• Vertical stiffness asymmetries during drop jumping are related to ankle stiffness asymmetries

      Maloney, Sean J.; Richards, Joanna C.; Nixon, Daniel G.D.; Harvey, Lewis J.; Fletcher, Iain M. (Wiley, 2016-03-31)
      Asymmetry in vertical stiffness has been associated with increased injury incidence and impaired performance. The determinants of vertical stiffness asymmetry have not been previously investigated. Eighteen healthy males performed three unilateral drop jumps during which vertical stiffness and joint stiffness of the ankle and knee were calculated. Reactive strength index was also determined during the jumps using the ratio of flight time to ground contact time. ‘Moderate’ differences in vertical stiffness (t17 = 5.49; P < 0.001), ‘small’ differences in centre of mass displacement (t17 = -2.19; P = 0.043) and ‘trivial’ differences in ankle stiffness (t17 = 2.68; P = 0.016) were observed between stiff and compliant limbs. A model including ankle stiffness and reactive strength index symmetry angles explained 79% of the variance in vertical stiffness asymmetry (R2 = 0.79; P < 0.001). None of the symmetry angles were correlated to jump height or reactive strength index. Results suggest that asymmetries in ankle stiffness may play an important role in modulating vertical stiffness asymmetry in recreationally trained males.
    • Warm-up intensity does not affect the ergogenic effect of sodium bicarbonate in adult men

      Jones, Rebecca Louise; Stellingwerff, Trent; Artioli, Guilherme Giannini; Saunders, Bryan; Sale, Craig; Swinton, Paul; ; University of Bedfordshire; Canadian Sport Institute–Pacific; University of Victoria; et al. (Human Kinetics, 2021-09-03)
      This study determined the influence of a high (HI) vs. low-intensity (LI) cycling warm-up on blood acid-base responses and exercise capacity following ingestion of sodium bicarbonate (SB; 0.3 g·kg-1 body-mass (BM)) or a placebo (PLA; maltodextrin) 3-hours prior to warm-up. Twelve men (21±2 years, 79.2±3.6 kg BM, maximum power output (Wmax) 318±36 W) completed a familiarisation and four double-blind trials completed in a counterbalanced order: HI warm-up with SB (HISB); HI warm-up with PLA (HIPLA); LI warm-up with SB (LISB); and LI warm-up with PLA (LIPLA). LI warm-up was 15-minutes at 60%Wmax, while the HI warm-up (typical of elites) featured LI followed by 2 x 30-sec (3-minute break) at Wmax, finishing 30-minute prior to a cycling capacity test at 110%Wmax (CCT110%). Blood bicarbonate and lactate were measured throughout. SB supplementation increased blood bicarbonate (+6.4 [95%CI: 5.7 to 7.1 mmol·L-1]) prior to greater reductions with high intensity warm-up (-3.8 [95%CI: -5.8 to -1.8 mmol·L-1]). However, during the 30-minute recovery, blood bicarbonate rebounded and increased in all conditions, with concentrations ~5.3mmol·L-1 greater with SB supplementation (P&lt;0.001). Blood bicarbonate significantly declined during the CCT110% with greater reductions following SB supplementation (-2.4 [95%CI: -3.8 to -0.90 mmol·L-1]). Aligned with these results, SB supplementation increased total work done during the CCT110% (+8.5 [95%CI: 3.6 to 13.4 kJ], ~19% increase) with no significant main effect of warm-up intensity (+0.0 [95%CI: -5.0 to 5.0 kJ). Collectively, the results demonstrate that SB supplementation can improve HI cycling capacity irrespective of prior warm-up intensity, likely due to blood alkalosis.
    • Warm-up intensity does not influence the beneficial effect of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on cycling performance

      Jones, Rebecca Louise; Stellingwerff, Trent; Swinton, P.; Artioli, Guilherme Giannini; Sale, Craig (2016-12-21)
    • What are the most effective behaviour change techniques to promote physical activity and/or reduce sedentary behaviour in inactive adults? : a systematic review protocol

      Howlett, Neil; Trivedi, Daksha; Troop, Nicholas A.; Chater, Angel M.; University of Hertfordshire; University College London (BMJ, 2015-08-05)
      Introduction: A large proportion of the population are not meeting recommended levels of physical activity and have increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Low levels of physical activity are predictive of poor health outcomes and time spent sedentary is related to a host of risk factors independently of physical activity levels. Building an evidence base of the best approaches to intervene in the lifestyles of inactive individuals is crucial in preventing longterm disease, disability, and higher mortality rates. Methods and Analysis: Systematic searches will be conducted on all relevant databases (e.g. PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, PsycINFO). Studies will be included if they assess interventions aimed at changing physical activity or sedentary behaviour levels in adults (over 18) who are inactive and do not suffer from chronic conditions. Studies must also be randomised controlled trials (RCT), have a primary outcome of physical activity or sedentary behaviour, and measure outcomes at least six months after intervention completion. Studies will be coded using the Behaviour Change Technique (BCT) taxonomy v1 and TIDieR guidelines. Two reviewers will independently screen full-text articles and extract data on study characteristics, participants, BCTs, intervention features, and outcome measures. Study quality will also be assessed independently by two reviewers using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. A meta-analysis will be considered if there is sufficient homogeneity across outcomes. GRADE criteria will be used to assess quality of evidence. Dissemination: This will be the first review to systematically appraise interventions aimed at changing the physical activity or sedentary behaviour of inactive individuals using RCT designs with a six-month follow-up post intervention. This review will better inform intervention designers targeting inactive populations and inform the design of a future complex intervention. Review registration: This protocol was registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) on 17th October 2014 (registration number: CRD42014014321).
    • What are the most effective behaviour change techniques to promote physical activity and/or reduce sedentary behaviour in inactive adults? a systematic review protocol

      Howlett, Neil; Trivedi, Daksha; Troop, Nicholas A.; Chater, Angel M.; University of Hertfordshire; University College London (BMJ Publishing Group, 2015-07-02)
      Introduction Large proportions of the population are not meeting recommended levels of physical activity and have increasingly sedentary lifestyles. Low levels of physical activity are predictive of poor health outcomes and time spent sedentary is related to a host of risk factors independently of physical activity levels. Building an evidence base of the best approaches to intervene in the lifestyles of inactive individuals is crucial in preventing long-term disease, disability and higher mortality rates. Methods and analysis Systematic searches will be conducted on all relevant databases (eg, PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, PsycINFO). Studies will be included if they assess interventions aimed at changing physical activity or sedentary behaviour levels in adults (over 18) who are inactive and do not suffer from chronic conditions. Studies must also be randomised controlled trials (RCTs), have a primary outcome of physical activity or sedentary behaviour, and measure outcomes at least 6 months after intervention completion. Studies will be coded using the Behaviour Change Technique (BCT) taxonomy v1 and Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR) guidelines. 2 reviewers will independently screen full-text articles and extract data on study characteristics, participants, BCTs, intervention features and outcome measures. Study quality will also be assessed independently by 2 reviewers using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. A meta-analysis will be considered if there is sufficient homogeneity across outcomes. GRADE criteria will be used to assess quality of evidence. Dissemination This will be the first review to systematically appraise interventions aimed at changing the physical activity or sedentary behaviour of inactive individuals using RCT designs with a 6-month follow-up post-intervention. This review will better inform intervention designers targeting inactive populations and inform the design of a future complex intervention.
    • What are the most effective behaviour change techniques to promote physical activity and/or reduce sedentary behaviour in sedentary adults? A systematic review protocol.

      Howlett, Neil; Trivedi, Daksha; Troop, Nicholas A.; Chater, Angel M.; University of Hertfordshire; University College London (BMJ, 2015-08-05)
    • 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.
    • Who protects their health? Factors that influence health preventive behaviours and body mass index

      Chater, Angel M.; Cook, Erica Jane (2008-09-30)
      Background: This study aimed to identify the extent to which levels of happiness and self-efficacy could predict preventive health behaviours (such as healthy eating and exercise) and body mass index (BMI). Methods: Data was collected from 100 adults (59% female), mean age 24.75 years, measuring generalised self-efficacy beliefs, happiness, health preventative behaviours, BMI, age and gender. Findings: Results indicate that both happiness and generalised self efficacy significantly predict health preventative behaviours, explaining 20% and 26% of the variance in the behaviours respectively. Mood was negatively correlated with BMI (r¼0.17, p50.05). Relationships were also noted between generalised self efficacy, happiness and BMI. Discussion: Evidence presented here suggests that happiness and high self-efficacy beliefs can significantly enhance health protective behaviours. Moreover, those who express higher levels of happiness, also exhibit higher levels of self efficacy and have a lower BMI. Suggestions are made to tailor health promotion campaigns towards enhancing mood and personal control beliefs.
    • Who uses foodbanks and why? Exploring the impact of financial strain and adverse life events on food insecurity

