New entrance registrations at UVic-UCC increase by 12% for bachelor's degree programmes and 8% for all studies in an unusual academic year01.12.2020The number of new entrance registrations for official study programmes at the University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC) has increased by 8% in the 2020-2021 academic year, to a total of 3,216 students. The overall registration figures, which include new and continuing students, have risen by 5% and place the University at the threshold of 10,000 students, including the UVic and UManresa bachelor's degrees, the bachelor's degree in Medicine, the official master's degrees and doctorates from UVic-UCC, the Professional Campus and the training given at the BAU, EADA and ESERP affiliated centres. In bachelor's degree studies on the Vic campus, the Manresa campus and in the Faculty of Medicine, the increase in new entrants is 12% compared to last year.
UManresa grows by 4% in both new and continuing students registered
The Manresa campus registered a total of 1,990 students in official higher education qualifications for the 2020-2021 academic year: 1,833 on university degree courses, 121 on advanced vocational training cycles and 36 on university master's degrees. This is the first time that the campus has exceeded the threshold of 1,800 undergraduate students, with a growth of 4% compared to the previous year, both in terms of the addition of new students and in all four year groups of the six degree courses taught there: Nursing, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Speech Therapy, Business Management and Administration (ADE) and Pre-School Teaching.
New entrance registrations for the bachelor's degree courses on the Vic campus increase by 13%
Degree courses on the Vic campus have experienced significant growth in recently admitted students, with registration increasing by 13%. 1,200 new students have joined this year, compared to 1,060 last year. The total number of undergraduate students has stabilised, and is now 4,276. In addition to these figures, there are 164 new students on the Translation, Interpretation and Applied Languages bachelor's degree course taught jointly with the Open University of Catalonia, which includes 705 registrations. Striking figures include the fact that 80% of the registrations are first preference; 89% of the total places offered were filled (10 percentage points more than a year ago); and 5 degree courses (Physiotherapy, Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Nursing, Human Nutrition and Dietetics and Psychology) now have a minimum entrance mark for admission.
Furthermore, in the case of Nursing, the high demand for places and the request by the Catalan government for more graduates in the near future have led UVic to open a third group in the first year. Registration on this course has increased by a total of 36%.
The Faculty of Medicine enters its fourth year, and now has almost 400 students
This year, the third year in the bachelor's degree in Medicine and the second in which the teaching of the clinical cycle has been distributed between the teaching units in Manresa and Vic, the Faculty has had 162 new entrance registrations, 25% more than the previous year, and now has 390 students taking all four years into account. In total, 1,021 people applied for a place on this degree course (the equivalent last year was 700) and 110 of them made it their first preference. The minimum entrance mark for the degree course has risen, from 11.798 last year to 12.194 this year.
The Faculty's projects for this new year include the launch of a preparation programme for the MIR (Resident Internal Physician) examination, which is mandatory for access to the field, aimed at all undergraduate students.
Strategic projects on the two campuses
As the Manresa campus of UVic-UCC, the Bages University Foundation (FUBages) plans to move forward in adapting its range of training to the new needs of the market. As a result, during this academic year, it will complete the part-time courses in the bachelor's degrees in Podiatry and Pre-School Teaching, so that teaching can begin in the 2021-2022 academic year. It will also begin to publicise a new master's degree in Accounts Auditing that is due to begin next year.
The investment and equipment projects of the Balmes University Foundation are growing in Vic, based on the city campus or university city model. These projects include the inauguration in early 2021 of the new facilities of the BETA Technology Center at Can Baumann, which is the first part of the future Science and Technology Park, which is conceived as an ecosystem with its own facilities for UVic and local companies in the fields of research, transfer and innovation.
Finally, the federation contract with the Elisava Foundation has been formalised this year, under the terms of which UVic-UCC incorporates the Barcelona university school of design and engineering as its own centre, which will become the Faculty of Design starting in the next academic year.
