The Faculty of Life Sciences is predominantly based on the Chester Campus, with sports-related and computer-related courses also delivered at Warrington. A number of specialist courses are also delivered at our partner associate college at Reaseheath in Cheshire, as well as some delivery outside the UK. The Faculty also supports several research centres.

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  • Effects of a no-take reserve on mangrove fish assemblages: incorporating seascape 2 connectivity

    Marley, Guy; Deacon, Amy; Phillip, Dawn; Lawrence, Andrew; University of the West Indies; Trinidad & Tobago; University of Chester
    No-take reserves (NTRs) have been effective at conserving fish assemblages in tropical systems such as coral reefs, but have rarely been evaluated in turbid tropical estuaries. The present study evaluated the effect of a mangrove NTR on the conservation of juvenile fish abundance, commercial fish biomass and biodiversity at the assemblage level, and the abundance of juveniles, target and non-target adults at the family level. The evaluation incorporated one aspect of seascape connectivity, namely proximity to the sea, or in this case, the Gulf of Paria. Linear mixed models showed that the NTR had a positive effect only on species richness at the assemblage level. However, juvenile fish abundance, commercial fish biomass, taxonomic distinctness and functional diversity were not enhanced in the NTR. The inclusion of connectivity in these models still failed to identify any positive effects of the NTR at the assemblage level. Yet, there were significant benefits to juvenile fish abundance for 5 of 7 families, and for 1 family of non-target adults. Possible explanations for the limited success of the NTR for fish assemblages include failing to account for the ecology of fish species in NTR design, the drawbacks of ‘inside−outside’ (of the NTR) experimental designs and the fact that fishing does not always impact non-target species. It is important to recognise that mangrove NTRs do not necessarily benefit fish assemblages as a whole, but that finer-scale assessments of specific families may reveal some of the proclaimed benefits of NTRs in tropical estuaries.
  • A call for action on the development and implementation of new methodologies for safety assessment of chemical-based products in the EU – A short communication

    Knight, Derek J.; Deluyker, Hubert; orcid: 0000-0002-3490-8661; Chaudhry, Qasim; Vidal, Jean-Marc; orcid: 0000-0002-4422-5880; de Boer, Alie
    Safety assessment of chemicals and products in the European Union (EU) is based on decades of practice using primarily animal toxicity studies to model hazardous effects in humans. Nevertheless, there has been a long-standing ethical concern about using experimental animals. In addition, animal models may fail to predict adverse effects in humans. This has provided a strong motivation to develop and use new approach methodologies and other alternative sources of evidence. A key challenge for this is integration of evidence from different sources. This paper is a call for action with regard to development, validation, and implementation of modern safety assessment approaches for human health assessment by means of focused applied research and development with three strands: (a) to improve screening and priority setting, (b) to enhance and partially replace animal studies under the current regulatory schemes and eventually (c) to fully replace animal studies, while achieving at least the same level of protection. For this gradual but systematic replacement of animal studies, a long-term concerted and coordinated effort with clear goals is needed at EU level, as a societal and political choice, to plan and motivate research and innovation in regulatory safety assessment.
  • Recombinant Plasmodium vivax circumsporozoite surface protein allelic variants: antibody recognition by individuals from three communities in the Brazilian Amazon

    Ferreira Soares, Isabela; López-Camacho, César; Nunes Rodrigues-da-Silva, Rodrigo; da Silva Matos, Ada; de Oliveira Baptista, Barbara; Renato Rivas Totino, Paulo; Medeiros de Souza, Rodrigo; Harrison, Kate; Gimenez, Alba Marina; Oliveira de Freitas, Elisângela; et al.
    Circumsporozoite protein (CSP) variants of P. vivax, besides having variations in the protein repetitive portion, can differ from each other in aspects such as geographical distribution, intensity of transmission, vectorial competence and immune response. Such aspects must be considered to P. vivax vaccine development. Therefore, we evaluated the immunogenicity of novel recombinant proteins corresponding to each of the three P. vivax allelic variants (VK210, VK247 and P. vivax-like) and of the C-terminal region (shared by all PvCSP variants) in naturally malaria-exposed populations of Brazilian Amazon. Our results demonstrated that PvCSP-VK210 was the major target of humoral immune response in studied population, presenting higher frequency and magnitude of IgG response. The IgG subclass profile showed a prevalence of cytophilic antibodies (IgG1 and IgG3), that seem to have an essential role in protective immune response. Differently of PvCSP allelic variants, antibodies elicited against C-terminal region of protein did not correlate with epidemiological parameters, bringing additional evidence that humoral response against this protein region is not essential to protective immunity. Taken together, these findings increase the knowledge on serological response to distinct PvCSP allelic variants and may contribute to the development of a global and effective P. vivax vaccine.
  • Ida Slater: A Collection Researcher in a Male World at the Beginning of the 20th Century

