Healthy Living

Research Training Evaluation

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Research Areas

The Academic Team at Healthy Living is drawn from across a wide range of disciplines including Nutrition, Sport & Psychological Wellbeing. We favour an inter-disciplinary approach as many of the issues that we investigate require input from experts working collectively in different fields whilst working together in a cohesive manner.

Below we have provided you with a small synopsis of our focal research areas, although to find out any further information please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the Healthy Living Group (healthylivinguk@northumbria.ac.uk)

 

Performance Factors in Sport and Exercise

Researchers in Healthy Living have examined psychological performance factors within sport and exercise contexts. Extensive research has been conducted into the phenomenon that is the home advantage in a football context, specifically investigating the psycho-biological responses associated with playing venue. In addition, we have examined professional football players’, managers’ and referees’ perceptions of playing venue.

Our research has also focussed on emotions and interpersonal relationships in sport, exercise and health. This has been conducted on a wide range of populations including military paratroopers, chronic pain patients and musicians.

Our sport and exercise psychology team are committed to developing research that has practical applications to assist athletes, coaches and parents. They are also interested in investigating and evaluating the impact of sport and physical activity participation, as a way of maintaining and enhancing psychological wellbeing across a range of populations.

Breakfast Clubs

School and community breakfast clubs are about much more than just food.  As well as providing a healthy breakfast meal, breakfast clubs give children numerous additional opportunities including the chance to interact with peers and adults outside of the classroom while taking part in a range of available activities.

The opportunities afforded to children in a breakfast club have the potential to influence many aspects of development including their relationships with peers, teachers and parents, as well as their behaviour and cognitive performance.  The Healthy Living team have a number of years of expertise in measuring the impact of breakfast club attendance using a variety of techniques including controlled experiments, observations and questionnaire based methods. Recently the team at Healthy Living have applied their extensive knowledge of breakfast clubs to the development of an online breakfast club training course, which shall be delivered nationally in partnership with Kellogg’s.

 

Cognitive Testing

Members of Healthy Living have the required expertise to effectively measure children’s cognitive abilities: – including memory, attention, and executive function. Developmental psychologists within the team are also able to assess children’s educational performance using a range of tasks including: – reasoning, mathematical problems, IQ, problem solving, reading and comprehension tasks. The developmental expertise within Healthy Living enables the team to not only assess children under strict laboratory controlled conditions but also in schools, communities, and home environments.

 

Energy Balance & Appetite

Healthy Living members have investigated the relationship between energy balance and appetite in children and adolescents. This work has been conducted both within laboratory-based studies and more ‘free-living’ conditions, for example the measurement of physical activities undertaken in school. We have also explored the development of rigorous protocols to assess food intake, physical activity and body composition in children and adolescents.

 

The Physiological Effects of Fruit, Vegetables, Juices and Other Food Products

This research area focuses on the physiological effects of fruits, vegetables, juices and other food products on healthy people and those at risk from chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. Researchers within Healthy Living run human dietary intervention trials investigating the effects of short-term and long-term consumption of phytochemical-rich foods, such as fruit and vegetable juices, soups, champagne, green tea, black-currants, blueberries and beetroot on real-time measures of blood vessel function, blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors. They are also able to investigate the effects of novel foods on measures of hunger, consumer acceptance and the effects of processing the levels of beneficial components.