Applied Sports Science newsletter – September 26, 2019

Applied Sports Science news articles, blog posts and research papers for September 26, 2019


Cubs’ Zobrist uncertain about playing future

Associated Press, Jay Cohen from

Ben Zobrist will decide what he wants to do after the season is over.

The 38-year-old utilityman already knows how he feels about Joe Maddon’s future in Chicago.

Asked Sunday about Maddon’s legacy after five years as manager of the Cubs, Zobrist responded: “No comment, because I’d like to see that continue.”

With Chicago facing increasingly long odds for making the playoffs, the uncertain future for Maddon and Zobrist is coming up quickly on the horizon. Their contracts expire after this season.


Recovery monitoring tool use and perceived usefullness in professional soccer

Sport Performance & Science Reports from

The importance of athlete recovery monitoring was highlighted in a recent consensus statement (1), specifically
the need for monitoring tools to be part of a robust decision making process, providing useful and relevant information at an individual level to practitioners, coaches and athletes. Presently, there is not an agreed holistic approach for soc-
cer player recovery monitoring or information regarding the habitual recovery monitoring practices. Such data would inform future research to benefit practitioners working day-to-day within professional soccer.


The Temporal Relationship Between Exercise, Recovery Processes, and Changes in Performance. – PubMed – NCBI

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance from

Physiological and psychological demands during training and competition generate fatigue and reduce an athlete’s sport-specific performance capacity. The magnitude of this decrement depends on several characteristics of the exercise stimulus (eg, type, duration, and intensity), as well as on individual characteristics (eg, fitness, profile, and fatigue resistance). As such, the time required to fully recover is proportional to the level of fatigue, and the consequences of exercise-induced fatigue are manifold. Whatever the purpose of the ensuing exercise session (ie, training or competition), it is crucial to understand the importance of optimizing the period between exercise bouts in order to speed up the regenerative processes and facilitate recovery or set the next stimulus at the optimal time point. This implies having a fairly precise understanding of the fatigue mechanisms that contribute to the performance decrement. Failing to respect an athlete’s recovery needs may lead to an excessive accumulation of fatigue and potentially “nonfunctional overreaching” or to maladaptive training. Although research in this area recently increased, considerations regarding the specific time frames for different physiological mechanisms in relation to exercise-induced fatigue are still missing. Furthermore, recommendations on the timing and dosing of recovery based on these time frames are limited. Therefore, the aim of this article is to describe time courses of recovery in relation to the exercise type and on different physiological levels. This summary supports coaches, athletes, and scientists in their decision-making process by considering the relationship of exercise type, physiology, and recovery.


Scientists Identify a Personality Feature That Could Predict How Often You Exercise

Association for Psychological Sciences, News from

… Conscientiousness, a measure of individuals’ orderliness and dependability on the Big Five Inventory of personality, has long been tied with healthy behaviors, notes Ludwig and colleagues Sanjay Srivastava and Elliot T. Berkman, also of the University of Oregon. Narrowing their focus to a single facet of this trait, planfulness, allows researchers to zero in on the psychological processes—such as mental flexibility, and a person’s ability to make short-term sacrifices in pursuit of future success—that contribute directly to achieving long-term goals.

“There indeed appears to be a certain way of thinking about goals that correlates with long-term progress,” Ludwig says. “What’s new in this study is that we used an objective measure of goal progress that could be recorded as participants naturally went about their lives: their check-ins at a local gym.”

Ludwig and colleagues examined this relationship by analyzing the gym attendance of 282 participants over a 20-week period. The researchers tracked the number of times each participant swiped into the campus recreation center after enrolling in the study at the start of the winter 2018 academic semester. They also retroactively collected data on gym attendance throughout the fall 2017 term.


Stop being irrational and read Dan Ariely’s advice for Duke students

Duke University, The Chronicle student newspaper, Sarah Walker from

TC: I am inspired by your TedTalk “Designing for Trust.” In an academically rigorous and competitive environment like Duke, how do you suggest we, as Duke students, create a community of trust to maximize our experiences here?

DA: There’s lots of things to do [to build] trust. One of my favorite experiments is the following: a waiter goes through a group of people. Let’s say there are four people. They ask the first person what they want. The first person says, “I want the fish’” and the waiter says “the fish is not so good today, why don’t you take the chicken, it’s cheaper and better.” And then you measure how much the people around the table take the waiter’s advice, not just for the chicken, but for other things as well.

Condition number two is the same thing but the waiter says, “the fish is not so good today, take the lobster. It’s only three times more expensive but its really amazing.” And what happens now is people don’t take the waiter’s advice, not the person who got the advice and not the rest of the people at the table. What’s the difference between the first waiter and the second waiter?


Report Release – Shaping Summertime Experiences: Opportunities to Promote Healthy Development and Well-Being for Children and Youth

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine from

… An ad hoc committee will conduct a study and prepare a report on the state of the science on how summertime experiences affect school-age children (rising K-12) across four areas of well-being: 1) academic learning and opportunities for enrichment; 2) social and emotional development; 3) physical and mental health and health-promoting behaviors; and 4) safety, risk-taking, and anti-and pro-social behavior. The committee will review the available literature on summertime in the context of these four areas, and make recommendations to improve the experiences of children over the summertime to promote healthy development and learning and reduce risky behaviors, as well as outline future directions for research.


Strava workout tracker gains ‘Perceived Exertion’ and ‘Fitness’ features for iOS and Android

9to5Mac, Michael Potuck from

Popular run, ride, and swim tracking app, Strava, is out today with two new features to help athletes better track their progress over time. Perceived Exertion and Fitness work together to offer insight on how rest and increased training are impacting a user’s overall fitness.

Strava announced the two new features for iOS and Android in a press release today. Perceived Exertion is available to all users while the new Fitness analysis feature arrives for Summit subscribers.


By embracing biomarkers, ’empathetic technology’ can address health issues unbeknownst to its users

MobiHealthNews, Dave Muoio from

“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom” is an apt mantra for the countless digital health companies and device makers seeking to track health or wellness. Sensors worn on the wrist, housed in a phone or even adhered to the body are continuously collecting biomarkers that concerned wearers can reference when investigating their poor sleep or reviewing their weekly activity.

And while some of the latest personal sensors are starting to open the doors to diagnoses or are working in tandem with other medical interventions, Dr. Poppy Crum, chief scientist at Dolby Labs and an adjust professor at Stanford University, says that systems like these still have a greater opportunity to help individuals truly understand their mental and physical health.

Soon, she said it won’t be a stretch for sensors and systems to anticipate an individual’s feelings or intentions, augment their efforts, and do so at a person-to-person level — although reaching that point will require “empathetic technologies” that use biomarkers to understand and respond to a person’s various needs.


FlexInFit Sensorized Sole System

Lower Extremity Review Magazine from

FlexInFit, for the evaluation of foot pressure inside the shoe, completes the biomechanical and postural analysis in conjunction with the freeMed platforms and Runtime treadmill from Sensor Medica. With 214 sensors in each shoe, the system precisely analyzes foot pressure in real time and can record data for up to 4 hours. FlexInFit is a versatile tool with many applications, for many professions: from the foot specialist who wants to integrate a gait analysis system to the physiotherapist who wants to check the real results of therapy, and from the athletic trainer interested in the study and improvement of sports movements to the physician interested in assessing pressure points inside the shoe to prevent the formation of ulcers in diabetic patients. FlexInFit can also be used to determine the efficacy of orthotic correction. The device is wireless and junction-box free to avoid interference with natural movements.


Power-full sound waves – ECE’s Gianluca Piazza is developing a piezoelectric system that powers devices with ultrasound

Carnegie Mellon University, College of Engineering from

Trillions of sensors are in our future, and they will need energy. Batteries are routinely used to power tiny devices, but there are other options. Piezoelectricity, the technology that converts mechanical energy into electricity, is gaining attention these days because it can scavenge energy from movement or vibrations.

For this reason, Carnegie Mellon researchers are exploring the use of piezoelectricity for smart city applications. Smart cities will rely on massive sensor networks, and the sensors in these systems will need energy. Continually replacing sensor batteries would be extremely time consuming and produce waste materials that would be difficult to dispose of.


For young athletes, sport specialization means increased risk of injury

Brown University, News from Brown from

A new study finds that kids who specialize in a chosen sport tend to engage in higher levels of vigorous exercise than their peers and may be more likely to sustain injuries, such as stress fractures, tendinitis and ACL tears.

The findings, which draw from a multi-year, ongoing study of 10,138 older children and teens living throughout the United States, suggest that volume of vigorous activity is a strong predictor of injuries for both boys and girls. In other words, those who engage in the most hours of intense activity per week are the most likely to be injured.

“It’s wonderful for a child to love a sport and to want to engage in it, but we must keep in mind the number of hours spent playing,” said study author Alison Field, a professor of epidemiology and pediatrics at Brown University. “They add up pretty quickly.”


Harmful association of sprinting with muscle injury occurrence in professional soccer match-play: a two-season, league wide exploratory investigation from the Qatar Stars League

Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport from


To investigate the impact of physical efforts performed in the period preceding activity as a potential risk factor of muscle injury during match-play within a sample of professional soccer players.

Observational cohort study.

Match load (running [>14.4–19.8 km/h], high-speed running [>19.8 km/h to 25.2 km/h], sprinting [>25.2 km/], leading and explosive sprint type) averaged in 1-minute and 5-minute periods prior to an event or non event for 29 professional outfield soccer players. Conditional logistic and Poisson regression models estimated the risk of injury for a 2 within-subject standard deviation in match load or 1-action increment in the number of sprinting activities, respectively. Associations were deemed beneficial or harmful based on non-overlap of the 95% confidence intervals against thresholds of 0.90 and 1.11, respectively.

An increment in sprinting distance [+2-SDs = 11 meters] covered over a 1-minute period (odds ratio [OR]: 1.22, 95%CI, 1.12 to 1.33) increased the odds of muscle injury.

Our study provides novel exploratory evidence that the volume of sprinting during competitive soccer match-play has a harmful association with muscle injury occurrence.


Supp.AI – Discover Supplement-Drug Interactions

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence from

Dietary and herbal supplements are popular but unregulated. Supplements can interact or interfere with the action of prescription or over-the-counter medications. Currently, it is difficult to find accurate and timely scientific evidence for these interactions.

To solve this problem, Supp.AI automatically extracts evidence of supplement and drug interactions from the scientific literature and presents them here.


Adding variety to your diet lowers disease risk. But what does variety mean?

The Conversation, Annalijn I. Conklin and Hadis Mozaffari from

Since the late 1970s, a diversified diet has been considered an essential component of healthy eating. Ensuring a good balance of nutrients is crucial for people to stay healthy. Dietary diversity is also a key indicator of diet quality as well as nutritional adequacy.

But what does a varied diet consist of, and what is its relationship to risk of diseases?

Nutritional epidemiology — a field of medical research that studies the relationship between nutrition and health in populations — is moving from nutrient-based to diet-based approaches to understand relationships between food, nutrients and health. This is because recent evidence shows that overall patterns of usual and long-term dietary intakes are better at predicting disease risk.


Beating the Odds: When Teams Outperform Their Projections

Fangraphs, The Hardball Times, Patrick Brennan from

… Predicting performance in baseball isn’t a perfect science. It isn’t meant to be. The process is tailored to accuracy. This involves a variety of methods, including adjustments brought on by changing factors of performance, regression to the mean, and accounting for age. What projections don’t account for are the actual changes a player made. Maybe a player adjusted his swing, molding him into an entirely different hitter than he was before (i.e. Max Muncy). Maybe a pitcher made a change to his repertoire or release point, making a lot of the previous data on him irrelevant (i.e. Lucas Giolito).

Players like these perhaps make up the hardest part of projecting performance, for a variety of reasons. A lot of times, their changes go unnoticed before the season. Most of the time, there is a low level of reliability in the thought of these changes showing up in actual results.


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