    Burek, Cynthia V.; Sendino, Consuelo; Ducker, Erik; University of Chester, Natural Hisotry Museum, University College London
    'Ida Lilian Slater (1881-1969) was one of the first women to work as a geologist in a male w·orld, and although her career was short, she made important contributions to the Early Palaeozoic of Wales and Scotland. Her main work was based on a col lection of a group of fossil scyphozoan polyps gathered not by her but by another significant woman, Elizabeth Anderson , widely known as Mrs. Robert Gray (1831-1924). The majority of this col lection is kept at the Natural History Museum (NHM), London, and the Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge. She worked in the former one for two years describing species and comparing specimens for her monograph on British conulariids. Although her work was based not only on this group, she will be remembered by her important contribution to the conulariids through collections. The NHM collection is considered the best in the world in terms of diversity and the second best in its number of specimens, while the Sedgwick Museum has a smal ler co llection that is still considered the second best in diversity and number of specimens in the United l<ingdom. Her work has been cited for more than 100 years and continues to be cited to this day by researchers on this group of fossi ls.
  • A validated food frequency questionnaire to determine dietary intake of vitamin D

    Watkins, Stephanie; Mushtaq, Sohail; Freeborn, Ellen; University of Chester
    Objective The aim of the present study was to develop and validate a vitamin D food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for assessment of dietary vitamin D intake in healthy adults in England, UK. Design: The current study assessed the agreement between a four-day food diary (4d-FD) and a new vitamin D FFQ to measure dietary intake of vitamin D. Dietary intake was estimated using Nutritics dietary analysis software and Spearman’s and Bland-Altman tests were utilised to assess correlation and agreement, respectively. Participants also provided a blood sample for plasma analysis of vitamin D concentrations. Setting: Home setting. Participants: Fifty participants were recruited to the study from the University of Chester and vicinity. Results: Results showed a strong correlation between vitamin D intake recorded by the FFQ and the 4d-FD (r = 0.609; P < 0.0001) within 95% limits of agreement. Furthermore, a significant correlation between plasma 25(OH)D concentrations and vitamin D intake measured by the FFQ (r = 0.290, P = 0.041) and the 4d-FD (r = 0.360, P = 0.01) was observed. Conclusion: Our analysis suggests this FFQ is a useful and rapid tool for researchers and health professionals to assess vitamin D dietary intakes in healthy adults in the UK.
  • Maria Ogilvie Gordon

    Burek, Cynthia V; University of Chester
    A biographical dictionary entry for Maria Ogilvie Gordon
  • Geodiversity Action Plans – A method to facilitate, structure, inform and record action for geodiversity

    Burek, Cynthia V; Dunlop, Lesley; Larwood, Jonathan G; University of Chester; Northumbria University; Natural England
    Geodiversity Action Plans are used widely within the United Kingdom to inform and record action for geodiversity and geoconservation. They encompass both site-based audit and conservation with a wider perspective on geodiversity resources available in an agreed area (such as geological sites, museum collections and building stones) with ambitions to present and communicate, influence policy and practice, and to secure resources in relation to geodiversity. Geodiversity Action Plans (GAPs) are used particularly at local and company level to focus and highlight the work needed to be carried out and a as key mechanism to facilitate and support the delivery of the overarching UK Geodiversity Action Plan (UKGAP). Importantly, GAPs cross cut interests and are multidisciplinary. Although they are mainly a UK tool for geoconservation the principles and approach are easily transferred and could be duplicated in other countries.
  • The contribution of women to Welsh geological research and education up to 1920

    Burek, Cynthia V; University of Chester
    The importance of Welsh geology to the development of the science of geology and the stratigraphic column is underestimated and indeed the contribution of women to this process is largely overlooked. This paper explores the scientific contribution and the role that women played to the investigation of Welsh stratigraphy. The work of Gertrude Elles, Ethel Skeat, Ethel Wood and Margaret Crosfield, the socalled Newnham quartet of palaeontologists, and the educational contribution of Dilys Davies, the first female to study geology at Newnham College, Cambridge and of Annie Greenly to the work of her husband Edward Greenly on Anglesey is discussed. Catherine Raisin also contributed work on the metamorphic rocks of Wales and her work is examined. Without their contributions, Welsh stratigraphy would not be as advanced as it is today especially in the use of graptolite identification for correlation. However, scientific research was not the only contribution and other roles such as illustrators, proof readers, field assistants and teachers will also be examined against the background of the time. The fact that there were few higher education institutions in Wales at the time admitting women to geology is a significant factor for geological research. The contribution of female researchers to this research development is largely forgotten by both researchers, educators and the general public. This paper hopes to rectify these omissions.
  • Female medal and fund recipients of the Geological Society of London: a historical perspective.

    Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester
    The Geological Society of London has historically awarded medals and funds to early career geologists and for career achievement recognition. Mid-career and outreach awards were later added as categories. This paper will concentrate on early recipients of Funds and Medal winners mainly during the 19th and 20th centuries. In the 19th century, only two women received recognition by the Geological Society for their work through early career funds (not medals): Catherine Raisin in 1893 and Jane Donald in 1898. From 1900-1919, no woman received a medal, but funds were collected by men on behalf of Gertrude Elles, Elizabeth Gray, Ethel Wood, Helen Drew, Ida Slater and Ethel Skeat. The first woman to collect her own Fund was Ethel Skeat in 1908. Pre-WWII only four women received career recognition in the form of a medal. Gertrude Elles in 1919 and Ethel Shakespear in 1920 received the Murchison Medal. No further medals were awarded to women until Maria Ogilvie Gordon in 1932 and Eleanor Mary Reid in 1936. It was not until the end of the 1990s and into the 21st century that a significant number of women received medals. It is noted that the William Smith Medal was only received by a woman in 2019 and the Dewey Medal has yet to be received by a woman. An analysis of the different medals and funds awarded to females through the Geological Society is discussed in detail with snapshots of the women who were so recognised. As we move into the 21st century we see an increase in these awards to women. The awarding of a professional Society medal or fund is an honour given to few academics, experts or publicly minded individuals. It is a public acknowledgement of an achievement, often coming with financial benefit and can be regarded as peer recognition of a significant contribution to society either through research or outreach activities. During the 19th century, awarding this recognition to a female was unusual. The Geological Society of London began its life in 1807 (Herries-Davies 2007) and since 1831, when the Wollaston Medal and Funds were first awarded, it has awarded 1423 medals and funds to date (January 2020). Of these, 110 recipients were women (7.7%), representing 5.3% of medal and 10.8% of fund winners. However, these percentages have dramatically changed over time (Fig. 1). A larger number of awards were given to women in the first 18 years of the 21st century than the previous two centuries together. The disparity between genders is shown in Figure 2, and the length of time before the first medal or fund was awarded to a female is shown in Figure 3. The only woman to have been awarded two medals is Janet Watson (1923-1985), the Lyell Medal in 1973 and the Bigsby Medal in 1965. Twelve women have received both a fund and medal: Catherine Raisin (1855-1945), Gertrude Elles (1872-1960), Ethel Wood (Dame Shakespear) (1871-1945), Eileen Mary Lind Hendriks (1888-1978), Eleanor Reid (1860–1953), Helen Muir-Wood (1895-1968) , Marjorie Chandler (1897–1983), Dorothy Hill (1907-1997), Dorothy Rayner (1912-2003), Mabel Tomlinson (1893-1978), Dianne Edwards (1942- ) and Jane Plant (1945-2016). Several of these women have individual chapters devoted to them within this volume of research and so will not be discussed in detail here. This paper will concentrate on the early years and first recipients of medal and fund awards to women, and, although mention will be made of the success of the 21st century for clarity and completion, it is not the main aim of this paper.
  • Mabel Elizabeth Tomlinson and Isabel Ellie Knaggs: two overlooked early female Fellows of the Geological Society

    Burek, Cynthia V; University of Chester
    Abstract: The first female Fellows of the Geological Society of London were elected in May 1919. Brief biographies were documented by Burek in 2009 as part of the celebrations for the bicentenary of the Geological Society. While some of those women were well known (e.g. Gertrude Elles and Ethel Wood), others had seemingly been forgotten. In the decade since that publication, information has come to light about those we knew so little about. There are, however, still some details evading research. From 1919 until 1925, 33 women were elected FGS, including Isobel Ellie Knaggs (1922) and Mabel Tomlinson (1924). Mabel Tomlinson had two careers, and is remembered both as an extraordinary teacher and a Pleistocene geologist. She was awarded the Lyell Fund in 1937 and R.H. Worth Prize in 1961, one of only 13 women to have received two awards from the Geological Society. She inspired the educational Tomlinson–Brown Trust. Isabel Knaggs was born in South Africa and died in Australia but spent all her school, university and working years in England. She made significant contributions to crystallography, working with eminent crystallography scientists but remained a lifelong FGS. The achievements of Tomlinson and Knaggs are considerable, which makes their relative present-day obscurity rather puzzling.
  • Gertrude Elles: The pioneering graptolite geologist in a woolly hat. Her career, her achievements and personal reflections of her family and colleagues

    Burek, Cynthia V; Tubb, Jane; University of Chester; Open University
    Gertrude Elles gained worldwide renown for her seminal work with Ethel Wood on ‘A Monograph of British Graptolites’ which is still used today. She gained the MBE, pioneered female geological education, became the first female reader in Cambridge University and one of the first tranche of female Fellows of the Geological Society in 1919. An eccentric with a vast array of hats, PhD students and lodgers, she was a stalwart member of the Sedgwick Club and life member of the British Federation of University Women. She wrote obituaries for colleagues describing their achievements with humour and good nature. Her family describe her as ‘a fabulous woman’ with a huge range of interests including archaeology, botany and music. She related her geological and botanical knowledge in showing a nephew that plants growing along the Moine Thrust reflected change in the underlying rocks. Cambridge colleagues recall her as a ‘marvellous and well-respected figure’ who caused some amusement by her big old cluttered table from which she swept away material making room for new samples (and work for technicians). She died in 1960 in her beloved Scotland. However, her legacy survives in the classification of a group of fossils extinct for nearly 400 million years. The well documented career and achievements of Gertrude Elles (Burek 2002, 2007, 2009, 2014, Creese 1994, 2004) establish her as a great geologist who was ahead of her time and had an enduring love of the outdoors, particularly the Scottish Highlands. Her outstanding contribution to the field of palaeontology was ‘A Monograph of British Graptolites’ which she co-authored with Ethel Wood and which is still widely used today. She was also an inspirational lecturer, always remembered for her enthusiasm and as an advocate for women’s education and advancement. From several personal accounts, she was identified as an amazing, slightly eccentric person with wide ranging interests and knowledge. Her family called her G and speak of her with pride. ACCEPTED MANUSCRIPT Downloaded from http://sp.lyellcollection.org/ by guest on October 27, 2020 Cambridge colleagues called her Gertie (but not to her face!) and remember her with affection, respect and some amusement. The ‘woolly hat’ in the title refers to one of the best-known photos of her (Fig.1), and because she had a vast array of hats. The reason for this collection was her appointment in the department in Cambridge, which required women to wear hats when lecturing (Burek 2007).
  • Margaret Chorley Crosfield, FGS: the very first female Q1 Fellow of the Geological Society

    Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester
    In May 1919 the first female Fellows of the Geological Society were elected and from then on attended meetings at the Society. The first person on the female fellows’ list was Margaret Chorley Crosfield. She was born in 1859 and died in 1952. She lived all her life in Reigate in Surrey. After studying and then leaving Cambridge, Margaret had sought to join the Geological Society of London for many years, in order to gain recognition of her research work, but also to attend meetings and use the library. This paper will look at her history and trace her geological achievements in both stratigraphy and palaeontology, as well as her extraordinary field notebooks that she left to the Geological Survey. She worked closely with two female geological colleagues, Mary Johnston and Ethel Skeat. Margaret Crosfield epitomizes the educated, amateur, independent woman who wanted to be recognized for her work, especially fieldwork, at a time when female contributions, especially in the field sciences, were not always acknowledged or even appreciated.
  • Celebration of the Centenary of the first female Fellows: Introduction

    Burek, Cynthia V.; Higgs, Bettie M; University of Chester, University College Cork
    Abstract The Geological Society of London was founded in 1807. In May 1919, the first female Fellows were elected to the Society, 112 years after its foundation. This Special Publication celebrates this centenary Eighteen papers have been gathered to highlight recent research, carried out by 24 authors. The publication also builds on stories introduced in a previous Special Publication of the Geological Society, The Role of Women in the History of Geology edited by Burek & Higgs in 2007, the first book to deal solely with this topic, and Burek (2009). It fills in some of the gaps in knowledge with detail that has only recently been uncovered, leading to more in-depth analysis and reporting. The current publication includes more examples from the 20th century, and a small number into the present century, allowing some trends to be identified. The collective work is finding connections previously undocumented and in danger of being lost forever due to the age of the interviewees. The same work also identifies several common challenges that female geoscientists faced, which are still evident in the current investigations. By building on what went before, filling gaps in knowledge and enriching the histories, interesting nuanced insights have emerged.
  • Bioavailability of Orally Administered Active Lipid Compounds from four Different Greenshell™ Mussel Formats

    Miller, Matthew R.; Kruger, Marlena C.; Wynne, Chris; Waaka, Devonie; Li, Weili; Frampton, Chris; Wolber, Fran M.; Eason, Charles; Cawthron Institute; Massey University; Christchurch Clinical Studies Trust (CSST); University of Chester; University of Otago; (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2018-02-02)
    Abstract: Greenshell™ mussel (GSM, Perna canaliculus) is New Zealand’s most important aquaculture species. They are a good source of long chain-polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC PUFA). Beyond a traditional food product, GSMs are also sold as mussel powders and oil extract formats in the nutraceutical markets. In this study, a four-sequence, single dose, randomized crossover human trial with eight evaluable healthy male participants was undertaken to determine the bioavailability of the n-3 LC PUFA in four different GSM formats (oil, powder, food ingredient and half-shell unprocessed whole mussel) by measuring area under the curve (AUC) and maximal concentration (CMax). Blood samples were collected at baseline and up to 48 h after initiation of product consumption in each administration period. There were minor differences between the bioavailability of FA (fatty acid) between the different GSM formats. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) peak concentrations and plasma exposures were significantly lower with GSM oil compared to GSM half-shell and GSM powder formats, which resulted in AUC0–48 for the intake of GSM half-shell mussel and GSM powder being significantly higher than that for GSM oil (p = 0.013, f= 4.84). This equated to a 20.6% and 24.3% increase in the amount of EPA present in the plasma after consumption of half-shell mussels and mussel powder respectively compared to GSM oil. GSM oil produced the shortest median time to maximal plasma n-3 LC PUFA concentration of all evaluated products demonstrated by a shorter maximum measured plasma concentration (TMax = 5 h). Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and n-3 LC PUFA plasma exposure parameters were statistically comparable across the four GSM products evaluated.
  • Fitness Monitoring in Elite Soccer Players: Group vs. Individual Analyses.

    Rabbani, Alireza; Kargarfard, Mehdi; Twist, Craig (2020-11)
    Rabbani, A, Kargarfard, M, and Twist, C. Fitness monitoring in elite soccer players; group vs. individual analyses. J Strength Cond Res 34(11): 3250-3257, 2020-The aims of this study were to (a) examine changes in group and individual HR measures during a submaximal warm-up test, and (b) investigate the relationship between accumulated internal training loads and HR changes during an in-season phase among elite soccer players (n = 14). Before and after an in-season phase (24 days), exercise HR (HRex) and HR recovery (HRR) expressed either as the number of beats recovered (HRR60s) or as the mean HR (HRpost1) during 1 minute of recovery were analyzed. Heart rate measures were expressed as the % of maximal HR. Session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) was computed for all training/match sessions. Group and individual HR changes were analyzed using magnitude-based inferences. Pearson correlation coefficients were also used to examine the relationships. Group analyses of HR changes revealed there were possibly to likely trivial changes in all HR measures. When analyzing individual data, no substantial change was observed for HRR60s%. However, substantial changes in HRex% and HRpost1% were observed for 4/14 and 5/14 players, respectively. The relationships between HRex% and HRpost1% were nearly perfect (r = 0.90, confidence limits [0.82-0.95]). The associations between changes in HRex% and HRpost1% were also nearly perfect (r = 0.92, 0.80-0.97). A very large inverse correlation was observed between HRex% and accumulated sRPE (r = -0.75, -0.44 to -0.90). This study highlights the value of conducting individual vs. group aerobic fitness monitoring. This study also showed the importance of how HRR is reported when aerobic fitness monitoring of elite soccer players.
  • Zoo-housed mammals do not avoid giving birth on weekends

    Hosey, Geoff; Ward, Samantha J; Ferguson, Amanda; Jenkins, Hannah; Hill, Sonya P; University of Bolton; Nottingham Trent University; ZSL London Zoo; North of England Zoological Society; University of Chester
    There is evidence that zoo visitor presence can influence the behavior and, in some cases, adrenal response of zoo animals, and can sometimes compromise animal welfare. In some laboratory studies, significantly more primate births have been reported on weekends, when fewer people are working there, compared with weekdays when staffing levels are at their highest. Here we investigate whether there is evidence of a “weekend effect” on births in zoo animals as a result of visitor numbers. Unlike laboratories, zoos are typically busier with visitors on weekends than on weekdays, although staffing levels remain fairly consistent across days of the week. If zoo animal parturition is sensitive to human presence, then fewer births would be expected on weekends compared with weekdays. We tested this using birth data and visitor numbers on the entrance gate from zoo records across 16 species representing artiodactyls, perissodactyls, carnivores and primates at four British zoos, to see whether there is an association between mean daily birth rates and average visitor numbers. We predict that, if there is a visitor effect, daily births should be lower on weekends than weekdays and should correlate with mean daily visitor numbers. Results showed that births for all 16 species were randomly distributed through the week, and there was no significant decline in births on weekends. We conclude that the ‘weekend effect’, if such a thing exists, does not appear to be a feature of zoo births, suggesting that elevated weekend visitor numbers are not sufficiently stressful to trigger delayed parturition.
  • Ecotoxicological and regulatory aspects of environmental sustainability of nanopesticides.

    Grillo, Renato; email: renato.grillo@unesp.br; Fraceto, Leonardo F; Amorim, Mónica J B; Scott-Fordsmand, Janeck James; Schoonjans, Reinhilde; Chaudhry, Qasim (2020-10-02)
    Recent years have seen the development of various colloidal formulations of pesticides and other agrochemicals aimed at use in sustainable agriculture. These formulations include inorganic, organic or hybrid particulates, or nanocarriers composed of biodegradable polymers, that can provide a better control of the release of active ingredients. The very small particle sizes and high surface areas of nanopesticides may however also lead to some unintended (eco)toxicological effects due to the way in which they interact with the target and non-target species and the environment. The current level of knowledge on ecotoxicological effects of nanopesticides is scarce, especially in regard to the fate and behaviour of such formulations in the environment. Nanopesticides will however have to cross a stringent regulatory scrutiny before marketing in most countries for health and environmental risks under a range of regulatory frameworks that require pre-market notification, risk assessment and approval, followed by labelling, post-market monitoring and surveillance. This review provides an overview of the key regulatory and ecotoxicological aspects relating to nanopesticides that will need to be considered for environmentally-sustainable use in agriculture. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.]
  • Sarcopenia during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions: long-term health effects of short-term muscle loss.

