The article titled “The effects of 8 weeks of inspiratory muscle training on the balance of healthy older adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study” has been published by Physiological Reports.
It is the first research to describe the effects of inspiratory muscle training (i.e. breathing exercises that improve the strength of inspiratory muscles) on static and dynamic balance (measured with the clinical tool mini-BEST) and functional mobility (such as Timed Up and Go and 5 sit to stand tasks) with community dwellers older adults (aged 65+).
To examine the effects of 8‐week unsupervised, home‐based inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on the balance and physical performance of healthy older adults. Fifty‐nine participants (74 ± 6 years) were assigned randomly in a double‐blinded fashion to either IMT or sham‐IMT, using a pressure threshold loading device. The IMT group performed 30‐breath twice daily at ~50% of maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP). The sham‐IMT group performed 60‐breaths once daily at ~15% MIP; training was home‐based and unsupervised, with adherence self‐reported through training diaries. Respiratory outcomes were assessed pre‐ and postintervention, including forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, peak inspiratory flow rate (PIFR), MIP, and inspiratory peak power. Balance and physical performance outcomes were measured using the shortened version of the Balance Evaluation System test (mini‐BEST), Biodex® postural stability test, timed up and go, five sit‐to‐stand, isometric “sit‐up” and Biering–Sørensen tests. Between‐group effects were examined using two‐way repeated measures ANOVA, with Bonferroni correction. After 8‐week, the IMT group demonstrated greater improvements (P ≤ 0.05) in: PIFR (IMT = 0.9 ± 0.3 L sec−1; sham‐IMT = 0.3 L sec−1); mini‐BEST (IMT = 3.7 ± 1.3; sham‐IMT = 0.5 ± 0.9) and Biering–Sørensen (IMT = 62.9 ± 6.4 sec; sham‐IMT = 24.3 ± 1.4 sec) tests. The authors concluded that twice daily unsupervised, home‐based IMT is feasible and enhances inspiratory muscle function and balance for community‐dwelling older adults.
The BASES conference 2018 took place on 27-28 November at Harrogate Convention Centre.
Figure 1. Presenting BU research on the effect of 8 weeks inspiratory muscle training on the balance of healthy older adults, during the first day of the BASES conference 2018
Thanks to my supervisors Professor McConnell, Dr Gavin and Professor Wainwright and with the support from Bournemouth University I had the possibility to present my research titled: The effects of 8 weeks of inspiratory muscle training on the balance of healthy older people: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Figure 1.
You can now read what happened and look at the media from the conference clicking the twitter button right below.
Personally, I found extremely interesting the talk of Professor Steven N Blair, Professor Ken Fox and Professor John Buckley (Figure 2).
They explained, thought direct experiences, how sports science has evolved and what we (including physiologists, kinesiologists, strength and conditioning coaches) should consider when developing research proposals. One of the many take-home points was that sports science is today considered science for/of health and that is crucial to seek collaboration between researchers and the community. Paraphrasing a famous quote from J.R.R. Tolkien, it is from the ordinary folks that research questions arise.
Professor Steven N Blair, Professor Ken Fox and Professor John Buckley discussing the past, the present and the future of sports science.
Concluding, it was a motivating experience, and I was pleased to receive many questions about my research. Definitely, a conference worth to consider also for the next year.
If you are interested in reading more about BASES, follow the link below
The second day of the conference was open by Professor Graeme Close & Mr Michael Naylor with a lecture on “nutritional strategies for competition and performance.”
Follow up with the oral presentations and free communications. I found particular interest in the research of Mr Chynkiamis on the effect of VitaBREATHE on exercise tolerance in COPD patients and in the feasibility study of Miss Thomas on the effect of 10 weeks postural stability exercise on balance in elderly care homes residents. I am glad that I had the chance to discuss with Miss Thomas part of the outcomes and the methods she used for my undergoing research on falls prevention.
Later in the afternoon, I had the opportunity to talk more about inspiratory muscle training (IMT) with Mr Hopkins and Mr Gibb who are looking at the effect of IMT on time trial performance in trained cyclists.
