Smoking, physical inactivity, poor diets and excessive alcohol consumption are responsible for almost half of years of life lost in the UK. People in disadvantaged communities are much more likely to engage in all four unhealthy behaviours. This largely explains the 19-years difference in healthy life expectancy between low-income and the most affluent communities. Despite knowing for more than 10 years that unhealthy behaviours cluster, we don’t know how best to support multiple behaviour change.
This project provides a unique opportunity to identify promising approaches, e.g., family-based, to support multiple behaviour change through a systematic review and qualitative study, and conduct intervention development or optimisation work. The research will be co-produced with people who live in difficult circumstances in disadvantaged communities and with community organisations who work with and support residents. The findings will enhance our understanding about how best to support multiple behaviour change in these communities, inform future multiple behaviour change research, and contribute to government policy. The findings will be disseminated in the Thesis, peer-reviewed publications, at conferences and summary documents for the community organisations.
The student will join a multi-disciplinary team conducting world-class research into behavioural science, social deprivation, eating behaviours and physical activity. The training programme includes behavioural science methods, mixed methods, dissemination/impact, and personal development. We are seeking a student with a good first degree (at least 2:1) and preferably a Masters in a related topic area (e.g., behavioural science, health psychology, social science, nutrition, physical activity) or equivalent research experience. The student will have an interest in multiple behaviour change, reducing health inequalities and working with people living in disadvantaged communities, and be committed and self-directed. Applications for a part-time PhD are welcomed. We are particularly interested in students who have lived experience in these ‘hard to research’ communities.