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Fitness, level of lesion and red blood cell distribution in chronic spinal cord injury

      Nightingale, Bhangu, Bilzon and Krassioukov lead off this month’s feature articles reporting a study examining the associations between red blood cell distribution width and cardiorespiratory fitness in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury. Their data emphasizes the importance of maintaining a high aerobic capacity following spinal cord injury to reduce secondary cardiovascular disease risk. In the second feature article, Bell, Timperio, Veitch and Carver describe cycling behaviours and report individual, social and neighbourhood correlates of cycling among children living in socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Continuing the cycling theme, Kavanagh, Issartel and Moran, provide evidence to support the suggestion that the ability to balance on a bike is a standalone Foundational Movement Skill and is not a representation of locomotor, object-control or stability skills.
      In the second of this month’s sport and exercise medicine papers, Howell and colleagues, in a longitudinal cohort study, suggest that exercise within the first week after concussion does not appear to be associated with detrimental clinical outcomes. Doelen and Jelley in a systematic review, describe level 1 evidence for pain relief and functional improvement interventions in patellar tendinopathy. Everhart and co-workers describe a prospective cohort study among athletes undergoing knee surgery, finding that pain catastrophizing and high preoperative pain scores are negatively associated with return to similar level of sport and with improvement in kinesiophobia after rehabilitation.
      In the first of the month’s sports injury articles, Gregson’s group investigated the impact of physical efforts performed in the period preceding activity as a potential risk factor for muscle injury during matches within a sample of professional soccer players. Finding that the volume of sprinting during match-play has a harmful association with muscle injury occurrence. McGowan, Whatman and Walters in a study of more than nine hundred children report that early specialisation in one sport did not increase the odds of reporting a history of injury. However, exceeding currently recommended sport participation volumes was associated with increased odds of reporting a history of gradual onset injury. Popp, Frye, Stovitz and Hughes report a study examining lower limb bone geometry suggesting that individuals with smaller tibia size may have an increased risk of bone stress injury.
      In the first of the physical activity articles this month, Periera and colleagues, report work assessing the concurrent validity of the ActiGraph GT3X and cut points against the activPAL for measuring sedentary behaviour in free living 2–3 year olds. Naylor’s group describe the different effects of land versus water walking on body composition. Sweegers and co-workers describe evidence to suggest that categorizing physical activity intensities based on general-population cut-points, may underestimate physical activity intensities for women treated for breast cancer.
      Leading off the sports science section, Doherty and colleagues report a systematic review of the training determinants of the marathon. Graham, Zois, Aughey and Duthie describe work that suggests that netball athletes, depending on positional group, should train at different intensities dependent on specified durations. Fusco and co-workers, in a descriptive study with 42 participants, found that anthropometric characteristics, sex and lower limb strength differently influenced the YBT measures, regardless of limb dominance. In the final article this month, Li’s group describe work that suggests hamstring optimal lengths can be modified through flexibility interventions as well as strength interventions for male participants, but not for female participants.
      I commend to you this issue which continues to reflect the Journal’s readership with an excellent mix of articles across the spectrum of science and medicine in sport.