It is well documented that physical activity is decreasing across many parts of the world. This is because we are spending more time sitting at desks and in cars and choosing less active leisure pursuits, like watching TV and playing computer games.
Together with an ageing population, chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and heart disease are on the rise, which are also linked to sedentary lifestyles.
The lifestyle theme of our BRC works across the Leicester Diabetes Centre at Leicester General Hospital, clinical rehabilitation services at the Leicester Glenfield Hospital, and the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine at Loughborough University.
We aim to prevent, manage, and treat chronic illness like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease by identifying tailored packages of support for each person. This may include what we eat, how we move, how we sleep and what medicines we take, recognising that no two people are the same and different groups of people may respond differently to the same treatments.
We have developed three main research areas:
- Phenotypes, or characteristics: We are looking for groups of people who are similar – for example, by gender, ethnicity, genetic make-up – that will help us create lifestyle therapies specifically matched to that group
- Discovery: Learning how we best adapt and personalise lifestyle interventions, like diet, exercise and sleep, to different groups of individuals or different chronic illnesses
- Clinical interventions: We will test how tailored lifestyle interventions can be combined with other clinical approaches, such as medicines, surgery or advice, to help with weight and disease management.
We will do this by building on the knowledge we have gained from studying athletes to better understand chronic illnesses in the wider population, and the spectrum of movement, from sedentary behaviour to high intensity interval training.
Co-Theme Lead Professor Tom Yates
Professor Yates leads a broad portfolio of physical activity, exercise and obesity research in single and multiple chronic illnesses. His work on physical activity volume and intensity and their associations with a range of health indicators and longevity have been widely covered in the national and international press. Read Professor Yates’ full biography and research portfolio here: https://le.ac.uk/people/tom-yates
Co-Theme Lead Professor David Stensel
Professor David Stensel is internationally recognised for his work on appetite regulation. He is lead author of the influential textbook ‘Physical Activity and Health: The Evidence Explained’ (sold in over 60 countries) and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Obesity. Read Professor Stensel’s full biography and research portfolio here: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/schools/sport-exercise-health-sciences/people/david-stensel/