News & Views from the Editor-in-Chief: Andrew M. Jones
This month’s issue includes the usual wide variety of high-quality research. I would particularly draw attention to the following three papers:
Wang and colleagues explore the effects of exercise-induced hypoalgesia (EIH) using different intensities of isometric exercise and investigate the neural mechanisms potentially responsible for these effects by tracing brain responses via heat-evoked potentials. The results indicate that EIH was not only localized to the active part of the body, but also can be extended to the distal part of the body. The intensity of the isometric exercise plays a vital role in modulating the effects. Moreover, the EIH responses could be related to the modulation of nociceptive information transmission via a spinal gating mechanism and may also rely on a top-down descending pain inhibition mechanism. The study provides insights into the neural mechanisms of EIH and suggests possible applications of isometric exercise in clinical pain management.
In “Exercise/Physical Activity in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes: A Consensus Statement from the American College of Sports Medicine,” Kanaley and colleagues update the 2010 position stand on exercise and type 2 diabetes (T2D) by ACSM and the American Diabetes Association. Considerable research has been conducted in the ensuing decade, and this statement provides a summary of the current evidence. People with T2D should engage in physical activity regularly and be encouraged to reduce sedentary time. Various types of physical activity and planned exercise can greatly enhance the health and glycemic management of individuals of all ages with T2D, including flexibility and balance exercise in adults. New topics discussed include bariatric surgery, exercise timing, high-intensity interval training, mental health and cognitive function, and disparities in access and barriers to physical activity. Lifestyle interventions that include physical activity and possible weight loss clearly remain important approaches in the management of T2D and CVD risks.
Finally, Owen and colleagues provide the first systematic review and meta-analysis on the association between sport participation and academic performance in children and adolescents. The review included 115 studies and found that sport participation had a small positive effect on academic performance. Sports participation was most beneficial for academic performance when it was at a moderate dose (i.e., 1–2 hours per week) compared to no sport or a high dose of sport (3+ hours per week). Sports participation during school hours was more beneficial for academic performance compared to sport participation outside of school hours. Although based on mostly low-quality studies, it appears that sport participation of a moderate dose and at school could be used to promote academic performance in children and adolescents.
Andrew M. Jones
University of Exeter