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MScKin celebrates first thesis defence

Nipissing University’s new Master of Science in Kinesiology (MScKin) program recently celebrated a milestone in their ongoing evolution.  Stephanie Munten is the first student to successfully defend her thesis and complete the program.

Launched in 2016, the research-intensive thesis-based MScKin degree builds on the success of Nipissing’s Bachelor of Physical Health and Education (BPHE) degree program. Students utilize the $7.5 million Centre for Physical Health and Education. The facility features world-class funded labs, including Sensory Movement Behavior Lab, Psychology of Physical Activity and Health Promotion Lab, Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab, and Exercise Physiology Lab.

Munten’s successful thesis is titled Relationship Between Ambient Temperature and Hypoxia During a 20-km Cycling Time Trial.  She was supervised by Dr. Geoff Hartley, Assistant Professor in the School of Physical and Health Education, and Dr. Graydon Raymer, Associate Professor and Director of the School of Physical and Health Education.

To conduct her research, Munten utilized the Environmental Chamber housed in the CPHE’s Exercise Physiology Laboratory to simulate conditions one would see when exercising at different altitudes and how these effects may also vary based on environmental temperature.

In the 2018 Three Minute Theseis comptetion, held in March, Munten earned the the People’s Choice award for her presentation, Exercise Performance Response to Multiple External Stressors.

Munten came to Nipissing for her MScKin in 2016 after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology at Wilfrid Laurier University.  Following her graduation, she plans to pursue a career in research and is considering continuing her education at the doctoral level.

Here is an abstract on her thesis:

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the independent and combined effects of elevated ambient temperature and normobaric-hypoxia on the ability to complete a simulated 20-km cycling time trial.

Methods: Eight healthy, trained male cyclists completed six cycling time trials while exposed to one of three thermal stressors (15 °C, COOL; 25 °C, WARM; 35 °C, HOT), and with each stressor performed at two levels of inspired oxygen fraction (21 % FIO2, NORMOXIA; 16 % FIO2, HYPOXIA). Participants were asked to complete the distance at a self-selected pace as quickly as possible with no feedback provided other than approximate distance progression.

Results: A significant main effect of temperature (p≤0.005) and FIO2 (p<0.001) was observed, with no interaction between these two factors (p≥0.899). Therefore, across both FIO2 levels, it took longer to complete the time trials in the HOT conditions (33.98(0.96) min (mean (SD), 238(18) W, p ≤0.006) compared to COOL (33.24(0.9) min, 250(19) W), but not in the WARM conditions (33.62(0.9) min, 243(18) W, p≥0.129). Similarly, across the three temperature conditions, it took longer to complete the time trials in HYPOXIA (34.27(0.39) min, 230(6) W, p<0.001) compared to NORMOXIA (32.95(0.35) min, 256(6) W).

Conclusions: When heat stress is combined with hypoxia, each stressor independently decreases performance by a similar amount regardless of the presence of another stressor.

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