Recent Submissions

  • Outcome evaluation of Active Herts: a community-based physical activity programme for inactive adults at risk of cardiovascular disease and/or low mental wellbeing

    Chater, Angel M.; Schulz, Joerg; Jones, Andy; Burke, Amanda; Carr, Shelby; Kukucska, Dora; Troop, Nicholas A.; Trivedi, Daksha; Howlett, Neil; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Frontiers, 2022-08-07)
    Background: A high proportion of UK adults are inactive, which can lead to a range of physical and mental health concerns. Active Herts is a community-based physical activity programme for inactive adults at risk of cardiovascular disease and/or low mental wellbeing. This paper provides a pragmatic evaluation of this programme. Method: This longitudinal study observed 717 adults (68% female, mean age = 56.9 years) from the ‘Active Herts’ programme. Programme users were provided with a 45-minute consultation with a ‘Get Active Specialist’, who talked them through an Active Herts self-help booklet and then signposted them to free or subsidised local exercise sessions. Programme users were followed up with a booster call two weeks later. The Get Active Specialist was a registered exercise professional (REPS Level 3), with additional training from the study team in motivational interviewing, health coaching, COM-B behavioural diagnosis and delivery of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) in practice. The Active Herts booklet contained theoretically-driven and evidence-based BCTs to translate behavioural science into public health practice. Physical activity (Metabolic Equivalent Time [METs], measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), perceived health (EQ-5D-5L) and mental wellbeing (Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale: WEMWBS) were measured at baseline, three, six and twelve months. Results: At the end of the 12-month programme, users showed sustained improvements in physical activity (by +1331 METS), exceeding weekly recommendations. Sitting (reducing by over an hour per day), sporting participation, and perceptions of health were also improved, with improvements in mental wellbeing in the first three months. Conclusion: Designing and delivering a community-based physical activity programme that is theoretically-driven and evidence-based with frequent behaviour change training and supervision can yield a significant increase in self-reported physical activity, reduction in sitting behaviour and improvements to perceived health and mental wellbeing. Future research should extend this approach, utilising a real-world, pragmatic evaluation. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT03153098
  • Social justice knowledge construction among physical education teacher educators: the value of personal, professional, and educational experiences

    Hill, Joanne; Walton-Fisette, Jennifer L.; Flemons, Michelle; Philpot, Rod; Sutherland, Sue; Phillips, Sharon; Flory, Sara B.; Ovens, Alan; ; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Taylor and Francis, 2022-08-08)
    Background: The imperative for social justice in education means that pre-service teachers should learn how to teach for and about social justice, including pedagogical and content knowledge. Understanding of how physical education pre-service teachers and teacher educators construct and develop their knowledge of social justice pedagogies and critical content, intertwined with values based on social justice and equity, is needed to best support future teachers. Purpose: The focus of this paper is how physical education teacher educators and physical education and sport pedagogy university faculty have developed their knowledge of teaching for and about social justice: where their knowledge came from and how they draw upon it in their teaching and programme design. Method: Seventy-two faculty from seven countries engaged in an in-depth interview about their conceptualisation of social justice, their knowledge, practices, institutions, and policy contexts; and completed a demographic survey on their social identity and professional experiences. Using a social justice pedagogical and content knowledge model, thematic analysis generated formal educational study, workplace experience, and personal or social identity bases of social justice knowledge. Findings: Many of those who expressed a commitment to teaching about and for social justice had personal and professional experiences that had provided ‘eye-opening’ moments. For instance, some had encountered marginalisation and discrimination based on their identity. If social justice issues were not a part of a participant’s lived experience, but they had professional experience in the field, they were struck by what they did not know and subsequently sought out postgraduate or professional development. Professional experiences in the field were much more likely than formal education experiences to provide recognition that participants needed to learn more about social justice. Social justice is both knowledge and an ideological stance, so learning about social justice is as much about values and disposition as about content. Social justice must be important enough for teacher educators to embed in their belief system so that it becomes part of their pedagogical practice. Conclusion: This study prompts consideration of the professional development needs of teacher educators concerning social justice, that goes beyond acknowledging the existence of sociocultural issues by moving towards changes in pedagogical practices in PETE and PESP programmes. We advocate collaborative and reflective professional development for educators if social justice pedagogical and content knowledge is to be woven throughout teacher education programmes and not just incumbent on educators with personal experience of social justice issues.
  • A-REST (Activity to Reduce Excessive Sitting Time): a feasibility trial to reduce prolonged sitting in police staff

