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Research priority area

Sport, Exercise, Health and Wellbeing

Sport, Exercise, Health and Wellbeing research priority area researches areas including health promotion, athlete wellbeing, policy development and clinical health and wellbeing.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Sport, Exercise, Health and Wellbeing (SEHW) is centred on six key areas that encapsulate a wide range of applied research which the University of Gloucestershire engages in regionally, nationally and internationally.

Student smiling on sports pitch

Physical activity and health promotion

This involves the development of an evidence base of applied practice within the context of health enhancing interventions. 

We’ve undertaken a range of research including large-scale evaluations of health interventions in primary and secondary health care, and in the community including a range of education settings, which have included the use of exercise in planned programmes related to medical recovery and rehabilitation. 

We have also helped with the cessation of negative health behaviours, such as alcohol or inactivity.

Sport and marginalised young people

This area emphasises community sport development and criminal justice.

Within this field the university has been successful in attracting research grants from some of the key organizations and stakeholders such as vInspired and the Laureus Foundation.

As an institution we are also engaging and influencing the criminal justice system at a policy level.

Foot with trainer on top of football
Severn Stars netball team playing a match

Athlete wellbeing and sports performance

This focuses on the role of neuromuscular functioning in the reduction of injury risk and prevention in young athletes, sports nutrition, physiological determinants of performance, assessment and screening of athletes, training interventions, and psychology of performance and injury. 

There is increasing academic and practitioner interest in these specific research areas and dissemination activities have included presentations at national and international conferences, national and international football clubs and national governing bodies of sport.

Policy development and practice

This area includes improving welfare in sport, play, health promotion and behaviour change within professional sport. The university’s work in this area has impacted on a number of areas including practice in youth football, health and wellbeing promotion in a range of population groups, public health and psychology. 

Other work includes policy and practice in the area of play policy, and playwork. This has included strategic literature reviews and research output on children’s play which has informed policy in England, Wales and internationally as well as research on the Welsh Government’s Play Sufficiency Duty​, which places a statutory duty on local authorities to assess and secure sufficiency of play opportunities for children.

Student writing notes
Physiotherapist looking at patients leg on bed

Wellbeing and performance in occupational and ‘real world’ environments

This focuses on health and well-being in occupational and real-world environments. 

This research includes work on occupational health, risk in occupational decision-making, forensic psychology, sport and performance psychology, functional physiology, the effects of regular singing on health and wellbeing with a particular focus on respiration and the efficacy of drama interventions for the development of social and emotional intelligence in educational and social environments for vulnerable children.

It also includes research on the neuroscience of well-being using EEG technology to examine brain processing in adults and children.

Clinical health and wellbeing

This area includes clinical, counselling and physiological projects on physical and mental health. From a psychological perspective, research includes topics such as mindfulness, fear, anxiety, empathy, autism, health education, adolescent psychology issues (e.g. in diabetes regimens) and using poetry in dementia treatment. 

This encompasses research and scholarship on the theoretical aspects of psychology with regard to wellbeing such as the nature-nurture debate, neuroscience, the impact of mindfulness, in additional to understanding the concept of well-being in clinical areas, such as in schizophrenia and learning difficulties. 

University student in classroom



Contact Dr. Emily Ryall, research priority area convenor for Sport, Exercise, Health and Wellbeing

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can within office hours