Masters dissertations which achieved a mark of over 60% pre September 2016, and 70% post September 2016.

Recent Submissions

  • A Comparison of the Characteristic Traits of Learning Theories in the Three Synoptic Gospels by Thematic Narrative Analysis

    Middleton, Paul; Thackray, Gordon J. (University of Chester, 2018-09-28)
    Many writers have discussed aspects of pedagogy in connection with the books of the New Testament but few have related pedagogical elements observable in the Gospels to current theories of how people learn and the consequent teaching methods. I perform, here, a thematic narrative analysis of the synoptic gospel texts, with the focus of contemporary approaches to learning and teaching. The project aims to identify traits of pedagogic themes throughout these gospels, with a view to establishing if it is appropriate to describe any of them as characterised by one or other of the commonly recognised theories of learning. While such a characterisation is not expected to be perfect across any one Synoptic, it could prove possible to demonstrate sufficient correlation with some theoretical learning model to argue that the gospel is typified by that pedagogy. This thesis also compares and contrasts the three synoptic gospels, in respect of their emphasis on those themes. The thesis outlines the salient features of the currently prominent learning and teaching approaches and considers the applicability of each model to this investigation. The three approaches found most useful for the analysis are: that referred to as behaviourism in teaching; a cognitive, constructivist pedagogic model; and the strongly situated learning theory. The synoptic gospels are examined for aspects of those themes, where possible, as a series of parallel passages, each regarded as a bounded text segment. Special Lukan material is also considered, separately. Any reader’s interpretation of such a narrative is constructed from within their own pre-existing framework for understanding it. My reading of the Gospels here is, therefore, a personal response to the text, which has arisen from my experience working in adult education and training. The conclusion of this work is that all three synoptic gospels exhibit textual features corresponding to a specific teaching and learning model sufficiently consistently to regard them as substantially informed by it. Furthermore, the Synoptics each exemplify a different pedagogical approach. Matthew’s gospel portrays a predominantly behaviourist pedagogy, the Gospel of Mark a generally cognitivist, constructivist approach to learning and teaching and Luke the characteristics of a strongly situative learning theory. It is anticipated that the comparison presented here will provide a new contribution to the discussion of the differences between the otherwise parallel accounts evident within the first three gospels.
  • Histomorphometric Analysis of Structural and Bone Remodeling Parameters in the Underloaded Ovine Calcaneus

    Power, Jon; Hughes, Stephen F.; Lister, Max (University of Chester, 2018-07-24)
    Osteoporosis is a disease that affects over three million people in the UK (NHS, 2016), and is categorized by a reduced bone mass leading to decreased bone strength and increased fragility. Clinical features of osteoporotic fractures include increased morbidity (physical impairment, reduced quality of life, pain), greater risk of new fractures and increased mortality (Geusens, 2008). During the lifetime of a typical human, bones are their strongest whilst a person is in their early-mid 20’s. As one ages bone loss begins to occur around the age of 35. One important causal factor leading to osteoporosis is lack of weight-bearing physical activity, which might impact the elderly human population at sites such as the femoral neck resulting in fragility fractures. Around 70,000-75,000 hip fractures occur in the UK each year, additionally every year an increase in incident rates has been observed partly due to an aging population (NHS, 2016). The relationship between a decreased mechanical load and resulting in reduced bone mass is well established. The structural and cellular consequences of mechanical underloading within a temporal animal model are yet to be fully explored. The objective of the current study was to determine the temporal structural changes occurring due to the influence of mechanical under-loading (experienced at day 0/baseline, week 4 and week 16) within an ovine skeletal model. Additionally, this experimental system provided insight into the cellular activity (in terms of bone remodeling) associated with a reduced mechanical loading environment. Within this model by week 16 of mechanical under-loading, an increase in cortical porosity (4%, p=0.017) within the dorsal region and reduced cortical thickness (19.7%, p=0.025) across all combined regions (as well as a regional decrease of 15% and 23% within the medial and ventral regions respectively) was observed. These changes indicating a reduction in bone mass were accompanied by increased cortical remodeling medially (58%;p=0.028) as evidenced by an increase in the proportion (%) of canals undergoing bone formation within that anatomical region. These data demonstrate a reduction in bone mass and increased bone remodeling associated with reduced mechanical load within this skeletal site. Additionally, the data presented here of decreased mechanical load appear to support the observed bone loss and elevated remodeling occurring within the osteoporotic human femoral neck. This investigation,therefore, validates the underloaded ovine calcaneus as a suitable experimental model to investigate the possible pathological events associated with disuse osteoporosis.
  • Clinical psychologists’ experience of trauma and trauma-related disclosure: perspectives and experiences from the profession