    Brierley, Marsha Lynn; Smith, Lindsey Rachel; Chater, Angel M.; Bailey, Daniel Paul; University of Bedfordshire; Brunel University; University College London (MDPI, 2022-07-27)
    The aim of this study was to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a theory-derived sedentary workplace intervention for police office staff. Twenty-four staff participated in an 8-week intervention (single arm, pre-post design) incorporating an education session, team competition with quick response (QR) codes, team trophy, weekly leaderboard newsletters, a self-monitoring phone app, and electronic prompt tools. The intervention supported participants to reduce and break up their sitting time with three minutes of incidental movement every 30 min at work. Feasibility and acceptability were assessed using mixed methods via the RE-AIM QuEST and PRECIS-2 frameworks. The intervention was highly pragmatic in terms of eligibility, organisation, adherence, outcome, and analysis. It was slightly less pragmatic on recruitment and setting. Delivery and follow-up were more explanatory. Reach and adoption indicators demonstrated feasibility among police staff, across a range of departments, who were demographically similar to participants in previous office-based multi-component interventions. The intervention was delivered mostly as planned with minor deviations from protocol (implementation fidelity). Participants perceived the intervention components as highly acceptable. Results showed improvements in workplace sitting and standing, as well as small improvements in weight and positive affect. Evaluation of the intervention in a fully powered randomised controlled trial to assess behaviour and health outcomes is recommended.
  • Exploring the notion of literacy within physical literacy: a discussion paper

    Durden-Myers, Elizabeth Jayne; Bartle, Gillian; Whitehead, Margaret; Dhillon, Karamjeet K.; ; Bath Spa University; University of Gloucestershire; University of Dundee; University of Stirling; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Frontiers, 2022-05-03)
    The concept of physical literacy is continuing to gain traction internationally. This increasing interest has also given rise to concerns about the use, interpretation and meaning of the term "literacy" within the context of physical literacy. This paper explores the development of the terms literate, illiterate, literacy, and illiteracy identifying their historical origin and contemporary meaning. This provides the backdrop to explore the use of the term literacy within the context of physical literacy. In the final part of this introductory section the recent popularity of the literacies movement is explored. Our discussion identifies key intersections and areas of tension associated with the use, interpretation and meaning of literacy in the context of physical literacy. We adopt Whitehead's philosophy of physical literacy and discussion is informed further by Derrida's notion of differance, and Barad's challenge to singular representations of concepts. Once harnessing these concepts, we reach a juncture of an in-between space; entry points of nonidentity (sameness) and points where multiple effects of difference are created. Key discussion topics include: discourse, language and interpretations of literacy; in/tangibility of literacy; capturing literacy; literacy as a process or a product; connotations of the terms literate and illiterate; neoliberalism and literacy and finally literacy as learning. We believe that when understood as the productive and meaningful interaction with/in/through the world, literacy is still the appropriate term within the context of physical literacy. Our discussion leads us to conclude that as embodied individuals, physical literacy is often the literacy through which other literacies have to pass. Through physical activity individuals can not only nurture their own physical literacy but also contribute toward a global or holistic literacy that helps us navigate, connect and make sense of ourselves, others and the world around us. However, the paper acknowledges that this meaning is not always grasped with the historical understanding of literacy as well as it's translations into other languages presenting challenges in articulating the intended use, meaning and connotations of the contemporary understanding of physical literacy.
  • A commentary on soccer match-play simulations for applied research and practice