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A BETA Technology Centre project will evaluate solid and liquid waste from the meat industry16.11.2020According to the Catalonia Waste Agency (ARC), 911,480 tonnes of waste was generated by the food industry in Catalonia in 2018. One of the challenges facing the sector is how to optimise the management of the waste it generates and lower the economic and environmental cost this entails by minimising its transport and obtaining by-products with high added value. This is precisely the goal of the research project ACCELWATER (Accelerating Water Circularity in Food and Beverage Industrial Areas around Europe), financed as part of the European Horizon 2020 project, in which the BETA Technology Centre (CT BETA) of the Universitat de Vic ? Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic-UCC) is participating. The project seeks the twofold objectives of optimising water consumption in the food industry and reconverting waste into fertilisers and energy.
ACCELWATER is upheld on four cornerstones: water, waste, energy and artificial intelligence. Through a combination of these four factors, the project seeks to treat both the liquid and solid waste generated in the food sector so they can be reclaimed and can be used for new purposes. By implementing monitoring and control technologies made possible by artificial intelligence, the researchers will both reuse the water and recover, optimise and manage the waste and energy. Lídia Paredes, a researcher at the CT BETA who is coordinating the project in Catalonia, alongside Oscar Mauricio Martínez from the same centre, summarises it as "a process which translates into cost-savings, environmental sustainability and obtaining added-value products". According to Paredes, who is in charge of the research line focused on liquid waste, "we are trying to close the waste management circle within the company and keep the waste from being transferred elsewhere for treatment".
The project is being led by the Greek company AGENSO (Agricultural and Environmental Solutions) and has a total of 18 partners, including universities; small, medium and large companies; research centres; and public administrations in Greece, Iceland, Italy, Germany and Spain. A total of four pilot tests will be conducted: the one in Catalonia coordinated by CT BETA and three more in Greece, focused on industrial symbiosis in the beer, dairy and food processing sectors; Iceland, where the project revolves around the fish farming sector; and Italy, where it focuses on tomato processing.
Reducing and reclaiming waste from the meat industry
The pilot test in Catalonia will focus on the meat sector and will be carried out at the MAFRICA slaughterhouse in de Sant Joan de Vilatorrada, which is also a partner in the project along with INNOVACC, Catalan Association of Innovation in the Pork Sector, which will coordinate the communication and boost the project's impact. The installation that CT BETA will put into place in MAFRICA seeks to find a use for the solid and liquid waste that the company generates in its industrial process. This is why one solid and one liquid waste treatment line will be established, each independent of the other but working in coordination with each other. The goal will be to find a solution to the failure to reclaim this waste and to purify the water autonomously, in-company. Indeed, Paredes says that "this company currently does the initial purification of the water generated, and afterwards the outgoing effluents are treated in the Manresa water purification plant". Thanks to the implementation of ACCELWATER, one of the outlets of this water will be to reuse it for tasks like cleaning the lorries that transport the livestock.
Another of the project's challenges is to reconvert solid waste into products with added value. Specifically, energy recovered from the waste that MAFRICA generates will be used in the industry itself, as well as products with agronomic value like organic remains that are rich in nutrients and biostimulants. "We are hoping that the fertilising products obtained from ACCELWATER can be of commercial interest and value, which will allow MAFRICA to reclaim waste that is managed wholly externally right now, at a high cost to the company", says Oscar Mauricio Martínez, the head of the solid waste line.
Four years of the project and more than one million euros for the Catalan test
The programme will last four years. In the Catalan test, 2021 will be spent designing and building the pilot, which should be ready for installation in MAFRICA by the end of the year, where it will remain in operation until the end of 2024. Once the pilot test is over, "we will have gained valuable data on its efficacy, which will enable companies in the meat sector to evaluate its benefits in terms of sustainability and learn what it would cost to permanently implement a waste management system like the one in the pilot test", says Oscar Martínez.
