Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NIH)
Recent publications
Background Physical activity (PA) declines during childhood. Important sources of PA are active travel, organised sport and physical education (PE), but it is unclear how these domain-specific PA sources contribute to (changes in) daily moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) in young people. This study aimed to examine (1) the cross-sectional association between domain-specific physical activity (i.e., active travel, organised sport and PE) and daily minutes in accelerometer-assessed MVPA; and (2) the longitudinal association between domain-specific physical activity at baseline and change in daily minutes in MVPA. Methods Participants (baseline age 11.3 ± .1.2 years) were drawn from three studies in the International Children’s Accelerometry Database. The contribution of self-reported standardised active travel, organised sport and PE to accelerometer-measured daily minutes in MVPA was examined using linear regression. In cross-sectional analyses, MVPA was regressed on each PA domain in separate models, adjusted for study, age, sex, maternal education, season, and monitor wear time. In longitudinal analyses, change in MVPA was regressed on each of the baseline PA domains, additionally adjusting for changes in season and wear time, follow-up duration, and baseline MVPA. R-squared was used to compare variance explained by each PA domain. Results In the cross-sectional analyses ( n = 3871), organised sport (standardised β = 3.81, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] = 3.06, 4.56) and active travel (β = 3.46, 95%CI = 2.73, 4.19) contributed more to daily MVPA than PE (β = 0.82, 95%CI = -0.02, 1.66). Compared to the base model which included only covariates (R ² = 21.5%), organised sport (absolute change: + 1.9%) and active travel (+ 1.7%) models explained more of the variance than the PE model (± < 0.1%). Associations followed a similar pattern in the longitudinal analyses ( n = 2302), but none of the PA domains predicted change in MVPA (organised sport: standardised β = 0.85, 95%CI = -0.03, 1.72; active travel: β = 0.68, 95%CI = -0.14, 1.50; PE: β = 0.02, 95%CI = -0.87, 0.91). Conclusions A multi-sectoral approach covering a wide range of PA domains should be promoted to minimise the age-related decline in MVPA during childhood.
Background The concept of physical literacy (PL) has been advocated as the need to create environments fostering sustainable engagement in PA. This study adopted ecological approach to evaluate the effectiveness of a blended PL intervention embedded into the school day to support children’s PA and health. Method Designed as a three-arm randomized controlled trial, a total of 79 participants (59.5% girls) were randomly assigned to: the “Quantity + Quality” blended PL group combining sit–stand desks and play-based recess (SSPlay), the “Quality” group with play-based recess only (Play) or the control group. The intervention lasted for 13 weeks, and all the variables were collected at baseline, post-intervention and 3-month follow-up. Results SSPlay and Play group significantly improved on two of the embodied PL domains, Physical Competence (− 2.96 vs − 5.15, p < 0.05) and Knowledge and Understanding (− 2.35 vs − 2.00, p < 0.05), total errors of cognitive flexibility (24.00 vs 12.92, p < 0.05), and this difference was maintained at follow-up ( p < 0.05). Whilst there was no interaction effect between groups, and time effects were found for PA and planning from baseline to post-intervention. Conclusion This was the first to adopt an ecological approach as an innovative strategy to provide the emergence of PA for children in Hong Kong. The blended intervention design that embedded both quantity and quality of PA into children’s school day has shown promise in supporting children’s all round development. PL intervention where environments are designed to increase the “Quantity + Quality” of children’s everyday interactions has led to improvements in PA and health outcomes, which may provide insights for future studies to adopt cost-friendly and feasible measures for promoting children’s PA in the school settings. Trial Registration : ChiCTR, ChiCTR2000035038. Registered 29 July 2020—Retrospectively registered. .
In mammals, trait variation is often reported to be greater among males than females. However, to date, mainly only morphological traits have been studied. Energy expenditure represents the metabolic costs of multiple physical, physiological, and behavioral traits. Energy expenditure could exhibit particularly high greater male variation through a cumulative effect if those traits mostly exhibit greater male variation, or a lack of greater male variation if many of them do not. Sex differences in energy expenditure variation have been little explored. We analyzed a large database on energy expenditure in adult humans (1494 males and 3108 females) to investigate whether humans have evolved sex differences in the degree of interindividual variation in energy expenditure. We found that, even when statistically comparing males and females of the same age, height, and body composition, there is much more variation in total, activity, and basal energy expenditure among males. However, with aging, variation in total energy expenditure decreases, and because this happens more rapidly in males, the magnitude of greater male variation, though still large, is attenuated in older age groups. Considerably greater male variation in both total and activity energy expenditure could be explained by greater male variation in levels of daily activity. The considerably greater male variation in basal energy expenditure is remarkable and may be explained, at least in part, by greater male variation in the size of energy-demanding organs. If energy expenditure is a trait that is of indirect interest to females when choosing a sexual partner, this would suggest that energy expenditure is under sexual selection. However, we present a novel energetics model demonstrating that it is also possible that females have been under stabilizing selection pressure for an intermediate basal energy expenditure to maximize energy available for reproduction.
