173 research outputs found

    Proprioceptive training and sports performance

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    One of the current trends in the field of sports training concerns the integration into training programs of exercises defined as "proprioceptive", which also include balance exercises, used to optimize performance, prevention or recovery from injuries. After introducing and describing the main characteristics of proprioceptive training in sports, the present review aims to set out and analyse the various flaws in this type of training as it is commonly practiced, in order to lay the groundwork for future improvements in proprioceptive training. Our research highlights that it is common practice to combine proprioceptive training with training on unstable surfaces, generally meaning the same for both situations. Such practices are indicative of the confusion surrounding the concepts of proprioception and balance. Indeed, until these two concepts and their respective performance benefits are clearly differentiated, it will be difficult to move beyond the controversy surrounding proprioceptive training and hence. to make advances in the field of proprioceptive training research. In conclusion, therefore, against the comforting theories that accompany the use of proprioceptive training in relation to the improvement of performance, unfortunately there is a literature that shows many variables not yet considered or treated in an approximate way

    Including Urban Metabolism Principles in Decision-Making: A Methodology for Planning Waste and Resource Management

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    Circular economy and urban metabolism concepts have recently received great attention both in the political and academic arenas, starting a roll-over process of the \u201ctake, make, and dispose\u201d dominant economic model that is leading to an ongoing increase of resource consumption and waste generation. However, there is a relative lack of guidelines for introducing such concepts in a decision-making process able to support the design of appropriate policies and strategies and the definition of specific actions to cope with such challenges. This paper attempts to contribute to the recent efforts at incorporating these concepts in policy and decision-making processes by providing a methodology for the development of strategic plans for waste prevention and resource management. The proposed methodology, developed within the Urban_WINS project, combines different quantitative\u2013analytical and qualitative methods and tools, together with a participatory process. The methodology was tested in eight EU cities and allowed to formulate several measures and actions aimed at addressing the challenges posed by the current consumption patterns. Moreover, the participatory approach led to the legitimization of the strategic plans, as well as to raise awareness among stakeholders. Although it might require specific tailor-made adjustments, this methodology is suitable to be replicated in other contexts

    Inter-Municipal Methodology for Climate Transition Strategies : The First Case in Italy

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    To build resilient and climate-neutral cities, it is required to modify current territorial planning processes to make them more sustainable and virtuous. However, the implementation of new strategies and innovative governance models faces multiple obstacles, economic restrictions, and technical gaps. In particular, local governments often find it difficult to build structured transition processes. This article investigates how it is possible to respond effectively to the need of urban contexts to adapt to climate impacts, analyzing the case of the Climate Transition Strategy (CTS) “La Brianza Cambia Clima”, the first in Italy of this kind. Through the technical framework and the methodology described, the CTS can activate inter-municipal transformative actions through the mainstreaming of planning tools, the construction of a medium-long-term vision, and the identification of concrete and widespread actions to be implemented in the territory. This coordinated and shared strategic approach allows one to give stability, coherence, and continuity to adaptation processes involving different stakeholders and sectors of the Public Administration. Finally, it favors the implementation of multidisciplinary policies for territorial resilience on a large scale

    Educazione motoria e lateralizzazione: il binomio perfetto per apprendere. Un progetto di ricerca nella scuola primaria

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    In the present study the effect of a physical education protocol aiming at improving the prerequisites of reading and writing skills was evaluated in the primary school.Two year-one classes were assigned, respectively, to a control group, which undertook standard physical education classes (1h, 2 times-a-week for the whole school year), and to an experimental group, which undertook the same physical education schedule and contents but spent some of those hours on an exercise program aimed at improving reading and writing skill prerequisites. Before and after the intervention children of both groups were assessed for reading and writing skills (SD1 test), walking and object handling skills (TGM tests), and lateral dominance. The results were compared using the independent sample Mann-Whitney U (intergroup comparisons of the pre-testvalues and of the variations recorded in each group across the school year) and the matched sample Wilcoxon (intra-group comparisons between pre- and post-test values) non parametric statistics. Results showed significantly greater improvements of the SD1 and TGM tests in the experimental group compared to control group, and significant improvements of lateral dominance in bothgroups. In conclusion, physical education significantly improves the acquisition of the reading and writing prerequisites.In questo studio è stato indagato, nella scuola primaria, l’effetto di un intervento di educazione motoria mirato allo sviluppo dei pre-requisiti delle capacità di letto-scrittura.Due classi prime sono state assegnate, rispettivamente, ad un gruppo di controllo, che effettuava lezioni di attività motoria (1 ora, 2 volte a settimana per tutto l’anno scolastico) con contenuti standard, e ad un gruppo sperimentale, che effettuava lo stesso monte ore di lezione con i medesimi contenuti, ma dedicava parte delle ore ad un intervento sperimentale di attività motoria appositamente ideato per il miglioramento dei pre-requisiti della letto-scrittura. Prima e dopo la sperimentazione i bambini di entrambe le classi sono stati sottoposti a valutazione delle capacità di letto-scrittura (SD1), delle abilità di locomozione e controllo oggetti (TGM), e della dominanza laterale. I risultatisono stati confrontati con test non parametrici per campioni indipendenti (raffronto inter-gruppo dei valori dei pre-test e delle variazioni nel corso dell’anno scolastico) e per campioni dipendenti (raffronti intra-gruppo della variazione tra i valori pre- e post-test).I risultati evidenziano un miglioramento significativamente maggiore di SD1 e dei TGM nel gruppo di controllo rispetto al gruppo sperimentale ed incrementi significativi della dominanza laterale in entrambi i gruppi. In conclusione, l’attività motoria migliora significativamente l’apprendimento dei prerequisiti per la letto-scrittura