    Field, Adam C.; Harper, Liam D.; Aldous, Jeffrey William Frederick; Page, Richard M. (Taylor and Francis Online, 2022-05-09)
    Soccer is a fast-growing area of research, demonstrated by a 10-fold increase in the number of PubMed articles derived from the search term ‘soccer’ between 2001 and 2021. The scope of contemporary soccer related articles ranges from match-play observations to laboratory evaluations of performance. The activity profile of soccer match-play is variable and techniques to collect data within matches are limited. Soccer-specific simulations have been developed to simulate the evolving demands of match-play. The evolutionary designs of novel simulations provide a reproducible exercise stimulus for varying researcher and practitioner objectives. The applied researcher can utilise simulations to investigate the efficacy of nutritional interventions and environmental stress on performance, while assessing the physiological and biomechanical responses to representations of match-play. Practitioners can adopt simulations for rehabilitation to progressively facilitate return-to-play processes, while implementing extra top-up conditioning sessions for unused and partial-match players. However, there are complexities involved with the selection of varying simulations which are dependent on the research question or practical application. There also remains a paucity of published information to support researchers and practitioners in selecting from differing simulation models. To assist with researcher and practitioner interpretations, we present a commentary of the current simulations to inform decision-making processes for research and training purposes and enhance the application of future research. An objective scoring system was adopted for rating the research and practical applications of each simulation design. Overall scores of 22, 16 and 18 out of 36 were revealed for free-running (n = 7), non-motorised- (n = 4) and motorisedtreadmill-based simulations (n = 4), respectively.
  • A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating concentrated phytochemical-rich nutritional capsule in addition to a probiotic capsule on clinical outcomes among individuals with COVID-19— the UK Phyto-V Study

    Thomas, Robert; Williams, Madeleine; Aldous, Jeffrey William Frederick; Yanagisawa, Yuuki; Kumar, Rajeev; Forsyth, Rachel; Chater, Angel M.; ; Bedfordshire Hospital NHS Trusts; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (MDPI, 2022-03-22)
    Gut microflora dysbiosis affects the majority of individuals after COVID-19, contributing to both gastro-intestinal (GI) and non-GI symptoms. Natural phytochemicals have reported anti-viral properties and favourable effects on inflammatory and oxidative pathways, both important for tissue damage post-viral pneumonia. This study involved 147 participants with symptomatic COVID-19, randomised to receive a placebo (P) or a phytochemical-rich concentrated food capsule (PC) in addition to a pre/probiotic lactobacillus capsule. Participants taking the PC had an almost two-fold reduction in mean fatigue scores compared to P [p = 0.02], a three-fold reduction in cough score and more than a double improvement in overall well-being scores [p = 0.02]. Two (1.5%) participants reported mild, increased bloating which they felt was attributable to the capsules, although GI symptoms improved in 25 of 31 participants (82%) who reported them at baseline. Sedentary, older, previously hospitalised men with GI symptoms had a statistically significantly improvement among those given the probiotic. Although some participants with early disease would have improved spontaneously, such a rapid improvement observed in the majority of participants, who had been suffering for an average of 108 days, was clinically relevant and welcomed, especially among those more likely to have pre-existing gut dysbiosis. We are now evaluating whether this blend could also enhance antibody titres post-COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Relationships between highly skilled golfers’ clubhead velocity and kinetic variables during a countermovement jump

    Wells, Jack E.T.; Mitchell, Andrew C.S.; Charalambous, Laura H.; Fletcher, Iain M.; ; Professional Golfers’ Association; University of Bedfordshire (Routledge, 2022-02-28)
    Previous research has sought to establish the relationship countermovement jump (CMJ) performance has with clubhead velocity (CHV). However, these investigations either assessed lower skilled golfers, or utilised field-based protocols which are unable to assess a number of biomechanical variables. Fifty highly skilled golfers performed CMJs on Kistler force platforms in laboratory conditions. The CMJ variables included positive impulse, net impulse, average power, peak power, peak force, force at zero velocity and jump height. Clubhead velocity was measured using a TrackMan 3e launch monitor at a driving range. A Pearsons correlation was employed to measure the strength and direction of the relationships between CHV and CMJ derived performance variables. Results indicated strong positive relationships (all p’s <0.001) between CHV and positive impulse (r = 0.695), net impulse (r = 0.689), average power (r = 0.645), peak power (r = 0.656), peak force (r = 0.517) and force at zero velocity (r = 0.528) with no significant relationship with jump height. However, if investigators only have access to field-based protocols, it is recommended that they measure jump height and utilise inverse dynamics to calculate take-off velocity. By multiplying take-off velocity by mass, this allows the attainment of net impulse. Key words: Golf, Physical Profiling, Impulse, Power, Peak Force, Vertical Jump
  • Reflections on experiencing parental bereavement as a young person: a retrospective qualitative study

