Dr Alison Kirk


Physical Activity and Health


Personal statement

Alison is a Reader in Physical Activity for Health at Strathclyde University and a core member of the Physical Activity for Health group.  She completed a BSc in Physiology and Sports Science at the University of Glasow (1998) before undertaking a PhD through the same university (completed 2003).  She was a Lecturer at Dundee University (2003-2008) before moving to Strathclyde University in 2009.

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Area of Expertise

Has expertise in:

  • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour and behaviour change with particular focus on diabetes
  • Development of interventions to support active lifestyles
  • Integration of digital technology to support behaviour change
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Trauma management with first responders and healthcare workers : developing an evidence based and co-created digital intervention
Cogan Nicola, Kirk Alison, Graf Christoph, Craig Ashleigh, Milligan Lucy, Burns Tara, McCluskey Robyn, Ptak Wiktoria, Goodman Jolie, De Kock Hannes
Batterjee Medical College Scientific Research Forum 2024
RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) evaluation of the use of activity trackers in the clinical care of adults diagnosed with a chronic disease : integrative systematic review
Hodgson William, Kirk Alison, Lennon Marilyn, Janssen Xanne, Russell Eilidh, Wani Carolina, Eskandarani Dina
Journal of Medical Internet Research Vol 25 (2023)
"I've got no PPE to protect my mind" : understanding the needs and experiences of first responders exposed to trauma in the workplace
Cogan Nicola, Kirk Alison, Graf Christoph, Watson Lee, Craig Ashleigh, Milligan Lucy, Burns Tara, McCluskey Robyn, Ptak Wiktoria, Goodman Jolie, Irvine Fitzpatrick Linda, De Kock Hannes
14th NRS Mental Health Network Annual Scientific Meeting
A comparison of objectively measured free-living physical behaviour in adults with and without lower limb amputation
Deans Sarah, Kirk Alison, McGarry Anthony, Rowe David A, Dall Philippa M
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Vol 20 (2023)
A digital intervention to improve mental wellbeing and resilience in first responders : protocol for a nonrandomised feasibility trial and nested qualitative study
Cogan Nicola, Kirk Alison, Graf Christoph
Trauma and Justice : An Interdisciplinary Approach (2023)
A qualitative study for co-designing the future of technology to support physical activity for adolescents living with type 1 diabetes
Morrow Diane, Kirk Alison, Muirhead Fiona, Lennon Marilyn
Connected Health Vol 2023 (2023)

More publications

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  • Established 20 year track record of designing, organising and delivering a range of undergraduate and postgraduate classes including the development and validation of several new classes and overall review of degree programmes. Strong focus towards research integrated teaching and utilisation of innovative methods of teaching. Focus also towards developing transferable skills to improve employability of students during and after their undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
  • Evidence of leading teaching programmes through current role as Course Leader for the MRes in Physical Activity for Health and past roles as Course Leader for the BSc Sport and Physical Activity degree and co-ordinator for two BA programmes (Sport and Psychology and Sport and Education).
  • Past and current leadership roles as examination officer, disability co-ordinator, year group co-ordinator.
  • Four years experience as Postgraduate Deputy Director including promoting applications for PG research, supporting students and organisation and chair of Viva examinations.
  • Previous invited external examiner for BSc Sport, Physical activity and Health degree programme at the University of Leeds Metropolitan (2012-2016) and MSc Clinical Exercise Science at Edinburgh Napier University (2016-2021).
  • Invited examiner for 12 PhD thesis (11 external) including: University of Leicester (2023), University of Edinburgh (2023), University of Loughborough (2020), Australian Catholic University (2020), Glasgow University (July 2019), Deakin University, Australia (June 2017), Strathclyde University (September 2016), Stirling University (June 2014), Newcastle University (March 2014), Ulster University (November 2011), Victoria University, Australia (June 2011), Bristol University (March 2009), Birmingham University (July 2007).
  • Successful postgraduate research supervision with 11 completed  and 5 ongoing PhDs.
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Research Interests

  • 24 year programme of translational research exploring methods of supporting active lifestyles for diabetes prevention and management which has led to UK and International impact on health care policy and practice.
  • In total 86 refereed publications since 2003. 4006 citations from publications. Current H Index of 33. 
  • Awarded over £3,000,000 in grant funding for research since award of PhD in 2003, including a number as PI, several multicentre trials and collaborative PhD studentships.

Professional Activities

Understanding the role of breaks from sitting on musculoskeletal symptoms in desk-based workers
Step cadence and sedentary behaviour – developing the links to physical function and glucose control
Sedentary behaviour and cardiometabolic health: epidemiological, experimental and behavioural investigations in a population at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus
Investigating the effects of sitting on glucose metabolism Implications for the management and prevention of type 2 diabetes
Web based physiotherapy for people with chronic health conditions: South Asians with Type 2 diabetes
Integration of technology to support active lifestyles within Type 2 diabetes care

More professional activities


Digital health interventions in the workplace: co-created with stakeholder engagement
Cogan, Nicola (Principal Investigator) Kirk, Alison (Principal Investigator) Graf, Christoph (Principal Investigator)
The primary objective is to introduce new innovative digital health technologies which have been co-created with key stakeholders to improve employees physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace. Over the past five years a team of academics at Strathclyde University have been working with the Welbot company to develop cross platform applications to improve employee wellbeing. The aim of this event is to engage with large enterprises and public sector agencies to host a seminar which focuses on promoting positive health in the workplace and to showcase Welbot’s innovative applications and how they can be used across a wide range of workplaces
09-Jan-2023 - 09-Jan-2023
Stage-gate funds for Industry Engagement & Commercialisation support (stage 2)
Cogan, Nicola (Principal Investigator) Kirk, Alison (Principal Investigator) Rasmussen, Susan (Principal Investigator)
Awarded 10k funding from gate 2 industry engagement and commercialisation for development of Sentinel
01-Jan-2022 - 22-Jan-2023
Community driven co-creation of multimedia content to embed in the CareFit app, an app to support physical activity in informal carers
Kirk, Alison (Principal Investigator) Dunlop, Mark (Co-investigator) Egan, Kieren (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 28-Jan-2023
Early-stage maintenance of physical activity in caregivers at home using digital devices and/or motion sensors. Stretch Alumni PhD funding.
Kirk, Alison (Co-investigator) Dunlop, Mark (Co-investigator) Egan, Kieren (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2025
Assessing the value of digital health technology and personalised care in adults with cystic fibrosis during the era of CFTR modulators. Health and Care Futures Strathclyde Doctoral Research Centre in Multidisciplinary Exploration of Health Oriented Data & Digital Health
Kirk, Alison (Co-investigator) McCann, Lisa (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 30-Jan-2028
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

More projects

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Dr Alison Kirk
Physical Activity and Health

Email: alison.kirk@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 548 4153