Recent Submissions

  • Creating space for meaningful physical activity at home: women’s stories of social interaction, micro-adventure, and the joy of feeling strong

    Hill, Joanne; Flemons, Olivia; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2024-02-08)
    During COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and social distancing, the home, garden and local spaces became focal points for physical activity (PA). These restrictions may have influenced the meaningfulness of PA. This paper draws on feminist perspectives on space and the body alongside the concept of meaningful PA to examine women’s PA at home towards the end of pandemic restrictions. In this visual ethnographic project, 11 women who were physically active at home each engaged in photo diaries and two online interviews for a retrospective and in-the-moment exploration of their PA at home during and after social distancing. Analysis considered the changing and subjective nature of meaningfulness in these contexts. Three composite vignettes are presented, titled ‘Everything is on your own terms’, ‘Expanding the four walls’, and ‘A micro-adventure all by myself’. These written and visual stories illuminate meaningful PA at a time shaped by reactions to stay-at-home orders and changing (gendered) relations to the home as a leisure, domestic, and work space. At-home PA was variously a compromise and a personally relevant choice. Participants found meaning in adapting PA to create the right challenge for them and expressed joy in developing physical strength. Digital and home PA spaces helped women to challenge normative PA practices while fostering different forms of social interaction. Constructions of meaningful PA are dynamic and socially situated in resistance to lockdown and loss of access of nature. The personal relevance of PA is affected by personal values and histories, and broader discourses of space and the body.
  • The reliability and suitability of strength assessments in frail and pre-frail older adults: recommendations for strength testing in older populations

    Swales, Bridgitte; Ryde, Gemma C.; Fletcher, Iain M.; Whittaker, Anna C.; University of Stirling; University of Glasgow; University of Bedfordshire (BMC, 2023-12-08)
    Lifelong strength is fundamental to physical function, health, and quality of life. Reliable appropriate strength assessment measures for older adults play an important role in effective evaluation of baseline ability and exercise prescription to counter disease and disuse. This study aimed to investigate the within-session reliability of maximal isometric knee extension and flexion, hip abduction and adduction, and handgrip strength measures in frail and pre-frail older adults. The study was conducted at a residential care home in Birmingham, UK. All care home residents aged ≥ 65 years; pre-frail or frail according to the Fried Frailty phenotype criteria; able to speak and read English; not currently involved in any other clinical trial; without severe sensory impairments; and with a predicted life expectancy greater than the trial length were eligible. Maximal isometric lower limb testing was performed using specialised resistance training equipment and a portable measurement device, and grip strength was assessed using a portable dynamometer. All eligible participants attended a single testing session and performed three trials per measure. Peak force measures were obtained for analysis. Within-session reliability for each measure was calculated from repeated-measures analysis of variance, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), and coefficients of variation (CV) with 95% confidence intervals. Eleven frail and eleven pre-frail older adults participated in the study. Within-session absolute and relative measures were found to be reliable with the highest overall repeatability indicated between trial 2 and trial 3 for knee extension, hip abduction, and handgrip (CV ≤ 4.65%, ICC ≥ 0.96) with variation evident across all measures, except knee extension, from trial 1 to 2. Overall, maximal isometric strength in frail and pre-frail older adults with no previous testing experience can be measured with good to high reliability within their first testing session. An initial two familiarisation trials followed by two measurement trials is recommended to achieve the highest level of overall repeatability. The trial was registered with NCT03141879 on 05/05/2017.
  • Interrupting sitting acutely attenuates cardiometabolic risk markers in South Asian adults living with overweight and obesity

