OBJECTIVE: Muscle strength training is one of the most common therapy methods in physical therapy programs, and the usual goal of this treatment is to improve muscle strength. Little attention has been paid, however, to the effects of strength training on the other components of motor performance. This study examined the effects of a 10-week strength training program on the motor performance of the hand, including reaction time, speed of movement, tapping speed, and coordination in normal healthy volunteers. DESIGN: Before-after trial. SUBJECTS AND SETTING: Sixteen healthy women volunteers aged 25 to 45 years participated. INTERVENTION: Subjects accomplished a 10-week muscle strength training program of the upper extremities. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Reaction time, speed of movement, tapping speed, and coordination were measured three times on consecutive days, and muscle strength and electromyographic values of the right upper extremity were recorded once before the training period. After the training period, the same measurements were made as before the training. RESULTS: The 10-week strength training decreased choice reaction time by 6% (p
The health benefits of exercise participation and physical activity for mental health and psychosocial well-being (PSWB) have been shown in several studies. However, one important background factor, that is, motor skills (MSs), has largely been ignored. In addition, most of the existing research focuses on poor MSs, that is, poor MSs are often connected to poorer PSWB. The mechanism linking MSs and PSWB is unclear. However, a preliminary suggestion has been made that self-worth or self-perceptions might mediate the association between MSs and PSWB.
We investigated whether the self-concepts (SCs) of school-related physical education (SCPE), reading (SCR), and mathematics (SCM) mediate the relationship between MSs and PSWB in adolescence.
The study sample consisted of a second-grade female cohort (N = 327), ranging in age between 12 and 16 (years) in a municipality in Central Finland. PSWB was measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the school-related SCs by the SC of ability scale adapted for use in Finland. MSs was assessed by a self-reported adolescent version of the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire. Structural mediator modelling was used to test the associations between MSs and PSWB with SC as a mediator.
First, MSs was strongly associated with school-related SCPE and SCM. However, a mediator role was observed only for SCPE, which weakly mediated peer problems. Second, MSs and PSWB, especially conduct problems, showed a very strong direct association.
The study suggests that MSs is connected to PSWB in adolescent girls. Enhancement of MSs could be a preventive strategy for supporting PSWB in adolescent girls.
Knowledge of skill-related risk factors for injury in football is limited.
To investigate whether there is an association between football skills and risk of injury in football.
Prospective cohort study of the incidence of injuries and a retrospective evaluation of the players' skill-level.
Exposure and injuries were registered prospectively in 82 of 125 football teams (1665 of 2540 female Norwegian amateur players aged 13-17 years) throughout one football season (March-October 2007). A standardised questionnaire designed to assess the football skills of each player was completed by the coaches after the season.
Across the different skill attributes, the injury incidence in the high-skilled players varied from 4.4 to 4.9 injuries per 1000 player hours, compared to 2.8 to 4.0 injuries per 1000 player hours in the low-skilled players. Players skilled at ball receiving, passing and shooting, heading, tackling, decision-making when in ball possession or in defence and physically strong players were at significantly greater risk of sustaining any injury, an acute injury and a contact injury than their less skilled teammates (rate ratio: 1.50-3.19, all p
The aim of the study was to explore the effects of baby swimming on subsequent motor abilities.
A range of motor abilities was examined in 4-year-old children who had previously participated in a programme of baby swimming (n= 19) and compared with a matched group of coevals who had not had this experience (n= 19).
As predicted from the nature of the exercises that comprise the programme, the effects of baby swimming were restricted to abilities associated with prehension and balance.
Suggestions are made as to how the theme of this hypothesis-generating, demonstration study can be pursued in the future with more rigorous experimental controls and applications to children with disabilities and impairments.