    Kirwan, Richard; orcid: 0000-0003-4645-0077; email: r.p.kirwan@2018.ljmu.ac.uk; McCullough, Deaglan; orcid: 0000-0002-9882-9639; Butler, Tom; orcid: 0000-0003-0818-1566; email: t.butler@chester.ac.uk; Perez de Heredia, Fatima; orcid: 0000-0002-2537-3327; Davies, Ian G; orcid: 0000-0003-3722-8466; Stewart, Claire; orcid: 0000-0002-8104-4819 (2020-10-01)
    The COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary global emergency that has led to the implementation of unprecedented measures in order to stem the spread of the infection. Internationally, governments are enforcing measures such as travel bans, quarantine, isolation, and social distancing leading to an extended period of time at home. This has resulted in reductions in physical activity and changes in dietary intakes that have the potential to accelerate sarcopenia, a deterioration of muscle mass and function (more likely in older populations), as well as increases in body fat. These changes in body composition are associated with a number of chronic, lifestyle diseases including cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, osteoporosis, frailty, cognitive decline, and depression. Furthermore, CVD, diabetes, and elevated body fat are associated with greater risk of COVID-19 infection and more severe symptomology, underscoring the importance of avoiding the development of such morbidities. Here we review mechanisms of sarcopenia and their relation to the current data on the effects of COVID-19 confinement on physical activity, dietary habits, sleep, and stress as well as extended bed rest due to COVID-19 hospitalization. The potential of these factors to lead to an increased likelihood of muscle loss and chronic disease will be discussed. By offering a number of home-based strategies including resistance exercise, higher protein intakes and supplementation, we can potentially guide public health authorities to avoid a lifestyle disease and rehabilitation crisis post-COVID-19. Such strategies may also serve as useful preventative measures for reducing the likelihood of sarcopenia in general and in the event of future periods of isolation.
  • A quest for relaxation? A figurational analysis of the transformation of yoga into a global leisure time phenomenon

    Thurston, Miranda; Bloyce, Daniel; Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, University of Chester
    Eric Dunning and Norbert Elias began developing their concept ‘quest for excitement’ in the 1960s. In this paper we consider the concept in the context of their work on the civilizing process and leisure in the sparetime spectrum, applying it to an analysis of the global diffusion and transformation of yoga. In so doing, we develop a preliminary theoretical account of its global popularity as a leisure-time movement form. We specifically consider the extent to which yoga’s transformation from the late 19th century onwards can be understood as a socially generated psychological quest for excitement rather than as a need for relaxation. We take a long-term developmental perspective, focusing on processes of globalization to explain the transformation of yoga into an increasing variety of forms. We argue that its global popularity is linked to its transformation into a diversity of styles, which provide flexible, individualized, non-competitive and health-oriented leisure opportunities that have become attractive to an increasing number of people. We conclude that the contouring of yoga in this way reflects the socially generated leisure time needs of complex societies. Our preliminary theoretical account, informed by the work of Dunning and colleagues illuminates how yoga, as a polymorphous social practice, provides leisure enclaves which can lead to an upsurge of satisfying emotions and hence can be psychologically restorative.
  • “It is always going to change” – examining the experiences of managing top-down changes by sport development officers working in national governing bodies of sport in England

    Thompson, Anne; Bloyce, Daniel; Mackintosh, Chris; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Chester
    Research question: This article examines how sport development officers (SDOs) employed within national governing bodies of sport (NGB) managed Sport England’s top-down policy changes from 2008 to 2015. The main research question examines the experiences of SDOs as they responded to, and managed these changes at the community level. Research methods: In-depth, semi-structured interviews gathered qualitative data from 18 employees from four NGBs, including 6 SDOs, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), senior managers and a representative from Sport England, with responsibility for policy formulation. Results and Findings: SDOs felt increasingly constrained in how they worked due to the intensification of a top-down and cyclical process of change, a result-orientated approach and the sporting habitus of SDOs. These factors combined to create resistance among some SDOs as the power differentials within the interdependencies formed, which contributed to the unintentional outcome of elongating the time taken to implement policy on the ground. Implications: This article has developed more object-adequate insights into how SDOs have responded to, and managed top-down policy implementation. The article suggests recommendations for policy-makers, Sport England and NGBs, to consider the dynamic interdependencies in which employees are bound and a more rounded and processual view to policy formulation and implementation

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