    Kiyimba, Nikki; Middlebrook, Laura J. (University of Chester, 2018-04)
    A high percentage of individuals will experience a trauma in their life time. A clinical psychologist’s work is often to provide intervention for those experiencing high levels of distress following a trauma. However, understanding of psychologists’ own experiences of trauma and trauma disclosure within the profession are unknown. This dissertation focuses on gaining deeper understanding of trauma-related experiences, and how clinical psychologists make sense of trauma within the profession. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). This study found that trauma of psychologists was rarely spoken about and complex interactions between anticipated, internalised and perceived stigma were evident. Anticipated stigma presented as the most dominant in influencing disclosure of trauma by clinical psychologists. This research recommends psychologists consider their own levels of openness about their personal trauma and experiences of trauma related disclosure. Psychologists need the understanding and support that psychologists offer to their clients, removing stigma and promoting openness in the profession is a vital step to supporting psychologists who have experienced trauma, with the profession as a whole learning from each others’ experiences.
  • Giving a Voice, Healing Trauma: Exploring the Usefulness of Art Therapy with Refugee Children

    Lovell, Andy; Lowndes; Akthar, Zahra (University of Chester, 2017-10)
    Children who seek refuge to the United Kingdom have experienced a journey witnessing many traumatic events, separation and losses. These experiences can have a profound effect on a child’s well-being and resettlement in the host country. Art therapy is an avenue which can help these children to heal their trauma, and explore the feelings and changes that arise with becoming a refugee. This research set in an interpretive paradigm, informed by hermeneutic phenomenology explores the usefulness of art therapy with refugee children. It aims to investigate this enquiry through the lens of art therapists to gain insights from lived experiences and stories. Three semi-structured interviews were conducted, which were explored and analysed through using thematic analysis, which discovered five key themes these were identified as: (1) Giving Voice, (2) Rebuilding Trust, Opening Wounds, (3) Sharing Stories, Healing Pain, (4) Exploring Identity, Discovering New- Self, and (5) Understanding Art Therapy. Upon reflection, the four initial findings merged together highlighting the two key usefulness of art therapy, these were established as: (a) providing refugee children with a safe space to heal and discover new-self, and (b) giving refugee children a voice to express, and share their stories. Despite the last theme (understanding art therapy) being established as a limitation, this created an area for future research to help inform art therapy practice. From the findings discovered, it was concluded that art therapy is a useful form of psychotherapy for refugee children. Art therapy provides these children with a safe space to heal, and gives them a voice to express and be heard.
  • General public's attitudes towards people who self-harm: Perceived dangerousness and desired social distance

