• Pacing during a cross-country mountain bike mass-participation event according to race performance, experience, age and sex.

      Moss, Samantha L.; Francis, Ben; Calogiuri, Giovanna; Highton, Jamie (2018-12-15)
      This study describes pacing strategies adopted in an 86-km mass-participation cross-country marathon mountain bike race (the 'Birkebeinerrittet'). Absolute (km·h ) and relative speed (% average race speed) and speed coefficient of variation (%CV) in five race sections (15.1, 31.4, 52.3, 74.4 and 100% of total distance) were calculated for 8182 participants. Data were grouped and analysed according to race performance, age, sex and race experience. The highest average speed was observed in males (21.8 ± 3.7 km/h), 16-24 yr olds (23.0 ± 4.8 km/h) and those that had previously completed >4 Birkebeinerrittet races (22.5 ± 3.4 km/h). Independent of these factors, the fastest performers exhibited faster speeds across all race sections, whilst their relative speed was higher in early and late climbing sections (Cohen's d = 0.45-1.15) and slower in the final descending race section (d = 0.64-0.98). Similar trends were observed in the quicker age, sex and race experience groups, who tended to have a higher average speed in earlier race sections and a lower average speed during the final race section compared to slower groups. In all comparisons, faster groups also had a lower %CV for speed than slower groups (fastest %CV = 24.02%, slowest %CV = 32.03%), indicating a lower variation in speed across the race. Pacing in a cross-country mountain bike marathon is related to performance, age, sex and race experience. Better performance appears to be associated with higher relative speed during climbing sections, resulting in a more consistent overall race speed.
    • Passive heat maintenance after an initial warm-up improves high intensity activity during an interchange rugby league match simulation protocol.

      Fairbank, Matthew; Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2019-01-01)
      This study examined using passive heat maintenance to maintain core temperature after a warm-up and its effect on first half running performance in rugby players. Thirteen male rugby players completed this randomized crossover study. Tympanic temperature was taken before a warm-up and then after a further 15 minutes passive recovery either with (PHM) or without (CON) a passive heat maintenance garment. Participants then completed 23 min of the rugby league match simulation protocol (RLMSP-i). Differences in tympanic temperature were unclear between CON and PHM before (35.7 ± 1.3 cf. 36.0 ± 1.1oC; ES = 0.20) and during exercise (34.5 ± 0.1 cf. 35.2 ± 0.1oC; ES = 0.26-0.35). High-intensity running (ES = 0.27) and peak sprint speed were higher (ES = 0.46-0.56) during the PHM compared to the CON trial. Time spent above 20 W.kg-1 also increased in the first quartile of PHM compared to CON trial (ES = 0.18). All other between trial comparisons of performance were unclear. HRmean (ES = 0.38) was higher in PHM compared to CON, while differences in RPEmean (ES = -0.19) were unclear. There are small to large increases in high intensity work performed during a playing bout when rugby players wear a PHM garment after a warm-up. Rugby players should consider PHM during extended periods of time between a warm-up and starting a match.
    • Perceptions and measurement of playtime physical activity in English primary school children: The influence of socioeconomic status

      McWhannell, Nicola; Triggs, Carmel; Moss, Samantha (Sage, 2017-11-27)
      Children in areas of low socioeconomic status might face barriers to physical activity during school playtime in comparison to their high socioeconomic status counterparts. However, limited research within the area currently prevents evidence-based interventions from being targeted appropriately. This exploratory study aimed to assess and compare playtime physical activity levels and perceptions of physical activity in primary school children from two schools of different socioeconomic status. Fifty-three children wore an accelerometer during playtime for three school days while 33 children participated in single-sex focus groups to elicit their experiences of physical activity during playtime. Results revealed that children from the low socioeconomic status school spent more time in sedentary activities (P = 0.001) and spent less time in moderate and moderate to vigorous physical activity (P = 0.001) than children from the high socioeconomic status school. Despite some between-school similarities in their perceptions of physical activity, differences resonated in their reasons for taking part in physical activity, perceptions of the play environment and ideas to improve physical activity. These findings contribute to current research and provide in-depth information from active users of the play environment that could be useful to inform new interventions for schools of varying socioeconomic status.
    • Physical activity guidelines and cardiovascular risk in children: a cross sectional analysis to determine whether 60 minutes is enough

      Füssenich, Lotte M.; Boddy, Lynne M.; Green, Daniel J.; Graves, Lee E. F.; Foweather, Lawrence; Dagger, Rebecca M.; McWhannell, Nicola; Henaghan, Jayne; Ridgers, Nicola D.; Stratton, Gareth; et al. (BioMed Central, 2016-01-22)
      Background: Physical activity reduces cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends children engage in 60 min daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The effect of compliance with this recommendation on childhood cardiovascular risk has not been empirically tested. To evaluate whether achieving recommendations results in reduced composite-cardiovascular risk score (CCVR) in children, and to examine if vigorous PA (VPA) has independent risk-reduction effects. Methods PA was measured using accelerometry in 182 children (9–11 years). Subjects were grouped according to achievement of 60 min daily MVPA (active) or not (inactive). CCVR was calculated (sum of z-scores: DXA body fat %, blood pressure, VO2peak, flow mediated dilation, left ventricular diastolic function; CVR score ≥1SD indicated ‘higher risk’). The cohort was further split into quintiles for VPA and odds ratios (OR) calculated for each quintile. Results Active children (92 (53 boys)) undertook more MVPA (38 ± 11 min, P < 0.001), had greater VO2peak (4.5 ± 0.8 ml/kg/min P < 0.001), and lower fat % (3.9 ± 1.1 %, P < 0.001) than inactive. No difference were observed between active and inactive for CCVR or OR (P > 0.05). CCVR in the lowest VPA quintile was significantly greater than the highest quintile (3.9 ± 0.6, P < 0.05), and the OR was 4.7 times higher. Conclusion Achievement of current guidelines has positive effects on body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness, but not CCVR. Vigorous physical activity appears to have beneficial effects on CVD risk, independent of moderate PA, implying a more prescriptive approach may be needed for future VPA guidelines.
    • Physical education and health promotion: A qualitative study of teachers' perceptions

      Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda (Emerald, 2002-06-01)
      This article discusses the extent to which health promotion is central to physical education (PE) teachers' philosophies and practices. 35 PE teachers in secondary schools in north-west England were interviewed.
    • Physical education at preschools: practitioners’ and children’s engagements with physical activity and health discourses

      McEvilly, Nollaig; Verheul, Martine; Atencio, Matthew; University of Chester; The University of Edinburgh; California State University (Taylor & Francis, 2013-12-16)
      This paper focuses on one aspect of a qualitative study concerned with investigating the place and meaning of ‘physical education’ to practitioners and children at three preschools in Scotland. We examine the ways in which the participants engaged with discourses related to physical activity and health in order to construct their subjectivities. Fourteen practitioners and 70 children participated. Research methods employed were observations, interviews with adults, a group drawing and discussion activity with children, and interviews with children. Both the adults’ and children’s talk illustrated the dominance of neoliberal, healthism meanings which position individuals as responsible for their own health. While the children’s talk primarily centred on health as a corporeal notion, the practitioners tended to talk about physical activity and health in both corporeal terms and in relation to the self more holistically. The practitioners also talked about physical activity as a means of regulating children’s behaviour.
    • Physical education teachers in their figurations: A sociological analysis of everyday 'philosophies'

      Green, Ken; Chester College of Higher Education (Taylor & Francis, 2002-03)
      This article examines physical education (PE) teachers' perceptions of their subject and the impact upon their practice of their (sporting) predispositions as well as the contraints of their school and 'professional' contexts. It reports data from an original empirical study conducted by the author with physical education teachers in secondary schools in the north-west of England.
    • Physical education teachers on physical education: a sociological study of philosophies and ideologies

      Green, Ken (Chester Academic Press, 2003-03-27)
      This book discusses the results of a research study in the late 1990s amongst practicing PE secondary school teachers in the North West of England.
    • Physical education, lifelong participation and 'the couch potato society'

      Green, Ken; University College Chester (Routledge, 2004-05)
      This article discusses the need to encourage continuing participation in sport and physical activity by young people through catering for their preferences through a wider range of activities in more informal and individual and small-group settings. Consequently, school PE lessons would need to focus on 'optional', recreational, lifestyle-oriented sports and physical activities, rather than competitive, performance-oriented sport.
    • Physiological, perceptual and performance responses associated with self-selected versus standardized recovery periods during a repeated sprint protocol in elite youth football players: A preliminary study

