Research Center in Sports Science

Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal

Research Center in Sports Science

Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal
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Fernandes H.M.,Research Center in Sports science | Fernandes H.M.,Research in Education and Community Intervention
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport | Year: 2017

Objectives: Previous studies have indicated that only a small proportion of Portuguese adolescents attain sufficient levels of physical activity for health. However, it is unknown whether the levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) have changed over a considerable time period in this country. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to examine the 10-year trend changes in self-reported MVPA among adolescents and also investigate differences by sex and age. Design and method: This study compared two cross-sectional cohorts of youngsters aged 12. -18 years, recruited in 2006 (N = 1010; 461 boys and 549 girls) and in 2016 (N = 1096; 461 boys and 635 girls), using identical procedures and instruments. The outcome variable, MVPA, was assessed by using the PACE+ screening measure. Results: Main results showed a considerable decline in the overall levels of physical activity between 2006 and 2016 (-10.8%), as well as a small and declining proportion of adolescents achieving the international physical activity recommendations (2006: 10.7%; 2016: 8.1%). Age and sex-specific comparisons by time periods indicated that the 13- and 14-year-old male adolescents reported lower levels of MVPA in 2016 than their counterparts in 2006, and that the MVPA decline between the subgroups of 12- and 18-year-olds was higher in girls, in both 2006 and 2016. Conclusions: This study provides evidence of a secular decrease in self-reported MVPA levels among Portuguese adolescents. These results reinforce the need for interventions and policies aimed at promoting a more active lifestyle throughout adolescence. © 2017 Sports Medicine Australia.


Vaz L.,Research Center in Sports science | Leite N.,Research Center in Sports science | Joao P.V.,Research Center in Sports science | Goncalves B.,Research Center in Sports science | Sampaio J.,Research Center in Sports science
Perceptual and Motor Skills | Year: 2012

The purpose of this study was to compare physical exertion and game performance indicators of experienced and novice Rugby Union players when playing small-sided games. Forty male players (M age = 21.6 yr., SD = 3.6; M Height = 177.7cm, SD = 7.4; M body mass 81.2 kg, SD = 10.2) participated in eight 6 vs 6 small-sided games over a 4-wk. period, with 12 min. continuous duration in a 60 × 40 m playing area. All players wore GPS units and heart rate belts. No statistically significant differences in the physical exertion measures between experienced and novice players were found. However, the manual notational analysis revealed substantial differences between players in all game performance indicators, with better performance by the experienced players (Passes made ES = 0.5; Tackles made ES = 1.0; Tries ES = 0.5). These results suggest the possibility that specific physical conditioning might be achieved without also achieving technical and tactical excellence. © Perceptual & Motor Skills 2012.


Lopes V.P.,Research Center in Sports science | Lopes V.P.,Polytechnic Institute of Bragança | Rodrigues L.P.,Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo | Maia J.A.R.,University of Porto | And 2 more authors.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports | Year: 2011

This study considers relationships among motor coordination (MC), physical fitness (PF) and physical activity (PA) in children followed longitudinally from 6 to 10 years. It is hypothesized that MC is a significant and primary predictor of PA in children. Subjects were 142 girls and 143 boys. Height, weight and skinfolds; PA (Godin-Shephard questionnaire); MC (Körperkoordination Test für Kinder); and PF (five fitness items) were measured. Hierarchical linear modeling with MC and PF as predictors of PA was used. The retained model indicated that PA at baseline differed significantly between boys (48.3MET/week) and girls (40.0MET/week). The interaction of MC and 1 mile run/walk had a positive influence on level of PA. The general trend for a decrease in PA level across years was attenuated or amplified depending on initial level of MC. The estimated rate of decline in PA was negligible for children with higher levels of MC at 6 years, but was augmented by 2.58 and 2.47 units each year, respectively, for children with low and average levels of initial MC. In conclusion MC is an important predictor of PA in children 6-10 years of age. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Garcia J.,University of Extremadura | Ibanez S.J.,University of Extremadura | De Santos R.M.,University of the Basque Country | Leite N.,Research Center in Sports science | Sampaio J.,Research Center in Sports science
Journal of Human Kinetics | Year: 2013

The aim of the present study was to identify basketball game performance indicators which best discriminate winners and losers in regular season and playoffs. The sample used was composed by 323 games of ACB Spanish Basketball League from the regular season (n=306) and from the playoffs (n=17). A previous cluster analysis allowed splitting the sample in balanced (equal or below 12 points), unbalanced (between 13 and 28 points) and very unbalanced games (above 28 points). A discriminant analysis was used to identify the performance indicators either in regular season and playoff games. In regular season games, the winning teams dominated in assists, defensive rebounds, successful 2 and 3-point field-goals. However, in playoff games the winning teams' superiority was only in defensive rebounding. In practical applications, these results may help the coaches to accurately design training programs to reflect the importance of having different offensive set plays and also have specific conditioning programs to prepare for defensive rebounding. © Editorial Committee of Journal of Human Kinetics.


Marmeleira J.,University of Évora | Marmeleira J.,Research Center in Sports science
European Review of Aging and Physical Activity | Year: 2013

Physical activity positively influences brain health and cognitive functioning in older adults. Several physiological and psychological mechanisms have been identified to underlie such a relationship. Cardiovascular fitness is accompanied with changes in mechanisms such as cerebral blood flow, neurotrophic factors, neurotransmitter systems and neural architecture that have themselves been associated with cognitive performance. Factors associated with exercise such as arousal, mood and self-perception of competence seem also to influence cognitive performance. Other explanation for the benefits of exercise in cognition, results from the fact that the performance of motor skills involve an important cognitive component (e.g., executive functions and information processing speed). Evidence of brain plasticity and behavior has been provided from studies where animals are exposed to enriched or complex environments. Exposure to such paradigms in which physical activity plays an important role has been found to influence various aspects of brain function and structure. Studies using neuroimaging techniques have established a link between the acquisition of different motor skills and the occurrence of neuroplasticity in human adults. This literature review indicates that the type of exercise and its specific perceptual and cognitive characteristics may influence cognitive performance. However, most of the research has been focused on self-paced movements or automatized skills and few intervention studies have examined the results of merging exercise and cognitive training in a single program. An important scientific challenge for the coming years is to design exercise programs capable of mobilizing several type of mechanisms underlying the effects of physical activity on brain and cognition. © 2012 European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity (EGREPA).


Marmeleira J.F.F.,Research Center in Sports science | Marmeleira J.F.F.,University of Évora | Aldeias N.M.C.,University of Évora | Medeira da Graca P.M.S.,University of Évora
European Physical Education Review | Year: 2012

The main aim of this study was to evaluate the physical activity (PA) levels of high school Portuguese students during physical education (PE) and investigate the association of PA levels with students' goal orientation and intrinsic motivation. Forty-six students from three high schools participated. Heart rate telemetry and pedometry were used to assess PA and the Borg rate of perceived exertion scale was used to measure perceived exertion. Thirty PE lessons were monitored. The results indicated that high school PE lessons involve low levels of PA. Students engaged in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) only in about one-third (29.7 minutes) of the official PE scheduled time (90 minutes) and perceived exertion as light. In general, students seemed to be positively motivated toward PE and mainly task goal orientated. Boys felt more enjoyment/interest and perceived their competence in more positive ways than girls. The number of steps and the rate of perceived exertion were associated with levels of PA measured by heart rate telemetry. Intrinsic motivation and goal orientation were not related with MVPA. © The Author(s) 2012.


Lopes V.P.,Research Center in Sports science | Lopes V.P.,Polytechnic Institute of Bragança | Maia J.A.R.,University of Porto | Rodrigues L.P.,Research Center in Sports science | Malina R.,University of Texas at Austin
European Journal of Sport Science | Year: 2012

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of motor coordination (MC), physical fitness (PF) and physical activity (PA) on the development of subcutaneous adiposity in a sample of children followed longitudinally from 6 to 10 years of age. Participants were 142 girls and 143 boys. Height, weight, and the triceps and subscapular skinfolds were measured annually between the ages of 6 and 10 years. PA was estimated with the Godin-Shephard questionnaire. MC was evaluated with the Körperkoordination Test für Kinder (KTK) test battery, and PF was assessed with four Fitnessgram tests: curl-ups (CU), push-ups (PU), trunk-lifts (TL) and one mile run/walk (MRW). Hierarchical linear modelling with MC, PF items and PA as predictors of the sum of two skinfolds (SKF) was used. The results showed that boys and girls differed significantly in SKF at baseline (girls: 19.7 mm; boys: 16.6 mm). Three PF items (CU, PU and MRW) and MC had a positive influence on SKF. For each unit improvement in CU, PU, MRW and MC, SKF was reduced by 0.06, 0.04, 0.06 and 0.12 mm, respectively. In conclusion, motor coordination, muscular strength and endurance, and aerobic endurance attenuated the accumulation of subcutaneous adipose tissue during childhood. © 2012 Copyright European College of Sport Science.


Monteiro M.,Research Center in Sports science | Gabriel R.,Royal University | Aranha J.,Royal University | Castro M.N.e.,Portuguese Menopause Society | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Biomechanics | Year: 2010

Background: Menopause is associated with a decrease in fat-free mass and an increase in fat mass. Sarcopenic obesity is more strongly associated with physical limitations than either obesity or sarcopenia and their effect in plantar pressure is not known. Consequently, the scope of the present study was to examine the effect of obesity and sarcopenic obesity on plantar pressure of postmenopausal women, during walking. Methods: Body composition and biomechanics parameters of plantar pressure were assessed in 239 postmenopausal women. Findings: Compared to non-obese and non-sarcopenic women, obese postmenopausal women have higher peak pressure in the metatarsal areas 1, 4, 5, midfoot and lateral heel and higher absolute impulses in all metatarsal and heel areas. On the other hand, sarcopenic obese postmenopausal women presented higher peak pressure and absolute impulses under all metatarsal areas, midfoot and heels. When the absolute values of maximal peak pressures and absolute impulses were normalised to body mass, pressure increases were only perceived for midfoot. Interpretation: The pressure increase found in different foot areas of obese and particularly in sarcopenic obese could cause discomfort and pain in the foot. Sarcopenic obese postmenopausal women also present a higher loading during the stance phase comparing with non-sarcopenic non-obese, fact that might limit their basic daily activity tasks, such as walking. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Alves J.V.M.,University of Trás os Montes e Alto Douro | Alves J.V.M.,Research Center in Sports science | Rebelo A.N.,University of Porto | Abrantes C.,University of Trás os Montes e Alto Douro | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2010

The purpose of this study was to analyze the short-term effects of complex and contrast training (CCT) on vertical jump (squat and countermovement jump), sprint (5 and 15 m), and agility (505 Agility Test) abilities in soccer players. Twenty-three young elite Portuguese soccer players (age 17.4 ± 0.6 years) were divided into 2 experimental groups (G1, n = 9, and G2, n = 8) and 1 control group (G3, n = 6). Groups G1 and G2 have done their regular soccer training along with a 6-week strength training program of CCT, with 1 and 2 training sessions·wk-1, respectively. G3 has been kept to their regular soccer training program. Each training session from the CCT program was organized in 3 stations in which a general exercise, a multiform exercise, and a specific exercise were performed. The load was increased by 5% from 1 repetition maximum each 2 weeks. Obtained results allowed identifying (a) a reduction in sprint times over 5 and 15 m (9.2 and 6.2% for G1 and 7.0 and 3.1%, for G2; p < 0.05) and (2) an increase on squat and jump (12.6% for G1 and 9.6% for G2; p < 0.05). The results suggested that the CCT induced the performance increase in 5 and 15 m sprint and in squat jump. Vertical jump and sprint performances after CCT program were not influenced by the number of CCT sessions per week (1 or 2 sessions·wk-1). From the obtained results, it was suggested that the CCT is an adequate training strategy to develop soccer players' muscle power and speed. © 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association.


Goncalves B.V.,Research Center in Sports science | Figueira B.E.,Research Center in Sports science | Macas V.,Research Center in Sports science | Macas V.,University of Trás os Montes e Alto Douro | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Sports Sciences | Year: 2014

The aim of this study was to identify differences in time-motion, modified training impulse, body load and movement behaviour between defenders, midfielders and forwards, during an 11-a-side simulated football game. Twenty elite youth male footballers from the same squad participated in this study (age: 18.1 ± 0.7 years old, body mass: 70.5 ± 4.3 kg, height: 1.8 ± 0.3 m and playing experience: 9.4 ± 1.3 years). All data were collected using GPS units (SPI-Pro, GPSports, Canberra, Australia). The movement behaviour was measured with kinematic data, used to calculate position-specific centroids (defenders, midfielders and forwards), and processed with non-linear statistical procedures (approximate entropy normalised and relative phase). There were significant effects and interactions in all variables across the players' positions. The results showed that displacements of all players (defenders, midfielders and forwards) were nearer and more coordinated with their own position-specific centroids than with the other centroids. However, this coupling effect was stronger in midfield players and weaker in forwards. All players' dynamical positioning showed more irregularity when related to the forwards' centroid, as a consequence of their need to be less predictable when playing. The time-motion and physiological variables showed lower activity in forward players. Adding together, the results may contribute to a better understanding of players' specific performances and football complexity. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

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