    Hochard, Kevin D.; Ellis, Jacob (University of Chester, 2017-09)
    Public attitudes towards self-harm are critically important, yet relatively unexplored. They can moderate or further exacerbate social and emotional difficulties that instigated initial self-harming episodes and considerably influence help-seeking behaviour. Participants from the general public (N = 109) answered a repeated measures self-report questionnaire that assessed desired social distance and perceived dangerousness towards individuals depicted in eight hypothetical vignettes, which varied between gender (male, female), presence of self-harm (no, yes) and self-harm intent (without suicidal intent, suicidal intent, ambivalent intent). Regarding desired social distance, evidence was identified to suggest that people who engage in self-harm without suicidal intent are perceived more negatively than individuals who do not have a history of self-harm (p < .001, d = 1.55). Numerous factors were identified to further adversely affect desired social distance from individuals who engage in self-harming behaviour. Males tended to have more negative attitudes towards people who self-harmed (p = .015, d = .48) and both genders displayed more negative attitudes towards male self-harmers (p < .001, d = .55). Both males (p = .004, d = .57) and females (p < .001, d = 1.31) who indicated suicidal intent received more negative responses than those who self-harmed without suicidal intent. Overall, perceptions of dangerousness were positively correlated with desired social distance (r = .36, p = < .001), however, gender and intent-specific attitudes contributed conflicting evidence to this relationship. These findings provide foundations for research into public attitudes towards individuals who self-harm, which could potentially inform public awareness campaigns.
  • An exploration of trainee high-intensity therapist’s views of self-disclosure in clinical supervision using q-methodology and semi-structured interviews

    Evans, Gemma; Kreft, Joseph (University of Chester, 2017-09)
    Self-disclosure is an important component of clinical supervision within psychotherapy, however despite research into different disciplines little is known about its function within cognitive behavioural therapy. Fifteen trainee high-intensity CBT therapist’s views on acceptability, experiences, and barriers were explored using both Q-methodology and semi-structured interviews, analysed using inductive Thematic Analysis. Within the Q-method data, one consensus factor was extracted with a second specificity factor also identified. These two factors were highly intercorrelated and indicated current, continued moral and ethical importance of self-disclosure and the role it has on individual professional practice, personal wellbeing and the supervisory relationship. An inductive thematic analysis of interview data was used to examine and identify common themes associated within the participants. Four key themes were identified from the analysis these where named; Function & purpose of clinical supervision, experiences of self-disclosure, supervisee self-disclosure and supervisor self-disclosure. Results provided suggestions to encourage and promote the use of self-disclosure in education and primary care settings.
  • An Infectious Vessel: The Nineteenth-Century Prostitute Undressed

    Heaton, Sarah; Geary-Jones, Hollie G. L. (University of Chester, 2017)
    This dissertation serves as a literary ‘undressing’ of the nineteenth-century prostitute. It examines representations of the prostitute as both a physical and moral vessel of infection. To do so, the dissertation analyses representations from the common streetwalker to the prestigious courtesan, in both French and English novels including: Nana and L’Assommoir by Emile Zola, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber, Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell, Mrs Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw and La Dame aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas Fils. The work analyses and deconstructs stereotypical depictions of the prostitute. It also examines societal anxieties concerning the prostitute’s status as an infectious vessel and source of contamination. Additionally, the work incorporates and examines artistic interpretations of the prostitute by French and English artists. The dissertation uses the aforementioned depictions to analyse how manipulation of external appearance disguised the prostitute’s true ‘infectious’ status. The work ascertains that clothing, body and behaviour were deliberately ‘dressed’ by the prostitute to convey respectability and morality. The dissertation establishes that this masquerade enabled the prostitute to avoid societal detection, condemnation and criminalization. It reveals that the prostitute was able to and did avoid any traits that revealed her true status. The work demonstrates that through the adoption of disguise, the prostitute was able to infiltrate and infect rigid social hierarchies. It analyses how societal corruption was made possible by deliberate adjustments to appearance and behaviour. The dissertation establishes that the prostitute could successfully mislead and corrupt ‘respectable’ society through a calculated guise of moral decency.
  • Did Paul accept the Apostolic Decree