      Gibson, Neil; Brownstein, Callum; Ball, Derek; Twist, Craig; Heriot-Watt University; Northumbria University; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 2017-05)
      Purpose: To examine the physiological and perceptual responses of youth footballers to a repeated sprint protocol employing standardized and self-selected recovery. Methods: Eleven male participants (13.7 ± 1.1 years) performed a repeated sprint assessment comprising 10 x 30 m efforts. Employing a randomized crossover design, repeated sprints were performed using 30 s and self-selected recovery periods. Heart rate was monitored continuously with ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and lower body muscle power measured 2 min after the final sprint. The concentration of blood lactate was measured at 2, 5 and 7 minutes post sprinting. Magnitude of effects were reported using effect size (ES) statistics ± 90% confidence interval and percentage differences. Differences between trials were examined using paired student t-tests (p < 0.05). Results: Self-selected recovery resulted in most likely shorter recovery times (57.7%; ES 1.55 ± 0.5; p < 0.01), a most likely increase in percentage decrement (65%; ES 0.36 ±1 0.21; p = 0.12), very likely lower heart rate recovery (-58.9%; ES -1.10 ± 0.72; p = 0.05), and likely higher blood lactate concentration (p = 0.08-0.02). Differences in lower body power and RPE were unclear (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Self-selected recovery periods compromise repeated sprint performance.
    • The place of sport and physical activity in young people's lives and its implications for health: Some sociological comments

      Smith, Andy; Green, Ken; University of Chester (Routledge, 2005-06)
      This exploratory paper seeks, first, to offer some critical sociological comments on the common-sense, or rather ideological, claims surrounding two supposedly emerging 'crises': namely, the alleged poor health and declining sport and physical activity participation levels of young people. In this regard, it is suggested that while young people are, in fact, doing more sport and physical activity than at any other time in the past, this process has, and continues to, co-occur with other prominent social processes (e.g., rising levels of overweight, obesity and sedentariness). Second, the paper begins to make sense of this seemingly 'irreconcilable paradox' by arguing for the need to make use of a sociological perspective that views the complexity of young people's lives 'in the round' and by locating them within the particular social interdependencies or relationships in which they are inescapably involved.
    • Player responses to match and training demands during an intensified fixture schedule in professional rugby league: A case study.

      Twist, Craig; Highton, Jamie M.; Daniels, Matthew; Mill, Nathan; Close, Graeme L.; University of Chester; St Helens RFC; Liverpool John Moores (Human Kinetics, 2017-09)
      Player loads and fatigue responses are reported in 15 professional rugby league players (24.3 ± 3.8 y) during a period of intensified fixtures. Repeated measures of internal and external loads, perceived well-being, and jump flight time were recorded across 22 d, comprising 9 training sessions and matches on days 5, 12, 15, and 21 (player exposure: 3.6 ± 0.6 matches). Mean training loads (session rating of perceived exertion × duration) between matches were 1177, 1083, 103, and 650 AU. Relative distance in match 1 (82 m/min) and match 4 (79 m/min) was very likely lower in match 2 (76 m/min) and likely higher in match 3 (86 m/min). High-intensity running (≥5.5 m/s) was likely to very likely lower than match 1 (5 m/min) in matches 2–4 (2, 4, and 3 m/min, respectively). Low-intensity activity was likely to very likely lower than match 1 (78 m/min) in match 2 (74 m/min) and match 4 (73 m/min) but likely higher in match 3 (81 m/min). Accumulated accelerometer loads for matches 1–4 were 384, 473, 373, and 391 AU, respectively. Perceived well-being returned to baseline values (~21 AU) before all matches but was very likely to most likely lower the day after each match (~17 AU). Prematch jump flight times were likely to most likely lower across the period, with mean values of 0.66, 0.65, 0.62, and 0.64 s before matches 1–4, respectively. Across a 22-d cycle with fixture congestion, professional rugby league players experience cumulative neuromuscular fatigue and impaired match running performance.
    • Playing exposure does not affect movement characteristics or physiological responses of elite youth footballers during an intensified period of competition.

