Sport, Health & Outdoor Education Research

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Welcome to the Sport, Health & Outdoor Education Research, Projects and Consultancy web pages.

The School of Sport, health and Outdoor Education has research interests in the following areas. 

  • physical literacy
  • motor development
  • physical education
  • outdoor adventure education
  • green exercise
  • mass participation sports events
  • sense of place
  • sports therapy
  • rehabilitation
  • ageing and exercise
  • childhood and adolescent exercise motivation in young people
  • barriers to exercise for type 2 diabetes

Find out more about the research activities of our staff

The School welcomes enquiries and applications from individuals who are interested in studying for a MPhil or PhD, either based on our Carmarthen campus or as Distance Students.

Find out more about the application process


Examples of current topics

  • What contribution does Welsh medium outdoor education at Glan-llyn make to the cultural development of young people in Wales?
  • Implementing a pedagogical model for outdoor and adventurous activities in the curriculum.
  • Exploring the Efficacy of Screening and Injury Reduction Strategies in Professional Rugby Union.
  • Frequency and Intensity of Strength Training in Older Women (50-70 years).
  • Measuring Well-being of Academic and Support Staff for A Healthier Wales: An Investigation into the Implementation of the Well-Being of Future Generations Act (2015) and the Goal of ‘A Healthier Wales’ within UWTSD.
  • Childhood and Adolescent Exercise Motivation in Young People- creating a supportive physical environment
  • Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to Exercise for Type 2 Diabetes

Examples of completed PhD degrees

  • Peter Herbert (2016) The Impact of High Intensity Training on Fitness Levels of Men Aged 55 and Above.
  • Nalda Wainwright (2014) The Interpretation and Delivery of The Welsh Foundation Phase and its Impact on Physical Literacy.

The Wales Institute for Physical Literacy works with people of all ages and abilities to raise participation and support physical activity in all forms, whether that is pre-school play, walking the dog or competing in world championship events.

The institute has conducted research in many aspects of physical literacy right across the lifespan. We have studied the contribution of the early childhood curriculum in Wales to children’s physical literacy to the effects of high intensity training on the older population. We are currently studying motivation to engage in physical activity in adolescents, and the increase in engagement in outdoor fitness activities.

We manage the Welsh Government funded Physical Literacy Project for Schools in the region in partnership with ERW and Sport Wales. We also work with schools outside this project to support the development of physical literacy.

The Centre for Health and Ageing focuses its research activity on the impact of exercise in older populations.  Being physically active on a regular basis is a positive move to achieving better health and fitness and studies have shown that exercise provides numerous health benefits. In particular, older adults can improve their quality of life by staying physically active.

Conversely, the lack of physical activity can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses. Staying physically active and exercising regularly therefore can help prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities.

In some cases, exercise is an effective treatment for many chronic conditions. Studies show that people with arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes will benefit from regular exercise. Likewise, exercise also helps people who are overweight, have high blood pressure, balance problems, or difficulty walking.

Additionally, regular, moderate physical activity can help manage stress and improve your mood and being active on a regular basis may help reduce feelings of depression. Studies also suggest that exercise can improve or maintain some aspects of mental function.