    Chater, Angel M.; Howlett, Neil; Shorter, Gillian; Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Williams, Jane; ; University of Bedfordshire; University College London; University of Hertfordshire; Queen’s University Belfast (MDPI, 2022-02-13)
    Background: It is estimated that approximately 41,000 children and young people experience the death of a parent each year. Grief responses, such as anxiety and depression, can follow. This research investigated the adult reflections of experiencing parental death as a young person. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with adults (N = 14; female n = 8) who experienced parental death as a young person, which occurred over 5 years ago (time since death, M = 12.9 years; age at death, M = 16.4 years; age at interview, M = 30.9 years). The data were analysed inductively using thematic analysis. Results: Seven themes revealed that parental bereavement can lead to (1) “Distance and isolation” and is an (2) “Emotional journey” with (3) a “Physical impact”. Many experienced (4) “Post-traumatic growth” but acknowledged that (5) “Life will never be the same”, highlighting the importance of (6) “Support and understanding” and triggers for (7) “Re-grief”. Conclusions: Parental bereavement has significant emotional and physical consequences, but can also lead to personal growth. Talking therapies were rarely accessed, often due to a lack of awareness or desire to engage, revealing a translational gap between existing support services and uptake. Enabling open conversations about grief and identifying suitable support is a public health priority. This need has been amplified since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may be a trigger for grief empathy and re-grief in those who have already been bereaved.
  • Evaluating a multi-component intervention to reduce and break up office workers’ sitting with sit-stand desks using the APEASE criteria

    Brierley, Marsha L.; Smith, Lindsey Rachel; Bailey, Daniel Paul; Ojo, Samson Oluseye; Hewson, David; Every, Sofie A.; Staines, Taylor A.; Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire; Brunel University; et al. (BMC Public Health, 2022-03-07)
    Objective: Sedentary workplace interventions have had success in reducing excessive sitting time in office workers, but barriers to implementation and uptake remain. This study formally assessed a theory-derived, sit-stand desk intervention using the APEASE (Acceptability, Practicability, Effectiveness, Affordability, Side effects, Equity) criteria. Methods: Thirteen adults (eight female, mean age 38±10 years) from the treatment arm of a sedentary behaviour intervention participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic codes were inductively assigned to data items followed by deductive charting using the APEASE framework. Results: The intervention was highly acceptable, practicable, safe to deploy, and helped workers reduce workplace sitting time, though individual preferences and workload mediated engagement. Affordability of sit-stand desks and Equity of access were potential barriers to uptake. Conclusions: This theory-derived, multi-component sit-stand desk intervention was highly acceptable to office workers, safe to deploy, and useful in reducing and breaking up sedentary time at work. Further tailoring and personalisation may help workers achieve greater reductions in workplace sitting.
  • Lower amounts of daily and prolonged sitting do not lower free-living continuously monitored glucose concentrations in overweight and obese adults: a randomised crossover study

