Health, Sport and Human Performance Papers

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 192
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    Supernatural curses in Pacific communities: A challenge for modern healthcare
    (Journal Article, Research Outreach, 2024) Aporosa, S. 'Apo'; Perrin, R
    While largely ignored by modern medical science, spirituality and supernatural phenomena continue to play a significant role in the belief systems of Indigenous peoples. In the Pacific and Pacific diaspora, ‘curses’ are commonly cited as the cause of death, poor health, and diminished wellbeing. At The University of Waikato, Dr Apo Aporosa teaches future healthcare workers the importance of acknowledging and respecting these beliefs, even if they go against personal belief structures. This encourages ‘cultural safety’ aimed at improving healthcare delivery and health equity in Pacific communities.
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    Reliability of Repeated Isometric Neck Strength in Rugby Union Players Using a Load Cell Device
    (Journal Article, MDPI, 2022-04-01) Chavarro-Nieto, Christian; Beaven, Christopher Martyn; Gill, Nicholas D.; Hebert-Losier, Kim
    Concussion is the most common injury in professional Rugby Union (RU) players, with increasing incidence and severity each year. Strengthening the neck is an intervention used to decrease concussion incidence and severity, which can only be proven effective if neck strength measures are reliable. We conducted a repeated-measures reliability study with 23 male RU players. Neck strength was assessed seated in a ‘make’ test fashion in flexion, extension, and bilateral side flexion. Flexion-to-extension and left-to-right side ratios were also computed. Three testing sessions were undertaken over three consecutive weeks. Intrasession and intersession reliabilities were assessed using typical errors, coefficient of variations (CV), and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Intrasession reliability demonstrated good-to-excellent relative (ICC > 0.75) and good absolute (CV ≤ 20%) reliability in all directions (ICC = 0.86–0.95, CV = 6.4–8.8%), whereas intersession reliability showed fair relative (ICC: 0.40 to 0.75) and acceptable absolute (CV ≤ 20%) reliability for mean and maximal values (ICC = 0.51–0.69, CV = 14.5–19.8%). Intrasession reliability for flexion-to-extension ratio was good (relative, ICC = 0.86) and acceptable (absolute, CV = 11.5%), and was fair (relative, ICC = 0.75) and acceptable (absolute, CV = 11.5%) for left-to-right ratio. Intersession ratios from mean and maximal values were fair (relative, ICC = 0.52–0.55) but not always acceptable (absolute, CV = 16.8–24%). Assessing isometric neck strength with a head harness and a cable with a load cell device seated in semi-professional RU players is feasible and demonstrates good-to-excellent intrasession and fair intersession reliability. We provided data from RU players to inform practice and assist standardization of testing methods.
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    Eccentric Force-Velocity Characteristics during a Novel Squat Protocol in Trained Rugby Union Athletes-Pilot Study
    (Journal Article, MDPI, 2021-03-30) McNeill, Conor; Beaven, Christopher Martyn; McMaster, Daniel Travis; Gill, Nicholas D.
    Eccentric strength characteristics have been shown to be important factors in physical performance. Many eccentric tests have been performed in isolation or with supramaximal loading. The purpose of this study was to investigate within- and between- session reliability of an incremental eccentric back squat protocol. Force plates and a linear position transducer captured force-time-displacement data across six loading conditions, separated by at least seven days. The reliability of eccentric specific measurements was assessed using coefficient of variation (CV), change in mean, and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Eccentric peak force demonstrated good ICC (≥0.82) and TE (≤7.3%) for each load. Variables based on mean data were generally less reliable (e.g., mean rate of force development, mean force, mean velocity). This novel protocol meets acceptable levels of reliability for different eccentric-specific measurements although the extent to which these variables affect dynamic performance requires further research.
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    The use of lower-body compression garments during high-intensity exercise performance in basketball athletes
    (Journal Article, Springer, 2021) Driller, Matthew W.; Dixon, Zanz; Beaven, Christopher Martyn; Lam, Wing-Kai
    This study examined the effects of lower-body compression garments worn following exercise on perceived recovery and subsequent performance in basketball athletes. In a parallel-group design, 30 recreational, male basketball athletes were randomly allocated to either a control (CON, n = 15, loose-fitting clothing) or experimental group (COMP, n = 15, compression garments) for 15h following fatigue-inducing, basketball-specific exercise. The evening exercise bout (1600-1800 h) included performance of the Basketball Exercise Simulation Test, lunge jumps, and an isometric wall sit exercise. Perceptual measures of fatigue and muscle soreness as well as physical performance tests (sprints, jumps and agility) were performed pre-exercise, post-exercise, and post-recovery (15 h following exercise). Subjective and objective measures of sleep were recorded following the exercise trial. There were non-significant (p > 0.05), unclear-trivial differences between groups for all performance measures. Perceived post-recovery fatigue (d = -1.27, large) and muscle soreness (d = -1.61, large) were significantly lower in COMP compared to CON (p < 0.05). COMP exhibited better perceived sleep quality (d = 0.42, small, p = 0.18) than CON, with an unclear difference in sleep duration between groups (p > 0.05). Wearing lower-body compression garments overnight improved perceived fatigue and muscle soreness, but had negligible effects on subsequent physical performances in basketball athletes.
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    Questionnaire-Derived Sleep Habits and Academic Achievement in First Year University Students
    (Journal Article, MDPI, 2021-12-28) Driller, Matthew W.; Suppiah, Haresh; Gastin, Paul B.; Beaven, Christopher Martyn
    This study aimed to determine the effect of sleep quantity and quality via the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) on students' academic achievement in their first year of university study. In this cross-sectional study, 193 students (102 female, 91 male, mean ± SD; age = 19.3 ± 2.9 y) from an undergraduate Health degree in New Zealand completed the PSQI four weeks prior to the end of the semester in their first year of university study. Results from three core subjects in the first semester were averaged and correlations between the PSQI and academic success were evaluated using Spearman's rho (ρ). The group were also trichotomized using a PSQI global score of ≤5 as the threshold for "good" sleepers (n = 62, 32%), a score of 5-8 for "moderate" sleepers (n = 63, 33%) and a score ≥8 to characterize "poor" sleepers (n = 68, 35%). Overall, students averaged 7 h 37 min of self-reported sleep duration with an average bedtime of 22:55 p.m. and wake time of 8:01 a.m. There was a significant, small inverse relationship between academic performance and bedtime (p = 0.03, ρ = -0.14), with those going to bed earlier having superior academic success. The trichotomized data demonstrated no significant differences in academic performance between students with poor, moderate and good sleep quality (p = 0.92). Later bedtimes were associated with lower academic performance in a group of first year university students. However, there were no other relationships observed between academic success and self-reported sleep quality or quantity as determined by the PSQI. Enhancing awareness of the impact of sleep timing on academic success should be prioritized and strategies to improve sleep hygiene should be promoted to university students.