Martínez also stresses the exclusivity of the project and says that "it is the only initiative in Catalonia and one of just a handful in the field of waste management in the meat industry being carried out in Europe".
The total financing of ACCELWATER is almost 9.5 million euros, more than 1,200,000 of which is earmarked for the activities to be conducted in Catalonia. The project was launched on 1 October of this year, and this past Thursday, 12 November, the launch meeting was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the BETA Technology Centre
The mission of the UVic-UCC's BETA Technology Centre is to improve and promote the competitiveness and technological capacities of companies, public organisations and other entities through collaborative RDI projects. Its main fields of expertise are green technologies, ecology and biodiversity, the agrofood industries and sustainability. The CT BETA is a member of TECNIO, the network promoted and backed by the government of Catalonia which encompasses outstanding tech centres in Catalonia with high quality standards (in terms of the development and transfer of technologies and the capacity for innovation).
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A European project will use creative writing and digital narrative resources in primary schools to foster inclusion among children22.10.2020A school must be a place where children live naturally with diversity, and where all children have the same opportunities for growth and learning, without any distinction on the grounds of disability, gender, religion or race, or any other reason. Conflicts that hinder inclusion may be latent in the early stages of formal education, such as at primary school, and may not become readily apparent until later. That is why teachers must have tools in the classroom enabling them to identify these hidden problems and prevent future situations of exclusion. That is precisely the aim of the WIN project (Writing for Inclusion), led by researchers at the University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC) within the framework of the international Erasmus+ programme.
WIN has a financial endowment of 129,435 Euros and will last for two years. During this period it will develop resources and tools for care and prevention for inclusion using creative writing in the classroom, and is aimed primarily at boys and girls aged 9 and 10 years old. The project aims to support teachers with training sessions and teaching resources to help them identify latent conflicts and improve students' inclusive attitudes, and focuses on using resources for creative writing and digital storytelling. The end result of the process will be a free tool that is open to all schools in Europe to work on inclusion in classrooms in all areas of education.
WIN is led by Mireia Canals-Botines, Angel Raluy Alonso, Miquel Pujol Tubau and Núria Medina-Casanovas, who are lecturers and researchers at the Faculty of Education, Translation and Humanities (FETCH) at UVic-UCC. When carrying out the project, they will work with teachers at the Les Pinediques School in Taradell, which is also a partner in the project, and where one of the pilot tests will be carried out. The other partner institutions are the Università Degli Studi Di Firenze (Italy), the Eötvös Lorand Tudományegyetem (Hungary), and the Poltava V.G. Korolenko National Pedagogikal University (Ukraine), three higher education centres, each of which has a school in its area as a partner: Istituto Comprensivo Le Cure (Italy), Erzsébetvárosi Két Tanítási Nyelvú Általános Iskola és Szakgimnázium (Hungary) and Poltava Comprehensive School of I-III degree # 18 of Poltava City Council of Poltava region (Ukraine).
Audiovisual tools for children to create stories
The WIN project will be carried out in three phases. In its first year, which is now under way, its work will focus on two areas: on the one hand, it will create resources and tools, which are basically animations available in a Moodle environment, which the children will use to create their stories of inclusion. On the other, it will train the teachers who will accompany the children in the activities focusing on creative writing and inclusion in the classroom in the second phase.
The aim is to have everything ready for the second phase, which takes place in the first term of the 2021-2022 academic year. At that point, the children and teachers will carry out the project and create the stories using the tools that have been created, which according to Mireia Canals-Botines, the project's lead researcher, "will offer a wide range of creative possibilities." Among other items, the children will find animations of boys and girls doing specific actions, objects and backgrounds in the resource library: "pleasant drawings, with soft colours and rounded shapes, which are very neutral so that they do not affect the creative process in any way, and enable underlying conflicts to emerge without any conditioning factors."
