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The Effect of Exercise Therapy on Cognitive Function in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

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This study examines the effect of exercise therapy on a stationary bike on cognitive function, specifically inhibition and set-switching, in adolescents with Down syndrome. 44 participants were randomly divided between the voluntary cycling therapy group (VCT) (i.e., self-selected cadence), assisted

This study examines the effect of exercise therapy on a stationary bike on cognitive function, specifically inhibition and set-switching, in adolescents with Down syndrome. 44 participants were randomly divided between the voluntary cycling therapy group (VCT) (i.e., self-selected cadence), assisted cycling therapy group (ACT) (i.e., 30% faster than self-selected cadence accomplished by a motor), and a control group (NC) in which the participants did not undergo any exercise therapy. Both cycling groups rode a stationary bicycle, for 30 minutes, three times a week, for eight-weeks. At the beginning (i.e., pretest) and end (i.e., posttest) of the eight-week session the participants completed tasks to evaluate their cognitive function. They completed three trials of the card sort test (i.e., set-switching) and three trials of the knock-tap test (i.e, inhibition) before and after eight-weeks of cycling therapy. The scores of these tests were analyzed using one-way ANOVA between groups and paired samples t-tests. The results showed that after eight-weeks of cycling therapy the participants in the VCT group performed worse in the knock-tap test, but improved in two trials of the card sort test. The results also showed that the participants in the ACT group performed worse after eight-weeks of exercise therapy in one trial of the card sort test. No significant changes were seen for the control group. Due to the fact that on average the participants in the VCT group cycled with a higher heart rate, our results suggest exercise that significantly elevates heart rate can improve cognitive function, specifically set-switching, in adolescents with Down syndrome.

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2015-05

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The indices of bone changes in response to exercise

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The gold standard for bone measurement is DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry). Typically, to observe changes in bone by DXA, a minimum of a 4-month intervention is required. Serum osteocalcin (OST) (a bone formation marker) and quantitative ultrasound (QUS) of

The gold standard for bone measurement is DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry). Typically, to observe changes in bone by DXA, a minimum of a 4-month intervention is required. Serum osteocalcin (OST) (a bone formation marker) and quantitative ultrasound (QUS) of the calcaneus can be used as indicators of bone change but the sensitivity and time course of these indices to short term interventions are unknown. The purpose of this study was twofold: to compare monthly changes in OST and QUS in response to jump training and to evaluate the relationship between DXA, OST and QUS. Young women with QUS t-scores less than 1.0 were randomized into a jump training (J) (n=16) or control (C) (n=16). J consisted of a progressive routine of 1 and 2-footed jumping performed 3 days per week for 4 months. Body composition, QUS and OST were measured at baseline, and monthly for 4 months. DXA and 24-hour dietary recalls were completed at baseline and 4 months. Low attrition rate (12.5%) and high compliance (98%) with the exercise intervention was recorded. No significant correlations between QUS and OST existed. No significant differences were observed between groups at baseline in body composition or bone variables. Monthly increases in OST were observed but there were no significant differences over time between groups in any bone variables. OST and QUS may be indicative of short term bone changes but these variables were not specifically sensitive to the jumping intervention in this population of women.

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2011

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Before-school running-walking club: effects on physical activity and on-task behavior

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Background: Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health concerns in the United States and has been associated with low levels of physical activity. Schools are ideal physical activity promotion sites but school physical activity opportunities have decreased

Background: Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health concerns in the United States and has been associated with low levels of physical activity. Schools are ideal physical activity promotion sites but school physical activity opportunities have decreased due the increased focus on academic performance. Before-school programs provide a good opportunity for children to engage in physical activity as well as improve their readiness to learn. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a before-school running/walking club on children's physical activity and on-task behavior. Methods: Participants were third and fourth grade children from two schools in the Southwestern United States who participated in a before-school running/walking club that met two times each week. The study employed a two-phase experimental design with an initial baseline phase and an alternating treatments phase. Physical activity was monitored using pedometers and on-task behavior was assessed through systematic observation. Data analysis included visual analysis, descriptive statistics, as well as multilevel modeling. Results: Children accumulated substantial amounts of physical activity within the before-school program (School A: 1731 steps, 10:02 MVPA minutes; School B: 1502 steps, 8:30 MVPA minutes) and, on average, did not compensate by decreasing their physical activity during the rest of the school day. Further, on-task behavior was significantly higher on days the children attended the before-school program than on days they did not (School A=15.78%, pseudo-R2=.34 [strong effect]; School B=14.26%, pseudo-R2=.22 [moderate effect]). Discussion: Results provide evidence for the positive impact of before-school programs on children's physical activity and on-task behavior. Such programs do not take time away from academics and may be an attractive option for schools.

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2014

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The differences in correlates of physical activity between a sample of non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites with arthritis

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Purpose: To examine: (1) whether Non-Hispanic Blacks (NHB) and Non-Hispanic Whites (NHW) with diagnosed arthritis differed in self-reported physical activity (PA) levels, (2) if NHB and NHW with arthritis differed on potential correlates of PA based on the Social Ecological

Purpose: To examine: (1) whether Non-Hispanic Blacks (NHB) and Non-Hispanic Whites (NHW) with diagnosed arthritis differed in self-reported physical activity (PA) levels, (2) if NHB and NHW with arthritis differed on potential correlates of PA based on the Social Ecological Model (Mcleroy et al., 1988), and (3) if PA participation varied by race/ethnicity after controlling for age, gender, education, and BMI. Methods: This study was a secondary data analysis of data collected from 2006-2008 in Chicago, IL as part of the Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion. Bivariate analyses were used to assess potential differences between race in meeting either ACR or ACSM PA guidelines. Comparisons by race between potential socio-demographic correlates and meeting physical activity guidelines were assessed using Chi-squares. Potential differences by race in psychosocial, arthritis, and health-related and environmental correlates were assessed using T-tests. Finally, logistic regression analyses were used to examine if race was still associated with PA after controlling for socio-demographic characteristics. Results: A greater proportion of NHW (68.1% and 35.3%) than NHB (46.5% and 20.9%) met both the arthritis-specific and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommendations for physical activity, respectively. NHB had significantly lower self-efficacy for exercise and reported greater impairments in physical function compared to NHW. Likewise, NHB reported more crime and less aesthetics within their neighborhood. NHW were 2.56 times more likely to meet arthritis-specific PA guidelines than NHB after controlling for age, gender, education, marital status, and BMI. In contrast, after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, age and gender were the only significant predictors of meeting ACSM PA guidelines. Discussion: There were significant differences between NHB and NHW individuals with arthritis in meeting PA guidelines. After controlling for age, gender, education, and BMI non-Hispanic White individuals were still significantly more likely to meet PA guidelines. Interventions aimed at promoting higher levels of physical activity among individuals with arthritis need to consider neighborhood aesthetics and crime when designing programs. More arthritis-specific programs are needed in close proximity to neighborhoods in an effort to promote physical activity.

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2013

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Exploring developmental mechanisms and function of Drosophila motoneuron dendrites with targeted genetic manipulation of Dscam

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Specific dendritic morphologies are a hallmark of neuronal identity, circuit assembly, and behaviorally relevant function. Despite the importance of dendrites in brain health and disease, the functional consequences of dendritic shape remain largely unknown. This dissertation addresses two fundamental and