    Dey, Kamalesh Chandra; Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Smith, Lindsey Rachel; Jones, Rebecca Louise; Bailey, Daniel Paul; University of Bedfordshire; Queen Mary University of London; University of Lincoln; Brunel University London (Springer, 2023-11-11)
    Purpose: This study examined the acute effects of interrupting sitting with light-intensity walking on postprandial cardiometabolic risk markers in South Asian adults. Methods: South Asians with overweight/obesity (n=19; body mass index [BMI] >23 kg·m-2) and normal-weight (n=8; BMI 18.0-22.9 kg·m-2) aged 48.8 ± 5.6 years completed two, 5-h conditions: (1) prolonged sitting (SIT), and (2) interrupted sitting with 5-min bouts of light-intensity walking every 30-min (INT-SIT). Blood samples and resting expired air samples were collected throughout each condition. Statistical analyses were completed using linear mixed models. Results: In participants with overweight/obesity, postprandial glucose, triglycerides (TAG) and metabolic load index (MLI) over time were lower, whereas resting substrate utilisation and resting energy expenditure (REE) were higher, in INT-SIT than SIT (all p≤0.05). Compared with SIT (0.18 [95% CI 0.13, 0.22] kcal.min-1), INT-SIT (0.23 [95% CI 0.18, 0.27] kcal.min-1) increased postprandial REE iAUC in participants with overweight/obesity (p=0.04, d=0.51). Postprandial TAG concentrations over time were lower in INT-SIT versus SIT (p=0.01, d=30) in normal-weight participants, with no differences in any other outcomes for this sample group. Conclusion: These findings suggest that interrupting sitting with 5-min bouts of light walking every 30-min acutely attenuates cardiometabolic risk markers among South Asians living with overweight/obesity, whereas limited effects may be seen in individuals with normal-weight.
  • The effectiveness of structured sport and exercise interventions in enhancing the mental health of adolescents with mild to moderate mental health problems: a systematic review

    Klemmer, Bert; Kinnafick, Florence E.; Spray, Christopher; Chater, Angel M.; Loughborough University; University College London; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2023-10-12)
    Between 10% and 20% of adolescents globally have a diagnosed mental health disorder and a big proportion of individuals experience their first mental health problem during adolescence. However, limited research has investigated how an adult-led structured sport and exercise intervention can be used to support adolescents with mild to moderate mental health problems. A systematic review of the literature (five databases) was performed. Included studies (qualitative and quantitative) explored structured sport and exercise interventions aiming to help adolescents (aged 10–19 years) experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems. From 3506 studies screened, nine met the inclusion criteria (RCT = 6 and non-RCT = 3) following the PICOS, TIDieR frameworks and assessing quality of studies using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Activities included a group-based circuit training, high-intensity interval training, dance, group-based aerobic exercise, mindfulness-based Tai Chi Chuan and rugby. All included studies showed clinical improvements in adolescents’ anxiety or depression (anxiety, n = 5 and depression, n = 7). There is evidence that structured sport and exercise interventions can support adolescents with mild to moderate mental health problems. However, more research is needed to understand the mechanisms of how these outcomes are achieved, specifically using well-designed interventions tailored to specific exercises/sports, populations, and mental health outcomes.
  • The prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components in firefighters: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Beckett, Ashley; Scott, Jake; Chater, Angel M.; Ferrandino, Louise; Aldous, Jeffrey William Frederick; University of Bedfordshire; University College London (MDPI, 2023-09-23)
    Previous studies consistently report a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among firefighters. However, the clustering of CVD risk factors, defined as metabolic syndrome (MetSyn), has received little attention by comparison. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the pooled prevalence of MetSyn among firefighters. Using combinations of free text for ‘firefighter’ and ‘metabolic syndrome’, databases were searched for eligible studies. Meta-analyses calculated weighted pooled prevalence estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for MetSyn, its components and overweight/obesity. Univariate meta-regression was performed to explore sources of heterogeneity. Of 1440 articles screened, 25 studies were included in the final analysis. The pooled prevalence of MetSyn in 31,309 firefighters was 22.3% (95% CI: 17.7–27.0%). The prevalences of MetSyn components were hypertension: 39.1%; abdominal obesity: 37.9%; hypertriglyceridemia: 30.2%; dyslipidemia: 30.1%; and hyperglycemia: 21.1%. Overweight and obesity prevalence rates in firefighters were 44.1% and 35.6%, respectively. Meta-regression revealed that decreased risk of bias (RoB) score and increased body mass index (BMI) were positively associated with an increase in MetSyn prevalence. Since one in five firefighters may meet the criteria for MetSyn, novel interventions should be explored to both prevent MetSyn and reduce the onset of CVD risk factors.
  • Playing by white rules of racial equality: student athlete experiences of racism in British university sport

