Lack of physical activity is recognised as a global public health concern. Inactivity is one of the leading causes of death and disability globally. Physical inactivity is often a neglected risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates for increases in physical activity alongside reductions in sedentary behaviour (sitting including screen time) and improved sleep. These inter-linked behaviours are at the forefront of our research.
Most recently our team have published in the areas of these movement behaviours during COVID-19 lockdowns, in the Under 5s and the impact on, and links to, childhood obesity, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and bone health.
We are also interested in how used to improve health and patient care.
Our team has significant trial experience in children and young people. We will continue to work with schools and families to promote movement behaviours and reduce childhood obesity and related conditions.
We also work globally and have published with researchers from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. We are currently funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust to do research in Malawi. In 2021 Dr. Harrington was awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Saltire International Collaboration Award for European research into childhood obesity.
Dr. Kirk’s research has contributed to lifestyle management guidelines (both the SIGN Management of diabetes (guidelines 116 and 154) a global physical activity and exercise for diabetes position statement.
To view all our current papers please click into the individual staff profiles here and view the links under the ‘publications’ tab.
We also have a vibrant community of Postgraduate Researchers (PhD and MRes) based here in Scotland and globally.
Physical Activity for Health at Strathclyde: Supporting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals
Ahead of COP26, the Physical Activity for Health group reflect on how their research, knowledge exchange, capacity building, and technology transfer activities support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Our research areas
Behaviour & behaviour change
Understanding why people participate in physical activity or sedentary behaviour is critical to the development of effective behaviour change interventions.
Our research aims to provide a better understanding of how and why physical activity and sedentary behaviour improves health, and of the amount, intensity, and type of activity needed for health benefits.
Globalisation & non-commmunicable diseases
Our research aims to describe the scale of the problem of low physical activity and high sedentary behaviour within a worldwide context.
Improved measurement is needed to assess the scale of the problem of low physical activity, to understand the health effects of physical activity and to evaluate the effect of interventions to more physical activity and less sedentary behaviour.
TechnologyOur research aims to embed the latest technologies, including mobile and web-based technologies, within our interventions and to capture accurate measurement of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health.
Physical Activity for Health
Graham Hills Building
40 George Street