Shona Halson

Shona Halson
Australian Catholic University | ACU · School of Behavioural and Health Sciences

PhD

About

262
Publications
338,173
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10,067
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2018 - present
Australian Catholic University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (262)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: To investigate differences in athletes' knowledge, beliefs, and training practices during COVID-19 lockdowns with reference to sport classification and sex. This work extends an initial descriptive evaluation focusing on athlete classification. Methods: Athletes (12,526; 66% male; 142 countries) completed an online survey (May-July 2020...
Article
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Background Many elite athletes have suboptimal sleep duration and efficiency, potentially due to factors that may impact sleep onset and offset times. Variability in sleep onset and offset may negatively influence sleep. The sleep regularity index (SRI) is a novel metric for sleep regularity, however there are no published descriptions of SRI in el...
Article
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Background Compression garments are regularly worn during exercise to improve physical performance, mitigate fatigue responses, and enhance recovery. However, evidence for their efficacy is varied and the methodological approaches and outcome measures used within the scientific literature are diverse. Objectives The aim of this scoping review is t...
Article
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Objectives: Explore training-related knowledge, beliefs and practices of athletes and the influence of COVID-19-related lockdowns. Methods: Athletes [n = 12,526 classified: world-class (13%), international (21%), national (36%), state (24%), and recreational (6%)] completed an online survey (50 d; 17th May to 5th July 2020) exploring their trainin...
Article
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Context: To understand overtraining syndrome (OTS), it is important to detail the physiological and psychological changes that occur in athletes. Objectives: To systematically establish and detail the physiological and psychological changes that occur as a result of OTS in athletes. Methods: Databases were searched for studies that were (1) or...
Article
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Background Studies investigating the effects of cold-water immersion (CWI) on the recovery of athletic performance, perceptual measures and creatine kinase (CK) have reported mixed results in physically active populations. Objectives The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the effects of CWI on recovery of athletic performance, pe...
Article
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Background As basketball match-play requires players to possess a wide range of physical characteristics, many tests have been introduced in the literature to identify talent and quantify fitness in various samples of players. However, a synthesis of the literature to identify the most frequently used tests, outcome variables, and normative values...
Article
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Background The aims of this retrospective study were to (i) provide a description of sleep quality in elite athletes as measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), (ii) provide normative PSQI data, (iii) identify differences across sex and sport, (iv) identify components that contribute to high PSQI scores and (v) assess PSQI test–retest...
Article
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Basketball players face multiple challenges to in-season recovery. The purpose of this article is to review the literature on recovery modalities and nutritional strategies for basketball players and practical applications that can be incorporated throughout the season at various levels of competition. Sleep, protein, carbohydrate, and fluids shoul...
Article
Objectives To examine potential changes in mental and physical fatigue across an elite netball pre-season training phase and relationships between mental fatigue, physical fatigue, salivary cortisol (sCort) and alpha-amylase (sAA). Design Observational with repeated measures. Methods Across a 16-week pre-season, 10 elite female netballers (25.3 ±...
Conference Paper
Background Athlete health, training availability and performance can be impeded due to Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). Development of RED-S is underpinned by low energy availability (LEA), however its natural history is yet to be defined. Objective To quantify the prevalence of issues previously described in association with RED-S in...
Article
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Athletes are increasingly required to travel domestically and internationally, often resulting in travel fatigue and jet lag. Despite considerable agreement that travel fatigue and jet lag can be a real and impactful issue for athletes regarding performance and risk of illness and injury, evidence on optimal assessment and management is lacking. Th...
Article
Purpose: Mental fatigue is emerging as an important consideration for elite sporting performance, yet it is rarely monitored. The present study assessed changes in mental fatigue in professional team-sport athletes across 2 seasons and examined the relationship between mental fatigue and other athlete self-report measures of well-being. Methods:...
Article
Purpose: Psychological stress is reported to be an important contributor to reduced sleep quality and quantity observed in elite athletes. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between psychological stress and sleep and to identify if specific aspects of sleep are disturbed. Methods: One hundred thirty-one elite athletes (mean...
