I teach across the psychology programme with particular interests in curriculum and method in psychology education, counselling and psychotherapy, employability and preparation for placement and employment.
Learning and teaching in psychology; qualitative methods, especially interpretative phenomenological analysis; the graduate transition to professional employment; walking football and exercise in healthy ageing.
Walking Football Research
I am currently looking for people aged between 48 and 65 who would be willing to participate in a study of the experiences and outcomes of playing walking football. Men and women, experienced players or complete novices, are all welcome.
The health benefits of playing football and the importance of exercise and social contact for healthy ageing are well established but few older adults take enough exercise. Football draws players into engrossing, effortful and social exercise but the physical demands of play at full speed may make it unsustainable for older adults. Restricted to walking pace, will play still be engaging, will the health benefits be retained and the physical demands remain manageable? This pilot study aims to investigate: 1) If older adults can sustain playing walking football every week, 2) if walking football is enjoyable enough to want to play every week, 3) the intensity and locomotor pattern of walking football, 4) the scale and nature of walking football health benefits, and 5) the potential of walking football as a sport for older adults. There may be health, social, fitness and enjoyment benefits in taking part as well as some risks.
The research will involve twelve weeks of playing walking football with assessment appointments before and after. These appointments are to measure postural balance; blood pressure and resting heart rate; weight, BMI and body composition; cholesterol, blood sugar and markers for bone formation and measures of executive functioning. After the first assessment appointment you will be randomly allocated to a ‘playing football’ group or a ‘waiting list’ control group. The study compares the two groups before and after 12 weeks of football. The ‘waiting list’ control group are then asked to play football for 12 weeks themselves.
Football will take place at Aston University and will be played outdoors on Thursdays from 5.00 to 6.00pm on an all-weather third-generation Astro-turf pitch that is thought to be particularly suitable for older players. Travel expenses (up to £7.50 per appointment) can be reimbursed for the two assessment appointments but not for playing football. If you are interested in becoming involved in this research please get in touch with me for more information. 0121 204 4076 firstname.lastname@example.org
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