    Bailey, Daniel Paul; Stringer, Charlotte Anne; Maylor, Benjamin David; Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; ; Brunel University; University of Bedfordshire; University of Leicester (MDPI, 2022-01-30)
    This study compared the short-term continuously monitored glucose responses between higher and lower amounts of prolonged sitting in overweight and obese adults under free-living conditions. In a randomised crossover design, 12 participants (age 48 ± 10 years, body mass index 33.3 ± 5.5 kg/m2 ) completed two four-day experimental regimens while wearing a continuous glucose monitor, as follows: (1) uninterrupted sitting (participants were instructed to sit for ≥10 h/day and accrue ≥7, 1 h sitting bouts each day), and (2) interrupted sitting (participants were instructed to interrupt sitting every 30 min during ten of their waking hours with 6–10 min of activity accrued in each hour). Linear mixed models compared outcomes between regimens. None of the continuously monitored glucose variables differed between regimens, e.g., 24 h net incremental area under the glucose curve was 5.9 [95% CI: −1.4, 13.1] and 5.6 [95% CI: −1.7, 12.8] mmol/L·24 h, respectively (p = 0.47). Daily sitting (−58 min/day, p = 0.001) and sitting bouts lasting ≥30 min (−99 min/day, p < 0.001) were significantly lower and stepping time significantly higher (+40 min/day, p < 0.001) in the interrupted sitting than the uninterrupted sitting regimen. In conclusion, lower amounts of daily and prolonged sitting did not improve free-living continuously measured glucose among overweight and obese adults
  • The influence of a blend of probiotic lactobacillus and prebiotic inulin on the duration and severity of symptoms among individuals with COVID-19

    Thomas, Robert; Aldous, Jeffrey William Frederick; Forsyth, Rachel; Chater, Angel M.; Williams, Madeleine; ; Bedford & Addenbrooke’s Cambridge University NHS Trusts; University of Bedfordshire; Cambridge University; Bedford Hospital (Gavin Publishers, 2021-11-16)
    Background: Gut microfloral dysbiosis is known to affect the majority individuals suffering with a Covid-19 infection. This study evaluated whether a specific lactobacillus and inulin blend, which aimed to improve gut health, could reduce the severity of early and chronic Covid-19 symptoms. Methods: From May 2020 to May 2021, we evaluated 126 participants with Covid-19, with an average duration of symptoms of 108 days, who were given 30 days of this pre and probiotic capsule within the ongoing UK national Phyto-v study. Symptoms were recorded using the validated Cough Symptom Score, the Subjective Well-Being questionnaire and the Chandler fatigue questionnaire. The group was analysed as a whole and then subdivided into 40 (32%) in an early phase of infection (average symptoms 10 days before baseline) and the 86 (68%) in a chronic phase (average symptoms 120 days before trial baseline). Results: Cough, fatigue and subjective well-being scores significantly improved over the 30 days in both the early and chronic phase cohorts. Participants who were more likely to have gut dysbiosis at trial entry, such as sedentary, hospitalised, older males with GI symptoms, had a statistically significantly better response to the probiotics. Gut symptoms improved in 25 of 31 (82%) who reported them at baseline. Two (1.5%) patients reported mild increased bloating and diarrhoea. Discussion: Following this nutritional intervention, participants had a significant improvement in GI and non-GI symptoms resulting in a meaningful improvement in overall well-being. Although some participants with early disease would have improved spontaneously, such a rapid improvement in the majority who had been experiencing symptoms for over 6 months, was clinically relevant and welcomed, especially among those more likely to have pre-existing gut dysbiosis. Going forward, our research group are now evaluating whether intake of this blend now known as yourgutplus+, could also enhance antibody titres levels post Covid vaccination.
  • Breakfast consumption suppresses appetite but does not increase daily energy intake or physical activity energy expenditure when compared with breakfast omission in adolescent girls who habitually skip breakfast: a 7-day randomised crossover trial

    Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Seall, Claire; Tolfrey, Keith; ; University of Bedfordshire; Loughborough University (MDPI, 2021-11-26)
    With concerns that adolescent girls often skip breakfast, this study compared the effects of breakfast consumption versus breakfast omission on free-living physical activity (PA) energy expenditure (PAEE) and dietary intakes among adolescent girls classified as habitual breakfast skippers. The participants went through two 7-day conditions in a trial with a crossover design: daily standardised breakfast consumption (energy content: 25% of resting metabolic rate) before 09:00 (BC) and daily breakfast omission (no energy-providing nutrients consumed) until 10:30 (BO). Free-living PAEE, dietary intakes, and perceived appetite, tiredness, and energy levels were assessed. Analyses were linear mixed models. Breakfast manipulation did not affect PAEE or PA duration. Daily fibre intake was higher (p = 0.005; d = 1.31), daily protein intake tended to be higher (p = 0.092; d = 0.54), post-10:30 carbohydrate intake tended to be lower (p = 0.096; d = 0.41), and pre-10:30 hunger and fullness were lower and higher, respectively (p ≤ 0.065; d = 0.33–1.01), in BC versus BO. No other between-condition differences were found. Breakfast-skipping adolescent girls do not compensate for an imbalance in energy intake caused by breakfast consumption versus omission through subsequent changes in PAEE but may increase their carbohydrate intakes later in the day to partially compensate for breakfast omission. Furthermore, breakfast can make substantial contributions to daily fibre intake among adolescent girls.
  • Perceived influences on reducing prolonged sitting in police staff: a qualitative investigation using the Theoretical Domains Framework and COM-B model

