Arts and Science, Faculty of

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    Patterns of sedentary time and physical activity in older adults: do sex and gender matter?
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Kinesiology and Physical Education, 2024) Zdjelar, Milena; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science; Copeland, Jennifer
    Prolonged sedentary time and inadequate physical activity are detrimental to the health of older adults. Sex and gender may influence health and movement behaviours that impact health. The purpose of this research was to scope the available literature on sex and gender in sedentary behaviour and then explore the relationship between biological sex and gender traits on movement behaviour patterns among older adults. In the scoping review, 210 articles were screened and 41 were identified that examined sex and/or gender in relation to sedentary behaviour in older adults. Almost all studies used sex- and/or gender-related terms interchangeably. Of the 41 articles, 28 studies suggested the division of household labour is the main explanation for any observed sex and/or gender differences in sedentary behaviour. The remaining 13 studies identified other factors that may influence this relationship, like social support, access to transportation, and area-level crime incidence. To further explore the relationship, observational data from 72 healthy older adults (80.1 ± 9.4 years) were examined. Movement behaviours were assessed using ActivPAL4™ inclinometers and participants completed the 30-Item Bem Sex-Role Inventory to assess masculine and feminine traits. There were no statistically significant associations between movement behaviour variables, sex, and masculine and feminine scores. This exploratory study demonstrates a need for consistent use of sex and gender terminology and better tools to assess gender. A more comprehensive understanding of the complexity of sex and gender in relation to health is needed to enable the creation of tailored movement behaviour interventions for the aging population.
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    Kinematic and gaze behaviour differs between hyper and hypo-affordants completing manual materials handling tasks
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge. Dept. of Kinesiology and Physical Education, 2024) Walker, Kayla D.; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science; Doan, Jon B.
    Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are a significant global health challenge, representing a substantial portion of lost work hours, reduced productivity, disability, injury, and pain across industries worldwide. Low back discomfort and disease is the most prevalent work-related musculoskeletal disorder. Low back disorders often result from the cumulative loading from repetitive bending, grasping, lifting, and carrying present in manual materials handling tasks. while much research has focused on safe and injurious manual materials handling behaviour, it may be useful to identify the perceptual strategies and outcomes that both couple with and precede manual materials handling actions, enabling the development of targeted interventions to modify those behaviours and reduce the risk of injury. This study investigates the differential impact of affordance perceptotype (hyper or hypo-affordant) and gaze behaviours on handling kinematics within ecologically relevant manual materials handling tasks. Specifically, this research aims to identify if differences exist in kinematic measures and visual attention strategies between affordance perceptotype sub-groups. The study used motion capture technology and vision tracking to quantify kinematics and gaze behaviour and examined two manual material handling tasks, with a static and dynamic target respectively. We predicted the hyper-affordant participants would identify with higher risk-taking behaviour plus demonstrate a limited visual attention strategy and injury-risk handling kinematics, with those behaviours connecting to an increased prevalence of musculoskeletal discomfort. This research revealed that hyper-affordants did exhibit larger values for relevant handling kinematics plus different gaze behaviours, potentially increasing their risk of injury. The role of state and trait characteristics and gaze behaviour in occupational behaviour were not significantly associated to kinematic measures, task condition, or perceived affordance distance. This research contributes to the understanding that individual differences in perception then action may affect occupational behaviour and risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, thus emphasizing the value of considering perception when developing and delivering ergonomic interventions.
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    Thermokarst distribution and susceptibility in Yukon: lakes, landslides and pingos
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography and Environment, 2024) Kienzle, Oliver K.; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science; Jiskoot, Hester
    The most tangible consequence of permafrost thaw is thermokarst, which is landscape destabilization resulting from ground ice melt. The main objective of this thesis was to model and map thermokarst susceptibility across Yukon, Canada. An inventory of 3376 historically mapped thermokarst landform point locations was extracted from the Yukon Geological Survey’s Digital Surficial Geology dataset. Of these, 25 lakes, 27 landslides and 93 pingos in the Dawson City study area were manually delineated on the World Imagery baselayer in order to assess their morphology and distribution relative to similar landforms in other regions. Subsequently, generalized linear models of thermokarst susceptibility in Yukon were constructed using a range of topographic, geologic, environmental and climatic predictor variables from existing regional or global datasets. A novel potential surface radiation adjustment was developed to correct for seasonal snow cover. Using the mapped thermokarst landforms in the Dawson City study area as a training dataset set, the resulting optimal lake and landslide susceptibility models use slope as the sole predictor variable, while the pingo susceptibility model uses profile curvature. Overall, 3, 34 and 0.1 % of Yukon is modelled as being highly susceptible to thermokarst lake, landslide and pingo development, respectively. The models were evaluated using the Yukon thermokarst point location dataset, randomly distributed points, and select multivariate logistic models. The thermokarst lake susceptibility model performed best overall. This study shows that relatively simple modelling techniques can be effective in mapping thermokarst susceptibility, and highlights the importance of rigorous, up-to-date thermokarst landform inventories to aid in future modelling efforts.
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    Insights into how the structural features of DNA adducts dictate local helical conformation and repairability: a computational study
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 2024) Kung, Ryan W.; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science; Wetmore, Stacey D.
    DNA damage occurs regularly and results in various biological consequences, including cancer. One specific type of DNA damage is the formation of adducts, which arise from various sources, including cigarette smoke and pesticides. The local helical structure of adducted DNA is dictated by the chemical composition of the lesion. Furthermore, various known conformations of adducted DNA have been shown to differentially impact DNA repair and replication. Although this underscores how the lesion dictates biological outcomes, structure–function relationships have yet to be fully explored. Thus, this thesis uses computational modelling to examine the complex interplay between the adduct chemical composition (e.g., bulky moiety shape, adduct linker type, and lesion number) and the resulting damaged DNA structure and lesion mutagenicity. Overall, novel trends in the helical conformation and lesion repairability as a function of the chemical structure of the DNA adduct are uncovered, which have implications in the severity of the long-term biological consequences.
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    A feminist approach to a theory of dehumanization: evaluating dehumanization of women in contemporary digital social environments
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Philosophy, 2024) Newman, Jodi N.; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science; Stingl, Michael
    Dehumanization has facilitated the worst atrocities in humanity’s historical record and continues to facilitate some of the gravest cruelties in the world today. While there is substantial work on dehumanization within philosophical and scientific disciplines, there remains an incongruence within the theoretical conceptualizations of dehumanization leading to the neglect or denial of the dehumanization of women. Some contend that dehumanization most characteristically occurs between racial or ethnic groups, but dehumanization may be a more general and deeply embedded aspect of human nature, more robust and perilous in its potential to victimize any member of a distinct group, even where group memberships might otherwise overlap with one another in more affiliative ways. As our social environments are evolving in lockstep with our communication technologies, the recognition of and response to the dehumanization of women remains inadequate and morally inexcusable.