Research Directs in Health Sciences 2023-10-02T21:47:16+00:00 Research Directs [email protected] Open Journal Systems <p>Research Directs in Health Sciences (ISSN: 2768-492X) is an open access, peer-reviewed journal. The journal encourages authors to submit research in the health sciences, epidemiology, physical activity, health disparities and other health-related lines of inquiry.</p> Exploring the Use of Mindfulness-Based Meditation and Physical Activity to Reduce Stress in College Students 2023-10-02T21:47:16+00:00 Phrosini Samis-Smith Samis-Smith [email protected] Nola Schmidt [email protected] <p><strong>Introduction: </strong>With the prevalence of stress increasing among college students, stress reduction interventions are essential. This study explored the use of brief mindfulness meditation (BMM) and current physical activity on college students’ perceived stress.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: A single-cohort pre-test/posttest design was used to evaluate the effects of an 8-week classroom-based BMM. Current exercise levels and perceived stress, using the Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10), were measured in a convenience sample of college students (N = 42).</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Brief mindfulness meditations were more effective in reducing stress for those who self-identified as “less than moderate” exercisers, <em>SMD</em> = 3.33 (<em>t</em> = 2.801, <em>p</em> = .023) than “moderate,” <em>SMD</em> = -.24 (<em>t</em> = -.162, <em>p </em>= .873) or “vigorous” exercisers, <em>SMD</em> = 2.56 (<em>t</em> = 1.577, <em>p</em> = .136).</p> <p><strong>Discussion</strong>: The intervention was more beneficial for those who did not participate in regular physical activity. Thus, BMM sessions held during class served as a helpful means of stress reduction for these students. </p> 2023-10-11T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Phrosini Samis-Smith Samis-Smith, Nola Schmidt Implementation of a Triathlon Program for Primary School Students as part of Health and Physical Education 2023-09-22T16:32:51+00:00 Stuart Evans [email protected] <p><strong>Introduction</strong>: The significance of triathlon is reflected in the teaching and development of motor, social and emotional skills. Because triathlon has great educational potential, this case study sought to explore whether a modified Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES) survey can be used as a suitable measure of enjoyment of physical activity in elementary school children when applied to a sports-specific task such as triathlon.</p> <p><strong>Methods: </strong> The sample consisted of 12 female elementary school students (10.3 ± 1.3 years) from an inner-city high school. A modified triathlon program was delivered for one hour per week over a four-week duration with a modified PACES survey distributed each week. Survey responses were coded and then averaged over the four-week duration with the children’s responses subsequently analyzed using a Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test to examine differences in the coded characteristic response scores of the survey. Further comparisons were made using a Student’s t-test and a coefficient of variation (CV).</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: A greater sense of pleasure and fun was reported by the participants at the conclusion of the four-week triathlon program while there was no change in the children’s sense of excitement (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.5). Characteristic responses to ‘neutral’ decreased with a simultaneous increase in the ‘slightly enjoyed’ response when viewed over the four-week duration of the program (<em>p</em> &lt;0.001)</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: This PACES case study was designed as a feasible, simple, and innovative approach to monitor enjoyment levels in elementary school children who participated in a triathlon program. Overall, the positive enjoyment reported from this simple, low-cost intervention could be used to inform the development of future sport-specific elementary school programs.</p> 2023-10-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Stuart Evans The Effect of Acute Aerobic Exercise on Measures of Stress and Inflammation in Healthy Young Adults 2023-08-18T14:56:55+00:00 Julien Tartar [email protected] Anthony Ricci [email protected] Jonathan Banks [email protected] Hannah Murphy [email protected] Cassandra Evans [email protected] Jose Antonio [email protected] Jaime Tartar [email protected] <p><strong>Introduction</strong>: While the effects of long-term measures of inflammation and stress are well studied, less is known about the effects of an acute exercise challenge on exercise in young healthy individuals.</p> <p><strong>Methods: </strong> This was a randomized crossover design (mean age = 19.25, SD = 1.45) that measured biomarkers of stress (cortisol and salivary alpha amylase, sAA) and inflammation (IL-1β, CRP) in an exercise and control condition. In the exercise condition, participants walked or ran on a treadmill at 75-85% of their maximum heart rate for 40 minutes. Under the control condition, participants stood for 40 minutes to control for orthostatic effects. Biomarkers were quantified from saliva collected before, 1 minute after, and 45 minutes after the exercise and control condition.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The change in biomarkers from baseline values (+1 min and + 45 min) between exercise and control conditions showed that compared to the control condition, the acute exercise bout significantly increased sAA CRP at +1min at +45 min and in IL-1β +45 min. Cortisol levels significantly decreased at both time points in the control condition</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: Ultimately, the results of this study show how small and realistically achievable amounts of exercise can acutely strengthen the body’s physiological responses to immune challenges.</p> 2023-08-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Julien Tartar , Anthony Ricci, Jonathan Banks , Hannah Murphy, Cassandra Evans , Jose Antonio, Jaime Tartar A Preliminary Assessment of The Relationship Between Cellphone Use and Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, Anxiety, and Academic Performance in High School Students. 2023-03-13T23:05:19+00:00 Ryan Wiet [email protected] Andrew Lepp [email protected] Jacob Barkley [email protected] <p><strong>Introduction</strong>: Prior research has examined the relationships between cellphone use and physical activity and sedentary behavior as well as measures of psychological well-being and academic performance. This work largely focuses on adults. However, there is an inverse relationship between cellphone use and age. Because their cellphone use may be different from adults, understanding these relationships in younger individuals is warranted. </p> <p><strong>Methods:</strong> High school students (<em>N</em> = 17) completed an online survey consisting of validated items assessing self-reported cellphone use, physical activity, sedentary behavior, anxiety, and grade point average. Correlation analyses were then performed assessing the relationships between cell phone use to all other variables.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: There were large, significant effect sizes (<em>r</em> ≥ -0.58, <em>p</em> ≤ 0.04) for negative correlations between cellphone use and vigorous and total physical activity. There was also a moderate effect size (<em>r</em> = -0.39; <em>r</em> = 0.46) for a negative relationship between cellphone use and mild physical activity and a positive correlation between cellphone use and anxiety, respectively. Cellphone use was not related to the remaining variables. </p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: In this preliminary study of high school students, greater cellphone use was associated with greater anxiety, which supports prior research in adults. However, unlike research reporting a lack of a relationship in adults, greater cellphone use was associated with lower physical activity in high schoolers.</p> 2023-04-07T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Ryan Wiet, Andrew Lepp, Jacob Barkley Measuring Energy Expenditure and Heart Rate during Maximum Aerobic Testing with the Apple Watch Series 7 2023-03-17T14:01:32+00:00 Flavia Rusterholz [email protected] Andrew Rodriguez [email protected] Victoria Ortiz [email protected] Corey Peacock [email protected] <p><strong>Introduction</strong>: Wrist-worn devices such as the Apple Watch have emerged as technology for tracking physical activity. The aim of this research study is to analyze the Apple Watch Series 7 (AW7) with measurements of the maximum heart rate (MHR) and maximum energy expenditure (MEE) during a maximal aerobic capacity test on the treadmill. AW7 measurements will be compared to the Polar Heart Rate Monitor (Polar) and the PARVO Metabolic Cart (PARVO).</p> <p><strong>Methods: </strong> 22 healthy and active subjects (mean ± SD: age 23.8 ± 4.0 years; BMI 23.0 ± 5.9 kg/m<sup>2</sup>) volunteered for the study. The subjects confirmed their activity, health status, and were measured for body composition and aerobic capacity.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: No significant difference was found in MEE between PARVO (109.6 ± 41.7 kcal) and AW7 (98.7 ± 24.3 kcal) conditions; t(21)=1.5, p = 0.153. In addition, there was no significant difference in MHR between PARVO (186.2 ± 16.2 BPM) and AW7 (189.3 ± 8.5 BPM) conditions; t(21)=-0.9, p = 0.379.</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: The main findings of this study show that the MEE as well as the MHR between the AW7 compared to the PARVO are not different.</p> 2023-04-24T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Flavia Rusterholz, Andrew Rodriguez, Victoria Ortiz, Corey Peacock Elementary School Teachers Development of a Sense of Community in the Workplace through the Participation in a Fitness and Mindfulness Program 2023-03-01T18:37:29+00:00 Christina Gipson [email protected] Jessica Mutchler [email protected] Arshpreet Mallhi [email protected] <p><strong>Introduction</strong>: Stress and burnout continue to have negative impacts on teachers. Wellness programs have reported to help improve teachers’ quality of life, social life, reduce stress, and increase awareness of healthy choices. The purpose of this paper is to explore teachers’ perceptions and experiences of a fitness and mindfulness program. </p> <p><strong>Methods: </strong> Semi-structured interview guides were used in the three separate focus groups that were conducted following each of the three 9-week fitness and mindfulness programs serving as an intervention for elementary school teachers to reduce stress. Focus groups included all female participants between the ages of 22-64 years old with one to 21 years of experience in the classroom. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Two themes and subsequent themes were found: (1) work-life balance (subthemes: Implementing mindfulness techniques; Feeling ok leaving work; Self-care<em>) </em>and (2) building community (subthemes: Developed community; Accountability; and Level of comfort).</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: The finding revealed that teachers improved their work-life balance through self-care, implementation of mindfulness techniques, accountability, and comfort with co-workers. The participants reported developing a workplace community. Overall, the results support that elementary teachers perceived a 9-week fitness and mindfulness program to have a positive impact on workplace wellbeing.</p> 2023-04-07T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Christina Gipson, Jessica Mutchler, Arshpreet Kaur Mallhi The Validity of a Novel Low-Cost, Wearable Physical Activity Monitor in a Laboratory Setting 2023-02-28T04:05:46+00:00 Andrew Newton [email protected] Ellen Glickman [email protected] Jacob Barkley [email protected] <p><strong>Introduction: </strong>Wearable physical activity monitors are popular and may provide a more accurate data than subjective methods. The present study assessed the validity of a novel, low-cost wearable physical activity monitor (Movband 3) relative to established measures.</p> <p><strong>Methods:</strong> Participants (<em>N</em> = 19) completed four treadmill stages (1.5, 3.0, 4.0, 6.0 MPH) while wearing the Movband 3 and the validated Actigraph GT1M monitor. Oxygen consumption (VO<sub>2 </sub>ml/kg/min) and heart rate (beats/min) were recorded. The relationship between Movband data and established measures was assessed via Pearson’s correlations. Tests of agreement were performed for actual and Movband miles traveled. </p> <p><strong>Results:</strong> There were large, positive, significant (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.001) effect sizes for the associations between Movband counts and Actigraph counts (<em>r</em> = 0.72), VO<sub>2</sub> (<em>r</em> = 0.59), and heart rate (<em>r</em> = 0.63). There was also a large, positive, significant (<em>p</em> &lt; 0.001) association between actual and Movband miles (<em>r</em> = 0.97). However, the difference (Δ) between Movband and actual miles was greater than a null hypothesis of zero (∆ = 0.77 ± 0.45 miles or 31.8%, <em>t</em> = 7.4<em>, p</em> &lt; 0.001).</p> <p><strong>Conclusion:</strong> While there was evidence to support the validity of the Movband 3 for the assessment of physical activity intensity this device did not provide an accurate measure of miles traveled. </p> 2023-04-07T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Jacob Barkley, Andrew Newton, Ellen Glickman Blood Pressure in Normotensive Young Adults Is Not Influenced by Resistance Training Rest Interval Duration 2023-03-13T14:16:17+00:00 Jason Coles [email protected] G. Monique Mokha [email protected] W. Alex Edmonds [email protected] Lia Jiannine [email protected] <p><strong>Introduction</strong>: We aimed to examine the effect of resistance training rest interval length on chronic changes of systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP).<br /><strong>Methods: </strong>27 normotensive young adults were randomly assigned to one of three rest interval length groups: 30-sec, 90-sec, or 150-sec. Baseline and posttest SBP and DBP measurements were obtained. Participants resistance trained and logged their sessions in a smartphone application three times per week for 8 weeks. They also measured their blood pressure weekly with a home kit. Changes in SBP and DBP between the three groups were tested using a mixed model 3 x 2 ANOVA analysis with follow-up post-hocs as necessary.<br /><strong>Results</strong>: There was no significant interaction between rest interval group and time for SBP or DBP. For SBP, there was a significant main effect for time, <em>p</em>&lt;0.001 (pre: 115 mmHg vs. post: 108 mmHg).<br /><strong>Conclusions</strong>: SBP and DBP were not significantly influenced by rest interval length over time. The resistance training program had no effect on DBP but significantly decreased SBP regardless of rest interval. These results indicate that young normotensive adults may use short, moderate, or long duration rest intervals to elicit reductions in SBP.</p> 2023-03-29T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Jason Coles, G. Monique Mokha, W. Alex Edmonds, Lia Jiannine Faulty Hip and Pelvis Biomechanics Do Not Differentiate Between 5k Performance in NCAA Division II Cross-Country Runners 2023-01-09T19:02:47+00:00 Monique Mokha [email protected] Shandon Marshall [email protected] Maya Varghese [email protected] Isabella Rivero [email protected] <p><strong>Introduction</strong>: Excessive hip adduction (HADD) and contralateral pelvis drop (CPD) angles during running are associated with running-related injuries. Their influence on performance is less known. Therefore, we aimed to determine if HADD and CPD could differentiate between high and low race performers, and if there were relationships between CPD, HADD and race performance.</p> <p><strong>Methods: </strong> Twenty-six healthy male and female NCAA Division II cross-country runners participated in this prospective study. They underwent 3D motion analysis of their HADD and CPD during pre-participation physical examinations. Times from the first race of the season were converted to International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) points and high and low performance groups were created. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to examine the associations between HADD, CPD and IAAF points, and Independent Samples T-tests were used to determine differences in HADD and CPD between high and low performance groups.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: There were no significant relationships between IAAF points and left HADD (<em>r</em>=0.11, <em>p</em>=0.59), right HADD (<em>r</em>=0.19, <em>p</em>=0.35), left CPD (<em>r</em>=-0.06, <em>p</em>=0.79), or right CPD (<em>r</em>=-0.06, <em>p</em>=0.76). There were no significant differences between high and low performance groups in left HADD (<em>t</em>(24)=0.48, <em>p</em>=0.64), right HADD (<em>t</em>(24)=0.45, <em>p</em>=0.33), left CPD (<em>t</em>(24)=0.62, <em>p</em>=0.27), or right CPD (<em>t</em>(24)=0.53, <em>p</em>=0.30).</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: The RRI biomechanics of excessive CPD and HADD do not influence 5k race performance in collegiate distance runners.</p> 2023-01-13T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Monique Mokha, Shandon Marshall, Maya Varghese, Isabella Rivero Recent Perspectives on the Role of Dietary Protein in Physically Active Individuals 2022-10-20T00:18:17+00:00 Cassandra Evans [email protected] Jose Rojas [email protected] Jason Curtis [email protected] Jose Antonio [email protected] <p><strong>Introduction</strong>: Whether it is the athletic population or the general population, it is essential to understand considerations regarding the amount of protein consumed daily. Protein, often referred to as the body's building blocks, is an integral part of the diet. This macronutrient plays a vital role in developing and maintaining skeletal muscle mass. This paper aims to discuss protein intake at low (&lt;1.2 g/kg/day), medium (1.2-2.2 g/kg), and high (&gt;2.2 g/kg/day) levels that should be consumed with consideration of physically active populations and potential benefits or detrimental effects on body composition and performance.</p> <p><strong>Methods: </strong> Searches of electronic databases PubMed and Google Scholar were undertaken to identify peer-reviewed journal articles that reported on dietary protein intake on body composition, and performance/strength.</p> <p><strong>Discussion</strong>: Low protein intakes may not meet the needs of all physically active individuals. Medium and high protein intakes positively influenced body composition. Medium protein intakes can benefit strength and performance; however, these effects are not consistently reported with higher intakes. </p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: The minimum protein requirement for active individuals is 1.2 g/kg, and higher intakes are safe and effective for healthy, physically active individuals.</p> 2023-01-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Cassandra Evans, Jose Rojas, Jason Curtis, Jose Antonio