The effects of concurrent biomechanical biofeedback on rowing performance at different stroke rates

The aims of this study were to assess the effects of stroke rate (SR) on the ability of trained rowers to: a) comply with concurrent biomechanical biofeedback on knee-back-elbow joint sequencing; and b) transfer any changes to competition-intensity conditions (maximal rowing task). Following a five-minute maximal rowing task (Baseline), 30 trained rowers were randomised to four groups. Two groups rowed at high SRs (90% maximum SR with biofeedback (BFb90) or control), while others rowed at low SRs (60% maximum SR with biofeedback (BFb60) or control) for 3 sessions. All rowers then completed another maximal rowing task (Transfer). Rowers complied with the biofeedback at both SRs, which promoted coordinative changes to knee-elbow motions during the pull. During Transfer, control rowers did not improve whereas those receiving biofeedback covered significantly greater distances (increase from Baseline: BFb60 = 6 ± 5%; BFb90 = 5 ± 4%; p < 0.05). However, movement adaptations were temporally different between SRs and were better maintained into Transfer by those that rowed at higher rates. This indicated biofeedback specificity, as transference of modified movement patterns appeared better when acquisition and transfer conditions were similar. These findings have practical implications for assimilating biofeedback into training programmes.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Anthony J. Gorman, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Alexander P. Willmott, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

David R. Mullineaux, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science


Comprehensive assessment of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy processes (CompACT): Measure refinement and study of measurement invariance across Portuguese and UK samples

The need for a transnational validation is imperative at the stage of development of the CompACT, a self-report measure of psychological flexibility. This study aimed to translate, validate and test the factor structure of the Portuguese version of the CompACT and to conduct a measurement invariance analysis comparing the scale’s performance in Portuguese and UK samples.

Results from an Exploratory Factor Analysis demonstrated that the Portuguese version of the CompACT statistically performed better without 5 items from the Openness to Experience subscale. The 18-item Portuguese-adapted CompACT presented significant correlations in the expected directions and with the expected magnitudes with AAQ-II, CFQ-7, MAAS, CAQ-8, and DASS-21. Partial metric invariance was demonstrated between the Portuguese-adapted 18-item CompACT and the original CompACT in a UK sample. The non-correspondence between responses to these versions may be due to differences between the Portuguese and British cultures.

This study contributes with the adaptation of the original CompACT to the Portuguese language and with the refinement of this instrument to an 18-item measure of psychological flexibility, that appears to be adequate for use in Portuguese samples. The lack of complete metric invariance of the CompACT found across the Portuguese and UK samples highlights the importance of psychometrically analyzing psychological instruments before use in cultural contexts distinct from the one targeted in the measure’s original validation study.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Inês A.Trindade, University of Coimbra, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences

Nuno B.Ferreira, University of Nicosia

Ana Laura Mendes, University of Coimbra, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences

Cláudia Ferreira, University of Coimbra, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences

Dave Dawson, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Nima Golijani-Moghaddam, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology


 

Visual attention reveals affordances during Lower Palaeolithic stone tool exploration

Tools, which have a cognitive background rooted in our phylogenetic history, are essential for humans to interact with their environment. One of the characteristics of human beings is the coordination between the eyes and hands, which is associated with a skilled visuospatial system. Vision is the first input of an action that influences interaction with tools, and tools have affordances, known as behavioural possibilities, which indicate their possible uses and potentialities. The aim of the present study is to investigate body–tool interaction from a cognitive perspective, focusing on visual affordances during interaction with the early stone tools. We analyse visual attention, applying eye tracking technology, during a free visual exploration and during haptic manipulation of the Lower Palaeolithic stone tools. The central area of the tool is the most observed region, followed by the top and the base, while knapped areas trigger more attention than the cortex. There are differences between stone tool types, but visual exploration does not differ when aided by haptic exploration. The results suggest that visual behaviour is associated with the perception of affordances, possibly from the beginning of the brain–body–tool interaction, associated with the Lower Palaeolithic culture.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Maria Silva-Gago, Centro Nacional de Investigación Sobre La Evolución Humana

Annapaola Fedato, Centro Nacional de Investigación Sobre La Evolución Humana

Tim Hodgson, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Marcos Terradillos-Bernal, Universidad Isabel

Rodrigo Alonso-Alcalde, Museo de La Evolución Humana

Emilliano Bruner, Centro Nacional de Investigación Sobre La Evolución Humana


 

Call volume, triage outcomes, and protocols during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom: Results of a national survey

Objectives

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom (UK), to describe volume and pattern of calls to emergency ambulance services, proportion of calls where an ambulance was dispatched, proportion conveyed to hospital, and features of triage used.

Methods

Semistructured electronic survey of all UK ambulance services (n = 13) and a request for routine service data on weekly call volumes for 22 weeks (February 1–July 3, 2020). Questionnaires and data request were emailed to chief executives and research leads followed by email and telephone reminders. The routine data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and questionnaire data using thematic analysis.

Results

Completed questionnaires were received from 12 services. Call volume varied widely between services, with a UK peak at week 7 at 13.1% above baseline (service range -0.5% to +31.4%). All services ended the study period with a lower call volume than at baseline (service range -3.7% to -25.5%). Suspected COVID-19 calls across the UK totaled 604,146 (13.5% of all calls), with wide variation between services (service range 3.7% to 25.7%), and in service peaks of 11.4% to 44.5%. Ambulances were dispatched to 478,638 (79.2%) of these calls (service range 59.0% to 100.0%), with 262,547 (43.5%) resulting in conveyance to hospital (service range 32.0% to 53.9%). Triage models varied between services and over time. Two primary call triage systems were in use across the UK. There were a large number of products and arrangements used for secondary triage, with services using paramedics, nurses, and doctors to support decision making in the call center and on scene. Frequent changes to triage processes took place.

Conclusions

Call volumes were highly variable. Case mix and workload changed significantly as COVID-19 calls displaced other calls. Triage models and prehospital outcomes varied between services. We urgently need to understand safety and effectiveness of triage models to inform care during further waves and pandemics.

 

‘There’s a Difference Between Tolerance and Acceptance’: Exploring Women’s Experiences of Barriers to Access in UK Gyms

Weight-bearing and moderate intensity exercise are increasingly recognised as important to wellbeing, yet women have been shown to participate in these activities at lower rates than men. With gym training a primary means of engaging in these health-promoting activities, one way in which disparities in exercise participation may be addressed is through understanding of women’s experiences accessing gym spaces, and barriers to participation experienced in these environments. Drawing on 18 in-depth qualitative interviews with female gym staff and gym users, and ethnographic fieldwork conducted in four commercial gyms in the South & South-West of England, this article explores the experiential realities of women seeking to access gym training and the barriers they identify to equal access in these spaces.

Findings examine four key ways in which gyms environment and the gendering of this space create barriers to women’s access: through the sharp gender segregation of weights areas and emotional barriers crossing into this ‘male space’ creates; through insufficient equipment provision for women’s needs and how this raises costs to women’s participation; issues with the performance of masculinities in gym space and associated intimidation and harassment in increasingly (hetero)sexualised gym space; and how gym structures create the impression one is always ‘on show’, and subject to scrutiny. This research offers insights into the experiential realities of women regarding how these barriers are felt and perceived, and in doing so offers understanding which can help direct gym policies toward more equitable outcomes, contributing to this important area for health and social research.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Luke Turnock, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences