Cold exposure and exercise may increase thermogenic capacity of white adipose tissue (WAT), which could subsequently enhance energy expenditure and body weight loss. We aimed to identify possible alterations in uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)—the main biomarker of thermogenic activation—in human WAT due to both cold exposure and exercise, as well as the link between environmental temperature and thermogenic capacity of human WAT. MATERIAL & METHOD: We conducted four human experimental studies and two systematic reviews and meta-analyses—PROSPERO registration CRD42019120116, CRD42019120213. RESULTS: UCP1 mRNA was higher in winter than in summer [t(30) = 2.232, p = 0.03] in human WAT and our meta-analysis showed a main effect of cold exposure on human UCP1 mRNA [standard mean difference (Std-md) = 1.81, confidence interval (CI) = 0.50–3.13, p = 0.007]. However, UCP1 mRNA/protein expressions displayed no associations with %fat mass or BMI (p > 0.05, Cohen’s f2 < 0.20). Both a 2-hour cooling and a non-cooling protocol preceding the positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) measurements revealed no association between environmental temperature and standardised uptake value (SUVmax) of human WAT, as well as no mean differences in SUVmax-WAT-activity between winter and summer. An 8-week exercise program had no effect on UCP1 of human WAT or on body composition. Our meta-analysis also revealed: (a) no effect of chronic exercise on human UCP1 mRNA, (b) a main effect of chronic exercise on UCP1 protein concentrations (Std-md = 0.59, CI = 0.03–1.16, p = 0.04) and UCP1 mRNA (Std-md = 1.76, CI = 0.48–3.04, p = 0.007) in WAT of normal diet animals, c) a main effect of chronic exercise on UCP1 mRNA (Std-md = 2.94, CI = 0.24–5.65, p = 0.03) and UCP1 protein concentrations (Std-md = 2.06, CI = 0.07–4.05, p = 0.04) of high-fat diet animals. CONCLUSIONS: Cold exposure represents a main stimulus for increased thermogenic capacity in human white adipocytes; however, this may have no impact on body weight loss. Chronic exercise may represent no major stimulus for UCP1 induced in human white adipocytes, while in animals it increases UCP1 gene independently of their diet. Therefore, evidence from animal studies regarding UCP1 gene activation in white adipocytes may not be applicable in humans. Finally, the identification of human WAT thermogenic capacity via PET/CT examination may be optimal with both a cooling and a non-cooling protocol.
Vitalis, P; Kouvelas, D; Kousouri, N; Lahart, I; Koutedakis, Y; Kitas, G; Metsios, G (BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and European League Against Rheumatism, 2018-06-12)
Background: Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death (1) and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Patients with rheumatic diseases (RDs), especially rheumatoid arthritis (RA), report low cardiorespiratory fitness levels (2), placing them at an increased risk of premature mortality and CVD.
Τhe use of nutritional supplements before and during a sporting event, especially of a prolonged nature, is very common among competitors and routinely advised by exercise professionals. Corinthian currants have a high carbohydrate content making them a potentially ideal carbohydrate source for prolonged exercise. However, their effectiveness as an ergogenic aid has never been studied.
Hackney, Fiona; Rana, Mah (Plymouth College of Art, 2018-11-30)
This paper signals the value of making for well-being as a reflexive research activity. It focuses on a series of short reflective diary entries created by artist and researcher Mah Rana during her daily encounters with people, spaces, places, and things. The entries are personal and incidental, involve memories and snippets of conversation but, crucially, they are all positioned from her perspective as a self-identified ‘well-maker’. Someone, that is, who is alert to the particular values, benefits, qualities, and characteristics of creative making for mental and physical health: who takes note of how these manifest in our everyday lives, often in the quietest of ways.
Bellingham, Matt; Holland, Simon; Mulholland, Paul (Psychology of Programming Interest Group, 2018-09-06)
Algorithmic music composition involves specifying music in such a way that it is non-deterministic on playback, leading to music which has the potential to be different each time it is played. Current systems for algorithmic music composition typically require the user to have considerable programming skill and may require formal knowledge of music. However, much of the potential user population are music producers and musicians (some professional, but many amateur) with little or no programming experience and few formal musical skills. To investigate how this gap between tools and potential users might be better bridged we designed Choosers, a prototype algorithmic programming system centred around a new abstraction (of the same name) designed to allow non-programmers access to algorithmic music composition methods. Choosers provides a graphical notation that allows structural elements of key importance in algorithmic composition (such as sequencing, choice, multi-choice, weighting, looping and nesting) to be foregrounded in the notation in a way that is accessible to non-programmers. In order to test design assumptions a Wizard of Oz study was conducted in which seven pairs of undergraduate Music Technology students used Choosers to carry out a range of rudimentary algorithmic composition tasks. Feedback was gathered using the Programming Walkthrough method. All users were familiar with Digital Audio Workstations, and as a result they came with some relevant understanding, but also with some expectations that were not appropriate for algorithmic music work. Users were able to successfully make use of the mechanisms for choice, multi-choice, looping, and weighting after a brief training period. The ‘stop’ behaviour was not so easily understood and required additional input before users fully grasped it. Some users wanted an easier way to override algorithmic choices. These findings have been used to further refine the design of Choosers.
Bellingham, Matt; Holland, SImon; Mulholland, Paul (2017-09-11)
We present an algorithmic composition system designed to be accessible to those with minimal programming skills and little musical training, while at the same time allowing the manipulation of detailed musical structures more rapidly and more fluidly than would normally be possible for such a user group. These requirements led us to devise nonstandard programming abstractions as the basis for a novel graphical music programming language in which a single basic element permits indeterminism, parallelism, choice, multi-choice, recursion, weighting and looping. The system has general musical expressivity, but for simplicity here we focus on manipulating samples. The musical abstractions behind the system have been implemented as a set of SuperCollider classes to enable end-user testing of the graphical programming language via a Wizard of Oz prototyping methodology. The system is currently being tested with undergraduate Music Technology students who are typically neither programmers, nor traditional musicians.
Holland, SImon; Bouwer, Anders J; Dalgelish, Mathew; Hurtig, Topi M (ACM Press, 2010)
This paper introduces a tool known as the Haptic Drum Kit, which employs four computer-controlled vibrotactile devices, one attached to each wrist and ankle. In the applications discussed here, haptic pulses are used to guide the playing, on a drum kit, of rhythmic patterns that require multi-limb co-ordination. The immediate aim is to foster rhythm skills and multi-limb coordination. A broader aim is to systematically develop skills in recognizing, identifying, memorizing, retaining, analyzing, reproducing, and composing polyphonic rhythms. We consider the implications of three different theories for this approach:
the work of the music educator Dalcroze (1865-1950 ; the entrainment theory of human rhythm perception and production [2,3]; and sensory motor contingency theory . In this paper we report on a design study; and identify
and discuss a variety of emerging design issues. The study demonstrates that beginning drummers are able to learn intricate drum patterns from haptic stimuli alone.
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