In response to the all-round development of primary school children, this study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a blended intervention program on children's health-related outcomes of aerobic fitness, motor skills, inhibition and daytime sleepiness in classroom settings. Three experimental conditions include: (1) the “Stand + Move” group combining sit-stand desks and physical activity (PA) recess, (2) “Move” group with PA recess only, and (3) Control group (CG; normal class schedule). A total of 64 primary school children (37.5% girls and 62.5% boys, M [SD] = 9.6 [0.61], BMI mean = 17.0 ± 3.0) participated in all assessments, including aerobic fitness, motor skills, inhibitory control, and daytime sleepiness. The baseline data collection starts from January 2019, with the intervention lasting for 13 weeks and followed by post-intervention and follow up tests conducted in July and October 2019. There was a significant interaction effect on aerobic fitness [F(2,76) = 10.62, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.22] after the intervention period, whereas no significant interaction was observed for other variables. Significant main effects were observed in aerobic fitness (pre – post: −11.75 and −7.22) for both experimental groups, with the blended group showing greater improvements immediately post the test, while motor skills only showed a significant increase at the three-month follow-up, with the greatest increase in the blended group (pre-follow-up: −2.50). For inhibition control and daytime sleepiness, better improvements were shown for the experimental groups than for the control group. The blended designed intervention, by incorporating multiple components as an innovative strategy to reconstruct children's traditional classroom environment in Hong Kong, has demonstrated improved physical and psychological development of school children. ChiCTR, ChiCTR2000035038. Registered 29 July 2020 – Retrospectively registered.
Objective: Current exercise guidelines recommend women to exercise throughout pregnancy, and the benefits are well documented. Still, there is an increasing decline of exercise levels during pregnancy and a high percentage of them are sedentary. It is well established that individual attitudes and perception of barriers may influence the ability to engage in sufficient amount of exercise. This has, however, not been examined in an Italian pregnant population. Hence, the aims of the present study were to increase knowledge of facilitators and barriers to regular exercise in Italian pregnant women and to report their social support in regard to maternal exercise. Methods: Healthy, pregnant women (n = 513) were allocated from Fatebenefratelli San Giovanni Calibita, a public hospital in Rome, and four antenatal clinics in Rome and Modena. The participants completed a validated self-administrated questionnaire, the Physical Activity Pregnancy Questionnaire, in gestational week 36. In line with current American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines (2020), participants were categorized as "regular exercisers" (⩾150 min/week) and "not regular exercisers" (< 150 min/week). Results: Only 4.6% of the women engaged in regular physical activity/exercise in the third trimester. "Insufficient time" (54%) were the only barrier negatively associated with exercise. The facilitators "relaxation/recreation" (18%), "prevention of health complaints" (15%), "enjoyment" (10%), and "prevention of gestational weight gain" (4%) were associated with achieving the recommendations of exercise. This study found no association between achieving the recommendations and childhood exercise/having social modeling, or exercising network/milieu (p = 0.294 and p = 0.123). Nevertheless, exercising together with others was a significant predictor for regular maternal exercise (p < 0.001). Most women did not receive any advice on exercise during pregnancy from their doctor or midwife (60.0 %). Yet, those who received such advice were significantly more likely to exercise regularly compared to those who did not (75.0% vs 38.2%; p < 0.001). Conclusion: Italian pregnant women mainly reported internal facilitators for their willingness to participate in regular maternal exercise, while barriers were primarily related to inconveniences (such as insufficient time and difficulty combining with work/studies). The study addresses the positive association between achieving the recommended amount of exercise and social support in terms of exercising with others and getting advice from health professions. Because women respect their doctor and have regular prenatal checkups, this health care setting can play a pivotal role in the initiation and maintenance of exercise behavior during pregnancy.
Objectives Critically appraise and summarise the measurement properties of knee muscle strength tests after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and/or meniscus injury using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments Risk of Bias checklist. Design Systematic review with meta-analyses. The modified Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation-guided assessment of evidence quality. Data sources Medline, Embase, CINAHL and SPORTSDiscus searched from inception to 5 May 2022. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Studies evaluating knee extensor or flexor strength test reliability, measurement error, validity, responsiveness or interpretability in individuals with ACL and/or meniscus injuries with a mean injury age of ≤30 years. Results Thirty-six studies were included involving 31 different muscle strength tests (mode and equipment) in individuals following an ACL injury and/or an isolated meniscus injury. Strength tests were assessed for reliability (n=8), measurement error (n=7), construct validity (n=27) and criterion validity (n=7). Isokinetic concentric extensor and flexor strength tests were the best rated with sufficient intrarater reliability (very low evidence quality) and construct validity (moderate evidence quality). Isotonic extensor and flexor strength tests showed sufficient criterion validity, while isometric extensor strength tests had insufficient construct and criterion validity (high evidence quality). Conclusion Knee extensor and flexor strength tests of individuals with ACL and/or meniscus injury lack evidence supporting their measurement properties. There is an urgent need for high-quality studies on these measurement properties. Until then, isokinetic concentric strength tests are most recommended, with isotonic strength tests a good alternative.
Scientific understanding of the contextual interference effect stems mainly from studies on unskilled participants learning artificial laboratory tasks. Although one goal of such studies is to extrapolate the findings to include real-world learning situations such as sports, this generalization is not straightforward. This study tested the contextual interference effect with 66 sub-elite, competitive alpine ski racers who learned a new movement pattern−the pumping technique to increase velocity in slalom−by practicing this skill in three different slalom courses over a 3-day training period. The interleaved group practiced all three courses each day in a semi-random order. In contrast, the blocked group practiced only one course each day, which was randomized and counterbalanced across the participants in this group. A retention test was delivered 72 h after the last practice day. In contrast to our hypothesis, the interleaved group did not display significantly better retention than the blocked group. The interleaved group’s performance was also not significantly attenuated during skill learning compared to the blocked group. Our results underscore the importance of conducting motor learning experiments in natural environments to understand the conditions that facilitate learning beyond the laboratory environment.
Although physical activity and sedentary behavior are moderately heritable, little is known about the mechanisms that influence these traits. Combining data for up to 703,901 individuals from 51 studies in a multi-ancestry meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies yields 99 loci that associate with self-reported moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity during leisure time (MVPA), leisure screen time (LST) and/or sedentary behavior at work. Loci associated with LST are enriched for genes whose expression in skeletal muscle is altered by resistance training. A missense variant in ACTN3 makes the alpha-actinin-3 filaments more flexible, resulting in lower maximal force in isolated type IIA muscle fibers, and possibly protection from exercise-induced muscle damage. Finally, Mendelian randomization analyses show that beneficial effects of lower LST and higher MVPA on several risk factors and diseases are mediated or confounded by body mass index (BMI). Our results provide insights into physical activity mechanisms and its role in disease prevention.
Objectives Groin injuries represent a substantial problem in male football, with the Adductor Strengthening Programme (ASP) being the only exercise programme demonstrated to significantly reduce the risk of groin problems. We aimed first, to use the Reach Adoption Effectiveness Implementation Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework to investigate attitudes, beliefs and behaviour to the ASP among primary delivery agents of injury prevention exercises in Norwegian male professional football teams. Second, we aimed to identify a real-world application of the ASP protocol used in a professional team setting.Design A descriptive cross-sectional survey, using a questionnaire designed to cover all five dimensions of the RE-AIM framework.Setting The top two divisions of Norwegian male professional football.Participants 32 primary injury prevention delivery agents.Primary and secondary outcome measures Primarily, the proportion of respondents being aware of the ASP and its effect; having adopted it; having implemented it as intended; and considering maintaining using it. Secondary, the most often used ASP modifications.Results Twenty-nine (91%) participants responded. All (100%) respondents were aware of the ASP and its injury preventive effect. The two most stated reasons for using the ASP were its injury preventive effect and that it does not require equipment. The ASP was adopted by all (100%) delivery agents, but only 10% used it in accordance with the original protocol. The main modifications were that the players in 72% of the teams were instructed to perform a non-progressive number of repetitions during pre-season, and in 86% of the teams instructed to perform more sets, but fewer repetitions per set, during in season. In total, 97% of the delivery agents planned to continue using the ASP.Conclusion The delivery agents have positive attitudes and beliefs to the ASP, but they frequently modify it. We identified and reported a real-world application of the ASP protocol.
This paper explores conformity processes in various sport events’ institutional contexts. More specifically, I examine how conformity evolves for young aspiring leaders in two inaugural major sport events representing different institutional contexts. My study draws upon qualitative data. Cross-comparative analyses reveal three different conformity modes: straight, reflexive, and cynical. My results show how conformity modes depend greatly upon the degree of institutionalization of practices, rules, and power structures within a given event’s organization. I identify strong institutional frameworks and expediency as key drivers. This paper contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the significance of the institutional context and consequences of control regimes in event management. Pressure towards conformity seems to be a fast-paced process. Capturing young people’s reflections is important because sport organizations will benefit from reflexive leaders and managers who can solve current and future challenges in such organizations.
Introduction Earlier studies have demonstrated that the oldest in a competition class are more likely to succeed than the youngest, a phenomenon called relative age effect (RAE). Track and field give us an opportunity to investigate the advantage of being born early in the year based upon actual performance, since objective criteria are the performance indicators. Hence, the aim of the present study was to investigate the occurrence of RAE in Norwegian track and field athletes in events where physical capacity is important for success. Methods All individual season best results from the register of The Norwegian Athletics Federation (n = 28 999) obtained in all competition classes from the age of 10 years to senior in both sexes on 60m and 600m from 2011 to 2020 were downloaded. One-way ANOVA and LSD post hoc analyses were used to analyze performance differences according to birth quartiles between athletes. Further, odds ratios (OR) were used to calculate the odds of being among the top-100 for athletes for those born in the first quartile of the year compared to the last. Results The RAE was present in several of the competition classes in sprint compared to middle-distance running, and in more male than female competition classes. Overall, the OR of being among the top-100 in one of the competition classes on 60m sprint when born in first quartile compared to last quartile was 2.88 [2.30–3.62] for males and 1.54 [1.26–1.89] for females. Conclusion Being born early in the year in events with high demand for specific physical capacities is an advantage in both sexes in most of the youngest competition classes. In males, the advantage of being born early in the year lasted longer in sprint than in middle-distance running, indicating that puberty affects performance in sprint and middle-distance running differently.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of embodied learning on children’s pre-reading and word reading skills. We conducted a three-armed randomized controlled trial including two intervention groups and one control group. One hundred forty-nine children from grade 0 (5–6 years old) who had just started school were recruited from 10 different classes from four elementary schools. Within each class, children were randomly assigned to receive teaching of letter-sound couplings and word decoding either with whole-body movements (WM), hand movements (HM), or no movements (CON) over an 8-week period. Children were evaluated on pre-reading, word reading, and motor skills before (T1), immediately after (T2), and after 17–22 weeks of retention period (T3) following the intervention. Between-group analysis showed a significant improvement in children’s ability to name letter-sounds correctly from T1 to T2 (p < 0.001) and from T1 to T3 (p < 0.05) for WM compared to CON. HM and WM improved significantly in naming conditional letter-sounds from T1 to T2 (p < 0.01, p < 0.01) compared to CON and from T1 to T3 for the HM group compared to CON (p < 0.05). We did not find an effect on word reading or a correlation between motor skill performance and reading. Results from the present study suggest that there are beneficial effects of using whole-body movements for children. Hand motor movements indeed also had a performance effect on letter-sound knowledge; however, the whole-body movements had longer-lasting effects. We do not see an effect on whole word reading.
The purpose of this research was to examine factors that influenced how 12 elementary teachers implemented the Meaningful Physical Education innovation in their classrooms. Qualitative data were collected over 15 months. Analysis was guided conceptually by factors that influence innovation implementation. Results showed that implementation was most strongly influenced by teachers' prior experiences and beliefs, teachers' perceptions of students’ responses to the implementation process, and external organizational pressures. The longitudinal nature of this research offers an important contribution to the literature on implementation of education innovations.
Aim To explore how young exercisers experience surviving sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), focusing on interpretation of warning signs and experiences with the healthcare system. Methods The study had a qualitative design, and data was collected using individual, semi-structured interviews. Inclusion criteria were SCA survivors aged 18–50 years old who reported at least five hours of exercise/week prior to SCA, or who suffered SCA during or ≤60 min after exercise. Results 18 interviews were performed (4 females), age range 19–49 years old. Analysis identified the themes [1] neglected warning signs, [2] fluctuating between gratitude and criticism and [3] one size does not fit all. When young exercisers experienced symptoms such as fainting, chest pain, arrythmia, shortness of breath and fatigue, these were often ignored by either the participants, healthcare personnel or both. SCA survivors were grateful to the healthcare system and for the efforts made by healthcare personnel, but experienced a mismatch between what patients needed and could utilize, and what they actually received regarding both information and individualised services. Being young exercisers, the participants reported to have individual needs, but treatment and rehabilitation were not adapted and were mainly targeted to rehabilitation of older patients. Conclusion Patients and healthcare personnel should be aware of cardiac related symptoms and warning signs for SCA, and these should be properly assessed in the population of young exercisers. SCA survivors need useful and repeated information. The needs of SCA survivors among young exercisers require individualisation of services.
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427 members
Elisabeth Edvardsen
  • Department of Sports Medicine
Truls Raastad
  • Department of Physical Performance
Thomas Losnegard
  • Department of Physical Performance
Kari Bø
  • Department of Sports Medicine
Oslo, Norway