sustainability-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Physical Activity and Sports Practice in Improving Body Composition and Sustainable Health

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Health, Well-Being and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2021) | Viewed by 39130

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Analyzing and monitoring body composition and physical activity is an important topic when discussing the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle because of their influence on health status and physical performance.

Sports practice and a healthy lifestyle result in optimal body composition, therefore positively contributing to improvements in health. The populations where physical activity and habits are most studied are children, the elderly, and athletes. Sports practice has a positive impact on the psychological, cognitive, and physical aspects of children, while also promoting longevity in the elderly. Furthermore, the impact of physical activity and healthy habits on body composition are particularly important in athletes, where maintaining optimal hydration status and particular balance between fat and fat-free mass leads to achieving an elevated level of physical performance. 

Contemporary researchers have contributed to the field of physical activity research in the development of new measurement methods and training strategies. The aim of this Special Issue is to show sustainability in new training programs and/or strategies aimed at improving body composition and health status, while highlighting the relationship among these specific parameters throughout longitudinal and cross-sectional studies. The purpose of this research collection is to add information on:

  • Effect of physical activity on body composition and benefits of sustaining a healthy lifestyle;
  • Exercise programs for improving health-related fitness in young and elderly people;
  • New training programs and/or strategies to improve body composition in athletes;
  • New evidence for body composition and physical fitness measurement techniques.

The keywords listed below provide an outline of some of the possible areas of interest.

Dr. Badicu Georgian
Dr. Francesco Campa
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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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

  • Athletes 
  • Body composition 
  • Physical activity 
  • Exercise training 
  • Hydration status 
  • Physical fitness 
  • Older people 
  • Young people 
  • Sports performance 
  • Sustainability

Published Papers (12 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

15 pages, 1359 KiB  
Article
Functional Autonomy Evaluation Levels in Middle-Aged and Older Spanish Women: On Behalf of the Healthy-Age Network
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9208; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219208 - 05 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2924
Abstract
Aging is associated with a progressive loss of functional capacity that affects the health and quality of life of middle-aged and older people. The purpose of this study was to report functional autonomy evaluation levels in middle-aged and older women in the Spanish [...] Read more.
Aging is associated with a progressive loss of functional capacity that affects the health and quality of life of middle-aged and older people. The purpose of this study was to report functional autonomy evaluation levels in middle-aged and older women in the Spanish context. A total of 709 middle-aged and older women, between 50 and 90 years old, were selected to participate in the study. The sample was divided by age category every five years. The functional autonomy levels were determined by the Latin American Group for Maturity (GDLAM) protocol and we developed a classification pattern for middle-aged and older women living in Spain. The GDLAM Index (GI) was then calculated to assess functional autonomy. The classification of the tests and the GI followed the percentile rank (P) Very Good (p < 0.15), Good (p 0.16–p 0.50), Regular (p 0.51–p 0.85), and Poor (p > 0.85). It was considered that the lower the value found for the percentile, the better the result. The GDLAM protocol showed strong reliability with intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) values greater than 0.92 in all tests. It is observed that all variables of the GDLAM protocol presented a positive and significant correlation with age (p < 0.001). The Roc Curve showed that GI values higher than 26 (CI95% = 0.97–1.00; p < 0.001) and 32 (CI95% = 0.98–1.00; p < 0.001) for middle-aged and elderly women, respectively, can predict and indicate low functional autonomy. The normative values hereby provided will enable evaluation and adequate interpretation of Spanish middle-aged and older women’s functional autonomy. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 1468 KiB  
Article
Validity of the Portable Ultrasound BodyMetrix™ BX-2000 for Measuring Body Fat Percentage
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8786; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218786 - 22 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2962
Abstract
BodyMetrix™ BX-2000 (IntelaMetrix, Livermore, CA, USA) has been introduced as one of the alternatives and portable methods to estimate body fat percentage. However, inconsistent results between protocols built-in the BodymetrixTM may be compelling the question of its validity. Thus, this study first [...] Read more.
BodyMetrix™ BX-2000 (IntelaMetrix, Livermore, CA, USA) has been introduced as one of the alternatives and portable methods to estimate body fat percentage. However, inconsistent results between protocols built-in the BodymetrixTM may be compelling the question of its validity. Thus, this study first investigated the possible errors between protocols and evaluated the validity of body fat percentage (BF%) compared to the gold standard method (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, DEXA). One hundred and five collegiate males, aged 20.01 ± 2.11 years, body height, 174.81 ± 6.01 cm, body mass, 73.26 ± 13.60 kg, and body mass index, 23.91 ± 3.77 kg·m−2 participated in the present study. Participants’ body fat percentage was estimated by built-in nine different protocols in the BodyMetrix™ BX-2000 using A-MODE ultrasound. Pearson correlation (r), Mean absolute percentage errors (MAPEs), Bland & Altman plots, and Equivalence testing were used to examine the validity of each protocol by comparing it to the criterion measure (i.e., DEXA). The results indicated good potential for almost all of the protocols in correlation (Min: r = 0.79, Max: r = 0.92)., MAPEs (Min: 20.0%, Max: 33.8%), and Bland-Altman (Min diff: 16.7, Max diff: 41.4). Particularly, the estimated BF% from protocol 7 (4-sites by Durnin & Wormersley) and protocol 9 (9-sites Parllo) were completed within the equivalence zone (±10% of the mean). The estimates measured by protocol 7 and protocol 9 identified as the most valid methods for estimating BF% using a BodyMetrix™ BX-2000, compared to the DEXA. Our findings provide valuable information when applying in young male individuals, but future studies with other populations such as female or adolescents may be required to suggest a valid protocol within the instrument. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1951 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Self-Concept in Adolescents before and during COVID-19 Lockdown: Differences by Gender and Sports Activity
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7792; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187792 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 7587
Abstract
An appeal has been issued to the scientific community to investigate physical, mental and emotional states, and pro-social behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, this study aims to investigate adolescents’ self-concept before and during a lockdown period in relation to gender and type/amount [...] Read more.
An appeal has been issued to the scientific community to investigate physical, mental and emotional states, and pro-social behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, this study aims to investigate adolescents’ self-concept before and during a lockdown period in relation to gender and type/amount of physical activity or sports. The pre-lockdown sample of 366 adolescents were aged 13–17 years (M = 15.51 ± 0.65), of whom 192 (52.5%) were females and 174 (47.5%) were males. During the lockdown, the age range of the sample was 13–17 years (M = 14.57 ± 1.47), of whom 82 (60.3%) were females, and 54 (39.7%) were males. The Form-5 Self-concept Questionnaire (AF-5) was used to measure adolescents’ self-concept. There was a reduction in adolescents’ overall self-concept during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was positively associated with emotional well-being, with family and peers being essential factors in the development of an appropriate self-concept. Furthermore, girls’ self-concept, especially academic self-concept, was higher than that of boys during the lockdown. However, both physical and emotional self-concept were higher for boys than girls before the COVID-19 lockdown, although no differences were found during the lockdown. The findings reveal that physical activity was positively correlated to self-concept before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 546 KiB  
Article
Optimal Body Composition and Anthropometric Profile of World-Class Beach Handball Players by Playing Positions
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6789; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176789 - 21 Aug 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2346
Abstract
Profiling of beach handball players is required to optimize sports performance, talent identification, and injury prevention. The study aimed to describe the anthropometric characteristics, somatotype, and body composition of elite male and female beach handball players classified by playing positions. Thirty elite beach [...] Read more.
Profiling of beach handball players is required to optimize sports performance, talent identification, and injury prevention. The study aimed to describe the anthropometric characteristics, somatotype, and body composition of elite male and female beach handball players classified by playing positions. Thirty elite beach handball players (15 male, 15 female) of the Spanish National Beach Handball Team, which ranked fifth and first in the VII World Championships, respectively, were categorized as front (wings/specialists), back (pivots/defenders) players and goalkeepers. Independent from position, male players showed larger values of anthropometric characteristics, girths, breadths, and absolute components of body composition than female players. Contrastingly, skinfolds, and body fat mass percentage were higher in female players. All these results were statistically significant (p < 0.05) with large to extremely large effect sizes (d = 1.4–5.4). The position-related differences indicated that male back players were taller (p = 0.008; ηp2 = 0.56), heavier (p = 0.016; ηp2 = 0.50) and showed larger arm span (p = 0.036; ηp2 = 0.42) than front players. In contrast, female goalkeepers showed larger body mass (p = 0.007; ηp2 = 0.57) and BMI (p = 0.035; ηp2 = 0.43), whereas back players showed higher muscular mass than goalkeepers (p = 0.022; ηp2 = 0.47). The present study provides anthropometric reference values of elite beach handball players, and indicates differences between playing positions, providing normative data for talent identification of male and female players. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 682 KiB  
Article
The Effectiveness of Biological Maturation and Lean Mass in Relation to Muscle Strength Performance in Elite Young Athletes
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6696; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176696 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3176
Abstract
This study aimed to identify the interactional relationships between maturation (biological age (BA)) and lean mass on strength development in young athletes from different sports. Using a cross-sectional study design, a sample of 64 young athletes (rowers, swimmers, jiu-jitsu, volleyball, soccer and tennis [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify the interactional relationships between maturation (biological age (BA)) and lean mass on strength development in young athletes from different sports. Using a cross-sectional study design, a sample of 64 young athletes (rowers, swimmers, jiu-jitsu, volleyball, soccer and tennis players) of both sexes (13.6 ± 1.17 years) were recruited. Body composition was assessed using dual energy bone densitometry with X-ray source (DEXA). Strength of upper limbs (ULS), force hand grip (HG), vertical jump (VJ) and jump against movement (CMJ) were recorded. BA was estimated from anthropometrics. BA relationships were identified with upper limb strength in all athletes, and with the lower limb strength of tennis players, only (p < 0.05). An interaction effect between lean mass and BA was found (η2p = 0.753), as was a local effect within the regression models (ƒ2 ≥ 0.33). Athletes with a higher concentration of lean mass had superior upper and lower limb strength (p < 0.05). Lean mass showed a local effect (ƒ2) greater than that associated with BA. Although maturation is related to strength development, the strength of the relationship is mitigated by the accrual of lean mass. Specifically, the local effect of lean mass on muscle strength is broader than that of maturation, especially for lower limb strength. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 793 KiB  
Article
Effects of Resistance Training with Different Pyramid Systems on Bioimpedance Vector Patterns, Body Composition, and Cellular Health in Older Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6658; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166658 - 18 Aug 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2700
Abstract
Bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA) and phase angle (PhA) have been widely used to monitor changes in health-related parameters in older adults, while resistance training (RT) is one of the potential strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of aging. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA) and phase angle (PhA) have been widely used to monitor changes in health-related parameters in older adults, while resistance training (RT) is one of the potential strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of aging. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of the crescent pyramid RT system with two repetition zones on BIVA patterns and PhA. Fifty-five older women (≥60 years) were randomly assigned into three groups: control (CON, n = 18), narrow pyramid (NPR, n = 19), and wide pyramid (WPR, n = 18). The RT was performed for eight weeks, three times per week, in eight exercises for the whole body with three sets of 12/10/8 (NPR) or 15/10/5 repetitions (WPR). Bioimpedance spectroscopy (50 kHz frequency) was assessed. After the intervention period, both training groups showed significant changes in BIVA patterns compared to CON (p < 0.001); resistance decreased and reactance increased, which resulted in a BIVA-vector displacement over time (p < 0.001). Changes in PhA were greater for WPR (∆% = 10.6; effect size [ES] = 0.64) compared to NPR (∆% = 5.3; ES = 0.41) and CON (∆% = −6.4; ES = −0.40). The results suggest that the crescent pyramid RT system with both repetition zones (WPR and NPR) is effective for inducing improvements in BIVA patterns and PhA in older women, although WPR elicits greater increases in PhA than NPR. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2490 KiB  
Article
Somatotype and Bioimpedance Vector Analysis: A New Target Zone for Male Athletes
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4365; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114365 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4925
Abstract
Background: Bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA) is a body composition assessment method based on the interpretation of the raw bioimpedance parameters. While it was initially proposed in clinical settings, its use in the sports field has grown considerably. The aim of this study [...] Read more.
Background: Bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA) is a body composition assessment method based on the interpretation of the raw bioimpedance parameters. While it was initially proposed in clinical settings, its use in the sports field has grown considerably. The aim of this study was: (i) to explore the role of somatotype on BIVA patterns and (ii) to propose a new target zone to improve BIVA analysis in ball games athletes. Methods: One hundred and sixty-four male volleyball, soccer, and rugby players (age 26.2 ± 4.4 yrs; body mass index (BMI) 25.4 ± 2.4 kg/m2) were included in this study. Somatotype and BIVA were measured from anthropometric and bioelectrical data, respectively. Results: Forty-six athletes were classified with an endomorphic mesomorphic somatotype, 26 showed a balanced mesomorphy, 55 were ectomorphic mesomorph, 10 resulted as mesomorph ectomorphs, 13 with a mesomorphic ectomorph somatotype, and in 14 athletes a balanced ectomorphy was assessed. The results of the Hotelling’s T2 test showed significant differences in BIVA patterns for the endomorphic mesomorph group (p < 0.001) in comparison with all the other groups, while mesomorphic balanced athletes presented a more inclined vector compared to the athletes with a balanced ectomorphy (p < 0.003). In addition, the endomorphic mesomorph group showed a greater BMI (p < 0.001) with respect to the athletes grouped in the other somatotype categories. Discriminant analysis revealed two significant functions (p < 0.001). The first discriminant function primarily represented differences based on the bioelectrical standardized resistance parameter (R/H) measure, while the second function reflected differences based on the bioelectrical standardized reactance parameter (Xc/H). Conclusions: Athletes presenting a higher endomorphic component have a lower vector, whereas those with a larger mesomorphic component display higher vector inclinations on the R-Xc graph. We propose a new target zone to improve the interpretation of BIVA analysis in athletes engaged in team sports. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 417 KiB  