"The teacher will provide a problem or difficult situation in the classroom that will act as the starting point," explains Mireia Canals, who says that "from there, the children, in randomly created small groups, will use the animations to invent a collective story with a resolution that may be positive to varying degrees." The researcher says that during this process, "problems and disagreements between the children will arise, which are determined by the social and family environment in which they live, which they carry inside them but have not yet left behind, and which will emerge unconsciously."
The results obtained will be worked on at various levels. First of all, the boys and girls themselves will share the stories with their class to discuss the conflicts that have arisen, accompanied by the teachers and observed by students on the EHEA degree course in Primary School Teaching at UVic- UCC, who will also be involved in the project. All the stories will subsequently be shared with the other participating centres on the Etwinning platform and through focus groups. Finally, the WIN project will conclude with a meeting in Vic in 2022, where the conclusions of the project will be shared, and with the publication of several scientific articles.
A project "that has been simmering"
Mireia Canals explains that this is a project that has been simmering for two years: "this measured pace of work will make the children become immersed in reflection, in order to normalise inclusive behaviours both inside and outside the classroom" because according to the researcher, "a relaxed environment is needed to address the problems that arise in depth."
At the Les Pinediques School, the teachers Marta Ramírez and Cinta Gonzalez, who are coordinating the project there, argue that one of their motivations for taking part is being able to work with UVic -UCC and other schools in Europe. "It is very enriching and we hope it will enable the children to learn from interacting with children from other countries, as well as internalising inclusion as something that is natural," they say. At the moment, the children are preparing logos to identify the project in a competition organised by each school, which they will share through Etwinning. "One of the European students participating in the project will be the author of the final image, which will be decided upon by a vote," say the teachers.
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Josep Eladi Baños: "The 2020-2021 academic year at UVic-UCC must be governed by caution, ambition and luck"21.10.2020The UVic-UCC inaugurated the 2020-2021 academic year this afternoon, with an unusual event in hybrid format in the Aula Magna. Only 52 people were able to attend in person due to the current restrictions on capacity, while another 200 people followed the event, which was streamed on the University's YouTube channel. The Rector, Josep Eladi Baños, presided over the ceremony, with the President of the Board of Trustees of the Balmes University Foundation and Mayor of Vic, Anna Erra, the General Secretary of the Inter-University Board of Catalonia, Josep Ribas and the General Secretary of UVic- UCC, Anna Sabata.
An academic year of caution, ambition and luck
In his opening speech, the rector described the academic year that is now beginning as one of "caution, ambition and luck." As regards caution, he said that "a balanced budget must be maintained," which entails the renewal of the programme agreement with the Government of Catalonia, which he said is expected to take place in the coming months, and "will have to be implemented by the government that arises from the next elections."
As for ambition, for Josep Eladi Baños this applies to working towards the future, "leaving aside current uncertainties": "We will return to all the projects for which the pandemic has slowed progress, and we will prepare them for when the circumstances permit us to carry them out," said the rector, mentioning the preparation of new bachelor's degree programmes with a view to the 2022-2023 academic year; the link between some bachelor's degree programmes and the high level training cycles on the Professional Campus: the creation of a programme of grants for young people from disadvantaged social groups; the recognition of the BETA Technology Center as a CERCA centre, the creation of the Health Research Institute of Central Catalonia, and the establishment of a new chair for the Rural World.
Finally, with regard to luck, the rector recalled that "luck favours those who work hardest" and said that "I have repeatedly witnessed how this institution has been ready and working throughout the pandemic." The rector also argued that UVic-UCC has the asset of institutional cohesion: "the ability to work together in the same direction, developing synergies and sharing goals." He ended his speech with the conviction that the University will successfully overcome the hurdles of this unusual academic year: "persistence is one of our institution's greatest virtues."
Commitment to funding
The General Secretary of the Inter-University Board of Catalonia, Josep Ribas, outlined the major challenges for the Catalan university system, including funding. Referring to UVic-UCC in particular, he said that the programme agreement must be reached in this 2020-2021 academic year, and explained that the agreement obtained "will be aimed at improving the funding of the entire university system." Ribas recalled that talks to reach an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties are already under way, and maintained that "this is one of our priorities" and "one that must be achieved as soon as possible."
The president of the Board of Trustees of the Balmes University Foundation and Mayor of Vic, Anna Erra, paid tribute to the entire university community "for the effort that everyone has made to overcome the difficulties we encountered at the end of last year, and at the start of this year that is beginning." The president set out some of the challenges that UVic-UCC must meet in the future in different areas: in the academic sphere, "consolidating our model, which is unique and successful;" in the economic sphere, "obtaining the best possible proposal for our University; and in research, continuing to grow as in recent years."
The opening ceremony began with the viewing of the audiovisual report on the 2019-2020 academic year, presented by Anna Sabata. It continued with one of the main features of the programme: the year's inaugural lesson, which was given by the director of the Physical Activity and Sports Studies Centre and lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Translation and Humanities, Javier Peña. The lesson, which was entitled "High performance sport: the evidence that winning or losing isn't everything," examined the history, the benefits and the limits of high level competition sport, and the role that the science plays in its development. At the conclusion of his speech, Peña argued that health centres, hospitals and sports clubs at lower competitive levels need doctors, physiotherapists, physical education teachers and psychologists to advise and help amateur athletes. "It is time that physical exercise professionals were recognised as health professionals, and able to make contributions in all areas where exercise is important," he concluded.
Institutional medals for Enric Castellnou and Valentí Junyent
At the beginning of this academic year, the Balmes University Foundation awarded two institutional medals, which are the highest distinction the institution confers on people and institutions that have contributed to its growth. One of these medals went to the former member of the Catalan Parliament Enric Castellnou, in recognition of his outstanding work in drafting the Law for recognition of the University of Vic. Castellnou recalled the three cornerstones of his argument in the late 1980s advocating for the presence of a university in Vic: "restoring the university that a Bourbon king closed in the eighteenth century; making studies in Vic serve the economic, cultural and social progress of the city and the region, and contributing to the decentralisation of universities and territorial balance in Catalonia."
The other medal was awarded to Valentí Junyent, a former mayor of Manresa and former president of the Board of Trustees of the Bages University Foundation, who was one of the driving forces in the process involved in creating UVic-UCC, with the Manresa campus. Junyent recalled that when the federation was being arranged, "we were all very worried because we wanted the result to be as good as possible," but "there were also some people who questioned whether the agreement was worthwhile or who were against it, and who made us even more thorough, stronger in our convictions and more demanding of ourselves during the process, which made the project even more excellent". "All this time, we have shown that sharing rather than competing leads to great results," he concluded.
Remembering people who passed away and insignia for 9 retired people
The opening ceremony dedicated some time to the memory of the director of Eumo DC and the UMedia service, Jordi Cano, who died in the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic last April. Anton Granero, a professional colleague and friend of Cano, and Joan Turró, the general manager of the Balmes University Foundation, dedicated a few words to him. The rector then presented an institutional memento to relatives of the five people who passed away last year while working at the institution.
During the ceremony, insignias of the University were also presented to the nine people who retired last year, in recognition of their work at the institution. The ceremony ended with all those attending singing Gaudeamus Igitur.
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A pioneering study highlights post-exercise recovery strategies used by first division football teams21.10.2020Researchers at the UVic-UCC Sport and Physical Activity Studies Centre (CEEAF) writing in the journal The Physician and Sports Medicine have recently published an internationally pioneering article on the post-exercise recovery strategies used by the teams in the first division of the Spanish league (La Liga), which is considered one of the top five in the world. One of the conclusions of the study is that although all teams say they use these strategies to varying degrees, the extent to which they are used differs widely due to the individual opinions of each player. The study, led by researcher Albert Altarriba, was co-authored by Javier Peña, Martí Casals and Jordi Vicens, who are all researchers at the CEEAF, and Xavier Peirau of INEFC-Lleida and Julio Calleja-González, of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).