Article
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Horgan, BG, West, NP, Tee, N, Drinkwater, EJ, Halson, SL, Vider, J, Fonda, CJ, Haff, GG, and Chapman, DW. Acute inflammatory, anthropometric, and perceptual (muscle soreness) effects of postresistance exercise water immersion in junior international and subelite male volleyball athletes. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2021-Athletes use water i...
Article
Purpose: To examine the sleep of rugby league athletes the night before and following an evening match and to investigate the association between caffeine intake and sleep on the night of competition. Methods: On the night prior to, night of, and night after a professional rugby league match, 15 athletes had their sleep monitored using wrist act...
Article
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Background Inertial measurement units (IMUs) are used for running gait analysis in a variety of sports. These sensors have been attached at various locations to capture stride data. However, it is unclear if different placement sites affect the derived outcome measures.Objective The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate...
Article
Background The benefits associated with sports compression garments are thought to be closely related to enhanced blood flow. However, findings are equivocal, possibly due to heterogeneity in techniques used for measuring blood flow, garment types used, and pressures applied. This study combined Doppler ultrasound and near-infrared spectroscopy tec...
Article
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Purpose: The objective of this systematic review was to 1) determine how studies evaluated napping behavior in athletes (frequency, duration, timing and measurement); 2) explore how napping impacted physical performance, cognitive performance, perceptual measures (eg, fatigue, muscle soreness, sleepiness and alertness), psychological state and nig...
Article
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The aims of this study were to: (1) compare actigraphy (ACTICAL) and a commercially available sleep wearable (i.e., WHOOP) under two functionalities (i.e., sleep auto-detection (WHOOP-AUTO) and manual adjustment of sleep (WHOOP-MANUAL)) for two-stage categorisation of sleep (sleep or wake) against polysomnography, and; (2) compare WHOOP-AUTO and WH...
Article
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Purpose: Anecdotal reports indicate that many elite athletes are dissatisfied with their sleep, but little is known about their actual sleep requirements. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the self-assessed sleep need of elite athletes with an objective measure of their habitual sleep duration. Methods: Participants were 175 elite...
Article
Purpose: This study aimed to independently validate a wearable inertial sensor designed to monitor training and performance metrics in swimmers. Methods: A total of 4 male (21 [4] y, 1 national and 3 international) and 6 female (22 [3] y, 1 national and 5 international) swimmers completed 15 training sessions in an outdoor 50-m pool. Swimmers we...
Article
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Heart rate (HR) and HR variability (HRV) infer readiness to perform exercise in athletic populations. Technological advancements have facilitated HR and HRV quantification via photoplethysmography (PPG). This study evaluated the validity of WHOOP’s PPG-derived HR and HRV against electrocardiogram-derived (ECG) measures. HR and HRV were assessed via...
Article
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The microvasculature is important for both health and exercise tolerance in a range of populations. However, methodological limitations have meant changes in microvascular blood flow are rarely assessed in humans during interventions designed to affect skeletal muscle blood flow such as the wearing of compression garments. The aim of this study is,...
Article
Purpose: To determine the impact of the quality and quantity of sleep during an international flight on subsequent objective sleep characteristics, training and match-day load, self-reported well-being, and perceptions of jet lag of elite female cricketers during an International Cricket Council Women's T20 World Cup. Methods: In-flight and tour...
Article
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Sport science and medicine practitioners are interested in the relationships between training load, injury, and illness. The extent to which training preparedness is associated with workload‐related injury and illness risk is debated. Therefore, this study applied multi‐level mixed effect logistic regression to investigate time‐dependent (±7‐ and ±...
Article
Mental fatigue has been shown to negatively influence physical, technical and tactical aspects of sporting performance. However, mental fatigue is not routinely monitored or managed in elite sport and it is not clear whether mental fatigue occurs and/or changes across the varied contextual demands experienced by elite athletes in training, preparat...