    Brierley, Marsha L.; Smith, Lindsey Rachel; Bailey, Daniel Paul; Every, Sofie A.; Staines, Taylor A.; Chater, Angel M.; ; University of Bedfordshire; University College London; Brunel University (Biomed Central, 2021-11-19)
    Background: Workplace interventions have shown promise for reducing sitting in office workers. Police office staff remain an understudied population group that work within a disciplined organisation with distinctive work tasks around public safety, potentially affecting their capability, opportunity, and motivation to change sitting behaviour. This study aimed to assess the perceived influences on reducing workplace sitting in non-operational, desk-based police staff in order to derive theoretical determinants for behaviour change. Methods: Ten police staff from a single police force in Bedfordshire, England [eight female; 39.5±11.5 years] took part in face-to-face semi-structured interviews lasting 46±11 minutes on average. Thematic analysis identified key themes which were then mapped onto the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and linked to the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation-Behaviour (COM-B) model. Results: Seven themes were identified: ‘Work tasks are seated’, ‘Social norm is to sit’, ‘Belief in ability to regulate behaviour’, ‘Knowledge of health risks’, ‘Organisational support’, ‘Impact on productivity’, and ‘Perceived autonomy for sitting reduction’. Conclusions: Awareness of behaviour and health impacts (Capability), social and physical support to sit less (Opportunity), and habit formation techniques (Motivation) are recommended considerations in sitting reduction workplace interventions for police staff.
  • Left ventricular remodeling in rugby is a physiological adaptation to exercise: a pilot study conducted with high-level athletes

    Rato, Nuno Dias; Richards, Joanna C.; University of Bedfordshire; University of Maia (Springer, 2021-10-11)
    Purpose Literature examining left ventricular (LV) structural adaptations to combined strength and endurance training is inconsistent. Rugby is a sport that combines these two exercise modalities, both during training and match play. This study aimed to explore differences in LV structure between high-level rugby players and untrained controls. Body composition analysis was performed to determine the most appropriate indexing variable for LV mass (LVM) and understand if increases in LV represent either a training-related physiological adaptation or reflect the groups’ anthropometric differences. Methods A cross-sectional design compared 10 rugby players and 10 untrained age-matched, male controls. Body composition was obtained by bioelectrical impedance. M-mode echocardiographic imaging was performed on the LV from the parasternal long axis view. Results Significantly greater end-diastolic interventricular septum, LV internal diameter, posterior wall thickness, LVM and LVM/fat-free mass (FFM) (p < 0.05) were found in rugby players compared to age-matched controls. Moreover, Pearson’s correlation tests revealed FFM to be the body composition variable with the strongest correlation to LVM (r = 0.775, p < 0.001). Conclusion The differences in LV structure between groups suggest that the combined endurance and strength training that rugby athletes are subjected to, induce a process of concentric and eccentric enlargement of the LV structure. Furthermore, the association found with FFM, suggests it to be the most appropriate body scaling variable to index to LVM and, thus, should be considered when describing increases in LVM. The present research suggests that increased LVM in the athletes group represents true physiological adaptations to training.
  • What influences people’s responses to public health messages for managing risks and preventing infectious diseases? a rapid systematic review of the evidence and recommendations

