Public health champion to lead exercise revolution

  • Leading public health expert joins pioneering national sport and exercise medicine centre
  • Initiative will support people in UK to lead more active and healthier lifestyles
  • Research will identify how exercise and physical activity can improve wellbeing of people with chronic health conditions

One of the UK’s leading public health experts is set to help people across the country lead more active and healthier lives as part of a new role at a pioneering national sport and exercise medicine centre based in Sheffield.

Professor Elizabeth Goyder, Professor of Public Health at the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), has been appointed Director of Research at the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) in Sheffield.

The NCSEM aims to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation through physical activity and was established in 2012 as a legacy to the Olympic Games. The Sheffield-based NCSEM brings together researchers and institutions from across the city who are working to create a culture of physical activity in the region.

The centre is also aiming to address the chronic burden of disease caused by a lack of physical activity.

Women on exercise bikesThe NCSEM is the result of a partnership involving:

  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield City Council
  • NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • University of Sheffield
  • Sheffield International Venues
  • Voluntary Action Sheffield
  • Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • English Institute of Sport
  • Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Elizabeth Goyder from ScHARR at the University of Sheffield said: “I’m delighted to be appointed Director of Research at such a ground-breaking initiative that is trying to make a huge positive impact on people’s lives in Sheffield and across the country.

“A lack of physical activity can have a significant effect on our health and wellbeing but we need to do more as a nation to help people become more active.

“Sheffield’s two universities have a unique breadth of expertise that can support innovative research into how best to ensure that everyone benefits from more active lives. We know a lot about the benefits of physical activity for our health and wellbeing, but not enough about how best to support individuals and communities to lead more active lives."

As part of her new role, Professor Goyder will work with world class researchers from both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University to explore innovative and effective ways to help communities become more active.

The position will also help researchers identify how exercise and physical activity can improve the wellbeing of people with chronic health conditions.

Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Our aim is to make Sheffield one of the healthiest cities in the UK and as one of the largest NHS organisations we are committed to exploring all opportunities to integrate physical activity into health prevention, delivery and rehabilitation.

“We also want to have a healthy workforce in the city and the work of the NCSEM will provide the research and evidence to help us achieve this. Professor Goyder’s appointment is another important step in our journey.”
Steve Haake, Head of Sheffield Hallam University's Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre and former Director of Research at the NCSEM, said: "The city of Sheffield, in partnership with the NCSEM, is committed to transforming Sheffield into the most active city in the UK by 2020. Our research looks at how we can make it easier for everyone living in Sheffield to be physically active as part of everyday life.
"We are already well on the way to achieving this through the Move More campaign which seeks to encourage involvement in mass-participation events and I'm looking forward to seeing our work come to fruition under Liddy Goyder's leadership."

Professor Goyder added: "Sheffield is in a unique position with the NCSEM as it brings together key partners who can lead a city-wide campaign to encourage people to be physically active.

“Sheffield City Council, the Universities, the NHS, the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, industry, community organisations and service providers are all committed to ensuring Sheffield is an active city with all the benefits that brings to local communities and the local and regional economy.

“We already have some fantastic community organisations and schemes in Sheffield helping people to be active. The NCSEM is developing some great facilities, at Concorde, Graves and North Active, so I am looking forward to bringing these together to maximise the impact we can have on wellbeing through physical activity for the whole community.”

Professor Goyder is taking over from the previous Director of Research, Professor Steve Haake from Sheffield Hallam University, Professor of Sports Engineeering, who is now the Director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, which is being established in the Don Valley.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2016 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

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For further information please contact: 

Sean Barton
Media Relations Assistant
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9852