With the advocacy of green transportation and green traveling, cycling has become increasingly popular nowadays. Physiology and bike design are key factors for the influence of cycling efficiency. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the significance of bike-frame geometric factors on cycling efficiency and muscle activation for different body sizes of non-professional Asian male cyclists. Participants who represented various body sizes, as measured by leg and back lengths, carried out cycling tests using a tailor-assembled road bike with different ergonomic design configurations including seat-height adjustments (i.e., 96%, 100%, and 104% of trochanteric height) and bike frame sizes (i.e., small and medium frames) for an assessable distance of 1 km. A specific power meter and self-developed adaptable surface electromyography (sEMG) were used to measure average pedaling power and cadence generated and muscle activation, respectively. The results showed that changing the seat height was far more significant than the body and bike frame sizes. The sEMG data evidently provided a better understanding of muscle activation as a function of different seat heights. Therefore, the interpretation of this study is that the major bike ergonomic design factor dominating the cycling efficiency of Asian participants with different body sizes was the seat height.
The study was focused on the development and assessment of the illustrated language activities of the 1996 Edition of the Portage Guide to Early Education. It determined the extent of appropriateness, applicability, time efficiency and aesthetics of the illustrated language activities to be used as instructional material not only by teachers, but parents and caregivers as well. The eclectic research design was applied in this study using qualitative and quantitative methods. To determine the applicability and time efficiency of the study, a try out was done. Since the eclectic research design was used, it made use of a researcher-made survey questionnaire and focus group discussion. Analysis of the data was done through weighted mean and ANOVA. The respondents of the study were representatives of Special Education (SPED) teachers, caregivers and parents of a special-needs child, particularly with difficulties in learning basic language skills. The results of the study show that a large number of respondents are SPED teachers and caregivers and are mostly college graduates. Many of them have earned units towards Master’s studies. Moreover, a majority of the respondents have not attended seminars or in-service training in early intervention for them to be more competent in the area of specialization. It is concluded that the illustrated language activities under review in this study are appropriate, applicable, time efficient and aesthetic for use as a tool in teaching. The recommendations are focused on the advocacy for SPED teachers, caregivers and parents of special-needs children to be more consistent in the implementation of the new instructional materials as an aid in an intervention program.
Many chemical changes in the atmosphere and the ocean are invisible to the naked eye, but they have profound impacts. These changes not only confirm the phenomenon of global carbon pollution, but also forewarn that more changes are coming. The carbon dioxide gases emitted from the burning of fossil fuels dissolve into the ocean and chemically react with seawater to form carbonic acid, which increases the acidity of the originally alkaline seawater. This gradual acidification is occurring at an unprecedented rate and will affect the effective formation of carapace of some marine organisms such as corals and crustaceans, which are almost entirely composed of calcium carbonate. The carapace of these organisms will become more dissoluble. Acidified seawater not only threatens the survival of marine life, but also negatively impacts the global ecosystem via the food chain. Faced with the threat of ocean acidification, all humans are duty-bound. The industrial sector outputs the highest level of carbon dioxide emissions in Taiwan, and the petrochemical industry is the major contributor. Ever since the construction of Formosa Plastics Group's No. 6 Naphtha Cracker Plant in Yunlin County, there have been many environmental concerns such as air pollution and carbon dioxide emission. The marine life along the coast of Yunlin is directly affected by ocean acidification arising from the carbon emissions. Societal change demands our willingness to act, which is what social advocacy promotes. This study uses digital storytelling for social advocacy and ocean acidification as the subject of a visual narrative in visualization to demonstrate the subsequent promotion of social advocacy. Storytelling can transform dull knowledge into an engaging narrative of the crisis faced by marine life. Digital dissemination is an effective social-work practice. The visualization promoting awareness on ocean acidification disseminated via social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Social media enables users to compose their own messages and share information across different platforms, which helps disseminate the core message of social advocacy.
The consumption of junk food in Iran is alarmingly increasing. This study aimed to investigate the influencing factors of junk food consumption and amendable interventions that are criticized and approved by stakeholders, in order to presented to health policy makers. The articles and documents related to the content of study were collected by using the appropriate key words such as junk food, carbonated beverage, chocolate, candy, sweets, industrial fruit juices, potato chips, French fries, puffed corn, cakes, biscuits, sandwiches, prepared foods and popsicles, ice cream, bar, chewing gum, pastilles and snack, in scholar.google.com, pubmed.com, eric.ed.gov, cochrane.org, magiran.com, medlib.ir, irandoc.ac.ir, who.int, iranmedex.com, sid.ir, pubmed.org and sciencedirect.com databases. The main key points were extracted and included in a checklist and qualitatively analyzed. Then a summarized abstract was prepared in a format of a questionnaire to be presented to stakeholders. The design of this was qualitative (Delphi). According to this method, a questionnaire was prepared based on reviewing the articles and documents and it was emailed to stakeholders, who were asked to prioritize and choose the main problems and effective interventions. After three rounds, consensus was obtained. Studies revealed high consumption of junk foods in the Iranian population, especially in children and adolescents. The most important affecting factors include availability, low price, media advertisements, preference of fast foods taste, the variety of the packages and their attractiveness, low awareness and changing in lifestyle. Main interventions recommended by stakeholders include developing a protective environment, educational interventions, increasing healthy food access and controlling media advertisements and putting pressure from the Industry and Mining Ministry on producers to produce healthy snacks. According to the findings, the results of this study may be proposed to public health policymakers as an advocacy paper and to be integrated in the interventional programs of Health and Education ministries and the media. Also, implementation of supportive meetings with the producers of alternative healthy products is suggested.
Social media has become an important source of information for the public and the media profession. Some social issues raised on social media are picked up by journalists to report on other platforms. This relationship between social media and mainstream media can sometimes drive public debate or stimulate social movements. The question to examine is in what situations can social media conversations raise awareness and stimulate change on public issues. This study addresses the communication patterns of social media conversations driving covert issues into mainstream media and leading to social advocacy movements. In methodological terms, the study findings are based on a content analysis of Facebook, Twitter, news websites and television media reports on three different case studies – saving Bryde’s whale, protests against a government proposal to downsize the Office of Knowledge Management and Development in Thailand, and a dengue fever campaign. These case studies were chosen because they represent issues that most members of the public do not pay much attention to but social media conversations stimulated public debate and calls to action. This study found: 1) Collective social media conversations can stimulate public debate and encourage change at three levels – awareness, public debate, and action of policy and social change. The level depends on the communication patterns of online users and media coverage. 2) Patterns of communication have to be designed to combine social media conversations, online opinion leaders, mainstream media coverage and call to both online and offline action to motivate social change. Thus, this result suggests that social media is a powerful platform for collective communication and setting the agenda on public issues for mainstream media. However, for social change to succeed, social media should be used to mobilize online movements to move offline too.
While South Africa has been the chosen host country for over 1,2 million asylum seekers/refugees it has at the same time, been struggling to address the needs of its own people who are still trapped in poverty with little prospects of employment. This limited exploratory, qualitative study was undertaken in Cape Town with a purposive sample of 21 key personnel from various NPOs providing a service to asylum seekers/refugees. Individual in-depth face to face interviews were carried out and the main findings were: Some of the officials at the Department of Home Affairs, health personnel, landlords, school principals, employers, bank officials and police officers were prejudicial in their practices towards asylum seekers/ refugees. The major constraints experienced by NPOs in this study were linked to a lack of funding and minimal government support, strained relationship with the Department of Home Affairs and difficulties in accessing refugees. And finally, the strategies adopted by these NPOs included networking with other service providers, engaging in advocacy, raising community awareness and liaising with government. Thus, more focused intervention strategies are needed to build social cohesion, address prejudices which fuels xenophobic attacks and raise awareness/educate various sectors about refugee rights. Given this burgeoning global problem, social work education and training should include curriculum content on migrant issues. Furthermore, larger studies using mixed methodology approaches would yield more nuanced data and provide for more strategic interventions.
The paper examines two women advocacy groups of the American Christian Right, namely: Concerned Women for America (CWA) and Eagle Forum. Focus will be placed on their interests in American foreign policy and global social policy particularly during the George W. Bush administration. It examines the organizations’ historical backgrounds, and study their agendas, issues and forms of international engagement which relate to American foreign policy. The paper shows that the Christian Right movement is not a monolithic movement in term of its focus, objectives or activism. Despite their diversity, various actions of these advocacy groups have strengthened the role of the Christian Right in exerting its influence on US foreign policy. Finally, it contends that, although traditionally the Christian Right advocacy groups’ motives for activism are strongly based on the Bible and Judeo–Christian values, the arguments and ideas behind their present struggle are presented in a very nationalistic, secular and pragmatic vein.
The aim of this paper is to study in depth some methodological aspects of social interventation, focusing on desirable passage from social maternage method to peer advocacy method. For this purpose, we intend analyze social and organizative components, that affect operator's professional action and that are part of his psychological environment, besides the physical and social one. In fact, operator's interventation should not be limited to a pure supply of techniques, nor to take shape as improvised action, but “full of good purposes".