      Prayogo, Edwina; Chater, Angel M.; Chapman, S.; Barker, M.; Rahmawati, N.; Waterfall, T.; Grimble, G.; University College London; University of Bedfordshire; University of Bath; et al. (Oxford University Press, 17-11-14)
      Background Rising use of foodbanks highlights food insecurity in the UK. Adverse life events (e.g. unemployment, benefit delays or sanctions) and financial strains are thought to be the drivers of foodbank use. This research aimed to explore who uses foodbanks, and factors associated with increased food insecurity. Methods We surveyed those seeking help from front line crisis providers from foodbanks (N = 270) and a comparison group from Advice Centres (ACs) (N = 245) in relation to demographics, adverse life events, financial strain and household food security. Results About 55.9% of foodbank users were women and the majority were in receipt of benefits (64.8%). Benefit delays (31.9%), changes (11.1%) and low income (19.6%) were the most common reasons given for referral. Compared to AC users, there were more foodbank users who were single men without children, unemployed, currently homeless, experiencing more financial strain and adverse life events (P = 0.001). Food insecurity was high in both populations, and more severe if they also reported financial strain and adverse life events. Conclusions Benefit-related problems appear to be a key reason for foodbank referral. By comparison with other disadvantaged groups, foodbank users experienced more financial strain, adverse life events, both increased the severity of food insecurity.
    • Why is our PE teacher education curriculum white? a collaborative self-study of teaching about ‘race’ in PETE programmes

      Hill, Joanne; Walton-Fisette, Jennifer L. (Routledge, 2019-06-04)
      Why is my curriculum white? is a student-led movement that has questioned the centrality of white perspectives in higher education. Originating in the United Kingdom (UK) with an event and film produced by students at University College London (UCLTV, 2014, https://youtu.be/Dscx4h2l-Pk,), the movement suggests that white theorists and viewpoints have been privileged over Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) or postcolonial scholars. They raise concerns that a white focused curriculum has a universalising effect, making white-specific theories appear to speak about all human experience. According to this movement, if universities are to be as inclusive as they claim, they are challenged to develop curricula that reflect this, as opposed to focusing on diversity, which has tended to be framed in relation to the numbers of BME staff and students and celebrated as a proxy for equality (Archer, 2007; Husain, 2015; Pilkington, 2016). Higher education institutions (HEIs) are not neutral, but reproduce implicit perspectives on reading lists, the sequencing of issues, and consistent messages (Cochran-Smith, 2000). We could also add, how students’ needs are addressed, and how these needs are dealt with, as well as HEIs’ expectations of (BME and disadvantaged) students’ engagement and success. We propose that explicit and hidden curricular material and delivery may contribute to maintaining the status quo, thus racial inequalities; and despite equal opportunity attempts (such as the Widening Participation agenda in the UK), BME students are less likely to be awarded 2:1/1st degrees compared to their white peers; they have higher rates of underachievement, drop out, exclusion, unemployment, and incarceration (Lander, 2016; Pilkington, 2016).
    • Within-season distribution of external training and racing workload in professional male road cyclists

      Metcalfe, Alan J.; Menaspà, Paolo; Villerius, Vincent; Quod, Marc; Peiffer, Jeremiah J.; Govus, Andrew; Abbiss, Chris R. (Human Kinetics, 2017-04-30)
      To describe the within-season external workloads of professional male road cyclists for optimal training prescription. Training and racing of 4 international competitive professional male cyclists (age 24 ± 2 y, body mass 77.6 ± 1.5 kg) were monitored for 12 mo before the world team-time-trial championships. Three within-season phases leading up to the team-time-trial world championships on September 20, 2015, were defined as phase 1 (Oct-Jan), phase 2 (Feb-May), and phase 3 (June-Sept). Distance and time were compared between training and racing days and over each of the various phases. Times spent in absolute (&lt;100, 100-300, 400-500, >500 W) and relative (0-1.9, 2.0-4.9, 5.0-7.9, >8 W/kg) power zones were also compared for the whole season and between phases 1-3. Total distance (3859 ± 959 vs 10911 ± 620 km) and time (240.5 ± 37.5 vs 337.5 ± 26 h) were lower (P &lt; .01) in phase 1 than phase 2. Total distance decreased (P &lt; .01) from phase 2 to phase 3 (10911 ± 620 vs 8411 ± 1399 km, respectively). Mean absolute (236 ± 12.1 vs 197 ± 3 W) and relative (3.1 ± 0 vs 2.5 ± 0 W/kg) power output were higher (P &lt; .05) during racing than training, respectively. Volume and intensity differed between training and racing over each of 3 distinct within-season phases.
    • β-alanine supplementation enhances human skeletal muscle relaxation speed but not force production capacity

      Hannah, Ricci; Jones, Rebecca Louise; Minshull, Claire; Artioli, Guilherme Giannini; Harris, Roger C.; Sale, Craig (American Physiological Society, 2015-03-01)
      PURPOSE: β-alanine (BA) supplementation improves human exercise performance. One possible explanation for this is an enhancement of muscle contractile properties, occurring via elevated intramuscular carnosine resulting in improved calcium sensitivity and handling. This study investigated the effect of BA supplementation on in vivo contractile properties and voluntary neuromuscular performance. METHODS: Twenty-three men completed two experimental sessions, pre- and post-28 days supplementation with 6.4 g·d-1 39 of BA (n = 12) or placebo (PLA; n = 11). During each session, force was recorded during a series of knee extensor contractions: resting and potentiated twitches and octet (8 pulses, 300 Hz) contractions elicited via femoral nerve stimulation; tetanic contractions (1 s, 1 – 100 Hz) via superficial muscle stimulation; and maximum and explosive voluntary contractions. RESULTS: BA supplementation had no effect on the force-frequency relationship, or the force responses (force at 25 ms and 50 ms from onset, peak force) of resting or potentiated twitches, and octet contractions (P > 0.05). Resting and potentiated twitch electromechanical delay and time-to-peak tension were unaffected by BA supplementation (P > 0.05), although half-relaxation time declined by 7-12% (P < 0.05). Maximum and explosive voluntary forces were unchanged after BA supplementation. CONCLUSION: BA supplementation had no effect on evoked force responses, implying that altered calcium sensitivity and/or release are not the mechanisms by which BA supplementation influences exercise performance. The reduced half-relaxation time with BA supplementation might, however, be explained by enhanced reuptake of calcium, which has implications for the efficiency of muscle contraction following BA supplementation.
    • β-alanine supplementation enhances human skeletal muscle relaxation speed but not force production capacity

      Jones, Rebecca Louise; Hannah, Ricci; Minshull, Claire; Artioli, Guilherme Giannini; Harris, Roger C.; Sale, Craig (2015-09-20)
    • β-alanine supplementation improves in-vivo fresh and fatigued muscle relaxation speed

      Jones, Rebecca Louise; Barnett, T.C.; Davidson, Joel; Maritza, Billy; Fraser, William D.; Harris, Roger C.; Sale, Craig (2017-09-20)
    • β-alanine supplementation improves in-vivo fresh and fatigued muscle relaxation speed

      Jones, Rebecca Louise; Barnett, Cleveland Thomas; Davidson, Joel; Maritza, Billy; Fraser, William D.; Harris, Roger C.; Sale, Craig; Nottingham Trent University; University of East Anglia; Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital; et al. (Springer International Publishing AG, 2017-03-27)
      PURPOSE: In fresh muscle, supplementation with the rate-limiting precursor of carnosine, β-alanine (BA), results in a decline in muscle half-relaxation time (HRT) potentially via alterations to calcium (Ca2+) handling. Accumulation of hydrogen cation (H+) has been shown to impact Ca2+ signalling during muscular contraction, carnosine has the potential to serve as a cytoplasmic regulator of Ca2+ and H+ coupling, since it binds to both ions. The present study examined the effect of BA supplementation on intrinsic in-vivo isometric knee extensor force production and muscle contractility in both fresh and fatigued human skeletal muscle assessed during voluntary and electrically evoked (nerve and superficial muscle stimulation) contractions. METHODS: Twenty-three males completed two experimental sessions, pre- and post- 28 day supplementation with 6.4 g.day-1 of BA (n = 12) or placebo (PLA; n = 11). Isometric force was recorded during a series of voluntary and electrically evoked knee extensor contractions. RESULTS: BA supplementation had no effect on voluntary or electrically evoked isometric force production, or twitch electromechanical delay and time-to-peak tension. There was a significant decline in muscle HRT in fresh and fatigued muscle conditions during both resting (3 ± 13%; 19 ± 26%) and potentiated (1 ± 15%; 2 ± 20%) twitch contractions. CONCLUSIONS: The mechanism for reduced HRT in fresh and fatigued skeletal muscle following BA supplementation is unclear. Due to the importance of muscle relaxation on total energy consumption, especially during short, repeated contractions, BA supplementation may prove to be beneficial in minimising contractile slowing induced by fatigue. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial is registered with Clinicaltrials.gov, ID number NCT02819505.