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Translating motivational principles to develop a feasible and effective physical activity intervention

School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

About the Project

Several theories of motivation converge on the idea that people’s sense of self or identity acts as a robust motivator of sustained behaviour. (e.g., Uusberg et al., 2019; Ryan & Deci, 2017; Berkman et al., 2017; Michie et al., 2013). One way identity works as a motivator is to divert motivational resources away from tempting stimuli (e.g., sedentary activities) and towards healthy choices. For example, individuals who view themselves as ‘healthy’ tend to pay attention to healthy stimuli and seek out healthy behaviours automatically.

That said, the underlying basic evidence has not been comprehensively translated into behaviour change interventions. The proposed project will build on this idea by developing the necessary evidence base to create an intervention aimed at promoting physical activity in typically inactive populations.

The objectives of the project will be:

a) Systematically review the existing evidence
b) Test theoretical principles to develop evidence base
c) Engage with stakeholders to develop a feasible and scalable physical activity intervention
d) Pilot the intervention in relevant population groups

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF, 2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

The School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences has been ranked 1st in the world for Sport-related Subjects (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020).

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Psychology, Sport and Exercise Science or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in similar areas (e.g., physical activity promotion) will be an advantage.

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the international website.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under school/department name, select 'Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences'. Please quote reference SSEHS/IT/1.

The deadline for applications is 30 September 2020.

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