The importance of post-exercise recovery
The post-exercise recovery process must be considered a multifaceted process involving physical and psychological aspects. "In general, there is no unanimous opinion about using these strategies for various teams, but they are considered essential, particularly for footballers in one of the world's most demanding leagues, which has very intensive competition schedules that means they are prone to accumulating fatigue and suffering from stress injuries," explains Albert Altarriba.
One of the study's findings is that "most elite sports use recovery as an effective regeneration strategy, although not everyone follows recommendations based on scientific evidence," according to Albert Altarriba. The techniques backed by scientific research are hydrotherapy, active recovery, rest, stretching, applying compressive bandages, massages, contrast baths, immersion in cold water and ergogenic aids, which are the most widely used by professionals. However, some clubs also say they use relaxation, acupuncture and reflexology, among other alternative techniques.
Covering all the first division clubs
The study is based on a survey which was carried out in partnership with the Spanish Association of Football Team Physicians (AEMEF), and was answered by the medical services and technical teams of the twenty clubs that played in the first division in the 2018-19 season, and the three teams that were promoted in the 2019-20 season. The survey was answered by 100% of the clubs, "which adds more value to this study, which may be of great interest to football professionals," says Altarriba. The survey contained six sections: the first covered the teams' demographic characteristics, while the other five contained specific questions about the use of recovery strategies at different times: immediately after matches, in pre-season training sessions, and during the competition schedule.
All 23 teams said they used post-exercise recovery strategies at some point in the season, usually during the hour after matches. The most widely used strategies are "natural" ones such as sleeping, eating and drinking fluids, doing active exercises on the pitch and stretching, since according to Albert Altarriba, "they do not require a great deal of infrastructure and they can be carried out anywhere." The study also shows that the effectiveness of these sports practices is more closely related to quality than to quantity. "A club's access to plenty of resources does not always guarantee better results from the point of view of the players' health," he concludes.
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UVic-UCC coordinates an interuniversity specialisation course on Car-T therapy - one of the most advanced therapies in the fight against cancer21.10.2020The University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC), with the University of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, is offering a 15-credit online specialist course on Car-T therapy, which is considered the most advanced therapy currently available in the fight against acute leukaemia and other haematological cancers. The lack of training for this treatment among haematologists and paediatric oncologists has led to the organisation of this pioneering course in Catalonia, which is being coordinated by Dr Albert Altés, a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine of the UVic-UCC and head of the Haematology and Haemotherapy service at the Althaia Foundation, which is cooperating with the organisers.
Genetically modified lymphocytes using the AIDS virus
Car-T cell therapy is used in patients with malignant haematological diseases, when all possible steps have been taken using conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and even transplants.
This technique selects the T-lymphocytes in the patient's immune system, transforms them by genetic engineering, using the modified AIDS virus as a vector, and programs them to attack a molecular target. The modified cells selectively fight the malignant cells after they have been reintroduced into the body.
Very good results in childhood leukaemia
This therapy is especially helpful in childhood leukaemia, which is the most common cancer among children. Up to 85% of cases are currently cured with traditional therapies, while 80% of the 15% who died under previous circumstances are cured with the Car-T technique. In adults, Car-T therapy cures 50% of some types of malignant lymphomas that would have no other solution. "What is most spectacular is that this is being achieved with a single treatment," says Dr Albert Altés, who is convinced that "this technique can mean the beginning of the end of conventional therapies for haematologists, and could open up very exciting prospects for a large number of incurable diseases."
This therapy emerged ten years ago in the United States, and there are currently very few centres in Spain that are accredited by the Ministry of Health to carry it out. Six of them are in Catalonia, which is the autonomous region with the most accredited centres.