After, the workshop “psychological challenges for physical activity uptake” by Dr Melissa Fothergill intrigued me as I believe it is a crucial matter of discussion, especially if working with frail populations.
The final motivational lecture titled “creating your future” by Dr Steve Ingham closed the 2018 BASES student conference with tips and advice on how to progress in the sport science carriers.
Concluding, it was a great experience as not only I had the chance to improve my network and meet peers with a similar background as mine but most important because in these two days I had increased my awareness and motivations.
A special thanks go to my supervisors Professor Alison McConnell, Dr James Gavin and Professor Tom Wainwright who pointed me at this event.
The conference is now over, and by the time you read this post, I will be already on my way back to Bournemouth.
Every year the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) organise the student conference, as an opportunity to discuss and exchange views on contemporary issues in sport and exercise science (including clinical exercise, biomechanics, performance, physiology and psychology).
This year the venue is Northumbria University, and the programme includes international speakers from the applied and research worlds.
The conference started with the lecture “not all that can be counted counts – why we should listen to Einstein?” by Mrs Esme Matthew & Miss Laura Needham, who brought they experience as members of English Institute of Sport (EIS) and their work with the UK Olympic team.
It was particularly inspiring to see how the lab works moved into the field of applied science and the relationship that bound researchers and athletes.
Next, after the usual coffè break, it was the time of free communications and oral presentation, where I had the opportunity to attend to the following:
Mr Dray, and his work on the effect of high-intensity interval training on obese men.
Mr Parmar about the difference in maximal aerobic speed in filed-based tests compared to laboratory-based treadmill tests.
Miss McNulty on low-volume, high-intensity priming activity.
Miss White and his work on plyometric training team gym gymnasts.
Mr Addey about the effect of unilateral strength training on recreation runners.
Then, it was the time for poster exhibition, where I presented my research titled: “The effects of 8 weeks of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on the balance of healthy older people: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial”.
I was excited, and most important the comments and feedback collected satisfied my expectations.
In particularly I had the chance to discuss IMT with a couple of students from Portsmouth, that today are going to present their works on IMT in athletes.
I also met Mr Tahmosybayat, and his research on 6 weeks of exergaming compare to OTAGO exercise training in healthy older adults and we discussed the outcomes, methods and methodologies of our research.
After there was a range of workshops available from which I chose “a demonstration of how exergaming is used to improve postural control” by Dr Gill Barry at the sport central physiology lab.
Here members of the lab staff showed us their facilities in particular exergame, Kinect, and Biodex BioSway and how they measure balance in frail populations.
At the end of the conference, there was still time for the lectures on “contemporary recovery: translating research to application” by Dr Jonathan Leeder, Dr Jess Hill & Mr Luke Gupta. Who discussed how to optimising recovery following exercises, the efficacy of compression garments on recovery from strenuous exercises and sleep management in elite sports.
Then we moved to the home of Newcastle United FC, where before dinner we had a motivational/inspiring speech by Mr Nick Grantham specialist in athletic preparation, combat sports and strength training.
Concluding, it was a very productive day and I am looking toward tomorrow where there are going to be more lectures, oral presentations and posters oriented on frail populations and nutrition.
Therefore, in just a couple of days, thanks to the staff of the Orthopedic Research Institute who provided the location, we started shooting, and here is part of the interview:
I would like to thank Davon, Sacha and all the BU staff for this interview, it was great, and I really hope that helps to have more people involved in public engagement activities.
Following the full script of the interview.
Could you tell us a little bit of your self
My name is Francesco Ferraro, and I am a PhD Student here at Bournemouth University. Currently, I am working on a project which aims to understand the effects of inspiratory muscles training on balance and functional mobility for healthy older adults. The goal is to develop an innovative and effective training for falls prevention.
Before arriving here at BU, I obtained a Bachelor Degree in sports science from University of Rome Foro Italico while in the meantime I was working as a football coach and after I moved to Naples for complete my Master Degree in sports science prevention and wellness. There I worked on motion analysis in young adults, while in the meantime I was a trainer of the Italian Federation of Weightlifting.
Could you tell us your favourite public engagement opportunity at BU?
It is hard to tell, I have enjoyed all the events in which I took part including Pint of Science, Café Scientific, The Festival of Learning, lecturing at University of Third Age and others.I gained something from each of them, and I gave something at each of them. But if I have to pick one, and only one I would say the Festival of Learning. Among all the events FOL is the one who gives you the opportunity to meet all kind of people.
You have the opportunity to explain your research to a very young audience, as well as people with excellent knowledge in your field, while surrounded by members of the BU Staff, BU students and colleagues that are there to help you and motived you.
Why do you find public engagement a good asset to both your research and the community?
My study aims to understand the effect of inspiratory muscle training on balance and functional mobility. My final purpose is to develop a strategy to prevent falls accidents in people over 65.
Therefore it is a research for the community as any other research, especially in health and social science, is done for the people. Hence what would be the point to work for the community and do not explain to them what you are doing? As researchers we have the opportunity to share with others much more than a picture on Twitter, or Instagram, we have the opportunity to share knowledge, ideas and instead of likes, we will have more questions, more curiosity and the chance to give to the audience our ideas.
At Café Scientifique, the public was really engaging in the fact your research was trying to better the wellbeing of the older generation. Why do you think people are so engaged in your research?
At Café Scientifique I was able to give to them my idea. Instead of explaining right away what my research does I told them the idea behind it and why is important to research on it. The reason why we had a great respond must be sought in my past years of work in the public engagement.
Any research is fascinating in is way, but is crucial to share it with others, not only peers and experts but also with the people for which the research is done.
You use your public engagement to advertise the need for participants in your current research, is this an effective way of getting the participants you need?
Yes, it is. But it is not the reason why I do public engagement. I have been introduced to public engagement by my supervisors: Alison McConnell, James Gavin and Thomas Wainwright with the aim to share what learned and discuss it with others.
If you were to advice new researchers about public engagement, what would you say to them?
Do it if you want to do it.
Public engagement is not easy especially if you do it because you “have to”. Do it if you want to share your research if you want to challenge yourself, if you want to meet the community then you will make a great event. You must have the right motivation if you do it just to “hunting” participants it won’t be neither correct or fun, and people will understand, with the result that you and your research will lose trust.
What do you gain most from public engagement?
Motivation – to work more for the community, to help people to learn and understand what we are doing here at the BU and how it helps their wellbeing.
Confidence – have the opportunity to talk to 50, 100 or even 200 people at each event, has grown my confidence inside and outside the University.
Knowledge – I do believe that everyone has a story to tell and you can learn a lot from it. I am always surprised at the questions that I receive.
People curiosity drives my curiosity as well and helps me to think and re-think at my research.
What are you going to do next?
I do have a couple of projects going on, but I will take part in the next Festival of Learning (third year in a row), and I will see what other opportunities the public engagement team will give to us.
The past Saturday I was given the opportunity to present my pilot study titled “The influence of inspiratory muscle training on balance and functional mobility in healthy older adults” at the Young Life Scientists Symposium (YLS) held in Derby (see related poster).
Purpose of the pilot was to gain an understanding of the effect of 8 weeks inspiratory muscle training upon balance and functional mobility outcomes (including Five-Sit-To-Stand, Time Up and Go, Mini-Best test and others) in older adults (65 and over). The results have led to a double-blind random control trial which will be completed by the beginning of 2018.
The YLS is organised by PhD students and Post-Doc’s for other PhD students and early career researchers it aims to give the opportunity to network and discuss research matters via poster and oral communication in a positive and constructive environment.
This year symposium was focusing on three major sections: nutrition, exercises for ageing and metabolic disease in ageing. Speakers from all the UK discussed their works, and I had the chance to collect feedbacks explaining my methods and methodology.
I would like to thank Bournemouth University and my supervisors who helped me to achieve this opportunity.
Thank you for reading.
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