Article
Purpose: Professional road cycling races are physiologically demanding, involving successive days of racing over 1 to 3 weeks of competition. Anecdotal evidence indicates that cyclists' sleep duration either increases or deteriorates during these competitions. However, sleep duration in professional cyclists during stage races has not been assesse...
Article
While research suggests that somatosensation contributes to elite athletic performance, little is known regarding the capacity of ergogenic aids (e.g., compression) to enhance somatosensation. This study assessed the effects of compression socks on functional ankle somatosensory ability, and whether any effects depended on baseline somatosensation...
Article
Elite athletes and coaches believe sleep is the most important recovery strategy and widely consider it critical to optimal performance. Despite this perceived importance, there are numerous circumstances that can reduce sleep quantity and quality in athletic populations. Because of the effects of sleep loss on various physical, neurophysiological,...
Article
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Purpose: To assess the efficacy of a combined light exposure and sleep hygiene intervention to improve team-sport performance following eastward long-haul transmeridian travel. Methods: Twenty physically trained males underwent testing at 09:00 and 17:00 hours local time on 4 consecutive days at home (baseline) and the first 4 days following 21...
Article
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ABSTRACT Elite athletes are particularly susceptible to sleep inadequacies, characterised by habitual short sleep (<7 hours/night) and poor sleep quality (eg, sleep fragmentation). Athletic performance is reduced by a night or more without sleep, but the influence on performance of partial sleep restriction over 1–3 nights, a more real-world scenar...
Article
Exercise is associated with a reduction in splanchnic blood flow that leads to the disruption of intestinal epithelium integrity, contributing to exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome. Strategies that promote intestinal blood flow during exercise may reduce intestinal damage, which may be advantageous for subsequent recovery and performance. T...
Article
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Background: Disturbed sleep may negatively influence physical health, cognitive performance, metabolism, and general wellbeing. Nutritional interventions represent a potential non-pharmacological means to increase sleep quality and quantity. Objective: (1) Identify an optimal suite of nutritional ingredients and (2) validate the effects of this...
Article
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PurposeThe Na+, K+-ATPase (NKA) is important in regulating trans-membrane ion gradients, cellular excitability and muscle function. We investigated the effects of resistance training in healthy young adults on the adaptability of NKA content and of the specific α and β isoforms in human skeletal muscle.Methods Twenty-one healthy young males (22.9 ±...
Article
The aim of the study was to compare the WHOOP strap – a wearable device that estimates sleep based on measures of movement and heart rate derived from actigraphy and photoplethysmography, respectively. Twelve healthy adults (6 females, 6 males, aged 22.9 ± 3.4 years) participated in a 10-day, laboratory-based protocol. A total of 86 sleeps were ind...
Article
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The ongoing global pandemic brought on by the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is having profound effects on human health and well-being. With no viable vaccine presently available and the virus being rapidly transmitted, governments and national health authorities have acted swiftly, recommending ‘lockdown’ policies and/or various levels...
Article
This study aimed to investigate swimmer’s use and coach prescription of recovery strategies during training and competition while examining perceived challenges, barriers, and beliefs in the importance of their effectiveness. A mixed-methods sequential explanatory design was implemented. Thirty-seven male and 45 female sub-elite to elite swimmers (...
Article
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Objectives We investigated the management of travel fatigue and jet lag in athlete populations by evaluating studies that have applied non-pharmacological interventions (exercise, sleep, light and nutrition), and pharmacological interventions (melatonin, sedatives, stimulants, melatonin analogues, glucocorticoids and antihistamines) following long-...
Article
Purpose To explore the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) within a professional rugby league team and determine associations of OSA with ethnicity, positional group, and physical characteristics. Methods 22 professional rugby league athletes underwent one night of home-based polysomnography with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), rapid eye movem...
Article
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This study aimed to investigate the differences in the interface pressure applied by sports and medical compression socks and assess the pressure gradient profile. Sixty (30 male, 30 female) national representative athletes were fitted with both medical grade and sports compression socks in a counterbalanced order. Interface pressure was assessed u...