Top Car-T experts
The course, which will be take place online from November to May, will provide specialised training in this therapy based on its immunological and genetic foundations, and will cover cell manipulation procedures, patient treatment, indications, results, adverse effects, and prospects for the future. It is aimed primarily at haematologists and paediatric oncologists, as well as professionals in the pharmaceutical world interested in recognising who the therapy may be suitable for, knowing how to explain it, knowing its adverse effects and how to treat them, and how to treat the patient after the treatment has been carried out.
The teaching staff will consist entirely of Car-T experts who work in the six accredited Catalan centres and who understand all the phases involved in this technology, from the production of Car-T cells, to their use in clinical practice and management in the event of complications. "I wanted to bring together all the specialists currently working in Catalonia, which adds considerable value to the course," says Dr Altés, referring to the heads of Haematology at the hospitals that perform Car-T and other researchers specialising in the therapy.
The course is also taking place in partnership with the pharmaceutical company Gilead, and is endorsed by the Spanish Society of Haematology and Haemotherapy and the Spanish Society of Haematology and Paediatric Oncology.
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Dr Roberto Elosua leads a study that relates physical activity to the prevention of cardiovascular disease21.10.2020Doing 150 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity (brisk walking or dancing, for example) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (running or other sports) a week, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), reduces the risk of mortality by 16%. At the same time, it reduces the risk of cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular accidents by 27%. This is highlighted by a study published by the Spanish Journal of Cardiology, led by Roberto Elosua, Professor of Epidemiology and lecturer at the UVic-UCC Faculty of Medicine, with researchers from the Hospital del Mar Institute for Medical Research (IMIM) and the CIBERCV (Biomedical Research Networking Center on Cardiovascular Diseases), of which Elosua is also a member, and the CIBERESP (Biomedical Research Center Network for Epidemiology and Public Health), in addition to doctors at the Hospital del Mar.
The study also shows that performing physical activity between three and five times higher than the recommended levels maximises its benefit. No additional benefit above this threshold was observed. The primary objective of this study was to answer the question "what is the minimum and maximum amount of physical activity required to optimise cardiovascular health benefits?"
Follow-up of more than 11,000 people
The study monitored 11,158 people for more than 7 years, who were all included in the REGICOR (Girona Heart Registry) study. The data on the physical activity of the participants, who were between 25 and 79 years old, were collected using validated questionnaires, which specified 64 types of activities. Cardiovascular accidents and mortality (863 people died during the study) were identified with these contacts and by cross-referencing the data analysis program for health research and innovation (PADRIS) of the Ministry of Health of the Government of Catalonia.
Dr Helmut Schröder, one of the authors of the study and a researcher at the IMIM and the CIBER for Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), pointed out that "the results of the study show that physical activity of moderate-vigorous intensity is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality." Dr Jaume Marrugat, who is also an author of the study and a researcher at IMIM and CIBERCV, emphasised that the most interesting results are "that the benefits are apparent with just small amounts of physical activity. Following the current WHO recommendations is associated with a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease of 12% and death of 16%." At the same time, "the maximum benefit is observed when these recommendations are multiplied by four, and no additional benefits are observed as a result of increasing physical activity above that level." No differences related to age or gender were observed.
Promoting a healthy lifestyle
Lack of physical exercise is estimated to be responsible for 6% of cases cardiovascular disease, 7% of diabetes and 9% of premature mortality. Furthermore, one in four European adults does not follow the WHO's recommendations on physical exercise, and this figure rises to 35% in Spain.
In response, Dr Elosua stressed "the importance of promoting a healthy lifestyle that incorporates physical exercise for the prevention of cardiovascular disease." According to the authors, physical exercise is not only an individual decision, but also requires a commitment by public bodies and institutions (municipal councils and other government bodies) to facilitate public access to areas where these activities can easily be performed, in both urban and rural areas." This project was financed with grants from the Government of Catalonia, the Carlos III Institute of Health and with ERDF funds.
