• Aerobic training protects cardiac function during advancing age: a meta-analysis of four decades of controlled studies

      Beaumont, Alexander; Grace, Fergal; Richards, Joanna C.; Campbell, Amy; Sculthorpe, Nicholas; University of the West of Scotland; Federation University Australia; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2018-10-29)
      In contrast to younger athletes, there is comparatively less literature examining cardiac structure and function in older athletes. However, a progressive accumulation of studies during the past four decades offers a body of literature worthy of systematic scrutiny. We conducted a systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of controlled echocardiography studies comparing left ventricular (LV) structure and function in aerobically trained older athletes (> 45 years) with age-matched untrained controls, in addition to investigating the influence of chronological age. statistic. , 95% CI 0.05-1.86, p = 0.04). Meta-regression for chronological age identified that athlete-control differences, in the main, are maintained during advancing age. Athletic older men have larger cardiac dimensions and enjoy more favourable cardiac function than healthy, non-athletic counterparts. Notably, the athlete groups maintain these effects during chronological ageing.
    • Are physical activity interventions for healthy inactive adults effective in promoting behavior change and maintenance, and which behavior change techniques are effective? : a systematic review and meta-analysis

      Howlett, Neil; Trivedi, Daksha; Troop, Nicholas A.; Chater, Angel M.; University of Hertfordshire; University College London (Springer, 2018-02-28)
      Background: Physical inactivity and sedentary behavior relate to poor health outcomes independently. Healthy inactive adults are a key target population for prevention. Purpose: This review aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of physical activity and/or sedentary behavior interventions, measured post-intervention (behavior change) and at follow-up (behavior change maintenance), to identify behavior change techniques (BCT) within, and report on fidelity. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials, targeting healthy inactive adults, aiming to change physical activity and/or sedentary behavior, with a minimum post-intervention follow-up of 6 months, using 16 databases from 1990. Two reviewers independently coded risk of bias, the TiDieR checklist, and BCTs. Results: Twenty-six studies were included; 16 pooled for meta-analysis. Physical activity interventions were effective at changing behavior (d = .32, 95% CI .16 to .48, n=2346) and maintaining behavior change after 6 months or more (d = .21, 95% CI .12 to .30, n=2190). Sedentary behavior interventions (n=2) were not effective. At post-intervention, physical activity intervention effectiveness was associated with the BCTs ‘Biofeedback’, ‘Demonstration of the behavior’, ‘Behavior practice/rehearsal’, and ‘Graded tasks’. At follow-up, effectiveness was associated with using ‘Action planning’, ‘Instruction on how to perform the behavior’, ‘Prompts/cues’, ‘Behavior practice/rehearsal’, ‘Graded tasks’, and ‘Self-reward’. Fidelity was only documented in one study. Conclusions: Good evidence was found for behavior change maintenance effects in healthy inactive adults, and underlying BCTs. This review provides translational evidence to improve research, intervention design, and service delivery in physical activity interventions, while highlighting the lack of fidelity measurement.
    • Can physical activity support grief outcomes in individuals who have been bereaved? a systematic review

      Williams, Jane; Shorter, Gillian; Howlett, Neil; Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire; Queen’s University Belfast; University of Hertfordshire (Springer, 2021-03-06)
      Background: In 2018, there were 616,014 registered deaths in the United Kingdom (UK). Grief is a natural consequence. Many mental health concerns, which can be identified as grief outcomes (e.g. anxiety and depression) in those who have experienced a bereavement, can be improved through physical activity. The objective of this review was to identify from the existing literature if physical activity can benefit grief outcomes in individuals who have been bereaved. Methods: A systematic review of nine databases was performed. Included studies (qualitative and quantitative) explored physical activity to help individuals (of any age) who had experienced a human bereavement (excluding national loss). Results: From 1299 studies screened, 25 met the inclusion criteria, detailing eight types of bereavement (parental (n=5), spousal (n=6), patient (n=4), pre-natal (n=3), later life (n=1), caregiver (n=1), multiple (n=4) and non-defined (n=1). Activities including yoga, running, walking, and martial arts were noted as beneficial. Physical activity allowed a sense of freedom, to express emotions, provided a distraction, and an escape from grief, while enhancing social support. Conclusion: There is some evidence that physical activity may provide benefit for the physical health and psychological wellbeing of those who have been bereaved, including when the loss has happened at a young age. This review is timely, given the wide-scale national loss of life due to COVID-19 and extends knowledge in this area. More research is needed to explore the benefits of physical activity for those who have been bereaved. In particular there is a need for well-designed interventions which are tailored to specific activities, populations and grief outcomes.
    • Effect of tyrosine ingestion on cognitive and physical performance utilising an intermittent soccer performance test (iSPT) in a warm environment

      Coull, Nicole; Watkins, Samuel L.; Aldous, Jeffrey William Frederick; Warren, Lee K.; Chrismas, Bryna C.; Dascombe, Ben; Mauger, Alexis R.; Abt, Grant; Taylor, Lee (Springer, 2014-10-19)
      Abstract Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of tyrosine (TYR) ingestion on cognitive and physical performance during soccer-specific exercise in a warm environment. Methods Eight male soccer players completed an individualised 90 min soccer-simulation intermittent soccer performance test (iSPT), on a non-motorised treadmill, on two occasions, within an environmental chamber (25 °C, 40 % RH). Participants ingested tyrosine (TYR; 250 mL sugar free drink plus 150 mg kg body mass−1 TYR) at both 5 h and 1 h pre-exercise or a placebo control (PLA; 250 mL sugar free drink only) in a double-blind, randomised, crossover design. Cognitive performance (vigilance and dual-task) and perceived readiness to invest physical effort (RTIPE) and mental effort (RTIME) were assessed: pre-exercise, half-time, end of half-time and immediately post-exercise. Physical performance was assessed using the total distance covered in both halves of iSPT. Results Positive vigilance responses (HIT) were significantly higher (12.6 ± 1.7 vs 11.5 ± 2.4, p = 0.015) with negative responses (MISS) significantly lower (2.4 ± 1.8 vs 3.5 ± 2.4, p = 0.013) in TYR compared to PLA. RTIME scores were significantly higher in the TYR trial when compared to PLA (6.7 ± 1.2 vs 5.9 ± 1.2, p = 0.039). TYR had no significant (p > 0.05) influence on any other cognitive or physical performance measure. Conclusion The results show that TYR ingestion is associated with improved vigilance and RTIME when exposed to individualised soccer-specific exercise (iSPT) in a warm environment. This suggests that increasing the availability of TYR may improve cognitive function during exposure to exercise-heat stress.
    • The effect of varying intensities of lower limb eccentric muscle contractions on left ventricular function

      Howlett, Luke A.; O'Sullivan, Kyle; Sculthorpe, Nicholas; Richards, Joanna C.; University of Bedfordshire; University of the West of Scotland; University of Leeds (Springer, 2020-01-16)
      The effect of eccentric (ECC) resistance exercise (RE) on myocardial mechanics is currently unknown. This study investigated ECC RE at varying intensities on left ventricular (LV) function using LV strain (ε), wall stress and haemodynamic parameters. Twenty-four healthy male volunteers completed ECC leg extensions at 20%, 50% and 80% of their ECC maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), whilst receiving echocardiograms. Global longitudinal ɛ, strain rate (SR), longitudinal tissue velocity, heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), LV wall stress and rate pressure product (RPP) were assessed at baseline and during exercise. Left ventricular global ɛ, systolic SR and wall stress remained unchanged throughout. Systolic blood pressure (sBP), MAP and RPP increased at 80% and 50% intensities compared to rest (P < 0.01). Eccentric RE increased HR and peak late diastolic SR at all intensities compared to rest (P < 0.02). The findings suggest acute ECC RE may not alter main parameters of LV function, supporting future potential for wider clinical use. However, future studies must investigate the impact of multiple repetitions and training on LV function. PURPOSE METHOD RESULTS CONCLUSION
    • Effects of breaking up prolonged sitting following low and high glycaemic index breakfast consumption on glucose and insulin concentrations

      Bailey, Daniel Paul; Maylor, Benjamin D.; Orton, Charlie J.; Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2017-05-12)
      Purpose: Breaking up prolonged sitting can attenuate the postprandial rise in glucose and insulin. Whether such effects are dependent of the glycaemic index (GI) of the consumed carbohydrate is unknown. This study examined the acute effects of breaking up prolonged sitting following a low GI and a high GI breakfast on postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations. Procedures: Fourteen adult males aged 22.1 ± 1.2 years completed four, 4 h experimental conditions: high GI breakfast followed by uninterrupted sitting (HGI-SIT), low GI breakfast followed by uninterrupted sitting (LGI-SIT), high GI breakfast followed by 2 min activity breaks every 20 min (HGI-ACT), and low GI breakfast followed by 2 min activity breaks every 20 min (LGI-ACT). Positive incremental area under the curve (iAUC) for glucose and insulin (mean [95% CI]) for each 4h experimental condition was calculated. Statistical analyses were completed using linear mixed models. Results: The sitting × breakfast GI interaction was not significant for glucose positive iAUC (P=0.119). Glucose positive iAUC (mmol/L4 h−1) was significantly lower in the activity breaks conditions than the uninterrupted sitting conditions (2.07 [2.24, 2.89] vs. 2.56 [1.74, 2.40], respectively, P=0.004) and significantly lower in the low GI conditions than the high GI conditions (2.13 [1.80, 2.45] vs. 2.51 [2.18, 2.84], respectively, P=0.022). Insulin concentrations did not differ between conditions (P ≥ 0.203). Conclusions: Breaking up prolonged sitting and lowering breakfast GI independently reduced postprandial glucose responses. This indicates that interrupting prolonged sitting and reducing dietary GI are beneficial approaches for reducing cardiometabolic disease risk.
    • Energy matching of a high‑intensity exercise protocol with a low‑intensity exercise protocol in young people

      Bottoms, Lindsay; Howlett, Neil; Chater, Angel M.; Jones, Andy; Jones, Julia; Wyatt, Solange; Mengoni, Silvana E.; Sharma, Shivani; Irvine, Karen; Trivedi, Daksha; et al. (Springer, 2021-05-12)
    • Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA transcription is characterised by large, sustained changes in core temperature during heat acclimation

      Gibson, Oliver R.; Tuttle, James A.; Watt, Peter W.; Maxwell, Neil S.; Taylor, Lee; ; Brunel University; University of Brighton; University of Bedfordshire; Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital; et al. (Springer, 2016-08-11)
      Increased intracellular heat shock protein-72 (Hsp72) and heat shock protein-90α (Hsp90α) have been implicated as important components of acquired thermotolerance, providing cytoprotection during stress. This experiment determined the physiological responses characterising increases in Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA on the first and tenth day of 90-min heat acclimation (in 40.2 °C, 41.0 % relative humidity (RH)) or equivalent normothermic training (in 20 °C, 29 % RH). Pearson’s product-moment correlation and stepwise multiple regression were performed to determine relationships between physiological [e.g. (Trec, sweat rate (SR) and heart rate (HR)] and training variables (exercise duration, exercise intensity, work done), and the leukocyte Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA responses via reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-QPCR) (n = 15). Significant (p &lt; 0.05) correlations existed between increased Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA (r = 0.879). Increased core temperature was the most important criteria for gene transcription with ΔTrec (r = 0.714), SR (r = 0.709), Trecfinal45 (r = 0.682), area under the curve where Trec ≥ 38.5 °C (AUC38.5 °C; r = 0.678), peak Trec (r = 0.661), duration Trec ≥ 38.5 °C (r = 0.650) and ΔHR (r = 0.511) each demonstrating a significant (p &lt; 0.05) correlation with the increase in Hsp72 mRNA. The Trec AUC38.5 °C (r = 0.729), ΔTrec (r = 0.691), peak Trec (r = 0.680), Trecfinal45 (r = 0.678), SR (r = 0.660), duration Trec ≥ 38.5 °C (r = 0.629), the rate of change in Trec (r = 0.600) and ΔHR (r = 0.531) were the strongest correlate with the increase in Hsp90α mRNA. Multiple regression improved the model for Hsp90α mRNA only, when Trec AUC38.5 °C and SR were combined. Training variables showed insignificant (p > 0.05) weak (r &lt; 0.300) relationships with Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA. Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA correlates were comparable on the first and tenth day. When transcription of the related Hsp72 and Hsp90α mRNA is important, protocols should rapidly induce large, prolonged changes in core temperature.
    • Left ventricular speckle tracking-derived cardiac strain and cardiac twist mechanics in athletes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled studies

      Beaumont, Alexander; Grace, Fergal; Richards, Joanna C.; Hough, John; Oxborough, David; Sculthorpe, Nicholas (Springer, 2016-11-26)
      Background The athlete’s heart is associated with physiological remodelling as a consequence of repetitive cardiac loading. Exercise training effect on left ventricular (LV) cardiac strain and twist mechanics are equivocal and no meta-analysis has been conducted to date. Objective The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis is, (1) to review the literature pertaining to different forms of athletic training on cardiac strain and twist mechanics; (2) to determine the influence of traditional and contemporary sporting classifications on cardiac strain and twist mechanics. Design  Systematic review and meta-analysis. Data Sources PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science and ScienceDirect. Inclusion criteria Controlled studies of aged matched male participants aged 18-45years that used 2-D speckle tracking with a defined athlete sporting discipline and a control group not engaged in training programmes. Data Extraction and Analysis Data were extracted independently by two reviewers. Random effects meta-analyses, subgroup analyses and meta-regressions. Results Thirteen studies of 955 participants; (controls n=355; athletes n=600) were included. Meta-analyses showed no athlete-control differences in LV strain or twist mechanics. However, moderator analyses showed greater LV twist in high static, low dynamic athletes (d= -0.76, 95% CI -1.32 to -0.20, p<0.01) compared with controls. Peak untwisting velocity (PUV) was greater in high static, low dynamic athletes (d= -0.43, 95% CI -0.84 to -0.03, p<0.05) but less than controls in high dynamic, high static athletes (d= 0.79, 95% CI 0.002 to 1.58, p=0.05). Elite endurance athletes had significantly less twist and apical rotation than controls (d= 0.63, 95% CI 0.17 to 1.09, p<0.01; d= 0.64, 95% CI 0.27 to 1.00, p=0.001, respectively) yet no differences in basal rotation compared with controls. Meta-regressions showed LV mass index was positively associated with global longitudinal (b= 0.01, 95% CI 0.002 to 0.02, p<0.05) and apical circumferential strain (b= 0.01, 95% CI -0.001 to 0.01, p=0.05), while systolic blood pressure was negatively associated with PUV (b= -0.06, 95% CI -0.13 to -0.001, p=0.05).  Conclusion Echocardiographic 2-D speckle tracking can identify subtle physiological adaptations to cardiac strain and twist mechanics between athletes and healthy controls. Differences in STE derived parameters can be identified using suitable sporting categorisations.