    Simmonds, Issac (University of Chester, 2017-09)
    The relationship between the so-called Apostolic Decree (Acts 15:20, 29) and the apostle Paul has puzzled many scholars. Following F. C. Baur, many have maintained that there is at the heart of early Christianity a divide between Jewish (Petrine) and Gentile (Pauline) Christianity. On this view, Paul could never really have consented to - or even been present at - the apostolic council and agreed to the decree which established a minimum set of requirements for Gentile believers. This dissertation shall provide an in-depth exegesis of the Apostolic Council in Acts 15, placing in within the context of Second-Temple Judaism and the Book of Acts. Along these lines I shall suggest that there are three core issues when it comes relationship between the account of Apostolic Decree (Acts 15:20, 29) and the Apostle Paul. Ultimately, I shall argue that the divide between Jewish (Petrine) and Gentile (Pauline) Christianity has been overstated and derives from a misunderstanding of the Apostle Paul.
  • Optimization Methods and Applications on problem solving with MATLAB in the presence of Randomness

    Antonopoulou, Dimitra; Taylor, Daniel (University of Chester, 2017-10-07)
    A review of iterative methods used to nd optimal solutions to large sparse linear systems including methods based on line search descent algorithms and Krylov subspace methods. We also detail how to use the MATLAB optimization toolbox to solve a variety of optimization problems including linear and non-linear problems in Chapter 2. A review of the classical Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP) is provided in Chapter 3 with examples of solved problems. In Chapter 4 we used a MATLAB program to investigate the effect that randomness has on a system of ODE's namely the equation of a harmonic pendulum, we demonstrate these effects with a number of plots in the phase-plane and with respect to the time t.
  • Numerical Methods for Solving Nonlinear Fractional Differential Equations with Non-Uniform Meshes

    Yan, Yubin; Broadbent, Emma (University of Chester, 2017-10)
    In this dissertation, we consider numerical methods for solving fractional differential equations with non-uniform meshes. We first introduce some basic definitions and theories for fractional differential equations and then we consider the numerical methods fro solving fractional differential equation. In the literature, the popular numerical methods for solving fractional differential equation include the rectangle method, trapezoid method and predictor-corrector methods. We reviewed such methods and the ways to prove the stability and the error estimates for these methods. Since the fractional differential equation is a nonlocal problem, the computation cost is very long compared with the local problem. Therefore it is very important to design some higher order numerical methods for solving fractional differential equation. In this dissertation, we introduce a new higher order numerical method for solving fractional differential equation which is based on the quadratic interpolation polynomial approximation to the fractional integral. To capture the singularity near the origin we also introduce the non-uniform meshes. The numerical results show that the optimal convergence order can be recovered by using non-uniform meshes even if the data are not sufficiently smooth.
  • Group Algebras and Their Applications

    Gildea, Joe; O'Neill, Harrison T. (University of Chester, 2017-10-09)
    Let RG be the group ring of the group G and the ring R. If R is a field, we usually refer to RG as a group algebra. We initially describe the unit group of the group algebra F2 kD8 where F2 k is a Galois Field of 2k elements and D8 is the dihedral group of order 8. We then describe the unitary unit group of F2 kD8. Furthermore, we show the connection between unitary units in group rings and self-dual codes. Finally, we construct certain self-dual codes from the unitary units of the group algebra F2 kD8.
  • A New Predictor-Corrector Method for Solving Nonlinear Fractional Differential Equations with Graded Meshes

    Yan, Yubin; Leedle, Natasha (University of Chester, 2017-10-09)
    In this dissertation we consider the numerical methods for solving non-linear fractional differential equations. We first review the predictor-corrector methods for solving the nonlinear fractional differential equation with uniform meshes and discussed in detail how to prove the error estimates. The convergence orders of the predictorcorrector methods for solving nonlinear fractional differential equations available in the literature are only O(h1+α ), where α ∈ (0, 1) denotes the fractional order and h is the step size. It will take a long time to obtain the good approximate solutions by using such method. Therefore it is necessary to construct some higher order numerical methods to solve the nonlinear fractional differential equations. We construct a higher order numerical method with the convergence order O(h1+2α) by approximating the Riemann-Liouville fractional integral with the quadratic interpolation polynomials. The graded meshes can be used in the numerical methods to capture the singularity of the problem. Numerical examples are given to show that the numerical results are consistent with the theoretical results.
  • Mindful Individualism and Communitarian Engaged Buddhisms: A comparative analysis, with special reference to Thich Nhat Hanh.