Article
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Purpose: Habitual intense exercise may increase the incidence of upper respiratory symptoms (URS) in elite athletes. This study investigated whether immune gene expression could identify gene markers that discriminate athletes with a higher prevalence of URS. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis of elite Australian athletes from various sports...
Article
Objectives: To assess the magnitude of changes in, and relationships between, physical and mental fatigue pre-to-post match in elite development netballers. Design: Observational. Methods: Twelve female netballers (21.3±2.9 years) competing in the Australian Netball League reported perceptual measures of mental and physical fatigue pre- and po...
Article
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PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of sports compression tights in reducing muscle movement and activation during running. METHODS A total of 27 recreationally-active males were recruited across two separate studies. For study one, 13 participants (mean ± SD; 84.1 ± 9.4 kg, 22 ± 3 y) completed two 4-min treadmil...
Article
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It is increasingly recognised that many athletes have poor sleep quantity and/or quality despite the advances in knowledge regarding the importance of sleep for an athletic population. The majority of research in sleep assessment and treatment (within the general population) focuses on the medical disorder insomnia, and therefore may not be specifi...
Article
Purpose: We determined the effects of CWI on long-term adaptations and post-exercise molecular responses in skeletal muscle before and after resistance training. Methods: Sixteen males (22.9 ± 4.6 y; 85.1 ± 17.9 kg; mean ± SD) performed resistance training (3 d·wk-1) for 7 wk, with each session followed by either CWI (15 min at 10°C, COLD group,...
Article
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Sleep is a vital component of preparation, performance and recovery for a Super Rugby game. The purpose of this study was to quantify sleep behaviours and alertness of professional rugby union players during training and a game. Thirty-six rugby union players from a Super Rugby team wore a wrist-activity device (Readiband™) to measure sleep for 3 d...
Article
The purpose of the current study was to determine the acute effects of carbohydrate ingestion (CHO) following a bout of maximal eccentric resistance exercise on key anabolic kinases of mTOR and ERK pathways. Our hypothesis was that the activation of anabolic signalling pathways known to be upregulated by resistance exercise would be further stimula...
Article
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Purpose: Mental fatigue is a psychobiological state caused by prolonged periods of demanding cognitive activity shown to negatively influence physical performance. Variation exists across the literature regarding the manifestations and impact of mental fatigue; with little knowledge of the domain-specific manifestations in elite sport. The difficu...
Article
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The International Association of Athletics Federations recognizes the importance of nutritional practices in optimizing an Athlete's well-being and performance. Although Athletics encompasses a diverse range of track-and-field events with different performance determinants, there are common goals around nutritional support for adaptation to trainin...
Article
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Background The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of cold water immersion on the amount and quality of sleep obtained by elite cyclists during a simulated hill climbing tour. Methods Ten male professional cyclists (age 21.1 ± 1.7 years) from the Australian Institute of Sport were monitored for eight consecutive nights during a sim...
Article
This study investigated the effects of removing athletes’ electronic devices in the evening on sleep and performance during training camps. Water polo athletes (n = 26) attending a 7-night training camp (study 1) and triathletes (n = 23) attending a 4-night training camp (study 2) were randomly allocated to a no-device group (no electronic devices...
Article
Purpose: To quantify the sleep/wake behaviors of adolescent, female basketball players and to examine the impact of daily training load on sleep/wake behaviors during a 14-day training camp. Methods: Elite, adolescent, female basketball players (N = 11) had their sleep/wake behaviors monitored using self-report sleep diaries and wrist-worn activ...
Article
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Purpose: To assess relationships between objective sleep characteristics, external training loads, and subjective ratings of well-being in elite Australian football (AF) players. Methods: A total of 38 elite male AF players recorded objective sleep characteristics over a 15-day period using an activity monitor. External load was assessed during...
Article
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Purpose: To examine changes in, and relationships between, sleep quality and quantity, salivary testosterone, salivary cortisol, testosterone-to-cortisol ratio (T:C), and self-reported muscle soreness during a residential-based training camp in elite rugby players. Methods: Nineteen male rugby players age 26.4 (3.9) years, height 186.0 (9.4) cm, an...