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Physical Activity and Health

The work within the physical activity and health theme covers a broad spectrum of research with the overarching aim of improving or maintaining health across a range of clinical conditions. This research collective draws on a number of people with experience and expertise relating to human movement, human physiology, nutrition and clinical knowledge. This includes people with backgrounds in physiotherapy, physical activity and applied human physiology with interests relating to clinical issues and healthy living via appropriate choices of physical activity and diet . Together this team are able to consider issues from a more translational/holistic perspective, potentially examining the human organism from cellular level to whole body in order to answer complex questions relating to health and disease.

Understanding the mechanical and physiological properties of tendon (Dr Steve Pearson)

Here the focus is on structural and mechanical properties of the tendon and how it adapts/maladapts to loading using non-invasive approaches of ultrasound imaging and dynamometry. Also of interest are muscle activity and recruitment during functional movement, indices of strength and power output and its relevance to function and quantitative and qualitative changes in muscle with physical activity

Metabolic/hormonal and genetic responses to physical activity (Dr Steve Pearson)

Within this theme we aim to develop models in healthy individuals firstly examining exercise modality and dose/response with specific relevance to clinical populations. These methodologies will then be applied to a range of clinical groups in order to optimise indices of heath.

Health & Wellbeing interventions (Helen Matthews & Mike Dean)

Workplace health. Exercise and postural positions in prolonged sitting and diversely in diagnosis, classification & management of TMD.

Physical activity and pain (Lynne Gaskill)

This theme investigates the relationship between rehabilitation and exercise protocols for low back pain

Dietary manipulation (Dr Anna Robins)

This work examines control of glycaemic response and investigation of the subsequent effects of this on both physiological and psychological parameters via nutritional intake.

Cardiovascular responses to physical activity (Steve Aspinall)

Optimising physical activity training for maximising cardiorespiratory, metabolic and musculoskeletal health for safely and effectiveness. The measurement of spinal intersegmental motion utilising US.

Clinical outcome measures of knee surgery/injury/arthritis. (Julian Hatcher)

Tendon properties in health and disease - Currently working with groups in Australia and the US to examine responses of the tendon to repetitive loading and also utilising advanced image algorithms to estimate changes to the tendon ultrastructure. Dr Steve Pearson

Systemic glucose management - Development of physiological monitoring of hormonal responses (insulin sensitivity) to different types of muscle contraction mode. In conjunction with TOSOH Bioscience . Lead Dr Steve Pearson with Dr Anna Robins & Martyn Matthews

Fire fighter compartment fire safety - Examination of methods to estimate body core temperature from non invasive physiological parameters in conditions of extreme heat. In conjunction with GMFRS. Martyn Matthews & Dr Steve Pearson

Disabled sport - Understanding the physiological demands and movement patterns of wheelchair court-sports for optimisation of health outcomes and performance. Paul Sindall

Cognition and physical activity - The effect of movement interventions on markers of cognition in healthy individuals, of different ages. Martyn Matthews

Critical care health - Improving the experiences of patients in Critical Care. Helen Carruthers

A review on the mechanisms of blood-flow restriction resistance training-induced muscle hypertrophy. Pearson SJ, Hussain SR. Sports Med. 2015 Feb;45(2):187-200. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0264-y.

A device for characterising the mechanical properties of the plantar soft tissue of the foot. Parker D, Cooper G, Pearson S, Crofts G, Howard D, Busby P, Nester C. Med Eng Phys. 2015 Nov;37(11):1098-104. doi: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2015.08.008. Epub 2015 Sep 4.

Gaskell, L & Beaton, S 2015, 'Developing Clinical Competency: Experiences and Perceptions of Advanced Midwifery Practitioners in Training', Nurse Education in Practice , 15(4), pp.265-270.

Wood, E & Gaskell, L 2015, The STarT Back Tool. Physiotherapist experience and perceptions of its clinical utility. ', European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare , 2(4), pp.312-316.

Region-specific tendon properties and patellar tendinopathy: a wider understanding. Pearson SJ, Hussain SR. Sports Med. 2014 Aug;44(8):1101-12. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0201-y.

Data logger device applicability for wheelchair tennis court movement. Sindall P, Lenton J, Cooper R, Tolfrey K, Goosey-Tolfrey V. J Sports Sci. 2015;33(5):527-33. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2014.949829. Epub 2014 Oct.

Fish oil supplementation, resting blood flow and markers of cellular metabolism during incremental exercise. Pearson SJ, Johnson T, Robins A. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2014;84(1-2):18-26. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000189.

Regional strain variations in the human patellar tendon. Pearson SJ, Ritchings T, Mohamed AS. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Jul;46(7):1343-51. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000247.

Effect of low-compression balls on wheelchair tennis match-play. Sindall P, Lenton JP, Malone L, Douglas S, Cooper RA, Hiremath S, Tolfrey K, Goosey-Tolfrey V. Int J Sports Med. 2014 May;35(5):424-31. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1354384. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Criterion validity and accuracy of global positioning satellite and data logging devices for wheelchair tennis court movement. Sindall P, Lenton JP, Whytock K, Tolfrey K, Oyster ML, Cooper RA, Goosey-Tolfrey VL. J Spinal Cord Med. 2013 Jul;36(4):383-93. doi: 10.1179/2045772312Y.0000000068.

 Pengas, I.P., Assiotis, A., Nash, W., Hatcher, J., Banks, J. & McNicholas, M. 2013. Meniscectomy and Osteoarthritis: a Mean forty-year follow-up. Arthroscopy, 29-10: E67-E68.

Pengas, I.P., Assiotis, A., Nash, W., Hatcher, J., Banks, J. & McNicholas, M. 2012. Total Meniscectomy in Adolescents: a forty year follow-up. Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, 94-B: 12, 1649-1654.

Protein requirements for a strength athlete. Szedlak, C. & Robins, A. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 2012, 34, 5, 85-91.

Stephens, M & Cullen, M & Dean, M & Haines, C & Howarth, M & Kennedy, S & Newton-Hughes, A & Owens, D & Chaffe, E & Tudor, L & Hollinshead, M & Chapman, J & Johnson, S L 2014 'Collaboraitve Learning in Practice (CLiP) Model', in: Celebrating Interprofessional Learning Success Across the North West: Transforming Learning Environments, Health Education North West, Manchester, England, pp.114-117.

Areas of interest that relate to PhD projects would be aspects of investigations of injury prevention and rehabilitation from tendon injuries. Physical activity interventions/nutritional interventions and monitoring (metabolic, cardiovascular) for clinical groups (obese, diabetics etc). Nutritional interventions and wellbeing. Work place health and wellbeing. Disability sports. 

Dr Steve Pearson

Tel: 01612952673

The team

Dr Stephen Pearson

Mr Steve Aspinall

Ms Helen Carruthers

Mr Michael Dean

Ms Lynne Gaskell

Exercise for health

Julian Hatcher

Ms Helen Matthews

Mr Martyn Matthews

Ms Wendy Munro

Dr Anna Robins

Mr Paul Sindall

Exercise Physiology