    Dossett, Wendy; Ward, Laura (University of Chester, 2017-09)
    This dissertation argues that the contemporary Western mindfulness movement has taken two forms: 'mindful individualism' and 'communitarian engaged Buddhisms.' Mindful individualism adopts a personal, individual and 'self-help' view of mindfulness, and is largely commodified, secularised and disconnected from the Buddhist roots of mindfulness in order to further other agendas. Communitarian engaged Buddhisms maintains many connections to the history and teachings of Buddhism and tends to use mindfulness in conjunction with other Buddhist concepts, such as interconnectedness, with an overall emphasis on compassionate action and social justice. I provide a comparative analysis of mindful individualism and community-focused engaged Buddhism, while demonstrating that Thich Nhat Hanh, a significant figure in the contemporary mindfulness movement, is depicted as a paradoxical figure within the movement. While he maintains his reputation as the archetypal engaged Buddhist, peace activist and global spiritual leader, Hanh's bestselling books teach the benefits of mindfulness in a range of contexts, and have been especially popular among a secular Anglo-American audience. Hanh has therefore also been viewed as the archetypal 'packager' of mindfulness, which in contrast to the community-focused nature of engaged Buddhism, has been criticised as being individualistic, secularised, and disconnected from its Buddhist roots, since flourishing in Euro-America. This dissertation explores the ways in which mindfulness has been applied to a variety of secular contexts, including mindfulness as a therapeutic technique, corporate mindfulness, mindful eating and more. I use these examples to demonstrate that contemporary mindfulness has become largely individualistic, secular and focused on personal happiness, whilst in contrast, those involved in engaged Buddhism remain focused on the aspect of community and reducing the suffering of those around them. I argue that Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings function within both sides of this dichotomy, promoting a mindfulness which 'begins with the individual' and is accessible for a non-Buddhist readership, while actively engaging with and encouraging his concept of engaged Buddhism. This dissertation uses Hanh as a lens to explore and analyse the theoretical 'paradox' problem in Western Buddhism.
  • The state of Christianity in Cheshire: A critical survey of churches' places of worship 1990 to 2015

    Baker, Christopher T. H.; Rainbow, Michael R. (University of Chester, 2017-09)
    The aim of the investigation was to ascertain whether the number of churches in Cheshire being closed is exceeding the number of new churches being opened - indicating continuing secularisation, or conversely, whether in fact openings are exceeding closures - indicating areas of stability or minor resurgence; and also to question what proportion of churches in Cheshire which own their place of worship, have extended or modernised their building - demonstrating confidence in future growth. To answer these questions, a survey of every Christian church, active between 1990 and 2015, within the four unitary boroughs of Cheshire (Warrington, Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, and Halton), was carried out by personal visit, or website exploration in the cases of churches which hired public buildings for worship. Every gain and loss of an active church over the 25 year time frame was recorded in order to reveal the reality of the situation overall and the trends which have occurred. The research results revealed that 22 of the 105 so-called closures were actually strategic replacement or relocation decisions (inferring growth not decline) which casts doubt on the validity of national closure statistics and on the conclusions of commentators who have (historically) been misled by ambiguous statistics. Of 118 new, mostly Pentecostal churches, 60 (51%) were hidden in hired public buildings such as schools, giving an erroneous impression of fewer churches. A second economic trend was evident from the 25 Local Ecumenical Partnerships found, which had enabled various denominational combinations to share buildings. As well as an increase in all indicators of growth and social reconnection, there was a marginal net gain over 25 years of 13 new churches (Halton -4, CHE +2, CW&C -1, Warrington +16) - a modest, but positive outcome, which indicated stability overall.
  • Near-death experience in Indian religions: Encountering Yama

    Stockton, Shona (University of Chester, 2017-09)
    Visions and possessions are closely linked to one another. They can be either negative or positive experiences. They are also known to derive from a variety of circumstances, which include: illness (temporary or life threatening), the side-effects of drugs (i.e. anaesthetic or soma), and states of unconsciousness (i.e. dreams or visitations). However, when they involve an encounter with Yama (the Hindu Lord of the Dead), I propose they should be considered the equivalent of near-death experience (NDE). To investigate this, I will examine a variety of textual sources from a historical point of view. The selected material is from three different periods and will be discussed in a chronological order to appreciate the changing of religious beliefs in South Asia. The first collection of literature belongs to the Vedic period and consists of mythological narratives from Rgveda, Atharvaveda, and the Upanisads. The second include the Mahabharata and Puranas (Post-Vedic period), and the third assortment are contemporary ethnographic accounts. A comparative analysis of these sources permits to acknowledge how near-death experiences in India have changed from a sacrificial culture into one primarily concerned with the concept of karma (action) and its social and otherworldly outcomes, that is reward and punishment.
  • An Ethnography of the Language and Function of Spirituality within the Visible Recovery Movement

    Metcalf-White, Liam (University of Chester, 2017-09)
    Critiques of contemporary spirituality have scrutinised that language as functioning to perpetuate hyperindividualism. They contend that spirituality anesthetises its adherents to the devastating suffering caused by capitalism. While these critiques are representative, they offer only a limited perspective and distort the diversity and functionality of spirituality in alternative contexts. In this dissertation, I argue that the grassroots spirituality of the Visible Recovery Movement (VRM) offers a viable challenge. It is diverse, deeply-meaningful and is located within a movement made up of friends, family and primarily people identifying as in recovery, usually from a disempowering substance use disorder. Many participants do associate with the 12-Step spirituality of programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Alternatively, those who do not affiliate with the 12-Steps conceive spirituality as, for instance, faith-based, mindfulness and self-help. Participants identify that language as a catalyst of autonomy, meaning, power and transformation. Data was gathered using the methods of qualitative ethnography within the VRM during Recovery Month, September 2016. Narratives of recovery and spirituality are both personal and social. Spirituality is embedded in vital self-care, responsibility, self-identity, inter-personal connection and altruism. During communal events such as the Recovery Walks, activists performatively celebrate recovery, endeavour for social change and challenge stigma.
  • A focused qualitative assessment of primary school education needs to inform tailored resources supporting childhood obesity

    McNamara, Sorcha (University of Chester, 2017-09)
    Objective: To examine primary school education-needs to inform tailored resources supporting childhood obesity. Design: A qualitative study based on 8 semi-structured interviews. Questions addressed schools' approach to childhood obesity, resources, barriers, and possible enablers. Setting: Primary schools from the Manchester City Council jurisdiction. Participants: A purposive sample of 8 senior leadership school staff members (100% female). Phenomenon Of Interest: Types of perceived barriers and supportive tools to empower obesity discussions with parents. Analysis: Transcriptions were coded and analysed based on a socioecological framework using thematic analysis. Results: Five key themes emerged: complex families, primary schools as a key setting, the food environment, difficulties raising obesity and empowerment. The enabler training pack developed in response to these themes was received positively by school staff and initial feedback indicated it helped bridge perceived knowledge and skill gaps. Conclusions and Implications: Significant barriers exist to health behaviour change for families of a lower socio-economic status. Each school’s approach to childhood obesity varied greatly but all expressed a need for more healthcare professional guidance. Implications include training and tailored resources that can be applied to all primary schools and their staff.
  • Food security among first-year international students studying at the University of Chester (UoC) and the relevance of dietary acculturation as a determining factor

