Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology (PhD) 
Cardiovascular function with strenuous exercise
Trinity Western University
Introduction: High rates of overweight and obesity among children in Canada have created the need for new and innovative strategies to treat the condition and address its underlying causes. Telehealth is an attractive option to reach children and families with barriers to accessing in-person treatment programs. The HealthLink BC Eating and Activity Program for Kids (the Program), a provincial telehealth program staffed by registered dietitians and a qualified exercise professional, was launched in Spring 2015 in British Columbia, Canada. A comprehensive program evaluation was implemented to assess its first 24-months of operation.Purpose: The purpose of this program evaluation was to assess the effectiveness of a telephone-based childhood obesity treatment program in its initial implementation phase.Methods: Participant data was obtained from physician referrals to the Program and/or information obtained at intake and upon follow-up (3 and 6 mo). Data includes the scores from a battery of questionnaires measuring: diet, eating behaviours, sleep, physical activity and sedentary behaviour, self-perception, and personal strengths and difficulties. Other data includes height, weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, and the extent of contact with the Program. Baseline measurements were compared with follow-up data obtained after Program completion at 3 and 6 mo.Results: A total of 55 participants consented to participating in the Program evaluation (25.5% of all referrals). Children in the evaluation generally adhered to the Program, with 56.4% of participants completing at least 70% (5 weekly calls) of the Program. At the 3-month follow-up: participants reduced their consumption of processed grain and meatiiiproducts, boys increased their fruit and vegetable consumption, both boys and girls increased total and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and reduced their time spent in sedentary pursuits. There were no changes observed in BMI. At 6-months post-intervention, some improvements in diet and physical activity had diminished. Results were impacted by small sample sizes and high variability across the sample.Conclusion: The Program succeeded at attracting and retaining children and teens referred to its telehealth services. Like many other intervention programs, participants reported modest improvements immediately post-intervention, but generally did not report maintaining positive changes.
No abstract available.
Preterm birth ( .05). Irrespective of gestational age, gross motor proficiency was low. Holding age constant, gestational age was found to be a significant predictor of both balance time and standing long jump distance. Children born at later gestational ages balanced longer and jumped further; however balance was still poorly performed by the participants. The findings of this investigation indicate the need for further research into the gross motor skill development of children born preterm throughout the early childhood years. These findings suggest that difficulties in fundamental gross motor skills are exhibited across gestational age and difficulties are not constrained to the first years of life, but also exhibited at preschool and kindergarten-age. This work has implications for the design and implementation of developmentally appropriate programming for the preterm population in the early childhood years.
The overall objective of this work was to examine the use of a psychomotor battery to detect changes in cognitive function in relation to decrements in performance during fatiguing exercise of physically active men. Three types of investigations were conducted. First, a systematic literature review was conducted to provide evidence-based information regarding the use of psychomotor batteries as an early detection marker for overtraining. Second, a methodological investigation was conducted to examine the reliability of a CogState battery to measure cognitive function under repeat exposure, according to two different testing schedules. A massed group (n = 6) performed the battery three times per day for 5 days, while the distributed group (n = 5) completed the battery once per day for 15 days. For simple and choice reaction time, findings supported the repeated use of CogState. Third, a randomized control trial was conducted to document the time course of cognitive and physiological changes when exposed to a high training load. Eleven active males were randomly assigned to a training or control group. The training group completed a 20 km cycling time trial on 5 days; while the control group maintained their usual activity. Baseline and post-tests (maximal aerobic power, time-trial performance, cognition, Muscle Soreness, Sleep Quality, and Stress-Recovery) were collected one week prior to, and following training. During training, pre- and post-session measurements of cognitive function were administered (via a CogState battery). Other measurements included morning heart rate variability, muscle soreness, and sleep quality. A one-week period of recovery followed training, wherein cognitive function was assessed daily. Results revealed no differences in time-trial performances across days for the training group (p = .325). The training protocol did not produce levels of physical fatigue required to induce performance decrements in participants; subsequently, no cognitive changes associated to the training were observed. Anecdotally, participants reported feelings of fatigue, stress, and discomfort. These findings demonstrate that recreational exercisers do not perceive appropriately objective measures of their own performance. Recommendations are provided to address the limitations of the training protocol administered to induce performance decrements in recreational exercisers for further research in this area.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death, and the greatest contributor to health care costs in Canada. Primary prevention is an important strategy for limiting both disease and costs. Cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality are causally related to physical activity in an inverse, dose-response trend. Physically inactive lifestyles increase and hasten the incidence of CVD. Features of the built environment have been shown to moderate physical activity levels in neighbourhood residents and thus could also be contributing to CVD risk. However, investigation into the association between the built environment and modifiable CVD risk factors is rather limited. The purpose of this investigation is to compare levels of CVD risk factors affected by physical activity in neighbourhoods varying on walkability and number of leisure-time physical activity correlates. Objective measures of several cardiovascular risk factors: BMI, waist girth, systolic blood pressure and HDL-C concentration were collected on participants across British Columbia, Canada. Geographical information system software was used to score a 750m network buffer around each participant’s residence on the Neighbourhood Walkability Index and number of leisure-time physical activity correlates. Participants were also grouped based on their neighbourhood-level median after-tax income. A total of 2999 individuals were included in statistical analyses. Findings revealed significantly lower BMI, waist girth and systolic blood pressure values amongst residents of high (compared to low) walkable neighbourhoods. Individuals living in environments with more leisure-time physical activity correlates also exhibited significantly lower BMI and waist girth values. Higher income groups were associated with significantly less risk for BMI and waist girth. These results contribute to a growing body of research on the effect of the urban built environment at the neighbourhood level on cardiovascular health. This investigation is unique in its analysis of several CVD risk factors which are influenced by physical activity, beyond BMI. Findings of lower waist girths among residents of high walkability neighbourhoods are novel and speak to potential cardiometabolic effects of living in areas which support active transportation and leisure-time physical activity. Furthermore, our data identify low income neighbourhoods with the least physical activity correlates as relatively high risk areas.