Research in physical education and sports sciences covers a broad range of fields from basic science such as biology to applied science such as public health. To deal with various measurement errors and biases, precautions should be taken while planning practical studies on health promotion. This article aims to introduce the implementation of randomized controlled trial (RCT) and related information that researchers should consider when creating research designs involving health promotion. Before researchers recruit study participants in a RCT, the study protocol should be registered on a suitable registry after approval from a suitable institutional review board. When creating a research protocol, various reporting guidelines such as CONSORT should be referred to. The CONSORT statement is used for improving the reporting of RCTs and focuses on minimizing the risk of bias. In accordance with the checklist, a protocol needs to be carefully planned. In particular, the definition of outcomes and calculation of sample size are important factors for designing an RCT. There are 2 types of RCTs. One is an explanatory trial designed for testing efficacy and involves the question “Can the intervention work?” The other is a pragmatic trial designed to test effectiveness and involves the question “Does the intervention work when used in normal practice?” Researchers should determine the type of trial required for their study and accordingly use key factors such as participants, interventions, and setting.
This longitudinal study examines whether a novel dual-task walking test— “5-m walking test with serial subtraction” —more accurately predicts falls than the single-task habitual walking test does. Participants at baseline were 116 community-dwelling older adults (61 men, 55 women; mean age = 73.1 years, SD = 5.1, range: 65–86). We calculated time on the 5-m single-task habitual walking test (ST-time); time on the 5-m dual-task test, which involved counting backwards (DT-time); difference between DT- and ST-time (delta); and delta/number reached counting backwards. During a 1-year follow-up period, 19 subjects had one or more falls. Cox proportional hazard analyses adjusting for age, gender, and history of falls at baseline showed that subjects with below-median scores for DT-time (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.16, P = 0.14), delta (HR = 1.51, P = 0.39), and delta/number reached counting backwards (HR = 2.16, P = 0.12) tended to have a higher risk of falls than those with above-median scores for each. These HRs were, however, lower than that of ST-time (HR = 3.29, P = 0.07). Consequently, the novel test is probably not more useful than the single-task habitual walking test in predicting falls in the study population.
The sit-and-reach test is the most commonly used way to measure lower back and hamstring muscle flexibility. The test is important because tightness in these muscles is implicated in musculoskeletal injuries and lower back problems, especially in older adults. The newly designed chair sit-and-reach (CSR) test has been used to measure hamstring flexibility in elderly men and women. The reliability and validity of the CSR test in Japanese elderly adults has not yet been evaluated. The purpose of this study was to investigate test–retest reliability and criterion-related validity of the CSR test in Japanese healthy elderly persons. The results of the CSR test were compared with those obtained using criterion-related validity tests such as the passive straight leg raise (PSLR) test, standing trunk flexion (STF) test, and the sit-and-reach (SR) test. In total, 1426 elderly subjects (419 men and 1007 women) aged 60–93 years participated in this study. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for the CSR test value was very high (ICC = 0.88–0.96). Significant differences in Pearson correlation coefficients (P < 0.05) between CSR values and PSLR values (r = 0.66 for men; r = 0.28 for women), and STF (r = 0.84 for men; r = 0.85 for women), and SR (r = 0.71 for men; r = 0.74 for women) test values of hamstring flexibility were found. Two-way analysis of variance showed a significant interaction between age and gender. No age-related changes were observed in the CSR values of men. However, a significant difference was observed between subjects aged 60–69 years and <70 years (P < 0.05) of women. Moreover, significant gender-related differences in CSR values were observed across all age groups. These findings suggest that the CSR test is a reliable test and provides an acceptable measure of hamstring flexibility in Japanese healthy elderly men and women.
This study aims to select adequate questionnaire items to evaluate the leadership abilities of a soccer coach, who can lead his team to victory. On the basis of the “coach’s qualifications and task” offered by the Japan Football Association in addition to previous studies, it is assumed that the coaches’ leadership abilities are composed of the following six factors: “human nature,” “general nature,” “analysis and evaluation of a game,” “team management,” “coaching policy,” and “coaching skill.” After examining the content validity, 227 questionnaire items were selected. The survey was conducted with 183 soccer players who had over three years of soccer experience (valid responses: 162). They answered either “right,” “not right,” or “I do not know” for each item. After the items were analyzed on the basis of the three predetermined criteria’s, 113 items were judged to be adequate. The reliability of the questionnaire was high (α = 0.95). It was considered that items cover the above “coach’s qualifications and task.” Furthermore, to enhance the utility of the questionnaire, it will be necessary to carefully choose questionnaire items in the future.