After working in the health and fitness industry for many of years, Steve gained his first degree in Sport Science, Health and Health Promotion at Canterbury Christ Church University, where he also did his MSc in Sport and Exercise Science. His PhD study investigated METs expenditure of cardiac patients during exercise – which is another way of looking at their oxygen uptake (VO2). Subsequent published work in this area has critiqued the use of standard MET values for a clinical population. His research work reflects his practical engagement with various clinical exercise rehabilitation groups. As a qualified BACPR Phase IV exercise instructor he has worked in cardiac rehabilitation for 15 years. He has also set-up a community-based stroke rehabilitation and a Parkinson’s exercise class. All these sessions provide valuable work experience opportunities for students to get involved in. He is keen for students to develop not just their academic and research skills, but also to broaden their horizons on the opportunities available to sport and exercise graduates. He is keen to see exercise used as medicine for prevention and chronic disease management, and these areas are his teaching specialisms.
He is the undergraduate admissions officer for SSES and programme director for the Sport and Exercise for Health degree. He is a great advocate of ‘practising what he preaches’ and prefers his bike, skateboard or micro-scooter to driving. In his spare time he enjoys kayaking, cycling, reading, live music and spending time on his allotment.
Research InterestsMy current research interests relate to exercise in cardiac, stroke and Parkinson’s populations, but also the broader factors that impact on health and people’s ability to exercise and preserve, or improve their health and functional capacity.
His most recent research project is an investigation into brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in acute and chronic exercise for people with Parkinson’s. There are many unexplored issues related to the field of clinical exercise physiology and psychology. This is made more interesting and complex when most people experience clinical health problems later in life. Getting and keeping people more active is critical to maintain and improving health throughout the life-course. Strategies that work in a real-life setting is a focus of my research interest, along with the evaluation of intervention outcomes. My passion is to see research being undertaken in applied settings, providing a ‘living laboratory’ for the researcher and students.
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Conference or workshop item
Meadows, S. et al. (2018). An Evaluation of Phase IV Participants. in: BACPR EPG 2018.Aims To evaluate the health and fitness of long-term Phase IV cardiac rehabilitation (CR) participants. Introduction Exercise training is considered a cornerstone intervention in Phase III and Phase IV CR. The benefits of exercise are only retained with adherence. Very little evaluative work has been conducted on those who remain involved in Phase IV to investigate their health and functional status in relation to key risk management criteria (i.e. BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure and functional status). Methods 34 Phase IV participants (male = 24; female = 10; mean age 72.74 ±5.71 years) with at least 6 months engagement in a once weekly CR circuit exercise class completed anthropometric (BMI and waist circumference), health measurements (resting blood pressure), and 6-minute shuttle walking distance (6MWD) for functional capacity. Comparison was made to a Phase III dataset (n= 669) obtained from the local CR team to evaluate health and functional status of long-term Phase IV participants. Results There was a 10% increase in those with a BMI > 25kg.m2 from Phase III to Phase IV (66% - 76% of the group). The mean BMI in the Phase IV cohort was 27.33 ±3.57kg.m2 and regional weight distribution measured by waist circumference was 99.72±11.92cm and 87.25 ±8.27cm in males and females respectively. Blood pressure remained in a normotensive range. 6MWD improved from a mean of 437.38 ±91.16m to 488.26 ±89.61m (11.62% improvement). Using the ACSM (2014) formula based on walking speed (m.min-1) in the 6MWD test, this represented a MET improvement from 3.08 to 3.32 METs for a sub-maximal walking effort. Conclusion A small improvement in sub-maximal functional capacity achieved in this Phase IV CR population, as measured by 6MWD. However, the MET equivalent value for this effort was only just in the moderate intensity range and below the 5-MET threshold normally associated with higher risk stratification. There is scope for education reinforcement related to healthy weight management to control for the risk associated with overweight / obesity, as measured by BMI and waist circumference in both the male and female Phase IV CR population.
Cox, R., Meadows, S. and Ferrusola-Pastrana, A. (2018). Should Exercise be Used as Medicine in Stroke Rehabilitation? in: BACPR EPG Study Day 2018.Background: Recent evidence identifies that there are more people surviving a stroke than ever before, however almost 67% leave hospital with a disability (Stroke Association, 2017). Therefore, there is a large population currently living with the effects of a stroke such as a reduction in activities of daily living, loss of independence and fatigue. Physical activity helps to reduce the impact of these effects. There is now overwhelming evidence of the benefits exercise provides towards modifiable risk factors for stroke, such as inactivity, high blood pressure, obesity (O'Donnell et al., 2016). Aims: To provide a once a week group exercise session for stroke survivors in a local community setting using a multi-modal format (circuit training, corrective strength and balance exercise). To investigate the chronic benefits of exercise has for individuals in stroke rehabilitation in terms of functional capacity and risk management. Recruitment: Individuals referred by stroke rehabilitation services, their GP or through local stroke support groups. Assessments: Health (resting heart rate (RHR), systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure (BP), height, weight, BMI, waist circumference) and functional assessments (six-minute walk distance (6MWD), timed up and go (TUG) and bilateral grip strength (GS)) were completed before attendance & repeated after 12 exercise sessions. Additional follow-ups completed at 6 monthly intervals. Results: A weekly exercise session for stroke survivors significantly improved both health and functional outcomes. BP significantly decreased [particularly SBP (p =.001) and DBP by trend (p=.061)] from hypertensive to a normotensive range. Participants also performed significantly better in 6MWD, TUG and Left-GS (p<.001, p=.025 and p=.033, respectively), right-GS increased by trend (p=.061). None of the measured outcomes showed any performance deterioration and there were no deleterious effects of the exercise reported. Conclusion: Attendance at a weekly community stroke rehabilitation exercise session promotes continued recovery of function and improved exercise capacity (as measured by the 6MWD and effective risk factor management.
Meadows, S. (2017). The Effects of a Group Exercise Rehabilitation Session on Stroke Survivors. in: ACSM's 64th Annual Meeting, 8th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine® and World Congress on the Basic Science of Exercise and the Brain.UK stroke mortality rates are falling, but > 50% of stroke survivors have functional disabilities. These impairments reduce capacity to perform activities of daily living (ADL) such as walking, basic self-care and independence, even several years post-stroke. Disability predisposes them to a chronic sedentary lifestyle, leading to further deconditioning and muscle atrophy, compounding disability. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is markedly reduced in a stroke population, with survivor VO2 max ? 50% below a healthy age-matched population. Hypertension (HTN) is a modifiable risk factor for stroke, yet 75% of recurrent stroke sufferers have HTN. In the UK there is no routine exercise provision for chronic care of stroke survivors.