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The Rhythm of Running: An Analysis of Preferred Running Tempo

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The action of running is difficult to measure, but well worth it to receive valuable information about one of our most basic evolutionary functions. In the context of modern day, recreational runners typically listen to music while running, and so

The action of running is difficult to measure, but well worth it to receive valuable information about one of our most basic evolutionary functions. In the context of modern day, recreational runners typically listen to music while running, and so the purpose of this experiment is to analyze the influence of music on running from a more dynamical approach. The first experiment was a running task involving running without a metronome and running with one while setting one's own preferred running tempo. The second experiment sought to manipulate the participant's preferred running tempo by having them listen to the metronome set at their preferred tempo, 20% above their preferred tempo, or 20% below. The purpose of this study is to analyze whether or not rhythmic perturbations different to one's preferred running tempo would interfere with one's preferred running tempo and cause a change in the variability of one's running patterns as well as a change in one's running performance along the measures of step rate, stride length, and stride pace. The evidence suggests that participants naturally entrained to the metronome tempo which influenced them to run faster or slower as a function of metronome tempo. However, this change was also accompanied by a shift in the variability of one's step rate and stride length.

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2017-05

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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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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