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One Size Does Not Fit All: New Strategies to Improve Overall Health and Physical Activity Behavior in Vulnerable Populations

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Exercise and Health-Related Quality of Life".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2025 | Viewed by 4985

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20100 Milan, Italy
Interests: respiratory muscle training; autonomic nervous system; cerebrovascular control; aging; rheumatologic diseases; environmental conditions
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Cardio-Thoracic-Vascular Diseases, Foundation IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20154 Milan, Italy
2. Dyspnea Lab, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
Interests: cardiopulmonary exercise testing; exercise physiology; cardiorespiratory physiology; cardiorespiratory rehabilitation; rehabilitation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,           

Sedentary behavior increases the risk for several cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. For vulnerable populations (e.g., older adults and chronic diseases), sedentarism has amplified deteriorative effects on several physiological systems. Hence, the scientific literature has been communicating strategies which would make people more active. However, the physical activity strategy should account for a clear outcome, population characteristics, environmental conditions, and participants' preferences. Thus, this challenge remains today, as one size does not fit all. This Special Issue aims to explore the bridge between ongoing physical activity/exercise strategies and therapeutic targets/overall health benefits in vulnerable populations.  

This Research Topic welcomes review papers and original research regarding the following themes: 

  1. Breaks in the sedentary behavior and exercise promotion in chronic diseases; 
  2. Acute and chronic whole-body exercise and respiratory exercise strategies;
  3. Environmental effects on cardiorespiratory responses and physical capacity.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in JCM.

Dr. Gabriel Dias Rodrigues
Dr. Marco Vicenzi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • chronic diseases
  • vascular function
  • aging
  • sedentarism
  • active breaks
  • exercise
  • respiratory muscle training
  • hostile environments

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 727 KiB  
Article
Increased Prolonged Sitting in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Within-Subjects, Accelerometer-Based Study
by Ana Jessica Pinto, Diego Rezende, Sofia Mendes Sieczkowska, Kamila Meireles, Karina Bonfiglioli, Ana Cristina de Medeiros Ribeiro, Eloisa Bonfá, Neville Owen, David W. Dunstan, Hamilton Roschel and Bruno Gualano
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 3944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20053944 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1752
Abstract
Background: Social distancing measures designed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic can restrict physical activity, a particular concern for high-risk patient groups. We assessed rheumatoid arthritis patients’ physical activity and sedentary behavior level, pain, fatigue, and health-related quality of life prior to and during [...] Read more.
Background: Social distancing measures designed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic can restrict physical activity, a particular concern for high-risk patient groups. We assessed rheumatoid arthritis patients’ physical activity and sedentary behavior level, pain, fatigue, and health-related quality of life prior to and during the social distancing measures implemented in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Methods: Post-menopausal females diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis were assessed before (from March 2018 to March 2020) and during (from 24 May to 7 July 2020) social distancing measures to contain COVID-19 pandemic, using a within-subjects, repeated-measure design. Physical activity and sedentary behavior were assessed using accelerometry (ActivPAL micro). Pain, fatigue, and health-related quality of life were assessed by questionnaires. Results: Mean age was 60.9 years and BMI was 29.5 Kg/m2. Disease activity ranged from remission to moderate activity. During social distancing, there were reductions in light-intensity activity (13.0% [−0.2 h/day, 95% CI: −0.4 to −0.04; p = 0.016]) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (38.8% [−4.5 min/day, 95% CI: −8.1 to −0.9; p = 0.015]), but not in standing time and sedentary time. However, time spent in prolonged bouts of sitting ≥30 min increased by 34% (1.0 h/day, 95% CI: 0.3 to 1.7; p = 0.006) and ≥60 min increased by 85% (1.0 h/day, 95% CI: 0.5 to 1.6). There were no changes in pain, fatigue, and health-related quality of life (all p > 0.050). Conclusions: Imposed social distancing measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak were associated with decreased physical activity and increased prolonged sedentary behavior, but did not change clinical symptoms sitting among patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Full article
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10 pages, 871 KiB  
Article
The Time Course of Cardiorespiratory Adaptations to Rowing Indoor Training in Post-Menopausal Women
by Renata Cardoso Araujo, Gabriel Dias Rodrigues, Luana Farinazzo Ferreira and Pedro Paulo da Silva Soares
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(4), 3238; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20043238 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2572
Abstract
Background: Post-menopausal women have impaired cardiorespiratory responses to exercise compared to young women. Exercise training may counterbalance impairments, but the time-dependent effects of exercise training remain unclear. The current study aims to investigate the effects of rowing training on maximal aerobic capacity and [...] Read more.
Background: Post-menopausal women have impaired cardiorespiratory responses to exercise compared to young women. Exercise training may counterbalance impairments, but the time-dependent effects of exercise training remain unclear. The current study aims to investigate the effects of rowing training on maximal aerobic capacity and time-course cardiorespiratory adaptations in older women. Methods: Female participants (n = 23) were randomly allocated to the experimental group (EXP; n = 23; 66 ± 5 years old) enrolled in rowing exercise training and control group (CON; n = 10; 64 ± 4 years old). The cardiopulmonary exercise test (CET) was performed in a cycle ergometer pre- and post-interventions. Oxygen uptake (VO2), stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), and HR were recorded during CET and analyzed at the peak of the exercise. HR was monitored during exercise recovery, and the index of HRR was calculated by ΔHRR (HRpeak—HR one-minute recovery). Every two weeks, Rowing Stepwise Exercise (RSE) in a rowing machine was performed to track specific adaptations to the exercise modality. HR was continuously recorded during RSE and corrected for the average power of each step (HR/watts). The rowing training protocol consisted of three weekly sessions of 30 min at an intensity corresponding to 60–80% of peak HR for ten weeks. Results: Rowing exercise training increased VO2, SV, and CO at the peak of the CET, and ΔHRR. Increased workload (W) and reduced HR response to a greater achieved workload (HR/W) during RSE were observed after six weeks of training. Conclusions: Rowing exercise training is a feasible method to improve cardiorespiratory performance, vagal reactivation and heart rate adjustments to exercise in older women. Full article
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