Specific dendritic morphologies are a hallmark of neuronal identity, circuit assembly, and behaviorally relevant function. Despite the importance of dendrites in brain health and disease, the functional consequences of dendritic shape remain largely unknown. This dissertation addresses two fundamental and interrelated aspects of dendrite neurobiology. First, by utilizing the genetic power of Drosophila melanogaster, these studies assess the developmental mechanisms underlying single neuron morphology, and subsequently investigate the functional and behavioral consequences resulting from developmental irregularity. Significant insights into the molecular mechanisms that contribute to dendrite development come from studies of Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam). While these findings have been garnered primarily from sensory neurons whose arbors innervate a two-dimensional plane, it is likely that the principles apply in three-dimensional central neurons that provide the structural substrate for synaptic input and neural circuit formation. As such, this dissertation supports the hypothesis that neuron type impacts the realization of Dscam function. In fact, in Drosophila motoneurons, Dscam serves a previously unknown cell-autonomous function in dendrite growth. Dscam manipulations produced a range of dendritic phenotypes with alteration in branch number and length. Subsequent experiments exploited the dendritic alterations produced by Dscam manipulations in order to correlate dendritic structure with the suggested function of these neurons. These data indicate that basic motoneuron function and behavior are maintained even in the absence of all adult dendrites within the same neuron. By contrast, dendrites are required for adjusting motoneuron responses to specific challenging behavioral requirements. Here, I establish a direct link between dendritic structure and neuronal function at the level of the single cell, thus defining the structural substrates necessary for conferring various aspects of functional motor output. Taken together, information gathered from these studies can inform the quest in deciphering how complex cell morphologies and networks form and are precisely linked to their function.

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2013

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Home food environment and dietary intake: a 12-week intervention randomized control trial in south Phoenix adults

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Although many studies have looked into the relationship between home food availability and dietary intake, few have assessed actual change in the home food environment as a result of an intervention program. This secondary data analysis of the Athletes for

Although many studies have looked into the relationship between home food availability and dietary intake, few have assessed actual change in the home food environment as a result of an intervention program. This secondary data analysis of the Athletes for Life 3 (AFL3) program investigated the efficacy of a randomized controlled 12-week community-based, family-focused exercise and dietary behavior intervention program in improving the home food environment of families with children between the ages of 6 and 11 years old. A total of twenty-six adults from Phoenix, Arizona allowed research staff into their homes to assess variety of food availability, using a modified version of the Home Food Inventory and were randomized to either the AFL3 program or wait-list control group. The main outcomes of interest were change in availability of vegetables, fruits, sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts and WIC-approved breakfast cereal. There was a significant increase in the number of vegetable items (3.88 ± 0.85; p=0.006) and WIC-approved cereal items (1.16 ± 0.31; p=0.003) in the homes of the intervention participants, relative to the wait-list control group. Additionally, there was a significant decrease in the number of sugar-sweetened beverage items (1.18 ± 0.31; p=0.014) available in wait-list control participant homes. There were no other significant findings related to home food availability. Furthermore, dietary intake among adult participants did not significantly change as a result of change in home availability. In conclusion, the AFL3 intervention program was successful in eliciting small but significant changes at a household level related to vegetable and WIC-approved breakfast cereal availability.

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2016

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The feasibility of a spirituality-based wellness program on stress reduction and health behavior change

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Introduction: Several faith-based or faith-placed programs have focused on the physical dimension of wellness in efforts to improve health by increasing physical activity and improving diet behaviors. However, these programs were not designed to intervene on the mental dimension of

Introduction: Several faith-based or faith-placed programs have focused on the physical dimension of wellness in efforts to improve health by increasing physical activity and improving diet behaviors. However, these programs were not designed to intervene on the mental dimension of wellness which is critical for stress reduction and health behavior change. Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility of a spirituality-based stress reduction and health behavior change intervention using the Spiritual Framework of Coping (SFC) model. Methods: This study was a quasi-experimental one group pretest posttest design. The study was a total of eight weeks conducted at a non-denominational Christian church. Participants were recruited from the church through announcements and flyers. The Optimal Health program met once a week for 1.5 hours with weekly phone calls during an additional four week follow-up period. Feasibility was assessed by the acceptability, demand, implementation, practicality, integration, and limited efficacy of the program. Analysis: Frequencies for demographics were assessed. Statistical analyses of feasibility objectives were assessed by frequencies and distribution of responses to feasibility evaluations. Limited efficacy of pretest and posttest measures were conducted using paired t-test (p <.05). Results: The Optimal Health Program was positively accepted by participants. The demand for the program was shown with average attendance of 78.7%. The program was successfully implemented as shown by meeting session objectives and 88% homework completion. The program was both practical for the intended participants and was successfully integrated within the existing environment. Limited efficacy changes within the program were mostly non-significant. Conclusion: This study tested the feasibility of implementing the Optimal Health program that specifically targeted the structural components of the Spiritual Framework of Coping Model identified to create meaning making and enhance well-being. This program may ultimately be used to help individuals improve and balance the spiritual, mental, and physical dimensions of wellness. However, length of study and limited efficacy measures will need to be reevaluated for program success.

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2012

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Comparison of concentric and eccentric bench press

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Eccentric muscle action (ECC) occurs when the force exerted by a working muscle is less than that of an outside resistance. This is characterized by muscle lengthening, despite actin-myosin crossbridge formation. Research has indicated that muscles acting eccentrically are capable

Eccentric muscle action (ECC) occurs when the force exerted by a working muscle is less than that of an outside resistance. This is characterized by muscle lengthening, despite actin-myosin crossbridge formation. Research has indicated that muscles acting eccentrically are capable of producing more force when compared to muscles acting concentrically. Further, research has shown ECC muscle actions may have different fatigue patterns that CON actions. The purpose of this study was to determine if a) ECC bench press yields greater strength than concentric (CON) as measured by one-repetition maximum (1RM), b) there is a difference between the number of repetitions that can be completed concentrically and eccentrically under the same relative intensities of 1RM (90%, 80%, 70%, 60%), c) a prediction model may be able to predict ECC 1RM from CON 1RM or CON repetitions to fatigue. For this study, 30 healthy males (age = 24.63 + 5.6 years) were tested for 1RM in CON and ECC bench press, as well as the number of repetitions they were able to complete at various intensities of mode-specific 1RM. A mechanical hoist was affixed to a gantry crane and placed over a standard weightlifting bench. The hoist was connected to 45lb plates that were loaded on a standard barbell, which allowed for mechanical raising and lowering of the barbell. For CON repetitions, the weight was mechanically lowered to the chest and the participant pressed it up. For ECC repetitions, the weight was mechanically raised and the participant lowered it. Paired t-tests showed that ECC 1RM was significantly (p < 0.05) greater than CON 1RM (ECC =255.17 + 68.37lbs, CON = 205.83 + 58.43lbs). There was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the number of repetitions completed at 90% 1RM (CON = 4.57 + 2.21 repetitions, ECC = 7.67 + 3.24 repetitions). There were no differences in repetitions completed at any other intensity 1RM. CON 1RM and the number of repetitions completed with two different absolute loads (130-150lbs and 155-175lbs) concentrically and eccentrically were valid predictors of ECC 1RM. These data indicate that ECC actions yield increased force capabilities than CON actions, there is no difference in the rate of the fatigue, and ECC 1RM may be predicted from various CON tests.

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2013

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Effects of an acute bout of aerobic exercise on motor performance, executive function and intrinsic motivation in adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome

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The benefits of exercise have been recommended in typical and other special populations. However, the evidence for persons with Down syndrome (DS) is still limited. This study was aimed at investigating the impact of an acute bout of aerobic exercise

