Programme Leader – Dr Søren Brage
Physical activity and fitness are key factors in obesity and metabolic disease, as well as in many other chronic diseases. However, these associations are still not completely clear. A major reason for this is that physical activity is difficult to measure accurately, particularly in large scale epidemiological studies.
The overall aims of the physical activity programme are to:
- develop and evaluate methods for reliable and valid measurement of physical activity and fitness in free-living populations
- describe the variation in physical activity, sedentary behaviours, and fitness in different populations, across different locations, and how activity and fitness has changed over time
- understand the role of physical activity, sedentary behaviours, and fitness in the development and prevention of disease
- understand how genes and other biological factors influence physical activity and sedentary behaviour
Our work has resulted in detailed evaluations of objective and self-report methods for measuring physical activity, which we have implemented in large-scale epidemiological studies. This allows us to study differences in activity behaviours between different populations, locations, and over time. We also contribute to the Unit’s work on examining the environmental, personal and social influences that determine physical activity levels in different populations.
We collaborate with other Unit programmes to study the genetic determinants of activity and fitness. Within the Unit we lead the work on investigating how non-genetic biological factors relate to activity, such as the influence of birth weight, early growth and development during infancy on physical activity levels and obesity in later life.
We investigate the relationships between physical activity and fitness with obesity and metabolic disorders across the life course and ultimately how this impacts on hard disease endpoints, including mortality. We also collaborate with others, both within the Unit and externally, to study activity behaviours and their relationship with health in specific populations or patient groups, and in evaluating the effect of interventions aimed at increasing physical activity.
Link to scientific resources for physical activity assessment:
- Soren Brage – Programme Leader
- Lewis Griffiths – Physical Activity Technician
- Stefanie Hollidge – Physical Activity Research Assistant
- Youngwon Kim – Career Development Fellow
- Alexander Mok – PhD Student
- Matthew Pearce – Research Associate
- Kate Westgate – Physical Activity Specialist
- Timothy Lindsay – PhD Student
- Tom White – PhD Student
- Katrien Wijndaele – Senior Investigator Scientist
- Katrin Berkemeyer – Ph.D. Student
- Hervé Besson – Senior Investigator Scientist
- Dirk Lund Cristensen – Senior Investigator Scientist
- Paul Collings – Ph.D. Student
- Ulf Ekelund – Senior Investigator Scientist
- Rajna Golubic – Ph.D. Student
- Robert Koivula – Visiting Ph.D. Student
- Bente Morseth – Visiting Researcher
- Simon Wheeler – Investigator Scientist