      Gibson, Neil; McCunn, Robert; MacNay, Sophie; Mullen, Thomas; Twist, Craig; Heriot-Watt University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-05-08)
      This study investigated the effect of playing time on physiological and perceptual responses to six, 60 min matches played over five days. Thirty youth football players (age = 14.1 ± 0.4 years; body mass = 57.4 ± 12.9 kg; stature 169.3 ± 7.7 cm) were grouped into low (<250 min; LPG, n = 18) and high (≥250 min; HPG, n = 12) match exposure groups and monitored daily for lower body power and perceived wellness. GPS technology was used to assess match running demands in total distance (m•min-1), low (<13 km•h-1) and high (≥13 km•h-1) speed running categories. Hypothesis based testing and effect sizes (ES) were used to analyse data. The HPG performed moderately more total distance (103.7 ± 10.4 cf. 90.2 ± 19.7 m•min-1, P = 0.03; ES=0.74 ± 0.63) and high speed running (26.7 ± 6.6 cf. 20.3 ± 6.5 m•min-1, P = 0.01; ES=0.87 ± 0.6) than the LPG across all six matches. Differences of a small magnitude were observed between groups for lower body power (P = 0.08; ES =0.59 ± 0.8) and perceived wellness (P = 0.09; ES=0.42 ± 0.4) which were both higher in the HPG. Youth football players appear well equipped to deal with intensified period of competition, such as those experienced in tournaments, irrespective of match exposure.
    • Position specific differences in the anthropometric characteristics of elite European Super League rugby players

      Morehen, James C.; Routledge, Harry E.; Twist, Craig; Morton, James P.; Close, Graeme L.; Liverpool John Moores University ; Liverpool John Moores University ; University of Chester ; Liverpool John Moores University ; Liverpool John Moores University (Routledge, 2015-01-05)
    • Pre-season training responses and their associations with training load in elite rugby league players

      Daniels, Matthew; Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig; St Helens RFC; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2019-05-07)
      Strength, power and endurance characteristics and their association with training load during a 7-week preseason training phase was assessed in elite rugby league players. Twenty-two players (age 23.3 ± 4.4 years) performed bench throw, one repetition maximum (1RM) bench press, squat jumps, three repetition maximum (3RM) squats, prone pull ups and prone Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1) before and after the 7-week preseason period. Training was classified into Gym, Field and Wrestle, with training load of each monitored using session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) multiplied by training duration (sRPE-TL). There were most likely improvements in 3RM back squat, prone pull-ups and Yo-Yo IR1 and likely improvements in bench press, bench throw and squat jump after the 7-week training programme (ES = 0.3 to 1.2). Accumulated sRPE-TL for Gym, Field and Wrestle sessions was 9176 ± 1187, 10906 ± 2162, and 1072 ± 315 AU, respectively. Relationships between mean weekly sRPE-TL and changes in physical qualities was trivial to large (r = -0.67 to 0.34). This study suggests sRPE-TL is unsuitable to detect dose-response relationships between training load and the changes in physical qualities of elite rugby league players during the pre-season period.
    • Predicting maximal oxygen uptake via a perceptually regulated exercise test (PRET)

      Morris, Michael; Lamb, Kevin L.; Cotterrell, David; Buckley, John P.; University of Chester (2009-12-08)
      Recent research has yielded encouraging, yet inconsistent findings concerning the validity and reliability of predicting maximal oxygen uptake (O2 max) from a graded perceptually regulated exercise test (PRET). Accordingly, the purpose of the present study was to revisit the validity and reliability of this application of ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) using a modified PRET protocol. Twenty-three volunteers (mean age, 31 ± 9.9 years) completed four counter-balanced PRETs (involving two 2-minute and two 3-minute bouts administered over 9 days, each separated by 48 hours) on an electromagnetically braked cycle ergometer and one maximal graded exercise test. Participants self-regulated their exercise at RPE levels 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17 in a randomized order. Oxygen uptake (O2) was recorded continuously during each bout. The O2 values for the RPE ranges 9-17, 9-15 and 9-13 were extrapolated to RPE 20 using regression analysis to predict individual O2 max scores.
    • ‘Pressure to play?’ A sociological analysis of professional football managers’ behaviour towards injured players

      Law, Graeme; Bloyce, Daniel; York St John University; UIniversity of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-05-05)
      Drawing upon figurational sociology, this paper examines professional football managers’ attitudes towards injured players. Following interviews with 10 managers, as with previous research, we found that managers have an expectancy that players are rarely fully fit. Players were stigmatised when they were seemingly unwilling to play when a manager encouraged them to. However, we also found that many managers shaped, in part, by their habitus formed from their own experiences as a player, showed greater empathy towards injured players. Many claimed they would not risk the long-term health of players, although at times, managers at the lower levels felt more constrained to take certain risks. We argue this is an unintended outcome of the increasing pressures on managers to succeed with smaller squads. The increasing emphasis and reliance on ‘sport science’ enabled managers at the higher levels to have a more supportive approach to managing injuries not previously identified in existing literature.
    • Professional golf - A license to spend money? Issues of money in the lives of touring professional golfers

