Dr Deirdre Harrington

Senior Lecturer

Physical Activity and Health


Personal statement

I am an experienced academic with a demonstrated history of working in multi-disciplinary teams in higher education in Ireland, the US and England.

I play a key academic role in achieving the goals of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) and contribute to its success within the University of Strathclyde.

I oversee the development and delivery of research and teaching within the School of Psychological Sciences and Health. I am responsible for securing external research funding, teaching at Undergraduate level, supervision of PhD students and the delivery of meaningful knowledge exchange and community engagement/involvement.

I am increasingly concerned about health inequalities and how my research does, or does not, address or impact them. I am trying to be reflexive about issues related to my assumptions and preconceptions as a researcher.


  • New staff member (since Jan 2021) at University of Strathclyde, energised by delving straight into undergrad teaching and supervision and developing new research and stakeholder links in Scotland.
  • Media friendly. As heard monthly on BBC Radio Leicester Table Talk and seen on ITV Central and BBC East Midlands.


  • Academic lead of the Cities Changing Diabetes global programme in Leicester. I developed the work in collaboration with academic, local government, community and industry stakeholders and partners.
  • Chair of Ireland's Report Card for Physical Activity in Children and Youth 2013, member of the working group for 2015 and 2021 Report Cards.

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Towards cycling engagement by mapping design interventions to observed barriers : an example from Glasgow's bike share programme
Shepherd Mia, Shealy Tripp, Urquhart Lewis, Harrington Deirdre, Maier Anja
DESIGN 2024 Proceedings of the Design Society Vol 4, pp. 1065-1074 (2024)
A nonrandomized pilot implementation trial of the CLASS PAL (Physically Active Learning) project
Routen Ash C, Cale Lorraine, Chalkley Anna E, Clemes Stacy, Edwardson Charlotte L, Glazebrook Cris, Harrington Deirdre M, Khunti Kamlesh, Pearson Natalie, Salmon Jo, Sherar Lauren B
Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine Vol 9 (2024)
Physical activity levels during school recess in a nationally representative sample of 10-11-year-olds
Wong Lan Sum, Reilly John J, McCrorie Paul, Harrington Deirdre M
Pediatric Exercise Science Vol 36, pp. 37-43 (2024)
Results from Ireland North and South's 2022 report card on physical activity for children and adolescents
Carlin Angela, Connolly Sinead, Redpath Tamsyn, Belton Sarajane, Coppinger Tara, Cunningham Conor, Donnelly Alan, Dowd Kieran, Harrington Deirdre, Murtagh Elaine, Ng Kwok, O'Brien Wesley, Rodriguez Lauren, Woods Catherine, McAvoy Helen, Murphy Marie
Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness Vol 22, pp. 66-72 (2024)
Applying interdisciplinary methods to evaluate ​emerging community-led active mobility practices
Bonner James, Harrington Deirdre, Cory Katherine, Ferguson Neil, Bardid Farid
Scottish Physical Activity Research Connections annual conference 2023
Standard Operating Procedure : Recruitment and Data Collection in the Field for 'From Bike Bus to Bike Use' Project
Harrington Deirdre

More publications

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Currently teaching at undergraduate level on the B.Sc. in Sport and Physical Activity.

I taught at Masters level (M.Sc. in Diabetes Medicine, University of Leicester).

I have also delivered practical professional development sessions to healthcare professionals.

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Research Interests

I have worked on the global research platform for 15 years. My research interests have evolved over this time and can be summarised into three themes:

  • Prevention of ill-health in the clinical and public health areas of physical activity, obesity, type 2 diabetes.
  • Design, evaluation and implementation of school, family and community-based programmes.
  • Uniting stakeholders including public health, local authority and key community groups and organisations (e.g. professional sports clubs, faith centres) with academics in tackling prevalent health challenges.

Current topics I am moving forward with include:

  • Physical activity and related health behaviour (sleep, screen time, obesity) interventions in pre-schoolers and their families.
  • Transport behaviours - sustainable transport (walk, cycle, public transport) and private car use in COVID times. Changes in behaviours, attitudes, benefits for the individual and cities, the future for walking/cycling as transport.
  • The outsourcing of PE, physical activity and health promotion to professional sports clubs in schools and the community.
  • The future of school-based physical activity research in the COVID-19 recovery. How have PhD students and early career researchers been affected by school closures?

Do get in touch if you are interested in collaborating on these topics.

Professional Activities

Cycling for Regeneration Workshop - The Kirkpatrick Cycle Route
Engaging hard-to-reach populations in regular physical activity in Scotland
Invited speaker
What can "a conversation between road users" tell us about "training"?​
UCI championships may not have a legacy for Glasgow
Design for Movement in the Public Realm
External Grant Reviewer - Carnegie Trust

More professional activities


Intervention effects on health-related physical fitness in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Weston, Kathryn (Principal Investigator) Harrington, Deirdre (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2024 - 30-Jan-2024
From Bike Bus to Bike Use
Harrington, Deirdre (Principal Investigator)
04-Jan-2023 - 06-Jan-2024
Scottish Funding Council - Interface Innovation Voucher - Nutrition Scotland
Harrington, Deirdre (Principal Investigator) Kirk, Alison (Principal Investigator) Mavroeidi, Alexandra (Co-investigator) Russell, Eilidh (Researcher)
Knowledge exchange/consultancy with Nutrition Scotland (£4,919) to develop novel prevention products for carers of those at risk of type 2 diabetes
31-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2022
Development of a Core Outcome Set for school-based childhood obesity interventions: an international consensus study.
Harrington, Deirdre (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2022
NIHR Global Health Research Group on collaborative care for cardiometabolic disease in Africa
Harrington, Deirdre (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2024

More projects

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Dr Deirdre Harrington
Senior Lecturer
Physical Activity and Health

Email: deirdre.harrington@strath.ac.uk
Tel: Unlisted