    Path Linearity of Elite Swimmers in a 400 m Front Crawl Competition

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    none6noIn the frontal crawl, the propulsive action of the limbs causes lateral fluctuations from the straight path, which can be theoretically seen as the best time saving path of the race. The purpose of the present work was to analyze the head trajectory of 10 elite athletes, during a competition of 400 m front crawl, in order to give information regarding the path linearity of elite swimmers. The kinematic analysis of the head trajectories was performed by means of stereo-photogrammetry. Results showed that the forward speed and lateral fluctuations speed are linearly related. Multiple regression analysis of discrete Fourier transformation allowed to distinguish 3 spectral windows identifying 3 specific features: strokes (0.7-5 Hz), breathings (0.4-0.7 Hz), and voluntary adjustments (0-0.4 Hz), which contributed to the energy wasting for 55%, 10%, and 35%, respectively. Both elite swimmers race speed and speed wastage increase while progressing from the 1st to the 8th length during a 400 m front crawl official competition. The main sources of the lateral fluctuations that lead to the increasing speed wastage could be significantly attributed to strokes and voluntary adjustments, while breathings contribution did not reach statistical significance. In conclusion, both strokes and voluntary adjustments are the main energy consuming events that affect path linearity.PubMed ID: 25729292 [PMID]openGatta, Giorgio; Cortesi, Matteo; Lucertini, Francesco; Benelli, Piero; Sisti, Davide; Fantozzi, SilviaGatta, Giorgio; Cortesi, Matteo; Lucertini, Francesco; Benelli, Piero; Sisti, Davide; Fantozzi, Silvi

    Estimating Muscle Power of the Lower Limbs through the 5-Sit-to-Stand Test: A Comparison of Field vs. Laboratory Method

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    The 5-Sit-to-stand test (5STS) is used for lower limb muscle power (MP) determination in field/clinical setting. From the time taken to perform five standing movements and three partially verified assumptions (vertical displacement, mean concentric time, and mean force), MP is estimated as the body's vertical velocity x force. By comparison with a gold standard, laboratory approach (motion capture system and force plate), we aimed to: (1) verify the assumptions; (2) assess the accuracy of the field-estimated MP (MPfield); (3) develop and validate an optimized estimation (MPfield-opt). In 63 older adults (67 +/- 6 years), we compared: (i) estimated and measured assumptions (2-WAY RM ANOVA), (ii) MPfield and MPfield-opt with the reference/laboratory method (MPlab) (2-WAY RM ANOVA, Pearson's correlation coefficient (r), Bland-Altman analysis). There was a significant difference between estimated and measured assumptions (p < 0.001). Following the implementation of the optimized assumptions, MPfield-opt (205.1 +/- 55.3 W) was not significantly different from M-lab (199.5 +/- 57.9 W), with a high correlation (r = 0.86, p < 0.001) and a non-significant bias (5.64 W, p = 0.537). Provided that corrected assumptions are used, 5STS field test is confirmed a valid time- and cost-effective field method for the monitoring of lower limbs MP, a valuable index of health status in aging

    Changes in body composition and psychological profile when overcoming four Everesting bike challenges

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    Problem Statement: During ultra-endurance races, given the long duration of the competitions, athletes can experience variations in body composition and moods. These elements can greatly affect the athlete's performance. Purpose: To evaluate the effects of an ultra-endurance race (4 consecutive Everesting Bike Challenges) on the body composition and moods of an adult athlete. Material and Methods: A well-trained amateur cyclist (male; 46 years; 64 kg; 1.69 cm; BMI 22.4 kg/m2) was monitored during the 4 Everesting Bike Challenges. This test is an ultra-endurance challenge that involves overcoming 8848 meters by climbing a single peak several times. The changes in body composition and hydration, calculated by bio-impedentiometry, and the changes in moods, obtained by administering the Profile of Mood States (POMS), in addition to Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and Visual Analogic Scale, were measured at the beginning, during or at the end of each Everesting passed. Results: The resting heart rate was 42 beats per minute. The estimated theoretical maximal heart rate was 174 bpm. The monitored athlete overcame the 4 Everesting Bike Challenges covering a total of 904.79 km. The time taken to complete the race was 113 hours and 18 minutes. The total height difference exceeded was 35395 m. During the race the athlete pedaled with an average heart rate of 97 bpm. Body mass dropped from 64.0 to 63.1 kg between the start and end of the test. Wide variations in the athlete's Vigor (T0=16:T5=6), fatigue (T0=0:T5=6) and Sleep quality (T0=100:T5= ≈0) were found during the competition. Regarding the Rating of Perceived Exertion scale, the results obtained indicate a medium-low value (RP=3). Conclusion: The results of this study showed negligible reduction in body mass in the athlete who performed an ultra-endurance challenge. During and at the end of the climbing challenge, a significant reduction in Vigor and an important increase in Fatigue levels was highlighted, as well as a very evident reduction in Sleep quality. From the analysis of the RPE scale, medium-low values emerge at the end of each EB

