School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

PhD opportunities

Sven Hoekstra

Photo of  Sven Hoekstra

PhD student

In previous years Sven`s research has focused on health promotion by exercise in various populations.During his Master`s program in Groningen, Sven was involved in research within the HandbikeBattle-project, where he studied the effects of training for a challenging handbike event on fitness and health in recreationally active wheelchair users.  Sven started his PhD at Loughborough University in October 2015.  In his free time, Sven is a keen runner and cyclist, and is still debating with himself whether to take up swimming to get into triathlon.

Project Title: The role of the involved muscle mass and temperature in the inflammatory response to exercise and heat.

Project Summary:  Sven’s project, under the supervision of Dr Christof Leicht and Dr Lettie Bishop, focusses on the inflammatory response to different strategies to improve health in a population that has to rely on their upper-body for exercise, like individuals with a spinal cord injury for example. Among the possible strategies are arm-cranking and handcycling, but also hot water immersion. The created anti-inflammatory environment in response to these strategies could reduce the chronic low-grade inflammation related to the metabolic syndrome and other chronic diseases.  Although there is relatively much knowledge on the responses to leg-exercise such as cycling or running, little is known about upper-body exercise in that respect. Therefore, the challenge of this project is to pave the way for feasible, evidence-based strategies to improve health by use of upper-body exercise and/or heat.