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The UVic-UCC and Solent University publish a book on sport, globalisation, and national identity19.10.2020This Friday, the book entitled Sport, Globalisation and Identity. New Perspectives on Regions and Nations (Routledge, 2020) will be published, an academic work that reviews some of the most controversial aspects of the relationship between sport and politics in times of globalisation and reformulation of national identities. The book was edited by senior lecturers Jim O'Brien and Xavier Ginesta, and Russell Holden, director of In the Zone Sport and Politics Consultancy, and is the result of the partnership between the University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC) and Solent University, Southampton (UK). It also has the participation of UVic-UCC lecturers Raúl Martínez, Sergi Solà, Jordi de San Eugenio, and Toni Sellas in the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies; Albert Juncà, lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Translation and Human Sciences; and Adrià Soldevila, a former Journalism student at the UVic-UCC and current editor of Cadena SER.
Some of the written contributions to the book were made by world-renowned research experts in the fields of communication and sport. These include Raymond Boyle, Professor of Communications and Director of the Centre for Cultural Policy Research at the University of Glasgow (UK), and Alina Bernstein, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University (Israel) and an expert in the intersection of gender politics, communication and sport. According to the book's editors, "sport can be a vehicle for the expression of identity, and also a factor in its formation. The book explores the complex interrelationships between nations, regions and states within the framework of contemporaneity, with a particular focus on how these relationships shape identities".
Fourteen contributions from research experts in sport and politics
The book consists of fourteen contributions in chapter format, divided into three sections. In the first section, entitled "International sport: states, nations and identity", Raymond Boyle analyses how the Scottish constitutional crisis as a result of the 2014 independence referendum has impacted professional sport in the country; professors David Storey and Mike McGuinness explore how football has influenced the shaping of the national identities of Ireland and Kosovo; and Russell Holden reviews the globalisation of cricket, a sport deeply rooted in British culture.
The second section is entitled "Politics, power and sports events." Here Bernstein reflects on the relationship between sport and motherhood, with a particular focus on tennis player Serena Williams, athlete Nia Ali and softball player Jennie Finch. Lecturers Max Mauro and Raúl Martínez-Corcuera analyse the racist and xenophobic language of the Spanish La Liga Classic sports broadcasts; Christopher Faulkner reviews the territorial sense of belonging of migrant professional basketball players. Finally, Matteo Monaco and Joaquín Marín-Montín offer a critical review, from the perspective of political relationships and organisational capacity, of the host countries of two major events: the 1960 Rome Olympics and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics of 2016.
The third section, entitled "Contemporary perspectives on International sport: governance, ownership and sporting cultures", addresses the interrelationship between the sports industry and politics. Richard Irving's chapter criticises the "neoliberal" evolution of the football industry, which distances it from the co-governance models of clubs with their members and affiliates. Jim O'Brien, Xavier Ginesta and Albert Juncà compare the commercialisation of football and the resistance to this trend in the Spanish La Liga and the English Premier League. Xavier Ginesta, Jordi de San Eugenio and Adrià Soldevila reflect on the formation of "entertainment multinationals": ??the commercialisation of football brands and their role as paradiplomatic agents. Lecturers Toni Sellas and Sergi Solà analyse how sports broadcasts in Catalonia have helped to forge identities and, finally, Maria José Carvalho and Marisa Sousa take a look at the organisation of professional sport in Portugal, focusing on the actors, governance and disciplinary regime.
The book, published by British publishing house Routledge, represents another step in the internationalisation of the UVic-UCC, and is one of the academic results arising from the 1st International Conference on "Regionalism, Nationalism and Contemporary International Sport", held at the UVic-UCC in 2017. The book has also been made possible thanks to the help of Consultori Bayés de Vic, through a knowledge transfer project led by the research groups TRACTE and the LMI at the UVic-UCC.
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