    Ghio, Daniela; Lawes-Wickwar, Sadie; Tang, Mei Yee; Epton, Tracy; Howlett, Neil; Jenkinson, Elizabeth; Stanescu, Sabina; Westbrook, Juliette; Kassianos, Angelos P.; Watson, Daniella; et al. (BMJ, 2021-10-05)
    Background Individual behaviour changes, such as hand hygiene and physical distancing, are required on a population scale to reduce transmission of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. However, little is known about effective methods of communicating risk reducing information, and how populations might respond. Objective To synthesise evidence relating to what: a) characterises effective public health messages for managing risk and preventing infectious disease, b) influences people’s responses to messages. Design A rapid systematic review was conducted. Protocol is published on Prospero CRD42020188704. Data sources Electronic databases were searched: Ovid Medline, Ovid PsycINFO and Healthevidence.org, and grey literature (PsyarXiv, OSF Preprints) up to May 2020. Study selection All study designs were included that: (a) evaluated public health messaging interventions targeted at adults, (b) concerned a communicable disease spread via primary route of transmission of respiratory and/or touch. Outcomes included preventative behaviours, perceptions/awareness and intentions. Non-English language papers were excluded. Synthesis Due to high heterogeneity studies were synthesised narratively focusing on determinants of intentions in the absence of measured adherence/preventative behaviours. Themes were developed independently by two researchers and discussed within team to reach consensus. Recommendations were translated from narrative synthesis to provide evidence-based methods in providing effective messaging. Results Sixty-eight eligible papers were identified. Characteristics of effective messaging include delivery by credible sources, community engagement, increasing awareness/knowledge, mapping to stage of epidemic/pandemic. To influence intent effectively, public health messages need to be acceptable, increase understanding/perceptions of health threat and perceived susceptibility. Discussion There are four key recommendations: (1) engage communities in development of messaging, (2) address uncertainty immediately and with transparency, (3) focus on unifying messages from sources, and (4) frame messages aimed at increasing understanding, social responsibility and personal control. Embedding principles of behavioural science into public health messaging is an important step towards more effective health-risk communication during epidemics/pandemics.
  • The health benefits of horse riding in the UK

    Church, Andrew; Taylor, Becky; Maxwell, Neil S.; Gibson, Oliver R.; Twomey, Rosemary (The British Horse Society, 2010-01-01)
    Key findings:The physical health benefits of horse riding and associated activities: 1. Horse riding and activities associated with horse riding, such asmucking out, expend sufficient energy to be classed as moderateintensity exercise. 2. Regular periods of trotting in a riding session may enhance the energyexpended and associated health benefits. 3. More than two thirds (68 percent) of questionnaire respondentsparticipate in horse riding and associated activities for 30 minutes ormore at least three times a week. Sport England estimate that such alevel of sporting activity will help an individual achieve or exceed thegovernment{ extquoteright}s recommended minimum level of physical activity. 4. A range of evidence indicates the vast majority (90 percent plus) ofhorse riders are female and more than a third (37 percent) of the femaleriders who took part in the survey were above 45 years of age. Horseriding is especially well placed to play a valuable role in initiatives toencourage increased physical activity amongst women of all ages. 5. Amongst the horse riders who took part in the survey, 39 percent hadtaken no other form of physical activity in the last four weeks. Thishighlights the importance of riding to these people, who might otherwisebe sedentary. 6. Horse riders with a long-standing illness or disability who took part inthe survey are able to undertake horse riding and associated activitiesat the same self-reported level of frequency and physical intensity asthose without such an illness or disability. The psychological and social benefits of horse riding: 1. Horse riding stimulates mainly positive psychological feelings. 2. Horse riders are strongly motivated to take part in riding by the senseof well-being they gain from interacting with horses. This importantpositive psychological interaction with an animal occurs in a very fewsports. 3. Being outdoors and in contact with nature is an important motivationfor the vast majority of horse riders.
  • Power, space and the new stadium: the example of Arsenal Football Club