    Carcere, attività fisica e rieducazione: ruolo e potenzialità pedagogiche dell’educazione al “fair play” nello sport carcerario

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    Sport is an integral part of the rehabilitation path that prison convicts follow during their detention, but the potential of this tool is probably not exploited the way it should be.In this study, ‘fair play’ was promoted as an educational tool –a behaviour model socially rewarded– and its impact on unsporting conduct of 22 convicts was assessed monitoring the fouls committed in 20 5-a-side football matches.The comparison of the fouls committed during the 10 matches played before and the 10 played after the educational activities showed a significant decrease in the total foul count and in voluntary fouls.These results stress the positive potentiality sport has in fostering socially accepted conducts –aiming at the rehabilitation in society– of convicts who attended specific educational courses.In ambito carcerario l’attività sportiva è parte integrante degli strumenti che affiancano i detenuti nel percorso di reinserimento nella società, ma le potenzialità di questo strumento sono forse poco sfruttate.In questo studio è stato attuato un intervento educativo di promozione del “fair play”, come modello comportamentale socialmente premiato, e ne sono stati valutati gli effetti sui comportamenti antisportivi messi in atto da 22 detenuti durante 20 partite di Calcio a 5. Il raffronto tra i falli commessi nelle 10 partite precedenti l’intervento e nelle 10 successive ha rivelato una significativa riduzione dei falli totali e dei falli volontari oltre che del numero totale di infortuni e dei tempi di interruzione di gioco.Questi risultati evidenziano la possibilità di potenziare, mediante semplici interventi pedagogici mirati, gli effetti positivi dello sport ai fini dell’adozione dei comportamenti socialmente accettati che stanno alla base del reinserimento nella società civile

    The effect of physical activity on the perception of body image and well-being during aging

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    Problem Statement: Physical activity levels have been positively associated with mental and physical wellbeing. Nevertheless, associations between physical activity levels, which decrease with aging, and body image perception and indices of psycho-physical well-being have never been studied in adult and elderly subjects as a function of aging. Approach: This observational study was carried out in several provinces and regions of Italy. Information was collected from 192 men and 260 women between 50 and 98 years using a questionnaire on place of residence, physical activity level, perceived well-being and body image. Purpose: This study aimed to assess the influence of the level of physical activity on perceptions of body image and well-being in adult and elderly subjects. Results: Physical activity levels were positively associated with body image perception. Interactions between physical activity levels and the other investigated variables showed no significant effect on body image. Hence, the main effect of physical activity on body image does not vary according to the subject’s age, place of residence (rural or urban), kind of job (active or sedentary) or educational level. The well-being index was not significantly associated with either physical activity levels or the other variables investigated in this study. Conclusions: Physical activity levels are positively correlated with the body image perception, and high levels of physical activity are associated with more accurate perceptions of body image. The effect of physical activity is not influenced by different individual characteristics; hence, increasing levels of physical activity could improve body image perception across a broad range of subjects. On the other hand, the well-being index was not influenced by either physical activity levels or the other characteristics examined in this investigation. Additional experimental studies are needed to develop a specific intervention to improve the well-being and body image perception in adults and elderly subjects

    The effect of slackline training on balance performance in healthy male children

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    Slackline has been proposed as a challenging and motivating tool for balance training. However, the transferability of balance performances among different balance tasks has been questioned. This study aimed to assess if slackline training affects dynamic and static balance performances on stable and unstable surfaces. Eighteen healthy males (8 to 14 years) were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. For six weeks, both groups performed several supervised sports activities (2-hour sessions, 3 sessions per week). Additionally, the experimental group underwent a slackline-based balance training (1-hour sessions, 3 sessions per week). The dynamic and static balance were tested before and after the interventions using the Bass test (BASS) and the Stork stand test (SST), respectively. Landing (BASSlanding) and balance (BASSbalance) components of the dynamic balance were evaluated, while the static balance was assessed with eyes open (SSTopen) and closed (SSTclosed) on a stable surface, and with eyes open on an air cushion (SSTac). Two-way mixed-design ANOVAs revealed no interaction effect between time and group allocation in BASSlanding (p=0.791), BASSbalance (p=0.641), and right leg SSTopen (p=0.177), SSTclosed (p=0.076) and SSTac (p=0.039), and left leg SSTopen (p=0.100) and SSTclosed (p=0.032). There was a significant interaction on left leg SSTac (p=0.004), showing higher improvements over time in the experimental (mean improvement=4.5 seconds, p<0.001) compared to the control group (mean improvement=0.9 seconds, p=0.236). In conclusion, slackline balance training yielded no or negligible improvements on dynamic balance performances, whereas the improvements seemed higher on static balance, especially when measured on an unstable surface
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