    Ward, Gavin; Hill, Joanne; Hardman, A.; Scott, D.; Jones, Amanda; Edwards, L.; Richards, R.; University of Wolverhampton; University of Bedfordshire; Cardiff Metropolitan University (Taylor and Francis, 2023-08-31)
    Inequalities related to racial identity are consistently reported across social institutions, not least education, and sport. These inequalities consistently challenge ‘post-race’ narratives that rationalise racism down to individual prejudices and poor decision-making. This paper presents part of the findings from a wider a twelve-month research project commissioned by British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) to explore race equality. This wider research privileged the voices of non-White students and staff in an exploration of race and equality in British UK university sport. ‘Non-white’ was chosen as a race identifier to focus on Whiteness, the normalised, raceless power that reproduces itself both knowingly and unknowingly, to ensure racial ‘others’ remain subordinate. This paper presents the findings of the student voices. In this study a research team of academic and student researchers explored the experiences of 38 students across five universities. Generating case studies from each university, the data was analysed from an Intersectional and Critical Race Theory perspective. Two core themes relating to negotiating Whiteness were developed from the data analysis which reflected experiences of university sport as predominantly White spaces; ‘Play by the Rules’ and ‘Keep You Guessing’. Racial abuse was subtle, camouflaged in comments and actions that happened momentarily and hence were implausible to capture and evidence. For incidents to be addressed, evidence had to meet a ‘beyond doubt’ standard. Students were required to consciously negotiate racial bias and abuse to ensure they did not provide a justification for abuse. Navigating racialisation and stereotypes, plus White denial, was additional emotional labour for students. This mechanism of silencing the victim served to normalise racism for both the abused and perpetrator. The conclusion explores potential ways of disrupting these mechanisms of Whiteness in placing students’ welfare at the heart of university sport.
  • Role-model, reoffer, reward: a thematic analysis and TDF mapping of influences on families’ use of evidence-based vegetable feeding practices

    Porter, Lucy; Chater, Angel M.; Haycraft, Emma; Farrow, Claire; Holley, Clare E.; Loughborough University; University College London; University of Bedfordshire; Aston University (Elsevier, 2023-07-12)
    Children’s vegetable intake is low, despite benefits for immediate and long-term health. Repeatedly reoffering vegetables, role-modelling consumption, and offering non-food rewards effectively increase children’s vegetable acceptance and intake. However, a number of barriers prevent families from reoffering previously-rejected vegetables. This study used the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and the COM-B model of behaviour to explore barriers and enablers to reoffering, role-modelling and offering non-food rewards among parents of 2-4-year-old children. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted, from which eleven core inductive themes were generated: ‘Child factors’, ‘Eating beliefs’, ‘Effectiveness beliefs’, ‘Past experience’, ‘Current family behaviours’, ‘Harms’, ‘Knowledge’, ‘Need for change’, ‘Parent effort’, ‘Parent values’ and ‘Practical issues’. The codes underpinning these themes were inductively mapped to 11 of the 14 TDF domains, and five of the six COM-B components. Previously-reported influences on families’ vegetable feeding practices were confirmed, including concerns about child rejection of foods/meals, cost of vegetables, and food waste. Novel findings included some parents’ perceptions that these practices are pressurising, and that certain beliefs/knowledge about children’s eating behaviour can provide a “protective mindset” that supports families’ perseverance with reoffering over time. Future interventions should be tailored to better reflect the diversity of needs and previous experiences of feeding that families have, with some families likely to find that troubleshooting and further signposting is appropriate for their needs while others might benefit from more persuasive and educational approaches. The mapping of codes to the TDF and COM-B will facilitate the identification of appropriate intervention functions and behaviour change techniques when designing new interventions to support families with increasing their children’s vegetable intake.
  • Acute cardiometabolic and exercise responses to breakfast omission versus breakfast consumption in adolescent girls: a randomised crossover trial

    Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Morari, Victoria; Champion, Rachael B.; Bailey, Daniel Paul; Ferrandino, Louise; Jones, Rebecca Louise; University of Bedfordshire; Brunel University London; University of Lincoln (MDPI, 2023-07-19)
    Girls often begin to skip breakfast during adolescence. This study compared the acute effect of breakfast omission versus consumption on cardiometabolic risk markers and perceived appetite and mood during rest and/or exercise in adolescent girls classified as habitual breakfast consumers. Girls (aged 13.2 ± 0.7 years) completed two 5.5 h conditions in a randomised crossover design: breakfast omission (BO) and standardised breakfast consumption (BC). A standardised lunch was provided at 3 h. Incremental cycling exercise was performed at 5 h. Blood and expired gas samples were taken at regular intervals. Whilst pre-lunch plasma glucose, insulin, and Metabolic Load Index incremental area under the curve (IAUC) were significantly lower in BO versus BC, post-lunch differences were reversed and larger in magnitude. Peak plasma glucose and insulin were significantly higher in BO versus BC. Pre-lunch perceived fullness and hunger were significantly lower and higher, respectively, in BO versus BC. Perceived energy and concentration were lower, and tiredness was higher, in BO versus BC. Exercise peak fat oxidation and Fatmax were unaffected. The lower physical activity enjoyment in BO versus BC approached significance. To conclude, acutely omitting breakfast adversely affects cardiometabolic risk markers and exercise enjoyment among adolescent girls who habitually consume breakfast.
  • Multiple biological mechanisms for the potential influence of phytochemicals on physical activity performance: a narrative review