Article
Are Opera Singers Fit or Not?
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4213; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104213 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2343
Abstract
Little information is available about the physical fitness of opera singers. The aim of this study is to measure cardiac engagement during rehearsals and to test both cardiovascular fitness and body composition in a group of opera singers. Thirty-two opera singers (17 female [...] Read more.
Little information is available about the physical fitness of opera singers. The aim of this study is to measure cardiac engagement during rehearsals and to test both cardiovascular fitness and body composition in a group of opera singers. Thirty-two opera singers (17 female and 15 male) were enrolled for the assessment of body composition by bio impedance, of cardiovascular fitness by submaximal exercise test on a cycle ergometer and the physical effort during singing. Anthropometric parameters showed an overweight condition mainly due to an increase in fat mass. Watts reached during the cycle ergometer test were below the normal range for the general population. During rehearsals, singers have reached 95% of the maximum heart rate. Nowadays, opera singers show low levels of physical fitness, but singing is an activity that requires a high heart effort. Therefore, it is recommended to involve such professionals in a gradual and individualized physical training program in order to avoid fatigue during performances and achieve a better singing performance. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 238 KiB  
Article
Higher Levels of Physical Fitness Are Associated with Lower Peak Plantar Pressures in Older Women
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4119; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104119 - 18 May 2020
Viewed by 1543
Abstract
Little is known about how physical fitness is associated with peak plantar pressures in older adults. Therefore, the main purpose of the study was to explore whether higher physical fitness levels were associated with lower peak plantar pressures in a sample of community-dwelling [...] Read more.
Little is known about how physical fitness is associated with peak plantar pressures in older adults. Therefore, the main purpose of the study was to explore whether higher physical fitness levels were associated with lower peak plantar pressures in a sample of community-dwelling older adults. In this cross-sectional study, we recruited 120 older women aged ≥60 years. To assess the level of peak plantar pressure, we used a Zebris plantar pressure platform. To estimate the level of physical fitness, a senior fitness test battery was used. To calculate the associations between the level of physical fitness and peak plantar pressures beneath the different foot regions (forefoot, midfoot and hindfoot), we used generalized estimating equations with a linear regression model. In unadjusted models, higher physical fitness levels were associated with lower peak plantar pressures. When we adjusted for chronological age, the risk of falls and the presence of foot pain, higher physical fitness levels remained associated with lower peak plantar pressures. Our study shows that higher levels of physical fitness are associated with lower peak plantar pressures, even after adjusting for several potential covariates. Full article
11 pages, 1205 KiB  
Article
The Impact of the Weight Status on Cardiovascular Parameters Related to Physical Effort in Young Athletes
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 3964; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12103964 - 12 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2056
Abstract
Excess weight leads to an impaired cardiovascular response to physical exertion even at a young age. Sports training during youth promotes cardiovascular adaptations. The aim of the study is to verify the impact of weight status on cardiovascular parameters related to physical effort [...] Read more.
Excess weight leads to an impaired cardiovascular response to physical exertion even at a young age. Sports training during youth promotes cardiovascular adaptations. The aim of the study is to verify the impact of weight status on cardiovascular parameters related to physical effort in young people who engage in competitive sports. A retrospective study was conducted on 8307 young athletes (5578 males and 2729 females) aged 6–18 years (mean age 13.9 ± 2.2 years). The data concerning graded exercise tests of young athletes in normal weight and overweight were compared. Approximately, 13.4% of the sample had excess weight. Young overweight athletes show a higher resting heart rate as well as systolic and diastolic pressure than young normal weight athletes. Excess weight condition leads to a reduction in the duration of the graded exercise test, reaching higher blood pressure values at the end of the test compared to those with normal weight. After four min from the end of the test, heart rate and systolic/diastolic blood pressure remained higher in the young overweight athletes. Excess weight affects cardiovascular parameters both at rest and in response to physical exertion during youth; however, competitive sport seems to be able to keep these parameters within the normal range even in young overweight athletes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
Mindfulness and Self-Regulation Strategies Predict Performance of Romanian Handball Players
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3667; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093667 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2532
Abstract
Previous studies on handball players’ performance are focused more on influence of physical, physiological factors and tactical strategies and less on the influence of cognitive, metacognitive and attentional regulation strategies. Performance can be achieved by attentional and emotional regulation alongside cognitive, metacognitive and [...] Read more.
Previous studies on handball players’ performance are focused more on influence of physical, physiological factors and tactical strategies and less on the influence of cognitive, metacognitive and attentional regulation strategies. Performance can be achieved by attentional and emotional regulation alongside cognitive, metacognitive and procedural regulation strategies. This study explores the association between self-regulation strategies, mindfulness practice and performance. The sample consists of 288 Romanian handball players. The participants were 30% male and 70% female, with age between 12.01 and 14 years old, divided in three categories. The quantitative research design is descriptive and transversal. The method was survey based on questionnaires. There were interesting results found in different age categories and different performance levels. The variables (state mindfulness of body, self-monitoring, and self-efficacy) explained 87% of the variance in sports performance, in a hierarchical multiple regression. The research findings indicated that handball players with a high level of acceptance of one’s own thoughts and emotions, non-judging present-moment awareness, conscious monitoring the execution of movements, and confidence in their abilities to succeed could have more chances to achieve the desired performance. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