    Kennedy, Lynne; Abe, Opeyemi (University of Chester, 2016-09)
    Food security is an important nutrition issue among vulnerable population groups such as; international university students. When physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy life is limited or uncertain, food insecurity exists. This study aimed to investigate the extent of food security among first-year international students at the University of Chester (UoC) and to assess factors affecting their ability to obtain their preferred traditional foods. Method: A cross-sectional survey of 124 first-year international students at the UoC, using self-reported validated questionnaires. Food security was measured using the Australian National Nutrition Survey (single item measure) and US Adult Food Security Survey Module from the United States Department of Agriculture Community Food Security Assessment Tool Kit (10-item measure). Socio-economic and demographic variables, and food access and availability questions were also included. Results: Food insecurity was evident in the student sample. The prevalence of food insecurity using the single item and multi-item measures were 21.8% (n=25) and 79.8% (n=99) (54.8% reported severe food insecurity and 25% reported some degree of food insecurity) respectively. Students’ food insecurity was associated with cost and quality of food, location and transport to food stores, low income, no employment, no scholarships and renting. Conclusion: Food insecurity is a significant problem among international students at the UoC. There is a need to increase the accessibility, availability and affordability of international students’ preferred traditional foods. It is necessary to broaden research on different university settings and further strengthen support systems to increase access to nutritious, preferred traditional foods for this population.
  • Immune Function Assessment with ABEL®-Sport Test in Trained Rowers

    Fallows, Stephen; Labedzka, Maria (University of Chester, 2017-08-18)
    Background and aims: Rowing induced muscle stress may have impact on athletes’ immune-system and lead to an increased incidence of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms. This study aimed to evaluate the capability of ABEL®-Sport test used in the field of to assess the susceptibility of rowers to URTI pending their exercise-loads. Methods: 6 male (aged 50 ± 16.9 y) and 5 female (aged 47 ± 9.6 y) club rowers recorded their habitual training and URTI symptoms daily for two weeks and performed a 6.8 km race-simulation on a rowing ergometer at the beginning of third week. The immune function of the rowers was assessed via the quantification and kinetics of oxidative burst response of leukocytes in 10 μl capillary blood using ABEL®-Sport test throughout the study in the field. Results: The severity of URTI symptoms increased from pre-race median value of 0 (0 – 9) to 3 (0 – 13) within two weeks post-race but was not statistically significant (p>.0125). There was very high correlation between the frequency of the occurrence of abnormal ABEL® Sport kinetics up to the 48h post-race for 7 rowers with URTI symptoms two weeks post-race (r = .930, p = .002). All 4 participants with a final URTI score >10 had irregular oxidative burst kinetics before the race and 48h after and 2 of them have not reported any URTI symptoms before the race. Conclusion: The study results indicate that ABEL®-Sport test used in the field is capable of detecting susceptibility to URTI in club rowers and could guide individual athletes in training-loads suitable for their well-being.
  • Office cake consumption in the UK: an exploration of its characteristics and associated attitudes among office workers

    Flannery, Orla; Fallows, Stephen; Walker, Louise (University of Chester, 2017-08)
    Objective: The present study explored the characteristics of office cake (OC) consumption and the attitudes of UK-based office workers towards it, to gain insight into the effects of OC consumption on workplace health promotion programmes (WHPPs). Design: A cross-sectional, self-administered online survey based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Setting: The UK, between 1st and 31st May 2017. Subjects: Office workers (n=940), n=368 (39.3%) male, aged ≥18yrs Results: Two thirds of respondents ate OC at least once/week and OC was available in most workplaces up to five times/week. Respondents reported both positive, morale-boosting and negative, weight- and diet-related consequences of OC consumption and identified aspects of OC availability and display that increased consumption. Nearly all (94.8%) respondents thought the ideal OC frequency was once/week or less but only 36.1% said they would support an initiative to reduce OC consumption. Gender and age significantly affected attitudes and behaviour but not the amount eaten. Conclusion: OC consumption has characteristics which influence the workplace eating environment and eating behaviour. Attitudes towards OC vary widely and are significantly affected by gender and AG. WHPP designers should recognise the existing gender and age profile. Use of choice architectural techniques to effect environmental change might be useful in reducing OC consumption.

View more