    Thomas, Robert; Williams, Madeleine; Aldous, Jeffrey William Frederick; Wyld, Kevin; ; Addenbrooke’s Cambridge University NHS Hospitals; Bedford Hospital; University of Bedfordshire (MDPI, 2023-07-11)
    Cohort studies have linked higher intake to a reduced risk of chronic degenerative diseases and premature ageing. The ability of foods rich in PCs, such as phytanthocyanins, apigenin, flavonols, flavonoids, bioflavonoids, gallic acid, ellagic acid, quercetin, and ellagitannins, to support physical activity has also been highlighted in a number of published pre-clinical and prospective clinical studies. This literature mostly emphasises the ability of PCs to enhance the adaptive upregulation of antioxidant enzymes (AEs), which reduces exercise-associated oxidative stress, but there are several other mechanisms of benefit that this narrative review addresses. These mechanisms include; protecting joints and tendons from physical trauma during exercise; mitigating delayed-onset muscle symptoms (DOMS) and muscle damage; improving muscle and tissue oxygenation during training; cultivating a healthy gut microbiome hence lowering excess inflammation; cutting the incidence of upper respiratory tract viral infections which disrupt training programmes; and helping to restore circadian rhythm which improves sleep recovery and reduces daytime fatigue, which in turn elevates mood and motivation to train.
  • Commuting students before and during COVID-19: academic identity across home and campus spaces

    Hill, Joanne; Baird, Alex; Wesley, K.; Tchibonkola, J.; Stewart-Psaltis, Alex (Open University, 2023-06-12)
    Commuting students are believed to lack academic engagement because they do not ‘stick around’ on campus, but narratives of student belonging as tied to campus presence were challenged by emergency remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper reports on a longitudinal project on geographical, cultural, and emotional dimensions of students’ practices of learning in an English widening participation university. We use theories of student belonging and mobilities as thinking tools to understand the relationships between students, spaces and learning practices in constructing fluid understandings of academic identity. Between 2016 and 2021, 28 students (17 commuting; 26 undergraduate; six mature; two part-time; 20 white British) were interviewed. Geographical and cultural distance from university, but closeness to family or to the domestic duties of home, affected commuting students’ practices of learning differently before and during emergency remote learning. When distance was enforced, remote learning was not necessarily easier for commuters, who had complex responses to losing social interaction. By rethinking how the benefits of being physically around campus are conceptualised and communicated, and how commuter identity is shaped by continuing interactions across home, digital, travel and campus spaces, we argue that commuting students’ multiple experiences should inform the post-pandemic university.
  • Performance of the FreeStyle Libre Flash glucose monitoring system during an oral glucose tolerance test and exercise in healthy adolescents

    Afeef, Sahar M.O.; Tolfrey, Keith; Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Barrett, Laura A.; Loughborough University; King Abdulaziz University; University of Bedfordshire (MDPI, 2023-04-25)
    This study’s aim was to assess FreeStyle Libre Flash glucose monitoring (FGM) performance during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and treadmill exercise in healthy adolescents. This should advance the feasibility and utility of user-friendly technologies for metabolic assessments in adolescents. Seventeen healthy adolescents (nine girls aged 12.8 ± 0.9 years) performed an OGTT and submaximal and maximal treadmill exercise tests in a laboratory setting. The scanned interstitial fluid glucose concentration ([ISFG]) obtained by FGM was compared against finger-prick capillary plasma glucose concentration ([CPG]) at 0 (pre-OGTT), −15, −30, −60, −120 min post-OGTT, pre-, mid-, post- submaximal exercise, and pre- and post- maximal exercise. Overall mean absolute relative difference (MARD) was 13.1 ± 8.5%, and 68% (n = 113) of the paired glucose data met the ISO 15197:2013 criteria. For clinical accuracy, 84% and 16% of FGM readings were within zones A and B in the Consensus Error Grid (CEG), respectively, which met the ISO 15197:2013 criteria of having at least 99% of results within these zones. Scanned [ISFG] were statistically lower than [CPG] at 15 (−1.16 mmol·L −1 , p < 0.001) and 30 min (−0.74 mmol·L −1 , p = 0.041) post-OGTT. Yet, post-OGTT glycaemic responses assessed by total and incremental areas under the curve (AUCs) were not significantly different, with trivial to small effect sizes (p ≥ 0.084, d = 0.14–0.45). Further, [ISFGs] were not different from [CPGs] during submaximal and maximal exercise tests (interaction p ≥ 0.614). FGM can be a feasible alternative to reflect postprandial glycaemia (AUCs) in healthy adolescents who may not endure repeated finger pricks.
  • Voluntary torque production is unaffected by changes in local thermal sensation during normothermia and hyperthermia

