Characterising changes and covariation in physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep during...

University of East Anglia
June 02 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Public health interventions often seek to change the amount of time that people spend in particular behaviours, such as increasing physical activity or reducing sedentary behaviour, with the aim of enhancing health. In order to establish the net benefit to health of such a change in behaviour, however, it is necessary to understand how an individual reconfigures their time budget to accommodate this change. If, for example, a switch from travelling by car to bicycle for the journey to school is accompanied by reduced sleep (due to needing to get up earlier) or increased TV viewing (due to feeling more tired later in the day), the potential health benefit of increased physical activity may not be realised. To date, few studies have examined how physical activity, sedentary behaviours and sleep interact within the day to day lives of young people (clustering) or explored how changes in one domain impact upon participation in other activities (covariation). These inter-relations have important implications for the design and evaluation of behaviour change interventions and their potential to improve population health.

The aim of the PhD project will be to enhance understanding of the way in which physical activity, sedentary behaviours and sleep change and co-vary in young people during free-living and/or in response to a behaviour change programme.

Specific objectives:

• Develop a research proposal relevant to the topic outlined above and reflective of the candidate's own research interests and experience

• Carry out a systematic literature review

• Conduct secondary analysis of observational and/or intervention data

• Engage in relevant training in research skills and personal and professional development

• Disseminate results to academic and non-academic audiences

Funding notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at

A bench fee may also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess