Brief description of up to 5 contributions the R&D Unit considers most important of those provided in period 2013-2017 by Integrated Researchers registered in the current application:

  1. To compare the ability of Imagery between female and male Basketball practitioners, with a sample comprised 62 subjects (31 male and 31 female) with mean age 15 ± 1.2 years, intentional nature, for convenience, wee applied the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-3, Portuguese version, to quantify the subjects' ability in kinesthetic, internal and external visual image. The inferential analysis was performed with SPSS 21.0 using the T Student test for independent samples, with p = 0.05 considered significant. With regard to gender there are statistically significant differences between the means (p = 0.05), the kinesthetic mode, with the males a higher average (24.35) and in total of the questionnaire showing the males a higher average (75.19). Statistically significant differences were found in the kinesthetic mode and total of the Movement Imagery Questionnaire -3.
    This suggests that males have better Imagery capacity compared to females and better capacity in kinesthetic mode. For the two genders, there was a higher score on the inside visual mode hence suggesting this as the best method to be used in Basketball players.
  2. Making a research about the Relationship between Physical Activity and respiratory function: Analysis of corporal composition and spirometric values of Portuguese and Italian students, the objective was to analyze the influence and relationship of physical activity (PA) on corporal composition and on spirometric values, associating these indicators with the respiratory function. Sample with 179 individuals (85 Italians; 94 Portuguese) who were higher education students, and they were divided into three groups: Gsch+exer- 64 students doing supervised exercise, curricular and extra-curricular, at least 4 sessions/week; Gschool- 66 students doing supervised curricular PA, at least 2 sessions/week; Gsedentary- 49 sedentary students. We applied an adaptation of the questionnaire Telama et al. (1997), and measured the spirometry values through the spirometer Microquark/Cosmed, the BMI and Waist Circumference (WC). After checking the normality of the sample (Kolmogorov-Smirnov), we used the ANOVA and the nonparametric Mann-Whitney test. Was also used the Spearman correlation test. The Gsch-exer of both nationalities achieved significantly better WC and some spirometric values, compared to Gsedentary- We confirmed in the sample there was a positive correlation between BMI and WC, and for Portuguese students a negative correlation between body composition and some spirometric values. Italians had better corporal composition values, while the Portuguese had better spirometric values. The evidence was that the students who did supervised exercise had better corporal composition and respiratory function.
  3. Imagery is a cognitive process that can play an important role in planning and execution of movements or actions. Several instruments have been developed in order to evaluate the ability of Imagery in sport. However, none focused on the kinesthetic, visual internal and visual external modalities. The objective of this study was to translate and validate preliminary for the Portuguese sports population the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-3, determining its initial psychometric qualities through an exploratory factor analysis model that supports it. The sample comprised 176 subjects (N = 176) (N = 134 male, female N = 42) with a mean age of 20.8 years (SD = 5.94), consisting of soccer (N = 113), basketball (N = 43) and tennis (N = 20) players. Initially it was found that the procedures of translation and adaptation originated a Portuguese version MIQ – 3 similar to the original version. Secondly we found that the psychometric qualities prove their suitability of adaptation performed, demonstrating that its factor structure is the same as the original version (12 items grouped into 3 factors, with 4 items each factor), with quite acceptable levels of validity and reliability (Cronbach's alpha: 0.88 to MIQ - 3, 0.79 for the three modalities), concluding that this questionnaire can be used to assess Imagery capacity in Portuguese athletes.
  4. Measuring the functional fitness is essential to provide a working basis for assessing and prescribing exercises. There is a special interest in developing procedures and tests able to provide reliable information and general vocabulary for researchers and practitioners. We intend with this study to analyse the functional fitness of different groups of institutionalized elderly of both genders, relating it with their nutritional status.
    A sample of 46 participants, 31 males and 15 females aged between 65 to 93. For this investigation, the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) was used in order to categorize the nutritional status with a Mediterranean diet that was used. For the assessment of the functional fitness, it the battery Fullerton Functional Fitness Test (FFFT) developed in 1999 by Rikli and Jones was used.
    We found that the elderly who maintained a diet divided into seven meals had more favorable values in all categories of the battery tests with significant differences. We also found that the nutritional status of the elderly and the number of meals is statistically significant in tasks measuring strength, agility and aerobic capacity.
    The elderly with normal nutritional status have better performance in the battery tasks, particularly those who choose the diet divided into seven daily meals. The Mediterranean Diet used seems to be favorable in this population, in both genders and it promotes the maintenance of their physical abilities.
  5. With the study of the influence of extra-curricular physical activities in the development of coordination in pre-school children the aim of this study is to provide information in relation to the coordination ability of pre-school children. The study aimed to investigate the influence of pre-school physical activity, as part of the enrichment curriculum, on the coordination of the pupils.
    A sample of 120 preschool children (M=63; F=58) aged 4 and 5 years old (M = 4.47, SD = 0.5), with differing levels of physical activity carried out by the Children Body Coordination Test instrument (TCCI), Soares (1993). Proceeded to descriptive statistical analysis of coordinative benefits students, depending on the variables gender, age group, practical activities, years of practice, number of workouts and total weekly sessions of physical activity. We conducted an inferential analysis of data for comparison of means in the variables under study.
    Practicing enrichment activities has been demonstrated to assist in the development of children's motor skills with those having engaged in such activities achieving a higher level of performance.
    The practice of extracurricular physical activities significantly enhances the general coordinative abilities in children aged 4 and 5 years of age, but it was found that 5 years old children had a significantly higher performance compared to 4 years old children.