17 pages, 831 KiB  
Review
Associations of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Assessed by Accelerometer with Body Composition among Children and Adolescents: A Scoping Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010335 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2576
Abstract
The possible adverse health effects of reduced physical activity (PA) on children and adolescents have been extensively documented as a result of the global obesity epidemic. However, the research has sometimes led to controversial results, due to the different methods used for the [...] Read more.
The possible adverse health effects of reduced physical activity (PA) on children and adolescents have been extensively documented as a result of the global obesity epidemic. However, the research has sometimes led to controversial results, due to the different methods used for the assessment of PA. The main aim of this review was to evaluate the association between PA and body composition parameters based on quantitative PA studies using the same equipment (Actigraph accelerometer) and cutoffs (Evenson’s). A literature review was undertaken using PUBMED and Scopus databases. Subjects aged 6–15 were considered separately by sex. Weighted multiple regression analyses were conducted. From the analysis of fourteen selected articles, it emerged that 35.7% did not evaluate the association of sedentary time (ST) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) with body composition, while the remaining 64.3% found a negative association of MVPA with BMI and fat mass with different trends according to sex. Furthermore, only 7.1% of these studies identified a positive association between ST and fat percentage. Based on the regression analyses conducted on the literature data, ST and MVPA were found to be significant predictors of body composition parameters, in addition to age and sex. Further studies using standardized methodologies to assess PA and body composition are needed. The inclusion of sex-disaggregated data may also be crucial to understand this phenomenon and to provide stronger evidence of the determinants of body composition in order to prevent the risk of obesity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop