• “I had to pop a wheelie and pay extra attention in order not to fall:” embodied experiences of two wheelchair tennis athletes transgressing ableist and gendered norms in disability sport and university spaces

      Lynch, Shrehan; Hill, Joanne; ; University of East London; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2020-02-20)
      When bodies move in certain contexts, it can mean very different things for different people. In our society, some bodies are more valued than others, and detrimentally, this can mean that certain types of bodies are ostracized and segregated to the outskirts of production economies and society. Dis/ability sport spaces, able-bodied sports spaces and able-bodied university spaces have been an under-researched area when considering how the body moves throughout these spaces for elite wheelchair athletes taking part in university courses. To learn more, this paper drew on feminist poststructuralism and new materialist perspectives and shared an insight into how two athletes with dis/abilities transgressed abled and gendered norms in different spaces and how they positioned themselves as athletic bodies and disabled bodies in these spaces. Employing a post-critical ethnographic design, we found that dependent on the space a dis/abled body is in constant flux as to when it feels marginalised and different (typically able-bodied spaces) and when it feels included, valued, and strong (typically dis/abled spaces). Significantly, the materiality of the institutional structures of universities, founded upon historic aesthetics of beauty dictated the physical spaces the athletes entered and created spaces of exclusion based on capitalist and ableist ideologies. When bodies move in certain contexts, it can mean very different things for different people. In our society, some bodies are more valued than others, and detrimentally, this can mean that certain types of bodies are ostracized and segregated to the outskirts of production economies and society. Dis/ability sport spaces, able-bodied sports spaces and able-bodied university spaces have been an under-researched area when considering how the body moves throughout these spaces for elite wheelchair athletes taking part in university courses. To learn more, this paper drew on feminist poststructuralism and new materialist perspectives and shared an insight into how two athletes with dis/abilities transgressed abled and gendered norms in different spaces and how they positioned themselves as athletic bodies and disabled bodies in these spaces. Employing a post-critical ethnographic design, we found that dependent on the space a dis/abled body is in constant flux as to when it feels marginalised and different (typically able-bodied spaces) and when it feels included, valued, and strong (typically dis/abled spaces). Significantly, the materiality of the institutional structures of universities, founded upon historic aesthetics of beauty dictated the physical spaces the athletes entered and created spaces of exclusion based on capitalist and ableist ideologies. 
    • ‘If you miss the ball, you look like a total muppet!’ Boys investing in their bodies in physical education and sport

      Hill, Joanne (Taylor & Francis, 2013-08-15)
      Connections have been drawn between masculinity, muscularity and physical or social status in sport. Not only are sporting bodies often related to masculinity but also to whiteness, leading to the devaluing of Asian boys’ bodies and sporting experiences. This paper draws on three British Asian teenage boys’ visual and verbal narratives to enquire how they negotiate these connections in their physical education and recreational sport experiences. Bourdieu’s notion of capital is used to make sense of boys’ ways of investing in their bodies to manage their status in school. Drawing from focus-group interviews which used participant-driven photography and photo elicitation techni- ques, the research indicates how three boys invested in their bodies by doing particular types of physical activity that would enable them to develop muscularity, fitness and/or motor competence, to attain or retain physical and social capital in school. Along the way, they add pertinent comments on the intersections of masculinity and ethnicity in constructing and performing a sporting body. Keywords:
    • The impact of active workstations on workplace productivity and performance: a systematic review

      Ojo, Samson Oluseye; Bailey, Daniel Paul; Chater, Angel M.; Hewson, David; University of Bedfordshire (2018-02-27)
      Active workstations have been recommended for reducing sedentary behavior in the workplace. It is important to understand if the use of these workstations has an impact on worker productivity. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the effect of active workstations on workplace productivity and performance. A total of 3303 articles were initially identified by a systematic search and seven articles met eligibility criteria for inclusion. A quality appraisal was conducted to assess risk of bias, confounding, internal and external validity, and reporting. Most of the studies reported cognitive performance as opposed to productivity. Five studies assessed cognitive performance during use of an active workstation, usually in a single session. Sit-stand desks had no detrimental effect on performance, however, some studies with treadmill and cycling workstations identified potential decreases in performance. Many of the studies lacked the power required to achieve statistical significance. Three studies assessed workplace productivity after prolonged use of an active workstation for between 12 and 52 weeks. These studies reported no significant effect on productivity. Active workstations do not appear to decrease workplace performance. View Full-Text
    • The impact of different environmental conditions on cognitive function: a focused review

      Taylor, Lee; Watkins, Samuel L.; Marshall, Hannah; Dascombe, Ben; Foster, Josh; Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital; University of Bedfordshire; University of Newcastle, Australia (Frontiers Media S.A., 2016-01-06)
      Cognitive function defines performance in objective tasks that require conscious mental effort. Extreme environments, namely heat, hypoxia, and cold can all alter human cognitive function due to a variety of psychological and/or biological processes. The aims of this Focused Review were to discuss; (1) the current state of knowledge on the effects of heat, hypoxic and cold stress on cognitive function, (2) the potential mechanisms underpinning these alterations, and (3) plausible interventions that may maintain cognitive function upon exposure to each of these environmental stressors. The available evidence suggests that the effects of heat, hypoxia, and cold stress on cognitive function are both task and severity dependent. Complex tasks are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat stress, whereas both simple and complex task performance appear to be vulnerable at even at moderate altitudes. Cold stress also appears to negatively impact both simple and complex task performance, however, the research in this area is sparse in comparison to heat and hypoxia. In summary, this focused review provides updated knowledge regarding the effects of extreme environmental stressors on cognitive function and their biological underpinnings. Tyrosine supplementation may help individuals maintain cognitive function in very hot, hypoxic, and/or cold conditions. However, more research is needed to clarify these and other postulated interventions.
    • Impact of intensified training and carbohydrate supplementation on immunity and markers of overreaching in highly trained cyclists

      Svendsen, Ida S.; Killer, Sophie C.; Carter, James M.; Randell, Rebecca K.; Jeukendrup, Asker E.; Gleeson, Michael; ; Loughborough University; PepsiCo Global Nutrition R&D (Springer Verlag, 2016-02-23)
      Purpose: To determine effects of intensified training (IT) and carbohydrate supplementation on overreaching and immunity. Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, crossover design, 13 male cyclists (age 25 ± 6 years, (Formula presented.) 72 ± 5 ml/kg/min) completed two 8-day periods of IT. On one occasion, participants ingested 2 % carbohydrate (L-CHO) beverages before, during and after training sessions. On the second occasion, 6 % carbohydrate (H-CHO) solutions were ingested before, during and after training, with the addition of 20 g of protein in the post-exercise beverage. Blood samples were collected before and immediately after incremental exercise to fatigue on days 1 and 9. Results: In both trials, IT resulted in decreased peak power (375 ± 37 vs. 391 ± 37 W, P < 0.001), maximal heart rate (179 ± 8 vs. 190 ± 10 bpm, P < 0.001) and haematocrit (39 ± 2 vs. 42 ± 2 %, P < 0.001), and increased plasma volume (P < 0.001). Resting plasma cortisol increased while plasma ACTH decreased following IT (P < 0.05), with no between-trial differences. Following IT, antigen-stimulated whole blood culture production of IL-1α was higher in L-CHO than H-CHO (0.70 (95 % CI 0.52–0.95) pg/ml versus 0.33 (0.24–0.45) pg/ml, P < 0.01), as was production of IL-1β (9.3 (95 % CI 7–10.4) pg/ml versus 6.0 (5.0–7.8) pg/ml, P < 0.05). Circulating total leukocytes (P < 0.05) and neutrophils (P < 0.01) at rest increased following IT, as did neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio and percentage CD4+ lymphocytes (P < 0.05), with no between-trial differences. Conclusion: IT resulted in symptoms consistent with overreaching, although immunological changes were modest. Higher carbohydrate intake was not able to alleviate physiological/immunological disturbances.
    • The impact of neurological disability and sensory loss on mindfulness practice

      Finlay, K. A.; Chater, Angel M.; Hearn, J.; University of Reading; University of Bedfordshire; Manchester Metropolitan University (Taylor and Francis, 2021-02-23)
      Objectives Mindfulness-based approaches are increasingly recommended in the management of medical conditions associated with sensory loss and absence, such as Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). Yet the implications of undertaking practices such as body scanning when living with sensory loss have not been considered. This study aimed to explore the impact of sensory loss on the practice and experience of mindfulness in qualified mindfulness teachers with SCI/FND/MS. Methods Eight mindfulness teachers (5 females, 3 males) with SCI/FND/MS, sensory loss and wheelchair use were recruited from mindfulness teacher databases. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were undertaken, lasting between 50 and 93 min. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Idiographic analyses for descriptive, linguistic and conceptual themes were completed before cross-case analyses. Results Analyses resulted in two superordinate themes: (1) Adopting your Body; and (2) Sensation without Loss. These themes reflected the challenge of overcoming initial resistance to areas of the body with sensory disruption, building a relationship with the whole body, such that sensory awareness could be visualised and experienced without proprioception. Conclusions Mindfulness offers a unique approach to accepting and working with the body after paralysis or sensory loss. Fundamental to the use of mindfulness with such populations, is the prioritisation of inclusive sensory language and exploring sensory absence as well as sensory presence. The cognitive and emotional outcomes of body scanning may be uniquely elevated in populations with neurophysiological disorders, highlighting the benefits of mindfulness for adaptive and protective self-management.
    • The impact of playing in matches while injured on injury surveillance findings in professional football

      Hammond, Lucy E.; Lilley, J.M.; Pope, G.D.; Ribbans, W.J.; (Blackwell Munksgaard, 2013-10-10)
      This study aimed to analyze the frequency, nature, and consequences of footballers playing matches while injured, and to examine the impact on injury surveillance findings. High levels of inter-rater reliability and content validity were established for a tool designed to document players who were already injured at the start of a match. The tool was implemented in three English football teams (a Championship, League 1, and League 2 team) for one season, using a "time loss" definition of injury. One hundred forty-three matches were surveyed, revealing 102 match appearances by players who were already injured. Almost half of all games featured at least one injured player, with episodes of playing with injury occurring more frequently and lasting longer in League 2 players compared with higher level players. No association was observed between the number of injured players starting matches and match outcome [χ2(4, N=143)=3.27, P=0.514]. Fifteen percent of all injury episodes captured were only through prospective documentation of playing while injured. The findings show that both traumatic and overuse injuries are managed by footballers through competitive matches, and have important implications for aiding understanding of the epidemiology of injury in professional football..
    • Implicit and explicit pedagogical practices related to sociocultural issues and social justice in physical education teacher education programs

      Walton-Fisette, Jennifer L.; Philpot, Rod; Phillips, Sharon; Flory, Sara B.; Hill, Joanne; Sutherland, Sue; Flemons, Michelle; Kent State University; University of Auckland; Hofstra University; et al. (Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles, 2018-05-03)
      Background: For many years, scholars in PETE have argued for the importance of educating pre-service teachers (PSTs) about equality (e.g., Evans 1990), sociocultural perspectives and issues (e.g., Cliff, Wright and Clarke, 2009; Author 2014) and critical pedagogy (e.g., Fernandez-Balboa 1997; Philpot 2015). Despite this advocacy, we would argue that there are significant differences in how faculty teach about sociocultural issues, and for, social justice. The pedagogical actions through which Physical Education Teacher Educators (PETEs) do this work is the focus of this paper. Purpose: We investigated the pedagogical approaches and strategies used by PETE faculty to address and educate PSTs about social justice and sociocultural issues related to gender, race, sexuality, (dis)ability, socioeconomic status and religion in their individual PETE programs. In this study, we draw on transformational pedagogy (Ukpokodu 2009; Ovens 2017) as a framework for theorizing the data. Through this study, we highlight the pedagogical practices espoused as those that engender transformative learning. Data collection and analysis: Data for this interpretive qualitative research study was collected primarily through in-depth semi-structured interviews with over 70 PETEs who work in 48 PETE programs across Australia, Canada, England, Ireland New Zealand, Sweden, and the United States. Furthermore, an informational survey was used to gather demographic data of the participants. The participants, all current PETEs, had a wide range of professional experiences, which included the length of time in the profession, the type of institution employed, educational backgrounds and courses taught. Data analysis was completed using the processes of content analysis and the constant comparative method (Corbin and Strauss 2008). Findings: Three major themes represent the findings. In the first theme, ‘Intentional and Explicit Pedagogies’ we provide descriptions of the approaches and strategies used by PETEs in this study that were planned in advance of the learning experiences. In the second theme, ‘Teachable Moments’ we provide examples of how PETEs utilized ‘teachable moments’ in implicit and explicit ways to educate PSTs about sociocultural issues. The third theme, ‘Resistance and Constraints’ captures the individual challenges PETE faculty faced within their courses if, and when, they teach for equity and social justice. The findings suggest that social justice struggles to find an explicit presence within many PETE programs and that educating PSTs about sociocultural issues and social justice is lacking in many PETE programs.
    • In pursuit of control and happiness: the psychological way to a lower body mass index, but hold the dieting!

      Chater, Angel M.; Cook, Erica Jane (2010-08-31)
      Background: Obesity continues to present a major public health concern (NHS, 2008). This study aimed to explore the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the affective states: happiness, anxiety and depression, alongside self efficacy and eating behaviours. It further aimed to identify if these components influence overeating behaviour, a factor that is empirically linked to a high BMI (Macht, 2008). Method: Data was collected from 104 adults (76% female), mean age 38.48 (SD = 12.47) years, who completed questionnaires which measured happiness, depression, anxiety, generalised self efficacy, dietary restraint, emotional eating and binge eating. Height and weight were also taken to calculate BMI, which ranged from 16.41-44.38 with a mean BMI of 26.92 (SD = 5.98). Results: Findings confirm that there are significant relationships between personal control, affective states, eating behaviours and BMI. Generalised self efficacy and happiness were revealed as predominant psychological factors, correlating with all variables (p < .001). Controlling for age and gender, generalised self efficacy explained the variance in emotional eating by 16%, binge eating by 12% and BMI by 19%. Dietary restraint accounted for 66% of the variance in binge eating behaviour and was also the highest predictor of BMI (R2 = .45), with depression explaining a further 9%. Finally, investigating the influence of emotional eating, negative affect (R2 = .32) and dietary restraint (R2 = .07) were revealed to be the most significant predictors. Conclusion: Evidence presented here highlights the importance for behavioural medicine to consider the influence of self efficacy and affect when tailoring weight loss interventions, while also exercising caution over the negative influence of dieting behaviour.
    • The intra- and inter-rater reliability of the Soccer Injury Movement sscreen (SIMS)

      McCunn, Robert; Aus Der Fünten, Karen; Govus, Andrew; Julian, Ross; Schimpchen, Jan; Meyer, Tim; Saarland University; University of Bedfordshire (2017-02-28)
      Background/purpose The growing volume of movement screening research reveals a belief among practitioners and researchers alike that movement quality may have an association with injury risk. However, existing movement screening tools have not considered the sport-specific movement and injury patterns relevant to soccer. The present study introduces the Soccer Injury Movement Screen (SIMS), which has been designed specifically for use within soccer. Furthermore, the purpose of the present study was to assess the intra- and inter-rater reliability of the SIMS and determine its suitability for use in further research. Methods The study utilized a test-retest design to discern reliablility. Twenty-five (11 males, 14 females) healthy, recreationally active university students (age 25.5 ± 4.0 years, height 171 ± 9 cm, weight 64.7 ± 12.6 kg) agreed to participate. The SIMS contains five sub-tests: the anterior reach, single-leg deadlift, in-line lunge, single-leg hop for distance and tuck jump. Each movement was scored out of 10 points and summed to produce a composite score out of 50. The anterior reach and single-leg hop for distance were scored in real-time while the remaining tests were filmed and scored retrospectively. Three raters conducted the SIMS with each participant on three occasions separated by an average of three and a half days (minimum one day, maximum seven days). Rater 1 re-scored the filmed movements for all participants on all occasions six months later to establish the ‘pure’ intra-rater (intra-occasion) reliability for those movements. Results Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) values for intra- and inter-rater composite score reliability ranged from 0.66-0.72 and 0.79-0.86 respectively. Weighted kappa values representing the intra- and inter-rater reliability of the individual sub-tests ranged from 0.35-0.91 indicating fair to almost perfect agreement. Conclusions Establishing the reliability of the SIMS is a prerequisite for further research seeking to investigate the relationship between test score and subsequent injury. The present results indicate acceptable reliability for this purpose; however, room for further development of the intra-rater reliability exists for some of the individual sub-tests.
    • Investigating the relationships between elements of a revised theory of planned behaviour and objectively measured physical activity behaviours [HAPPY Study]

      Denton, Sarah J.; Kerr, Catherine J.; Savory, Louise A.; Bailey, Daniel Paul; Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire (2010-08-01)
      Objectives: This study examined the relationships between constructs of a revised Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels in 10–14 year-old schoolchildren. Methods: Ninety-one schoolchildren (boys n = 34; girls n = 57) completed a health perceptions questionnaire measuring the constructs of a revised TPB which included attitude, subjective norms, behaviour-specific self-efficacy (BSSE) and intentions to be active. Physical activity behaviours were recorded objectively over seven consecutive days using RT3® triaxial accelerometers. Multiple regressions were employed for each gender to explore the relationships of each of the revised TPB constructs with: 1. intentions to be active and 2. weekday and weekend MVPA. Results: For boys, subjective norms were correlated with intention (r = 0.653, p < 0.001). For girls, attitude (r = −0.570), subjective norms (r = 0.433) and BSSE (r = 0.517) correlated with intention (p < 0.001). No significant relationships were found for either gender between the revised TPB constructs and weekday or weekend MVPA. Conclusions: In this study 10–14 year old schoolchildren have developed cognitions which support intentions to be active but these intentions are not necessarily transferred into actual physical activity.
    • ‘It has really amazed me what my body can now do’: boundary work and the construction of a body-positive dance community

      Hill, Joanne; Sandford, Rachel; Enright, Eimear (Taylor & Francis, 2015-08-18)
      Boundaries around normative embodiments in physical cultures can be exclusionary if one’s embodied identity does not ‘fit’. Normative boundaries are particularly marked in codified forms of dance such as ballet. Moves towards body positivity aim to challenge these normative boundaries by redefining what dancers’ bodies can look like and how they should move. This paper stems from an appreciative inquiry undertaken with one such project, a gender-neutral, LGBTQ-friendly adult ballet school in the UK; a subcultural context that marks itself as distinct from broader cultures of dance. Interviews with learners are analysed through a Bourdieuian lens to explore the construction and maintenance of a body-positive subculture. Findings suggest that boundaries of ability were crossed, with celebration of all bodies’ capabilities, and boundaries of normative gender expression were transformed through a commitment to gender-neutrality and LGBTQ-friendly behaviours. However, boundaries around technical and aesthetic norms, while shifted or challenged, ultimately remained in place.
    • Lay beliefs on assisted reproduction technology in the UK and Greece: a repertory grid study

      Triantafillidou, A.; Ardino, V.; Asirnakopoulou, K.; Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire (2008-09-30)
      Background: This study explored cultural differences in the attitudes of UK and Greek lay people towards Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART). Methods: Using a Personal Construct Explanatory Model (Kelly, 1955) and Life Repertory Grids, we gathered data from N¼10 Greek and N¼10 British people. The majority (N¼17) were female and 40% were 36–45 years old. Data were analysed through a Principal Components Analysis and a Content Analysis. Findings: We found both similarities and differences between British and Greek people. Happiness, Control, Family, and Stress were among the main Components and Categories identified. The extent, however, to which the Components and Categories were identified in the two samples varied widely. Discussion: Cultural influences play an important role in shaping people’s views towards ART. It is argued that where Health Psychologists provide ART related consultancy or educational programmes, such activities may benefit from a culturally sensitive approach.
    • 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 &lt; 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 &lt; 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.
    • 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.
    • Left ventricular twist mechanics during incremental cycling and knee extension exercise in healthy men

      Beaumont, Alexander; Hough, John; Sculthorpe, Nicholas; Richards, Joanna C. (Springer Verlag, 2016-12-05)
      Purpose: The objective of the present study was to investigate left ventricular (LV) twist mechanics in response to incremental cycling and isometric knee extension exercises. Methods: Twenty-six healthy male participants (age = 30.42 ± 6.17 years) were used to study peak twist mechanics at rest and during incremental semi-supine cycling at 30 and 60% work rate maximum (W) and during short duration (15 s contractions) isometric knee extension at 40 and 75% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), using two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography. Results: Data presented as mean ± standard deviation or median (interquartile range). LV twist increased from rest to 30% W (13.21° ± 4.63° to 20.04° ± 4.76°, p < 0.001) then remained unchanged. LV systolic and diastolic twisting velocities progressively increased with exercise intensity during cycling from rest to 60% W (twisting, 88.21° ± 20.51° to 209.05° ± 34.56° s, p < 0.0001; untwisting, −93.90 (29.62)° to −267.31 (104.30)° s, p < 0.0001). During the knee extension exercise, LV twist remained unchanged with progressive intensity (rest 13.40° ± 4.80° to 75% MVC 16.77° ± 5.54°, p > 0.05), whilst twisting velocity increased (rest 89.15° ± 21.77° s to 75% MVC 124.32° ± 34.89° s, p < 0.01). Untwisting velocity remained unchanged from rest [−90.60 (27.19)° s] to 40% MVC (p > 0.05) then increased from 40 to 75% MVC [−98.44 (43.54)° s to −138.42 (73.29)° s, p < 0.01]. Apical rotations and rotational velocities were greater than basal during all conditions and intensities (all p < 0.01). Conclusion: Cycling increased LV twist to 30% W which then remained unchanged thereafter, whereas twisting velocities showed further increases to greater intensities. A novel finding is that LV twist was unaffected by incremental knee extension, yet systolic and diastolic twisting velocities augmented with isometric exercise.
    • Let’s talk about death openly: when the world is grieving, please don’t walk on eggshells.

      Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire (British Psychological Society, 2020-05-13)
      A blog on bereavement and physical activity Health Psychologist Angel Chater has spoken openly about bereavement over the last two decades. Here, she urges society to recognise and be open about loss.
    • 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.
    • Live high, train low - influence on resting and post-exercise hepcidin levels

      Govus, Andrew; Peeling, P.; Abbiss, Chris R.; Lawler, N.G.; Swinkels, D.W.; Laarakkers, C.M.; Thompson, K.G.; Peiffer, Jeremiah J.; Gore, C.J.; Garvican-Lewis, L.A. (2016-03-31)
      ) was measured via CO rebreathing 1 week before and after 14 days of hypoxia. Hepcidin was suppressed after 2 (Cohen's d = -2.3, 95% confidence interval: [-2.9, -1.6]) and 14 days of normobaric hypoxia (d = -1.6 [-2.6, -0.6]). Hepcidin increased from baseline, 3 h post-exercise in normoxia (d = 0.8 [0.2, 1.3]) and hypoxia (d = 0.6 [0.3, 1.0]), both before and after exposure (normoxia: d = 0.7 [0.3, 1.2]; hypoxia: d = 1.3 [0.4, 2.3]). In conclusion, 2 weeks of normobaric hypoxia suppressed resting hepcidin levels, but did not alter the post-exercise response in either normoxia or hypoxia, compared with the pre-exposure response.