The goal of the current project is to develop a multivariate statistical strategy for the formation of behavioral indices of performance and, further, to apply this strategy to establish the relationship between age and important characteristics of performance. The strategy was to begin with a large set of measures that span a broad range of behaviors. The behavioral effects of the following variables were examined: Age (4, 12, 24, and 30 months), genotype [Fischer 344 and a hybrid (F1) of Fischer 344 and Brown Norway (F344xBN)], gender (Fischer 344 males and Fischer 344 females), long-term diet (ad lib diet or dietary restriction beginning at 4 months of age), and short-term diet (ad lib diet or dietary restriction during testing). The behavioral measures were grouped into conceptually related indicators. The indicators within a set were submitted to a principal component analysis to help identify the summary indices of performance, which were formed with the assumption that these component scores would offer more reliable and valid measures of relevant aspects of behavioral performance than would individual measures taken alone. In summary, this approach has made a number of important contributions. It has provided sensitive and selective measures of performance that indicated contributions of all variables: psychological process, age, genotype, gender, long-term and short-term diet and has increased the sensitivity of behavioral measures to age-related behavioral impairment. It has also improved task-manageability by decreasing the number of meaningful variables without losing important information, consequently providing a simplification of the pattern of changes.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the relation of cord plasma docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) concentration to gestation length, birth size, growth, and infant visual acuity, cognitive, and motor development and the effects on growth and development associated with DHA intake from breast-feeding. STUDY DESIGN: DHA, other polyunsaturated fatty acids, and 3 environmental contaminants (polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, and lead) were assessed in cord plasma and maternal plasma and milk in 109 Inuit infants in Arctic Quebec. Multiple regression was used to examine the relation of cord DHA and DHA from breast-feeding on growth and development at 6 and 11 months, after controlling for contaminant exposure and other potential confounders. RESULTS: Higher cord DHA concentration was associated with longer gestation, better visual acuity and novelty preference on the Fagan Test at 6 months, and better Bayley Scale mental and psychomotor performance at 11 months. By contrast, DHA from breast-feeding was not related to any indicator of cognitive or motor development in this full-term sample. CONCLUSIONS: The association of higher cord DHA concentration with more optimal visual, cognitive, and motor development is consistent with the need for substantial increases in this critically important fatty acid during the third trimester spurt of synaptogenesis in brain and photoreceptor development.
The results of a collaborative study of bilateral spastic cerebral palsy (BSCP) between south-west Germany and western Sweden are reported, comprising 249 children in south-west Germany and 264 children in western Sweden. A severe gross motor disability was present in 65 per cent of the German and 62 per cent of the Swedish children; learning difficulties or mental retardation in 73 and 76 per cent; active epilepsy in 28 and 26 per cent; and severe visual disability in 20 and 19 per cent, respectively. Severe disabilities were especially pronounced in children with normal birthweights, in whom the most severe subtypes of BSCP were also found. Leg-dominated BSCP was the predominant subtype among low-birthweight children, but also occurred in more than half of the normal-birthweight children. The authors conclude that the two series were comparable, and that reliable results between countries can be obtained if clear-cut classifications and definitions are used.
A total of 105 children with cerebral palsy, born in eastern Denmark in 1968 or 1969, comprised the group studied here. They were classified by CP-diagnosis, motor handicap, mental handicap, speech, caries, with dental data statistically analyzed. The caries rate of the combined CP-group was significantly lower than that of the control group.
For one week in autumn, over a period of three consecutive years, a total of 12 persons with Parkinson's disease (PD) participated in daily walks of about 4 kilometers in a mountain area in Sweden in order to train rhythm, balance and coordination on the soft heaths. These persons were 60-78 years of age and had been found to be between stage 1 and stage 3 on the Hoehn and Yahr Staging Scale. The aim of the study was to find out whether a week of daily walks in the Swedish mountains would affect the motor performance of persons with PD, objectively and quantitatively assessed by a computer-assisted, opto-electronic movement analysis program, the Posturo-Locomotor-Manual (PLM) test. As compared with those before the journey, the results showed improved motor performance both immediately after the walking week and also at 3 but not 6 months later. The first year of participation showed the most pronounced improvements. The results demonstrate a long-lasting improvement in decreased movement time, indicating enhanced general motor performance and also an improved simultaneous index (SI), indicating a possible effect on the central nervous system. These findings, along with participants' narratives about what they did after returning home, may be indicative of strengthened self-confidence.