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  • Ahmed Saleh

KAUST's Matteo Parsani undertakes hand-bike journey across Saudi Arabia

Jeddah, December 18, 2023, Matteo Parsani, an Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computational Science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), embarked on a remarkable hand-bike journey spanning the east to the west of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Commencing yesterday, this 30-day expedition is designed not only to promote physical activities and sports but also to raise awareness about individuals with disabilities, showcase KAUST research, and spotlight the beauty of various regions in the Kingdom along with the hospitality of its people.

Parsani, passionate about advocating for a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, emphasizes that the journey is not solely focused on individuals with disabilities but aims to underscore the importance of regular physical activity for diverse segments of society. Moreover, the expedition serves as an opportunity to study the impact of intense physical exercise on the musculoskeletal system and mental health of individuals with limited mobility.

Covering a distance of over 3,000 kilometers, Parsani plans to hand-cycle through prominent cities such as Dammam, Riyadh, Qassim, Hail, AlUla, Red Sea Global, Madinah, Makkah, Jeddah, and finally, back to KAUST. The ambitious itinerary involves covering approximately 150 kilometers per day.

Innovative products geared towards ensuring Parsani's safety and monitoring his health in real time will play a crucial role in this journey. Developed by a team of KAUST researchers and scientists in their cutting-edge lab, these include a helmet, jacket, and shirt embedded with advanced biosensors. These biosensors will track various vital metrics, such as heart rate, dopamine and energy levels, sweat secretion rate, and body motion, providing valuable insights into the effects of prolonged physical exertion on the human body. The expedition not only showcases the commitment to promoting an active and healthy lifestyle but also underscores KAUST's dedication to cutting-edge research and innovation.

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