      Fry, John; Bloyce, Daniel; Pritchard, Ian; Myerscough College ; University of Chester ; University of Chester (SAGE, 2014-11-11)
      Drawing upon figurational sociology, this paper examines issues of money that are central to touring professional golfers’ workplace experiences. Based on interviews with 16 professionals, results indicate the monetary rewards available for top golfers continues to increase, however, such recompense is available to relatively small numbers and the majority fare poorly. Results suggest that playing on tour with other like-minded golfers fosters internalized constraints relating to behaviour, referred to as ‘habitus’, whereby many players ‘gamble’ on pursuing golf as their main source of income despite the odds against them. Golfers are constrained to develop networks with sponsors for financial reasons which has left some players with conflicting choices between regular money, and adhering to restrictive contractual agreements, or the freedom to choose between different brands.
    • Quantification of the physical and physiological load of a boxing-specific simulation protocol

      Thomson, Edward; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-03-24)
      The aim of the study was to determine the physical and physiological responses to simulated amateur boxing of 3 × 3-min rounds. Using an externally valid technical and ambulatory demand, 28 amateur boxers (mean ± SD; age 22.4 ± 3.5 years, body mass 67.7 ± 10.1 kg, stature 171 ± 9 cm) completed the protocol following familiarisation. The physiological load was determined continuously via collection of mean (HRmean) and peak (HRpeak) heart rate, breath-by-breath oxygen uptake ( ̇V O2), aerobic energy expenditure (EEaer), excess carbon dioxide production (CO2excess), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and post-performance blood lactate. Physical performance was quantified as the acceleration delivered to the target by punches. HRmean and HRpeak were found to exceed 165 and 178 b min−1, absolute ̇V O2 > 124.6 ml kg−1, EEaer > 30.7 kcal min−1 and acceleration via 78 punches >2697 g during each round. Mean blood lactate (4.6 mmol l−1) and CO2excess (438.7 ml min−1) were higher than typical resting values reflecting a notable anaerobic contribution. RPEs reinforced the intensity of exercise was strenuous (>6–8). For all measures, there were typical increases (p < 0.05; moderate ES) across rounds. Accordingly, boxers might consider high-intensity (>90% ̇V O2max) interval training in anticipation such exercise yields improvements in aerobic conditioning. Moreover, the current simulation protocol – the boxing conditioning and fitness test – could be used as a form of training per se and as a means to monitor intervention-based changes in aspects of boxing-related physiology and performance. 1.
    • Randomisation of simulated rugby match activity produces reliable movements and associated measures of subjective task load, cognitive and neuromuscular function

      Mullen, Thomas; Twist, Craig; Highton, Jamie; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2019)
      The study assesses the test-retest reliability of movement and physiological measures during a simulated rugby match that employed activities performed in a random order. Twenty male rugby players (21.4 ± 2.1 y) completed two trials of a 2 x 23 min rugby movement simulation protocol during which the order of events was randomised, with 7-10 days between trials. Movement characteristics, heart rate (HR), RPE, maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), voluntary activation (VA%) of the quadriceps, Stroop test and subjective task load rating (NASA-TLX) were measured. The most reliable measures of external load was relative distance (typical error [TE] and CV% = 1.5-1.6 m.min-1 and 1.4-1.5%, respectively), with all other movement characteristics possessing a CV% <5%. The most reliable measure of internal load, neuromuscular function and perceptual measures were for %HRmax (TE and CV% = 1.4-1.7% and 1-4-2.1%, respectively), MVC before (TE and CV% = 10.8-14.8 N·m and 3.8-4.6%, respectively), and average RPE (TE and CV% = 0.5-0.8 AU and 3.6-5.5%, respectively). The Stroop test, NASA-TLX and blood lactate produced the least reliable measures (CV% >5%). Future studies can confidently examine changes in several perceptual, neuromuscular, physiological and movement measures related to rugby activity using stochastic movements.