Evaluating the Quality of Special Olympics Canada’s Active Start and FUNdamentals Programs

The proposed research project aims to better enable positive sport experiences for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities by improving the quality of sports programs offered. In order to accomplish this objective, the study will evaluate the quality of two sport programs - Active Start and FUNdamentals - within the largest intellectual and developmental disability sport organization in Canada, Special Olympics.

UPnGO with ParticipACTION: Evaluating the evolution of a national workplace physical activity initiative – Part 2

In order to improve the health and work productivity of Canadians, ParticipACTION developed a rewards-based, PA tracking intervention called UPnGO with ParticipACTION. The UPnGO program aims to increase the amount of PA and decrease the amount of sedentary activities throughout the workday. This program was released to the public in Fall of 2017, however, program participation hasn’t been as successful as we would like, and participants are not getting the PA benefits the program is designed to achieve. We are working to redesign the program to address these issues.

Transitioning to adulthood: Implementing a modified CO-OP approach to improve the occupational performance of youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

There is a current lack of evidence-based, client-centred interventions to support youth with ASD in developing their life skills necessary for their successful transition to adulthood. The Cognitive Orientation to Daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) approach is a client-centred, meta-cognitive intervention that supports skill acquisition through the use of global and domain specific cognitive strategies. Preliminary research has shown the promise of using the CO-OP approach with youth with ASD in achieving motor-based, social and organizational goals.

Cognitive and Physical Demands of Using Ergonomic Spinner Knobs

Howell ventures, located in Fredericton, is a leading company in North America for designing and producing driving aids. Driving aids, such as “remote spinner knobs” enable individuals who have physical limitations (due to structural, traumatic, or pathological reasons) who want to maintain their independence by driving their vehicles. The purpose of the study is to identify a remote spinner knob design that reduces cognitive and physical demands while driving.

Redefining Fatigue: considerations for the calculation of critical power

Humans have a finite capacity for hard exercise. Sports scientists can mathematically determine this capacity by using multiple tests to exhaustion at different exercise intensities and looking at the relationship. However, the current testing protocols assume that once the initial point of fatigue is reached, exercise must be stopped. In the proposed study, we aim to quantify the ability of an athlete to perform work after reaching that initial point of fatigue by gradually decreasing the work rate.

Altitude & Heat - environmental synergies to optimize human performance - Year two

The environmental stress of altitude and heat have both been shown to elicit divergent adaptive responses and are used by elite athletes to augment training adaptation and subsequent performance. Indeed, 3-4 weeks at moderate altitudes can increase the body’s natural erythropoietin (EPO) responses, raising hemoglobin by 4-6% and enhancing endurance performance. Conversely, as little as 5-7 days of exercise induced heat acclimation can increase blood volume by 5-10%, resulting in increased tolerance to heat, increased VO2max /cardiac output and improve endurance performance as well.

Using a dynamic moment of inertia to increase bat speed in baseball players using the “Pro-Impusle swing trainer”

The common method of training and warming-up in baseball is by using weighted disks that are added to the player’s baseball bats. The current scientific evidences showed that the use of these devices doesn’t improve the performances of the players and actually slows down their swing speed and batted ball speed. Our partner developed a new device that focuses on increasing the swing speed in rotational sports such as baseball. The prototype uses elastics to allow a variable resistance and some timing aspect to the player’s training.

The ParticipACTION App: Evidence Development, Content Enhancement and Knowledge Translation

The objective of the proposed internship is to help support the launch of Phase 2 of an app created by ParticipACTION, Canada’s leading non-profit physical activity organization. The goal of the free app is to motivate inactive Canadians to sit less and move more. This will entail liaising with key experts and organizations in the field to solicit and collect contributing content for the app, conducting literature reviews to help create future evidence-informed content, and identifying appropriate strategies to deliver this information to target audiences and end-users through the app.

Evaluation of Pneumatic Massage in Automotive Seating

This study aims to validate whether a new pneumatic massage system has a physical benefit to drivers. Using two seating conditions (massage and no massage), this study will examine the effects during a one-hour simulated seating task for each condition on separate days. The researchers will measure participant discomfort, low back muscle blood flow/oxygenation, heart rate, and blood pressure. Data for these measures will be collected and analyzed in order to determine if a relationship exists between seating condition and any other variable.

Rapid assessment of decision biases using reach-decision tasks in web-based applications

Imagine being asked two questions during a job interview: 1) Are you more collaborative or more individual? 2) Would you prefer working from home or working in the office? Now imagine that you feel strongly that you are collaborative, and slightly prefer working from home. An interviewer might look at those two responses and feel they are contradictory. However, if they knew that you were more indecisive about working at home, it would make more sense. Here, we propose to use movement dynamics recoded via mobile apps to provide this more detailed decision information.

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