Congratulations to Kyle Basson, former lab assistant for being select as team manager for University Sport South Africa (USSA) road cycling team, competing at the FISU World University Championships (WUC) taking place in Braga, Portugal, from 31 July to 4 August.

At the start of the July (4-7 July) four of our members conducting research through the lab traveled to Dublin, Ireland to present on their work at the 23rd annual European College of Sport Science congress.

Dr Carla Coetsee: An acute bout of High-intensity interval exercise makes young men smarter.

This study showed that healthy young men had higher execute cognitive function (cognitive skills such as paying attention, working memory, processing speed, initiating tasks and staying focused) after a single bout of HIIE.

Dr Lara Grobler: Comparison of cognitive performance after an acute bout of moderate intensity backward and forward exercise.

Conducting a novel task such as backward running requires greater inputs for the prefrontal cortex and skeletal muscles. Backwards running form 20 minutes at 65% of HRR showed small improvements in reaction time of cognitive task. Higher intensity exercise may be needed to see more robust improvements in cognitive task.

Ms Sharné Nieuwoudt: Age-related trends in abdominal obesity, cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive function in low income South African women.

Adverse health is generally associated with older age, however, in low income SA women, risk factors for non-communicable diseases are occurring earlier than anticipated. With baseline measures of cardiovascular and cognitive health already poor in these women from early adulthood and further negative changes, specifically in abdominal obesity, with ageing, there is an urgent need for community interventions targeting young women to reduce the risk of future cardiovascular disease and dementia.

Ms Louise Engelbrecht: Maximum fat oxidation is lower in young compared to middle-aged adult women from a low income community in South Africa.

Both young and middle-age women from a low income SA community had low MFO which are associated with increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. However, young women are also less physical active, with lower lean body mass and lower VO2max (categorized as unfit) which places them at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic disease. The finding highlights the need to implement community intervention programs targeted at young women to lower their risk for chronic non-communicable diseases.