    Church, Andrew; Penny, Simon (Routledge, 2013-01-03)
    In many sports, but especially professional soccer in the UK, clubs have recently relocated to new stadiums so as to meet new health and safety requirements and also develop new opportunities for income generation. The process of stadium relocation involves the emergence of new spaces that have implications for the power relations between stadium owners, managers and sport supporters. Existing studies provide a limited understanding of the changing nature of power relations in new stadiums. This paper reveals the power modalities and resources involved in the constantly changing new stadium spaces. A case study of Arsenal Football Club in London and the process of ‘Arsenalisation’ in the club's new stadium reveals how material and virtual spaces are used by supporters to resist, confirm and negotiate the resources and practices of stadium managers seeking to control their activities.
  • Questioning policy, youth participation and lifestyle sports

    King, Katherine; Church, Andrew (Routledge, 2014-05-05)
    Young people have been identified as a key target group for whom participation in sport and physical activity could have important benefits to health and well-being and consequently have been the focus of several government policies to increase participation in the UK. Lifestyle sports represent one such strategy for encouraging and sustaining new engagements in sport and physical activity in youth groups, however, there is at present a lack of understanding of the use of these activities within policy contexts. This paper presents findings from a government initiative which sought to increase participation in sport for young people through provision of facilities for mountain biking in a forest in south-east England. Findings from qualitative research with 40 young people who participated in mountain biking at the case study location highlight the importance of non-traditional sports as a means to experience the natural environments through forms of consumption which are healthy, active and appeal to their identities. In addition, however, the paper raises questions over the accessibility of schemes for some individuals and social groups, and the ability to incorporate sports which are inherently participant-led into state-managed schemes. Lifestyle sports such as mountain biking involve distinct forms of participation which present a challenge for policy-makers who seek to create and maintain sustainable communities of youth participants.
  • Oxygen cost of recreational horse-riding in females

    Beale, Louisa; Maxwell, Neil S.; Gibson, Oliver R.; Twomey, Rosemary; Taylor, Becky; Church, Andrew (Human Kinetics, 2014-01-01)
    BACKGROUND The purpose of this study was to characterize the physiological demands of a riding session comprising different types of recreational horse riding in females. METHODS Sixteen female recreational riders (aged 17-54 years) completed an incremental cycle ergometer exercise test to determine peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) and a 45 minute riding session based upon a British Horse Society Stage 2 riding lesson (including walking, trotting, cantering and work without stirrups). Oxygen consumption (VO2), from which metabolic equivalent (MET) and energy expenditure values were derived, was measured throughout. RESULTS The mean VO2 requirement for trotting/cantering (18.4 ± 5.1 ml.kg-1.min-1; 52 ± 12% VO2peak; 5.3 ± 1.1 METs) was similar to walking/trotting (17.4 ± 5.1 ml.kg-1.min-1; 48 ± 13% VO2peak; 5.0 ± 1.5 METs) and significantly higher than for work without stirrups (14.2 ± 2.9 ml.kg-1.min-1; 41 ± 12% VO2peak; 4.2 ± 0.8 METs) (P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS The oxygen cost of different activities typically performed in a recreational horse riding session meets the criteria for moderate intensity exercise (3-6 METs) in females, and trotting combined with cantering imposes the highest metabolic demand. Regular riding could contribute to the achievement of the public health recommendations for physical activity in this population.
  • Lifestyle sports delivery and sustainability: clubs, communities and user-managers

    King, Katherine; Church, Andrew (Taylor & Francis, 2017-02-22)
    Lifestyle and informal sports have been recognised by policy makers as offering opportunities to increase participation in physical activity, particularly amongst hard to reach groups. Lifestyle sports are, however, double edged in their potential to achieve these goals. Their playful and non-traditional features may attract new participants less interested in traditional sports but the very liquidity of these activities may mean that the engagement of participants is fragmented and not sustained beyond a particular period in their lives. This article presents the perspective of mountain biking user-managers; those involved in the delivery, clubs and communities of mountain bikers across the United Kingdom. Findings suggest that whilst lifestyle sport communities are dependent on the work of formalised clubs to gain access to the funding and resources they need to sustain their activities, core participants will not always want to have to liaise or become involved formally within a club structure. In addition, clubs will not succeed in delivering sustained activities in line with sport policy to increase and maintain participation by relying on individual grants and without the support of an active informal user community. Accounts highlight the importance of engaging informal user communities with a sense of ownership such as locals to ensure new participants are integrated and the community is able to replenish.

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