ES = 1.20, respectively). No differences were found at the fast speed (p > 0.05). Besides the increase in walking speed during NW (p < 0.01), both technique groups showed lower pressure during NW compared to W under the Hallux and Central Metatarsal heads (F = 58.321, p = 0.000, ES = 2.449; F = 41.917, p = 0.012, ES = 1.365, respectively). As a practical conclusion, the AT technique may be the most effective of the NW techniques at reducing plantar pressure while allowing NW practitioners to achieve the physiological benefits of NW.

Open access
Effects of Different Backpack Loads in Acceleration Transmission during Recreational Distance Walking

It is well established nowadays the benefits that physical activity can have on the health of individuals. Walking is considered a fundamental method of movement and using a backpack is a common and economical manner of carrying load weight. Nevertheless, the shock wave produced by the impact forces when carrying a backpack can have detrimental effects on health status. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate differences in the accelerations placed on males and females whilst carrying different loads when walking. Twenty nine sports science students (16 males and 13 females) participated in the study under 3 different conditions: no weight, 10% and 20% body weight (BW) added in a backpack. Accelerometers were attached to the right shank and the centre of the forehead. Results showed that males have lower accelerations than females both in the head (2.62 ± 0.43G compared to 2.83 + 0.47G) and shank (1.37 ± 0.14G compared to 1.52 ± 0.15G; p<0.01). Accelerations for males and females were consistent throughout each backpack condition (p>0.05). The body acts as a natural shock absorber, reducing the amount of force that transmits through the body between the foot (impact point) and head. Anthropometric and body mass distribution differences between males and females may result in women receiving greater impact acceleration compared to men when the same load is carried.

Open access