The benefits of exercise have been recommended in typical and other special populations. However, the evidence for persons with Down syndrome (DS) is still limited. This study was aimed at investigating the impact of an acute bout of aerobic exercise intervention on motor performance, executive function and intrinsic motivation in adolescents and young adults with DS. Ten participants with DS were assigned to an exercise group, who walked on a incremental treadmill protocol for 20 minutes. The exercise intensity was achieved at 66% of their predicted maximum heart rate. Another ten participants with DS were assigned to an attentional control group, who watched a video for 20 minutes. Measures of fine manual dexterity (e.g., Purdue Pegboard test), manual force production (e.g., grip strength test), processing speed (e.g., visual choice reaction time test), verbal processing (e.g., verbal fluency test), attention shifting ability (e.g., The Dimensional Card sorting test), and inhibitory control (e.g., Knock and Tap test) were tested pre and post intervention. An intrinsic motivation scale (e.g., enjoyment and effort) was conducted after the intervention. First, results showed participants significantly improved their performance in manual force production and Knock and Tap Test after the exercise intervention. While it has been proposed that exercise increases arousal status, neurotransmitters, or cerebral vasculature, the exact mechanisms in persons with DS are still unknown. However, our results showed that after treadmill walking, motor and cognitive improvements can be found in individuals with DS, even in a single exercise session. In addition, participants reported higher scores in enjoyment after video viewing than exercise, which may a result from musical effect or too much emphasis on external rewards in their early participation in exercise. These may imply that participants had low intrinsic motivation to an active lifestyle. Further, scores in effort were significantly higher after exercise than video viewing, which indicated their capabilities to perceive their physical exertion. However, other motivational regulations (e.g., introjected and identified regulations) have shown the relationship with exercise behavior in this population. Thus, further study should consider divergent motivational factors in order to implement an effective exercise program.

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2013

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Holistic health factors in the workplace: biophilia, ergonomics and exercise

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ABSTRACT In an attempt to advocate body-conscious design and healing work environments, this research study of holistic health in the workplace explores cognitive, social and physical well-being in four small US offices that are between 1000 and 4000 square feet

ABSTRACT In an attempt to advocate body-conscious design and healing work environments, this research study of holistic health in the workplace explores cognitive, social and physical well-being in four small US offices that are between 1000 and 4000 square feet and employ three to twelve employees. Holistic health, as pursued in this research, includes social health, emotional health and physical health. These three factors of holistic health have been identified and investigated in this study: biophilia: peoples' love and affiliation with other species and the natural environment; ergonomics: the relationship between the human body, movement, the immediate environment and productivity; and exercise: exertion of the body to obtain physical fitness. This research study proposes that employees and employers of these four participating workplaces desire mobility and resources in the workplace that support holistic health practices involving biophilia, ergonomics, and exercise. Literature review of holistic health and the holistic health factors of this research topic support the idea that interaction with other species can be healing, ergonomic body-conscious furniture and equipment increase productivity, limit body aches, pains and health costs; and exercise stimulates the mind and body, increasing productivity. This study has been conducted primarily with qualitative and flexible research approaches using observation, survey, interview and pedometer readings as methods for data collection. Two small corporate franchise financial institutions and two small private healthcare providers from both Arizona and Georgia participated in this study. Each office volunteered one employer and two employee participants. Of the holistic health factors considered in these four case studies, this study found that a majority of participants equally valued emotional health, social health and physical health. A majority of participants declared a preference for workplace environments with serene natural environments with outdoor spaces and interaction with other species, work environments with body-conscious furniture, equipment and workstations, as well as exercise space and equipment. As these particular workplace environments affirmed value for elements of the factors biophilia, ergonomics and exercise, all three factors are considered valueable within the workplaces of these case studies. Furthermore, factors that were said to contribute to personal productivity in participating workplaces were found as well as sacrifices that participants stated they would be willing to make in order to implement their preferred work environment(s). In addition, this study recorded and calculated average miles walked by participants in each workplace as well as existing incentives and descriptions of ideal work environments. Implications of this research study involve interior design, industrial design and fashion design that can accommodate the desires of the four participating workplaces. Major design implications involve accommodating these particular workplaces to provide personnel with opportunities for holistic health in working environments. More specific implications of office related design involve providing access to natural environments, body-conscious equipment and spaces, as well as opportunities for exercise and social interaction. These elements of the factors biophilia, ergonomics and exercise were found to be said to contribute to cognitive, social and physical health.

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2011