    Gordon, Ralph Joseph Frederick Hills; Tillin, Neale Anthony; Diss, Ceri Elen; Tyler, Christopher James; ; University of Roehampton; University of Bedfordshire; Anglia Ruskin University (Wiley, 2023-02-20)
    What is the central question of this study? Hyperthermia reduces the human capacity to produce muscular force, which is associated with decreased neural drive: does mitigating a reduction in neural drive by altering localised thermal sensation help to preserve voluntary force output? What is the main finding and its importance? Altering thermal sensation by cooling and heating the head independent of core temperature did not change neural drive or benefit voluntary force production. Head cooling did slow the rate of rise in core temperature during heating, which may have practical applications in passive settings. This study investigated altered local head and neck thermal sensation on maximal and rapid torque production during voluntary contractions. Nine participants completed four visits in two environmental conditions: at rectal temperatures ∼39.5°C in hot (HOT; ∼50°C, ∼39% relative humidity) and ∼37°C in thermoneutral (NEU; ∼22°C, ∼46% relative humidity) conditions. Local thermal sensation was manipulated by heating in thermoneutral conditions and cooling in hot conditions. Evoked twitches and octets were delivered at rest. Maximum voluntary torque (MVT), normalised surface electromyography (EMG) and voluntary activation (VA) were assessed during brief maximal isometric voluntary contractions of the knee extensors. Rate of torque development (RTD) and EMG were measured during rapid voluntary contractions. MVT (P = 0.463) and RTD (P = 0.061) were similar between environmental conditions despite reduced VA (-6%; P = 0.047) and EMG at MVT (-31%; P = 0.019). EMG in the rapid voluntary contractions was also lower in HOT versus NEU during the initial 100 ms (-24%; P = 0.035) and 150 ms (-26%; P = 0.035). Evoked twitch (+70%; P < 0.001) and octet (+27%; P < 0.001) RTD during the initial 50 ms were greater in the HOT compared to NEU conditions, in addition to a faster relaxation rate of the muscle (-33%; P < 0.001). In conclusion, hyperthermia reduced neural drive without affecting voluntary torque, likely due to the compensatory effects of improved intrinsic contractile function and faster contraction and relaxation rates of the knee extensors. Changes in local thermal perception of the head and neck whilst hyperthermic or normothermic did not affect voluntary torque.
  • A systematic review of Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs) to improve the health behaviours, psychological wellbeing and/or physical health of police staff

    Kukucska, Dora; Whitehall, Jamie; Shorter, Gillian; Howlett, Neil; Wyld, Kevin; Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2023-07-04)
    Objective: This review aimed to assess the use of Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs), such as using positive mantras, expressive writing, or gratitude diaries, to improve the health behaviours, psychological wellbeing, and/or physical health of police staff. Method: The review was registered on PROSPERO before 16 electronic databases were searched for published articles between January 1999 and February 2022. Included studies offered PPIs to improve the physical health (body mass index, blood pressure), psychological well-being (stress, anxiety, mood, emotion, depression, self-efficacy), or health behaviours (physical activity, sitting times, dietary habits, alcohol, or tobacco use) of police staff. The mixed methods appraisal tool (MMAT) l was used to assess the risk of bias of included papers. Results: The initial search yielded 4,560 results; with 3,385 papers remaining after duplicates were removed. Of these, 15 studies were included in the final review. Intervention types included mindfulness-based resilience training (n = 11), physical or wellness practice classes (n = 1), role-play and scenario-based interventions (n = 2) and expressive writing (n = 1). Mindfulness-based interventions improved many psychological wellbeing facets such as anxiety, depression, negative affect, and quality of life. Limited improvements were observed for some health behaviours such as alcohol consumption and in self-reported general health. Expressive writing and role-play-based interventions were effective in reducing stress and anxiety, however, improvement in depression scores were inconsistent across studies. Conclusion: Positive Psychology Interventions are promising to support the health and wellbeing of police staff. Future research would benefit from investigating their mechanisms of action.
  • Recycling and resistance to change in physical education: the informal recruitment of physical education teachers in schools

    Flemons, Michelle; Hill, Joanne; O'Donovan, Toni; Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire (Human Kinetics, 2023-06-08)
    Purpose: Physical education (PE) teachers’ interactions with students were explored to examine self- selection for PE teaching as a career option during school. Method: Semi – structured life story interviews were conducted with 29 PE teachers at different career stages. Complementing occupational socialisation, Bourdieu’s habitus, capital, field and practice were adopted as thinking tools to inform thematic analysis. Results: 3 key themes were identified: a) Acceptance into the inner sanctum based on physical competence, effort and enthusiasm for the traditional curriculum, b) Opportunities provided to students accepted into the inner sanctum, and c) Outside the inner sanctum: Mismatched habitus and self-selection for PE teaching. Conclusion: Students exchanged competence, effort and enthusiasm in the traditional curriculum for acceptance and opportunities to encourage self – selection for teaching PE. Without acceptance, individuals experienced challenges gaining career support. Dominated by a homogenous group resistant to change, PE needs independent careers information to promote change through heterogeneity.
  • A systematic review of interventions targeting physical activity and/or healthy eating behaviours in adolescents: practice and training

    Allcott-Watson, Hannah; Chater, Angel M.; Troop, Nicholas A.; Howlett, Neil; University of Bedfordshire; University of Hertfordshire; University College London (Taylor & Francis, 2023-02-01)
    Despite the many health benefits of physical activity (PA) and healthy eating (HE) most adolescents do not meet current guidelines which poses future health risks. This review aimed to (1) identify whether adolescent PA and HE interventions show promise at promoting behaviour change and maintenance, (2) identify which behaviour change techniques (BCTs) are associated with promising interventions, and (3) explore the optimal approaches to training deliverers of adolescent PA/HE interventions. Nine databases were searched for randomised controlled, or quasi-experimental, trials targeting 10-19 year olds, with a primary aim to increase PA/HE, measured at baseline and at least six months post-intervention, in addition to papers reporting training of deliverers of adolescent PA/HE interventions. Included were seven PA studies, three HE studies and four studies targeting both, with two training papers. For PA studies, two were promising post-intervention with two promising BCTs, and five were promising for maintenance with two promising BCTs. For HE studies, three were promising at post-intervention and four at maintenance, both with four promising BCTs. There is preliminary evidence that interventions support adolescents to improve their PA and HE behaviours over a period of at least six months.
  • Breaking up sitting with short frequent or long infrequent physical activity breaks does not lead to compensatory changes in appetite, appetite-regulating hormones or energy intake

    Maylor, Benjamin David; Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Stensel, David J.; Orton, Charlie J.; Bailey, Daniel Paul; ; University of Bedfordshire; Leicester General Hospital; Loughborough University; Waseda University; et al. (Elsevier, 2022-12-30)
    The aim of this study was to determine the appetite-related responses to breaking up prolonged sitting with physical activity bouts differing in frequency and duration among adult females. Fourteen sedentary females aged 34 ± 13 years with a body mass index of 27.1 ± 6.3 kg/m2 (mean ± SD) took part in a randomised crossover trial with three, 7.5 h conditions: (1) uninterrupted sitting (SIT), (2) sitting with short frequent 2-min moderate-intensity walking breaks every 30 min (SHORT-BREAKS), and (3) sitting with longer duration, less frequent 10-min moderate-intensity walking breaks every 170–180 min (LONG-BREAKS). The intensity and total duration of physical activity was matched between the SHORT-BREAKS and LONG-BREAKS conditions. Linear mixed models were used to compare the outcomes between conditions with significance being accepted as p ≤ 0.05. There were no significant between-condition differences in hunger, satisfaction, prospective food consumption or overall appetite area under the curve (AUC) (all p ≥ 0.801). Absolute ad libitum energy intake and relative energy intake (REI) did not differ significantly between conditions (all p ≥ 0.420). Acylated ghrelin and total peptide YY incremental and total AUC did not differ significantly between conditions (all p ≥ 0.388). Yet, there was a medium effect size for the higher acylated ghrelin incremental AUC in SHORT-BREAKS versus SIT (d = 0.61); the reverse was seen for total AUC, which was lower in SHORT-BREAKS versus SIT (d = 0.69). These findings suggest that breaking up sitting does not lead to compensatory changes in appetite, appetite hormones or energy intake regardless of physical activity bout duration and frequency among adult females.
  • Cardiac structure and function in resistance-trained and untrained adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Saunders, Abigail M.; Jones, Rebecca; Richards, Joanna C.; ; University of Bedfordshire; University of Lincoln (Taylor and Francis, 2022-11-18)
    Variations in the haemodynamic demands of specific training modalities may explain characteristic differences in cardiac structure and function amongst athletes. However, current consensus regarding these adaptations in highly resistance-trained athletes is yet to be established. The current invetsigation aimed to collate research investigating cardiac structure and function in resistance-trained athletes, exploring the defining characteristics of Athlete’s Heart within these individuals. Seven electronic databases were searched. Studies which examined at least one measure of cardiac structure or function, included healthy, normotensive male or females (>18 years) and compared athletes engaged in a resistance training programme (>12 months) to an untrained group engaged in no structured training programme were included. Systematic selection and quality appraisal of articles was performed by two reviewers, with a random effects meta-analysis model applied to suitable studies. Studies were limited to orginal peer-reviewed articles published in English. Resistance-trained athletes (n = 949) demonstrated greater cardiac dimensions compared to their untrained counterparts (n = 1053). No clear impairments to systolic or diastolic cardiac function were observed in athletic population studied here. Resistance-trained athletes display some characteristics of the Athlete's Heart phenomenon, including greater wall thickening and chamber dilation compared to their untrained counterparts.
  • Sedentary behaviour : a target for the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease

    Bell, Abbie C.; Richards, Joanna C.; Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Smith, Lindsey Rachel; Bailey, Daniel Paul; ; University of Bedfordshire; Brunel University London (MDPI, 2022-12-28)
    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is highly prevalent and can lead to disability and premature mortality. Sedentary behaviour, defined as a low energy expenditure while sitting or lying down, has been identified as an independent risk factor for CVD. This article discusses (1) the association of total sedentary time and patterns of accumulating sedentary time with CVD risk markers, CVD incidence and mortality; (2) acute experimental evidence regarding the acute effects of reducing and breaking up sedentary time on CVD risk markers; and (3) the effectiveness of longer-term sedentary behaviour interventions on CVD risk. Findings suggest that under rigorously controlled laboratory and free-living conditions, breaking up sedentary time improves cardiovascular risk markers in individuals who are healthy, overweight or obese, or have impaired cardiovascular health. Breaking up sedentary time with walking may have the most widespread benefits, whereas standing breaks may be less effective, especially in healthy individuals. There is also growing evidence that sedentary behaviour interventions may benefit cardiovascular risk in the longer term (i.e., weeks to months). Reducing and breaking up sedentary time may, therefore, be considered a target for preventing and managing CVD. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of sedentary behaviour interventions over the long-term to appropriately inform guidelines for the management of CVD. Keywords: sedentary behaviour; cardiovascular disease; prolonged sitting; cardiovascular risk markers
  • Changes in peak force output, rate of force development, and jump performance across a full season in elite English rugby union players

    Chrismas, Bryna C.; Fletcher, Iain M.; Hogben, Patrick; Qatar University; University of Bedfordshire (Sport Performance & Science Reports, 2020-03-31)
    Rugby union is a high-intensity invasion game characterised by contact events (most frequently the tackle and ruck). Success in key defining moments (i.e. tackle breaks, turnovers, scrums) in elite level rugby union is therefore largely dependent on technical characteristics, and physical qualities including strength and speed (1). Understanding changes in force characteristics across the full English professional rugby union season is therefore important for creating and monitoring strength and conditioning programmes. The aim of this study was to examine changes in force output, rate of force development (RFD), and jump performance across the full season in elite male English rugby union players.
  • Effects of active warm-up & warm-up massage on agility, perceived exertion & flexibility in tennis players

    Bedford, S.; Robbins, D.; Fletcher, Iain M. (Society for Tennis Medicine and Science, 2018-12-31)

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